12 Best Monoculars of 2021 – Top Models With Multi-Coated Lens, High Magnification, Waterproof for Hunting, Field Competition & Surveillance
- Robert Stevens
After many years of using a mediocre pair of binoculars, the day I bought my very first monocular literally changed my life and I got hooked to it since then. Monoculars are better than binoculars when you consider the ease of use, comfort, portability, and night vision. If you love the outdoors, hunting, hiking, birding, golfing or anything that requires long distance viewing, you will surely need the best monocular out there.
If you’re planning to buy a monocular soon, you will have to consider several things, like the viewing range, rangefinder, prisms, lens diameter and size, your wallet, and many more. To help you with that, we’ve done our homework to produce an authentic buyer's guide and made a Top 10 List. Read on to make your choice today!
What You Will Get Here
- Monoculars Comparison Chart (Updated 2021)
- Monocular Comparison Chart (Updated 2021)
- Why You Should Trust Us
- How We Picked These Products
- Our Top 12 Monocular List
- Top of the List: Wingspan Optics Explorer High Powered 12X50 Monocular
- Budget Buy: ROXANT High Definition Ultra-Light Mini Monocular Pocket Scope
- Great for Hunting: Authentic ROXANT Grip Scope High Definition Wide View Monocular
- Great for Surveillance: Feemic Telescope High Power 8x42 Monocular
- A List of 6 Other Monoculars We Reviewed
- Other Tested Products
- Other Notable Brands & Tested Models
- Why Use a High Power Monocular
- Monocular vs Binoculars: Which Should You Prefer?
- Types of Monocular
- Monocular - An In-Depth Buying Guide
- Taking Good Care of Your Monocular
Monoculars Comparison Chart (Updated 2021)
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Why You Should Trust Us
RangerExpert came into being when a group of nature lovers decided to share their outdoor activities with the world. Aside from sharing our hunting and shooting experiences, we are passionate about kits and gears essential for a perfect hunting experience.
We depend on our decade long experience and practical hunting knowledge before instrumentalizing a product for a certain end. Then comes the application process. Our knowledge of a certain product grows with first-hand application with careful observation. You will get to know more about our research procedure in the 'How we Picked and Tested' section below.
Also, we are not affiliated with any product manufacturers that may sponsor us. So, all our reviews are based on our hands-on experience. Nevertheless, we believe that you will get lots of practicals and useful information from this portal that might help you take your hunting strategy or shooting skill to the next level.
How We Picked These Products
With such a wide variety of products available and the mechanism they use, it can be confusing and very difficult to make an informed buying decision. To help you with that, we followed the following procedure. First, we conducted a 22-hour long online research to find out the most popular monoculars in the US market and came up with a list containing 19 such products. Then we involved our team as well as some volunteers to test each model.
Over the next few weeks, we all got busy reviewing those products considering the essential buying factors e.g. design, build and image quality, the resistance to elements when operating outdoors, durability, ease of use, magnification power, lens size, lens coating, prism, and so on.
Studying our test results, we were able to identify the top 10 of them based on several categories that you will find here. We also consulted other expert users both online and offline to know what they had to say about our final list. The process of finalizing included feedback from hunters, athletes, hikers, bird watchers, and even concert attendees among others. The protocol we maintained to mine our golds was loop-hole free and, logically, we are confident to pronounce that this is the most in-depth monocular review that you might find on the internet.
Our Top 12 Monocular List
In formulating our top ten pick list, we have kept in mind the various types of monoculars available and have chosen accordingly. Magnification Power, Lens size and diameter, Lens coatings, prisms, and the FOV were all considered at length, as were durability, the waterproof rating, inert gas filled monoculars, focus adjustment, eye relief, and the quality to cost ratio.
We felt it important to identify all types of great models so you can find the specific product that meets your requirements. We advise that you focus on your needs as opposed to being drawn into spending a lot of money for one enticing technological characteristic. We hope that this review will serve you as a buying guide.
Below you will find our shortlisted choices and hopefully find your perfect match without any difficulty.
Why Is It Our First Choice?
- We tested 19 of the most excellent monoculars during the time of our research and this model featured the highest number of positive properties, making it a featured-packed choice that nobody should miss out
- In terms of review numbers, this was also the highest reviewed product. This means real users have reviewed it highly and they also gave it one of the highest ratings that showed how positive they really were about this model.
- We considered a feature named review frequency to identify how frequently a product is reviewed on sites like Amazon. People also reviewed it quite frequently – a sign that this was very popular among the users.
- It is one of the most powerful monos in today’s market and simply the best in terms of accuracy. This was not just the manufacturer’s claim, we realized it’s power and performance when we tested it ourselves
Our number one pick is the “Wingspan Optics’ Explorer 12X50 High-powered Monocular”. This is one of the most powerful units available today. It offers an advanced 50mm lens to ensure clarity and color and offers great power. It is easy to operate and comfortable to use, allowing for one-hand focusing; thanks to the design that incorporates a comfort grip. With a strap slot, you can have it in your hand in a matter of seconds.
The optics technology used in it is revolutionary for the accuracy and precision it provides. Its wide-view permits you to find your preferred target at a distance of approximately 1000 yards. Terrific for bird watchers, hunters or lovers of nature, this jewel is waterproof, fog proof, and drop proof with the durability of an armored car, thanks to its external hard cover and telescoping capacity. This Explorer model offers all the great features you look for in such a product and is very affordable.
