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12 Best Marine Binoculars Worth the Money (2022)

From navigating to whale watching to search and rescue, there are dozens of reasons why one might need a good set of binoculars for marine uses. Whether you are a sailor, a sightseer, or a member of the military, marine binoculars should be powerful, rugged, and capable of handling rough seas. Marine binoculars come in lots of different shapes and sizes, but most prioritize a wide field of view and top notch waterproofing. The following are some of our picks for the best marine binoculars on the market.

We Recommend

Best autofocus+compass

Steiner Navigator Pro

Best that money can get

Steiner Commander XP

Best budget option

Nikon OceanPro

Best Marine Binoculars

1. Steiner Navigator Pro 7X50 Marine Binocular

binoculars

Steiner is a trusted name in optics which promises consistent quality. The Navigator Pro is no exception. These marine binoculars are both sturdy and waterproof up to a submersion depth of sixteen feet. The Navigator Pro promises to survive whatever the sea might throw at it.

The Navigator Pro utilizes a convenient autofocus system to save time and effort while navigating, sightseeing, and enjoying the ocean views. This “Sports-Auto Focus” system allows you to focus the Navigator Pro one time and maintain that focus without adjustment from then on.

Housed in Makrolon and coated in rubber armoring, the Navigator Pro boasts impact resistance at up to 11 Gs of impact. This protects the Navigator Pro from jolts, bumps, and drops.

The Steiner Navigator Pro is fog-proof and nitrogen purged. For Steiner optics which you can count on, the Navigator Pro is both a strong contender and a surprisingly affordable option.


What we liked

  • Best value marine binos
  • Easy to use autofocus
  • Built-in compass
  • Vibrant images in low-light settings 
  • Enhanced contrast and crisp visuals 
  • Makrolon construction for enhanced durability 
  • N2-Injection technology for superior fog-proofing 
  • 16-feet water-resistant coverage 
  • Superior shock-absorbent lens

What we didn’t like

  • Not the most lightweight option

Focus system: Autofocus system
Objective Lens Diameter: 50 mm
Magnification: 7×50
Lens Coating: Fully Multi-Coated
Field of View: 370 ft @ 1,000 yds
Prism Type: Porro BAK-4 Prism
Eye Relief: 18.5 mm
Weight: 36.3 oz

2. Nikon OceanPro 7X50 Waterproof Marine Binoculars

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The Nikon OceanPro is a no-brainer when it comes to both value and features. For half the price of the Navigator Pro, the OceanPro brings Nikon quality optics into a package that is both sturdy and high in light transmission.

With a nice wide field of view of 378 feet at 1,000 yards, the OceanPro allows you to monitor large swathes of the horizon. This is ideal for navigation and search and rescue purposes.

The rubber armor of the OceanPro offers enhanced durability and a sturdy, comfortable grip, while the shockproof polycarbonate body is built to last and withstand harsh weather conditions and natural hazards.

The OceanPro features BAK-4 high-index prisms and multi-coated lenses, which allow enhanced brightness and vivid colors regardless of the subject you observe. These Nikon marine binoculars offer excellent value at a retail price of less than 350 dollars.


What we liked

  • Best in class Nikon quality
  • Nitrogen filled & O-ring sealed for superior water/fog-proofing 
  • Large exit pupils for enhanced vision and depth of field 
  • Shockproof & lightweight marine binoculars 
  • BAK4-Prism & Multicoated lenses for brighter and vivid colors 
  • Increased image stability and clarity
  • Central focus knob for enhanced image focus and smoothness 
  • Durable design with a sturdy grip

What we didn’t like

  • No autofocus
  • No built-in compass (there’s a separate model with compass)

Focus system: Center-focus
Objective Lens Diameter: 50 mm
Magnification: 7x
Lens Coating: Fully Multi-Coated
Field of View: 378ft @ 1,000 yds
Prism Type: Porro BAK-4 Prism
Eye Relief: 22.7 mm
Weight: 56.79 oz

3. Steiner Commander XP Global 7X50 Marine Binoculars

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Again from Steiner, the Commander Global is a somewhat less affordable option which offers cutting-edge optical technology and top-of-the-line build quality. With Steiner’s special “Diamond Marine” maritime lens coating, the Commander Global boasts light transmission as high as 96% with reduced glare and haziness even in suboptimal lighting conditions.

