Whale watching is a truly exhilarating activity that must be experienced to know what it’s really like. There’s simply no words that can describe the emotions you’ll experience when you see this enormous creature rise up from the depths for the first time. In many ways whale watching is very similar to bird watching, insofar as many people enjoy doing it for recreation and as a hobby. In addition, many who enjoy observing whales also like to watch dolphins, too. But of course, there are also those who observe whales for scientific purposes as well. It has been estimated that somewhere around 13 million people enjoy watching these giant aquatic animals each year.
If you are into whale watching or you are thinking about getting into it, one piece of equipment that you absolutely can’t do without is a good pair of binoculars. Whales don’t usually surface near boats and piers, although that does happen from time to time. To see the action up close and personal, you’ll need a quality pair of binoculars. Thankfully though, you don’t have to spend a ton of money to get a good pair. This is a hobby that you can get into very inexpensively. And as an added bonus, you can use your binoculars for other purposes, too.
Let’s take a look at five of the best binoculars for whale watching and I’ll tell you why I like each one.
Top 5 Best Binoculars for Whale Watching
1. Bushnell H2o Waterproof Fogproof Roof Prism Binocular
The first one I want to show you is the Bushnell H2O model. There are several reasons why I really like this model but one of the main ones is that it is completely waterproof. This means if you are observing aquatic life from a boat or from the shore and your optics get wet, it’s not a problem. The water won’t damage them. This is an important consideration for anything you use near water. In addition to being waterproof, this unit is designed so that it’s optics won’t fog up on you.
Another thing I really like about this unit is the fact that it is made by Bushnell. Bushnell is a company that has been around for a long time and it is well-known throughout the world for the quality products it manufactures.
I also like the fact that these binoculars are coated with a thick rubber coating. They were designed this way to make sure you can always grip them, even if they get wet. Using this unit is about as simply as it gets, too. It has a large center adjustment knob for easy focusing and a long eye relief.
2. Bushnell H2O Waterproof Compact Roof Prism Binocular
The next unit we’ll take a look at is also made by Bushnell. It is very similar to the model we just discussed but is a more compact design. Of course, one of the main things I like about this unit is that it is both waterproof and fogproof. It also has a thick rubber coating on it that is textured to make sure it won’t slip out of your hands.
Although this unit is not as powerful as the previous one, it’s still got quite a bit of magnification to it. And if you are planning a one-time trip, this smaller pair may be all you really need.
Bushnell really does make high quality binoculars and it really shows in this model. It is very easy to use and has a large centrally located knob for easy viewing adjustments.
3. Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Roof Prism Binocular
The next one I’d like to share with you is another Bushnell model (surprise, surprise!). This is a full-power model that has full-sized 42mm optics. I like this one for a variety of reasons. It is perfect for whale watching, I think, because it is both waterproof and fogproof. It is also a very lightweight unit and only weighs 2.9 pounds.
The thing that really separates the Legend Ultra HD model is that it was designed for high definition viewing. The things you view through this model will appear very crisp and sharp and their colors will really jump out at you. The colors you’ll see while looking through the Legend Ultra HD are the same ones you’ll see with your own eyes.
The body of the Legend Ultra HD is made from tough magnesium. It’s built to last for many years. This model is a great all-around pair of binoculars that you could easily use for a variety of activities.
4. BARSKA Binocular Camera
The last two pair of binoculars I want to share with you are very different from the previous three. These last two have video cameras built into them. This is an exciting feature that lets you capture video of the incredible images you are seeing to share them with friends and family or view yourself later on.
The Barska 8×32 is a model that I really like due to its ease-of-use. It uses a common USB cable to download images and video directly to your computer. In addition, it accepts common SD memory cards for additional storage capacity, if you need it.
Another thing I like about this model is its versatility. You can use it as a regular pair of binoculars or you can also use it to capture still images or video. It really does have multi-purpose capability.
One thing I don’t like about this unit is that it is not waterproof. And of course, if it does manage to get wet, there’s a chance that it could be damaged.
5. Vivitar Digicam Binoculars
The last model I want to discuss also includes a built-in camera. It is made by Vivitar, a company that is highly respected and very well-known. It’s Digicam model is great for many different activities, but like the previous model, it is not waterproof. This always creates a conundrum for those who want to capture images and video of the incredible whales they see but don’t want to risk damaging their expensive equipment. The only thing I know to tell you with regards to this is that you have to be very careful to make sure you don’t get it wet.
Vivitar’s very capable Digicam is a model I like because of its capabilities and ease-of-use. It has the ability to capture video and images with 8.0 megapixal clarity. It also uses common USB connectors to download your videos to your computer and also has the ability to accept common SD memory cards for memory expansion. It is very lightweight and only weighs one pound.