Last Updated on
Choosing a pair of waterproof binoculars for birdwatching or sport can be frustrating because there are so many features to consider. There are also dozens of brands to choose from and sorting through online reviews is time-consuming and often leads to conflicting reports. Brick and mortar stores will only carry one or two brands at most.
If you want to cut down on the time you spend searching for the perfect pair of waterproof binoculars, we can help. We regularly review binoculars of all types and have chosen ten waterproof binoculars to review so you can see what we like and don’t like about each model. These reviews will help you get a better feel for what you want out of a pair of waterproof binoculars. Perhaps you want more magnification or quicker focus. Maybe you’re always dropping things and require durability.
We’ve also included a buyer’s guide to help you learn more about what makes some binoculars better than others. Keep reading for our detailed reviews of waterproof binoculars, where we compare magnification, durability, magnification, and weight to help you make an educated purchase.
|Best Overall||Bushnell H2O Waterproof Binocular||
|Best Value||Goeco Quick Focus Binoculars||
|Premium Choice||Nikon MONARCH 5 Binocular||
|Occer Compact Binoculars||
|Usogood AT66 Binoculars||
The Bushnell 158042 H2O Waterproof Roof Prism Binocular is our pick as the best overall brand of waterproof binoculars. These compact binoculars are entirely waterproof, and an O-ring seal prevents the binoculars from fogging up, even when going from cold to warm. The 8X magnification brings objects in close, and the 42-mm objective lenses allow plenty of light in so you get a clear picture with plenty of contrast. You also get 17-mm eye relief, so it’s easy to use these binoculars with glasses, and they are more comfortable for children to use. They feature a durable housing with a soft rubber coating that helps with shock absorption and grip.
The only negative that we noticed is that some objects in the viewscreen would have a red halo near the top and a blue halo near the bottom at certain times of the day.
The Goeco 4331882473 Quick Focus Binoculars are our best value binoculars, and we think you’ll agree that these are the best waterproof binoculars for the money. These low-cost binoculars are incredibly lightweight and small enough to take with you on any adventure. They have 10X magnification for distant viewing and a large 50-mm objective lens. All lenses are multi-coated to reduce glare.
The primary downside to these waterproof binoculars is that they are plastic and not very durable.
The Nikon 7577 MONARCH 5 Binocular is our premium choice for waterproof binoculars. These high-end binoculars are expensive, but they feature special extra-low dispersion lenses exclusive to Nikon, a well-known premium lens manufacturer. These lenses provide you with a wide field of view with no glare or dark spots. The focus knob moves smoothly, and you don’t lose your target when you turn it. It features 10X zoom and a 42-mm objective lens for viewing at long distances.
We didn’t pick this brand for the best overall waterproof binocular because of the high cost and a poorly designed strap that is challenging to attach.
The Occer 888635 Compact Binoculars feature 12X magnification for long-distance viewing. They use multi-coated 25-mm objective lenses, and the eyepieces have adjustable eyecups for using these waterproof binoculars while wearing glasses. These are lightweight and small enough to carry with you.
We didn’t like the small objective lenses because they don’t let in enough light which results in a dim image, especially at night. While it provides a good picture during the day, we felt it could be a little sharper, especially when compared to other models on this list.
The Usogood AT66 Binoculars are a sturdy pair of binoculars that feature 12X zoom capability and large 50-mm objective lenses for viewing in low light conditions. They feature a durable frame with a non-slip rubber coating. They also include an attachment for a tripod and an adaptor that allows you to snap pictures and take movies with your cellphone.
We had a hard time figuring out how to use the phone adapter, and there are no instructions. These waterproof binoculars are large and can become cumbersome on a long hike.
The Stellax X-007 ZoomX Binoculars are another extremely durable pair of waterproof binoculars on our list, and these also feature a handy cell phone adapter. This adapter holds the lens of your phone camera over the eyepiece so you can snap pictures and take movies of things you see in the field. It features 10X magnification and 42-mm objective lenses.
We found them to provide a clear image, but they were hard to adjust the focus, and they didn’t offer much eye relief.
The Nikon NIK-8218 Trailblazer ATB Waterproof Binoculars are the second pair by Nikon to make our list. The compact binoculars feature a durable design and a non-slip rubber coating. The high-quality multi-coated lenses reduce glare and provide a sharp image. The 10X zoom capability is excellent for birdwatching, and these binoculars are light enough to carry with you on the water.
The 25-mm objective lenses reduce this Nikon’s usefulness in low light conditions, and the little 10-mm eye relief makes it hard to use with glasses.
The Kylietech 4336304351 Binoculars feature powerful zooming capability and 42-mm lenses. We found that these waterproof binoculars could collect enough light that we could use them at night if the moon were out. It also comes with a handy phone adapter for taking pictures and movies, but the adjustments to set it up were tight and challenging to use.
As we reviewed this model, we also found it hard to focus, and the image never got as sharp as other brands on this list.
The Hooway 01-0750 Waterproof Military Marine Binoculars feature military-grade durability and comes with a built-in rangefinder and compass. The 50-mm objective lenses allow these binoculars to see at night if there’s a full moon. There’s a built-in rangefinder to help you get the distance to faraway objects. It also includes a built-in compass to help keep you going in the right direction.