These state-of-the-art ocean binoculars are built to withstand a diverse array of harsh conditions to provide a sturdy and reliable companion for your nautical explorations. This is a device designed for seasoned professionals who require superior accuracy, precision, and enhanced field of depth. These marine binoculars are equally suited for civilian navigation and military applications.

Nano-protective coating, “Sports-Auto Focus,” long and comfortable 20 millimeter eye relief, and waterproofing up to 33 feet of submersion, the Commander Global has just about everything you could need in a set of marine binoculars. What’s even better is that these binoculars are protected by Steiner’s “Heritage Warranty” meaning that a somewhat expensive one time purchase can be a lifelong investment in optical quality.


What we liked

  • NANO hydrophobic coatings to eliminate water from lenses 
  • Sturdy and rugged rubber armor 
  • Automatically adjusting & stabilized digital compass 
  • Two built-in navigation tools 
  • HD coated optics for sharp & crisp images 
  • Stabilized magnification to eliminate distortion 
  • User-friendly design

What we didn’t like

  • Comparatively heavier & larger 
  • High price tag

Focus system: Autofocus system
Objective Lens Diameter: 50 mm
Magnification: 7x
Lens Coating: Fully Multi-Coated
Field of View: 392 ft @ 1,000 yds
Prism Type: Porro BAK-4 Prism
Eye Relief: 189 mm
Weight: 40.5 oz.

4. Konus Tornado 7X50 Military/Marine Binoculars

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A considerably more affordable choice, the Konus Tornado 7×50 Military/Marine binoculars are designed to provide military-grade quality to professionals and civilians alike at a price which does not break the bank.

With a handy built in compass, the Konus Tornado dazzles with its unique extra enhancements. One such feature is the fact that the Konus Tornado is allegedly unable to sink, and floats on the surface of water instead. This level of waterproofing is unheard of and extremely impressive. On choppy seas, having the option to retrieve dropped binoculars is a major plus.

These 7×50 binoculars are built to withstand harsh weather conditions and soaring temperatures as well as other harsh marine challenges. The nitrogen filling prevents fogging, while the BaK-4 prisms enhance vision quality. The tornado also boasts a huge field of view of 433 feet at 1,000 yards.


What we liked

  • Waterproof & Fog-proof binoculars
  • Rubber fortified design
  • Lightweight built
  • Individual focus and multi-coated optics
  • BAK-4 prisms that allow enhanced vision
  • Compass featuring light and range-identifying reticle
  • Floating mechanism to prevent sinking 

What we didn’t like

  • Poor contrast in low-light settings
  • No Rubicon coating on the lens to reduce the impact of the sun’s glare 

Focus system: Individual focus
Objective Lens Diameter: 50mm
Magnification: 7x
Lens Coating: Fully Multi-Coated
Field of View: 433 ft
Prism Type: Porro BaK4 Prism
Eye Relief: 6.8 mm
Weight: 2 pounds

5. Bushnell Marine 7X50 Binoculars

marine binoculars on a white background

I often praise Bushnell in my reviews as a brand which strikes a perfect “Goldilocks” balance between quality and value. Bushnell makes quality optics affordable enough for even beginners to try out. The Bushnell Marine is no exception. One of the best waterproof binoculars with a compass, this design has been personalized for nature lovers, birders, big-game hunters, and wildlife enthusiasts.

The Bushnell Marine offers a grid reticle range-finder and an illuminated compass if you adore exploring nature and seek enhanced navigational control with a broad field of vision. The Marine is resistant to saltwater corrosion, coated in sturdy and ergonomic rubber armor for gripping, fully multi-coated, and hermetically sealed to prevent the intrusion of moisture.

