When you are out in the field, performing tactical maneuvers, hunting, or staking out your surroundings a pair of tactical binoculars are invaluable.
Tactical binoculars will help you plan your next move with all the information you need.
That’s why I put in the hours and did my research to assemble this list of the latest, most technologically advanced, best tactical binoculars of 2023.
I chose these tactical binoculars based on two criteria, supreme optics and the ability to survive tactical situations.
Also, keep in mind that quality binoculars have to be included in your range bag essentials. So there are many reasons to have them!
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- TOP 11 Best Tactical Binoculars of 2023
- Steiner Optics Tactical Series Binoculars
- Vortex Optics Diamondback HD Binoculars DB-211
- Maven C1 8X42mm ED Binoculars
- Swarovski Optik 15X56 SLC Series Binocular
- Leupold BX-5 Santiam HD 10x42mm Binoculars
- Nikon Monarch HG 10X42 Binocular
- Bushnell Forge Binocular
- Nightfox 100V Widescreen Night Vision Binocular
- Creative XP Digital Night Vision Binoculars
- Steiner LRF Laser Rangefinding Binoculars
- Zeiss Conquest HD Binoculars
- What do Those Numbers Mean on Binoculars?
- Buying Guide for the Best Tactical Binoculars
- Tactical Binocular FAQs
- Article Summary
TOP 11 Best Tactical Binoculars of 2023
Steiner Optics Tactical Series Binoculars
Steiner is a military-grade binocular maker, with 60 year’s experience, based in Germany with offices in the US.
Select tactical models from Steiner includes a range finding reticle that allows you to calculate the distance of your target. This retical is handy for tactical purposes such as tracking game, determining hiking distances, and finding out how far away objects and locations are.
These binoculars are durable with a polycarbonate shell and a rubber armor wrapping. They are grippy and resist shock if dropped.
- SUMR Milliradian Ranging Reticle (on select tactical models).
- Poly Carbonate shell wrapped in rubber armor, high contract coating allows you to see living targets better.
- Tethered lens covers that can be detached.
- Clear optics, fog-resistant coating.
- Made in Germany.
- No ARD – No Anti-reflective device.
Vortex Optics Diamondback HD Binoculars DB-211
The Vortex Diamondback series includes binoculars of several sizes, including these compact, lightweight DB-211 binoculars.
These have 16 mm of adjustable twist-up eye relief so you can really get a good seal with your eye sockets and block out light to avoid glare.
These binoculars include the Vortex HD Optical system for high fidelity, sharpness, and good light. They also have dielectric and phase correction coating for the best resolution and contrast.
- Fog proof and waterproof.
- Compact size, lightweight, just 13.5 oz.
- The twist-up eyecups with 16mm of adjustment.
- Compact binoculars have less light gathering capability because of their objective lens size.
Maven C1 8X42mm ED Binoculars
The Maven C1 are well built mid-level tactical binocular with the nest low light vision you can get in this price range.
They allow you to see your target thanks to the good color reproduction and contrast view the lenses and coatings provide.
They are rugged, waterproof, and durable, making them a good fit for military, first responders, hunters, and other vigorous outdoor activities.
- Excellent for low light condition, the best for the price.
- 16 mm adjustable eye relief rims.
- Waterproof and fog-resistant.
- Excellent color fidelity and resolution.
- A little heavy, a bino harness will help.
Swarovski Optik 15X56 SLC Series Binocular
Swarovski is an Austrian company most known for their crystals. They are the world experts in grinding technique that produces crystal clear jewels, flawless crystals, and of course, they use this technology to make the absolute best optics for binoculars on the market.
The binoculars in the Swarovski SLC line have rich, true to life color you have to see to appreciate.
The quality of these binoculars is in line with the maker’s reputation as well, the focus knob, diopter, and eyecups all swivel smoothly and seamlessly, as you should expect from binoculars of this quality.
- High light transmission.
- Nice wide field of focus with very little fall off.
- Waterproof with durable aluminum body.
- Expensive, but with the BEST optics.
Leupold BX-5 Santiam HD 10x42mm Binoculars
The Leupold BX-5 Santiam HD tactical binoculars are made with the hunter and tracker in mind. They are built tough so you can focus on your mission without worrying about your gear.
The optics are fabulous as well. They have good lowlight performance and the advanced HD lens system includes a rare earth element coated lens for good color rendering and high resolution.
The DiamondCoat 2 lens coating is highly abrasion resistant and has an excellent light transmission.
- Rugged design, water, fog, and shockproof.
- Dirt and water-shedding coating.
- Fine adjustment focusing knob.
- Excellent Anti-glare, clarity and sharp resolution, and color rendition.
Nikon Monarch HG 10X42 Binocular
The Nikon Monarch HG tactical binocular offers an exceptional field flattener lens system, so a wider field of your view through the binocular is perfectly focused with very little drop off in focus quality around the edge of the view.
