If you are here the assumption is that you are looking for the best marine binoculars under 500 dollars within the mid-price range budget. Been in a marine environment simply means you are dealing with waters. Therefore when getting marine binoculars, there are certain factors to consider which will lead you to pick the optimal binos for your marine activities.
Read: Best Boating Image Stabilized Binoculars if you are interested in binoculars that have high magnification power and produce bright, clear and crisp images for your boating, marine and other outdoor activities.
Whether you are having an adventure with your friends in the sea or your field of work is related to water bodies. A good pair of marine binoculars will help you see things clearly in the far distance in the sea.
Before I talk about the best binoculars for marine folks in details, lets first look at some of the key factors to consider before you buy marine binoculars. If you are an outdoor person who also likes hunting, maybe you might be interested in looking at our best coyote hunting binoculars as well.
The Best Marine Binoculars Under $500
Factors to Consider Before Buying Marine Binoculars
Below are factors to take into consideration before you purchase marine binoculars.
The Magnification Power
As we all know, been on a boat at sea is not the same as being on the land. In the ocean, as the boat or ship movements affect the way you see things especially if you are looking at them through the lens.
So the magnification power of the binoculars is important to be able to see clear images from far even when your boat is shaky on the sea waves. Magnification power is the ability of the binoculars to reduce the apparent distance of the object to you.
This figure is usually indicated in numbers. With Example been 7×50 mm. The 7x indicates the magnification of the lens and the 50mm been the objective lens diameter. The 7x magnification is mostly preferred by the mariners because a platform such as a boat is not stable and is easy to manage on hands. A Much higher magnification may result in shaky images.
The objective lens diameter size can affect the bulkiness of the binoculars, The bigger the diameter, the higher its ability to gather more lights from outside and from afar. So, 50mm is the optimal objective lens size preferred for marine binoculars.
Waterproof, fog proof and floatable
When dealing with water you can’t always be that safe. The waterproof feature ensures that your binoculars don’t get spoiled when they accidentally drop inside the water and their ability to float will help you recover them as they float on the water without drowning. Having floating straps handy is great as well.
Bad weather conditions can produce fogs which can also affect your optics vision. So because of that these days, most manufacturers of marine binoculars put argon/nitrogen inside the tube and seal the O-ring to prevent the fogging.
One can easily lose their bearing when inside the sea. Because of that these days, some binoculars come with an inbuilt compass. Although not necessary for some people, this feature just comes in handy if you want to know the bearing of objects.
If you are not satisfied with the 7x magnification of the binoculars. Then getting ones with an extra feature such as a stabilization factor is not a bad idea. It will help you get a steadier view of things.
1. Steiner Marine 7×50 Binoculars Review
These Steiner marine binoculars are a perfect quality pair of water-going binoculars for the sailors, recreational boaters and anglers. Steiner is a world-renown German company known for impeccable design and ferocious toughness of optics. The company has spread its wings to other parts of the world, like America as well.
These binoculars are made to be used both onshore and land. They feature waterproof, shockproof housing design and 50mm marine coated glass and objective lenses that provide 7x magnification.
Designed for both marine environment and outdoor adventures, these binoculars are made with BAK-4 prisms, fully multicoated optical surfaces and 20mm of long eye relief. In addition, these Steiner is able to transmit available lights at 90 degrees.
Made to be portable to carry along, these binoculars come with a neck strap, rain and spray guard for the eyepieces and an attached objective lens caps.
- Magnification: 7x
- Objective lens: 50mm
- Eye relief: 20mm
- Field of view: 354 feet @ 1,000 yards
- Dimensions: 8.2 by 2.8 by 5.2 inches (W x H x D)
- Weight: 37 ounces
- Waterproof, fog proof and shockproof with an easy to grip surface
- Ideal for both onshore and land adventures
- Have an autofocus design
- Great low light performance
- some users found Its a little bit heavy and the neck strap is a little underwhelming. Although it’s functional. Not really a problem.
- Poorly documented multi-language manual
2. Bushnell Marine 7×50 Binoculars
These Bushnell marine binoculars are made in America with high-quality materials. These are some of the best binoculars for boating and 7x50mm Marine binoculars are a premier choice for spotting marinas, deadheads, or the fisherman’s best friend, feeding birds.
Their Nitrogen-purged feature makes them waterproof and fog proof for them to be able to withstand harsh weather conditions. They are also hermetically sealed to further ensure no moisture creeps in.
