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12 Best Tactical Binoculars in 2022 (Military Grade)

“Tactical Binoculars” are usually considered to be rugged, sturdy binoculars that function well at long distances. Usually, tactical binoculars are a good choice for the user who wants a reliable performance from a piece of equipment that can handle the demands of the field. Tactical binoculars are often used for hunting, camping, scouting, and even birdwatching at significant distances.

The ideal size for tactical binoculars depends on the user’s specific needs. Generally, though, a more compact set of tactical binoculars should be in the 8X42 range while a bulkier set with higher magnification would generally come in at around 10X42.

Ideally, tactical binoculars should be weather-proof, tough, easy to use, and reliable under a variety of demanding conditions.

We Recommend

Best price/value ratio

Vortex Viper HD

Best with rangefinder

Vortex Fury HD

Best for hunting

Steiner HX Series

Best Tactical Binoculars

1. Vortex Viper HD 10X42mm Roof Prism Binoculars

tactical binoculars

The Vortex Viper HD binoculars have a nice wide field of view of 341 feet at 1000 yards. For users who want a nice wide view of the landscape, the Vortex Viper absolutely delivers.

With a durable construction, sharp optical quality, and top notch roof prism design, the Vortex Viper satisfies the needs of the explorer on the go as well as the optics nerd in search of precision. With a comfortably long eye relief of 17 mm, these tactical binoculars accommodate the needs of glasses-wearers too! Furthermore, the tight close focus of the Vortex Viper allows for a crisp focus at just five feet of distance.

Considering their intense magnification power and sturdy construction, the Vortex Viper Roof Prism Binoculars are surprisingly compact and light. This is essential for military applications but also very helpful for outdoor adventures, birdwatching, hunting, and ranging.


What we liked

  • Unbeatable VIP warranty
  • Rubber armor design
  • Great low light performance  
  • Center focus designs
  • Roof prism construction
  • Lightweight binoculars
  • Long eye relief

What we didn’t like

  • Diopter is not lockable
  • Slight color fringing in low light with a bright background
  • Not made for tolerating high temperatures

Magnification: 10x
Lens diameter: 42mm
Field of view: 341 feet @ 1000 yards
Eye relief: 17mm
Weatherproof: Fog and waterproof
Weight: 24.9 oz
Best for: Hunting, shooting, birding, traveling

2. Vortex Fury HD 5000 10X42mm Roof Prism Rangefinder Binoculars

tactical binoculars

The Vortex Fury HD 5000 binoculars are exceptional for tactical applications as they come with an inbuilt rangefinder. While not exactly necessary for the beginner just diving into optics for the first time, this rangefinder is an extremely useful tool for spotting and scanning at large distances.

10x magnification brings distant objects into sharp focus whilst the weather-proof construction of the Vortex Fury allows you to make full use of this tool under a variety of harsh weather conditions.

These lenses come with a fully multi-coated finish to ensure better light transmission and true-to-life colors. These gun range binoculars come with a serviceable eye relief of 16mm. With this length, most glasses-wearers should be able to operate the Vortex Fury without removing their glasses. If this is difficult for you, though, it might be worth seeking equipment with an even longer eye relief measurement.

These shooting binoculars come with a wide field of view of 321 feet at 1000 yards, which makes tracking moving objects at a distance easy and convenient. With a central knob, focusing on your target is simple and fast.


What we liked

  • Fully multi-coated lenses
  • Rubber armored body
  • Inbuilt rangefinder
  • Powered by CR2 battery with 4000 ranging cycles
  • Tripod adaptable
  • Best binoculars for long-range shooting
  • Roof prism construction

What we didn’t like

  • They are slightly heavy
  • Higher price tag
  • No automatic shut-off feature

Magnification: 10x
Lens diameter: 42mm
Field of view: 321 feet @ 1000 yards
Eye relief: 16mm
Weatherproof: Fog and waterproof
Weight: 32.3 oz
Best for: Long-range shooting, hunting

3. Steiner HX Series 10X42mm Roof Prism Tactical Binoculars

tactical binoculars

The Steiner HX 10x42mm binoculars are extremely durable and rugged. These binoculars come with a robust construction with NBR rubber armoring and an N2 injection system which prevents fogging. These weather-proof binoculars are up to the challenge when it comes to facing down almost any tough conditions.

