Best Steiner Binoculars Reviewed & Rated for Quality
Steiner became a leader in the optics industry after World War II, and it’s no wonder that they continue to lead the industry with their wide variety of highly researched and tested binoculars. Expertly crafted in Germany, the lenses on Steiner binoculars alone go through a rigorous 460 step construction process so it’s no doubt (and no surprise) that these are some of the finest and most exacting binoculars on earth.
But they don’t stop at precision alone. These are also some of the toughest products around and can last for years and years, even in the toughest conditions.
So whether you’re looking for a great pair for hunting or you want a lightweight companion for birding, Steiner has got you covered.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 12 hrs of research
Can withstand 11 G’s in impact
20 millimeter eye relief
Lenses are fully and multi coated
10 Best Steiner Binoculars
1. Model 575 Marine
Can withstand 11 G’s in impact
20 millimeter eye relief
Lenses are fully and multi coated
Some image distortion at edges
The Model 575 are amazing Steiner marine binoculars for water goers looking to add a high quality and durable pair of binoculars to their crew. While these are some of the more affordable Steiners, they don’t skimp on special features and sturdy construction so you will be able to enjoy this pair of binoculars for years to come.
The Model 575 Marines are meant to be used at sea, and as such, come totally waterproof. We award points for Weather Resistance here.
They are also totally wrapped in a rubber armor to ensure that they can handle up to 11 G’s in impact. In fact, with the floating prism system that utilizes silicone mounts for the lenses, these puppies really can absorb a shock without ruining or damaging the set.
We also like the ergonomic design of this set as it comes with pads and ridges to help you get a sure grip that is also comfortable. We award Advanced Features and Durability points here.
We love that this product weighs in at just over 2 pounds and that it is nice and compact, coming with its own neck strap, lens covers, and carrying case. We award Size points here.
These deliver super crisp and bright images that will come through with little distortion. You’ll be able to enjoy 7 times the magnification of the naked eye with these and you’ll get tons of light exposure thanks to the 50-millimeter objective lenses.
This product utilizers porro prisms and features lenses that are fully and multi-coated for optimum light transmission.
You’ll have a whopping 356-foot field of view at 1,000 yards, with a minimum focusing distance of 20 yards away. And with the autofocus feature for sporting, you won’t have to refocus continuously yourself. Plus, you’ll enjoy a 20-millimeter eye relief. We award points for Advanced Features here as well.
Cost and Value
The Model 575 Marines ring up on the lower end of our price range and we love their value because they come with a lifetime warranty for defects and because they can seriously withstand major impacts without being damaged. If you're in the market for Steiner compact binoculars, you'll love these. Plus, they are easy to use, making them a great introductory pair.
2. Military-Marine 10x50
Come with one time auto focus
Can focus using just one hand
Comes with accessories
17 millimeter eye relief
Lenses great in low lighting
Issues with rubber durability
The Military-Marine 10x50 Tacticals will be your next favorite pair of hunting binoculars. They are designed with military performance and precision in mind, and they offer up crisp images even in low lighting scenarios. So whether you’re hitting the hills or the plains you won’t want to be without these.
Set Focus Once
The Military-Marine 10x50 Tacticals come with Sports Auto Focusing. This allows you to set the focus just one time to your eye specifications, and then you’ll be able to focus from distances from 20 yards until infinity with just the turn of a dial. We love this one-handed operation feature and award points for Advanced Features here.
We like how compact these are, weighing in at just over 2 pounds. While these will be a little heavy on the neck of some, you’ll get a comfortable strap to make prolonged use easier. We award points for Size here.
17 Millimeter Eye Relief
These are completed with fully and multi-coated lenses. The objective lens measures 50 millimeters and so lets in tons of light which helps to deliver crisp pictures even when the lighting situations are low.
We like the more intense magnification option of 10 times the mag and love the 327-foot field of view at 1,000 yards away. We also like that the eye relief measures 17 millimeters, allowing for a comfortable distance. Plus, this unit comes with eyecups made from soft rubber so you can comfortably use these for hours on end.
