Monoculars are a hidden gem among viewing devices. A lot of attention is paid to small telescopes and binoculars, because people tend to hear about them more often. Yet, monoculars offer a uniquely convenient way to view almost anything. In particular, the fact that they require the use of only one eye serve as a convenient solution for people who might not have two functioning eyes. Plus, their small size (small enough to fit in a pocket, bag, or purse) makes them a snap to carry anywhere. With uses as wide ranging as hunting and sign watching, they are also extremely versatile.
Learning more about the best monoculars on the market, about the features to look for, and about the types of monoculars from which you can choose might make it easier to decide if a monocular will work for you. Following are some of the best monoculars on the market today, as well as an overview of some other information that will help you to learn more about monoculars.
Best Monocular Reviews
With the many monoculars on the market today, it can sometimes be difficult to determine which ones are the best, especially since they all claim to offer you superb quality and great features. However, there are a few that stand out from the rest, either because of their all-around quality or because of a particular feature that makes them unique. Following are reviews of some of the best monoculars on the market today. These items stand out because of their features, their qualities, and the reviews from customers who have tried them and found that they perform excellently.
Prism type: Bak-4
Coating: Fully multi-coated
Dimensions: 3.1in. X 1.9in. X 6.4in.
Weight: 14 oz.
Close focusing distance: 2.5 meters
One of the best monoculars on the market today is the Polaris Optics Explorer High Powered 12×50 Monocular. This item is one of the best monoculars in part because of its incredible magnification. One of the strongest monoculars around, it offers up to 12x magnification in a 50mm lens. This magnification gives you a clear view at up to 1,000 feet away. This range is ideal for hunters, bird watchers, sports enthusiasts, and nature lovers of all kinds.
In addition to the magnification and distance capabilities of the Polaris Optics Explorer, this monocular allows you to adjust the focus in order to get a clear image at a variety of distances. This flexibility makes it easy to identify your target when hunting, your birds when bird watching, etc., no matter where they are within your view. Reviewers consistently give this monocular high praise for its exceptional clarity and focus at a variety of distances.
In addition, as a compact monocular, the Polaris Optics Explorer is small enough to fit into the palm of your hand. As a result, this monocular allows you to enjoy clear, beautiful images at a distance without needing to purchase an expensive and cumbersome set of binoculars.
The Polaris Optics Explorer monocular is also one of the best monoculars on the market because it is durable enough to be used confidently outdoors. For instance, it is both fogproof and waterproof and boasts a rugged external armor. These features make this monocular capable of withstanding inclement weather conditions so you can use it outside without worrying about damaging it.
Finally, this monocular comes with accessories (such as a tripod stand) that make it simple to use. It comes with a number of strongly positive reviews from people who praise it as one of the best monoculars they have ever used and who enjoy its clarity, power, and ruggedness.
Prism type: Bak-4
Coating: Fully multi-coated
Dimensions: 7.1in. X 2.8in. X 2.8in.
If you are looking for a monocular that you can take out in the rain without worry, the OUTERDO might be right for you. This waterproof monocular is one of the best monoculars simply because it can withstand some rain and dampness. It manages to stay waterproof for the life of the monocular thanks to the green rubber covering that encases the metal body of the monocular. Reviewers give this product high praise because of its durable, waterproof nature.
In addition, the OUTERDO provides powerful magnification and crystal clear images at a distance. This monocular comes with 16x magnification and a 22mm lens. This size is perfect for a variety of sightseeing activities, including bird watching and hunting. Some have even used this monocular for amateur star gazing with children. The Bak-4 prism also contributes to extra clear and appealing images. And, because it is dual focus, it gives you two ways to adjust it in order to capture a satisfyingly clear image.
Finally, the OUTERDO comes with a number of accessories that add to its value. For example, it comes with a lanyard, cleaning cloth, and pouch so you can safely maintain and store it. Reviewers find that this product is extremely durable, provides clear images, and is particularly useful for bird watching. Thanks to it being both waterproof and fogproof, it serves as an excellent choice for any outdoor viewing activity.
Batteries: 2 AA
Infrared technology: PULSE IR Illuminator
Dimensions: 8in. X 3.7in. X 2.4in.
Weight: 1 lb
The Firefield 5×50 night vision monocular boasts strong magnification and high quality infrared technology to help you see in the dark. This infrared monocular works so well that reviewers claim the infrared technology allows them to see at night as well as they can see in the day at a distance of up to 75 or 100 feet.
