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Best binoculars for whale watching – 2024 Reviews & comparison

Last Updated: 15.07.24


Top 5 Binoculars for Whale Watching Reviewed & Buying Guide


Are you searching for the best binoculars for whale watching, but you’re too much in a hurry to read all the findings of our researchers? Find here exactly what model you should buy. According to our study that included customer feedback and sales figures, as well as social media reactions, the Nikon 7245 is the number one product you should focus on. This model is ideal for marine use, as it is both waterproof and fog proof. At the same time, it provides an excellent grip so that you don’t drop it by accident in humid environments. The large objective diameter helps gathering more light, to provide excellent performance even in low light conditions, which may happen when you go whale watching. Should this model be no longer available, we have another excellent recommendation lined up: the Vanguard Spirit, which is almost just as good.



Comparison table


The Good
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With so many binocular models for sale, you will soon discover that picking the right ones for whale watching may not be that easy a task. We want to help you in your endeavor and point out those features that are essential to make sure that you get the right model.

Technical specs regarding zoom power, image stabilization, and light gathering abilities

Whale watching can be a fascinating activity, but, if you want to examine these magnificent creatures as you should, you need to bring along on your trip a pair of binoculars that will serve the purpose of bringing the image closer. That being said, your ideal pair of binoculars should have adequate zoom power.

Notice how we talk about suitable zoom power, and not the most powerful magnification you can get. There is a strong reason why you shouldn’t go just for the highest zoom possible. When you are on a boat, you will also need excellent image stabilization, because you will not have the advantage of solid ground.

Of course, that doesn’t automatically mean that you should settle for some cheap binoculars for whale watching. The optics quality matters, and you need to pay attention to other aspects, too, besides zoom power and image stabilization. A wide field of view, for instance, helps because you will be able to take in the entire marine animal you intend to watch.

As far as optics is concerned, you should focus on lenses that are capable of performing well in low light conditions. Whale watching locations are most likely to have a grey, dull light, which means that the lenses on your binoculars should be capable of gathering the light existing in the environment to project a bright enough image so you can see details.

Also, a decent eye relief will help people with glasses to enjoy their trip and watch the marine animals through their binoculars without a glitch.


They must be waterproof and suitable for marine use

This feature is just as important as the first part of our buying guide. Since you are purchasing a pair of binoculars for marine use, the model you choose must be waterproof. Check the manufacturer’s specs, and see if the binoculars are 100% waterproof.

It also helps if they are fog proof, too. The weather conditions you are most likely to encounter when you go whale watching will not be sunny and dry. Bear in mind that your binoculars should be rugged and resistant to impacts, too, in case you might drop them.

In terms of ruggedness, any wildlife viewing binoculars might do, but don’t forget about the importance of them being waterproof. It is essential that no droplets of water will get inside and render the binoculars useless.


What accessories you may find in a good deal

There are a few extras you can find in a good deal when you go shopping for a pair of binoculars for whale watching. For instance, you could make good use of a binocular strap because it will prevent you from dropping the binoculars since they are hung around your neck. Many people prefer to wear their binoculars like this so that they don’t lose or damage them.

Another thing that you might find useful is a binocular case. Preferably, this one should be waterproof, just as the construction of your binoculars, especially if you plan on taking both of these along on a trip that involves humid environments. Eyecups are useful, too, as they protect the lenses when the binoculars are not in use.



5 Best Binoculars for Whale Watching (Reviews) in 2024


By reading the reviews of binoculars for whale watching available, we concluded that a few models offer the most for the money and they are currently favored by the vast majority of consumers. We list them here so that you can take your pick.



1. Nikon Action EX 10×50 CF Binocular


The Nikon 7245 falls into the category of good binoculars for whale watching right from the get-go, as the model comes equipped with everything you need in such a product. The first thing that will convince you that these are the binoculars you should use is the rugged construction that will not allow anything bad to happen to them.

They are also completely waterproof and fog proof, so they are ideal for marine use. If you plan a whale watching trip, you will not be wrong to choose this pair. Bad weather will not affect the optics quality and you will be able to indulge in all the whale watching you want with nothing to hinder you from doing so.

The binoculars have long eye relief, and that is a big plus for people who wear glasses. Their low-light performance is superior, and that is great for a pair of binoculars you will use for whale watching.


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2. Vanguard 10 x 42 Binocular


You will love these binoculars, as they come equipped with everything you need for a pair to use when you go whale watching. First of all, the quality of their optics is superior, as the ED glass will ensure excellent color reproduction. The lenses are multi-coated and will reduce glare that might happen when the sun rays reflect on water.

These can be successfully used as birding binoculars, but they have features that qualify them for marine use, as well. The system used for the eyecups ensures protection for the lenses when the binoculars are not in use. Their long eye relief offers excellent performance even when you wear glasses.

You will be pleased with how well the binoculars perform in low light conditions. The body of the binoculars is built to be lightweight, yet durable. Users appreciate the convenience of a focus wheel that can be used with ease.


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3. Bushnell H2O 10 x 42 mm Waterproof Binocular


Among the many marine binoculars you can currently find on the market, the Bushnell H2O is a model worthy of your consideration. Its nitrogen purged and sealed construction ensures 100% waterproof capabilities, and you will love that the lenses are fog proof, as well. Nothing will stop you from watching whales when you embark on your trip.

The optical elements are multi-coated and offer a particularly crisp image, while light transmission is excellent, as well. Many people like how easy it is to hold these binoculars, as the soft texture covering the housing ensures a firm grip. Also, the binoculars are built for durability, and won’t suffer damage if you drop them.

Offering 10x magnifying power and an objective diameter of 42mm, these binoculars are, indeed, suitable for whale watching. The magnification is not over the top so that it does not cause stabilization issues. Also, the objective lenses are large enough to allow proper light gathering and transmission.


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4. Orion 09473 ShoreView 10×42 Waterproof Binoculars


This fully waterproof model should be on your list, too. Both the magnification power and the lens diameter are perfect for whale watching, and will provide you with the optimal means to observe the magnificent creatures in their natural environment. Ideal for wildlife use, they will offer you a crisp image with vivid colors, ideal for observing details.

The body of the binoculars is made from polycarbonate, a material that is resistant to shocks. The rubber armor applied on the outside offers a secure grip and protects the housing even further so that you can rest assured that your binoculars will offer proper durability.

In humid environments, these binoculars will perform extraordinarily well, but you can use them for many different purposes. All in all, they offer excellent value for the price, and their durability, along with superior optics quality, are strong enough reasons in their favor. Add the twist-lock eye guards, and you have a product that is close to perfection.


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5. Leupold Rogue Porro Prism Binoculars


The first thing that must be mentioned about this pair of binoculars is that it comes equipped with excellent optics. The Porro prism construction of the lenses increases depth perception, and allows you to notice details when you are observing objects located in the far distance, as is the case when you go whale watching.

The technical specs on this model are ideal. The 10x magnification ensures enough zoom power to bring close the landscape you are observing, while the 42mm objective lens diameter is ideal for gathering enough light in low light conditions. Since they are not over the top in terms of zoom power, they offer good image stabilization.

The rough construction helps as well. You will not have to worry if you drop the binoculars by accident, as the rugged construction is resistant to shocks. The well-balanced body will feel nice in your hands.


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Ioana Moldovan

Ioana’s professional experience in the optics field has helped her understand the value of passing her knowledge forward. Her curious personality helps her gather useful information for her readers and her goal is to make technical information fun and accessible to everyone.

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