What Kind of Binoculars are Military-Grade?

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This is probably one of the most asked questions. All of us want to have a strong, durable pair of binoculars so that we don’t have to spend on binos again, and again. That’s why military-grade binoculars are the first thing that comes to our mind when choosing binoculars.  

These binoculars are very strong and are built to bear all the external pressure. This is why everyone wants to buy military-grade binoculars that last for years. But the issue is that you won’t get military-grade binoculars from any optical stores as they are specially designed for military use only.

But you don’t need to be worried. In this article, I will discuss some of the features, and properties of military-grade binoculars which will allow you to understand what factors must be considered to ensure that your chosen binoculars also perform like military-grade binos.

What type of binoculars meet military-grade specifications?

Those binoculars that are strong, durable, robust, and able to bear shocks and falls are considered near to military grade. These binoculars are supposed to be used in tough terrains so they must be strong to ensure that they remain with soldiers in the hardest situations.

Before I go into the details and start explaining the features that make binoculars suitable for military usage, I would love to give you a brief overview. The military-grade binoculars are strong and durable. This is why many people love them. They don’t easily break. Even if you use them harshly, they don’t show any signs of wear and tear.

There are three main properties of military binoculars that make them stand out.

  • Robustness, Ruggedness
  • Durability, resistance to shocks and falls
  • Optical performance with excellent proofing against water and fog

Therefore people around the globe love and appreciate them. However, those binoculars are specially designed for the military only. But in this guide, I will help you understand those things that make military binoculars so strong, and robust. By understanding those factors, you will be able to buy yourself binoculars that would emulate the performance of military binoculars. 

Factors that Make a Binocular Military Grade

Factors that Make a Binocular Military Grade

It is interesting to note that there are multiple factors or properties that make binoculars worthy of being called military-grade binoculars. In the section below, I will discuss those important factors to ensure that you understand things completely. Let’s dive into those important factors.

1- Ruggedness and Durability

Ruggedness and Durability of military binoculars

First and the most important thing that makes binoculars suitable for being used in harsh conditions is durability and ruggedness. If a binocular that you use is fragile, or unable to bear the external harsh conditions, then it is not worth being called military-grade.

The ruggedness comes when the binoculars are made with strong construction material such as aluminum or magnesium which make the body super durable. When the manufacturer produced military-grade pairs, he tested them rigorously to ensure that his binocular was capable of bearing the shocks, and falls.

If you are looking to buy binoculars that are near to military-grade, then make sure that you choose binoculars that are made with aluminum, magnesium, or polycarbonate material. If a binocular is made with rubber armor material and doesn’t consist of aluminum, I don’t consider it robust and it would be fragile and easily show wear and tear when used harshly.

2- Housing Strength, and Compactness

Binoculars’ housing plays an important role in keeping it safe and secure when you use it in harsh conditions. The average brands don’t focus much on the quality of the housing which is actually responsible for protecting your binoculars if they fall from the height.

If you want to emulate military-grade binoculars, make sure that your chosen binoculars’ housing is durable and rugged. There is one more thing that you will also agree on the size of the binoculars. The military grade binos are usually compact so that carrying them becomes easier.

The military man spends days in the field. If they carry heavier or bulkier pairs it would be hard for them to use binoculars. Therefore it is very important that you choose binoculars that are actually compact. Using compact binoculars with strong housing makes it perfect for you to use the binos in harsh conditions easily.

Note: If you have noticed Steiner binoculars that are badged as ‘‘Military Grade’’ are usually compact and smaller in size. The reason is that using compact binoculars is always easy and soldiers can use them while being hidden in their shelters.

3- Optical performance / Night Vision

Soldiers go through different outdoor conditions. Their duties keep them active day and night. So most of the military grade binoculars come with night vision technology. However, you may not need night vision binoculars if you don’t use them at night. However, the top-notch optical performance matters the most.

You should always consider the binoculars with HD lenses that must be fully coated to ensure that they provide you with brighter, and sharper visuals without any issue. In fact, the FMC lenses transmit the light in low light conditions and ensure that you see everything even if the light in the surroundings is not sufficient.

