11 Best Binoculars for Whale Watching (Reviews with Top Rated Brands)

Humpback whale is jumping out of water
Humpback whale is jumping out of water

Are you a fan of whales? Watching those amazing creatures play in the water is a real pleasure. But it isn’t complete without the best binoculars for whale watching in your hands.

Nowadays, whales have learned to get away from people and boats. This makes it harder to spot them and observe their actions. So, the binoculars you choose should be able to help you with this.

Usually, they should possess features like long-distance high-quality views, coated lenses, prisms, durable armors, and many more. The problem is that many of the modern models have at least some of these. So, the difficulty here is to distinguish the right one out of the many on the market.

We are here exactly for this. Keep reading to discover reviews of some of the best binoculars for sea watching and which key details you shouldn’t overlook before getting a pair.

Top 3 Picks – Best Binoculars for Whale Watching


Vortex Optics Diamondback HD Binoculars

Vortex Optics Diamondback HD Binoculars

Carson 3D Series HD Binoculars

Carson 3D Series HD Binoculars

Celestron SkyMaster 25X100 Binoculars

Celestron SkyMaster 25X100 Binoculars

The 11 Best Binoculars For Whale Watching

Sometimes potential buyers shouldn’t look through a bunch of models before landing on the right one. The worthy models can appear before them at once. This is because many of the famous brands tend to produce binoculars suitable for watching whales. Understandably, they are the ones users trust more. Yet in no case, this means that small, unknown brands don’t deserve a chance.

For this reason, what follows are reviews of the top products this year regardless of the brands.

1) Celestron SkyMaster 25X100 Binoculars

If you have ever been looking for a high quality binocular that you can use for years to come, then look no further than the Celestron SkyMaster Binoculars. These binoculars offer a high quality picture that you can tell right away just by looking in through these!

With the magnification of 25x, the objective lens size of 100 millimeters, and an exit pupil diameter of 0.16 inches, you will be able to get the high quality image that Celestron is well known for.

These Celestron SkyMaster Binoculars are made in the USA. They are very well made as you can tell from the quality of the materials. They have very sturdy and durable construction.

Designed with rubber armored body and waterproof cover so that you can watch in the rain, in any weather. These binoculars are easy to use and adjust thanks to the smooth twist up eyecups and the non slip body. They are the perfect choice for any type of bird watching, astronomy, or whale watching. More specifications are below:

  • Magnification: 25x
  • Objective lens: 100 mm
  • Eye relief 15mm, Close focus 80 feet
  • Exit pupil 0.16 inch
  • Rugged & Rubber armored body
  • BAK4 Prisms, Eyecup folding, Tripod adaptable
Celestron SkyMaster 25X100 Binoculars

Read More: Good Size Binoculars for Bird watching

2) Nikon Action EX Extreme ATB Binocular

Nikon has a strong asset in this one. As a binocular made for usage in all terrains, it fulfills many needs. One of the main ones is the ability to resist harsh weather conditions. They are a common occurrence during travels on water.

Then, this binocular is known for its enhanced clarity of the optics. Thanks to this, it shows views that are bright and sharp.

The long eye-relief and center focus are additional attributes. And the fact that the eyecups can be twisted up makes the product more comfortable for outdoor utilization. Connected to this, the rubber armor prevents slipping.

However, a possible downside to consider is weight. It tends to be high for some users.

More specifications are:

  • Diameter of objective lens: 50 millimeters
  • Magnification: 16 times
  • Minimal distance: 7 meters
  • Weight: 2.29 pounds
  • Dimensions: 9.6 x 8.4 x 4.2 inches

Check and out the best binoculars for stargazing

3) Celestron SkyMaster Large Aperture Binoculars

What makes this model really special is its large magnification. Celestron SkyMaster (Made in USA) enables users to zoom in numerous times until they catch the whales in the water. Accompanying it is the large objective of the lens. It’s responsible for the bright images and low-light viewing capabilities.

With the focus that is sharp at long distances, observers can catch details no matter the surroundings. Also, the armor is made of rubber for strong grips.

Those that are wearing glasses shouldn’t worry. These binoculars provide long eye relief and adjustable cups. Yet what users report as a downside is the shakiness that occurs at long distances. But it can be solved with a tripod for stabilization of the views.

For more detailed specifications, check these out:

  • Magnification: 25 times
  • Diameter of objective lens: 70 millimeters
  • Prism: BaK-4
  • Weight: 3.25 pounds
  • Eye relief: 13 millimeters
  • Field of view: 141 feet at 1000 yards

Read more for the best binoculars made in USA

4) SkyGenius 10 x 50 Powerful Binoculars

SkyGenius introduces these lightweight and durable binoculars. They operate well for various situations and outdoor activities, including watching whales.

