If you’re looking for one of the best marine binoculars you came to right place.
It can get a little tricky deciding on optics and I’ll show you how to pick up a good pair – you’ll see my top picks for 2017 too.
A Quick Guide to Choosing Marine Binoculars
Choosing the right binoculars is essential because your visibility level and comfort play a big role in your experience on the water. There’s four things to consider when making your selection and they are:
- What is the binoculars lens magnification and field of vision?
- What is an adequate level of waterproofing?
- Should you get a built-in compass or rangefinder?
- Should you select coated lenses, fully coated lenses, multi-coated lenses or fully multi-coated lenses?
The Way Binoculars Are Measured
All binoculars come with a “value.” For instance, a pair of optics might have a value of 7X50. Those two numbers represent the magnification (first number) and the diameter of the objective lenses (second number and will indicate how wide your field of vision is). Most people will do just fine with 7X50 lenses but your needs will dictate what you choose.
The Role of Waterproofing
Waterproofing is essential for marine binoculars. Products without waterproofing may fog up from the damp environment.
Also, waterproofing can make a big difference if your binoculars fall into the water. What you need is a water resistant construction, featuring an interior ring sealed and filled with dry nitrogen. Nitrogen is key because changing temperatures won’t make it expand.
Inferior binoculars, filled with air, can blow a seal and allow moisture to seep in if left in the sun. You’ll want a flotation strap too – this will ensure your product won’t be lost forever if it goes overboard.
Finding Your Way With a Compass or Rangefinder
A built-in compass is a helpful feature. The compass will appear on the images you see through the lens.
A rangefinder can be useful too. A rangefinder assists in calculating your distance from other objects. You can use navigation markers printed on maps or charts to measure angles and calculate when measuring distance. This feature isn’t absolutely necessary but it’s always nice to have at your disposal.
Choosing Your Coatings
Choosing a lens coating is extremely important. The general rule is higher-quality binoculars typically have several layers of coatings.
Binoculars that are simply coated with one layer may not offer the level of light transition you need for good visibility. Fully coated lenses are a slightly better option and will improve brightness and clarity.
A Multi-coated lens is the next step up in quality and the most superior option is multi-coated lenses; fully multi-coated lenses are extremely effective in terms of light transition, crispness and overall viewing experience.
So now that you know what to look for, let’s take a look at my top picks.
Bushnell Marine 7×50
Bushnell is one of my favorite optics companies and they make excellent rangefinders and spotting scopes – their Marine 7×50’s prove they manufacture excellent binoculars too. You get extremely crisps views with this product and it features:
- Porro Prism System for a wider field of vision and superb depth perception
- Rubber armor protection so it won’t scratch or break
- Resistant to corrosion and completely waterproof
The Marine’s are affordable too and will cost a budget friendly $134. If you’re looking for a low cost pair of binoculars that give up little in the performance department, you should consider this product.
Steiner Navigator Pro 7×50
The Steiner Navigator Pro is a little more expensive than the product you just saw and a little higher quality – magnification and field of vision is the same. The Navigator Pro is built to last and comes with:
- Polycarbonate rubber armoring that can absorb up to 11 G’s of force
- Silicone lens that are crack and scratch resistant
- Displays a natural view with high contrast and bright colors
These binoculars are perfect for all aquatic activities and can be found on boating hobbyists all the way up to professional anglers. This is a set of optics you’ll like looking through, that’s for sure.
Coleman Signature Marine 10×50
The Coleman Signature Marine’s are very affordable and reserved for less serious boaters and fisherman. People that are serious on the water and need the highest quality should look else where. Everyone else will like the:
- High magnification and wide field of vision
- How resistant this product is to damage
- The fog proofing and water proofing
You can pick up the Signature Marine’s for around $59 too. For the right person these are an excellent value.
Fraser Optics Stedi-Eye Mariner
Company: Fraser Optics
The binoculars you just saw were made specifically for beginners and causal boaters – that’s not the case with the Fraser Optics Stedi-Eye Mariner. In fact it’s the complete opposite. This product is designed for a narrow group of people that are very serious on the water and depend on high quality binoculars to assist them. Some top features include:
- 98% reduction in image motion
- Completely water proof and submersible
- Fully coated for enhanced light transmission
- 14x magnification will let you pin point small objects far away
The Stedi-Eye Mariner can handle any weather condition and is extremely reliable. All this comes with a price; a high one. This product will cost over $5000. Only a select few would need to spend that on optics and if you’re one of them you should consider these binoculars.
Konus Tornado 7×50
The Konus Tornado is a product that’ll work for almost all people. It’s affordable enough that casual boaters can consider them and it performs high enough where more serious people can enjoy them. I personally like that it has:
- A compass with a light so you can see in the dark and a rangefinder reticle
- Floating body that won’r sink if they go overboard
- Water proof and fog proof
The price is good too and the Tornado’s will only cost around $156. That’s an excellent value when you consider all that you’re getting.
Nikon StabilEyes Marine Binoculars
Nikon is another giant in the optics world and you’ll find their products on crossbows, rifles, and of course, on boats. Their StabilEyes Marine Binoculars are pretty expensive and will cost over $1100. Casual fisherman and sailors won’t need these – it’s reserved for serious people. It has some awesome features, though, which include:
- The ability to eliminate movement from waves and vibrations making it perfect in treacherous waters
- Unbelievable clear views and razor sharp resolution
- Durable and will absorb impact and resist corrosion
If you find yourself on choppy waters and need dependable binoculars to keep you safe, the StabilEyes is a product you should consider.
