Charles holds a Master’s degree in Physics Engineering (optics and photonics specialization), has been teaching physics at school for almost 15 years and recently has star read more
Last updated: November 06, 2022
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Have you ever had to pocket your binos while watching wildlife or hunting due to unfavorable weather? This problem is easily solvable with a pair of waterproof binoculars.
We rounded up the best waterproof binoculars currently in the market and graded them according to their features. Consequently, if you’re looking to own some all-weather binos, this list should come in handy. As for the attributes that helped us rank the products, one example is the magnification that dictates the types of activities ideal for each pair of binos. Additionally, the lens diameter and optics influence the light coming through the binoculars and the clarity of the images. These three, alongside a few other features, paint an accurate picture of the quality of the gadgets.
Other features: IPX-7 waterproof, fog proof, 17mm eye relief, non-slip rubber armor, Soft Texture Grip
While most binos have black exteriors, the Bushnell H2O Roof Prism Binoculars stray away from the norm by having a blue finish. The exterior also includes textured non-slip rubber armor that enhances the user’s grip and protects the binos in case they fall or are subjected to any form of impact. Inside the rugged construction are multi-coated optics in addition to a BAK4 prism which allow for impressive image quality through the ocular lenses. The binos are even nitrogen purged, and O-ring sealed, making them fog proof. Lastly, they are available in 8x and 10x magnification options.
The Bushnell H2O Roof Prism Binoculars are excellent for anyone who wears glasses and needs the extra 17mm eye relief provided. They’re also great for users looking for a wide field of view at 1000 yards.
What makes it special?
The eye relief is surplus to most requirements, which means just about anyone can use these binos whether they wear glasses or not. Additionally, in our opinion, the blue exterior looks good and unique, not to mention the durability of the design. Another thing we liked is the textured exterior which should keep the binos firmly in your grip even in wet conditions.
What cons did we find?
The optics are multi-coated but not fully multi-coated, which means the image quality could be improved. In fact, you may notice some chromatic aberrations as you’re looking through the binos. Also, while the blue exterior is undoubtedly unique and attractive where other binos are concerned, some people still prefer black binos since they’re less conspicuous.
Other features: Nikon’s premium ED glass, turn-and-slide rubber eyecups, rubber-armored body
Next is the black Nikon 7577 MONARCH 5 pair of binoculars, which will cost you more than any other pair listed. That said, this pair embodies Nikon’s knack for producing some of the best quality optics in the market. In fact, buyers get Nikon’s premium extra-low dispersion glass, ensuring clearer images. This is further enhanced by the coating on all optical surfaces in the binos. Also worth mentioning is that the glass components are eco-friendly.
Thanks to the coating and Nikon’s use of premium extra-low dispersion glass, these binos are for users who need superior optics and image quality. Additionally, they’re better suited for purchasers with a little more money in their pockets owing to the high price tag. Also notable is that these binos are significantly lighter than their predecessors.
What makes it special?
In our opinion, the image quality is one of the best in its class, and it’s easy to see why once you take a look at the optics. Next, they feel pretty solid and rugged in your hands and are durable enough to last through lots of use. The eco-glass components are another positive.
What cons did we find?
The pricing is one of the biggest deterrents to owning the Nikon 7577 MONARCH 5 pair of binoculars as it’s several times more expensive than some of the competition. Additionally, buyers get a relatively narrow field of view which can be problematic when tracking targets. Lastly, despite being lighter than their predecessors, they’re still heavy compared to most of the competition.
Other features: IPX7 Waterproof, 22mm eye relief, fog proof, built-in compass, non-slip rubber armor
One of the best pairs of waterproof binoculars for boating is the Hooway Military Marine option. It incorporates a Porro prism design which allows for larger objectives. In this case, users get a 55mm diameter which offers better light collection. On top of that, they add BAK4 glass with fully multi-coated optics for top-of-the-line image quality. The 22mm eye relief is also one of the best on the list, and the binos incorporate a built-in compass in their design as well. Nevertheless, the 2.2 lbs weight may not be everyone’s cup of tea.
If you don’t want the usual plain color options available for most binoculars, the Hooway Military Marine pair is a good alternative. Additionally, they make an excellent purchase if you need more eye relief than most other users.
Why did it make our list?
