Looking for binocular advice

I kayak mostly offshore and at many times wished I had some binoculars to help distinguish one island from the next. I do rely on maps, but would also like to “see” where I’m heading and also how to find my put-in point. (There’s nothing like paddling all day and not being able to locate the point at which I began.

Do any of you use binoculars and if so, what brand? I was interested in something small and lightweight. Do any of them float? (just in case).

What would be a decent viewing range?

Any feedback would be appreciated.

Here ya go…
Check out this old thread. Lots of stuff was talked about, and it may help steer you in the right direction.


Get ones that work in low light
At the end of the day when you are tired and need to find your camp site or take out, you need a pair that will work in low light. That is the second number, the first is the magnification, it is the diameter of the objective lens (the bigger lens) in mm. I think that to use in low light it should be at least in the 40 mm range, which eliminates most of the small pocket size binoculars. I have found that the Bass Pro Shop has waterproof 10x42’s for around $100. To big to fit in a PFD pocket, I carry mine in my day hatch, but I think they are worth the space.


Brunton has a good sale
on high quality nitrogen filled waterproof binoculars. still not cheap but good value if you want to spend some bucks. put a float on the strap that will float the whole thing. campmor has cheap russian units for a good price, in a lower dollar range. Me, I carry a non-waterproof steiner monocular. Don’t use it much though, but that is just my style.

i just bought a pair of those!
great price.

may be more than what you’re looking for though in size and capability- at least for the full size models which are the ones on sale.

We are agreeing again
I must be getting soft :slight_smile:

I have waterproof
nitrogen filled 10x42. excellent for hiking. I think 8x would be better for kayak use. it can be hard to keep 10x steady.

right on! 8 is enough. NM

all useful information
Thank you for all of the information on binoculars and monoculars. And it was such a speedy response too. It was all very useful.

I see sportsmans Guide
and Cheaper Than Dirt have god deals on binos. Of course these are inexpensive models, but would be better if ya dropped em in the water.

Brunton 6x Eterna Waterproof monocular
Meets all the other specs - and 6x is much easier to use on small craft on water. Smaller and better suited to kayaking than anything I’ve seen. Comes rubber aromored and with the neoprene sock it floats.


I"ve always wondered
I wish there was a 6x28 or so waterproof binocular. that 6x30 sounds very comfortable. Higher powers on small lenses makes no sense no matter how nice the optics are for use on a pitching kayak. Even 8x on land isn’t easy to hold for long. But of course the waterproof 8x28 with gps and laser range finder with stabilization and fm radio should be out sometime soon.

How do you compare the 6x30 monocular and 8x28 binoculars for in cockpit use?

Don’t know
but I really like my Brunton Eterna 6X Monocular. You can find these for less than $100.00 on the web, and to keep it in an $8.00 neoprene cocoon that they use for UCO 9 hour candle lanterns. Tested it in the kitchen sink with the cocoon on and it didn’t sink. The monocular is indeed waterproof as per my kitchen sink test, and Brunton has a great warranty and service department as experienced before when I had a one year old Optimus Nova stove that needed attention.

My two cents
If you are looking for lightweight binoculars, go with a roof prism model rather than a porro prism. You may have to pay a bit more for the roof prism model to match the optical quality of the porro’s. I think Eagle Optics offers good value for the money and a good warranty. For your situation, I’d go with 10x power, especially if you like viewing waterfowl. 8x’s are good for general viewing on land, but I think on the water you’d appreciate being able to reach out more. I don’t know about floating binoculars, but I have seen bright yellow neck straps that supposedly have enough bouyancy to keep binoculars from sinking. There are also some really comfortable straps that are made of wide neoprene material and make your binoculars feel a lot lighter.

Brunton Monocular
I have to agree on these. Great optics, and you can keep one eye on your surroundings and/or the horizon and use the other for the monocular.


Yup, great product
One handed operation, no focussing, rubber armored, waterproof and much lighter than comparable binocs. Ideal for paddling.

Lee, see my post for details
It’s much easier to use a monocular in a kayak and 6x magnification is approaching the steadiness limit for use on anything other than dead flat water.

There is!
Eagle Optics has a sweet 6x30 waterproof binocular that focuses to 6 feet. Imagine watching butterflies with these! I’ve been drooling over a pair, but the ticket is $350.00


Ziess makes a waterproof monocular…
in 8x for about $250. I saw it on the B&H Photo web site a few weeks ago. Seemed interesting to me.—Rich

Ziess 8x20 waterproof/fogproof…
monocular is $229 at B&H. Just checked.—Rich