The housing case is easy to grip and manage on the hands and it is colored armored which gives it a classic look. These Bushnell marine binoculars are designed with BaK-4 Porro prisms which gives it a very impressive light transmission ability.
all the optics used are multi-coated and UV-coated. This gives brighter images from the onset of dust-dawn. This binoculars also comes with an internally built-in compass to help you scan through for bearings of objects.
- Magnification: 7x
- Objective lens: 50mm
- Field of view at 1,000 yards: 350 feet
- weight: 37 ounces
- Good performance for the price point
- Multi-purpose use
- Produces crystal clear views
- Some users said the Neck strap quite is flimsy
3. Steiner Military/Marine 8×30 Binocular
These Steiner military/ marine binoculars are one of the marine binoculars with almost all the verified customer ratings been 4 and 5 stars with no 1-star ratings from 80 customer reviews on Amazon. This is an indication that almost every customer is very pleased with their purchase.
Ever fantasize about the military? then here is a civilian version of Steiner military-issued binoculars which is selected by the US Army and over 40 other nations. These binos are often adopted because of their rugged and all-around use. They produce sharp and very clear images.
With their auto adjust and focus system, you can rely on their specialized sports-Autofocus binos for easy, one-handed operations. The armored rubber Makrolon housing is made of polycarbonate with NBR. This gives them a lifetime warranty.
This 8×30 is light and easy to handle, with bright images and a wide field of view for steady viewing, even on the move. and comes with these items included in the package; a carry case, neck strap, lens protection cap, and objective lens covers.
- Magnification: 8X
- Objective Lens Diameter: 30mm
- Dimensions (in): 4.2 x 6.7 x 2.2
- Weight: 17.1 oz
- Field of View at 1000yd.: 362 ft.
- Great for all weather
- Very durable
- Works for both civilians and military
- Great price, lightweight and very clear
- No major complaints from customers
4. Barska Deep Sea Binoculars
These Barska deep-sea binoculars are waterproof, fog-proof and have a built-in internal rangefinder and compass. Making them ideal for your sea adventures. The Deep Sea Series is designed specifically for the nautical and boating enthusiast. They are among the best marine binoculars with a compass.
With its 7x magnification, which is the most popular size to help you achieve a steady image under rough sea conditions. these binoculars provide clear views of marine observation from sunrise to sundown. All the deep sea models feature a rugged rubber armor covering that provides a sure and secure grip.
Note: Please note that the compass does not function in the southern hemisphere.
- Magnification: 7x
- Objective Lens: 50mm
- Prism glass type: BAK-4 Porro
- Optical coating: Fully multi-coated
- Field of View: 395 feet at 1,000 yards
- Eye Relief: 23mm
- Focus System: Individual
- Close focus distance: 9 feet
- Weight: 38.8 ounces
- Includes internal rangefinder and directional compass
- Floats when dropped in water
- O-ring sealed for complete waterproof protection
- Dry nitrogen-purged and sealed to prevent fogging and moisture damage
- Includes carrying case and neck strap
- some customers said Instructions manual not detailed
- Customer service not very good
- Other customers said the product didn’t last as they expected
5. Hooway Marine Binoculars
These Hooway marine binoculars feature a BAK4 Porro prism system for a wide field of view and fully multi-coated optics produce bright, crisp images. Made to be able to adapt to extreme environments; they are waterproof, Nitrogen-purged fog proofed and float in water. very comfortable to hold and highly durable.
The Hooway marine binoculars are designed to be of military standards. Made of non-slip rubber housing, they can absorb shock and provide a firm grip. There is a tripod adapter fitting for tripod mounting for those who might be holding it for a long time and need support equipment like a tripod to increase stability.
In addition, these mid-range price marine binoculars have illuminated compass built-in for direction location and an internal rangefinder for determining distance and size of the object.
- Magnification: 7x
- Objective lens: 50mm
- Prism glass type: BaK-4 Porro
- Field of View: 380 feet at 1,000 yards
- Exit pupil: 6.8mm
- Eye Relief: 22mm
- Weight : 2.2 lbs
- Focus system: Individual Focus
- good for the price
- Built-in Reticle rangefinder and directional compass
- Waterproof/Fog Proof/floating
- Tripod Adaptable
- Some customers said they are not fog proof enough.
Although there are many marine binoculars on the market, some are not very good and others which are very good are also expensive. If you are on a budget and want more value for your money, then these above featured best marine binoculars under 500 are our favorite choice.
They are still some good ones out there, which I might have not included in the list that you might also know of that equally good. Feel free to share it in the comment box. How binos work might also interest you.