These too can withstand up to 11 G’s of impact force and are also fog and waterproof, so that can take pretty much anything that the field throws at it. We award major points for Weather Resistance and Durability here.
Cost and Value
The Military-Marine 10x50 ring up in the middle of our price range and we love their value because they are insanely durable and great for hunting.
If you're looking for Steiner military binoculars you'll love these because they are lighter in weight and easier to focus, they make getting the right view a lot easier while on the move.
Even though these are ideal for hunting, they do not have infrared capabilities, though Steiner does make products like this.
3. Optics HX Series
Super crisp optics
Roof prism is more advanced
Specially treated repelling lenses
Great in low lighting
Easy to focus
A little on the heavier side
The Optics HX Series is among the most premium of any on our list. This featured pair comes with an advanced roof prism and large objective lenses making this one of the crispest options out there. Plus, with specially treated lenses that repel water and debris, you’ll be able to see in just about any conditions.
The Optics HX Series features lenses that are fully and multi-coated with specialized coatings to make them outperform others on the market. We award major Advanced Features and Weather Resistance points for the coatings on these lenses as they actively repel water, dust, and other debris to keep your field of vision clear at all times.
With a large 56 millimeter objective lens and all specialized coatings, you’ll be able to see in super low light scenarios. Plus, you’ll enjoy a field of view that is wider and a better close up focus.
These deliver super-fast focus while you’re up close and personal to nature. This unit has a focusing knob in the center, so you can easily and quickly adjust to get the best focus even from short distances. We award Advanced Features points here.
Because of larger objective lenses, this product weighs a bit more at about 3 pounds so we take some points for Size here.
But, as always, these are meant to stand up well to freezing temps, super-hot environments, and up to 11 G’s in impact force, so these are built for the long haul and we award points for Durability here.
Cost and Value
The Steiner Optics HX Series ring up at the top of our price range and we love their value because they deliver some of the best and most crisp optics on the market without coming through as a fragile device that can’t be taken into real-life situations.
4. Military-Marine 8x30
More affordable than others
Withstands up to 11 Gs of impact
Waterproof for all conditions
Nice and light
Auto focusing capabilities
Issues with objective lens hinge
The Military-Marine 8x30s are another of the more affordable options on this list, but that doesn’t mean they are super high quality and durable. They have a nice and wide field of view and are housed in super durable rubber so that they can handle and withstand virtually any impact without damaging the lenses.
The Military-Marine 8x30s come with a 30-millimeter objective lens and up to 8 times the magnification of the naked eye.
Because the objective lens on this product is a bit smaller, these are much lighter in weight, though they won’t let as much light in so they aren’t as ideal for low light situations. These weigh in at just over 1 pound and we award points for Size here though we dock points for Advanced Features.
Wide Field of View
These offer up a wide field of view at 362 when viewing objects at 1,000 yards away. Plus, this unit comes with autofocusing capabilities so that you can focus on just one hand from as close as 20 yards away.
As always, you’ll enjoy the rugged durability of these with its Makrolon housing and floating prism system, as well as the weatherproofing that comes standard. We award points for Durability and Weather Resistance here.
Cost and Value
The Military-Marine 8x30s ring up at the bottom of our price range and we love their value because they are one of the most inexpensive items on our list while still providing shock proofing up to 11 G’s and autofocusing.
5. Marine Commander 7x50
Comes with a compass
Reticle in field of view
Fully customizable diopter
Waterproof up to 30 feet
Floating neck strap
May be more than average user needs
The Marine Commander 7x50 Compass is the most premium option on our list and it does, in fact, come loaded with more features than any other pair listed. Fully equipped with a compass, if you spend any extended period of time out on the water, you’ll want to make sure that you are bringing these along.
Comes with Diopter
The Marine Commander 7x50 Compass comes equipped with Porro prisms and the lenses are all fully and multi-coated, plus treated with special Nano-Protection coating that actually causes water and dirt and debris to sheet off rather than gather which helps to keep the glass and images nice and crisp in even trying conditions.
