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Exploring the great outdoors or engaging in tactical operations can be an exhilarating experience, but it can also be challenging without the right gear. One essential piece of equipment for every military man or tactical enthusiast is a reliable pair of binoculars. However, with so many options available in the market, finding the best tactical binoculars can be a daunting task.
I know there are tons of options available that can make you confused, and you fall victim to making a wrong decision. We don’t buy binoculars more often; instead many of us spend on binoculars once a year. So, when you make a wrong decision, it becomes a nightmare when you use them in the field or even when you see them in your house.
To save you from the pain of wrong decisions, my team has done some research and gathered some very good options that will give you the ultimate viewing experience. Not only will I provide you with our picked binos, but you’ll also get the buyer’s guide which will enhance your knowledge. So, let’s delve into the world of optics and find the perfect pair!
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Selection Guide: What Should You Look at in Tactical Binoculars?
The purpose of this website is to give you in-depth knowledge to increase your knowledge so that you know what you’re going to buy. It is very important to know your shopping so that you don’t choose the wrong binoculars. In optics, you either buy excellent binoculars or very poor ones as the difference between good and bad optics is very small. But with the factors that I am going to give in the section below, you’ll be able to avoid the mistake of buying military binoculars.
Specification of binoculars is very important and not to forget, every outdoor activist requires specific specifications in binoculars. For binoculars that are going to be used by the tactical guy, I recommend choosing the magnification of 10x which means that your binoculars will give you ten times bigger visuals than the actual size of the object.
Moreover, the objective lens must be above 42 mm. To be honest, 50 mm is going to be perfect. The reason is that the larger objective lens will help you see the visuals brighter.
I have already mentioned in previous guides that the bigger-sized objective lens means better light-capturing capabilities of binoculars and vice versa. When your binoculars capture more light from the surroundings, then you see better and brighter visuals.
2- Durability and Body Strength
Durability and body strength are essential factors to consider when purchasing binoculars. The harsh outdoor environment and tough tactical operations demand that binoculars should be able to withstand the elements, impacts, and rough handling.
Keep in mind that binoculars with sturdy and rugged bodies can ensure that they can survive even the toughest conditions. I recommend you choose better materials such as magnesium or polycarbonate for your binoculars.
Protective coating that can protect them from scratches, impacts, and other types of damage. This can help prolong the life of the binoculars, ensuring they remain functional for many years.
One thing that should not be ignored is the water and fog-proof binoculars. Military personnel undergo different extreme weather conditions, So, I recommend choosing those binoculars that come with nitrogen gas purging and o-ring sealings so that your binoculars remain safe even in the rain.
3- Field of view
The field of view is the area you see through the barrel of binoculars. A wider field of view is also recommended in binoculars because it helps you see more area and helps you locate the target with more ease. For tactical binoculars, I recommend you choose a FOV of at least 320 feet or higher as it would provide you with a perfect viewing experience.
4- Focus system
Military men usually go through uncertain conditions and they have to use binoculars quickly so that the target doesn’t run away. So, if your binoculars have a compromised focus system, then chances are high that you won’t be able to see the object if it is moving at some speed.
Therefore, I suggest you go with a binocular that has a central focus system. Such binoculars have small knobs located in between the barrels which can be controlled with the help of an index finger and you can rotate it and adjust the focus according to your will and needs.
5- Low-light performance
As said earlier, you should always choose binoculars with a bigger objective-size lens as it will help you see brighter visuals in low light conditions. The bigger lens usually captures more light, and then the prism of binoculars takes that better amount of light and ultimately you get brighter and sharper visuals in lowlight conditions.
Note: Binoculars that have compromised objective lens size don’t capture the light adequately and you get the visuals slightly dim and the performance of such binoculars in low light gets too bad.
Related Article: Best Binoculars for Apartment Spying
Reviews and Recommendations of the Best Tactical & Military Binoculars
As said earlier, shopping for binoculars is not easy; slight mistakes can make your purchase useless. To avoid you from getting useless, I have given you a complete buyer’s guide. But my aim is to give more in-depth and save you from the headache of research. So, my team has done the research and found some very good tactical binoculars that will do the perfect job for your needs. These binos are picked by keeping in mind all the factors that are mentioned above.
