My search began when I was put on the spot to recommend the perfect binocular by a pontoon owner. In his area there is plenty of great wildlife and he felt he was missing out on the action. He simply asked if I had tested any binoculars that I thought would fit his boating needs.
I hadn't reviewed any in years so I got online to see what I could find and that's when I came across the line of Discovery Expedition binoculars. Advertised as, "Rugged, high-value binoculars created for active, adventurous users of all ages," I felt I had found exactly what I was looking for.
But then I realized I had more than just one option to pick from. The collection includes 11 models retailing from $24.99 to $149.99. The next thing I know I'm online trying to compare everything from the palm-sized 6x18 roof binocular to its top-of-the-line 7x50 compass porro prism model.
So I did what I felt was necessary, I ordered five different models to help narrow my search. What else could I do? Each has premium features such as optical coatings and textured rubber armor and most models are waterproof and fogproof. So even though I felt I couldn't go wrong with recommending any of these for the average boater, I wanted to see the different versions and try them out myself.
Compact 6X18 Roof Prism Binocular
I love the size because when folded down it fits in your palm, yet offers reliable, waterproof optics. Perfect for the glovebox of your boat, you can leave them onboard at all times and know they're ready when you are. Plus because of the lightweight design, this model is great for younger children.
Roof Prism 10X42 Binocular
This is another solid compact option that is bigger in size compared to the 6X18, but offers more features like fully coated lenses, long eye relief and besides being waterproof it is also fogproof.. Again it won't take up a lot of room onboard, has a durable rubber coated body and will come in handy when looking for wildlife.
Porro Prism 8X36 Binocular
For an all-around great set of binoculars for boaters, this is a solid option. It has the same features as the Roof Prism model, but also has the twist-up eyecups. But what I like the most about this model is the wide field of view that allows you to focus close up. This wide range is perfect for fine details when you really want to get close to what you're looking at.
Porro Prism 7X50 Binocular
For the more active and serious sightseer, the fully multi-coated optics cut glare and provide excellent light transmission, even at twilight on this model. The solid and durable design is both waterproof and fogproof, has fold-down eyecups and has a wide field of view that includes a 348-foot view at 1,000 yards. With great close focus, this is the right fit for those who like to use their binoculars often.
Porro Prism 7X50 Binocular With Compass
You can't have a complete review if you don't include the top-of-the-line model. It has the same features as the 7X50, but also includes the compass with light. Perfect for boaters on the move, the internal compass and ranging reticle with calculator dial make navigation easy. Features like the rangefinder scale come in handy when you're trying to determine an object's size or distance. If you already know the size, such as a marker buoy, you can calculate the distance. And of course if you already know the object's distance, you can also calculate its size.
The compass is also a great navigation tool, plus if you happen to be out at night, it will light up thanks to the illumination feature that requires two LR 43 batteries.
I don't believe in one-size-fits-all products in most cases and this applies to the binoculars I reviewed. Each have a specific purpose and you really can't go wrong with any of the 11 from Discovery Expedition.
The binoculars are available through Cabela's, Sportsman's Guide, Amazon, Optics Planet, ivgStores, ATG Stores and various other retail outlets including your local sporting goods, outdoor and optics retailers.
The Oregon-based Kruger Optical developed the binocular collection under license from Discovery Communications, LLC. Discovery Expedition is the official lifestyle brand of the Discovery Channel, the world's number one nonfiction media company reaching 1.5 billion cumulative subscribers in more than 180 countries.