Best Monoculars Reviews of 2017- The Ultimate Buying Guide

Monoculars by definition are hidden gems found in viewing devices. Unlike binoculars and telescopes that are given more attention, monoculars are not so popular. However, monoculars provide you with the ability to view just about anything.

When deciding if a monocular can work for you, it is best to look at the features, types and what is provided out there in the market. To enjoy a monocular, it is important that you find one with the perfect features and one that is affordable.

Monoculars have a wide range of benefits:

  • They are exceptionally versatile.
  • They require the use of one eye and can, therefore, be used even by people that have only one functional eye.
  • Have a small size and hence can be comfortably carried anywhere.
  • Have a wide range of uses such as sign watching and hunting.

Top 10 Best Monocular Review

Today, with a lot of monoculars on the market it is very difficult to choose which are the best, especially since all of them claim to offer you super quality and many features. Following are reviews of 10 best monoculars on the market today. These monoculars stand out from the rest because of their quality or a particular feature making them unique. Let's take a look!

1. The Celestron Nature 10x25 Monocular Review

The Celestron Nature 10x25 Monocular is truly an amazing product to recently hit the market. It has interesting features such as a 25mm objective lens that is capable of 10X magnification. It has an exemplary resolution and clarity, a common characteristic of the Celestron brand.

A few consumers have raised complaints of a shaky image at the 10X magnification. However, that is quite expected for such a high level of magnification. The Celestron Nature 10x25 Monocular lacks a tripod mount, an unfortunate fact for consumers who have shaky hands. Its lightweight contributes to shakiness especially for users who do not have steady hands.

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Via Amazon

The monocular is fitted with BaK-4 roof prism optics. Each one of the air-to-glass surfaces have been coated with several layers of paint. It has a nitrogen-charged barrel to protect against the adverse effects of fogging.

All the lenses of this monocular are conveniently O-ring sealed to keep out water. This means that it can survive and go undamaged in a watery environment. The Celestron Nature 10x25 Monocular has a linear field of view which is 304 feet at 1,000 yards. This allows for a large size view through the product.


​The images produced by this monocular are clear and crisp. This is because they have plenty of detail and contrast to them. In addition, it has an unparalleled light transmission that can easily spot critters in low-light conditions, in shadows as well as in several other occasions.

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It has a very stiff focus ring that is ideal for focusing on stationary objects because it stays in focus. Unfortunately, consumers may experience some difficulty in focusing on moving objects. This is because it is difficult to focus when moving closer or further away.


​This product is completely covered with rubber for protection. The Celestron Nature 10x25 Monocular is also very shock-proof. This means that the monocular can safely bounce off rock walls and can even survive hard drops.

The prism and the rest of the optical system are therefore fully protected from any damage. It has finger grooves made of rubber on the top section to facilitate easy handling when putting on gloves or when the weather is rainy or cold.

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The Celestron brand must have invested heavily on the design of this compact product. It is little and compact making it quite suitable for travel. The downside to the monocular’s design has everything to do with the location of the lanyard hole. This is because when the actual lanyard is attached there is some interference with the focus ring.

Access to the lanyard is blocked when the focus ring is turned from the bottom of the product. Unfortunately, there is no other solution to this problem other than to focus from the unit’s top and this can be very annoying at times.


The Celestron Nature 10x25 Monocular is durable and very rugged. This is aided by the fact that the overall chassis is designed with the aim of providing protection to the optics (inclusive of lenses).

This extends to even the placing of the front lens that sits offset from the monocular’s body. It is a challenge for the lens to suffer scratches at this position and even when it is dropped front-first on a rocky terrain.

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The real question is how well the product operates in real-life situations. Generally, the monocular works well in most situations as deduced from reviews. It is ideal for concert-viewing, terrain-viewing as well as in other conditions that have slow-moving or stationary target images. It is not recommended for bird-watching because the stiff focus ring can cause bit of annoyance and frustration.


  • This product has very good light transmission.
  • It is light in weight and has a compact design.
  • It is highly durable and rugged.


  • It has a stiff focus ring.
  • It lacks a tripod mount.
  • It has a carrying case that is not very safe to carry.


This product provides 10X magnification and has an equally stunning resolution when viewed from long distances. This means that consumers can easily focus on objects that are nearly invisible from a long distance away and still clearly see the details such as shadows of tall grass and trees.

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Type of optics

The Bushnell brand carefully designed this product with high quality BaK-4 roof prisms. These prisms provide excellent optical clarity regardless of the distance of the object being focused on. In order to prevent glare and fogging, the lenses are completely multi-coated. Furthermore, Bushnell has incorporated in the lenses a RainGuard HD coating to help in inclement weather.

The coating is effective in providing the lenses with water-repellent capabilities that is permanent. This means that moisture from sleet, snow, rain and even other forms of condensation bead up to scatter less light. Ultimately, this results in a bright and clear view even in very poor weather conditions.