Even if you’re out attempting to conquer the most challenging and rugged of terrains, with all the risks that this entails, Wingspan offers this monocular with a lifetime warranty. In case of any damage, it will be replaced. And they offer a thirty-day trial period. Try it for thirty days and if you don’t like it, you’ll get your money back.
Wingspan offers a monocular with fantastic optics, a convenient size and weight, and a great field of view and depth of field. The construction is solid and the form attractive. The 50mm. the diameter of the objective lens allows for lots of light to enter and function in low light conditions as well. The Explorer 12X50 Monocular comes with a nylon mesh transport case, both lens and eyepiece covers for protection, and a microfiber, non-abrasive cleaning fabric.
- Magnification power 12 X
- Objective lens diameter 50 mm.
- BAK4 Prism type
- Fully multi-coated optical glass
- Field of View is 246 feet/1000 yard
- Waterproof and fog proof
- Eye Relief of 14 mm.
- Weight 14 oz. and Size is 3.1” x 6.4”
Considering the quality, the wealth of features and the pricing, the Wingspan Optics’ Explorer 12X50 High-powered Monocular is rightly so, our top-rated monocular. We appreciate the high magnification power and the lens diameter that is perfect for stargazing and other observations of astronomy.
A lifetime warranty and thirty-day 100% money back trial period speak for themselves as to the seriousness of this manufacturer. We also like the construction and durability factors. All told, you get great features, in a quality avant-garde product for a very affordable price. Hats off to our top choice!
Why Is It Our Budget Choice?
If you carefully go through our research report shown above, you will notice that this monocular belongs to the lowest price range. However, it has a nice combination of the most essential features that’s actually hard to expect from such a low-priced product. Besides, it’s actually the highest rated monocular in our list. This is a proof that though it comes at a reasonable price, it does not lag behind in terms of its performance.
Roxant has produced many quality monoculars and is working to innovate more. ROXANT Mini Monocular is a great optical product Roxant has introduced within this affordable price range. It has an ideal 7x18 magnification with an ergonomically designed body that helps you get a firm grip with clear and sharp images.
It comes in a compact size that fits in the pocket or backpack easily. The HD optical glass makes it an excellent handheld telescope which is ideal for hunting, hiking, backpacking, traveling, golf, archery, and whatnot? You may find a more powerful telescope in the marketplace, but this one is really a topnotch edition in this budget range. This handheld device offers a 7x18 scope to provide you with clearer images.
The comfort molded grip allows the users to have a strong hold to the tool with less shakiness. Even you can use these without a tripod and still get crisp images. If you are craving for a hassle-free excellent optical experience but are on a tight budget, this should be your top pick. The compact design, quality lenses, and HD optical glass combinedly help it top the list of budget-friendly high-end monocular.
- 7×18 Magnification
- Multi-Coated Optics
- HD Optical Glass
- Comfortable Molded Grip
- Size: 4 x 5 x 1.5 inches
ROXANT Monocular is truly a bang for the buck because you will not get any better monocular at this price range. If you are up for an Ultra-compact mini telescope that is small enough to fit your pocket, this should be the deal for you. What’s more, you will get a Carrying Case, Neck Strap and Cleaning Cloth with the package. The 7x18 Magnification will surely amaze you with its great precision.
Why Is It the Best Monocular for Hunting?
We have to cover long distances in a hunting trip and nobody likes to carry heavy binoculars or monoculars with them. This Roxant monocular model is ideal for hunting considering it’s lightweight, fog-and water-resistant, and compact that you can easily fit in your backpack and carry around with you. We would have liked it more if it had a better magnification power. Still, keeping in mind its mid-range pricing, this is overall a great choice that can accompany any hunter in the wild.
Looking for a cheap monocular? Not everyone can or wants to spend a lot of money on a monocular. Roxant Grip Scope High Definition Wide View Monocular is what you need if you are on a budget. This monocular is well built, sturdy yet very lightweight at only 7.8 oz. Its size is a-very-comfortable 1.5” x 5.5”. It has a comfort grip for long periods of viewing, which does not slip, making it relatively easier to use and steady when holding.
In spite of reduced dimensions, this monocular offers a magnification power of 6X combined with a 30 mm. diameter for its objective lens. Roxant offers a high definition view thanks to their use of optical glass for the ocular lens and glass that has a very low light dispersion. The lens is fully multi-coated with a premium coating and is all glass. It has a BaK4 Prism to guarantee great transmission of light for optimal brightness and clarity in the images.
The Field of View is an impressive 250 feet at 1000 yds. The wide-view characteristic gives 6 X 30 viewing. Perhaps not the strongest of magnifications but certainly more than adequate for activities outdoors, camping, concerts, hiking, archery, hunting, boating, aquatic sports, target shooting, and even mountain climbing.
This above 5 zoom monocular is small, compact and durable. It has an eyecup, which is retractable for those wearing eyeglasses and an easily adjustable ring for focusing. The exterior features a good grip due to bumps on the sides and a non-slip finish. This Roxant monocular comes with its own pouch, neck strap, and a cleaning cloth.
- magnification power 6 X
- Objective lens diameter is 30 mm.
