Do you have a special place for the ocean and beaches in your heart?
Are you always curious about sea life and looking for ways to experience it in real life? Are you a whale enthusiast?
If the answer to all of the above questions is a yes, then owning a binocular to watch marine life is a no-brainer. Unfortunately, watching whales from up close in real life is almost an impossible task.
As whales are generally shy and timid, they don’t come close to shore, boats, or ships. Hence the only way you can experience this is through the right set of binoculars.
Therefore it is pertinent to invest in only the best binoculars for whale watching if you plan on catching a glimpse of these majestic creatures in the ocean.
To make things easier for you, I have selected the top 12 options that make the cut for being the best binoculars for whale watching present in the market.
The goal was to make the selection process as easy as possible, and each option was chosen after careful research, so you don’t have to compromise on the quality.
Let’s not waste your precious time and dive right into it!
Top 12 Binoculars for Whale Watching
As promised, I present to you the top 12 picks for the most sought-after binoculars for whale watching among the available options.
Each binocular has been reviewed to highlight its pros and cons to help you find the most suitable one according to your tastes and preferences.
1. Steiner Marine Binoculars
The Steiner marine binoculars seem to have it all: sturdy construction, easy focus, and great image quality.
You get the best bang for the buck as it has high contrast optics that produces breathtaking images.
The one-shot autofocus makes it easy to use for just about anyone, and the water-proofed rubber armor provides durability that is essential for activities like whale watching.
- Easy to focus
- Good quality
- Study construction
- Low-quality straps
2. Athlon Optics Midas Roof Prism UHD Binoculars
Get a closer view of reality with the Athlon Optics Midas binoculars.
Imagine being able to look at whales through binoculars that produce images that are so sharp and clear that you would forget about distance because of its ED glass lens and ESP dielectric coating.
It is also argon purged, so you can get the most out of it, making it suitable for conditions that have water or extreme temperatures.
- High-Quality image
- Colors close to reality
- Lens cap fall
- The focus knob gets stuck.
3. Fujinon Polaris 7×50 FMT-SX Binocular
If you don’t want to compromise on quality, then go for one of the top-rated marine binoculars in the industry. These binos are the real deal in terms of quality and durability.
The view is promised to have an edge-to-edge sharpness, so if you would like details, this might just be the option for you.
Since the binos are waterproofed, they can handle a bit of rough handling when you’re out at sea.
- Superior quality
- Heavy duty
- Flimsy lens cover
4. Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Binocular
This binocular has the perfect dimensions for watching whales or even dolphins for both magnification and field of view (8x42mm).
The BAk-4 prisms are renowned for their superior technology to deliver high-quality images.
It gets extra brownie points for its rubberized easy-grip exterior and 100% waterproof construction, especially since being at the ocean, such accidents are bound to happen, so this option is super reliable in that regard.
- BAK-4 technology
- Waterproof construction
- Easy to lose lids
- Not compact
5. Nikon 7245 Action 10×50
Nikon is a hallmark for quality, and these binoculars are probably one of the best in quality at this price point.
It will prove to be a reliable option for taking along to the beach or on ships thanks to the full metal chassis, which is rare to find nowadays.
This model has been treated, so it is shockproof, waterproof, and fog proof, so you don’t have to be fazed if it falls or get wet.
In terms of the quality of optics, it has BAK-4 technology, which produces bright and sharp images.
- High quality
- Easy to lose lens cover
6. USCAMEL 10×50 Marine Binoculars
These binoculars have just the right combination of magnification (10x) and the size of lens for marine activities.
In term of color optics quality, you can be sure to have a view which is 99.9% accurate in terms of color reproduction.
These are waterproof binoculars that can make your best friend take along on all your whale-watching adventures as they are compact in size and portable.
You can easily hang it around your neck when not in use as it is light in weight.
- Sharp and bright images
- The rangefinder is not in the standard unit.
- Not lowlight night vision
7. Nikon 8244 ACULON A211 7×35 Binocular
If your preference is finding a binocular that only gives splendid results but also is light as a feather, the Nikon Aculon is an excellent fit.
The glass optics on this model present a splendid view which is of great quality and can adjust to varying light conditions easily.
The addition of a non-slip grip helps you ensure that your binoculars don’t slip out of your hands even in wet conditions, which is often the case when you go whale watching.
- Light in weight
- No-slip construction
- High-quality glass optics
- Lens cover fall off
- Uncomfortable fit
8. Barska Deep Sea 7×50 Waterproof Binoculars
Waterproof floating is just the kind of feature that you should be looking for in a binocular that you plan on taking along your whale watching trips.