Our Top Picks
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1- 7×50 HD Waterproof Military Marine Binoculars
Military binoculars must be very strong as they undergo very harsh outdoor conditions. From rain to hot temperatures, everything counts when it comes to the durability of binoculars. These binoculars are well equipped with rubber armor material which gives them strength to bear usage in harsh environments.
The nitrogen gas purging and o-ring sealing give you a more secure experience when you use these binos in rainy or foggy environments. One question that I receive from newbies is which binoculars are good for me as I wear glasses. But unfortunately, there is no specific answer.
Whether binoculars are good for you or not is totally dependent on eye relief. If you wear glass, make sure that your chosen binoculars have an eye relief of above 16 mm. But these military binoculars come with an eye relief of 23 mm which is ideal and you’ll get perfect vision even if you wear glasses.
One thing that makes them a very premium option in the budget category is their rangefinding capabilities. Most of the time, military men undergo situations where they feel the need to know the distance between them and the target. So by using binoculars, they will get an accurate distance measurement.
They are slightly heavyweight but their compact size does not let you feel that you are carrying heavier binoculars. I don’t think that their size is going to impact your viewing experience because they are a smaller size. Moreover, they come with a warranty which is additional safety.
These binoculars are very special because of their Illuminated Compass which is built-in and gives you clear direction if you’re going to attend a special mission.
2- Steiner Tactical 10×28 Binoculars
I chose these binoculars because of their compact size and lightweight. There are many outdoor activists who like to carry lightweight binoculars because heavier and bulkier-sized binoculars are hard to carry for an extended duration; whereas tactical men remain out for most of the time so weight and size matter in military binoculars.
These tactical binoculars have a total weight of just 12.6 ounces which makes them super lightweight. The visual quality of these tactical optics is top-notch. The lenses are coated with multiple layers and the glass material that is used in them is also optimal so you’ll have edge-to-edge clarity and excellent resolution.
To be honest, I consider them suitable tactical binoculars for you in case you are a professional and aim to use binoculars for an extended duration. They won’t make you tired. If you are going to be part of a tactical mission, carry them along as they won’t make you feel regretful.
The lowlight usability of these binoculars is slightly compromised. The reason is that these optics have an objective lens size of 28 mm which is not ideal. So, their smaller-sized lenses are not very efficient in capturing light in low light conditions, which makes them an ordinary choice.
The focus system is as good as one may wish. The wheel or knob is in the middle of the body just near the fingers when you hold them. The wheel is very good and it needs very little rotation to increase or decrease the focus on the specific target. Moreover, water and fogproofing is also common in them.
The field of view is ideal and the ease of usability is also fine. But their eye relief is just 14 mm which is not very good as I always recommend everyone to buy binoculars having eye relief of at least 16 mm. If you wear glasses, they are not made for you.
What distinguishes them from the previous product?
These tactical binoculars are very lightweight which makes them a superior option to the previous product. However, I miss the rangefinder and compass for direction telling as these features were present in previous products.
3- Steiner MM1050 Military-Marine 10×50 Binoculars
I chose these Steiner military binoculars just because of their strong build quality, however, they have almost all the features that you’ll need during your usage. To be honest, these binoculars are my personal favorite due to their rugged body.
The lens quality is excellent and you’ll get edge-to-edge clarity with maximum resolution and color rendition. I believe that these military binoculars will offer brighter images in low light conditions because they have bigger lenses. In terms of optical performance, they are matchless and beat competitors.
The weight is slightly on the higher side, but that does not affect your carrying comfort because they are compact. No matter if you hold them in your hands, or hang them around your neck with the help of a neck strap, they won’t irritate you at all.
In the previous product, the eye relief was compromised, but these Steiner binoculars offer ideal eye relief of 17 mm which makes you feel more relaxed if you wear them with glasses on your eyes. Water and fogproofing are also common which means that you can use them in rain or fog without being worried.
When I buy binoculars for myself, the first thing that I check is the field of view. These Steiner binoculars offer a wider field of view which means that by using them you’ll be able to see more space with ease which is a fantastic feature as well.
What distinguishes them from the previous product?
These binoculars are very strong and I am impressed by their durability. One of my friends uses them for different outdoor activities and he never complains about the performance. Overall, their excellent rugged body is what makes them unique in this guide.
