Waterproof Binoculars Review:
Why get waterproof binoculars? This is like asking, why get prime rib instead of hamburger when I can get prime rib just as easily and cheaply? Waterproof binoculars are tremendously useful, and as important, tremendously practical for hikers, campers, anglers, hunters, and anyone else who finds a use for binoculars. The technology allows us to use more advanced waterproof binoculars without extra effort or much extra expense. If you can possibly extend the life and usefulness of your equipment, why not do it? Which waterproof binoculars are the best? We'll give you some great suggestions to help you choose the right pair. The top brands include Nikon
, Bushnell, Barska, Celestron, Pentax, Canon, and Vanguard. Pricing ranges from $50 to $200.
What to Look for in Waterproof Binoculars
- If you are unfamiliar with binoculars, it is doubly important that you know what to look for to ensure that you get the quality and usability that you need. One of the first, most basic, things to look for is the magnification level. If you're going to be using your binoculars for general use on trails or even in your backyard, a magnification of 7x, 8x, or 10x is sufficient. If you wander past 10x, the binoculars are going to be heavy, hard to hold, and you may need to use a harness or tripod. When looking for binoculars, remember that bigger doesn't mean better. If you are bird-watching, you'll have a hard time handling anything over 10x and you will not be able to see what you need or want to see. A larger magnification will get you very close to what you're watching, but you'll have to give up some of the quality of the image, as well as its stability and brightness. For bird-watching, sports, camping, hiking, or fishing use, smaller is definitely better. You'll also need to consider the diameter of the binoculars. For instance, if you're planning on using your waterproof binoculars to carry with you on camping or hiking trips, you'll probably want a more compact pair. The diameter for compact binoculars will be about 20mm to 30mm. For pursuits like bird or sports watching and hunting, you'll want a medium range pair with a diameter of 32, or maybe even 40mm or 42mm. The larger the diameter, the heavier the binoculars. When you're reading through specs, you'll also run into Bak-4 or Bak-7. These are the types of glasses that binocular manufacturers use to make the prisms inside binoculars. Without the prisms, the images you see would be upside down. Look for Bak-4 glass, which is the better quality. Lower-end binoculars will have Bak-7 glass. You will likely also see the term "exit pupil." This is the width of the beam of light that leaves the eyepieces. If you hold your binoculars at arm's length, you will see the circle of light in the eyepieces. For daytime use, experts say that an exit pupil of 2mm to 4mm is good for day use, 5mm to 6mm is good for dimmer light, and an exit pupil of at least 6.5mm is needed for night use. One final tip: look for coated lenses. They will either be multicoated or fully multicoated. This improves color accuracy, brightness, and contrast, which makes it much easier to see. And one more final, final tip: make sure your waterproof binoculars are waterproof. Simple, but you don't want to inadvertently buy ones that are not. Waterproof binocular reviews
- We found dozens of website with reviews of waterproof binoculars. Birdwatching.com, Epinions, and Amazon.com all carry lots of owner feedback and expert comments and opinions. You can browse the best selling waterproof binoculars here
Best Waterproof Binoculars:
Let's see how all of these numbers will look in the best waterproof binoculars. ConsumerResearch chose the Nikon Monarch ATB 8x42
as the Best Binoculars Overall. From just the name, you can already see that these have a magnification of 8 and a diameter of 42. The Monarchs are designed for all-terrain use and have multicoated lenses, precision aligned optics, and extended eye relief and central focus. They are also 100 percent waterproof and fog-proof. These Nikon binoculars have everything you need to enjoy your outing, no matter what type of outing it is. Amazon reviewers think so, too: the vast majority of owners give these a 5-star review. One said they offered performance at a reasonable price, while another said it was perhaps the bargain of the century. The Nikon waterproof binoculars retail for $300, but you can find them for less on Amazon. If you are looking for a quality pair of waterproof binoculars and don't want to spend hundreds of dollars, the Bushnell H2O 10x42 Waterproof Binoculars are a good choice. As a review on BinocularsBest.net says, these are meant for outdoor enthusiasts who want to take their binoculars with them on every adventure. Even if you drop it in water, the binoculars will remain perfectly functional and will not fog from the inside. The H2Os feature waterproof and fog-proof construction for use on or in the water, O-ring and nitrogen purged seals to lock out moisture, rubber armoring, large center focus, twist-up eye-caps, 17mm eye relief, 10x magnification, 42mm diameter, 12-foot close focus distance, and a limited lifetime warranty. An incredible deal for only $85 (see all Bushnell waterproof binoculars here
). The H2O also comes in a compact size, which is handy for those on the go. These are $53.
Nikon and Bushnell both make a wide line of quality, affordable waterproof binoculars in a range of magnifications and sizes. These two brands are a great place to start your search. If you want to go all out and get the best of the best, though, ConsumerSearch recommends the Swarovski EL Binocular
. Cabela's calls these the premium of the already outstanding Swarovski brand. The El series comes in a variety of sizes; we'll look at the Swarovski EL Binoculars 8x32. These binoculars have 8x magnification, 32mm lens, comfortable wrap-around grip, 7-foot close focusing distance for short range viewing, 420-foot field of view at 1000 yards, large focusing wheel, and is water submersible up to 13 feet. This excellent pair carries a lifetime warranty along with its $1800 price tag.
Other names to look for include: Leica, Leupold, Brunton, Pentax, and Celestron. These manufacturers all provide a full line of waterproof binoculars, and for the most part, they are affordable. You can Check out the top rated waterproof binoculars online here
. The most important things to remember are the magnification and diameter that is right for your needs.
Waterproof Binoculars with Compass:
Not everyone needs or wants a compass with their binoculars, but if that is important to you, then consider the Celestron Oceana 7x50 WaterproofIR/ RC Binoculars with Rangfinder Scale & Backlit Compass
. The other option in this category is the Barska 7x50 WP Deep Sea Binoculars, with Internal Rangefinder and Compass. Reviews were not as favorable for the Barska as compared to the Celestron. The liquid dampened magnetic compass which is backlit illuminated will provide you with a source for navigation if you need to use it. The Celestron is completely waterproof so use it in any weather. The Oceana Series is well recognized in the industry as having excellent optics. Although meant for marine use, this waterproof binocular with compass works just as well on land.