In addition to a wide field of view, the color rendition and image resolution of these binoculars are exceptional.
These binoculars are perfect for carrying in the field because they are lightweight, water-resistant, fog proof, have a scratch-resistant coating, and have a strong magnesium body with rubberized grip to hold on in any weather condition.
- Field flattener lens system-wide field of view.
- 15 mm of eye relief thanks to the adjustable eyecups.
- Locking diopter control.
- Rugged, rubberized grip, fog proof, and water-resistant.
- The focus knob is stiff, so you may miss fast-moving targets if you cannot focus in time.
Bushnell Forge Binocular
The Bushnell Forge binocular is Bushnell’s most powerful binocular yet. It is built with Bushnell ED prime glass, which renders color exactly true to life.
These tactical binoculars are waterproof with a high IPX7 waterproof rating and with scratch-resistant protection molecularly bonded to the lens surface.
They have a dielectric coating which allows excellent light transmission so you can see longer as the sunsets.
The best part of these Bushnell Forge tactical binoculars is they perform as well as binoculars twice the price.
- HD Prime glass gives excellent color resolution and contrast.
- IPX-7 waterproof.
- EXO barrier molecularly bonded scratch-resistant protection.
- Sturdy aluminum body.
- A tad heavy compared to others their size.
Nightfox 100V Widescreen Night Vision Binocular
These Nightfox night vision tactical binoculars should be a part of any tactical gear bag. These are digital night vision goggles that allow you to see in the dark, up to 100 meters.
This pair of night vision IR binoculars have a widescreen digital LCD screen that uses infrared light to allow you to see up to 300 feet in pitch blackness.
This pair of night vision goggles run about 8 hours on 6 AA batteries.
Whether you are scanning your property at night, hunting, or tracking in the darkness, these are an excellent, affordable pair of, base-level tactical night vision goggles.
- View up to 100 meters or 300 feet.
- Digital LCD screen widescreen viewer.
- 3 times magnification.
- Adjustable IR lighting.
- Digital zoom.
- Silent operation.
- The base model has no record function. If you want a record function, go for the Nightfox 110R.
Creative XP Digital Night Vision Binoculars
This mid-level price range night vision goggle has several features less expensive models. For starters, these tactical night vision goggles have a record feature, and a 32 GB SD card and a card reader are included with the binoculars.
The lenses are coated making the picture very clear, AND it has both digital and optical zoom. You won’t find those features on cheap night vision goggles.
It is important to note that these night vision binoculars use 8 AA batteries and that you can use rechargeable batteries, but they must be removed to recharge. You can also hook up an external USB battery or power bank, and doing so will give you 4 more IR light settings.
- Coated lenses for clear vision with 7X optical zoom.
- Record feature with 32 GB memory card included.
- 800 nm IR light for clear video in the dark.
- 1300 feet viewing range.
- IPX4 waterproof.
- Using the digital zoom causes the picture to become more pixilated.
Steiner LRF Laser Rangefinding Binoculars
The highlight of these military-grade tactical binoculars is the laser range finding feature, which you won’t see on many other tactical binoculars.
The laser range finder allows you to use one tool to view your target and calculate its distance. Simply use the LRF system, lock on to your target, and the distance is shown digitally in your field of view.
These binoculars also include sports auto-focus, where you set the focus on each eyepiece and you can see from 20 yards to infinity and the binoculars will always be in focus.
- Perfect for military personal and long-range shooters.
- LRF Laser Range Finder up to 6000 meters.
- Sports autofocus.
- Waterproof down to 16 feet.
- 8x magnification. For this price, I would like 10x magnification.
Zeiss Conquest HD Binoculars
The Zeiss Conquest HD binoculars are excellent tactical binoculars. They have the best of both worlds, clear sharp view, and are built to be practically indestructible.
They have Zeiss T coated lenses, for crystal clear high resolution true to life color view, and the LotuTec anti-dirt anti-water coating.
Every detail of these Zeiss binoculars demonstrates quality, for example, the focus adjustment wheel takes just a slight turn to focus, unlike others where you lose time turning the wheel to focus.
The clarity and crispness on the image are head and shoulders above lower-priced binoculars – get them, you will not be disappointed.
- So durable, you can run over them with a truck.
- LotuTec repels water and dirt.
- Excellent low light vision.
- Made in Germany.
- Eyecup adjustment is stiff.
What do Those Numbers Mean on Binoculars?
The most common binocular question is probably what do the numbers mean. You may have seen 8×40, 15×56, 10×42, and so on.
So what do they mean?
The First Number for the Binocular
The FIRST number is how much the binoculars magnify. So if that first number is 8, it means you can see the target 8 times larger than you can with the naked eye.
Keep in mind, the first number is also sometimes known as binoculars power.
The Second Number for a Binocular
The SECOND number is the diameter of the objective lens or the lens that is on the far side of the binocular.
