10 Best Binoculars for Whale Watching in 2021

Whales do not feel comfortable being around water vehicles. That is why it becomes pretty hard to study and mesmerize the beauty of these mammals.

For that reason, we picked up a couple of hunting binos for whale watching on a trip. But luck was not on our side; the whales did not get that close. In fact, they remained so far that we could barely see their fins with the bino.

That is when we started looking for the best binoculars for whale watching. However, getting one of them was not as easy as it seemed at first. We had to do a lot of testing and a lot of comparing. And through this article, we will ensure that you can get one without going through the hassles we had to go through.


10 Best Binoculars for Whale Watching

We have scrutinized all of the models that seemed promising to us. And after comparing them head to head and testing all units for days, we have concluded that these are the ones that one should be spending their money on:

When it comes to lenses and optics, one of the well-known brands is Nikon. And they are now offering a competent lineup for whale watching. But among all of the available models, this one stood out the most to us.

Firstly, the chassis is totally made of metal. That makes it highly durable. Accidental impacts will not be a thing that you would need to worry about. And even though it is made of metal, the whole thing is pretty light in weight, which means operating it for a long time will not be an issue at all.

Furthermore, it has a polycarbonate shell. This shell enhances the shock proofing factor. So, it will be more resistant to accidental drops. And the lenses are well-sealed and have proper O-rings. Those two traits will ensure that no droplets of water get inside while you are whale watching.

The unit even has gas purged inside. As a result, the chances of fog building inside while you are moving from one area to another on the water will be considerably low. 

Alongside that, the magnification power of the lenses is up to 10x. And the lenses offer crisp and clear images, which will make it easier to study and gaze at the mesmerizing mammals of the sea.



  • The chassis is of metal
  • Highly resistant to shocks
  • Fog proof and waterproof
  • Can magnify up to 10x
  • Light in weight


  • The lens covers are not properly designed
  • It might not come with a strap


Why Should You Purchase This Product?

The fact that it has a metal chassis and does not weigh that much truly amazed us. And let us not forget that it can magnify up to 10x and offer crips and clear images.

It goes without saying, the better the lenses, the better the binos are going to be. Well, Bushnell knew that exactly well, which is why they have integrated advanced optics in this offering.

As we have mentioned, this offering integrates Porro Prism technology. This technology will enhance the quality of the image and ensure a stellar whale-watching experience. Also, it has BAK-4 prisms, which are fully multi-coated. Those coatings will do a proper job of improving the light transmission.

Additionally, as the lenses are correctly coated, there will be no need to worry about internal reflections. The images will be crisp and clear in quality, and you will be able to gaze upon each of the details of the whales. There is also a large focus knob on the middle, which will make it easier to make adjustments.

Moreover, the objective lens is 42mm large. And the close focus distance is 18 feet, which is impressive. Also, the eye relief is 17mm, making it easier to view the lenses properly. The bino even can magnify up to 8 times. So, it will be easier to study these mammals when they are far from your boat.

On that note, the body of the bino has a non-slip rubber coating and soft texture grips. Those will make the thing durable and comfortable to hold onto.



  • Integrates Porro Prism technology
  • Has BAK-4 prims with multiple coatings
  • The focus knob is large
  • Features a 42mm objective lens
  • Sports a non-slip rubber exterior


  • The O-rings on some of the units are not that durable
  • It does not have a good build quality


Why Should You Purchase This Product?

This one sports Porro Prism technology and has a multi-coated lens. Also, thanks to the rubber coating on the exterior, it will be easier to operate it comfortably for hours.

When it comes to spotting something in an open area, the field of view of the binos plays a crucial role. Well, Wingspan had factored that in when they were designing this binocular for the whale watchers.

To start with, it has an extra-wide field of view. The field of view is at 430 feet, which is not that common among all other available models. And even though the field of view is exceptionally wide, focusing on the whales will not be an issue. It has a close focusing knob that is pretty easy to work with.

Now, speaking of the lenses, they are top-notch. It has phase-corrected prisms that are coated with proper coatings. Thanks to those coatings, the images turn out sharp, no matter how challenging the weather or the sea might be. And the brightness level is also up to the mark.

The bino has a good build quality too. It uses the nitrogen purging method to keep all the fog away from the inside. Also, the body has a proper sealing that will keep water and moisture away from the internals. Even the O-rings are proper in this unit.

Lastly, as the internal is nitrogen purged, there will be no need to worry about sudden temperature changes ruining your whale-watching experience.



  • It has a wide field of view
  • The lenses feature a proper coating
  • Nitrogen purged
  • Utilizes proper O-rings
  • Can offer crisp, clear, and bright images


    • The focusing knob is a bit stiff at the beginning
  • Might have some oil residues on the lens


Why Should You Purchase This Product?