- Fully multi-coated optical glass
- Field of View is 250 feet/1000 yards
- Waterproof and fog proof
- Weight 7.8 oz. and Size 1.8” x 5.5”
We like this product for its combination of good basic optics, light comfortable weight at a very affordable price. If you don’t want to invest a lot of money or maybe can’t, but still desire a monocular for your outdoor activities, this Roxant monocular is a terrific bargain buy. It has many of the qualities of more expensive monoculars.
Although not at the top for monocular performance, it could be the start of something big for a beginner, a child or teenager, or as an added attraction for your favorite hobby.
Why Is It Best for Surveillance?
A surveillance camera must have certain features, including lens size, power, lens coating, and durability. This military grade model performs great and is resistant to water, fog, dust, and shock; ensuring its durability. This is also on the affordable-priced monocular range. We used this product both for surveillance where minute details were needed in some cases, and it did not disappoint us. This is the reason we ended up picking it as the perfect choice for your surveillance purposes.
This wide-angle, high definition monocular is a high power monocular that provides 8X magnification with a 42 mm objective diameter of its wide lens. It offers an impressively large field of view at 360 feet per 1000 yards. If you love the outdoors and enjoy hunting, this is definitely a monocular for hunting.
Or if you want to get your kids involved in the outdoors, this durable monocular is child-friendly and childproof. It’s waterproof, dustproof, fog-proof and yes, shockproof. So if you accidentally drop it, no damage. It has a built-in dust cover for the lens, which can protect the lens from moisture, dust, and debris. It has a rubber external finish, which protects the monocular in extreme climate conditions and limits any eventual shock impact from bumping, jostling or dropping.
This monocular boasts a high light transmittance reaching up to 99.9% and it has low light night vision as well, as well as an HD wide-angle view with minimal distortion in light reflection. The compact design permits single hand operating with adjustable, flexible eyecups for use, whether you wear eyeglasses or not, and the design is children-friendly, too!
Feemic offers enviable durability which makes it a great under $300 night vision unit. This Feemic monocular comes with a lifetime warranty and a thirty-day money back guarantee. If for some reason you don’t like it you can return it within the first thirty days for a full refund.
This is a quality, high precision monocular that’ll provide you with great outdoor viewing. It’s perfect for hiking, climbing, hunting, bird watching, concerts or even golf. The monocular comes with a carrying pouch, cleaning fabric, a hand strap, and an instruction booklet.
- Magnification 8 X
- Objective lens diameter 42 mm.
- BK-7 prism
- Field of View 360 ft. /1000 yds.
- Waterproof, dustproof, shockproof
- Exterior rubber-coated metal
- Size 5.7” x 1.9 “ and Weighs 285 grams or 0.56 lb.
- Tripod mountable
Our verdict is that this model offers a great compact design with high-powered viewing. It’s comfortable and lightweight. The single hand operating is convenient and the cost is contained. With 8-power magnification, you’ll have steady viewing even if only using one hand.
Considering the lower price point, this remains as one of the better options in its category and is a logical unit for sale. For value, durability and portability, this monocular is a definite yes!
A List of 6 Other Monoculars We Reviewed
The Vortex Optics 10 x 36 mm Monocular offers you an easily carried, compact monocular for enthusiasts of the outdoors. It is sturdily built with a casing created in polycarbonate and is nonetheless lightweight with its ergonomic design offering comfort when using. It features a handy, versatile utility clip for attaching this lightweight scope or you can opt for the neck strap.
Like its 10X25 variant, this one is coated with rubber to impede slipping and absorb shock if bumped or dropped. It’s totally waterproof thanks to o-ring seals that impede moisture, debris, or dust penetration. Gas purging with nitrogen guarantees a waterproof and fog-proof performance. With a magnification power of 10X and an objective lens measuring 36 mm. in diameter, this monocular offers good value for its size.
Its larger lens diameter permits a greater amount of light to enter, improving the image even in a low light situation such as dawn, dusk or when immersed in heavily shaded vegetation. The fully multi-coated lens will provide you with increased transmission of light to deliver a bright, clear image, while the easily adjusted eyecup includes intermediate setting choices for a more comfortable utilization.
Its wheel for focusing has a relatively quick mechanism which moves from near to far with very little movement, reducing finger stress and offering very fast focusing. If you’re a hiker or a backpacker, this device will provide you with a quality viewing of your surroundings. It is a terrific choice for outdoorsmen giving you good solid magnification but with significantly less weight than a pair of binoculars. The monocular comes with a carrying pouch, utility clip, and neck lanyard.
- Magnification 10 X
- Objective lens Diameter 36 mm.
- Fully multi-coated optic lens
- Field of View 325 feet/1000 yards
- Nitrogen gas purging
- Waterproof, Fog-proof, shockproof
- Weight 9.7 oz.
- Size 12.4 x 5.5 x 6 cm.
While its resolution quality cannot compete with more expensive monoculars, it does give a very good performance at a much lower cost. It certainly ranks with the best in its class of similar monoculars, and in its price range, making it well worth the money you spend when purchasing. The lifetime warranty is unlimited and transferable as well as no-fault. This monocular will provide trusted optics for hunters, and hikers alike. The focus ring may be initially a little stiff and require two hands, but the bright clear images with quality resolution make this a solid reliable monocular at a reasonable price. The carrying pouch is open on the sides, which can permit dust and dirt to get inside as well.
