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How To Choose Military Binoculars

Last Updated: 29.11.21


Whether you are interested in binoculars that take pictures or you simply want some binoculars that are ideal for your hunting strategy, you will discover that military models are a good pick. To make sure that you get the right ones, take a close look at the specs and find those features that are really helpful for you.

When you’re searching for military binoculars, there are certain aspects you must bear in mind. Some considerations apply to any type of binoculars, while others are more specific. Let’s see what features you shouldn’t live without.

What are military binoculars used for?

That’s a logical question since some binoculars are created for bird watching, others for hunting, and some for military purposes. If you’re not in the army, you might wonder why, as a civilian, you should pick military binoculars instead of others.

Mostly, military binoculars are not entirely different from regular models, but they are better outfitted for situations that require surveillance and following a target. That’s the first thing you should know. Another is that these binoculars tend to come in camouflage patterns, to keep you concealed when you are in the bushes and follow your prey.


Is a camouflage pattern a must?

As said earlier, it is quite common for military binoculars to have camouflage housing, but you should not consider this a must. Many military binoculars come in different colors, and, depending on the goal for which you intend to use them, you must pick one or another.

If you go hunting, a camouflage pattern makes perfect sense, as you will spend a lot of time hiding and waiting for wild animals to appear. However, if you want to use your military binoculars for surveillance, a matte black cover is enough so that it doesn’t reflect light or draw attention to you in any way.

The zoom capacity

One of the essential traits of such binoculars is their zoom capacity. Even when your target is located at distances of five hundred yards, a good quality pair will bring everything closer. For battle scenarios, this aspect is essential, but, as someone who doesn’t plan to engage in military operations anytime soon, you might need it just for gaining an advantage when you hunt a wild animal.

Also, in the case of surveillance, this zoom capacity allows you to remain unseen and undetected, as you will be at a significant distance from the place you’re watching. Not only a military pair can bring the target closer to your eyes than you think, but it’s made with high-quality optics that will make the image you see clearer and brighter.

As a general rule, military binoculars tend to be multiple times better in both zoom and image clarity when compared to regular models. If that’s something you want, take a look at the specs, and you’ll be able to tell the difference between a military model and one that is made only for casual use.


Your military binoculars should be highly durable

Another way to tell whether a pair of binoculars belongs or not to the military category is by looking at its construction. One thing that is superior in military binoculars is their incredible durability. A lot of manufacturers indeed advertise their products as being military-grade, but you shouldn’t believe the hype and just go for the real deal.

A veritable pair of military binoculars is usually made from materials that can deal with any kind of weather and resist wear and tear. For instance, you should expect it to be waterproof so that you can use it in adverse conditions without a problem. More so, these binoculars should be fog proof, too, allowing you to see the target without the lenses becoming impossible to use.

In terms of waterproof capabilities, you will be pleasantly surprised to hear that these models can be completely submerged in water, and won’t suffer any damage. As they have nitrogen-purged construction and O-ring sealed housing, they do not have a problem with water as other binoculars might have.

But are these features exclusive for military binoculars? The simple answer would be ‘no’, yet, you must know that no regular binoculars can match the top-notch quality of military pairs. To give you an idea about the high performance of these binoculars, they usually offer ten times more water and fog protection than regular models.


Can military binoculars be used for bird watching? What about other uses?

So far, we mentioned surveillance and hunting as non-military uses for such binoculars, but one thing you should know is that they are ideal for watching birds, too. Your kids could benefit significantly from the educational purposes of such an item. Even birds that are tricky to observe otherwise can be brought closer through the powerful lenses of the binoculars so that you can see them in their natural habitat.

Because they are so powerful, military binoculars can be successfully used for stargazing. Typically, you would opt for a telescope as a more appropriate device for watching the stars, but such a unit can be bulky and not easy to move around with, as most models need a stand and are not very portable.

On the other hand, you can take your military binoculars with you everywhere you want to go and observe the stars above without being hindered by heavy equipment. The high zoom capacity, as well as the clarity of the image provided even in low light conditions, recommend these binoculars for stargazing, too.

Are military binoculars large and heavy, usually?

It is common for people to associate this type of binoculars with huge designs and bulky setups, but not all the military options you can find on the market right now fall into this category. With time, many manufacturers realized the potential for selling such binoculars to a general audience, and they started to make models that are portable and compact, too.


A bit more on optics

So far, the topic of optics has only been skimmed over, so it’s an excellent time to take a closer look at what kind of lenses and other related aspects you should expect when shopping for a pair of military binoculars.

The lenses are made from top quality glass, and they benefit from multiple coatings that make the picture you can observe through the lenses clear and sharp. Also, these multicoated optics reduce glare so that you won’t have an issue when using them in sunny weather.

You will notice that the highest quality binoculars on the market have lenses made from ED glass. This material is ideal for ensuring proper light transmission. In other words, when you look through your binoculars and the image you see is bright and clear, it all happens due to the excellent glass used for the lenses, among other things.


A few particular features

Some regular binoculars sold on the market may strive to be on par in terms of glass quality, optics, zoom capacity, and so on, with military models, so you may wonder what other things could tell them apart. For instance, many models you can find right now will come with a compass or a rangefinder reticle.

These are military features, as they are not standard on other types of binoculars. You will find them helpful when you go hunting, or you need to scout an area that you visit for the first time.

What size should you pick?

We talked earlier about military binoculars being available in more than just some jumbo sizes. You should know that there are models that you can easily place inside a pocket. There are also medium size models and really big ones.

In any case, you should always check for any accessories the manufacturer might offer. A case, a neck strap, or even a tripod, are things that will increase the value of your purchase.



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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1 year ago

Very detailed Explanations, You Make My Concept Clear. Thanks. Protection Status