Color dispersion is reduced with the help of the ED Prime glass. Consumers can therefore make out impressive color detail even when the monocular is in its longest range. It has a comfortable eye relief at 15.2mm while the eyecup has an interesting twist-up design that can be utilized with eyeglasses or without.

This product boasts of a close focus range that is as close as 6.5’, this allows consumers to read very fine print from a long distance. Ample light transmission is facilitated by the 42mm objective lens, this means that the monocular operates at optimum in both low light conditions and in broad daylight.

Field of view

​This product provides consumers with a good field of view i.e. 340 feet of view from 1,000 yards. This is above average considering the fact that it is a 10X model. The focus wheel is on top of the monocular to allow for simple one-handed operation.

This monocular is fitted with a focus wheel that spins with adequate resistance that allows consumers to easily focus on the target. Users do not have to worry about bumping the monocular off-focus accidentally.

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​The Bushnell brand makes this product in 2 colors i.e. tactical sand and matte black. It has a rubber-armored for optimum protection against grinds and bumps. It has texturing that is strategically placed to facilitate a grip that is slip-free and secure.

There is a stainless steel belt clip which is attaches the product to the user’s belt mainly for quick access. It also has a Picatinny rail that can be used for mounting all manner of accessories e.g. high-powered tactical flashlight.

It has a nitrogen-purged barrel to prevent fogging. The rubber-armored body provides good shock resistance in case it drops. Bushnell is so confident about the quality of the Legend Ultra HD to withstand the rigors of outdoor use and that is why it has a 100% Money Back Guarantee. The Legend Ultra HD is one of the best monoculars currently in the market with regard to performance. It is recommended for stargazing, wildlife viewing hikes and even hunting trips.


  • It has convenient picatinny rails for accessories.
  • It has a compatible tripod stand.
  • It produces fantastic images.


  • It has an oversized carrying case

3. The Orion 10×42 Waterproof Monocular Review- The BEST MONOCULAR FOR THE MONEY

If you are looking for a monocular that is compact, lightweight and easy to carry for long trails, then the Orion 10×42 is well suited. The gadget can be used for various wildlife watching activities including bird and wildlife observation.

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Specific Features

​The Orion 10×42 has is designed to use a BK-7 prism. The lenses also come with anti-reflection coating to ensure that the images that you get with this monocular are bright, well contrasted and detailed.

You will also note that the gadget is well covered with twist-up rubber to enable the use position his or her eye properly. This makes it possible to see images with an entire field of view. The field in the Orion 10×42 is 5.9o. This makes it possible to view 309 feet of view within a 1,000 yards.

This view helps achieve detailed, crisp, and clear images. Compared to other monoculars in its range, it may be considered average; not so high nor so low. To adjust focus, the Orion 10×42 Waterproof Monocular employs a center focus wheel.

One thing that I took note of, which in this case is a drawback is how tight the wheel is. It may require a strong set of hands or fingers to turn it around. However, this may be beneficial in preventing accidental turning of the wheel.


The lens, which is 42mm in size, is big enough to allow a good transmission of light. This makes it possible to view images that are sharp and bright. It also improves magnification such that even small objects can be pulled up and viewed closely.

Whether you use glasses or not, you can comfortably use the Orion 10×42. This is because it has a 17mm eye relief. It also has a near focus view of just over 20’ that makes it possible to see object that are close in prefect detail.

The Body

​This monocular is covered with armor rubber that provides a good ergonomic grip. This provides protection against short falls or small bumps. However, since the monocular does not have any lens covers, one has to take extra care not to drop it over a long distance.

It also lightweight weighing a mere 11 ounces. Its length is 6.1”. As such you can move around with this gadget and not worry about weight or storage space. The lens is housed within a 42mm barrel.

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The manufacturer has also left ample rubber between the lens and the end or the barrel. This offers shielding from the sun and sock absorption in cases of falls.

The Orion 10×42 Waterproof Monocular comes with a tripod-mount that can fit well into any 1-20” tripod. This offers the benefit of offering additional stability during use. One can also share the use of the gadget with friends when it is so mounted.

Durability and Outdoor Use

​The manufacturer indicates that the Orion 10×42 Waterproof Monocular is water resistant. Unfortunately, experience has shown that it is not. In two trials of two different gadget helped prove this.

This means that the monocular cannot be used in severely foggy or misty weather. Outdoor use will have be limited to dry weather conditions or else, the monocular should be kept dry in wet conditions.


​The Orion 10×42 package comes with a carrying strap, Neoprene case that has belt loop, and the gadget itself.

In summary, the Orion 10×42 Waterproof Monocular can be classified as an entry level monocular. Features such as image detail, clarity, excellent view, good lighting are some of its key benefits. Its tight focus nob and lack of water resistance are some of its drawbacks. Otherwise it’s a good monocular.