The Solo Recon, also known as Solo 8x36, is a tactical monocular with a magnification power of 8X and a 36 mm. lens that makes it a fantastic choice for target surveillance. It is presented in a compact form that weighs 12.8 oz. and has been created to be carried as a basic equipment, which can be easily and quickly utilized.
It features reticle focus to permit the estimation of the range between you and your target. Outfitted with a handy clip, it can be attached to belts, webbing or other flat surfaces for quick access. Much like the Recon R/T 15x50 model, this easily handled Solo R/T Tactical Monocular offers bright images in any climate condition thanks to full waterproofing and fog-proofing.
The R/T Ranging reticle uses suspension lines for evaluating distance and corrections of windage. It provides silhouettes for fast-ranging. The ranging reticle uses milliradian angular measuring that allows you to do quick calculations regarding the distance of your target when compared to an object with a known dimension. To enjoy the benefits of the reticle you will want to know the measurements of objects in the general vicinity of your position.
The compact design permits single hand utilization and you can adjust the lens with an easily accessed focus wheel. The Solo R/T Tactical Monocular, also known as Solo RT, has an upper focus wheel for adjusting the reticle and a bottom focus wheel to adjust the image.
It is also fitted with a flexible rubber eyecup that guarantees great viewing with or without eyeglasses. The form of the eyecup design will block stray light if it is completely extended. This monocular can also be used with a lanyard. The monocular comes with a clip, neck lanyard, carrying pouch and cleaning fabric.
- Magnification 8X
- Objective lens diameter 36 mm.
- Bak-4 prism
- Fully multi-coated optics
- Field of View 393 feet/1000 yds.
- Nitrogen gas-purged and O-ring sealed
- Waterproof and fog-proof
- Size 7 x 3 x 3 inches and Weight 12.8 oz.
If you’re looking for the best monocular for hunting, try this because it won’t let you down in the field. No matter what you are going to buy, a monocular or binoculars, making an educated decision is always important. It is small, lightweight, and comfortable when you hold it. This monocular is easily transported due to size and the attachment clip. A flaring rubber eyecup effectively blocks out peripheral light and both the optic quality and reticle do their duty, providing you with a good solid product for the money you spend.
A great tele zoom monocular with some added versatility is the Gosky Titan 12 X 50 High Power Prism Monocular that comes complete with a smartphone holder. The magnification is powerful at 12X50 allowing you to see 12 times closer with a 50mm diameter of the objective lens that permits approximately 45% more light transmission than a 42mmns and the lens is green coated to guarantee the brightness of the images.
The Field of View is 289 feet/1000 yards. Along with a CFS (center focus system) allowing for single hand operating and exit relief that measures 17 mm., this monocular is definitely worth considering.
The Gosky Titan uses a large Bak-4 Prism internally and a fully multi-coated coating for its lens. You’ll get bright, clean and sharp in all your viewing. This model is built for adventurous outdoor types. The solid construction boasts O-ring sealing against water, dust, dirt, and debris, or humidity and moisture of any kind. The striped rubber exterior prevents slipping while handling. It features eyecups that are easily adjustable and permit eyeglass wearers to use it without removing their glasses.
The original aspect is found in its adapter for all types of cell phones. Whether you use Samsung phones, iPhones, LG, Sony, HTV or others, you’ll find that the adapter will hold your phone. So if you’re on a safari, camping or birding, this monocular will bring the world you’re observing, incredibly closer with great ease.
It’s tripod-friendly and will help you capture memories of beautiful images to keep and to share. The package comes with a smartphone adapter, a carrying case, protective covers for eyepiece and lens, a strap and cleaning fabric.
- Magnification 12X
- Objective lens diameter 50 mm
- BaK-4 prism
- Fully multi-coated lens
- Field of View 289 feet/1000 yards
- Waterproof, dust, dirt, and debris-proof, fog-proof
- Center Focus System
- Weight 13.85 oz. and Size 2.09” x 2.95” x 5.31”
The Gorsky Titan 12x50 High Power Prism Monocular rightly takes its place in our top ten list for its telescopic zoom capacity. The fact alone that you can photograph all the beautiful imagery you witness thanks to its smartphone holder, gives this monocular extra points, and we really like the objective lens measuring 50mm in diameter allowing for all that extra light transmission.
Plus, in spite of the smartphone holder attachment, the Central Focus knob still allows you to operate your monocular with one hand. A thumbs up because the pros substantially outweigh any cons.
This powerful monocular offers a brilliantly clear and bright image and is impressive despite its modest size. The small size doesn’t limit it in any way in offering quality close ups and it is sturdily built to last over time in spite of accidental bumps or drops when facing rough terrain.
With a 10x magnification zoom, this scope allows observing your target as if close up. The 42 mm. objective lens diameter works even in lower light conditions. The “Opticomfort” eyecups are adjustable and can be quickly twisted either up or down to allow for comfortable viewing whether you’re wearing eyeglasses or not. You will be able to identify your target easily and you’ll feel like you’re standing face to face.
The ProSpotter features a newer turning focus wheel, which is larger in size and can be operated with one hand. This mini telescope can be mounted on a tripod. It comes with a protective carrying pouch, a neck strap, cleaning fabric and those oh-so-useful lens covers for protecting your instrument. It’s a great choice whether you are an expert or a beginning observer on the trail.