With high quality BaK4 prisms in a classic Porro configuration, the Bushnell Marine is a strong budget contender. One small drawback, though, is that the Marine really does struggle with field of view at only 250 feet at 1,000 yards. For under 250 dollars, though, the Marine is still a fantastic value.


What we liked

  • Offers superior image clarity in low-light conditions
  • Built to withstand harsh weather and natural hazards 
  • Superior fog-proofing mechanism with nitrogen filing and hermetical sealing 
  • Built-in range-finder and illuminated compass 
  • Floating mechanism and rubber-fortified grip 
  • BAK-4 prisms and multi-coated optics 
  • Large UV-coated objective lenses for enhanced brightness 

What we didn’t like

  • No autofocus
  • Narrow field of view

Focus system: Individual focus
Objective Lens Diameter: 50 mm
Magnification: 7x
Lens Coating: Fully Multi-Coated
Field of View: 250 ft @ 1,000 yds 
Prism Type: Porro BAK-4 Prism
Eye Relief: 18 mm
Weight: 37 oz

6. Barska Deep Sea WP 7X50 Floating Binoculars

marine binoculars on a white background

One of the best budget choices for boating, the Barska Deep Sea WP Binoculars, like the Konus Tornado, are designed to float if dropped in water. Again, this feature makes them a fantastic companion on choppy seas.

With a price tag of under 200 dollars, the Barska Deep Sea also comes with a compass and rangefinder built in. For boating, navigating, and hunting in wet conditions, the Barska Deep Sea is a terrific budget choice.

A wide field of view of 395 feet at 1,000 yards helps the Barska Deep Sea to stand up to some of its higher end competitors. Fully multi-coated optics and a relatively sturdy construction also bolsters this affordable choice. Users have reported some issues with quality control and light transmission, so this binocular set might be better suited for daylight use.


What we liked

  • Steady image in rough conditions 
  • Superior image clarity in day and night light 
  • High-quality adjustable optics 
  • Floating mechanism 
  • User-friendly design for beginners 
  • Enhanced collimation and quality controls 
  • Vivid and bright colors 

What we didn’t like

  • Moderate light transmission
  • Lens caps sometimes fall off easily
  • Potential quality control issues

Focus system: Individual eyepiece focus
Objective Lens Diameter: 50mm mm
Magnification: 7x
Lens Coating: Fully Multi-Coated
Field of View: 395 ft at 1000 yds
Prism Type: Porro BAK-4 Prism
Eye Relief: 23 mm
Weight: 38.88 oz

7. Barska Floatmaster 7X50mm Floating Binoculars

marine binoculars on a white background

From Barska, again, comes the Floatmaster. These marine binoculars, like the Deep Sea, are designed to float if dropped making them ideal for boating and rough marine conditions.

The fully multi-coated optics and BAK-4 Porro prisms enhance image clarity and field of view by maximizing light transmission. The Floatmaster is a compact and easily manageable pair of marine binoculars ideal for both beginners and seasoned maritime adventurers.

Unfortunately, like the previous entry from Barska, users have reported a number of issues mostly related to quality control. While most users are happy with the Floatmaster, some have noted imperfect seals leading to failure in the waterproofing system. For less that 150 dollars, this is understandable, however floating binoculars have a pretty major obligation to be waterproof, so proceed with cuation.