For this and because the lenses are nitrogen purged, we award major Advanced Features points.
This product is also submersible up to 30 feet without experiencing damage and we award Weather Resistance points for this as well.
And we love that this product comes with a diopter so that you can adjust the settings differently for each eye. This process is easy to complete and will result in you getting a customized focus for you. Simply save the settings and you’ll be able to focus with the main knob moving forward.
And, of course, this product comes with an HD, fluid damped compass that will help and seaman find and keep his way. The compass even has a reticle in the binocular as it will light up so you can use it day or night.
This is super durably made, like all Steiners, and can withstand impacts up to 11 Gs. But that’s not all it does to ensure durability.
This product comes with a specialized neck strap to make use more seamless, and the strap will also float in water to ensure that you don’t lose your pricey new investment. For this, we award points in Durability.
While this product is a little bit heavy, weighing in at over 2 pounds, folks find that the neck strap is comfortable enough for sustained wears, so we don’t take too many points away for Size.
Cost and Value
The Marine Commander 7x50 Compass rings up at the very top of our price range and we like its value because it offers more in the way of features than any other model and will indeed last a lifetime, so it is worth the investment--especially if you work on the water.
6. Predator AF 8x30
Easy to focus
CAT color technology
Split bridge design
Not the best in super low light
The Predator AF 8x30s are an amazing hunting companion, even though they are not thermal binoculars. With CAT technology that helps you to see your hunt more clearly, you’ll find that you won’t miss the thermal capabilities. And because of the great price on these, you’ll find you aren’t so hesitant to make the leap.
The Predator AF 8x30s hunting companions are loaded with features that are sure to make your next hunt more successful. With CAT tech (Color Adjusted Transmission), you can more easily make out even the best-camouflaged game hiding in the brush.
These puppies are easy to focus and are great at following objects, even if they are moving and higher speeds. We award major points for Advanced Features here.
These feature an open bridge design that works to make the set even lighter than they already are with their 30-millimeter objective lens. This design also makes them more comfortable to look through and provide a more comfortable grip as well. We award points for Size here.
In fact, these are reviewed by many to be some of the best portable and lightweight binoculars on the market today.
These, like all the others, are waterproof and shockproof up to 11 Gs, so you know you’ll be able to rely on them no matter what happens while you’re out on your next hunt, and we award Durability and Weather Resistance points for this.
Cost and Value
The Predator AF 8x30s ring up towards the bottom of our price range and we love their value because they are incredibly compact and easy to use for hunting, and their design works to make maneuvering easier.
7. Navigator Pro 7x50
Comes with an HD compass
Super durable body
Wide field of view
Lots of light
On the heavier side
The Navigator Pro 7x50s are not built to military specification so they ring up a little less than other premium options on the list. But these still offer up super crisp images and an incredible field of view that will serve anyone while they’re out on the water. Plus, they are built to last.
These are the perfect companion to help keep you headed in the right direction. With an HD compass that is fully illuminated for easy viewing no matter what the conditions, you’ll be able to navigate away and home again. We award Advanced Features points for this.
And while we have to dock points for size, as these weigh in at just about 3 pounds (meaning they won’t be a birding binocular companion), we do award points for Durability as these can sustain major shocks without experiencing damage.
Incredible Field of View
The Navigator Pro 7x50s offer 7 times the magnification and a 50-millimeter objective lens, which means you are getting tons of light and crips images. 7x magnification is the standard for marine use and optics with high contrast ensure your safety while out on the water.
You’ll enjoy an insane field of view of 370 feet at 1,000 yards and we award Advanced Features points for this.
With autofocusing for ease in focus while on the go, as well as hydrogen purged lenses to ensure functionality no matter what the temperatures or how quickly they change, these are a reliable pair of binoculars. We give Weather Resistance points here.
Cost and Value
These ring up in the middle of our price range and we like their value because they offer a little less binocular for hobbyists rather than professionals, which drives down the cost while still maintaining quality.