So, 10x42mm binocular has 10 times magnification and the objective lens diameter is 42mm.
If you divide the first and second numbers you get the Exit pupil. So a 10×42 binocular has an exit pupil of 4.2.
Exit pupil, what is it?
The bigger the exit pupil the larger the band of light is that reaches your eye. The larger the exit pupil, the brighter the binoculars will seem.
Your pupil can only take in about 6mm max, so you do not need and cannot use an exit pupil larger than 6mm.
Buying Guide for the Best Tactical Binoculars
Here are factors to keep in mind before buying your perfect pair of tactical or military binoculars.
Earlier we talked about what the numbers on a binocular mean. Basically, it’s this:
The 1st number is the magnification or power, and the second number is a measure of the objective lens or the diameter of the lens on the far side of the binocular.
So a 10×42 binocular has 10 times magnification and the lens at the end of the binocular has a 42mm diameter.
Unless you plan to use a tripod, 10x magnification is the best should get. This is because choosing magnification beyond this requires absolute stability to view the image and you need a tripod for that. Our hands are too shaky to see the image well if the magnification is beyond 10x.
Waterproofing and Rubber Armor
In my opinion, if a binocular is not waterproof, fog proof, and has some sort of shock resistance to protect against bumps and drops, it’s NOT good for tactical use.
- A high waterproof rating. IPX7 is the best on this list.
- Rubber Armor
Binocular Size and Weight – Size Matters!
If you are in a combat situation, and you need binoculars that fit in your pocket, you want a pair of compact binoculars that are light enough and small enough to stow in a pocket.
The Vortex Optics Diamondback HD Binoculars are perfect for this application.
Truthfully the binoculars with the absolute best optics tend to be larger and heavier binoculars.
If you plan to get a larger or heavier pair of tactical binoculars, you may want a bino harness since is the most comfortable and convenient way to carry binoculars so they will be ready when you need them.
Rangefinding Reticle or Laser Range Finder
A common feature of tactical binoculars is a range finder or range finding reticle. A range finder or reticle allows you to calculate how far your target is from your current position.
Two tactical binoculars in this list of the best tactical binoculars of 2023 have range finders or reticles.
The first is the Steiner Optics Tactical Series Binoculars. These have a reticle, which appears as a set of crosshairs over the lens on one side of the binoculars.
The other binocular has an actual digital range finder built-in. The Steiner LRF Laser Rangefinding Binoculars have a laser range finder which displays the distance digitally in your field of vision when you engage the LRF system.
The eye relief is the distance from the lens to where the light from the image enters your pupil. Ideally, you need at least 15mm length to view comfortably. All of the binoculars in this list have at least 15 mm of eye relief because this is a list of the most modern, technically advanced tactical binoculars.
Many of the binoculars in this list also have adjustable eyecups so you can adjust the distance to what is most comfortable for you.
Field of view
What is the field of view on binoculars?
The field of view is how wide the visible field is.
All things being equal, the larger the objective lens, the larger your field of view is. So an 8×42 binocular has a larger field of view than an 8×30, even though they have the same magnification.
Higher magnification is the right choice for long-range applications, even though the field of view is narrow because you need the magnification. But if you are surveying closer, you may be better off with 8 x magnification because you will be able to see a wider swath of your target area.
Tactical Binocular FAQs
What are the best military binoculars?
The best military binoculars depend on what your needs are, as the use must match the optics.
Thank being said…
Steiner makes excellent binoculars for military use.
Any binocular from the Steiner Optics Tactical Series Binoculars are great. Several from this line have a range finding reticle, which helps you gauge the distance to your target. But if you want more advanced range finding the Steiner LRF Laser Rangefinding Binoculars will digitally find the distance and di
What are the best tactical binoculars for the money?
In my opinion, the Vortex Optics Diamondback Series HD Binoculars are the best value. They may not be the cheapest tactical binoculars, but you get your money’s worth. They have outstanding optics, are tough as nails, and you cant get better binoculars for a lower price.
What are the best night vision binoculars?
This year, our top choice for tactical night vision binoculars are the Creative XP Digital Night Vision Binoculars because they allow you to see quite far in the dark, have a recording feature that is quite robust, the batteries last longer than other brands, and the price is reasonable.
What are the best binoculars for long-distance viewing?
Our recommendation for long-distance viewing are the Swarovski Optik 15×56 SLC Series Binocular. They have 15 times magnification, but a nice large objective lens, so the viewing field is decent. And of course, since they are Swarovski, they have the best optics in the industry. If you want to see far, with absolute clarity, these are the binoculars you want.
Keep in mind, if you are going deep into the wild, you might also want to consider getting yourself a quality GPS device.
This wraps up the best tactical binoculars available in 2023, I hope you found a pair that is perfect for you.
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Are you an airsoft fan?
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