Users have more color options to choose from to match their preferences. Next, the binos use fully-multicoated optics in addition to BAK4 glass, which results in higher quality images. Furthermore, some extra useful features, such as the compass and the extra-long eye relief, may come in handy. Lastly, the design incorporates 55mm objectives, allowing more light into the binos.
What is not ideal about it?
One of the cons of using larger lenses and a Porro prism design is the heft, making these binos more tiring to carry and use. We noticed they’re also bulky enough to cause problems during storage and transport. Another issue is that the lens caps fall off frequently, leaving the lenses open to damage.
Other features: IPX7 waterproof, fog proof, lifetime warranty
If your budget is limited to $100 or less, you should consider Stellax ZoomX Binoculars. Thanks to the ultra-phase color correction, buyers get some of the clearest and brightest images available at this price range. Furthermore, there is the fully multi-coated construction of the optics in addition to high-quality BAK4 glass. Also, if you’d like to take pictures of your targets, you’re in luck since the device ships with a smartphone adapter. Lastly, buyers of the Stellax ZoomX Binoculars get a lifetime warranty with the purchase.
As mentioned above, the Stellax ZoomX Binoculars for adults are for users with a $100 budget. With the included smartphone adapter, they even work well for users who want to take photos of their targets. Lastly, they’re ideal for binocular buyers who want extra reassurances from the manufacturer in the form of a lifetime warranty.
Why did it make our list?
In our opinion, the binos are well-priced and affordable for most people. Additionally, even with the affordable pricing, users get a lifetime warranty. Another positive is the smartphone adapter which allows users to record whatever they see through the ocular lenses. Lastly, these binos are lightweight and incorporate some fairly high-end components in the construction.
What is not ideal about it?
While it is a thoughtful inclusion, the construction of the smartphone adapter is low quality, and you have to replace it at some point if you enjoy its functionality. Additionally, the eye relief stands at 13.6mm, which might not work for some users. Lastly, the focus wheel is too sensitive, making focusing an issue.
Other features: 15.7mm eye relief, 4.2 mm exit pupil, tripod mount
Another option that ships with a smartphone adapter is the UsoGood pair of Binoculars for Adults with 50mm objective lenses. This pair weighs only 1.1 lbs making it one of the best lightweight waterproof binoculars. The 12x magnification provided offers extra reach, but it’s also bound to make images shakier. That said, these binos also ship with a tripod which is surprising considering they cost less than $50. As for the eye relief, it stands at 15.7mm, which may not work for some people.
If you’re looking for extra magnification and reach, the UsoGood Binoculars for Adults are ideal. These binos are also well-suited to potential buyers without lots of money to spare, given the sub-$50 price point.
What are its best features?
The pricing makes these waterproof binoculars accessible to most of the population. Additionally, the 1.1 lbs weight of this pair makes it one of the best lightweight waterproof binoculars on the market. Users even get a tripod mount that they can use to stabilize the image of whatever they’re looking at. Lastly, this option offers more magnification and reach than the other alternatives listed.
What could be improved?
In our opinion, the accessories provided are a nice thought, but the durability is wanting. This is especially true for the tripod, which is flimsy and unstable. Consequently, if you want reliability, you might have to replace them soon after the purchase. Also, the instructions on attaching the tripod and phone adapter are missing, which makes use difficult.
Things to Consider
If you’re looking to purchase the best water-resistant binoculars and aren’t sure how to pick the right model, the buying guide below is for you.
Features to Consider When Choosing the Best Waterproof Binoculars
Similar to the way we used the features to rate and rank the waterproof binos listed above, you’ll need to use the same to determine which is the right purchase. However, that might prove difficult for potential buyers who know nothing about the said features. If you’re one of those people, we’ve included descriptions for all the features to look out for in this section.
Water Resistance Level
IP ratings show how much protection your binoculars have from water damage
Notably, not all waterproof binoculars are built the same. Some have more resistance to water damage than others which is why an ingress protection code is provided in most of these binoculars. According to the Engineering Toolbox
Trusted SourceIP - Ingress Protection RatingsIP – Ingress Protection rating is used to specify the environmental protection – or electrical enclosure – of electrical equipment.
, ingress protection ratings were and continue to be developed by CENELEC, which is the European Committee for Electro Technical Standardization.