  • Has a high level of clarity, detail, and contrast
  • It has a near focus distance of 20”.
  • Comes with a tripod mount that work with 1-20” tripod.


  • It lacks water resistance.
  • It hard to turn the focus nob – it’s too tight.
  • It also lacks diopter adjustment.
  • Its Neoprene case is also a bit tight

4. The Barska 10×40 Blackhawk Monocular Review

This is a gadget that is specifically built for travel uses. It is also entry level but quite useful. It can comfortably be used during hunting trips.

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Specific Features

The OpticsThe optics of this monocular are fully fog and waterproof. The lens has an O-ring seal and a nitrogen filled barrel. This means that it is a multi-coated optic. The field of view is 315 feet within a 1,000 yards. The close focus on the other hand is 13 feet. As such, you can zoom in objects that are as close as 5 yards.


Barska Blackhawk Monocular has an objective lens of 40mm. The magnification is 10X. This means that it has a resolution and clarity that is quite good. A magnification of 10X, although high can be quite shaky without a tripod. Unfortunately, this monocular is not tripod compatible; although the manufacturer indicates that it is.

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The Body

The Barska 10×40 Blackhawk Monocular has a superb grip since it is coated with rubber armor that has a diamond pattern on the top and bottom. It has an eyepiece focus wheel is easy to adjust and turn – not too tight or too loose.

The body also has finger knurls that further improves the grip of the monocular. The eyepiece can be used with or without glasses. The Blackhawk Monocular is 6.2 inches and it weighs 2 ounces. The lens has a BK-7 roof prism.

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Durability and Outdoor Use

The armored rubber covering gives this gadget quite a high level of protection from falls. Whether you are using it in wet conditions, in mud or it even falls, it is safe from damage. In terms of its weight, the Barska 10×40 Blackhawk Monocular is easy to carry around since it weighs only 2 ounces.


The Blackhawk Monocular package comes with a few additions in its box including a wrist strap, a carrying case, a lens cloth and the gadget itself.

In summary, while some of the descriptions do not match the actual gadget, this monocular is quite handy and useful. Its durability also gives it extra value that you are sure to love.


  • The monocular is light weight and compact.
  • Its wrist strap makes easy to carry around.
  • It durable even in harsh weather conditions.


  • It is not tripod compatible.
  • Despite indication that it has a Bak-4 prism glass, it has a BK-7.

5. The Leica 8x20 Monovid Monocular Review- best monocular for hunting

Let us begin by taking a glance at the dimensions of the monocular. This item is minute and its diameter measures 1-13/32” x 3-27/32” lengthwise, which means it can effortlessly slide inside the pockets of your shirt or shorts.

Including the close up lens which is attached, the monocular has a length of 4-1/8”. It has a weight below a ¼ of a pound minus the close-up lens. It comes with an eye relief of 15mm and is comfy to use including or not including glasses.

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The Leica Monovid has an objective lens measuring 20mm which gives a magnification of 8X in a very brilliant view. It also has fantastic resolution and contrast which makes you feel personal with what you may be observing.

The monocular comes with a viewing field of 330ft from one thousand yards. The close distance of focus that comes with the monocular is 611 inches, but if you try screwing on the close-up lens you can attain an effect (macro) and achieve a closer focus on the item to about 11-12 inches.

This Leica waterproof monocular applies a roof prism pattern containing a BaK4 glass prism which utilizes correction coating (phase) P40.

​The prisms are handled with Leicus system (High Lux) which joins with the correction coating for the phase to come up with an optimum resolution, conveyance of light and contrast throughout the prisms.

​The lenses are multi-colored (fully) and also have a water repellent coating (Aqua-Dura) on the external lens to repulse water and dust. Altogether, the optics quality is quite impressive to me and I believe that Leica has without doubt invested and set aside time for this item and their high price tag can definitely be justified.

It is very pricey and this is the only problem I have with the monocular up to now.

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​This item has a focus ring that is sized perfectly for use when having or not having gloves and is ridged skillfully to provide solid and comfortable grasp on the wheel. It moves effortlessly but also contains enough resistances to help you avoid moving it by mistake. The user can simply use this monocular with one hand which is very nice.

​The monocular has been build using aluminum that also has a shell made of rubber. The texturing and painting of the rubber is skillfully done which provides a perfect grip (non-slip) for any weather circumstances.

Although the Monovid is compact, it definitely does not seem inexpensively made. On the other hand, it looks stylish enough to attend an important event with and durable enough to go hunting with.

​This Leica product is shock resistant, water resistant up to 3 meters and fog resistant. Having dropped mine accidentally I can confidently say it was not damaged at all. The monocular is virtually bulletproof and designed very nicely to suit you using it every day.