This night vision monocular’s clarity is also due to its high magnification (5x) and its large lens (50mm). This combination allows the monocular to collect as much light as possible, even at night, in order to give you a sharp image and allow you to focus on objects at a distance
This clarity at a distance makes the Firefield ideal for any nighttime activity, but especially for hunting. While reviewers find that the red infrared light makes this monocular visible at night, it is invisible when the light is off.
In addition, this night vision monocular is designed to be easy to use and durable. It boasts an ergonomic design that is less tiring on the hands than are other Firefield models. It is also a compact monocular that only weighs about a pound so your hands do not get tired of holding it.
The rubberized coating on the Firefield makes it weatherproof and ideal for use in inclement conditions. Reviewers also praise this night vision monocular for using AA batteries instead of lithium batteries. They note that the AA batteries are easier and less expensive to purchase and, therefore, make it easier to get started with their night viewing. The result of all of these features is a truly exceptional and appealing night vision monocular.
Reticule: R/T ranging
Image focus? Yes
Lens Coating: Fully multi-coated
Dimensions: 7in. X 3in. X 3in.
Weight: .8 lb.
If you want a reliable monocular range finder, you might want to look into the Vortex tactical monocular. This product is made to help you manually estimate the distance between you and the object you wish to view. For example, the lens comes with silhouettes that you can use to compare to the object you are viewing. You can then use the silhouette to determine if the object you are viewing is 300, 400, 500, or 600 meters away.
In addition, this monocular range finder comes with an R/T ranging reticule to make it easier to identify how far away your target is. In addition to the reticule, this monocular comes with a reticule image focus that allows you to sharpen the image. Reviewers praise it for its performance and for the clarity of the images that the reticule provides.
Of course, image clarity and a high quality reticule are not the only features that this monocular offers. It also provides you with a lightweight, compact shape that is effortless to carry with you. At less than 1 pound, and at just a few inches wide and high, it can fit comfortably in your hand or on the included belt clip.
Durability is also a defining characteristic of the Vortex tactical monocular. It is waterproof, fogproof, and dustproof. Its rubber exterior ensures a solid grasp so you do not drop it, and that exterior also protects the monocular from inclement water and from drops and dings. The included belt clip can also be used to clip the monocular wherever is most convenient for you (belt, backpack, etc.) for ultimate ease in transportation. The result is a compact monocular range finder that is durable, high quality, and rewarding to use.
Accessories: Carrying case, cleaning
cloth, neck strap
Dimensions: 4in. X 5in. X 1.5in.
Weight: 2.4 pounds
The mini monocular from ROXANT is a tiny but powerful little addition to your adventures. As a compact monocular, it fits easily into your pocket. As a functioning monocular, it boasts a strong magnification of 7 (which some claim is the best magnification for a monocular of this size). Plus, it comes with a lens diameter of about 18 mm. These features contribute to clear views at a distance, despite this monocular’s small size.
In addition, this mini monocular comes with high definition optical glass and multi coated optics. As a result, it reduces the amount of light dispersal that occurs so you can achieve a clearer, sharper image. Reviewers regularly praise this mini monocular for its clear views and for the convenience it provides because it can slip into their pockets for easy transportation. Some reviewers always carry this monocular with them, while others make it a regular addition to their travel gear.
Finally, this mini monocular’s molded grip makes it easy to hold. Thanks to the magnification and the grip, you will experience very little to no shaking with this device. Plus, its accessories (a carrying case, cleaning cloth, and neck strap) make it easy to use and carry with you anywhere. The result is one of the best monoculars on the market today.
Prism type: Bak-4
Eye relief: 20mm
Dimensions: 7.1in. X 2.8in. X 2.8in.
Weight: 11 oz.
The compact monocular made by Venus Wolf is one of the best compact monoculars on the market. Small but powerful, it fits comfortably in the palm of your hand. At the same time, this monocular remains powerful enough to deliver clear images at a distance. Part of its power and clarity comes from its 35x magnification, part from its 50mm lens, and part from its Bak-4 prism. All of these features work together to deliver demonstrably clear images that earn this monocular high praise from reviewers.
In addition, the Venus Wolf monocular is designed for durability. It boasts a sturdy rubber cover that improves your grip and makes the monocular more durable. In addition, this monocular is designed to withstand all kinds of weather. It is waterproof, moistureproof, fogproof, and even dustproof (a combination the company calls 4-proof). These features allow you to use it confidently even in inclement weather, and make it an ideal monocular for a wide variety of pursuits, including concerts, hunting, bird watching, camping, and fishing.