It has an exceptionally wide field of view. To top that off, it has top-notch lenses, and the focusing knob offers a substantial amount of control.

You might have already heard about Athlon. Yes, they are pretty popular when it comes to optics. And they are well-known for a good reason, which this product can illustrate adequately.

First of all, the bino utilizes ED glass. Now, you might be wondering what exactly an ED glass is. Well, it holds the ability to offer images with the lowest amount of chromatic fringe. That means the final image will be sharp and clear, which is always a plus point when it comes to whale watching.

The lenses even have Dielectric coatings, which will mitigate 99 percent of the reflection issues. As a result, the images will be full of life, and the color correction level of the pictures will be exceptionally high. The eye relief is reasonably long too. That will make it easier for the whale-watchers who wear glasses.

Besides that, the lenses also have advanced FMC coating. This coating enhances the light transmission rate and optimizes the overall brightness. Also, it does a proper job at maintaining the optimal color across a wide range of the light spectrum. The picture you will view will be bright and crisp.

This internal of the bino is argon purged. As you know, inert purging makes the whole thing fog proof and waterproof, which is also applicable here.



  • Utilizes ED glass
  • The color of the images is pretty accurate
  • Maintains an optimal brightness
  • Has advanced FMC on the lenses
  • Sports a long eye relief


  • Comparatively narrow field of view
  • The focus ring has a weird play to it


Why Should You Purchase This Product?

The ED glasses are the main selling point of this bino. And the lenses certainly deserve all the praises it gets. Also, the eye relief of this one is considerably long.

The manufacturer Bushnell surely makes amazing binos. That is why their offerings are making multiple entries on this list. And to know what this particular one has to offer, you need to read the entire review.

First, the optics! The brand has utilized high-quality lenses on this one. They are well capable of offering stunning sharpness and high-definition images. Thanks to that, watching whales will become an enjoyable experience. Also, it has a 50mm large objective lens and can magnify up to 7 times.

Moreover, the BAK-4 prims technology that the manufacturer has integrated into this offering will enhance the whale-watching experience even further. The multi-coated lenses will ensure that the internal reflection is close to zero. Also, it has UV protection, which will make the images clearer and sharper.

There is Porro prims technology too. That will make sure that the field of view is wide and you do not have any trouble spotting and gazing upon the whales at sea. The body also has hermitical sealing and corrosion-resistant coating on the exterior. So, you can use it in harsh and challenging environments without issues.

This one also features a non-slip rubber coating on the body. That coating will make sure you can grip the bino comfortably.



  • Utilizes high-quality optics
  • Can magnify up to 7x
  • Integrates Bak-4 prism technology 
  • It has a wide field of view
  • Resistant to water and corrosion


  • Does not have a master focus knob
  • A bit heavy


Why Should You Purchase This Product?

Firstly, it has high-quality optics. And the optics can magnify up to 7x. Secondly, it utilizes Bak-4 and Porro prism technology, which will enhance the quality of the images.

Like Bushnell, we are covering yet another offering that is from Wingspan. And like the previous model from Wingspan, this one has loads to offer.

Unlike some of the average offerings, this bino is comparatively compact in size. The compact nature makes it highly ergonomic. And the ergonomics get further enhanced for the anti-slip coating it sports. You will be able to grip it with complete confidence.

Talking of which, it has a fog-proof, waterproof, and impact-resistant body. The internals is inert gas purged, and it has a good sealing on the lenses. So, it will not show any integrity issues even in extreme sea environments.

The lenses of the unit are up to the mark as well. They are well capable of offering HD images. And thanks to utilizing different technologies, the images’ sharpness and clarity will surely amaze you while watching and studying the whales. Also, the color remains pretty accurate across all scenarios.

Apart from that, there is a close focus knob. That will ensure that you can properly focus on the whales when they are relatively close to the boar. Also, the wide field of view will make it easier to spot whales on the open sea.



  • It has a relatively compact form factor
  • The lenses have a proper sealing
  • Waterproof, fog proof, and impact-resistant
  • Boasts a wide field of view
  • Sports a close focus knob


  • The twist-locking mechanism is a bit stiff
  • It does not come with any straps


Why Should You Purchase This Product?

This one is yet another stellar offering from Wingspan. It has good overall build quality, is resistant to impacts, is waterproof and fog proof. Also, the field of view is pretty wide, and it has a close focus knob.

Want to get your hands on something that is exceptionally durable? Well, what you are probably looking for is this one that is from Fujinon.

The first thing that makes it stand out is the fiberglass construction. As the manufacturer did not utilize standard polycarbonate or plastic, it achieved a higher overall durability level. For that reason, you can expect it to remain in one piece after making it go through the intense and harsh weather conditions.