​This monocular is described as a dream while in the field with one unique characteristic which is its weight. It is too light and for someone like me with hands that are shaky, it might be tricky to maintain a view that is steady without stabilizing myself against something or someone.

Considering the possibility of the monocular being heavier it would be more reliable for using while in the bush.

​I am sure it is very reliable at sports events or concert where movement is allowed, but if bird watching or looking at wildlife it is very tricky to maintain the stability of the monocular which makes it difficult to focus on your observation.


  • The image resolution is fantastic.
  • The close-up lens changes the monocular to a macro-monocular.
  • The add-ons are flawlessly appropriate for the monocular.


  • The monocular is quite pricey.
  • It has too little weight for a person with hands that are shaky.

6. Vortex Solo 10x25 Monocular Review

This monocular has a magnification of X10 and also has a compact objective lens of 25mm. It has brilliant resolution and one can pick out minute details that may not be shown clearly by other monocular models.

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This Monocular is water resistant and has optics that are multicolored (fully) for the maximum conveyance of light and many coating (anti-reflective) on all surfaces (air-to-glass).

The monocular uses an optical system (roof prism) which allows for brilliant sturdiness and a size that is more compact, the lenses are fastened with O-rings eliminate water, debris, and dust.

This monocular has been Nitrogen-purged at the drum of the optics for great water resistant and fog resistant execution and the quality of the image is brilliant in any weather conditions.

Having used this monocular in rain, and snow I can confidently say it performs excellently in those two conditions. This monocular provides a field of view of 315ft at one hundred yards which is a considerably good field of view taking into consideration the size of the optic.

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The eyecup is adjustable and it moves up and down for a fit view (custom) having or not having eyeglasses, but I so it to be below optimal if you consider using it with eyeglasses. It will work but one has to uncomfortably press the monocular hard against his or her eyeglasses.

This monocular is constructed durably with armor made of rubber to provide a grasp that is secure and non-slip. The armor is well-made and offers very sturdy outer protection for the optics within which are very delicate.

This monocular is very tiny and weighs below 6 ounces and has a length of 4.4” and width of 2.2”. The width that is grasped by the hand is 1.8” which is excellent for fitting in one`s hand. If you leave this monocular behind you will later regret it.

The rubber armor is quite resistant to shock. I have accidentally dropped it off a cliff and all it has is a few scratches on its body. It works perfectly especially the optics. This monocular comes with VIP warranty for a lifetime, a warranty that is transferrable from one owner to another.

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This monocular is tiny but works exemplary well, take it from someone who has used it at a shooting range and deer hunting. It comes with very little extra weight and takes up very minute space


  • Sturdy, small in size and very light.
  • Brilliant clarity of the images.
  • It comes with everything that one needs or wants from a monocular.


  • The cases used to carry it use quite cheap elastics on the sides.
  • The eyecup is not adequately adjustable for a person using eyeglasses.

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Technical details of the Alpen Sports Compact Monocular:

  • It weighs just 5 ounces and is 4.75 inches long.
  • It comes with an objective lens that is 25 mm in diameter.
  • The eye relief is between 15mm to 17 mm long.
  • It is fitted with a BaK4 prism that comes with a roof prism design.

It is quite portable

​I loved the fact that this monocular is quite portable given its size and weight. What this means is that you can easily carry it in your hands without feeling that it’s too much of a baggage. And this automatically makes up for the fact that it does not come with a carrying case that you can attach to your backpack or belt.

​Sharpness and clarity of the Magnified Images

​Most monoculars normally produce distorted images once you magnify your focus objects but not the Alpen Sports Compact Monocular. Its 25 mm objective lens will not only magnify your images by a degree of up to 8X but it will also ensure that the images are sharp. That means you will get a view that is defined by great contrast defined by zero chromatic aberration, blue fringes or distorted views.

​Adequate Light Transmission

​Though it is very small in size, the manufacturer seems to understand the importance of light to the production of clear images. I say this because the Alpen Sports Compact Monocular is fitted with a BaK4 prism with the all too important roof prism design.

If you are not in the know, this is a high-end prism that allows as much light transmission as possible into the device for an enhanced viewing. Thus you can expect to view objects with high-level clarity guaranteed.

​It is quite Easy to Focus

​Something that also stood out is the ease which you can focus this monocular. And the beauty is you don’t need to use both hands as one hand is just adequate. Yes, the rotating wheel on this Alpen Sports Compact Monocular is designed to offer both a firm grip and adequate resistance against accidental hand slips during focusing.

​It is both Resistant To Shock

​You can’t rule out your Monocular slipping and falling at some point, can you? That is why I find it very helpful that this monocular comes with a rubber encasing to protect it against any damage due to a fall. The rubber also functions to offer you a firm grip to limit the chances of a fall happening.

