Marine binoculars are having special qualities that make them able to face watery challenges. It is therefore especially important for these binoculars to have good protective features, such as waterproof construction and fog-proof ability. The configuration is also very important. Perfect binoculars for marine applications have usually a 7x magnification to allow you to get enough power to see details and at the same time provide enough stable images on movable vessels. Objective lenses for marine binoculars usually come in 30mm or 50mm, depending in which light conditions you use them most of the time. Binoculars with bigger magnification can be useful if they include image stabilization. It’s also very convenient for marine binoculars to have an integrated compass and rangefinder that helps you to determine the size of objects when observing the great sea. Another great feature for marine binoculars is to have individual focusing so you don’t have to make adjustments when changing the aim at different distances. This feature also makes them more waterproof since central focusing mechanism tends to move the construction when making adjustments and therefore increases a chance of water ingress. The last important features you might look at when buying binoculars for marine is their size and weight so they don’t cause much fatiguing. An eye-relief they offer might be important information for people who wear eye glasses or sunglasses.
The following binoculars that made it to the top 10 are:
Steiner Global is a complete winner. With 7×50 configuration and astonishing optical features, these binoculars provide amazing view-through. It has integrated compass that is self-calibrating due to automatic declination adjustment so they offer correct measurements anywhere in the world. The construction of this binoculars is indestructible with Makrolon® housing and NBR-Longlife rubber armouring that is tightly sealed and purged with nitrogen gas. External lenses have Nano coating that helps with protection against scratches and abrasion.
Zeiss Marine binocular with 7×50 configuration is also incredibly robust and simply indestructible. It prides itself with incredible optical performance due to modern Carl Zeiss T* coatings and individual focusing adjustments that don’t require refocusing when looking further afield. These binoculars unfortunately don’t have integrated compass.
Steiner Commander binoculars have all the features of Global 7×50 series from the same manufacturer. The integrated compass is slightly different and doesn’t offer automatic declination adjustment. It is thus stabilized and illuminated and still gives perfectly accurate navigation information.
Incredibly bright marine binocular made by Fujinon offer flat-field view-through that eliminates curvature and gives clear view-through free of major distortions. These binoculars are able to withstand extreme temperatures and humidly with waterproof and fog-proof construction. With impact-proof FMTR armouring and all metal housing, these binoculars are indestructible. They also have a very long eye relief which is very convenient when wearing sunglasses or spectacles.
Minox BN DCM series offers exceptional marine binoculars with great digital features and optical properties. They are also incredibly stylish and a real trendsetter since they are the only ones that come in white color. DCM models have integrated digital compass, display of height, digital barometer and thermometer with 8-hour history, digital altimeter, stopwatch and watch. They are enclosed in thermoplastic body that makes these binoculars able to withstand the UV exposure and waterproof and fog-proof construction that helps with incredibly durability.
Navigator Pro series made by Steiner are amazing marine binoculars for recreational and hobby use. These binoculars have implemented HD fluid-damped illuminated analog compass and individual focus mechanism. High-quality optics and build materials such as Makrolon® housing and NBR Long-life rubber armouring makes them incredibly durable and able to withstand the most extreme temperatures.
Bushnell Marine binocular has an illuminated analog compass and reticle for range measurements. Optically it performs really good due to fully multi-layers of high-quality coatings that give bright, colorful and sharp images. They are 100% waterproof and fog-proof due to hermetical sealing and nitrogen gas filling. They’re also incredibly durable and corrosion resistant. The eyecups are fold-down and perfect for eye glass wearers.
Nikon OceanPro are marine binoculars with integrated compass and distance scale. They are equipped with multi-layers of anti-reflective coatings that help to enhance light transmission rate and give better resolution. They are nitrogen filled and tightly sealed for maximum protection and have a central focusing mechanism with right-eye diopter which makes them a little less durable.
The Nikon Marine binoculars are extremely durable with thick rubber shock-proof armouring, waterproof construction due to O-ring seals and fog-proof due to nitrogen purging. With long exit pupil distance they’re suitable even for those wearing eye glasses. They can be mounted on a tripod adapter, but unfortunately come without a compass.
Extremely affordable Delta Optical Sailor for marine application have multi-coated optics that together with light transmission help to enhance color and contrast. They have integrated analog compass and reticle for distance measurements. They pride themselves with extremely wide field of view and great protection with rubber armouring, nitrogen purged construction and tight seals.
This review is not sponsored and it’s completely unbiased. It is made simply out of our own interest in the optics and provides an objective opinion of tested binoculars. Big thanks to Optics Trade who kindly offered us their products to review and test.