Do you use binocs? Need recs

Questions that don't fit anywhere else.

Moderators: mje, chrstjrn, krudave

Post Reply
forum fanatic
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2008 5:15 pm

Do you use binocs? Need recs

Post by kidkanektok »

I know this is an odd question, but the big mystery in all the bincos I'm looking at is bulkiness -- and I know this is important to expeditionary folding kayakers :)

Do you have a set of binoculars you can recommend? I'm looking for something at the 7x50 boating-level objective diameter. But the smaller the better, and waterproof/fogproof for reasons we all understand.

I find them really useful for scouting landings and in Alaska for seeing if bears are around and what they're up to. Where my last pair of Bruntons went, I cannot say -- and it has been a long time now.

Site Admin
Posts: 1874
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 12:34 pm
Location: Southeast Michigan

Re: Do you use binocs? Need recs

Post by mje »

Get marine binoculars that are sealed and have individual eyepiece adjustments. This is an area where you can't cheap out; the cheapies don't seem to hold their waterproofness. I have a pair of Tascos "World Class Waterproof 7x50" binos that fogged up on their very first kayak trip despite the individual focus eyepieces. Took me months to bake out the moisture, leaving them in the sun, and I never trusted them near water again.

I think you should figure on spending $200-300 at least. There's no such thing as compact 7x50s (obviously!) but you may not need a 50mm objective lens. That implies an exit pupil of 7mm, and unless you're in your early 20s your pupils probably won't dilate to more than 5 or 6mm. Even if you are in your 20s, a 7mm exit pupil is only of use at night.

A pair of Steiner 8x30 marine binos will be compact, rugged, waterproof, and probably deliver a crisper image than my cheap Tascos ;-) They run $249 or less. I see Amazon has them for $229: ... B000063EKE
Michael Edelman Webmaster


Re: Do you use binocs? Need recs

Post by Alm »

Brunton Eterna 6x30, sealed, $90. It's a monocular as you can see, but for most purposes this is better. Small, doesn't take the entire deck bag (or can be carried in a PFD pocket). I keep it in a cosmetic pouch in a deck bag, with body tethered to the pouch and lens caps tethered to the body:

Good for checking the shores when looking for camp or anything else. Never foggs, truly waterproof. Don't be fooled by the price - MSRP is about $140, and considering that this is not a binocular, and not 50mm - this isn't a cheapo toy. I agree with Mike that you don't need 50mm lens anyway. I would definitely not buy more then 7x magnification for on-board use in a small boat, - the picture with 6x can already be "shaky" in rough conditions, you don't need it be more unstable.


Re: Do you use binocs? Need recs

Post by bstevenson »

I wish I had seen this posting when it first came out. For future lurkers, however, here are my thoughts. I like 7x50 marine binoculars for every purpose and especially on the water is a small craft. The large lens makes it possible to find your target more easily from a moving boat. Mine are Fujinon and have a built in compass, which is useful especially when navigating in unfamiliar water. The combination of the binoculars, the compass, and a chart are essential as far as I am concerned. Steiner makes good ones too, but the clarity of the optics is marginally superior in the Fujinons. My wife prefers a more compact binocular and she has the 7x40 marine Leica, which offer similar optics to the Fujinon. The trade-off is that the 40 mm lens makes it somewhat harder to find your target from a moving boat. On land there is not much to choose between these two. Good binoculars are expensive. I think I paid $600 for mine, and $800 for my wife's. Another excellent brand is Swarovski. BTW, both the Fujinons and Leicas have been completely submerged in salt water more than once with no problems.


Re: Do you use binocs? Need recs

Post by Robo »

I have used the 7X50 Fujinons with compass for more than 25 years. I paid almost $500 for mine in 1986. I compared all available binoculars at that time and found the Fujinons to be rugged and practical as well as having brilliant optics. They are completely waterproof and have stood the test of time.



Re: Do you use binocs? Need recs

Post by Filbert »

I have Leupold 6x30. Good image, not shaking. Waterproof and drop-proof(?). Don't remember the price. Not expensive.

Post Reply

Return to “General folding kayak questions”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users