Here we have another high quality binocular from Steiner and these are designed specifically to meet military standards. They’re very durable, rugged and will stand up to all weather conditions without breaking down. Also, they have a:
- Very large field of view and are impervious to water and fog
- Is perfect for spotting small objects
- Are lightweight and compact
These binoculars aren’t overly expensive but they’re certainly not cheap – they’ll cost around $399. When you consider all that you’re getting and how long they’ll last, you see what a great value that is.
Celestron Oceana 7×50
The Celestron Oceana is another binocular that’s perfect for more casual boaters and fisherman – the price reflects this (it’ll only cost around $109). That doesn’t mean it’s low quality, either. In fact it’s one of the better, less expensive products on this list. That’s because it has a:
- Rangefinder dial that assists in measuring distance and size of different objects
- Prevents internal fogging and is completely waterproof
- Illuminated compass will help you navigate in the dark
It’s also fully multi-coated so you get the most crisp and clear views possible. You’ll have a hard time finding another binocular that offers so much yet costs so little.
Pentax 7×50 With Compass
Like the product you just saw, the Pentax 7×50 is a binocular loaded with features and can be bought at a reasonable price – this one will cost around $180. It comes with:
- A compass so you can navigate where ever you are
- Range-finding retcile which allows you to measure distance and size of far away objects
- Very durable
This Pentax product will stand up to mother nature’s worst too and resists fog and water. Many people believe these optics could be priced over $300 and I can definitely see why.
Fujinon Techno Stabi 14×40
The Fujinon Techno Stabi is a product you’ll find in the arsenal of serious sailors and anglers. Like the other items on this list that cost over $1000, the Techno does an excellent job stabilizing images on rough waters. Also, it has:
- Internal optics that utilize electric motors and computer sensors to give you the clearest and smoothest views
- Is buoyant in case it goes overboard and is very lightweight
- Works from all angles including on its side and upside down
This binocular is waterproof and fog proof too. Also, the coatings give unmatched sharpness and resolution. Any person would be lucky to own this instrument.
Minox BF Waterproof 10×42
The Minox BF is another piece of optics that’s an excellent value and comes at a very reasonable price – it’ll cost around $149. If your life depends on your binoculars you may want a different product but everyone else will enjoy the Minox. Some top features include:
- Compact and easily transportable
- Waterproof up to 10 feet of water
- Slip resistant and works well in all weather conditions
The lens is multi coated too, so you get a very crisp and clear view. It also has a nice rubber armoring that’ll prevent cracking and scratches.
Barska Deep Sea 7×50 With Internal Rangefinder
The Barska Deep Sea is one of my favorite binoculars for under $100. Despite its low price this instrument is high quality and has a ton of cool features, like:
- Internal rangefinder and compass that takes the guess work out of navigating
- Fully coated lens delivers a very clear and crisp view
- Field of view of up to 1000 yards
It has a lifetime warranty too, so you know it’s durable and built to last. There are plenty of good reviews on Amazon and if you’d like to see what actual customers are saying, click below:
Here we have another Steiner product and this one is the least powerful of the bunch. It’s still a formidable product, however, and has a lot going for it, like:
- A reasonable price of $246
- Built to military standards so you know it’s very rugged and resistant to scratches
- Rain and fog proof
This is the perfect piece of optics for anyone wearing eyeglasses too – it has a generous and long eye relief. Plus, it has a 10 year warranty and is lightweight at only 18 ounces.
Swift SeaWolf HP 10×50
The Swift SeaWolf HP is a very high quality piece of equipment but won’t cost over $1000 – the price tag is around $560. These binoculars resist all water and fog and come with:
- Fully Multi-coated lens so you get bright and sharp views
- All metal construction that’s very durable
- 25 year warranty which means you’ll get your money’s worth
It has a rubber armor and a no slip grip making this product useful in all weather conditions too. The SeaWolf is one of the few optics that can be enjoyed by anyone, no matter what they’re doing on the water.
Fujinon Mariner 7×50
The Fujinon Mariner is a sleek looking binocular and is high quality without costing a ton – it’s priced around $220. Besides offering excellent waterproofing and fog proofing, this product has:
- Crisp views because of it multi coated lens
- Polycarbonate housing makes this optics durable, rugged and lightweight
- Long eye relief so it works perfectly for people who wear glasses
They also float in water which is excellent for boating. This is another instrument that has a ton of reviews on Amazon from satisfied customers. If you’d like to see what others have to say about the Mariner, click below:
Opticron Marine 3 7×50
The Opticron Marine 3 is a reasonably priced piece of optics and will only cost around $249 – for the quality you’re getting that’s a very good price. Some nice features include:
- Anti-reflective multi-coated optics that deliver a crisp view
- Completely waterproof and fog proof
- Aluminium body that’s lightweight and durable
The Marine 3 is a very safe pick and you’ll be happy to use this product out on the water this year and for years to come.
Pulsar Expert VM 8×40
The Pulsar Expert VM is the last product on this list and is one all types of nautical people will love. This binocular has an aquatic look to it and works well in most weather conditions. You’ll like that it comes with:
- Protective front lens that resits dust, scratches and cracks
- Can be submerged for up to 30 minutes without any damage
- Is long lasting and very durable
This piece of optics will only cost around $231 too. This makes it perfect for almost any budget.
Don’t Leave Shore Without Quality Binoculars!
Having quality and well made optics can really enhance your time on the water – you’ll be able to take in the views, spot distant objects and navigate a lot easier with the right pair. No matter your budget or needs, there’s a product on this list that’s perfect for you.
If you have any questions about what you’ve read, comment below and I’ll make sure to respond as fast as possible. You can let friends and family see by sharing on social media too.
How eager are you to get out there with your new binoculars?