Top Tactical Binoculars Reviewed & Buying Guide
In case you lack the time to read all our tactical binoculars reviews, yet you are still determined to purchase the best tactical binoculars available on the market, the following paragraph will help you get the model you need. According to our research, the product that meets the requirements of quality and reliability is the Steiner Military/Marine. The unit features military-grade optics that are available to civilians, and it features a magnification power of 8x and a 362-feet-wide field of view. The specialized Sports-Autofocus system makes it very easy to operate the device with the use of a single hand. As a plus, the construction is very lightweight but sturdy enough to handle up to 11 Gs of impact. If our first choice is not available for sale, the Steiner Tactical is another pair of binoculars which boasts impressive features and performance.
In order to find good tactical binoculars, proper research is a must as that is the only way for you to get a better understanding of which products are worth your money and time. With that said, we do understand that time is a problem for most people and in-depth research is not always achievable.
To simplify the purchasing process, we have compiled a short list which contains the key factors and features one should consider when looking to purchase quality tactical binoculars.
Tactical binoculars vary widely in both size and shape anywhere from compact and collapsible binoculars that are easy to fit in your pocket, to full-size options that need to be carried with the help of a tactical binocular case, a quality bino harness, or neck strap. Knowing how you’re going to use your purchase will make it easier for you to decide which size to choose.
Compact options are easy to put away and store in your pocket, and you won’t be weighed down when you’re on the move. The downside is that they’ll generally gather and transmit less light, but that may not be as big of a problem if your primary focus is to get a unit that will not interfere with your ability to move freely.
As far as tactical binoculars go, mid- and full-size binos are the most sought-after models since they are incredibly versatile and can be used in almost any outdoor and indoor activity, from hunting and birding to spectating and stargazing.
When it comes to magnification, size is not always everything, and the most popular tactical binoculars are those with lower magnifications such as 8x and 10x. The reason they are so popular has to do with the wider fields of view that they boast, which allow users to see more of the environment without having to realign the device regularly.
Similarly, if you’re looking to get a versatile purchase, a wide field of view is an essential feature for many outdoor activities such as sports or hunting, where you need to follow the fast-moving action. Thus, it is essential to think about how much of the frame you want to see at a time.
A higher magnification (higher than 10x) gives you more detail, but binoculars with a higher power are also much more difficult to keep steady. If magnification matters to you, you might want to get a binocular tripod adapter or look for models that are already tripod adaptable.
When purchasing tactical binoculars, the quality of the construction is essential because a defective product won’t be able to handle intense usage. Waterproofing is a must-have feature nowadays, especially since you would be hard-pressed to find models that don’t already come with it.
Waterproof models are designed to resist humidity and repeated changes in temperature, features that make it impossible for condensation to damage the internal components of the instrument. Most waterproof models are also fog proof, which prevents the lens from fogging, especially during the morning.
There are also quite a few of models which are built to be impact-resistant and finding them won’t be hard since manufacturers typically advertise features like this one quite heavily. While such models can usually be more expensive, if you know that you’ll use the binoculars heavily, investing in one of these might save you a lot of frustration down the line.
Our 2019 list: Find the right tactical binoculars for your needs
Whether you’re looking for premium or cheap tactical binoculars, we have showcased some of the most popular options currently available on the market for you to choose from below. The options were carefully selected by taking into account consumer reports, surveys, as well as the features and reliability of each of the products.
The Military/Marine model comes with a magnification of 8x and a wide field of view of 263 feet at 1000 yards, allowing you to get a better view of the surrounding area even when viewing it at full magnification.
The Sports-Auto-Focus feature will keep everything in focus for effortless one-handed operation and easy low-light viewing.
The unit features Steiner’s advanced lens coating which helps enhance light so that your eyes can perceive brighter details and more contrast, especially when used in low-light conditions.
The Porro prism design has no moving parts which helps the instrument provide increased optical clarity and extreme durability.
Another great feature offered by this instrument is its outstanding durability, which was praised by most owners.
The product features a Makrolon housing and a light and durable polycarbonate chassis that can handle up to 11 Gs of impact. Together with your purchase, you’ll also get a bino case, neck strap, lens protection cap, and objective lens covers.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($193)
The roof prism design allows the Steiner Tactical to be extremely lightweight, streamlined, easy to pack, hold, carry, and use.
This feature makes the unit a perfect choice for customers who are looking for small binoculars that are capable of handling heavy tactical use.
The premium lenses and the BaK-4 prisms are built in-house, and they feature the renowned Steiner quality and craftsmanship. All the air-to-glass surfaces are multi-coated with proprietary coatings for increased clarity and brightness.
Thus, despite the shorter objective lens diameter of just 28mm, the instrument can still fare well in low-light conditions.
The central focusing wheel allows for a very fast close focus with minimal rotation required for quick, absolute sharpness.
The binoculars also feature an ergonomic design which makes the unit rest comfortably in the palm. For a good grip and intuitive use, the rubberized housing boasts hand-friendly ridges, pads, and curves.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($299.99)
The Steiner Police comes with a 10x magnification power and an objective lens diameter of 42mm.
These specifications make the unit ideal for patrol duty, surveillance missions, and tactical operations that require fast capture, sharp detail, and clear images.
The option comes with proprietary fully multi-coated optics to maximize light transmission.
The increased light transmission allows the unit to handle low-light conditions such as during dawn and dusk with minimal loss of detail and brightness.
Thanks to the smart design and the use of lightweight materials, the instrument manages to remain very compact, and you should have no problem fitting it in a larger pocket.
Because durability is important, the unit is water-resistant, meaning that it can handle sudden changes in temperature and humid weather conditions.
The rubber armored housing provides sufficient grip and protection against impacts. As is expected with units that boast such a high magnification power, this unit features a field of view of 328 feet at 1,000 yards.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($299.99)
Vortex Optics V105RT-HD
The V105RT-HD model is a true premium alternative designed for users who don’t mind spending more for increased performance and additional features.
The HD extra-low dispersion glass can deliver impressive color fidelity and resolution, resulting in images that are truly High Definition and in which details are never lost.
The unit also comes with proprietary coatings to increase the light transmission together with anti-reflective coatings on all the air-to-glass surfaces.
Thus, you will be able to enjoy enhanced performance in low-light conditions, especially when combined with the impressive lens diameter of 50mm.
Apart from the high-quality optics, the unit also comes with a few convenient features such as the adjustable eyecups that fold up and down for comfortable viewing with or without glasses.
Similarly, the diopter located on the right eyepiece can be adjusted for differences in a user’s eyes, while the center knob adjusts the focus on both barrels at the same time.
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In spite of it being one of the most affordable options on our list, the PowerView also manages to be one of the most impressive, thanks to the 20x magnification which should guarantee that you will get a perfect view of distant objects.
Apart from tactical purposes, this versatile choice can also be used as a quality pair of astronomy binoculars, but also for hunting and wildlife viewing.
The standard-size Porro prisms feature the patented one-touch Insta-Focus knob for fast and easy focus on high-moving targets.
The multi-coated optics will guarantee superior brightness and light transmission, helped by the 50mm objective lens diameter. Due to the high 20x magnification, the field of view is of just 170 feet at 1,000 yards.
Our review wouldn’t be over without taking a moment to talk about the construction of this unit.
The non-slip rubber armor will provide a secure grip and can absorb small shocks if dropped. The fold-down eyecups allow for easy transportation and storage.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($58.05)