This Wingspan is really very user-friendly for all of you nature lovers and outdoorsmen, with a strap slot that permits your monocular to be in your hand in a matter of seconds. It's excellent for marine life gazing (especially for whales, sharks, and dolphins) as part of saving the ocean since it’s lightweight, portable, debris-proof, drop proof, fog proof, slip-proof and waterproof - perfect for all types of weather. It comes with a lifetime guarantee.
- Magnification 10 X
- Objective lens diameter 42 mm.
- Bak4 prism
- Field of view 304 feet /1000 yards
- Waterproof and fog-proof
- Weight 11.6 oz.
- Size “5.31”x”2.95”x”2.09”
- Tripod Mountable
Our verdict is, considering how easy it is to hold and the focus and quality of the image, this ProSpotter is a good basic monocular for the price that performs well for bird watchers and nature lovers.
With the easy one-handed operation and its suitability for all climate conditions, you’ll find that this powerful, light and compact monocular beats out the competition. It also has a lifetime warranty and comes complete with protective lens covers.
The Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Monocular is a well designed, ergonomic, tactical monocular. It has a picatinny rail to mount accessories and is compatible in the event of tripod use with a built-in tripod mount. It can be transported using a clip or worn with a neck lanyard.
The 10X magnification provides stunning resolution for longer distances with exquisite detail. The Legend Ultra HD is made with BaK-4 Prisms guaranteeing wonderful clarity and uses fully multi-coated lenses to impede fogging. Bushnell also applied its “RainGuard HD coating” which gives permanent waterproofing. No rain, sleet, snow or condensation moisture to ruin your viewing experience.
An added advantage is Bushnell’s use of the “ED Prime” glass to reduce color dispersion. You’ll enjoy the great color detail even at a distance. The monocular offers a good close focus distance at 6.5 feet. And the objective lens provides generous transmission of light, meaning that you can see in daylight or lower light conditions.
The Field of View is also generous, measuring in at 340 feet from a distance of 1000 yards. The Focus wheel is on top of the monocular to facilitate one hand use. The exterior is rubber coated for extra protection against drops or bumps and it comes in two colors! Bushnell offers a black matte finish version and a sand colored version for tactical use.
As the Legend HD is purged with nitrogen gas, there’s no risk of fogging. And Bushnell is so confident about this product that they guarantee it with a “Bulletproof 100% Money Back Guarantee”. The Monocular comes with a carrying pouch, utility clip, and “Picatinny” rail.
- 10 X magnification
- Objective lens diameter of 42 mm.
- Optics with BaK-4 prisms
- Field of View 340 feet/1000 yards
- Fully multi-coated lenses
- 100% waterproof and fog-proof
- Close focus distance 2 meters
- Weight 374 grams and Length 5.4”
This product deserves our recommendation. This really is a top-performing instrument and is consistently a high-rated monocular. We agree. The optics, durability, and image quality are all top notch providing outstanding overall product quality. We also appreciate that this monocular offers both good focus at a close distance while offering a generous Field of View at a further distance. The fact that Bushnell offers you a “Bulletproof 100% Money Back Guarantee” speaks volumes about the quality of their product. For your money, the value of this product is excellent.
Carson has impressed us! The MiniMight is indeed mini in size yet mighty in performance. Our field test found that this one is a game changer when you are out in the wild with a small backpack but in need of a decent magnification range.
In fact, this thing can be hidden inside your pants pocket so imperceptibly that you might grope at times. However, it covers a thousand yards of view showing in a range of only 426 ft. This automatically makes it a choice for hunting trips, ball games and hikes.
You’ll get a decent pouch to carry it around. A carabiner clip will help you cling it to a gear or clothing.
Another impressive offer that you will receive from Carson is a ‘No fault, No Hassle’ warranty which will cover you up when you damage your monocular for only a $15 fee.
- Compact build with 6x magnification
- Attached carabiner clip
- Diameter of objective lens: 1.8cm| Weight: 90 grams
- Field of View: 1k yards shortened to 426 feet view
- Fully Coated Optics, ideal for hiking, camping, safari, hunting, concerts, bird watching, travel, surveillance, and sporting events
- Carabiner Clip, Lens Cloth and Soft Pouch included
- ‘No-Fault, and No-Hassle’ titled Warranty policy ensured by the manufacturer
Carson has done a good job crafting this mini piece of telescope containing some really useful features. We are happy with its price point as you don’t really have a lot of options for putting high-end features in a low budget pocket size telescope. With a budget under $30, you can’t have a better one piece monocular than this.
This monocular boasts an incredible field of view of 388 feet at 1000 yards providing a phenomenal panoramic view. It features a magnification power of 8x with a competitive 42mm diameter for the objective lens. You will be able to observe distant targets in nature’s beautiful panoramas, while viewing the details, too. Nature lovers and sports fans alike are enthusiastic about this wide-view monocular.
It uses advanced optics to provide one of the clearest and brightest images on the market and features adjustable eye cups to lessen eye fatigue whether you’re wearing eyeglasses or not. In this manner, you can observe for longer periods of time, and on a tripod, if desired. Another fantastic aspect is that this mono has a lifetime guarantee against debris, dust, dropping, water and spills, and the weather.
