Best Marine Binoculars For 2018

Best Marine Binoculars For 2018

If you love a good outdoor or indoor adventure, and this can include anything from hunting and birdwatching all the way to extreme sports like skydiving, you probably already know the importance of having the right gear with you. Binoculars make up for one such important item.

If you're a birdwatcher, you would want a close and efficient view of the preciously beautiful wildlife. If you're enthusiastic about hunting, then you probably would need a tool to help you locate the target from your hidden area far, far away from the animal. Sports, military activity, astronomy and other scientific purposes, the uses of binoculars are endless!

​Before you hit the stores or log onto an e-commerce website to buy your marine binoculars, familiarize yourself with some of the essential features that you should seek. This guide will explore in detail everything that you need to buy the perfect set of sailing binoculars.

​Winner: Bushnell H20 Porro Prism Binoculars

“The only thing we didn’t do is teach them how to swim.” This sentence summarizes Bushnell’s Porro Prism Binoculars and its incredible features that make it a stand out amongst a sea of sailing binoculars, pun intended.

Bushnell BSH134211 Binoculars Review

As discussed above, there is a minimum criterion that marine binoculars must have to be fully functional for a boating trip. The Bushnell Porro Prism Binocular checks all the boxes on our list.

Amongst the on-the-water viewing instruments, the Bushnell Porro Prism binoculars make for the perfect choice because of their enhanced Soft Texture Grip, their O-ringed and nitrogen-purged built, and maximum attainable qualities of BaK-4 prism glass and multi-coated optics, light transmission and clarity. But there’s more to the Bushnell H20 than just this!

Brightest Light Transmission

The Bushnell H20- is made with superior BA- 4 Prisms, which offer the brightest light transmission of any binocular in the entire company’s collection. This feature ensures a crisp, tack sharp and clear image. The Bak-4 classes are usually amongst the best and the most expensive kind of optical instruments in the market.

Durable ​And Easy-Functioning Built

The Bushnell H20 is made up of a non-slip rubber armor that allows you to grip the binocular in moisture-filled environments firmly. A rubberized armor ensures a non-slip grip in the wettest atmosphere and also makes the equipment shock resistant if you are using them in rough environments where they will likely be tossed and bumped.

An additional feature that adds to the durability and ease of functioning is the center focus knob of the binocular that lets you make lens adjustments and focus on objects as conveniently as possible.

Reliable Manufacturers Who Care

Bushnell has been working in the optic wear industry for about half a century, and it has continuously built high-performance sports optics. The primary objectives of the company include creating high tech, up-to-date, steadfast equipment at a reasonable price.

Bushnell invests in research and development of their optical products and operates under a unique set of laws that obligate that their products outperform, outlast, and outhunt than the ones before.

Pros

  • ​1O-ring sealed for waterproof protection
  • ​Nitrogen purged for fogproof protection
  • Porro Prism System
  • Durable, non-slip rubber armoring
  • Superior transmission of light
  • Multiple coated optic system
  • ​BAK-4 Prisms for a sharp, detailed image
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Shock-absorbent
  • Lightweight and compact design
  • Includes carrying case, neck strap, and lens cloth
  • Provides tack sharp images
  • Designed to provide longer eye-relief

​Cons

  • ​Very expensive

Runner-Up: Hooway 7x50 Waterproof Marine Binoculars

If we were to describe these binoculars in one word, it would be ‘military.' The Hooway 7x5 Waterproof Marine Binoculars are custom built for people who indulge in high activity sports, and therefore they meet all the ‘military’ standards. This design means that they have the following standout features:

Hooway Binoculars Review

Weather Resistant

The Hooway 7x50 can withstand extreme weather conditions; cold, warm, humid or dry. It doesn’t matter if you use them in the middle of the sea or during a sandstorm. They will work just as well as they would in normal conditions.

The most significant advantage of this weather flexibility lies in the fact that you can use these binoculars in not just marine settings, but bird watching, hunting, sports, wild travel and more.

The Perfect Built

The Hooway 7x50 has an easy, stable and comfortable grip and a perfect balance between magnification, lens size, and field of view. It has an individual eyepiece focus system, which lets the viewer adjust the focus according to their eyesight. This feature is particularly helpful for people who wear prescription glasses.

Additionally, the 7-magnification lens allows you to view objects at a distance seven times magnified. However, that level of magnification would naturally feature a particular blurriness with a 50mm lens, which stabilizes the motion of the lens, increases the field of view and brightens the image.

And of course, the perfect built includes its durability, which incorporates the weather resistance and waterproof qualities. The Hooway 7x50 is entirely waterproof, Nitrogen-filled and fog-resistant.

Lets You Measure Distance

Two of the features that make this binocular distinct from many others is the built-in compass and the built-in rangefinder. The compass is glow-in-the-dark and gives you a better sense of direction mid-adventure. Additionally, the built-in rangefinder lets you know the size, height, and width of an object if you would want to calculate the distance in between you and your focus. 