8. Predator Series 10x42
Still compact and light
Great for hunting
Hard to work with focusing knob
The Predator Series 10x42s are similar to the previous Predators on our list, though these offer up more magnification and a greater objective lens for even more light transmission. However, because of these amped-up capabilities, you’ll have to shell out a little more at checkout.
Color Adjusted Transmission
The Predator Series 10x42s are the perfect hunter’s companion because they offer up crystal clear viewing thanks to a large objective lens measuring 42 millimeters and specialized coating that allows for more crisp and color-true images.
The Color Adjusted Transmission technology that the lenses are coated with allows you to see prey even when they are obscured by the landscape like with brush and in heavily wooded areas. We award points for Advanced Features here.
However, we have to take points in the Advanced Features category as users report having trouble with the focus on this product. Many reviewers have other Steiner models and mark this issue as specific to this model.
This is an amazing option that adds on power and light transmission without packing on the extra weight and size. In fact, these weigh in at under 2 pounds which means that you can wear them all day in comfort. We give points for Size here.
How is this possible? This unit uses a roof prism rather than a Porro prism. These are more expensive but they cut down on bulk.
Cost and Value
The Predator Series 10x42s ring up in the middle of our price range and we like their value because they manage to add more magnification using the roof prism without creating bulk--all while adding just a touch to the final price tag.
9. BluHorizons 10x26
Great in bright light
Great outdoors companion
Comfortable grip and eyecups
Not as durable as other Steiners
The BluHorizons 10x26s are the first on our list to feature AutoBright technology. These binoculars are designed for outdoor use and the lenses are coated using AutoBright tech which allows the lenses to adjust to the amount of sunlight exposure, which works to deliver you glare-free images no matter the lighting.
The BluHorizons 10x26s lets you say goodbye to glare and glitter once and for all. These lenses are treated with AutoBright tech which offsets the effects of intense sunlight and works to deliver you clear images no matter the lighting situation.
You’ll enjoy more detail with these and find that you won’t have to squint nearly as much as a result of the sun. For this, we award Advanced Features points.
These are rubberized for a comfortable grip and durable exterior, though these won’t be quite as durable as the other products on our list, so we docked points for Durability and Weather Resistance here.
We do like the comfortable eyecups that are made from soft rubber and that work to keep out surrounding glare, as well as debris was blown by the wind.
We award points for Size for this device as it weighs in at just over 1 pound, making it one of the lightest options on our list.
Cost and Value
These ring up at the very bottom of our price range and we love their value because they offer up a great performance in virtually any outdoor setting and won’t buckle when exposed to serious sunlight.
10. Tactical 10x42
Utilizers roof prism
Light weight despite large objective lens
Designed for the military
Durable rubber armor
Nitrogen purged lenses
Some found hard to focus
The Tactical 10x42s were developed for tactical, military use and they live up to their name and to that standard. These are virtually indestructible or bombproof, and they focus with lightning speed to ensure that you don’t miss a beat while you’re out in the field.
Rubber Military Grade Armor
The Tactical 10x42s are made for the field and are durable enough to handle just about any situation that comes up. They are finished with a rubber armor that is military-grade which works to protect both the lenses and the chassis and also serves the purpose of cutting down on noise. We award points for Advanced Features and Durability here.
However, we do have to dock points for the ease in focusing as some folks report having a hard time getting a clear focus and a clear field of view.
Plus, we like the unique neck strap harness system, as well as the optics which are coated for optimal performance. And we award points for Weather Resistance as the lenses are nitrogen purged which means they can function without fogging in all types of weather.
Utilizes Roof Prism
The Tactical 10x42s may have more magnification and a large objective lens measuring 42 millimeters, but with the utilization of a roof prism rather than Porro prisms, you’ll still be able to enjoy a lightweight device that is ready to go with you anywhere. This weighs in at just over one and a half pounds, so we award points for Size here.
