Who Makes REI Waterproof Binoculars? (Are They Good?)

who makes REI Waterproof binoculars

REI’s Waterproof binoculars are exceptional and well-received. It’s a tall order to keep the great reviews rolling in, especially when you have premium competition from the likes of Vortex, Bushnell, Niko, and Vanguard.

But who makes REI binoculars compete with these brands? REI Waterproof Binoculars are manufactured by Kruger Optical under the REI’s instructions and according to their specs, much like any house brand would operate. Kruger Optical is a well-known and highly respectable brand, so their REI Waterproof Binoculars are no exception. 

Kruger Optical is a relative newcomer to the field of optics, including the manufacture of binoculars, scopes, and a wide variety of hunting scopes.

A pairing with REI is highly beneficial to a newcomer like Kruger Optical. 

What is Kruger Optical

You would have trouble finding a more small-town business that operates on a national level. Kruger Optical is located in a little town called Sisters in the state of Oregon.

There are located a stone’s throw away from the Three Sisters Wilderness. 

Kruger Optical is starting to make a name for itself, with binoculars that are on par with far more expensive optics but at a much more reasonable price.

Are they budget binoculars? Not exactly. However, with Kruger Optical’s current lineup, you can get a whole lot of bang for your buck. 

More recently, Kruger Optical signed a deal with the Discovery Channel to produce a line of binoculars that are ultimately going to be “Discovery” brand but will be used in a host of nature and exploration TV shows in the future. 

That’s not the only partnership that Kruger Optical has acquired, with Kruger now manufacturing specific lines of binoculars for REI or, more specifically for the purposes of this article, REI Waterproof Binoculars. 

While Kruger Optical stepped foot into the world of optics manufacturing a little over a decade ago, they are already swimming with some of the best optics manufacturers in the world and everyone is starting to notice. 

In the great scheme of things, a little over a decade is not very long so it’s quite the accomplishment to already cement deals with multiple, major brands and television studios. 

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Are REI’s Waterproof Binoculars Any Good?

REI makes a number of waterproof binoculars, so you’re not limited to just a single choice.

All of these binoculars are almost completely water-resistant since there is no such thing as something that is truly waterproof. 

  • REI Co-Op XR 8×25 Waterproof Binoculars
  • REI Co-OP ED 10×32 Waterproof Binoculars
  • REI Co-Op XR 10×25 Waterproof Binoculars

All of the REI Waterproof binoculars are manufactured by Kruger Optical and are considered to be exceptional budget-friendly binoculars.

All of them are very lightweight and have a high degree of portability. Despite being compact and easily portable, the REI Waterproof Binoculars are highly resilient as well. 

If they get banged around inside of your hiking pack, for instance, rest assured that they will be perfectly fine, so long as you keep their lens covers on.

With the added water resistance, these REI binoculars are perfect for outdoor use and long-term outdoor travel. 

All of the major reviews on any of the series of REI Waterproof Binoculars claim that they are exceptionally powerful binoculars. REI Waterproof Binoculars also come with the tag, “rugged.”

As we mentioned above, these are durable binoculars and you can drop them without worrying about them breaking.

They are also designed with swiveling eye cups, which provide for comfortable, long-term viewing. 

Are All REI Binoculars Manufactured by Kruger Optical?

All of REI’s Binoculars are manufactured by Kruger Optical, including the most expensive to the more budget-friendly options.

The deal between the two was apparently more than worth it, as REI binoculars are highly regarded and rank well against the other competition.

Since the partnership seems to be working out so well, there’s little doubt that Kruger will go on manufacturing binoculars for REI for the time being.

While REI doesn’t exactly release new binoculars as often as some of their competitors, there are usually a few releases per year to keep consumers relatively happy. 

Kruger generally packs a lot of hardware into these binoculars as well and most of them are more than just waterproof. They’re also fog proof and are weather-resistant overall. Kruger includes lens coating to keep the scratches from adding up or becoming an issue. 

Things like a field of view, minimum focus, eye relief, apparent angle of view, and real angle of view are different for each series and individual waterproof binoculars. Fortunately, the specs on all of REI’s waterproof binoculars are impressive for the money. 

Kruger Optical has also optimized most of its binoculars so that they are easily viewable by those who wear glasses. Anything that expands your potential consumer base is always a good thing. 

With the swivel eye cups, Kruger has designed binoculars that are useful to the largest group of people possible.

While REI doesn’t have the largest selection of waterproof binoculars to choose from, Kruger Optical is certainly getting them out there more and more. 

All Things Considered

Kruger Optical is pretty young when it comes to binocular manufacturers and already, they are the sole manufacturer for REI’s lines of standard and waterproof binoculars.

Not a bad achievement for such a young company. 

They are also involved in manufacturing binoculars for the Discovery channel, which will only boost their company’s and REI’s reputation in the near future. 




Lindsey graduated with an MBA in 2009. Since then, Lindsey has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Lindsey is also the head writer and Co-founder of Rvandplaya.com. Lindsey is based in Morgantown, West Virginia.

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