It is equipped with a single hand focus to facilitate your viewing. The focus wheel is large and ergonomically designed for greater comfort when using. Unfortunately, this model comes without some type of rubber grip to prevent slipping when handling. But our team still found it relatively easy to hold onto.
Do you want a brighter view of nature’s beauty? This Wingspan Optics Tracker is durable, easy to use, and priced reasonably. The Monocular comes with a carrying pouch, a lens cover, neck strap and cleaning cloth for the lens, and has a limited lifetime warranty.
- Magnification power 8 X
- Objective lens diameter 42mm
- BaK-4 prism
- Fully multi-coated Lens coating
- Field of View is 388 feet /1000 yards
- Debris-proof, dustproof, fog proof, spill proof, waterproof
- 2-meter close focusing distance
- Size 2.1” x 2.9” x 5.3” and Weight 11.6 ounces
We chose this monocular for our list because of its very large field of view and panoramic viewing potential. Its design is ergonomically attractive and we think the larger focus wheel with single hand operation is particularly appealing. We also like the idea of the bright clear images that it provides. And the lifetime limited warranty is indicative of quality in a product and seriousness on the part of the manufacturer. It is well worth the purchase price.
This is a luxurious monocular, to say the least. If you’re in the market for something really special that offers superb quality and if price is not a problem to you, this might be exactly what you need. The Leica Monovid features an excellent lens that offers fantastic resolution giving you a great image every time you use it.
Images are crystal clear with no peripheral distortion. The focusing is very easy. The Field of View is relatively good considering how small the unit is.
This stylish compact model is lightweight at 112 grams and comes in an elegant black, red or aluminum case. It’s the perfect size for your pocket. Whether you use it outdoors or at the opera, you’ll have a great performing monocular that detects the finest particulars. The Leica Monovid offers great macro potential as well.
This Leica mini telescope has an accessory lens for close-ups so that you can look at targets as close to you as 10 to 12 inches, such as insects or flowers. You simply screw this accessory lens onto the front lens, which gives you the macro effect for those super fine details.
This Leica can also be used as half of a binocular pair, as a minute telescope and as a macroscope. What more can you ask for! And this monocular comes with a beautifully crafted leather case with magnetic closure for storage that boasts a special pocket for the close-up accessory lens. Leica offers a 3-year warranty, which is not transferable.
- Magnification: 8 x
- Front lens diameter 20 mm.
- Copyrighted HDC High Durable Coating/AcquaDura Coating on the outer lens
- Field of View 110 meters/1000 yards
- Nitrogen filled aluminum
- Fog-proof and waterproof
- The Twilight factor 12.7
- Length 97.9 mm and Diameter is 35.5 mm.
Apart from its under $500 price point, this monocular is all good and appears to be perfect for just about everything from bird watching to spectator sports to an evening at the opera. It has an elegant construction and beautiful leather case, but above all, it offers superb optical performance with sharp, clear views.
While the only con might be the price, which isn’t for every wallet, the pros are numerous. If you like luxury and high-quality performance, and you’re able and willing to make an economic investment, this Leica deserves your full attention.
Other Tested Products
- 1Super Clear 40x60 Monocular Telescope
- 2Monocular Telescopes, 12x50 High Power Prism Spotting Scope
- 3OMZER 10x42 High Power Monocular Telescope BAK4 FMC Prism
- 4Armstrong 10x42 Zooming Monocular Telescope with Smartphone Photography Accessories
- 5Leica Monovid 8 x 20 Monocular with Leather Case (Black)
- 6HDE 15x Zoom Compact Monocular 21mm Bright
- 7High Power Hd Monocular Telescope - 40×60 BAK4 Prism Monocular Scope
- 8Carson MiniMight 6x18mm Pocket Monocular with Carabiner Clip (MM-618)
- 9PROCHE Retro Pirate Telescope Zoomable 25x30 Pocket Monocular Portable Collapsible Waterproof
- 10Carl ZEISS 8x30B
Other Notable Brands & Tested Models
We came across scores of other reputable brands and their popular product lines that didn’t make it to our top 10. Here’s the list that you should not miss out on:
Polaris, Bestguarder (Popular model- 6x50mm HD Digital Night Vision), Firefield (Popular model- FF24063), Outerdo, Night Owl (Popular Model-Optics Nocx3), Markenlos (Popular model-KL1040), HaleBor, Gomu, Olympus, Boshile, Vivitar, Orion, Zen Ray Optics, Campco for Hunting (well known for folding monocular models), Bresser (Popular model- NightVision 5x50), Selsi, Beileshi, Ueasy (known for 100x Zoom pocket size mini models), and Simmons.
Other hot sellers:
Starscope, Boblov, REI Inc., SUNECT (known for- Nikula Power 10-30x25), Generic (Popular Model- F30070M), TASCO, Solomark, Quantum XP23V Thermal Imaging), Celestron (Popular model- Nature 10x25, Oceana 8x42,) , Barska (Popular model- NVX100, Blackhawk), Swarovski Optik, Pulsar (Popular model- Helion XQ38F, XQ30F, XD19A, Pentax, Steiner, MINOX (known for-MD 6x16) and Opticron.