For starters, users find it useful that they have a wide field of view and powerful magnification. Due to this, they can cover more of their surroundings without missing the details. The coatings of the lens consist of multiple layers. This enables a bigger transmission of light and more high-quality views even in low light conditions. But the binos aren’t as efficient in total darkness.

Aside from this, they are simple to focus on. That way, you can spot the creatures while they are moving and observe them without distortions. Also, the design is strong and durable, ensuring a firm grip. This comes in handy while holding them on a shaky boat.

If you are interested in more details, look at these:

  • Weight: 1.76 pounds
  • Magnification: 10 times
  • Diameter of objective lens: 50 millimeters
  • Color: black
  • Field of view: 367 feet at 1000 yards
  • Exit pupil: 5 millimeters
  • Can be mounted on a tripod

Next Read: Best Lightweight Birdwatching Binoculars

5) Athlon Optics Midas Roof Prism UHD Binoculars

When it comes to views in true colors, these binoculars are among the best ones. They incorporate an ED glass that prevents chromatic fringe. Due to this, the image appears sharper and brighter. Moreover, the dielectric full coating reflects most of the light that comes through the lens.

Since you’ll be close to the water while using them, you shouldn’t worry about damages. This model is purged and made to be waterproof and thermally stable. Also, there is a long eye relief meant for increased comfort. This comes in handy for glass wearers, as well.

Despite this, users identified certain downsides. Apparently, the binos have a small close-range focus. Because of this, the viewing area shrinks. Not to mention that the knob for focusing them can be stiff and the rubber caps may fall frequently.

For more information regarding this product, see these:

  • Magnification: 12 times
  • Diameter of objective lens: 50 millimeters
  • Weight: 33 ounces
  • Field of view: 281 feet at 1000 yards
  • Color: green
  • Eye relief: 15 millimeters

Read more: Popular 8×42 binoculars, ideal for hunting and birding.

6) BARSKA X-Trail 8×42 Binocular

When you first lay an eye on these binoculars, you’ll notice the lens in ruby color. Surprisingly for some, this isn’t just for the sake of appearance. Instead, thanks to this, this model is able to keep the UV rays at bay. This enables users to utilize it in extensive sunlight without issues related to the views. And considering the fact that the sun reflects strongly in water, this is an important detail for observing whales with clarity.

Speaking of the views, these binos are equipped with a BaK-7 prism and multi-coated lenses. This only brightens the images more and increases the contrast. Leaving this aside, they have a compact design. The armor is ergonomic and made of rubber. What’s useful is that it isn’t slippery and can absorb shock.

Finally, they come with a strap for the neck and a case. Thanks to this, they can be carried around easily. Still, despite this users report some downsides. One of them is the lack of options to attach them to a tripod for increased stability.

More specifications and features are the following:

  • Magnification: 8 times
  • Diameter of objective lens: 42 millimeters
  • Weight: 26.46 ounces
  • Eye relief: 20 millimeters
  • Field of view: 378 feet at 1000 yards
  • Close focus: 33 feet

Read next: Best Olympus 8×40 DPSI Binocular.

7) Wingspan Optics FieldView 8×32 Compact Binoculars

These binoculars operate well in many different outside settings and situations. Because they are versatile, they can be used for whale watching, as well. The fact that they are waterproof only contributes to their efficiency in this activity.

In general, they can boast with a wide field of view. That way, users can catch all details. They can even focus quickly on the target from far away. This is convenient if you’re standing on a boat. In terms of the views, the nice magnification brings the creatures closer to you. Not to mention that they appear bright and clear.

Many users experience troubles with the gadgets slipping away from their hands. But not with this model. It has a non-slip design that’s compact. As it can fit one’s pocket, it’s also portable. So, users can take it with them everywhere they go.
And the lifetime warranty only vouches for the brand’s honesty when it comes to the quality of this product. Still, a possible con to be considered is the degrading quality of the image as it goes toward the edges. But this isn’t too serious and distracting.

For more detailed specifications, turn to these:

  • Magnification: 8 times
  • Diameter of objective lens: 32 millimeters
  • Eye relief: 14.8 millimeters
  • Close focus: 3 meters
  • Field of view: 362 feet at 1000 yards
  • Prism type: BaK-4
  • Weight: 15.2 ounces

8) LTOOL 20×50 High Power Binoculars

These are professional binoculars with some really competitive features. For starters, they are waterproof. Therefore, observers shouldn’t worry about small splashes of water or the rain ruining them.

It’s true that light can be tricky when looking at the water. Therefore, it’s important to get binoculars with high-definition optics that are able to transmit enough light. Luckily, these are one of those. Actually, their BaK-4 prism prevents spare light from ruining the views. Also, it makes reproduction better. That way what you see appears in the natural real colors. To improve the brightness and sharpness, there is an FMC green coating of the lens, as well.

