Best Binoculars For Whale Watching in 2021

Whale watching is an experience that everyone should have. It is one of the most fun activities that you can be a part of so, you should really give it a try.

The thing that you need while whale watching is a Binocular. This is mainly because whales generally tend to stay away from boats and people. But still, you can catch a glimpse of these magnificent creatures in the ocean. Now, the real question is what binocular is the best for watching whales?

Best Binoculars For Whale Watching

You might have seen a wide range of binoculars and if you don’t know anything about them, it can be pretty hard to look for the perfect one. But, we are here so, don’t worry! We have compiled a comprehensive list of whale-watching binoculars that you can use. So, let’s start this!

1. Nikon 7239 Action

Nikon 7239 Action

The Nikon 7239 is binoculars for whale watching with a 7x zoom and 50mm objective lens. The exit pupil here is 7.14. The objective lens is coated with multiple materials. This allows more light to enter it and create a really bright image. The binocular uses the Porro prism system.

As far as comfort goes, the eye relief is strong enough and the eyecups make it really comfortable to use. These binoculars also have a large enough focusing knob that is very easy to use. There is a diopter control here as well.
These Nikon binoculars are made with a rubber-coated body that will give you a good grip so, they don’t slip out of your hands. They are also made water and fog-resistant.

The size of the objective lens here provides a really nice image with max brightness.  The carrying case doesn’t have a strap though and the lens caps are a bit on the downside. But aside from all this, these scopes are incredibly useful.

  • Perfect magnification level and objective lens size.
  • The binocular comes with multicoated lenses and very good rubber eyecups.
  • The eye relief is long and there is a large center knob.
  • The binocular has a fast focus knob and diopter control.
  • Rugged waterproof construction is there.
  • The rubber exterior provides a great grip.
  • The binocular is a bit heavy.
  • You get a non-tethered lens cap.
  • The case doesn’t have a strap.

2. Athlon Optics Midas ED

Athlon Optics Midas ED

The Athlon Optics Midas ED has a really great magnification strength of 8x and a 42 mm objective lens. The lens is fully coated with a dielectric material. The light reflection of the lens is 99% which is incredible.

The light is not dispersed by this lens so the images are bright and accurate. These best binoculars for whale watching also have long eye relief making them more comfortable to use and they also use argon material to provide stable thermals and excellent waterproofing.

There are a few issues with these binoculars though. The close-range focus is only under three meters and this minimizes the amount of area that you can see at one time without moving the binocular. Also, the central focus knob is a bit stiff and this makes strange noises when you try to turn it on.

The sound can be really frustrating. The rubber lens caps are also pretty bad here and they can fall out quickly. You also need to be careful with the rubber lens caps. They fall out easily and leave your lenses unprotected.

  • A solid 7-8×42 binocular.
  • Exit pupil is good enough
  • The glass coating is impressive.
  • The eye relief is great.
  • Close range focus (Less than 3 meters) isn’t great.
  • The center knob is a bit stiff.
  • Lens caps are of low quality.

3. Nikon 7245 Action

Nikon 7245 Action

The Nikon Action 7245 is an updated version of the 7439. This binocular boasts incredible features at a compelling price segment. The best binoculars for whale watching are totally weather resistant. This means it can handle all types of water, fog, and other environmental conditions. This makes it pretty great for watching whales. The binocular also has a sturdy build so, if it drops from a height, it can handle it. The rubber texture on the binocular absorbs shock properly.

There is also a nonslip grip for better comfort. This is very crucial in the ocean as water can make a binocular slippery. Thankfully, the grip on the binocular is more than great.

This binocular is a really high-quality product. Since it is made by Nikon, the design is impressive and so is the quality. In terms of the warranty, you get the standard lifetime Nikon warranty which is much appreciated. The binocular has a polycarbonate shell that helps to absorb shock and protect the interior from water and scratches. The price is slightly high but the features are also great. We recommend this binocular for your next whale watching trip.

  • This binocular has an incredible design.
  • The comfort and grip are pretty great.
  • The price is a bit high.

4. Bushnell H2O Binocular

Bushnell H2O Binocular

The Bushnell H20 binoculars feature 10x magnification with an objective lens of 42 mm. The exit pupil is 4.2 and the binocular also has a 102 feet wide FOV. In addition, the rubber coating makes it shockproof and there is a nonslip grip for better handling. The binocular is waterproof as well. You also get a lifetime warranty for any damage and it’s an American brand binocular.

These binoculars are a bit difficult to use though. They are hard to focus and they give out a really dark and blurry image. They are this hard to see partly because of the lack of eyecups to block out any outside light. They are also heavy and very uncomfortable to hold. The lack of fog protection doesn’t help it either.

  • A great 10×42 binocular.
  • There are two exit pupils which are great.
  • 102 feet wide field of view
  • Waterproof Construction.
  • Rubber coating and lifetime warranty
  • The binocular is a bit difficult to focus on.
  • Most of the time, the images are dark and blurry.
  • There are no eyecups and the whole build is heavy.
  • Lack of fog protection.