Here are some more models that we worked with and found out to be worth mentioning:
- 16X52 MAGNIFICATION
- Muilt-coated optics upgraded version of the green AR
- Waterproof and Fogproof
- Can be used to take pictures or video capture during the day or night
- Infrared illuminator
- fast and easy data transfer
- brass folding nautical monocular
- compact enough to pack into a grip or coat pocket
- excellent optics for real viewing
- latest image stabilising gyroscope technology
- Highest quality multi-coated optics
- Made in Japan
- bright image quality and large fields of view
- Patented T* anti-reflective multi-coating
- warranties of lifetime
- tactical monocular with 8x magnification
- generates bright, sharp high definition images
- large focus wheel is easy to adjust
- Digital Night Vision monocular with 4.5x magnification, 1-3x digital zoom
- built in Infrared Illuminator for up to a 750 ft.
- Rugged water-resistant housing
- CMOS sensor achieves clear view up to 5X optical magnification
- Built-in infrared Illuminator
- Digital night vision has photo shooting and video recording
Why Use a High Power Monocular
The outdoorsman uses lenses for a variety of purposes. A monocular is basically a very small, miniature telescope that uses one lens. You hold it in your hand and use one eye to do your viewing. Some can be as small as the length of a finger or as thin as a pen. If you have space or weight issues, it may be just what you need.
Easily stored in a pocket or a fanny pack, you’ll be able to see those far away animals, objects, concert stages or signs with ease. These optics have the added advantage of functioning as a type of magnifier. You can pull it out of your pocket, hold it over text or an object, and it will be magnified. It also is a great product for people who may only have adequate sight in one eye. So the monocular can be a terrific choice, which isn’t limited only to people who spend time in outdoor activities.
Summarizing, the advantages include:
- Small size
- Object detection
- Wildlife and nature observation
- Concert and Sports events viewing
Monocular vs Binoculars: Which Should You Prefer?
The more commonly used “binoculars” are named for a set of two lenses that allows the user to scout or to observe. Fundamentally, a monocular offers the same characteristics as binoculars but at half the weight with only one lens. By contrast, the monocular is more compact, weighs less, is easy to handle and transport.
If you plan on observing for lengthy periods of time, you will probably want to opt for a set of binoculars because it is more comfortable for the eyes. However, one should remember that binoculars are also bulkier and heavier.
So, you may also get tired of holding them. A serious fan of some sort of outdoor sports often brings along a tripod for lengthier observation. Add the bulk, the weight, and the tripod; and that’s quite a bit to manage.
Also, consider the price in relation to quality. Depending on your budget, you can buy a cheap set of binoculars, but you can find a higher quality monocular for the same price as a lesser quality set of binoculars because you’re only acquiring the single lens. So you may seriously wish to consider a monocular just to get a better quality product for the money you can spend.
Types of Monocular
With the advancements in technology, there are many types of monoculars to consider when choosing. Depending on your specific needs, you may think about compact, night vision (NVG) infrared, and thermal imaging (the technology thermal scopes have) monos.
The particularly compact monocular will fit in the palm of your hand thanks to its very small size. You’ll have great transportability without sacrificing good distance viewing although the optics may be less powerful than in standardly sized monoculars, as lesser magnification due to smaller lenses is one limit. Although, they will probably cost a little less.
Do you need to see in the dark? The identical technology used for binoculars is available to the user. It can feature quality micro frequency infrared technology, which will allow for high-quality distance viewing after dark. They use larger lenses with potent magnification to collect light even at nighttime so you can view objects with relative ease even at low light exposure.
If you’re hunting at night or in the early morning hours before daylight, and want a hunting monocular, this might be your choice. Usually, the technology can be shut off, so this device can be used for daytime activities as well.
The thermal imaging type also finds its way into the category of night vision monoculars. This type detects heat from other people or animals to provide a picture specifically for the dark. This type can be used both day and night and can be great for hunting prey that is hiding in the bushes.
Other aspects that you will want to take into consideration, especially when considering tactical monoculars, would be the waterproof which will allow you to do your hunting or hiking in the rain. Will it withstand water, fog, and humidity? Will it offer certain durability and ruggedness coupled with powerful distance viewing?
Does your preferred choice assist you in determining the distance between what you’re viewing and your position? Some products offer a reticule for identifying how far away you are from your target. Is the monocular dust proof? As you’re outdoors, this can be important. And finally, don’t forget to consider the high definition choice. This aspect could be the make or break feature for bird watchers or nature watchers in general.
Monocular - An In-Depth Buying Guide
Ernest Hemingway said, “If I can see it, I can kill it.” That means, if he could see a game, he can go after it and kill it. A lot of you probably didn’t know until now that Hemingway used to be a great hunter. So, the viewing ability of the game is essential to hunting. For a compact and cheap viewing solution, monos are the ideal options for you.
We have compiled a list of criteria that we feel are fundamental in case you are still wondering what is the best monocular but don't know how to make your choice.
1. Optics Quality Magnification
When considering the optic quality, there are several aspects to consider. These include the magnification potential, the size of the lens, and how it affects the amount of light it can gather. Logically, the higher the power is, the higher the price.
With monos, you will find two numbers for the magnification. For example, 4 x 28. The 4 represents the power of the magnification while the second number represents the size of the front lens or objective measured in millimeters.
2. Lens Size & Diameter
The lens size will have an effect on its function. A larger lens can gather more light and this will result in higher quality images when using high zoom, at sunrise or at sunset. However, a larger size also entails more weight to carry and more bulk.