If you’re interested in the model’s design, it has an ergonomic and compact one. What does this mean? It incorporates all features in an accessible manner. And the rubber armor is with a comfortable and firm grip to stop possible slipping. To accompany this, there is shock and drop resistance.

However, you should be aware that these binos aren’t very efficient in complete darkness. Not to mention that the weight can be a bit high for some users, especially for children.

More details and specifications are as follows:

  • Diameter of objective lens: 50 millimeters
  • Magnification: 20 times
  • Size of eyepiece: 22 millimeters
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Weight: 2.29 pounds
  • Dimensions: 10.3 x 7.9 x 2.9 inches

9) Occer 12×25 Compact Binoculars

Those that are looking for a smaller model that can be used by both adults and children will find pleasure in this one. Although the brand may not be very familiar to you, it included some really helpful options.

One of them is the simple and quick focus. This is a vital aspect, having in mind the fact that whales are constantly moving in the water. For high-quality views, the model also has a premium prism and FMC green coating of the lens. Thanks to this, it can reflect the light.

The manufacturer wanted it to be versatile and suitable for a variety of users. For this reason, Occer made them with adjustable eyecups. They enable both glass wearers and non-wearers to enjoy the observing experience. And the small size and portability complete the pleasure. Due to the compact design and low weight, these binos can be taken everywhere without any trouble.

Yet, before purchasing them, potential buyers should know that they don’t operate well in total darkness when there is absolutely no light in the night.

In case you are curious to discover more specifications and features, take a look at these:

  • Magnification: 12 times
  • Diameter of objective lens: 25 millimeters
  • Exit pupil: 20 millimeters
  • Weight: 0.65 pounds
  • Diameter of the eyepiece: 15 millimeters
  • Color: black
  • Dimensions: 4 x 4.40 x 1.9 inches

10) Adasion Binoculars with New Smartphone Photograph Adapter

Technology is taking over the world. And the binoculars aren’t the exception. New models like this one come with more digital capabilities than before. For instance, this pair consists of a photograph adapter. This gives users a chance to take pictures and videos of their trips and share them through their smartphone. They can also store those memories for further usage. The good news is that most of the smartphone models are supported.

Of course, this isn’t everything that this product has to offer. When it comes to the views, it possesses a big eyepiece that shows all details in one image. The large magnification is there, too, to provide close-up shots of the whales and similar creatures in the water. Related to this, the roof prism and the lens gather more light, presenting bright and crystal clear views.

Since their weight is low, the binoculars can be easily transported in a rucksack. They don’t occupy much space either. And the eyecups that are adjustable widen the category of people that can take advantage of this product. This includes those that wear glasses.

However, despite this, users reported difficulties with the phone adapter not being tough enough. Also, a tripod should be bought separately if you prefer to attach them to one.

Here are some other specifications and features for you to have in mind before the purchase:

  • Diameter of objective lens: 42 millimeters
  • Magnification: 12 times
  • Diameter of the eyepiece: 18 millimeters
  • Weight: 1.25 pounds
  • Dimensions: 6 x 5 x 2.4 inches
  • Focus: manual

11) Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Porro Prism Binocular

We end the list with one of Bushnell’s top models for whale watching. Rain, fog, and similar conditions can’t do damage to it. It’s O-ring sealed and purged to stop this from happening. Yet it’s not only waterproof and weather-resistant, but it provides high-quality views, as well. It has the BaK-4 prism and the lens with multiple coatings to help with that.

Moreover, the simple design and its increased durability widen the usage options. To maximize comfort while using them for a long time, the binos have a non-slip armor and a firm grip. The armor is made of rubber to absorb the shock and prevent any unwanted damages.

Eventually, adjusting the focus is a needed feature for observing at a long distance. So, you can simply do it on this model as well as twist up the eyecups when you want. Still, the fact that they are bigger and bulkier than some of the others stands. In fact, many users state this as a downside.

Are you eager to learn more specifications and details? Check out these:

  • Magnification: 7 times
  • Diameter of objective lens: 50 millimeters
  • Color: black
  • Prism type: Porro BaK-4 prism
  • Weight: 2.3 pounds
  • Dimensions: 7.4 x 3.19 x 8.19 inches
  • A case and a strap are included

Guide to pick the best one for whale watching

Resistance to External Conditions

The binoculars’ ability to withstand tough weather conditions is desired when you’re on the water and watching whales. However, there is a difference between simple resistance to weather and waterproof capabilities.

If a model can resist the weather, that typically means that it will be completely fine when you’re using it during light rain, but it won’t be if you submerge it deep in the water. Basically, these models aren’t completely waterproof.

On the other hand, waterproof binos are known to have these special O-rings. They take care to stop any drops of water, debris, or other particles from penetrating the lens system and ruin the images.