5. Wingspan Optics Spectator Compact Binoculars

Wingspan Optics Spectator Compact Binocular

The Wingspan Compact Binocular has a binocular spec of 7-8 x 32. The exit pupil level is 8 and the FOV is wide enough.  These binoculars are incredibly compact. This compactness reduces the overall weight so, portability is not an issue. They also come with a warranty that lasts the entire lifespan of the binocular.

Wingspan promises to replace any binocular that is damaged. This never really happens though. This binocular also has a nonslip grip to help you keep them firmly in your hands. The binoculars are easy to transport but focusing on them is a bit difficult. This can be really frustrating in low-light conditions.

The objective lens here is only 32mm in size. This is a major problem. The lack of water resistance doesn’t help either. We can’t really recommend it for serious whale watching but if you are tight on budget, this can be a good enough deal for you.

  • The zoom level is 8x.
  • Wide enough FOV.
  • The nonslip grip makes the binocular comfortable to use.
  • Lightweight and compact build.
  • It comes with a lifetime warranty.
  • The objective lens is very small.
  • The focus isn’t something to write about.
  • No protection against water and they get fogged up quickly.
  • The lens covers are difficult to put on.

6. Polaris Optics WideViews HD

Polaris Optics WideViews HD

Polaris Optics is a really big player in the binocular market. The binoculars from Polaris are used extensively to watch whales and the WideViews HD is probably the best binocular in that regard. This binocular has a Wide Field of View. Having a wide FOV allows you to see more through these binoculars. And this will definitely help to see more whales.

It is impossible to spot a distant whale with a tight FOV. You need a very wide FOV to get the most out of your binoculars. This binocular comes with a multi-coated lens system to provide you with a very clear and bright view of the whale that you are watching. Similarly, the product is also weather-resistant and the sturdy build quality is the real icing on the cake.

The quality of this product is impressive and it will last you a good while. The design is ergonomic and the whole style is impressive as well. The price is a real caveat though. This binocular is a bit expensive. While this may not be a problem for most, some of us do want to save money!

Anyway, if you can dish out the required capital, this scope is worth it. It is really worth every penny. The quality of this pair of binoculars is pretty nice and they can help you watch whales quite easily. You can also take this binocular to some other boating and fishing has a wide field of view.

  • The image quality is high definition.
  • It has an ergonomic design.
  • The binocular comes with a wide FOV which is great for Whale Watching.
  • The binocular is a bit on the expensive side.

Buying Guide for best binoculars for whale watching

Whale watching is an incredible activity. It really is an experience of a lifetime. To make sure that this experience is proper, you need to take some things into consideration before buying a binocular. A whale-watching binocular must have the following properties, these properties ensure that you get the best experience:


You need a magnification of 7x to 8x minimum if you want to view whales when you are on board. Anything less than 7x magnification will not really work. But if you exceed the 8x magnification, the image will be a bit blurry because of the boat’s shake. But if you are viewing whales from the shore or the beach, you can go for higher must have a wide field of view.

Weight, Size, and Ease of Use

The weight of the binocular plays a big role in determining whether you should get it or not. Most binoculars are pretty heavy so, do not get those. Always get a binocular that is perfect for watching whales. This would come in at a size of 7 x 50. The next thing to ensure is the ease of use. Most binoculars can be pretty difficult to handle and uncomfortable to use. Always go for a binocular that can be operated with one hand.  This is especially useful when you are in a boat. A compact kind of binocular is always better than a bulkier one.


Whale watching is a water-heavy activity so, obviously, you would need a binocular that can be used in water. A waterproof binocular can do most of the job easily and you don’t have to pay extra money for it. Waterproof binoculars will last you long if you are a frequent whale must be waterproof and fog proof.

Technical Specification for binoculars for whale watching

  • Best binoculars for whale watching also need to meet certain types of specifications. They are:
    The exit pupil of the binocular must be large. A large exit pupil allows more light to enter the binocular and this will give you a brighter image and a better viewing experience. This helps even in low light conditions.
  • If you want to have a bright and clear image, you should go for a large lens system as it gathers more light. A bigger lens system will definitely provide you a better experience.
  • A binocular with an ED glass will provide perfect images. ED glasses make a sharp outline of objects and they are best for ocean viewing.
  • As far as lens coating goes, a fully coated lens will assure a brighter and colorful image.
  • There are two kinds of prism systems in binoculars. Roof prisms are there for compact and easy to carry binoculars but they are a bit expensive than Porro prisms. Porro prisms are generally bulky.
  • waterproof and fog proof.
  • eye relief is a must.

If you wear glasses, the main thing to look out for is eye relief. With better eye relief, you can really be comfortable and use the binoculars more conveniently overall.


Whale watching is a very widespread activity. A lot of people indulge in it every year and they need a good pair of binoculars for it. While most binoculars are pretty expensive, there are still some really good ones for affordable prices. You can check out the binoculars under 200 in this list and use them for whale watching. Just make sure you follow our buying guide to get the best out of the binoculars in this list.

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