The Steiner HX’s Makrolon housing is a durable polycarbonate body designed to be impervious to damage under most conditions. Steiner claims that the HX line can stand up to 11 Gs of impact thanks to the Makrolon housing and its rubber outer armor.

The eyecups have a unique and comfortable ergonomic design which prevents light from filtering into your view and contributes to the overall clarity of the Steiner HX’s images.

These binoculars also come with a large exit pupil to ensure better viewing in dim light situations. This is a huge plus for most tactical applications. Durable, sturdy, and useful in any weather, the Steiner HX is a strong choice for a set of tactical binoculars.


What we liked

  • BAK4 roof prism construction 
  • Good low light performance 
  • Quick close focus
  • Fog and waterproofing
  • Rubber armoring for protection
  • Ergonomic eyecups
  • Makrolon housing

What we didn’t like

  • Lens caps are loose
  • High price tag
  • The carrying case is a bit flimsy

Magnification: 10x
Lens diameter: 42mm
Field of view: 326 feet @ 1000 yards
Eye relief: 16mm
Weatherproof: Fog and waterproof
Weight: 28 oz
Best for: Hunting, wildlife, and long-range shooting

4. Steiner T1042 10X42mm Roof Prism Tactical Binoculars

tactical binoculars

Designed with the demands of the field in mind, the Steiner T1042 Tactical Binoculars are lightweight, durable, and feature many of the same virtues as the HX line at a somewhat lower price point.

Easy to focus and user-friendly all around, the Steiner T1042 delivers on the optical quality of the Steiner HX while also providing a somewhat lighter and more compact design. Coated in rubber armoring and weather-proof, the Steiner T1042 can withstand submersion in up to 16 feet of water.

The field of view on the Steiner T1042 is a bit smaller than the HX line at 317 feet at 1,000 yards. This is, however, a totally respectable field of view range which rivals many of the more expensive options on this list.


What we liked

  • Superior quality imaging
  • Rubber armoring
  • Fully waterproof construction
  • Quick to focus at any range
  • Roof prism construction
  • High-definition optical coating
  • Multiple accessories included

What we didn’t like

  • No lockable diopter
  • A bit less well built than the Steiner HX but this is reflected in the lower price

Magnification: 10x
Lens diameter: 42mm
Field of view: 317 feet @ 1000 yards
Eye relief: 16mm
Weatherproof: Fog and waterproof
Weight: 26.7 oz
Best for: Hunting and all around

5. Steiner 10X50 MM1050 Military-Marine Binoculars

tactical binoculars

The Steiner MM1050 is a military-grade pair of binoculars which boasts extremely positive reviews and a generally impressive performance. The MM1050 delivers under low-light conditions thanks to its powerful BAK 4 Porro prism layout. It features a strong and rugged Makrolon housing that can withstand demanding conditions. This housing is covered by rubber armor. This sturdy build is one of the key selling points of the MM1050.

The Steiner MM1050 is especially powerful under low-light conditions because of its large objective lenses which let in plenty of light. Being useful during the dusk and dawn hours is a key criteria for tactical binoculars.

Like other similar products from Steiner, the MM1050 does suffer from a lack of image stabilization. This is especially true with the MM1050 which is a bit heavier than the Steiner products listed previously.


What we liked

  • Powerful objective lenses
  • Binoculars used by military
  • BAK4 Porro prism construction
  • A decent eye relief
  • Large exit pupil
  • Auto-focus features
  • Multiple accessories

What we didn’t like

  • Heavy to hold for a long session
  • May need stabilization or steady hands

Magnification: 10x
Lens diameter: 50mm
Field of view: 327 feet @ 1000 yards
Eye relief: 17mm
Weatherproof: Fog and waterproof
Weight: 36 oz
Best for: Long-range shooting, hunting, surveillance, military applications

6. Zeiss Conquest HD 8X42mm Waterproof Binoculars

zeiss conquest hd binoculars

The Zeiss Conquest HD binoculars are transmit lots of light while remaining durable and relatively lightweight. This high level of light transmission makes these binoculars ideal for dark conditions and extra capable of delivering sharp clear images.