4- Steiner Commander Series 7×50 Marine Binoculars
These are second binoculars that are coming from the Steiner brand. The reason is that Steiner is an expert in producing military binoculars and they also have contracts with military forces around the world to whom Steiner delivers high-quality binoculars.
They also use the finest index-matched glass which makes their lenses top class and you get more edge-to-edge clarity when using them for outdoor activity. One thing that actually impressed me is their low-light usability. The bigger objective lens size helps them capture the light even when the light in the surrounding is dying which ultimately helps you see brighter images even at low light conditions.
These tactical binoculars are considered high-end and require a handsome budget. The compass is attached to the body of binoculars which makes them a good option for those who go out and usually forget the direction. This compass will give them accurate directions.
Another unique feature that you won’t see in other products is their hydrophobic molecular coating which is applied on the lenses of these binoculars. So, due to this special type of coating, the dust, debris, and scratches won’t have any bad impact on your binoculars. This is why I consider them the best tactical binoculars for fieldwork.
The eye relief of 17 mm is ideal. Moreover, the field of view is also on a wider side which makes them a very good option for finding the target. Do you like to use binoculars in rain or foggy weather? If yes, these waterproof binoculars offer excellent water and fog proofing due to their premium gas purging and o-ring sealings.
What distinguishes them from the previous product?
No doubt that the performance of these binoculars is far ahead of all other binoculars reviewed in this guide. But the prices of these optics are on the high side which is a drawback. Higher price points differentiate them from previous products.
5- USCAMEL 10X50 Military Binoculars for Adults
If you’re an avid outdoorsman or military personnel, the USCAMEL Binoculars are a must-have tool for you. These binoculars are built to cater to the specific needs of military forces, and their robustness assures that they can withstand even the harshest of conditions.
The BAK4 Prism is a standout feature that eliminates stray light, resulting in enhanced color reproduction. Additionally, the FMC multi-coated lenses reduce reflected light, allowing for brighter and sharper images even in low-light conditions like dawn and dusk. So, you’ll be able to use them for border patrol.
Moreover, these best military-grade binoculars are designed to brave any weather condition with their waterproof and nitrogen-filled properties that prevent moisture damage. To be honest, I love their water and fog proofing and they are good to use in rain and fog. Moisture won’t be inside of them.
One unique aspect of these binoculars is the built-in compass and rangefinder. The illuminated compass is perfect for navigation at night, and the internal rangefinder enables you to calculate the distance and size of the object you’re observing.
The rubber-armored coating provides a comfortable grip and is sturdy enough to endure any situation. Furthermore, the eyecups can be folded down to cater to glasses wearers, and the individual focus system ensures accurate focusing at long distances.
What distinguishes them from the previous product?
These USCAMEL binoculars fall in the budget category and still offer decent quality even in low-light conditions. However, I don’t recommend it because they offer more advanced features but the quality of these features is not very excellent.
6- Steiner Military-Marine Series Binoculars
Well, I am reviewing yet another Steiner product, and you might feel I am getting a bit biased. But that’s not true. Actually, Steiner is one of those brands that produce binoculars dedicated to the military of different countries.
They know what a military man needs in the binoculars, and they offer each of those features that a tactical person needs. Let’s come to these military binos. I have picked them due to their strong durability, and better build quality.
They are made with Makrolon housing, and their chassis consists of NBR rubber material which is very strong. You can use them in extreme outdoor conditions, and they won’t show any sort of issues at all which makes them suitable for tactical missions in hard conditions.
One thing that I must mention is that they are heavier and bulkier. Their size is not too big, meaning that they are not long, overall designing is just not user-friendly. Holding them in your hands is surely an issue especially if you use them for an extended duration.
But there is a good thing. Due to their greater weight, and robust kind of shape, they are easier to use for short durations. You will be able to get a very stable visual, without any shakiness at all. But if you use them for an extended duration, they won’t be ideal tactical pairs.
The reason is that they will make you tired due to their weight, and bulky size. Due to tiredness, your hands will start shaking, which ultimately provides you with shaky, and unstable visuals which is obviously not a good thing for a military man who is on a tactical mission.
Our Honest Verdict
These binoculars are very durable and strong. If you are a military man, you will use them in harsh conditions without any issue. They are made to withstand harsh usage, in extreme or harshest conditions.