While we used them, we thought they were a little heavy and became cumbersome after some time on the trail. The compass was hard to use, and it would move as you tilted the binoculars up or down. No matter how much we focused, we could never get both eyes perfect.
The USCAMEL UW004 Marine Binoculars is the last brand of waterproof binoculars on our list, and these also feature an internal rangefinder and compass. This model has a 10X zoom, and large 50-mm lenses can help you see in low-light situations.
When we reviewed these waterproof binoculars, we thought the image wasn’t very sharp and would blur and distort around the edges. This effect was most noticeable during the day. The frame is cheap plastic that isn’t very durable, so you’ll need to be extra careful when handling them.
Let’s take a more in-depth look at waterproof binoculars to see what makes one pair better than another.
When it comes to binoculars, one of the most important aspects of it is the objective lens. The objective lens is the one furthest from the eye, and captures the image and the light. Larger lenses collect more light and present a wider picture.
If you are primarily going to use your waterproof binoculars on bright sunny days, you can probably get away with objective lenses as small as 25 millimeters—if the objects you are looking at are relatively close.
If you want to see objects at a distance or in low-level light, you will need to increase the size of your objective lens accordingly. We recommend objective lenses in the 40- to 50-mm range as an excellent general-purpose lens.
Lenses above 50 millimeters are considered stargazing lenses. These lenses are heavy and require a tripod, and they may produce an image that’s too bright during the day.
Magnification is another critical factor when choosing a new pair of waterproof binoculars. The magnification will determine how far you can see, but it will also affect some other things. To see an object at a distance, you need more light, which means you need a larger objective lens. Watch out for binoculars with a lot of magnification but small objective lenses.
Zooming distance can also affect the time it takes to focus on a single object.
Eye relief is the term we use to describe how close your eye needs to be to the lens to see the image presented. Waterproof binoculars with an eye relief below 10 millimeters are harder to use because your eye needs to be closer. Binoculars with eye relief higher than 10 millimeters are more comfortable to use while wearing glasses, and children also seem to have an easier time.
On many brands, the focus ring can be the deciding factor. Sometimes these rings can be so sensitive it’s challenging to get your object in focus. They can also cause the image to jump and shake while you’re turning them. We recommend using the focus wheel before purchasing or immediately upon receiving your binoculars. If they are not smooth and easy to focus, don’t buy them.
Accidents happen, especially when you’re having fun. The neck-straps often included with your waterproof binoculars are not that sturdy, and if they break, your binoculars will fall. We recommend assuming your binoculars will fall at least once, so make sure they look like they can take it before you buy them.
Lens coating is essential because it reduces glare and sharpens the image. Some coatings help produce a vibrant color in the viewscreen. We recommend looking for waterproof binoculars that explicitly state that they use multi-coated lenses.
A phone attachment can be a handy way to get pictures and movies in the field. They are also an excellent way to allow more than one person to use the optics at the same time. Unfortunately, these devices can also be flimsy and hard to set up. If your model of binoculars comes with a phone attachment, that’s great, but we do not recommend choosing a pair because of it.
As technology advances, more and more features accompany our waterproof binoculars. Rangefinding and a compass are just two things you might see offered.
A rangefinder gives you the distance to a specific target in your viewscreen. Golfers often use this technology to find the range to the ball. It’s popular in hunting as well. If you are a bird watcher, this can be a welcome feature. This technology will require the use of a battery, though, which can add a lot of weight.
The compass is also gaining in popularity and is often paired with a rangefinder in waterproof binoculars. If you are a hiker or an explorer, you might get a lot of use out of this feature.
Now that you have read over our reviews, we hope you feel more confident about purchasing a pair of waterproof binoculars. We think you would like our choice for best overall the Bushnell 158042 H2O Waterproof Roof Prism Binocular is durable with plenty of eye relief. It has a good amount of magnification and a big enough objective lens to get you through most situations. The Goeco Quick Focus Binoculars are our best value binoculars, and they feature even more magnification and a larger objective lens. You only need to be obsessively careful when using them. We hope you have enjoyed reading and have learned something new about waterproof binoculars from our buyer’s guide. If so, please share this post with your friends.
Table of Contents
Robert’s obsession with all things optical started early in life, when his optician father would bring home prototypes for Robert to play with. Nowadays, Robert is dedicated to helping others find the right optics for their needs. His hobbies include astronomy, astrophysics, and model building. Originally from Newark, NJ, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the nighttime skies are filled with glittering stars.
Binocular Magnification Chart: Numbers & Distances Compared
When Were Binoculars Invented? History, Today & Future
How to Choose Binoculars for Bird Watching: 10 Expert Tips
How to Collimate Binoculars: 9 Expert Tips
What Is the Best Binocular Magnification for Hunting? Optical Features Explained
Can You Use Binoculars to Look At Stars? How to Choose the Right Pair
What Does 20X50 Mean on Binoculars? Our Helpful Guide
10 Best Binoculars in Canada of 2023: Reviews & Top Picks