What we liked

  • Waterproof design and floating mechanism
  • Tactile rubber armoring for a comfortable, shock-resistant grip
  • BAK-4 Prisms and fully multi-coated optics
  • Maximized transmission of light
  • Enhanced image clarity and steadiness
  • Comes with carrying case, floatable camera strap, and other accessories
  • An affordable choice compared to competitor brands offering similar features 

What we didn’t like

  • Bulkier design 
  • Reports of quality control issues especially concerning failures in waterproofing
  • No compass or range finder 
  • Less efficient in low-light settings

Focus system: Center Focus
Objective Lens Diameter: 50 mm
Magnification: 7x
Lens Coating: Fully Multi-Coated
Field of View: 367ft @1000yds/122.7M @1000M
Prism Type: Porro BAK-4 Prism
Eye Relief: 23 mm
Weight: 36.5 oz

8. Opticron Marine-2 7X50 Binocular with Compass

marine binoculars on a white background

The Opticron Marine 2 is a popular choice for navigation purposes due to its inbuilt compass. These marine binoculars are sturdily built with a wide field of view and high quality Porro prisms which maximize light transmission.

These fog-proof binoculars offer superior low-light performance and a cross-filed resolution, while the anti-reflective, multi-coated lenses contribute to vibrant and accurate colors.

A good investment for users who wear glasses and those who don’t, the eyepieces of the Opticron Marine 2 offer long eye relief and an enlarged depth of view, making observations and positioning all the more comfortable and easier.

The Opticron Marine 2 uses individual focusing, which means that each eye must be brought into focus individually. For beginner users, this may be more difficult to operate than a traditional central focus wheel.


What we liked

  • Enhanced low-light performance 
  • Enhanced durability and comfortable grip under constant motion
  • Enhanced eye-relief and larger depth of field 
  • Nitrogen filled waterproofing & fog-proofing 
  • Cross field-resolution and superior image quality 
  • User-friendly design with comfortable positioning 
  • Illuminated compass for navigation

What we didn’t like

  • Compass not designed for the southern hemisphere 
  • No central focus wheel

Focus system: Individual eyepiece focus
Objective Lens Diameter: 50 mm
Magnification: 7x
Lens Coating: Fully Multi-Coated
Field of View: 369ft @ 1,000 yds
Prism Type: Porro Prism 
Eye Relief: 20 mm
Weight: 37.8 oz.

9. Steiner 8X30 MM30 Military-Marine Binoculars

marine binoculars on a white background

Steiner MM30 binoculars are a popular choice amongst professionals and seasoned adventurers because of their rugged military-grade construction and Steiner quality optics. The MM30 from Steiner is an affordable entry point into Steiner’s high end line of marine binoculars.

The MM30 is a true “Jack of all trades” which is just as at home hunting or sightseeing as it is navigating the high seas. The MM30 features fully multi-coated optics, comfortably long 20.2 millimeter eye relief, high contrast optics, and Steiner’s “Sports-Auto Focus” system.

For the price, the MM30 is a great all around tool which brings the convenience of a good auto focus system into the hands of both professionals and beginners alike.


What we liked

  • Excellent image brightness and stability
  • Lightweight & compact design 
  • Increased depth of field 
  • Water-resistant and fog-proof 
  • Enhanced durability and robust built
  • Resistant to internal leaking
  • 10-year warranty 

What we didn’t like

  • Narrower field of view as listed on Steiner’s website (though Optics Planet lists a much wider field of view)

Focus system: Autofocus
Objective Lens Diameter: 50 mm
Magnification: 7x
Lens Coating: Fully Multi-Coated
Field of View: 302 ft @ 1,000 yds
Prism Type: Porro BAK-4 Prism 
Eye Relief: 20 mm
Weight: 1.1 lbs.

10. Opticron Pro Series II 7X50 BIF.GA / C Marine Compass Binocular

marine binoculars on a white background

The Opticron Pro Series II is another higher end offering that provides both sharp optical quality and reliable performance under harsh conditions. The Pro Series II has a field of view of 378 feet at 1,000 yards and 24 millimeters of eye relief.

It features a built-in compass that is designed for use across the northern hemisphere. The 30mm Suunto compass features a distance scale, and it can be projected into the left eyepiece. This compass binocular offers the two most instrumental boating tools in one sleek and dynamic design.