Due to their high-definition extra-low dispersion glass lenses, these binoculars ensure natural colors and clarity. These binoculars also come with rotating and lockable eyecups, paired with the Conquest’s excellent 18 mm of eye relief, you can rest assured that you can use them comfortably with your eyeglasses. 

The focus wheel of the Zeiss Conquest HD is larger than usual and has an ergonomic construction. Because of this, the wheel can be focused with a single finger and even with a gloved hand. No more pausing to remove your mittens in icy weather!

The Zeiss Conquest HD’s construction is fog, shock, and waterproof to ensure that they can withstand the harsh conditions which tactical binoculars may face. Furthermore, a spectacularly wide field of view of 420 feet at 1000 yards makes these binoculars ideal for scanning, scouting, hunting, and ranging.


What we liked

  • Long eye relief
  • Wide field of view
  • Large exit pupil
  • Excellent low-light performance
  • Huge central focus knobs
  • Shock, fog, and waterproof
  • Excellent close focus

What we didn’t like

  • Higher price tag

Magnification: 8x
Lens diameter: 42mm
Field of view: 420 feet @ 1000 yards
Eye relief: 18mm
Weatherproof: fog and waterproof
Weight: 28 oz
Best for: All wildlife and shooting

7. Vortex Razor HD 10X42mm Binoculars

vortex razor hd binoculars

The Vortex Razor HD Binoculars come with powerful optics and a durable body designed to handle all manner of outdoor conditions. Protected from rain and fog, the Vortex Razor remains operable under field conditions and is ideal for a range of tactical applications.

The dielectric coating on the lens provides vibrant and accurate color correction, and a phase-correction coating improves contrast and resolution.

With an exit pupil of 4.2mm, they allow a plenty of light to pass through. The Vortex Razor also boasts a field of view of 362 feet at 1000 yards. While not quite as wide as the Zeiss Conquest, this field of view is plenty wide enough to track moving objects at long distances.

These military style binoculars’ lenses come with Vortex’s signature XR Plus coating that ensures quality color products and stunning brightness.

These binoculars come with rubber armor for protection against impacts as well as an anti-slip grip. These binoculars also have twist-up eyecups so that you can use them with eyeglasses comfortably. The Vortex Razor HD is fairly compact and lightweight, so it is ideal for camping, traveling, hiking, and hunting.


What we liked

  • Extra low dispersion glass
  • Wide field of view
  • XR Plus lens coating
  • Lightweight design
  • No color fringing
  • Fully multi-coating
  • Phase coated prisms

What we didn’t like

  • Average eye relief
  • Higher price tag

Magnification: 10x
Lens diameter: 42mm
Field of view: 362 feet @ 1000 yards
Eye relief: 16.5mm
Weatherproof: Waterproof
Weight: 24.8 oz
Best for: Hunting and birding

8. Steiner Predator 10X42mm Roof Prism Binoculars

steiner binocular

Designed with hunters in mind, the Steiner Predator is a lightweight piece of equipment which uses roof prisms to deliver crisp optics whilst remaining portable and sturdy. The Steiner Predator are the ideal binoculars for the adventurer on the go and are made to tackle all of the demanding conditions of the outdoors. Weather-proof and nitrogen sealed, these binoculars are resistant to fogging and temperature damage.

Like many of Steiner’s more rugged offerings, the Steiner Predator features Makloron housing which involves a polycarbonate body covered with NBR rubber armor. These two layers combine to form a tool that is grippable, ergonomic, lightweight, and able to take a beating.

These survival binoculars also come with a quick close focus feature, which involves minimal rotation of the central knob for focusing. No matter how active your target is, this tool will help you keep it in your sights!