​It is both Water Proof and Dust Proof

​It is also both waterproof and fog proof so you are rest assured that it cannot be damaged by exposure to moisture of any kind especially in the optic chambers that are nitrogen purged. Any dirt coming into the device is also limited as it is dust proof, especially along the delicate O-rings.

I recommend this monocular due to its ability to offer you clear images of the objects you focus it on. It is also quite light which makes very portable. And the fact that it comes with features that prevent it from being damaged by water, fog or dust is a plus. However, I feel that the fact that it is very light, the zoom feature will not really be effective since it cannot also be mounted on a tripod stand.


  • It is tiny enough to fit comfortably into small space like pockets.
  • It is fitted with features that protect it from experiencing costly damage from moisture and accidental falls.
  • The viewing experience is highly improved thanks to the high-end optics fitted into it.
  • Its lens comes with an anti-reflective coating for brighter images and better contrast.


  • It is quite light and so it won’t work for you if you have shaky hands since you will not be able to get a steady view.
  • It does not come with a tripod mount to help you steady your view.
  • The field of view is not as wide as you would expect. At 1000 yards, you won’t be able to capture a view of more than 150 feet.
  • For such a tiny monocular the magnifying power is too much with adequate supporting features.

8. The Orion 10-25x42 Zoom Waterproof Monocular Review

Technical details of the Orion Monocular:

  • It comes with a weight of just 12 ounces and it is only 7 inches long.
  • It is fitted with a 42 mm objective lens.
  • The eye relief on the monocular is only 14 mm.
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Benefits of the Orion Monocular

It comes with a variable zoom

​One of the most important features of a monocular should be its ability to enable you to view as many details as possible of an object. This Orion monocular is particularly strong in this area as it will enable you to zoom objects by between 10X to around 25X at any given time.

​It offers better focus and clearer images

​You can be assured of getting sharp images with the Orion monocular thanks to its focus mechanism. Yes, it uses a center wheel focus mechanism which gives it the ability to bring the subjects you focus the monocular on through a really smooth focus.

Therefore you can expect to get very clear images for objects that are both far or nearby. And incidents of accidental bumps are also eliminated.

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​It is Light with a Firm Grip

​At just seven ounces, the Orion monocular is one of the lightest monoculars in the market today. Even though this makes it easy to handle, it comes with the risk of frequent falls.

But this should not worry you as it also comes with a rubber coating to protect it against such accidental falls. The rubber casing also serves the function of offering you a firm grip against such falls.

​It Can Be Mounted On a Tripod Stand

​If you have shaky hands you probably understand how difficult it is to obtain steady views of your subject using a monocular. And the Orion monocular being light, your shaky hands will work greatly against you.

But the manufacturer seems to understand this too well and so has designed it to be able to accommodate a tripod stand for much more steady views. So you can rest assured that even at the highest zoom you will still be able to get both steady and sharp views of your subject.

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​It is Water Proof

​Nothing can damage your monocular faster than water. But that should not be a concern to you as the Orion monocular comes with water proof features. All this is made possible by the O-rings that are tightly sealed together with the nitrogen purging in the inner spaces of the optics.

I like the fact that the Orion monocular will offer you variable zoom that you can use to obtained views of variable details. It can also be mounted on a tripod stand so easily. Which means that id you have shaky hands you can still manage to get great views. However, two major drawbacks make it quite undesirable; it is susceptible to chromatic aberration and blue fringes that will ruin your viewing experience.


  • It is quite affordable.
  • You can use it to accurately view objects that are far or close thanks to its focus distance of 20 inches.
  • It can be used with a tripod stand to avoid getting unsteady images due to shaky hands.
  • It cannot be damaged by water, fog or dust.
  • It uses BK7 roof prism for bright and detailed images with impressive contrast.


  • The monocular is very light so you need additional accessories like tripod stands to steady your hands while viewing objects.
  • Limited field of view which means you will not be able to capture as many details as possible in a single view without having to move around.
  • The images obtained are affected by chromatic aberration along the edges and blue fringes on the side of the perimeter.
  • Lens easily scratches due to lack of protective lens caps on the objective lens.
  • The prisms are not fully multicoated.

9. The Vortex Solo 10x36 Review

This specific model provides 10X magnification from a 36mm objective focal point. For the money, the clearness and resolution are best in class.

However, you aren't paying for those when you get this monocular and can't anticipate that the optic will compare with them.

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What you do get is resolution and lucidity that surpass each other monocular at this value range.

The field of view of the Vortex Solo is 325 feet at 1,000 yards, which is a good distance to cover. You can without much of a stretch discover your target, whether it's a winged animal for observation or a deer for chasing, using this monocular.

The frail point of this specific model, though, lies in close focus. You should not be 16.4 feet far from your subject to get a crisp focus, which makes the glass badly furnished to provide you with a close-up perspective of objects adjacent.