Convenient in many ways, like the previous Opticron entry, the Pro Series II uses individual focusing which can be hard for beginners to get just right. For experienced users, however individual focusing can provide desirable precision.


What we liked

  • Individual eyepiece focus for enhanced clarity 
  • Superior durability
  • Enhanced water/fog-proofing with nitrogen filling 
  • Specialized mounted prism 
  • Superior distortion resistance 
  • Cross-field resolution
  • Excellent image quality in low-light conditions

What we didn’t like

  • Higher price tag 
  • Compass not designed for the Southern hemisphere
  • No central focusing

Focus system: Individual focus system
Objective Lens Diameter: 50 mm
Magnification: 7x
Lens Coating: Fully Multi-Coated
Field of View: 378 ft @ 1,000 yds
Prism Type: Porro BAK-4 Prism
Eye Relief: 24 mm
Weight: 44.6 oz

11. Swift SeaWolf 10X50 Marine Binoculars

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The Swift SeaWolf has the most powerful magnification of any of the marine binoculars featured on this list. At 10x magnification, the SeaWolf is great for spotting objects at long distances in stunning detail. Whale watchers and marine birders will love this powerful zoom.

This is one of the best image stabilized marine binoculars that offer a distortion-free vision with sharp, edge-to-edge clarity. The all-metal construction enhances durability, making it a lasting investment that will serve your adventures for years to come. Swift obviously thinks so, considering that the SeaWolf is backed by a 25 year warranty.

Sealed against moisture, fully multi-coated, nitrogen purged, and shock-proof, the SeaWolf is built to withstand the high seas.


What we liked

  • Individual focus system for enhanced clarity 
  • Shockproof design for greater stability 
  • A sturdy and comfortable grip 
  • Durable all-metal construction 
  • Superior waterproofing & fog-proofing 
  • BAK-4 prisms and multi-coated optics 
  • Built-in reticle 

What we didn’t like

  • Bulkier design
  • Premium price

Focus system: Individual focus system
Objective Lens Diameter: 50 mm
Magnification: 7x
Lens Coating: Fully Multi-Coated
Field of View: 342 ft @ 1,000 yds
Prism Type: Porro BAK-4 Prism
Eye Relief: 18.5 mm
Weight: 56.48 oz

12. Steiner 7X50 Marine Binoculars

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Finishing strong with one last set of marine binoculars from Steiner, the Steiner 7X50 Marine is a great value at less than 250 dollars for Steiner’s trademark high quality optics.

With Steiner’s “Sports-Auto Focus” system, these binoculars ensure that you don’t miss a bit of the action. The rubber armor offers a comfortable and sturdy grip, ideal for rainy weather and wet conditions. If you habitually wear sunglasses or prescribed eyeglasses, the enhanced 22mm long eye relief will improve your vision and comfort.

This traditional navy and military-style design surpasses Steiner’s quality control standards with its superior optical performance and solid construction. Considering its low price tag, the Steiner 7X50 Marine is a strong contender for the best value marine binoculars on the market.


What we liked

  • Sports auto-focus system 
  • Excellent low-light optical performance 
  • Rubber armor and sturdy built 
  • Enhanced 22mm eye relief
  • Enlarged field of view 
  • Superior weather-resistant construction 
  • Water & fog-proofing mechanisms

What we didn’t like

  • Comparatively heavy 

Focus system: Autofocus system
Objective Lens Diameter: 50 mm
Magnification: 7x
Lens Coating: Fully Multi-Coated
Field of View: 354 ft @ 1,000 yds
Prism Type: Porro BAK-4 Prism
Eye Relief: 22 mm
Weight: 2.3 lb.

Related: 12 Best 8×42 Binoculars Worth the Money

Marine binocular features to look for

When choosing the best marine binoculars, a wide range of features are available and must be measured against your needs to ensure that the binoculars that you choose check all necessary boxes.

Compass

An indispensable feature for boating binoculars, it is ideal to look out for illuminated compasses that come with a range of easy-to-use built-in navigation features. Not all binocular compasses offer total precision and accuracy, but navigation tools can be very handy to have onboard.