Furthermore, the body is resistant to water and moisture. It has proper sealing and utilizes good-quality O-rings to keep the internals protected. Also, there is inert gas purging. That will keep fogs away from the internal even when the weather is challenging and changing suddenly.

Additionally, it has digital features. There is a stabilization system that works in five degrees. Due to that, no matter how harsh the waves are, you will not face any issues while watching the beautiful whales. And it does not require that much power either. Only four AA alkaline batteries will be enough to make it operate.

It even has a center focus mechanism. That knob will make it easier to focus on specific areas. Also, the unit has rubber armor and an anti-slip coating, which makes the whole thing highly grip-able.



  • It has a fiberglass construction
  • Waterproof and fog proof
  • Features a digital stabilizing mechanism
  • Sports a center focus system
  • Boasts anti-slip coating on the exterior


  • The form factor is not that compact
  • A bit on the heavier side


Why Should You Purchase This Product?

Although it is not that compact and light in weight, it has a lot going. There is a digital stabilizing mechanism, and the build quality of the unit is truly unique.

While there are plenty of binoculars available in the market, not all of them can magnify to an extensive amount. Well, if you were looking for one that has that capability, consider this one from Celestron.

Like we mentioned, this one can magnify up to 20 times. With that 20x magnification power, it will be possible to view the reasonably far whales from your boat correctly. The objective lenses are 80mm, which will ensure that enough light can transmit through the optics.

Furthermore, it integrates BAK-4 prisms. That technology will allow you to view sharp, bright, and clear images even in challenging weather conditions. Also, because it can transmit a higher amount of light, you can view the whales properly, even in dimly lit environments.

Additionally, the build quality of the bino is up to the mark. It sports a rugged construction that is topped with armored coating. That coating increases the ruggedness of the unit and ensures that you can grip it securely and comfortably. The exterior is water-resistant as well.

Lastly, it includes a tripod adapter. That will offer the ability to use the bino in hands-free mode. And as the unit is pretty compact, carrying it will not be an issue either.



  • Can magnify up to 20x
  • Utilizes BAK4 prisms
  • Capable of offering bright and clear images
  • Exceptionally durable
  • Features a tripod adapter


  • Not that lightweight
  • The eyecups feel a bit flimsy


Why Should You Purchase This Product?

Firstly, it can magnify up to 20x. Secondly, it has BAK4 prisms. Those will ensure that you can view clear and sharp images no matter how challenging and harsh the environment is.

  • Vortex Optics Vulture HD

One of the go-to brands for hunters is Vortex. They are well-known for offering high-quality and well-performing equipment in the market. And this bino from them is an excellent example of that.

The thing that makes this one so good is the extra-low dispersion optics. These lenses can offer a higher color fidelity, which will make the whales look natural. Also, the impressive resolution of the lenses will ensure that you do not miss any details while watching whales.

On that note, the lenses have dielectric coatings on the surface. As the optics are multi-coated, the images you will view will have a higher resolution, and the color accuracy will be up to the mark. Also, the unit is phase-corrected, enhancing the resolution even further.

There are anti-reflective coatings as well. Those will ensure that the internal reflections are close to zero. The FMC all-air-to-glass optics surfaces will increase light transmission and ensure that you have a stellar whale-watching experience even in dimly lit environments.

Furthermore, the field of view is pretty wide. It is 328 feet, and the close focus range is up to 9.8 feet.



  • Uses extra-low dispersion optics
  • Higher color fidelity
  • The images have an impressive resolution
  • Sports multiple layers of coatings
  • It has a wide field of view


  • A bit heavy
  • It might come with a mismatched carrier harness


Why Should You Purchase This Product?

Just like most of the offerings from Vortex, this one is a decent performer. It offers high-quality and sharp images. Also, the optics can transmit light effectively.

Are you on the lookout for something that has a built-in image stabilizing mechanism and can magnify extensively at the same time? Keep this offering from Canon on your consideration list.

Like we stated, this one has a built-in image stabilizing mechanism. The optical stabilizer can adequately keep the lenses stable. For that reason, the pictures you will view through them will not be shaky even when there are too many harsh waves shaking the boat around.

It does not even consume a high amount of power for the digital image stabilizer. You would only need to insert 2 AA batteries for that feature. Also, the bino holds the ability to magnify up to 18x. As a result, even when the whales are pretty far from the boat, you will not have any trouble viewing their beauties.

Even the field of view of the lenses is extra wide. That will make it easier to spot whales on the open sea. Also, the wide field of view will let more light travel through the internals, which will make the images bright and clear. And as the lenses are multi-coated, the clarity and the color will be top-notch too.

The build quality of the unit is also impressive. It is resistant to shocks and water. So, you can expect to get extended use out of it.