While some reviewers find that this monocular is not as powerful as advertised, most of them praise the Venus Wolf for its sharp, clear images. In addition, they enjoy the dual focus feature and report that it performs admirably in a variety of both indoor and outdoor situations. These reviews prove that this compact monocular is capable of reliably delivering clear images no matter where you use it.
What to look for in monoculars
The key to enjoying a monocular is to find one that has the right features. There are numerous monoculars on the market, and not all of them are created equal. If you want to find a monocular that is clear, reliable, affordable, and suited to your needs, there are a few things you should look for.
First, you need to check the monocular’s optics. The optics are the features of the monocular that determine how clearly it conveys the image to your eye. The optics are typically defined by magnification and by lens diameter. The larger these specs are, the clearer the image will be that you get from the monocular. Compact monoculars often have magnifications of 6 or 7, while larger monoculars might have magnifications of up to 35. Lens diameter in a good monocular can also vary from 18 to 50.
Also be aware, however, that the biggest monocular with the biggest magnification is not always the best choice. You must balance the optics against other features. For example, magnifications of 6 and 7 are often better for compact monoculars, because larger magnifications create shakiness in such a small device. Plus, compact monoculars will, by nature, have smaller lenses. Even larger monoculars with smaller lenses or magnifications can serve you well if they come with features such as multi-coated optics to maximize the clarity of the light coming through the lenses.
Before you purchase a monocular, you also need to check its reviews. Any monocular can claim that it is durable, high quality, provides clear images, and so forth. But, not all of them deliver on these promises. In order to find out which ones perform well in actual use, you need to check the reviews. Customers who have purchased a certain type of monocular will tell you the truth about how it performs. If a monocular has many positive reviews, you can be relatively sure that it will serve you well too.
In addition, keep the monocular’s special features in mind. Monoculars, like many other things, come with various features from which you can choose. Whether that be special optics, night vision, or more, these features affect the use of the monocular. Make sure you choose one that will help you meet your viewing goals. For example, you do not need a night vision monocular if you need something to read street signs, but you might need a night vision monocular if you are a hunter. Consider your goals first and then select a monocular that helps you meet those goals.
Finally, always take price into consideration. While it should not be the determining factor, you can find monoculars in a wide range of prices. Narrowing your choices to those you can fit into your budget will help you to find one that is affordable and high quality, and keep you from pining away for features that your budget simply cannot accommodate. When you can find a monocular that has strong optics, positive reviews, the right features, and the right price, you can be confident that you have found the right monocular for you.
Monoculars vs. Binoculars
Monoculars perform essentially the same function as binoculars: Allowing you to see far off objects clearly. They even use much the same technology: A series of prisms and lenses that bounce the light around in order to magnify it and produce clearer images than you can get through eyesight alone.
However, monoculars are not identical to binoculars. Instead, they come with a number of advantages that make them a smart choice for many people who are looking to observe the natural world, see better, or engage in other activities that require them to be able to see at a distance. Following are a few of these advantages:
- Monoculars are compact
One of the downsides of binoculars is the fact that they tend to be large and heavy. Even compact binoculars can be heavy to use. Often, you have to put binoculars on a tripod if you are using them for an extended period of time in order to avoid arm fatigue from holding them to your eyes. As a result, you may be reluctant to pull them out whenever you are having difficulty seeing something.
Monoculars, on the other hand, are very lightweight and compact. Most of them weigh less than a pound. Mini monoculars weigh even less. You can often use them for long periods of time without discomfort, even without using a tripod. In addition, monoculars fit easily in your bag or pocket. Thanks to this small size, it is very easy to carry monoculars with you wherever you go.
- Monoculars are convenient.
Binoculars tend to be inconvenient to carry with you all the time. Thanks to their size, they can be heavy and often require a separate carrying case. If you are looking to travel light, you may hesitate to bring binoculars with you. Plus, binoculars often require tripods for extended use and take more time and effort to get out and use than you might be willing to spend on a casual trip or concert.
Thanks to their compact size, however, monoculars are very convenient to carry around with you. As mentioned before, many people choose to carry a monocular with them all the time. As a result, it is easy to pull it out, use it to read a sign, identify a hunting target, or see a bird, and then put it back when you are done. There is no need for tripods, complicated set ups, or hauling extra equipment around.
