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Last updated: May 05, 2022
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While its cousin, the binocular, might be more popular, the monocular is a useful tool for birding, golfing or hunting. What is the best monocular for you? Well, that is what we aim to answer in this article. These optic devices used to be of poor quality and expensive at that! However, in recent times, they have seen an uptick in quality and affordability. Thus, you can pick up a top-notch monocular without having to pay through the nose. Since there are several models on the market right now, you might find it somewhat difficult finding the best option. We have expended resources to determine the best models across several categories.
In compiling the list, we considered several important factors. Some of these factors include objective diameter, magnification, field of view, dimensions, and weight. In the buying guide section, we discuss each of these factors and see why they are important. Without further ado, let us delve into the best models available right now.
More features: waterproof and fogproof, multi-coated, limited lifetime warranty
Welcome to our review of the Celestron Nature 10×25 monocular. This model is our top pick and comes with several features that elevate it above most of the options on the market right now. It is pretty easy to carry around as it is compact and lightweight. While size is important, the performance is even more important. How well does it work? Well, let’s see.
Why is it special? First of all, out of the box, it is clear that this is a high quality monocular. It comes with necessary accessories in the box. Some of what you’d come across in the box include a lanyard and carrying case. While these are useful, I didn’t find them particularly appealing. They looked like something you’d find in any other monocular. The lanyard is not padded, but that isn’t much of a concern because the monocular is lightweight. The case is more practical because it has a loop you can use to attach to a belt. During use, we found the case rather disappointing and it feels cheap. We preferred to carry the monocular with the lanyard around the neck instead of the flimsy carry case.
Moving on, we found the Celestron Nature to be a relatively powerful monocular. It comes with a 25mm objective lens with up to 10 times magnification. This results in impress resolution and clear images. I wasn’t surprised by this though, because Celestron is renowned for the high quality of its glasses. At 10 X magnification, some have complained that it isn’t very clear, but at that magnification, that is to be expected.
The rubber covered Celestron Nature is durable and resistant to damage from drops and impacts. The grooves on the body result in a product that is easy to grip even when wearing gloves or in slippery conditions. A lot of thought obviously went into making this model.
The optic on the Celestron Nature are very useful and I liked them. The model comes with BaK-4 optics. The lenses are also multi-coated. Thus, it offers plenty of advantages. Aside from that, we observed that the barrel comes with nitrogen-charge. Therefore, you can use it in fogging weather without plenty of hassle. It is also usable in rainy weather because the lenses have an O-ring sealing. You can drop it in water without any damage.
Images on the Celestron Nature are pretty clear and offer plenty of detail. Due to the type of lens, it transmits light accurately. You can spot target in low light conditions.
What are the flaws? Well, although an excellent product, it comes with its fair share of issues. For one, if you have shaky hands, you certainly would have preferred to have a tripod stand. However, that isn’t provided with this model. Another thing that could have been better is the focus ring. While this doesn’t affect visibility, we did not like how stiff it is. Because of this, it can be somewhat disconcerting when trying to view moving objects.
More features: BAK-4 prism, multi-coated glass, retractable eyecup, carry pouch with belt loop, cleaning cloth and neck strap included
Next is the ROXANT Grip Scope from Roxant. Although it isn’t as popular as some of the brands on the market, it still offers one of the best performance of all the monoculars that we have tested. It is a cheap option that comes with useful features that makes it an absolute bargain. Let’s see what makes the ROXANT Grip Scope a special monocular.
Why did it make our list? First of all, the design is impressive, at least considering the cost. It comes in a compact shape- at just 5.5” long; it is easy to fit into small, tight spaces without plenty of problems. On unboxing this monocular, you’ll observe that it comes with useful accessories. These include the scope, a neck strap, carrying pouch, and a cleaning cloth.
The ROXANT Grip Scope is not a very powerful monocular, at least in terms of magnification. It gives you just 6X magnification. Therefore, if magnification is important to you, you might want to look at another option. Nevertheless, it makes up for this low magnification with a light build. Since there is no tripod stand included, you do not want a heavy model.
The manufacturer doesn’t specify the field of view of the model. They only talk about a wide field of view. So when we used it, we were pleased to discover that it somewhat lives up to the description. During my use, I estimate that the FOV is around 250 feet at 1000 yards. This is much better than we expected and is one of the things we liked about the model.
In terms of optics, you will likely be as pleased as I was. The ROXANT Grip Scope might be a cheap model, but Roxant spared no expense when creating and designing for the optics. It sports a BaK-4 roof prism and multi-coated optics. This combination results in a model that allows you to see targets clearly and brightly across different distances and in low light conditions.
The focus mechanism gives you the proper amount of friction so that you don’t mistakenly bump your picture out of focus. The manufacturer has also provided a nice focus wheel. It doesn’t feel too stiff and you can use it with one hand. Using it, you will enjoy a clear view of the target. We did not observe any form of chromatic aberration when using it.
Away from optics, we were impressed by the durability. It is a water and fog proof model. The tube has also been nitrogen purged. With a rubber cover, your monocular is protected by impacts and bumps. However, since the lenses are not covered you have to be wary of scratches.
My experience overall has been quiet positive. It is great for hunting, bird watching, and similar uses.
What is not ideal about it? From my initial observation and testing, the accessories are quite disappointing. The neck strap included is thin but it is arguably the only salvageable accessory included in the package. The carrying case is made of nylon and feels very flimsy. A lack of a tripod stand is disappointing. I’d love to go hands-free once in a while, but I cannot do that with this model.