What we liked

  • ClicLoc system for easy detachment
  • N2 injection system
  • Makrolon housing
  • Quick to focus
  • Robust and lightweight roof prism construction
  • Optimized light transmission with CAT
  • Rubber armor body

What we didn’t like

  • Eye relief could have been longer

Magnification: 10x
Lens diameter: 42mm
Field of view: 328 feet @ 1000 yards
Eye relief: 16mm
Weatherproof: Fog and waterproof
Weight: 28.4 oz
Best for: Hunting and shooting

9. Steiner Navigator Pro 7X50 Tactical Binoculars

tactical binoculars

The Steiner Navigator Pro binoculars are built with the mariner in mind! Made for navigating, these binoculars even feature a built-in compass. In keeping with the standard for marine binoculars, the Navigator Pro features 7x magnification which keeps images stable and allows for a wide field of view.

The Navigator Pro has large 50 mm objective lenses which transmit lots of light. This is essential for the adventurer in need of a tool that can handle low-light conditions. Additionally, Steiner’s consistently top tier optical quality delivers high contrast and crystal clarity.

These Steiner tactical binoculars come with floating prism systems and use flexible silicone mounts so that they can comfortably absorb any shock caused by an impact. This is especially helpful for handling rough waters.


What we liked

  • 7x magnification is the marine standard 
  • Floating prism system
  • High contrast optical system 
  • Auto-focus features
  • Marrolong housing design
  • N2 injection for fog and waterproofing
  • Comes with a compass

What we didn’t like

  • Doesn’t have an image stabilizer
  • No floating strap is included in the package
  • Slightly heavy

Magnification: 7x
Lens diameter: 50mm
Field of view: 371 feet @ 1000 yards
Eye relief: 20.2mm
Weatherproof: Fog and waterproof
Weight: 39.2 oz
Best for: Marine applications

10. Redfield Battlefield 10X42 Tactical Binoculars

tactical binoculars

The Redfield Battlefield binoculars are armored with camouflage printed rubber. Take in the sights without giving away your position with these stealthy binoculars! Ideal for hunting, scouting, and ranging, these binoculars are discreet, lightweight and able to handle quite a bit of damage.

With a respectable field of view of 341 feet at 1000 yards, the Redfield Battlefield allows you to pan around a wide area effortlessly. These sturdy roof prism binoculars are rain-resistant and feature twist-up eyecups to accommodate glasses-wearers.

The focus knob of the Redfield Battlefield is prominent, easy to use, and ergonomic which cuts down on time spent fumbling with the focus. The TAC-MOA reticle crosshair with 2 MOA increments makes them the best binoculars for shooting range.

The best feature of the Redfield Battlefield is its price tag. While many of the other entries on this list can outpace the Battlefield when it comes to pure optical quality, the tough build of the Battlefield makes it a very impressive offering for its price. If you’re looking for budget tactical binoculars, the Redfield Battlefield might be the way to go!


What we liked

  • Best survival binoculars 
  • TAC-MOA reticle features
  • Aluminum construction
  • Fully multi-coated lenses
  • BAK4 prism systems
  • Edge-to-edge clarity
  • Quick to focus

What we didn’t like

  • Twilight performance is weak
  • Lower all around quality than some of the other entries, but well worth the price

Magnification: 10x
Lens diameter: 42mm
Field of view: 341 feet @ 1000 yards
Eye relief: 16.3mm
Weatherproof: Fog and waterproof
Weight: 26.4 oz
Best for: Long range shooting, hunting, surveillance

11. Nikon Action Extreme 10X50 Waterproof Binoculars

tactical binoculars

The Nikon Action Extreme binoculars are built for adventure. Featuring a rugged construction that is water and fog-proof, these binoculars feature the sharp optics for which Porro prism binoculars are known along with the high optical quality which the Nikon brand promises.

The lenses of the Nikon Action Extreme have a fully multi-coated finish on them which corrects colors, sharpens contrast, and ensures bright and clear images. These binoculars feature an easy to use central focus knob. Large objective lenses and high magnification allows these binoculars to let in lots of light and to provide a wide and accurate view of the world around you.