As a buyer, you should know to decipher the IP ratings so you know just how much protection your binos have from water damage. In the case of the Stellax ZoomX Binoculars for Adults, which have an IPX7 waterproof rating, you can submerge the binos up to one meter under the water surface. Additionally, you can keep the binos there for up to 30 minutes before it becomes a problem.
Magnification and Objective Lens Diameter
Magnification and the objective lens diameter also matter. In the case of the objective lens
Trusted SourceBinoculars Basic Knowledge | Binoculars | Olympus: cameras, audio and binocularsThis is a website that introduces binocular-related vocabulary and how to choose binoculars.
, the larger it is, the more light it lets into the binoculars. That said, light tends to decrease with higher magnification levels, so the binos with the highest magnification also tend to have larger objectives. The UsoGood Binoculars for Adults is an excellent example since it offers more magnification and large 50mm objectives.
Nevertheless, depending on your targets and how far off you want to see, you may have to opt for higher magnification to match your needs.
It’s worth noting that magnification may also affect other essential features such as the field of view and the ease with which you can lock on to targets. If you have higher magnification, the images may be shaky, and you’ll have a more challenging time tracking and locating targets due to the small field of view.
Conversely, if you have lower magnification, you may not see as far, but you’ll have a larger field of view and more stable images.
There are two types of prism that can usually be found in the binoculars: roof prism and Porro prism
Each pair of binos will have a prism system that works to ensure light from the objective lenses reaches the eyepiece, and the image is in the proper orientation, not upside down. According to How Stuff Works, you can either get a roof prism or a Porro prism.
Both have their advantages, with roof prism options being more compact, durable, lighter, and even having better waterproofing. As for Porro prisms, they tend to offer a wider field of view, better image clarity and quality, and lastly, better depth perception.
Similarly, there are shortcomings to both. Porro prism binos aren’t as durable, offer less waterproofing, and are typically larger and heavier. With roof prism binos, the image quality will suffer unless it is compensated for by top-of-the-line optics and glass components. Additionally, they can get expensive and offer a narrower field of view. Consequently, you’ll have to choose which prism system works better for you.
Size and Weight
There are also differences in size and weight, with some binos being larger and heavier than others. As such, you’ll have to pick a size that’s appropriate for you. That said, larger and heavier binos are a chore to carry, use, and transport. However, if you don’t mind the bulk and weight, they could also have some advantages. For instance, the Hooway Military Marine Binoculars are heavy but have large objectives, which means more light-gathering capabilities.
Field of View and Range
Consider the field of view and range before committing to the purchase as well. The field of view as it determines just how much of the scene you’re able to see. For instance, with the Nikon 7577 MONARCH 5 Binocular, you can only see 288 ft of the overall scene at 1000 yds.
With an alternative like the Bushnell H2O Roof Prism Binoculars, you’ll see more of the overall scene at 1000 yards since the field of view is 409 ft @ 1000 yards. Also, with a wider field of view, you can spot and follow targets such as animals and birds much easier than with a narrow field of view.
There may be some extra features to look into, such as the color scheme, construction, overall durability, the presence of a tripod mount, an inbuilt compass, grip, whether the binos are fog proof, and more.
Each of these extra binocular features could add a little more value to your purchase. However, some also come with additional costs that may put the binos out of budgetary reach. As such, you’ll have to decide whether to reach back into your pockets for more money or not.
It all depends on the ingress protection rating given. With binos that are IPX7 rated like the Hooway Military Marine Binoculars, you can even soak them in water. However, some binos may not have as much water resistance. As such, you’ll need to know the IP rating given and what it means before deciding to test the waterproofing.
As for the Nikon 7577 MONARCH 5 Binocular, it uses Nikon’s premium ED glass which is bound to improve image quality by leaps and bounds. Furthermore, it features fully multi-coated optics to boost the image quality even further and a rugged body.
Despite being the only Porro prism binos on the list, the Hooway Military Marine Binoculars deserve their place among the best waterproof binoculars. They’re designed with large objective lenses, are available in various color options to match buyers’ preferences, and even sneak in a compass to use alongside the binos.
IP - Ingress Protection Ratings
IP – Ingress Protection rating is used to specify the environmental protection – or electrical enclosure – of electrical equipment.