The night vision is an important feature that almost all military-grade binoculars are equipped with. But as a civilian, you won’t need that feature unless you are going to use the binoculars in the nighttime. Keep in mind that FMC lenses give you visuals in low-light conditions. However, if you want to see it the night, then you should go with a night vision feature which will be a luxury.

Also Read: Do Binoculars Work at Night?

4- Protection against moisture and fog

As you know the soldiers go through harsh conditions. Sometimes they have to swim, and next, they have to survive in the ice and cold weather. In such cases, they carry binoculars that are capable of bearing water, moisture, and fog. 

All the military grade binoculars are well equipped with nitrogen gas purging, and o-ring sealings which work best to protect the binoculars against moisture. The o-ring sealings in the binoculars ensure that no moisture or water will be able to go inside the binoculars. 

The nitrogen gas is filled inside the binoculars to ensure that if the moisture somehow beats the o-ring sealings, and goes inside the binoculars, the nitrogen gas inside the binoculars dries the moisture so that it does not cause any fogging of the lenses. So, you should also buy such binoculars to get a performance similar to the military grade one.

5- Gripping, and Ergonomics

This is another important feature that you must consider before buying the binoculars. The gripping and handling is an important aspect. All the military-grade binoculars are made in a way that they offer excellent gripping. The binoculars don’t slip out of the hands of soldiers.

When buying or choosing binoculars, and aiming to get performance similar to the military-grade, make sure that the body of the binoculars has a textured surface. This surface will provide you with excellent gripping, and handling.

Tactical Missions – How Do Military-Grade Binoculars Help?

Military-grade binoculars are capable of being used on tactical missions. The reason is that they are made in a way that they cannot be seen easily when the soldiers carry them. In the section below, I will guide you on how much binoculars help in tactical missions.

1- Color

Color of military binoculars

First of all, the color of military binoculars usually resembles the soil or the uniform of the soldiers. Almost all the military binoculars have navy brown color which help the soldiers to keep the binoculars close to their heart by hanging them around the neck. 

Due to the color of their binoculars similar to their uniform, no one can spot them. Whenever the soldiers need the binoculars, they can use them easily. This is the small but very important factor that makes binoculars useful for tactical missions.

2- Size and Shape

The size of the binoculars plays a significant role in helping the soldiers perform the tactical missions with ease. Almost all the military binoculars are very compact and smaller in size which helps the soldiers to keep the binoculars close to them without feeling burdened.

Due to their smaller size, and user-friendly shape, the soldiers can keep the binoculars hidden and no one notices. In fact, due to their lightweight, the soldiers and users keep wearing the binoculars around the neck with the help of a neck strap, and they don’t feel any burden or pain in the neck.

3- Night Vision

The feature of night vision is another important factor that contributes to the performance of military binoculars in tactical missions. Due to the usage of night vision technology which works by capturing the ambient light, the soldiers become able to see in the night and keep doing their tasks without any issues. The general or regular binoculars cannot see at night time. 

Note: If you are looking to buy tactical pairs – then I have already written a complete guide on the best tactical binoculars. You should read that too as it would be helpful to you.

Should I buy Binoculars that are Military Grade?

Well, the answer to this question majorly depends on your own needs and preferences. You should keep in mind that military binoculars are super expensive, and require a handsome budget. However, they are very strong, durable, and will remain with you for years.

If you are a person who uses binoculars harshly or needs better performance in the harshest conditions, then I suggest you buy military-grade binoculars as they will offer you excellent performance and durability. However, if you don’t have a handsome budget, then I don’t recommend you buy those expensive binoculars that fulfill the military-grade criteria.

End of the day – the decision is going to be yours. If you ask my personal decision, I won’t buy military-grade binos because I take care of the tools that I use. I would rather buy an inexpensive pair that offers decent performance, and take care of it while using it. 


There is no doubt that the binoculars that military men use offer excellent performance. If you want to buy a similar pair, then you must consider all the above factors that I have just explained in the above section. 

Keep in mind that binoculars that offer similar performance military binoculars are a bit expensive. If you don’t have a handsome budget, then I don’t recommend you buy those pairs and put an extra burden on your pocket. I hope that this detailed guide proves to be helpful for you.

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