Monoculars use three principal types of prisms internally to better the images: Roof prisms, Porro prisms, and Galilean. The first is excellent for long range distances, the second is more adapted to shorter to mid distances and the third is great for close ranges.
4. Lens Coating
All lenses come with coatings of some type. These coatings should be water repellent and better visibility. Some may even prevent fogging. Coating levels include:
- A Simple coated lens which is the least expensive
- Fully coated which is one level better in terms of quality of image and cost
- Multi-coated with several types of coating to better the quality and up the price
- Fully multi-coated are the most expensive
5. Field of View
The field of vision or view pertains to the diameter of your subject as viewed from various magnification power levels. The range of your view will decrease as you increase the magnification.
6. Inert Gas Filled Monoculars
Some more expensive models will be sealed completely and filled with what are called “inert gasses.” If the lens is sealed, it is impossible for dirt or water to enter. If the tube is gas filled, you will have a better image.
As gasses from the atmosphere allow for some distortion of the light passing the device, the inert gasses in a sealed tube don't allow for split, refracted or reflected light, guaranteeing you a better image.
7. Waterproof Rating
Waterproofing for the monocular is a must. If water gets inside, you will have to toss it. Once you think you have found the right choice, look for its IP rating, which measures its water resistance. The letters “IP” will be followed by two numbers (yes, it’s not only binos that have numbers).
The first number, from 1 to 7, is indicative of protection from intrusions such as dust or dirt: 1 is the lowest with 7 as the most protective. The second number pertains to water and varies from 1 to 9, with 9 offering the most protection.
How long will your telescope last? The durability of any product is important when spending those hard-earned dollars. What materials did the manufacturer use for the exterior? Are the features fragile, or resistant to atmospheric influences and to the method of transport for example in a backpack, fanny pack or pocket?
9. Focus Adjustments
Focus adjustment refers to a focus ring, which allows you to perfect your focus. Some offer a design permitting one-hand adjustment while others require two hands.
10. Eye Strain & Relief
The Eye Relief may be important to you if you wear glasses or just prefer the lens a little more distant from your eye. It refers to how far or close your eye should sit from the lens at the rear to see a perfect image.
Taking Good Care of Your Monocular
Monoculars are basically low maintenance instruments, but now that you’ve invested, or are going to invest in one, you will want it to last. Here are some tips to keep the instrument in tip-top condition for many years to come.
- When you make your purchase, you will be provided with an instruction booklet that also indicates how to properly clean it. Always read the instructions thoroughly and follow them. The manufacturer will explain to you how to keep the device in a great condition during and after the cleaning process.
- Use a case and protect your device from dirt, grime, dust, and even moisture, especially when you’re not using it.
- Use a soft lint-free cloth when cleaning. Normally a cloth will be provided with your purchase. Don’t use just any towel or rag, and wash your cleaning cloth whenever it appears dirty.
- After using your telescope outdoors, wipe clean the lens. You may add a drop or two of rubbing alcohol to remove smudges and dirt from the lens.
- Keep the device in a dry place so chemicals and moisture cannot corrode it. Even if it is waterproof, keep it in a dry location to avoid corrosion and damage.
A small amount of maintenance can guarantee that your monocular will last over time. And regular cleaning will enhance your viewing experiences outdoors rendering them more enjoyable.
It’s Time to Wrap Up
As you now know, in order to find the best monocular, you have to consider many essential factors. In this monocular review, the RangerExpert team attempted to provide you with the fundamentals of the monocular, the different types available, and the specific characteristics of each type.
If you hunt, you may prefer a tactical mono with range estimation, reinforced exterior armor for rugged terrain and great sealing and waterproofing. And the Field of View potential will probably be of great importance to your selection.
Are you a bird watcher or observer of nature in general? You may prefer to give major consideration to how much detail you can view from a considerable distance or perhaps even close up. Consider the magnification power.
As hikers or campers, you may prefer to give precedence to a compact design to avoid adding extra weight to the equipment you are already carrying and to conserving space.
Going to the opera or theater? Size, appearance and distance viewing may be your priorities. Or, if you want to begin using a mono but don’t want to make such a big investment, you may opt for a cheaper model to get started with.
Whatever your budget allows for, the most important consideration when selecting and purchasing are your preferences and your needs. Don’t be lured into buying a monocular as a technological gadget, but choose wisely for yourself, because your device will bring astounding imagery to your indoor and outdoor adventures.
Q: Which is better, binocular or monocular?
Ans: Well, that totally depends on the purpose you want to use your glasses for. Monos and binos have differences in form and price factors. For watching birds and landscapes, binos can give you an edge. They are more expensive and bigger and because of the size, binos aren’t preferred by hunters or fishermen. The monos are compact, cheaper and portable, meaning, you can use them for hunting easily.
Q: What is the best monocular for bird watching?
Ans: Check out the Wingspan Optics Explorer on our list, it’s terrific for bird watching. Also the Feemic Telescope High Power Monocular is another great choice for long-range bird watching.
Q: What size monocular do I need?
Ans: Size does matter when it comes to buying a monocular. Depending on your purpose, you should choose one. If you go for a small one, it should fit your pocket. For portability, these are excellent. On the other hand, if you want brighter, sharper and clearer image and viewing experience, you can go for the bulkier ones.