Pros

  • ​Porro Prism Glass
  • ​Waterproof, fog proof and nitrogen-filled built.
  • Built-in compass and rangefinder
  • ​Multi-coated balanced out magnification and lens system
  • Fold down eyecups and eye relief.

​Cons

  • Because of the individual eyepiece focus, both the eyepieces may not focus at the same settings.
  • minus
    A little on the heavy side
  • minus
    ​Fold down eyecups and eye relief.

​Alternative: Aomekie Marine Military Binoculars

This binocular is a well built military marine binoculars for the money. The design, performance and affordability ratio is well balanced out as compared to other models, which puts it on the bottom of this list as well. A balance to make the equipment reach a certain low price means sacrificing some of the quality of the equipment.

Aomekie Binoculars Review

Like most marine glasses, the Aomekie comes with a BaK-4 Porro prism construction that is super effective in transmitting light and delivering a tack sharp image. The binocular is designed with some high tech standards and includes ​non-slippery armor for shock absorbency and ​rubber built for firmer grip.

With a 50 mm objective lens and a 24 mm eye relief, your eyes are protected at all cost while you view the object of your focus. You can still use this device while wearing your spectacle glasses.

For a bright and clear viewing, this lens has a Porro prism that lets you see the object with a big field of view. Additionally, the BAK4 prism that is multicoated with optics is a huge help as well. While this image is not as sharp and targeted, especially from a more significant distance, it does the job sufficiently enough to get by.

Pros            

  • ​Eyelid protection for your eyes
  • ​Durable and Long-lasting
  • ​Ten times magnification
  • ​Environmentally versatile

​Cons

  • ​The additional accessories like tripod stand and neck straps are poor quality

​They do not have a center focus knob, which means navigation is super hard.

Features To Look Out For When Buying

Here is a small checklist that you should go through before we get down to the nitty-gritty.

  • ​Magnification
  • ​Objective Lens Size
  • Exit Pupil
  • check
    ​Waterproof features
  • check
    Focus Type

​Magnification

No matter the manufacturing company, a binocular is marketed by their magnification power and its combination with the different objective lens sizes.

using marine binoculars

There are different kinds of magnification power and objective lens size combinations, and these include four by 40, eight by 32, seven by 50, and ten by 40.

Take for example 4x40, which essentially means that the object viewed through the lens would appear four times as huge and close. The other figure, 40, is the size of the objective lens and we will explore it in the section under this one.

While it would appear that a higher magnification means better image quality, the truth is that that would reduce the field of view (FOV). A smaller FOV means that the object becomes blurry and impossible to locate. With marine binoculars used on the continuously moving water, that is not a quality that you would enjoy having in your binoculars.

The solution is a magnification power that is balanced with the objective size of the lens, the latter giving the binocular image a tack sharp quality. One thing that you need to know about marine binoculars is the figure 7x50, which is the traditional binocular magnification.

The objective lenses are 50mm in diameters. Most professionals agree that this is the best trade-off of power versus field of view that you can handle on a rolling boat.

Objective Lens Size

The size of the objective lens is a measure of the light reception as well as the image brightness and clarity. As mentioned above, you need to pair an objective lens size with a magnification power.

For marine lenses, the ideal ratio of magnification power to objective lens size is 7x50, with the objective lenses being 50mm. The bigger the objective lens size, the better would be the light reception and therefore, image clarity.

This feature is especially important during the nighttime, where a larger and heavier pair of binoculars would be the ideal objective lens size.

Pupil Size

When it comes to the pupil size, there are two rule of thumbs to follow

  • Eye pupil > exit pupil = small and dark image
  • Eye pupil < exit pupil = edge to edge and in-motion image view

With that in mind, marine binoculars should ideally have an exit pupil larger than the eye pupil. This effect would not only mean that the viewer would have a clear view of the entire image, including all its edges, but also that the viewer can keep the focus on the object mid-boat-rowing.

marine binoculars on boat

Focus Type

There are three kinds of focus types to consider when it comes to marine binoculars and these include the following

  • Individual Eyepiece Focus: You can customize the focus according to your eyesight. People who wear prescription glasses can easily work with these.  
  • Center Focus: This allows you to view short-distance objects with easy and quick focal adjustment. This feature is more for an all-purpose function rather than a marine specific one, primarily because the central focus is hard to waterproof.

Waterproof Features

For obvious reasons, a marine lens and sailing binoculars need to be waterproof. One thing to remember when buying marine lenses is that weatherproofing and water resistance is very different from waterproofing.

​You can check the waterproofing quality of a lens by seeing if they are O-ringed, sealed and nitrogen-filled. This feature not only prevents moisture absorption but also prevents fogging in the interior glass due to fluctuating temperature changes over water.

Conclusion

Now that you are ready and set to shop for your binoculars, it is important to note that there is a wide variety of binoculars manufactured every day. This variety means that some low-quality marine binoculars are out there as well, and the enticing part for you would be the low prices. 

One thing to keep in mind when buying binoculars for your adventures is to not shy away from the cost, which usually means higher value. With your budget in mind, make sure that you take your time to make the decision and get something that will undoubtedly serve you. 

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