These binoculars are O-ring sealed and nitrogen purged so that you can protect your binoculars from water and the lens don’t fog up.
You can expect crisp, bright images, so if you’re lucky and spot a whale, you get the best view that makes distance not a problem.
- Floats on water
- Support a lighted compass
- Complex instructions
- Difficult to use the rangefinder
9. Fujinon Mariner 7×50 WPC-XL Binocular
These binos are specifically made for sea-level surface viewing, making them a great option for activities like whale watching.
Features like 100% waterproof and its ability to float on the water give the user some mental peace in case of any accidents as the binoculars will come out unscathed.
It even has an LED energy-saving nightlight which can be pretty helpful in low light conditions.
- Night light
- Floating neck strap
- Plastic construction
- Quality issues
10. Bushnell Marine 7×50 Waterproof Binocular
The reason this binocular is on this list is because of how much you get out of this option without splurging or making any big investments.
It’s designed to withstand the harsh marine environment and has features like hermetic sealing and waterproofing to provide protection.
The rubber armor gets additional points because it fits in your hand like a glove, so holding it for long hours searching for whales won’t put any strain on your body.
- Hermetic sealing
- Easy fit
- Loose lens cover
- Difficult to focus
11. Hooway 7×50 Waterproof Fogproof Binoculars
You know you have hit the jackpot when it comes to military-grade binoculars.
It is ideal for using it out at sea as it has the right magnification and lens size, has features that offer protection from water, and is stable.
But for watching whales, it’s preferable to find binoculars that adjust quickly because you might miss your chance as they can disappear quickly;
However, this option has a learning curve as each lens needs to be adjusted separately.
- Tedious to adjust
- Plastic protectors
12. Konus Tornado 7X50 Binocular
It’s surprising to see that these binos haven’t got the same kind of reaction as other name brands; however, just because they are under-rated doesn’t mean they aren’t worth having a look at.
It seems that they support all the features that any good quality binoculars will have; they are designed to survive thanks to waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof features.
What’s more? They can even float in water. You should consider these as a great option if you are looking for an option that won’t make a dent in your wallet while providing great quality images.
- Quality image
- Lens cap fall off
- No strap
With an investment like a binocular, it is important to understand the intricacies of such a sophisticated instrument to ensure the best results.
Don’t ever decide without having at least some background knowledge about binoculars to ensure you chose the right one.
In case you’re a novice or have no idea where to start from, this buyer’s guide will provide you with some pointers that can direct you to find the best binoculars so you don’t have any regrets later.
The quality of view is the essential thing for uses such as whale watching; therefore, the magnification needs to be kept in mind.
To put it simply, this feature represents the binocular’s ability to zoom in the view.
Don’t misunderstand and think that higher magnification is essential for better image quality as it is highly dependent on the use as higher magnification can cause a lot of image blur.
For whale watching, 7-10x will be sufficient on a ship or boat for a good quality view.
Field of View
The FOV is a measure of the depth and width of the image seen through the binoculars.
As it represents how much area you will be able to see through the scope of your binoculars, it is crucial to strike a balance between FOV and magnification for the perfect quality of image since with a broader field of view; you will be able to see a less zoomed-in image.
Size and Weight
The dimensions of your lens and overall size of the binoculars is an important factor to consider, especially for whale watching, as you will have to carry the binocular around, so it should be comfortable enough that you don’t get tired easily.
Don’t forget that a bigger lens size means the image quality will be better; however, it will add weight to the binoculars.
Hence you should consider whether you prefer light in weight option more or one with a better quality image.
Don’t worry, though, because the market is also filled with many options that have a wider diameter lens yet are light in weight.
You must invest in binoculars that have been waterproofed as whale watching requires being close to the ocean and water.
Waterproofed binoculars won’t get ruined if your binoculars accidentally get wet, which is bound to happen on a boat or ship.
Another great thing is that they don’t fog up, so you will have a problem-free experience.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is whale watching better in the morning or afternoon?
While there is no specific rule regarding the timings, but chances are your probability of spotting a whale increases in the morning as the ocean is calmer at that time.
What strength of binoculars is best?
7-8x of magnification is sufficient for whale watching.
How far can you see with 20×50 binoculars?
The FOV will be around 170 feet at 1000 yards which is good enough for a quality image.
Binoculars for whale watching come in all shapes and sizes with a different set of features hopefully, the buyer’s guide and list of reviews helped you find an option that is perfect for you.