The monocular has a flexible eye cup that twists all over for a custom fit for eyeglass wearers, yet the eye alleviation is truly too short to be comfortably used by such owners.

With only 15mm of eye relief, I found that I needed to press the monocular against my eyeglasses uncomfortably difficult to get the biggest field of view. I wish the eye reduction were designed to be more similar to 19mm rather than 15mm.

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​The body of the Vortex Solo is 10x36mm. Monocular is highly rugged and is prepared to handle almost anything you may throw at it. Other commentators have commented adversely about the heaviness of the Monocular since it comes in at 9.7 ounces, or almost a full point with the utility clip joined.

Hers my take on that: I have used the Monocular with the utility clip connected and confined, and I have found that the glass is considerably simpler to hold unfaltering when the clip is joined to the monocular. That additional weight gives gravity a chance to do its thing and shield you from raising it too high.

​Like other Vortex Solo Monocular, this model is worked to last with elastic armor to give you a good non-slip grasp. Not only that, yet the well-assembled flexible armor offers fabulous outside protection to the glass.

​Vortex stands behind their products in a way that a couple of other optics makers do. Their VIP Unconditional Lifetime Warranty is completely transferable, and Vortex will provide you with free repairs or substitution of your optics, no matter how the damage happened, whose blame it was, or where you acquired it.

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There's no warranty card to round out and no receipt required. Simply ring them, send in your damaged monocular, and they take care of the rest.

​They can do that since they manufacture a powerful product. The elastic armor coating the monocular provides astounding shock resistance, and mine has tumbled from my 20-foot tree stand on more than one time without damage.

A couple of people have complained about sand getting into the case of the monocular, because it's open to the components, and I simply need to chuckle because the Monocular will not be hurt by that sand. It isn't getting in.

​This monocular is unquestionably a standard bit of pack for me. Unless I'm trying another monocular, this is the one I'm conveying most of the time. It's lightweight enough not to weigh me too much, yet overwhelming enough to provide some additional dauntlessness to my hold.


  • Excellent construction.
  • Best-in-class clearness and resolution.
  • Weight of Monocular makes it simpler to keep relentless


  • Eye help is somewhat short.
  • Carrying bag has open sides and may let in debris.

10. Vortex 8x36 Solo R_T Tactical Monocular Review

With its 36mm objective focal point, the Vortex 8x36 Solo R/T provides 8X magnification which has a close focal distance of 16.4 feet. That is a long close focus distance, and I wish it equipped for focusing on objects a bit nearer. However, this is a compact monocular and can't be everything for everybody.

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The field of view through the monocular is a free 393 feet at 1,000 feet, allowing you to see a lot of the terrain you're observing. Eye alleviation is an exceptionally comfortable 18mm, allowing for easy use with or without eyeglasses.

The eye cup folds here and there for the comfortable survey, and is flared to wipe out stray light, and also rotatable for a custom fit. I would have rather observed the eye cup twist here and there since folding models have a tendency to be hard to alter correctly for different eye reliefs.

Vortex uses a roof prism design on this monocular, which is how it can be so compact. This design also gives more durability, since the roof prisms are more tolerant of mishandling than the Porto prism design.

While Vortex doesn't state it, my evaluation confirms that this monocular uses BaK4 prisms.

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The optics is completely multi-coated coating, providing great light transmission even in low-light conditions.

These specific model elements both a target picture focus wheel and a reticle focus wheel. This is unusual for a monocular, however then once more, most monocular don't include a reticle by any stretch of the imagination.

The additional focusing mechanism eliminates the parallax problem and allows you to get the reticle in perfect, crisp focus across all distances. Both focus wheels turn smoothly, yet with simply enough resistance to prevent you from coincidentally moving them.

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Now, we should discuss the range finding reticle. This is a hash checked ranging reticle using MRAD-based sub tension lines for determining range, holdover, and windage corrections.

There are speedy varying silhouettes in the bottom right quadrant of the reticle to help you decide range with straightforwardness. Ensure you carefully read the owner's manual to make the most out of this powerful reticle.

Vortex has constructed this monocular with elastic armor to provide shock resistance, and it provides a very secure, non-slip hold. The finishing of the elastic is exceptionally pleasant and very much implemented. The utility clip is a bit on the chintzy side, unfortunately, however, it does the job.

Vortex stands behind their products with their VIP lifetime warranty, and they can afford to do so since they construct products that are rock solid as far as durability. That is certainly the case with this monocular since its elastic armor handily protects the optic from damage.

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My only problem is that the monocular does not come with focal point caps. However most size six flip caps will fit snugly.

Vortex has sealed the focal points with O-rings and nitrogen-cleansed the optics chamber, so the monocular is both waterproof and fog proof. Picture quality is fantastic in every single weather condition, whether it be rain, slush, or snow.