7- Nikon 8252 Aculon A211 10-22×50 Zoom Binoculars
I picked them due to their variable magnification power. As a military officer, you will come across situations where you will need to have to look at distant objects as well as the nearer ones. In fact, sometimes, you will need to see the details of the target.
In such conditions, these binoculars work wonders. They offer the variable magnification power of 10-22x magnification which means that you will be able to zoom in on the target and get 22 times bigger visuals. This higher magnification will help you get details visuals which makes them the best tactical or military binoculars.
I consider them the top-notch tactical binoculars to be used for long-range viewing. Their higher zooming power will allow you to see the details of the target which is very far away. This will keep the user safe by allowing him to view by staying or maintaining a safe distance.
One thing that I loved about these binoculars is their gripping, and handling. I know that they are bigger sized, but they are still very easy to carry and use for an extended duration. The reason is that there are fine linings on the body of these binoculars which give you easy, and comfortable gripping.
They have a nice focus system which will further allow you to see the suspect very clearly. Are you thinking about the durability? If yes, then you won’t feel good as they are not very robust. So, you will have to be careful while using them in harsh conditions.
Our Final Verdict
If we compare it with the previous Steiner product, then you’ll be disappointed to know these Nikon binoculars are more fragile, and won’t bear more stress. In fact, if they fall off your hands, they will break easily.
8- BARSKA Battalion Waterproof Military Binoculars
Apparently, these binocular does not look very special. In fact, it looks like an ordinary pair if you look at its shape and design, but these binoculars are unique from all other binoculars due to their rangefinding capabilities.
They come with built-in internal range finding reticle which is very effective in giving you the exact distance between and your target. This feature makes them ideal binoculars to be used for tactical missions, as you will be aware of the distance, and range between you and your rage.
The military men usually take care of everything, and they don’t take any simple step without doing calculations. Suppose you have a suspect at some distance, so you will be able to know the range before taking any step. This feature plays a crucial role in keeping you safe and maintaining a safe distance.
Guess what, these binoculars come with a wider field of view which means that you will be able to see a larger area while using them. So, you will be able to sit in one place and have complete knowledge of everything happening around you.
They also come with an individual focus system which will allow you to adjust the focus of your eyes according to your needs which is another useful feature to have if you are a military person. Keep in mind that they have a lifetime warranty.
Last, but not least, they come with some additional accessories including a carrying case, lens covers, neck strap, and lens Cloth. These accessories especially the neckstrap are very practical, and you will be able to hand the binoculars around your neck instead of carrying them in your hands.
I believe that their wider field of view, plus the free additional accessories such as a neckstrap etc. make them the best binoculars for military or tactical missions. The user will be able to carry the binoculars by hanging around the neck and can carry a gun in the hands.
Our Honest Verdict
I believe that these binoculars are suitable for tactical purpose due to their built-in internal range-finding reticle which give accurate reading about the range. However, they have a wider field of view and offer decent durability which also helps them stand out.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are tactical or military binoculars?
Tactical binoculars are binoculars designed for military usage, and they are high-quality, durable, and reliable binoculars for reconnaissance and scouting.
What is the magnification power of tactical binoculars?
The magnification power for tactical binoculars can vary depending on the model and intended use. However, I recommend you choose the tactical binoculars that have a magnification power of between 8x and 12x.
Can you buy military-grade binoculars?
Yes, you can buy military-grade binoculars from some manufacturers that produce binoculars for military use like Steiner.
What kind of binoculars do Navy SEALs use?
Navy SEALs use high-quality, durable, and reliable tactical binoculars with advanced features such as waterproofing, shockproofing, and long-range magnification. Steiner is the optics brand that produces military binoculars for Navy SEALs.
Tactical binoculars are considered must-haves for those who remain outside in search of someone of something – or a special mission. In this guide, I have gone into depth and given you some useful tips for choosing military binoculars. Not only have I mentioned the factors, but some of our favorite picks are also included so that you don’t undergo the pain of research as we have done for you. I hope that my efforts will be useful to you.
I’m a passionate outdoor activist who has got special love for optics. The school studies in optical mechanics and the travelling experience has made me an expert in optics like binoculars, scopes, and other devices. Stay connected with us for in-depth knowledge!