Cost and Value
These ring up in the middle of our price range and we like their value because they offer a lighter weight tactical design that can basically withstand anything it encounters in the field.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
When gathering the products for our ten-best list, we took a close look at the Advanced Features because these are premium products and they have something special to offer here.
When scoring on their Advanced Features, we look at whether they have special lens coatings that make them perform better in bright and dark lighting scenarios, we look at their objective lens size as this impacts the amount of light transmission, we look at whether or not the product has a diopter which allows the user to adjust each eye focus individually and save those settings, and we look at whether or not it comes with autofocusing capabilities.
While some have all of these features, others just have a few. And you may think that going for all of these features is a must, but sometimes having all of these features delivers more binoculars (and a great price tag) than you actually need.
Assessing each items Weather Resistance was also important for us. Many of the choices on this list do feature waterproof and fog proof lenses. Many are also nitrogen purged which means they will function well no matter what the temperature outside, and no matter if the temperature changes rapidly.
And when it comes to the super high-end models on our list, those can even be submerged in up to 30 feet of water without experiencing damage. Plus, they have special coatings that actually repel water and debris from collecting on the lenses as a further weatherproofing property.
One of our favorite things about these Steiner binoculars is the extreme durability of their products. Many of these products (in fact, almost all) can actually sustain up to 11 Gs of impact force without experiencing damage.
The products on this list have a floating prism system to thank for this as they can give without being broken. They also have their rubberized exterior to thank for absorbing impact as well.
We took size into consideration as well because some of these specialized units can be a bit heavy. The larger an objective lens, the more weight a binocular set typically has. However, Steiner uses roof prisms instead of Porro prisms in some models to drive weightiness down, even with the larger objective lens.
And it is worth reminding users that bigger is not always better. Take a look at the specs for your needs.
When looking at the value of these products, we preview a wide range of different price points. The great thing about these units is that most of them maintain the same core features of durability and weatherproofing, so even when you cut back costs, you’re still getting a super durable set of binoculars that is high quality as well.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Even the most fastidious of us can end up with dirty lenses, but we have a few tricks and tips for you to help you keep your lenses clean.
First of all, always try to keep your lens covers on your binoculars when you are not using them. This will help to keep debris like food and dust off of your lenses.
If you find that some debris is clouding your lenses, then you should keep these tips in mind before using your shirt or spit to clean them. Using paper towels or your clothing can seriously scratch your lenses and remove the protective coating. You should only ever use the cloth that came with your purchase to ensure that you don’t scratch your lenses during cleaning.
To ensure that your lenses do not get damaged while you are transporting them or moving around in the forest, make sure that they are zoomed out and that the eyepieces are twisted all the way in so that they are fully retracted. This is especially true for products that utilize porro prisms.
Other Factors to Consider
In addition to the other criteria, we considered, we also looked at the accessories that come with each. We love that these come with specialized neck straps (depending on the job at hand) and that they all come with their own carrying cases. We also love that these sets come with covers for the objective and viewing lenses.
When taking a look at use, we mean to say how many different ways a product can be used. So is a product just designed for hunting, or can you use it while you’re birding as well? Is this product good for sea use, or can it be used on land as well? The more versatile a product’s use, the higher the score in this category.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Do the options with compasses require a battery?
Yes. If you purchase a set of binoculars from this list that comes with a compass, you should be aware that it does require a battery. You will get your first functional battery with your purchase.
q: Do the hunting binoculars come with a reticle?
No. The hunting binoculars that we feature on this list do not come with a reticle. There are a few marine binoculars with compasses that come with a reticle and there are scopes that Steiner makes, but you won’t find this on the hunting binoculars we feature here.
q: How does the warranty work?
You’ll want to ensure that you purchase from a verified vendor in order to get your full warranty. Most of these products come with a lifetime warranty that covers issues with the construction and faulty materials. However, it won’t cover the damage that you inflict.
- The Care and Feeding of Binoculars, Article ,
- Binocular Tuneup The Diopter Adjustment, Article ,
- A Guide to Binoculars – Part 2: Understanding the Terms, Article ,