The range finding reticle has almost swapped my requirement for a laser rangefinder, and I have needed to use the monocular for ranging rather than my laser rangefinder a couple of times when my batteries passed on. It worked well. However, you need to invest an opportunity to learn how to properly use it.

I have utilized this monocular on several chasing excursions, and it's never disappointed me. It allows me to spot deer goes to sleep in the brush that my scope alone won't uncover, and the range finding reticle makes it a one-stop shop for finding and ranging the shot before I take it.


  • Range finding reticle.
  • Great durability and lifetime warranty.
  • Excellent optics.


  • No focal point caps included.
  • Cheap utility clip.
  • Poorly constructed case.

What Is Monocular?

Monoculars or modified refracting telescopes are widely used to magnify the images of any distant object, simply by passing light through a range of lenses and prisms. Needless to mention, monocular is a lightweight and compact telescope that is easy-to-carry. Plus, monocular is relatively less expensive than the conventional binoculars.

Monocular mainly produces two-dimensional images that are ideally suited to those individuals, having vision impairment in one eye. Moreover, the usage of monoculars are quite prevalent in hiking or camping trips since this compact telescope is easy-to-carry and features pretty less weight.

Types of Monocular - Reveal the Top Four Variants of Monocular

​1. Infrared Monoculars

​Infrared Monoculars are widely regarded as the night vision monoculars. These excellent devices can perfectly illuminate any object and offer you a bright and clear vision (at night). For this purpose, infrared monoculars use a specific wavelength in order to illuminate the external objects.

best monocular

Additionally, you are even allowed to turn on/off this particular night vision feature (as per your convenience). Thus, this device can be equally useful for visualizing any object during the daytime and at dark night. Furthermore, the infrared monoculars are pretty affordable, less-pricey, and offer a cost-effective price tag.

​However, some models of infrared monoculars come with a visible red light that may disturb the wild animals while you are hunting or observing them.

2. Thermal Imaging Monoculars

This is an excellent and widespread variant of night vision monocular. As the name suggests, this type of monocular features an inherent capability to detecting the heat, as emitted by human beings, animals, and any other objects. Now, by detecting the emitted heat, thermal imaging monoculars will develop a crisp and clear image of the objects in the dark surrounding.

best monocular

Just like the infrared monoculars, a thermal imaging monocular can be easily used at any time, during the day and night. Plus, you won't even need to switch modes prior usage. The models feature an integrated capacity to detect the emitted heat and produce the image of an object (at any external surrounding).

A thermal imaging monocular doesn't have a red light; thus, these models are less visible in the dark night, making it one of the best night vision monoculars. Therefore, whether you are on a hunting, hiking, camping, or any outdoor trip, this monocular will be a perfect companion for you.

3. Compact Monoculars

​One of the most crucial factors that make monoculars so unique, popular, and exclusive - is its compactness. Obviously, this is an added advantage over the so-called binoculars. The sleek, slender, and compact design of monocular makes it ideal for carrying on any outdoor trip.

​A compact binocular come with smaller lens diameters and lesser magnification power. However, this device is powerful enough to generate clear views of any object. From a final standpoint, it can be mentioned that compact binoculars are small in size and easy to carry.

best monocular

These small monoculars are small enough to be carried in a pocket and purse. Plus, they can be used as a perfect backup to larger binoculars. You can keep these compact monoculars in your vehicles, or give them as gifts, or keep them handy! Note, compact monoculars are less expensive than normal monoculars..

​4. Night Vision Monoculars

​This is another popular and prevalent type of monocular that is mostly useful for clear night vision. As its name indicates, this monocular is primarily used to generate images at dark night or low-light conditions. For an example, when you are on a hunting trip and you need to silently find your targets in the dark, this night vision monocular will be so convenient for you.

best monocular

As mentioned earlier, the infrared and thermal imaging monoculars are typically used as an effective night vision monocular. On top of that, you can easily use them during the daylight as well. Therefore, these models serve the dual purpose - observing objects in daylight and visualizing your targets in dark night.

​When Should You Use a Monocular?

​Well, monoculars are as an excellent alternative to traditional binoculars. Although, a monocular serves the similar purpose of a binocular yet it offers additional advantages, such as more convenience, compact designing, easier focusing, and less-pricey.

​In general, monocular are mostly used in outdoor activities including hiking, hunting, tracking, and bird watching etc. Even, many people use monoculars for seamlessly observing indoor functions, such as a crowded concert or a live show.

A group of people even use monoculars for conveniently performing day-to-day activities like reading signage or reading a newspaper.

​For those people that are suffering from vision impairment in one eye, usage of monoculars can be an excellent option for them. For an instance, if you are having critical visual impairment in one eye, then you may not be able to properly read signs or directions (when you are using public transportation).