- Monoculars only require the use of one eye.
Binoculars require the use of both eyes in order to see the images correctly. Often, people have trouble getting a clear focus in both eyes. Other people only have one eye that works properly, making it difficult or impossible to use the binoculars properly.
Monoculars, on the other hand, only require the use of one eye. Thanks to that advantage, they are ideal for people who are vision impaired in one eye, and for people who cannot properly focus in both eyes with a binocular. This feature also means that, as mentioned before, monoculars are smaller and more compact and, therefore, easier to carry with you.
Types of Monoculars
Monoculars can be divided into several different types based on the features that they possess. Following is a list of some of the most common kinds of monoculars from which you can choose.
- Infrared Monoculars
Infrared monoculars use a different wavelength than light to illuminate the things you want to see at night. As a result, this type of monocular is typically used as a night vision monocular. Often, this technology can be turned on and off, so you can use the monocular both during the day and at night. The infrared monocular also tends to be affordable and relatively invisible. Some infrared monoculars, however, come with a red light that is visible and might disturb the animals you are hunting or observing.
- Thermal Imaging Monoculars
Thermal imaging monoculars are another type of night vision monocular. They work by detecting the heat emitted by people, animals, and other objects. They then use this heat to develop a picture of the objects in the dark. One of the benefits of this type of monocular is that you can use it both during the day and at night, instead of needing to switch modes as you do with an infrared monocular.
In addition, this type of monocular makes it very easy to identify animals from among the foliage when hunting, making it a good choice of night vision monocular for these situations. Plus, because it does not have the red light of an infrared monocular, it is less visible and, therefore, in some ways, more appealing than are infrared monoculars.
- Compact Monoculars
All monoculars are compact by nature. In fact, their compactness is one of the reasons that they sometimes offer an advantage over binoculars. However, some monoculars are more compact than others. These ultra small viewing devices offer the ultimate in convenience when you want to carry a viewing device with you all the time. They generally run a couple of inches smaller than normal monoculars, and are often small enough to fit easily in a pocket or a purse.
Many compact monoculars also come with smaller magnifications and lens diameters. While these smaller specs mean slightly less powerful optics, they are still powerful enough to provide clear views for everyday viewing activities such as concerts, sign reading, and so forth. They also tend to be less expensive than normal monoculars.
- Night Vision Monoculars
Another type of monocular is the night vision monocular. This type of monocular is used, as its name indicates, primarily at night. This means that it is most often used for hunting, when you need to be able to see your targets in the dark. The night vision monocular generally comes as either an infrared or a thermal imaging monocular, as described above. As a result, you can choose the type of technology you prefer when purchasing a night vision monocular. Often, these monoculars can also be used during the day.
What are monoculars used for?
Monoculars might look a little different from traditional binoculars. However, they can be used for many of the same purposes as binoculars, only providing more convenience and an easier time focusing for some people.
These uses include outdoor functions, such as hiking, bird watching, hunting, tracking, and so forth. They can also include indoor functions, such as enjoying a concert. Some reviewers also report that they use monoculars for every day activities, such as reading signage.
For people with vision loss, being able to use a monocular to read signs can make a big difference when using public transportation. The military, for instance, sometimes uses monoculars for tracking purposes. Hunters use them to track and locate their prey. As a result, monoculars have a wide range of uses for a wide range of people, making them a flexible and appealing choice for viewing objects at a distance.
If you are looking for the most convenient way to do some long distance viewing, you might want to consider purchasing a monocular. This type of viewing device combines strong optics with a compact size in order to help you easily hunt, enjoy concerts, or engage in a range of other activities. When you begin to look for the right monocular to purchase, consider one of the best monoculars reviewed above. In addition, familiarize yourself with the features to look for, the differences between monoculars and binoculars, the types of monoculars, and the uses of monoculars. This information should help you to feel comfortable with monoculars and help you to feel more confident in purchasing one for yourself.
- Best Monocular Reviews
- Polaris Optics Explorer High Powered 12×50 Monocular
- OUTERDO Waterproof Monocular Telescope
- Firefield 5×50 Nightfall 2 Night Vision Monocular
- Vortex 8×36 R/T Tactical Monocular
- ROXANT High Definition Mini Monocular
- Venus Wolf Compact 35×50 Monoculars
- What to look for in monoculars
- Monoculars vs. Binoculars
- Types of Monoculars
- What are monoculars used for?