Porro prism binoculars are generally more prone to damage from bumps and impacts than roof prisms. They also tend to be a bit bulkier and heavier, although this is not universal. While the Nikon Action Extreme is a great choice, it does suffer to some extent from the shortcomings of Porro prisms. These binoculars are quite heavy and not nearly as damage-resistant as some of the other entries on this list.


What we liked

  • BAK4 Porro prisms
  • Excellent diopter control
  • A decent eye relief
  • Excellent light transmission 
  • Multi-coated optics that are bright
  • Water and fog proof for all-weather performance
  • Large objective lenses and exit pupil

What we didn’t like

  • Somewhat heavy
  • Not quite as durable
  • Flimsy eyecups

Magnification: 10x
Lens diameter: 50mm
Field of view: 374 feet @ 1000 yards
Eye relief: 17.2mm
Weatherproof: Fog and waterproof
Weight: 36 oz
Best for: Long-range shooting, hunting, birding

12. Steiner T24 Tactical 8X24 Binoculars

tactical binoculars

The Steiner T24 tactical binoculars are very obviously built to tackle rough conditions. The ergonomic rubber grip of these binoculars is evident at a glance. This rubber armoring helps the Steiner T24’s military-grade construction to resist all sorts of damage.

These binoculars come with BAK4 roof prism construction, which makes them extra durable while creating images that are bright, clear, and vibrant.

The lenses come with a fully multi-coating finish to ensure brightness as well as color-accuracy. They have a respectable field of view of 344 feet at 1000 yards. This allows you to track moving objects, hunt, scout, birdwatch, and navigate without constant refocusing. Unfortunately, the eye relief of the Steiner T24 is quite short and is unlikely to be comfortable for glasses-wearers at just 13 mm.

Waterproof, weather-proof, and obviously created with tactical applications in mind, the Steiner T24 is more compact than most other binoculars of its caliber. For hunters and shooters who already carry lots of bulky equipment, the light weight of the T24 is a huge bonus.


What we liked

  • Wide field of view
  • Robust construction
  • High-definition optical coating
  • Quick close focus
  • Shock, fog, and waterproof design 
  • Best compact tactical binoculars 
  • Fully multi-coated lenses

What we didn’t like

  • Short eye relief
  • The carry case is noisy

Magnification: 8x
Lens diameter: 24mm
Field of view: 344 feet @ 1000 yards
Eye relief: 13mm
Weatherproof: Fog and waterproof
Weight: 12.6 oz
Best for: Short range hunting

FAQ

What binoculars do Navy SEALs use?

The Steiner M22 7×50 binoculars are the choice of the US military for most applications. These binoculars are designed to handle tactical applications, but have a very short close focus. More importantly, they can be hard, though certainly not impossible, to come by. Fortunately, Steiner’s other offerings also present military-grade durability and optics while, in some cases, offering a shorter close focus for more general uses.

What are the best military binoculars?

The best military binoculars are the Steiner T24 Tactical 8×24 Binoculars. I have chosen them as such largely for their extremely lightweight. While many of their virtues align with Steiner’s other products, that extra light construction means that they are easy to carry and unlikely to cause fatigue.

What binoculars do snipers use?

The Steiner M22 7×50 binoculars are the primary binoculars used by the US military. Many of Steiner’s other products would be suitable for this application as well.

What binoculars do the military use?

The Steiner M22 7×50 binoculars are US military binoculars. These are the primary field binocular for both the Marine Corps and the Army. While your average hobbyist may not have the same needs as the military, military-grade optics are often trusted for their ability to withstand damage and face the harsh conditions that present themselves in many outdoor hobbies.

2 thoughts on “12 Best Tactical Binoculars in 2022 (Military Grade)”

  1. Vortex is an outstanding pair of binoculars. Crystal clear, easy to use, and light weight. This by far the best pair I have ever used. Can’t tell how impressed I am with these. I have owned a lot of good to average binoculars but these are in another class. These binos are awesome! Image is clear and high definition and for the price it’s perfect.

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