Fog-proof capabilities are another useful feature that can help the model withstand external conditions. What’s more, binoculars can easily fog up when the temperature changes, thus the observational experience is reduced and the images aren’t clear. To make the models fog proof, plenty of brands have started using inert gas. This type of gas can protect both internal as well as external lenses and keep the visuals clean from condensation.


Prisms are found in all binoculars. In fact, they are the ones that make the visuals appear as they are. If it weren’t for them, users would be seeing the visuals upside down. So, it’s easy to see why finding a model with a suitable prism is highly important. Before you get into the details, you should be familiar with the two most famous types.

One of them is a Roof prism. Binoculars with this prism tend to be smaller and more compact. Additionally, the prism lets a bit more detail into the visuals, so the users receive vivid results. But, a slight downside is that these models are frequently costlier.

The second type is a Porro prism. On the plus side, these prisms are more affordable. However, models with these prisms are usually heavier and larger. Of course, there is always a trade-off. So, you have to choose your priorities and shop accordingly.

Exit Pupil

Before we talk about the exit pupil feature, we should briefly mention the magnification as well as the objective lens diameter. These two are perhaps the most well-known features when it comes to binoculars. The magnification powers refer to how much you can zoom in on a subject. Further, the objective lens diameter is explained as the size of the objective lens. The two are commonly found in the actual name of the binocular.

With that being said, when you divide the objective lens diameter by the magnification powers, you get the model’s exit pupil. So, now you know that if the exit pupil isn’t listed in the specifications section, you can do a bit of simple math and found out the number.

Moreover, the exit pupil digit shows you how bright the subject or object will be when you’re observing it during nighttime or in low-light conditions. Naturally, increased exit pupil capabilities will serve you better in low-light conditions as opposed to the daylight.

Light Transmittance

Related to the transmittance of light or how much light penetrates the lens and makes the images brighter are the lens coatings. When the light collides with the prism system in the binocular, some of it is reflected back out. And when you’re looking through the barrels, the subjects (in this case, the whales) will appear darker.

The situation will be different if the model has a higher percentage of light transmittance as well as multiple lens coatings. To receive images, which are as bright as possible, it’s helpful to look for binoculars that have a percentage that’s higher than ninety percent. The multi-coatings models are recommended, too.

Focus System

The ability to focus on a particular subject is pivotal in the observational experience. Focusing the binoculars should be easy and modifiable, so it’s advisable to look for that in models that you may be considering to finally purchase.

One of the most frequently found systems is focusing thanks to a central wheel. This wheel is usually placed between the two barrels. Subsequently, when the user adjusts the wheel, the focus of both barrels is tweaked at the exact same time.

Having said that, another way is focusing with a diopter ring. The wheel in this system can be found on one barrel out of the two and increasingly close to the model’s eyepiece. With it, each barrel’s focus is adjusted separately.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. What type of magnification do I need when I am whale watching with binoculars?

Answer: Most of the time you’ll spend whale watching, you’ll be on a boat or on some type of a moving platform. Handling binoculars on the water can be tricky as the lull of the waves can move the visuals. That’s why experts recommend going for magnification powers of 8 times or lower. Otherwise, if you’re zooming too much, the visuals will be additionally shakier. Plus, when you’re watching whales while you’re on a ship, they tend to be closer, so this magnification will be most adequate.

Q. How much does a solid pair of binoculars for bird watching cost?

Answer: While this may vary, some pinpoint a price range for quality yet affordable binoculars. Generally speaking, you can find suitable models from a hundred bucks to five hundred bucks. Of course, there are way pricier models on the market that are sold by luxurious brands from all over the globe. A pair of these binoculars can cost you around three thousand dollars or more. If you have the money, you can go for it. But you should be aware that some less expensive models can do the job as efficiently and as effectively as you require.

Check this article about Best Birdwatching Binoculars under $500

Final Remarks

All in all, not all binoculars can be used in all situations. So, there are some special details to look for when picking the best binoculars for sea watching. As you could see through the reviews and the buying guide, the suitable models incorporate details like weather resistance and long-range capabilities.

This is because whales are creatures that are best observed when going after them on a boat. This means that water will surround the binoculars. Unless they are waterproof, the chances of damages are big. Not to mention that the creatures tend to get away from people, requiring the binos you choose to have a wide field of view and offer high-quality images from afar. A large zoom is welcome here, as well. Understandably, there are many other details that shouldn’t be overlooked, either. But the final decision falls on the users and their preferences and budget. So, we hope we assisted you in getting an idea of which models to at least check out.

What are your thoughts in this manner? Are you an owner of binoculars for whale watching? Or are you new to this and are searching for the right pair? Share your opinions and experiences with us.

Matthew Koch

Hi, I'm Matthew, a passionate blogger and traveler. I'm also a hard-core hiker. Hiking with friends and visiting new places is what I live for. Currently, I'm working at Gear Odds as CEO & Columnist. I would like to provide my best outdoor experience possible.