In such scenarios, using a handy and compact monocular will be a great choice for you. The military people often use powerful monoculars for tracking purposes. Therefore, monoculars certainly have a wide range of usage, making this device a truly versatile, useful, functional, and appealing choice for many.

​The Bottom Line: If you are looking forward to enjoying a crystal clear view of long distance objects (in a smooth, seamless, and convenient manner), then you can consider purchasing a monocular. This compact device with strong optics and sleek design will help you hunting, watching, and enjoying any of your favorite activities.

Now, if you are planning to purchase the right monocular that offers an optimum performance, you can consider purchasing one of the above-mentioned monoculars. Plus, take your time to think and analyze the features that you are actually looking for.

Finally, try to distinguish the difference between various types of monoculars and their specific usage (by carefully going through the aforementioned details). In this way, you will feel more confident and certainly make a meaningful decision of purchasing the best monocular for yourself.

Things to Look For In a Monocular

​Monocular Optics

​Optics refers to features that establish how clearly a monocular conveys images straight into the eye. In a nutshell, optics is defined by lens diameter and magnification. The larger the spec is, the clearer the image will be.

Many large monoculars have a magnification of up to 35 whereas compact monoculars have a magnification of six to seven. A good monocular should also have a lens diameter varying from eighteen to fifty.

​Having a big magnification, however, does not guarantee that the monocular is of the best quality; optics have to be balanced against other options. For instance, in compact monoculars, magnifications of 6-7 are known to be the best since having larger magnifications than this might bring about shakiness.

In another instance; large monoculars with smaller magnifications and lenses can give the best if at all they came with additional aspects multi-coated optics that maximize the precision of light coming in through the lens.


​It is of paramount importance that before buying a monocular you check the reviews. A monocular can claim to be of high quality, can provide the best quality images, durable and all that but fail terribly to deliver on these aspects. To be able to know which monoculars work well you have to check the reviews.

A customer that has purchased and used a particular type of monocular will be able to tell you the advantages and disadvantages of that monocular. A monocular with a lot of positive reviews is undoubtedly going to be the best choice for you as you can be sure it will not disappoint you.

​Features vs. Goals

​When purchasing a monocular, it is important that you have all the special features in the back of your head. Just like other things, monoculars too come with their own features. Examine your goals then choose a monocular depending on this.

For instance, it would be unrealistic of you to get a night vision monocular to read billboards and street signs but realistic to have one if you are a hunter. Set out your goals, then using these goals; get a monocular that helps you meet these goals.

​Price of the Monocular

​Many people consider this to be an overall determining factor when purchasing monoculars. The good news, however, is that monoculars come in a wide range of prices depending on your budget.

Narrowing your choices down to a monocular that fits within your budget enables, you find one that is of high quality and affordable. Working with a budget also helps you avoid a rather expensive monocular that only meets half of your demands.

​If you are able to find a monocular with the right optics, perfect reviews, features that meet your goals and fits just right into your budget, you can confidently buy it, as it will not disappoint you.

​Monoculars vs Binoculars

​Essentially, monoculars and binoculars perform almost the same functions- they allow you to see objects that are far off. They also use the same technology that is a series of lenses and prisms that bounce light around so as to magnify hence producing better and clearer images compared to when you saw something in plain eyesight.

​However, binoculars and monoculars are not identical. They instead come with more advantages that make them the best pick for people looking to see better and engage the world around them.

​Advantages of Monoculars over Binoculars


​Monoculars are more compact compared to binoculars.

​Binoculars are often heavy and large. Even for the compact binoculars, you are required to place them on a tripod stand when using them for a long time. When using your arms to place the binoculars against your eyes, you tend to get arm fatigue that is quite painful. This means that each time you see something remarkable you may feel a bit reluctant to set them up.

​When it comes to monoculars, they are compact and lightweight. They weigh less than a pound and as such can be pulled out at will. You do not have to use them on a tripod and you can use for longer periods of time without the fear of getting arm fatigue. Their compactness also allows you to be able to carry them with you wherever you go.


Monoculars are convenient compared to binoculars. Convenience, in this case, refers to the ability to carry monoculars/binoculars with you all the time.

Binoculars tend to be inconvenient and hence difficult to carry around all the time. They require a separate case and are heavy to carry thanks to their size. If you are required to travel light, you may be forced to leave your binoculars home.

Aside from this, they require a tripod stand each time to use; this means that they take up more effort and time to use. Such time may be unavailable or one is unwilling to spend that much time in a concert or on a casual trip.

When it comes to monoculars, the reverse is true. Monoculars have a compact size and as such, one can carry them around in their bags and pockets. So each time you want to mark out a hunting target, see something captivating and maybe read a sign, all you need is to pull out, use it then return it right back once you are done.

For monoculars, you do not need to have complex setups, tripods or carry around heavy and extra equipment around.