  • Has an image stabilizing mechanism
  • It needs only 2 AA batteries
  • The field of view is pretty wide
  • Sports multi-coated lenses
  • Resistant to water and shocks


  • It comes with a cheap carrying case
  • A bit heavy in comparison with the other units


Why Should You Purchase This Product?

This offering from Canon has a digital image stabilizing feature. And the best part is it does not require that much power to operate. Also, the images it provides are clear and bright.


What to Look for Before Buying

We know how excited you are after going through the review section. But before you decide to spend your valuable money on any of the models, you need to consider these factors:


Build Quality

The sea environment can be pretty harsh. It will have harsh waves that can make you drop things on the boat. That is why a build quality for the binos is pretty much essential. So, consider the construction material and ensure that the unit’s build quality is top-notch, or else it will not be able to take a few drops.


Waterproofing and Fog proofing

Just like the build quality, the product’s waterproofing and fog proofing ability are pretty crucial too. As you know, the temperature of the sea can rise and drop dramatically. And during those periods, fogs can build up in the internals. Well, that fog can hinder you from using the binos.

Moreover, if there is no proper sealing, moisture and water can get inside the tubes. That will make the images hazy and blurry. So, consider whether the unit you are shooting for has proper O-rings, sealing, and is inert gas purged or not.


Quality of the Lens

Even if the build quality is amazing and the unit is waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof, the whale watching experience will not be that great if the lenses are low quality. And when the lenses are high in quality, the image will have a sharp resolution and be clear, which will enhance the whale-watching experience.


Light Transmission

The light transmission capability plays a vital role in terms of making the images bright in low-light conditions. In this case, the field of view and the size of the objective lens will play an important role. The higher the field of view and lens size, the higher the light will transmit through the bino.

On that note, the field of view will also play an essential role in making it easier for you to spot whales on the open sea. So, prioritize this factor properly while choosing a bino.



As you know by now, whales tend to stay pretty far from water vehicles. For that reason, getting a bino that can magnify extensively would be pretty wise. In this case, the higher the magnification ability, the better.

However, make sure that the lenses can retain the quality of the images in the high magnification ranges. Without having that, the magnification power will be pretty much useless.



One thing that most manufacturers skimp on is the rubber coating on the exterior. But that is pretty important. Without that coating, it becomes pretty hard to grip the binos securely. Also, that rubber coating lowers the chances of accidental drops, which can substantially enhance the units’ lifespan.


Form Factor

Last but not least, consider the form factor. We would highly recommend opting for something that is small and compact. Those will be not only highly portable but also easy to carry. Also, do ensure that the bino is not that heavy, or else you will not be able to carry it comfortably on your hands for a prolonged time.


How to Use These Whale Watching Binoculars

When it comes to the operational procedure, these do not really differ from other hunting binos. Nonetheless, the steps that you would need to follow to use these are:


Step 1: Uncover the Lens Caps

First, you need to take off the lens caps. Check whether the optics are clean or not. Clean them up with a microfiber cloth if you have to. However, some units might not have any lens caps. If you have one of them, just ensure that the lenses are clean.


Step 2: Spot the Whales

Adjust the focus ring to the normal range and look through the lenses to spot the whales. You might need to retract the eyecups to get a wider field of view.


Step 3: Focus on the Whale

Once you spot a whale, extend the eyecups to get a more focused view. Adjust the focus ring accordingly as well.


Frequently Asked Questions

  • What magnification range is optimal for whale watching?

Usually, a bino that has 7x or 8x magnification power will be enough. However, to be on the safe side, we would recommend getting the 10x or higher ones.

  • Can I clean the lenses with a regular cloth?

No! You should not clean the lenses with a regular cloth. That might put scratches on the surface. Instead, use a microfiber cloth.


  • How often should I clean the lenses of a binocular?

That will depend on your usage case. If you are using the bino frequently, we recommend cleaning the lenses at least three times a week.


  • Are all whale-watching binoculars waterproof?

Most of them need to be waterproof. However, some will have higher water resistance, while some will be pretty much average.


  • Is it imperative for whale-watching binoculars to be fog proof?

Absolutely! The weather on the sea does not remain the same. Also, the moisture content of the environment will be exceptionally high on the sea. And in those conditions, fog can build up inside the binos. So, fog proofing is essential for a bino that is for whale watching.


Final Words

It will be pretty much impossible to get a decent whale watching experience by getting the best binoculars for whale watching. And we assure you that each one of the models we have reviewed is nothing but that. 

We chose them after doing intensive tests, and they have checked each of the critical factors we have discussed above. So, you can get one without overthinking!


Meta Description

Want to have a stellar whale-watching experience on the sea? Pick one of the best binoculars for whale watching by referring to this article!

By Bird Moy

Hi, Bird Moy is the founder and CEO of . Im passionate about Blogging and I use this site as a platform to share my experiences, learnings, mistakes, and ideas.

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