Range-finder reticle

An indispensable tool for big-game hunting and wildlife observation, the best fishing binoculars feature enhanced range-finder reticles to allow for superior precision and accuracy.

Floating straps

It’s not unusual for the binoculars to take a dip in the water as you navigate your nautical adventures. Floating straps can truly save the day even if your binoculars themselves do not float. On that note, consider floating binoculars if you worry about losing your equipment in the water.

Image stabilization

Image stabilization is crucial as shakiness can distort your entire field of vision.

Fog & waterproof

Fog and water are the two greatest enemies of a solid set of binoculars. The best fishing binoculars and marine designs feature enhanced fog and water resistance mechanisms. It is wise to invest in binoculars with nitrogen filling and O-ring sealing, as they are sturdy water and fog-proof defenses.

How to choose the best marine binoculars?

Choosing the best marine binoculars may seem like a challenging endeavor, but once you outline your priorities and focus on your individual needs, the decision gets a bit easier. Here are some important criteria to consider.

Porro prism vs. roof prism

Always a tough decision to make for beginners! This refers to the way the prisms inside of your binoculars are arranged to transmit and magnify images. The debate between roof prism and Porro prism is endless, and it ultimately boils down to what you see. Roof prism binoculars are more sleek and sturdy and tend to be very accurate, while Porro prisms provide extra vibrancy and light transmission.

BAK-4 vs. BK7 prisms

The major difference between BAK-4 and BK7 prisms lies in the glass quality and anti-reflective coatings, which ultimately impact the visuals and exit pupil quality. BAK-4 prisms are a must-have feature for ocean binoculars that offer superior quality, while BK7 Prisms are typically used in low-budget binoculars.

Eye relief

A vital feature for enhanced comfort and reduced eye strain, at least 18-20mm eye relief is a must-have for those who wear eyeglasses or sunglasses.

Field of view (FOV)

Naturally, the field of view determines your marine binoculars’ area of vision, and it is advisable to start with at least 350ft at 1000 yards for most marine applications. Higher magnification binoculars typically have narrower fields of view, which is why marine binoculars tend to stay at around 7x. 

Individual focus vs. center focus

Individual focus allows for more precise adjustment, while center focus systems are typically quicker and easier to use.

Coatings

Multi-coated lenses deliver enhanced brightness and sharper contrast to reproduce vibrant colors even under low-light conditions.

Armoring

Armoring serves to enhance durability, sturdiness, and comfort by improving grip in wet conditions. Rubber armoring is a must-have to ensure a sturdy and comfortable grip on your marine binoculars, while also enhancing impact resistance.

Related: 10 Best Binoculars for Whale Watching

Frequently asked questions

What are the best binoculars for marine use?

The best binoculars for marine use tend to vary, depending on the individual preferences of the user, but the ideal product features a sturdy and durable build, long eye relief, a wide field of view, excellent overall optics, and built-in navigation tools if necessary.

Why are marine binoculars 7×50?

The 7×50 magnification is ideal for maintaining stable images with a wide field of view to fit the needs of most marine settings.

What is better, 7×50 or 10×50 binoculars?

7×50 marine binoculars are a better investment, despite the reduced magnification as they are stable and typically offer wider fields of view. For certain applications, higher magnification may be preferable and 10×50 is an appropriate choice in these cases.

What are the best binoculars for cruising?

The ideal binoculars for ocean and cruising tend to feature a built-in illuminated compass and navigation tools and offer a wide field of view for easy and accurate navigation.

How far can 7×50 binoculars see?

The exact field of view and depth of vision tend to vary from design to design. Still, typically, 7×50 binoculars offer a field of vision of 350ft at 1000 yards and above.

What can you see with 7×50 binoculars?

7×50 binoculars can be used for multiple purposes, including wildlife observations, marine adventures, boating, fishing, bird watching, and more.

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