More features: soft pouch, carabiner clip, lens cloth included
The Vortex Crossfire II 2-7×32 is a wonderful monocular. Due to the design, you can easily focus and adjust the monocular.
Why are we impressed? We are always happy to check out a Carson monocular because the brand is known for the high quality of its products. Apart from coming with high quality build and features, the monoculars are also always friendly to the pocket. Thankfully, the Carson MiniMight Compact Monocular – 6×18 also comes with these same features.
It comes with a magnification power that is highly useful for small to medium range targets. The powers lie between 2x and 6x and this is powered through a 18mm objective lens. With this magnification, you can see targets up to a thousand yards away.
Just like most of Vortex’s high quality monoculars, this model sport multicoated lenses and incredible weather proof construction. Therefore, it is handy even in poor weather conditions. The sealing and purging design repudiates moisture, fog, and the elements. you can rest assured that this is one of the most durable models you can find. Incredibly, despite the durability, it is still very lightweight.
Overall, this is an excellent monocular.
What negatives must you be aware of? It lacks compatibility with tripods. Hence, you cannot use it hands-free.
More features: fully multi-coated optics, ED Prime glass, BAK-4 prisms, PC-3 Phase coated prism, twist-up eyecups, waterproof and fogproof
Are you looking for a high quality monocular that gives you a clear view of things at a distance? If so, this basic but powerful model from Bushnell is likely what you need. Bushnell is one of the most popular manufacturers of scopes on the market today and has produced some of the best binoculars and scopes that we have used. The Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Monocular is one of the monoculars from the manufacturer and is the best option if you want a basic version.
What I liked: One of my favorite things about this model is that everything that you need to use for viewing is already included in the packaging. Inside the box, you will find the scope itself. You will also find a Picatinny rail that lets you mount accessories. Since the scope is mount-enabled, you can install a tripod to improve your user experience.
The model comes with a objective lens of 42 mm and offers some of the best performance at this price range. Apart from the scope and the rail, the package also includes a strap and carrying case. Thus, you can safely transport the monocular wherever you might go. The tripod stand is in-built to the model, so you don’t have to stress over where to put the tripod stand. Due to this design, you don’t need to take an adapter with you everywhere you go. While the carrying case is a bit larger than the scope, we found it very useful. It even comes with a detachable belt clip that enables you to have the product handy whenever you need it.
The design of the model is appealing. It is offered in tactical sand and matte black. Either color is appealing. It also comes with a rubber coated body that protects the Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Monocular from bumps, drops, and impacts. The textured body offers you good grip as well – preventing any slips.
Magnification is a main draw of this product. It offers you up to 10 X magnification, which is one of the most powerful that we have reviewed on this roundup. Despite the magnification, subjects are still clear. It allows you to see objects over a mile away without losing plenty of focus. Therefore, this is an excellent monocular to take along on your next hunting trip and can even come in useful as a mini telescope.
The optics here are cool and keep with the quality Bushnell is known for. The Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Monocular comes with Bak-4 roof prisms that give you pretty clear views. The lenses on the model also have multi-coating on them that helps you to see free of glare or any fogging. Additionally, Bushnell has incorporated its RainGuard HD coating that allows you to use the model in bad weather without any issues. It stops the fogging and disruption of use due to rain or snow. Due to the ED Prime glass design you will not experience any color dispersion even at long ranges. The Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Monocular offers eye relief of 15.2 mm which I found to be very comfortable.
As expected, FOV is very impressive. It offers you the most FOV value of all the products we have reviewed so far, coming in at 340 feet per 1000 yards. The focus wheel lies on the top of the product and feels very easy to adjust. It allows you to focus easily.
What matters is the performance on the field, and we are pleased with the results of the Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Monocular. It is outstanding and provides plenty of definition whether you are hunting, hiking, star gazing or bird watching.
What are the flaws? The model is quite heavy, at least when compared with some of the other models on the market. Other than that, there is not much to complain about this remarkable monocular.
More features: 25 mm eye relief, Variable Gain Control, water resistant, -60°F to 120°F operating temperature, multifunctional use, camera and video adaptable, 2-year warranty
The ATN PVS14-3 is an awesome piece of gear that will be a good addition as you head out to the wild. It is a monocular with plenty of useful features, including the best night vision performance from all of the models that we reviewed. In this in depth review of the ATN PVS14-3, we will be looking at the cost, durability, size and overall function.
Why are we impressed? First, this is a relatively affordable model on this roundup. In an industry slowly pivoting towards civilian available night vision tech, this is an excellent option. If you are on a budget but still want a night time monocular at a fraction of the normal cost, then this is designed for you. Some have viewed the ATN PVS14-3 with some skepticism because of the price. However, we were pleased during testing to discover that while it is for the budget conscious, it still offer strong performance.
The build of the ATN PVS14-3 is excellent. It is a very durable option that is built for the rigors of hunting. During my testing, due to my carelessness, the ATN PVS14-3 dropped from my hands and had other bumps along the way. Thankfully, we did not notice any problems. The manufacturer has made this model with a rubber eyepiece. We observed that this increases the comfort even if you’ll wear it for extended periods. ATN has also included a protective lens cap to help you use the ATN PVS14-3 in normal daylight. It does this via a pin-hole in the cap. Apart from these accessories, there is also a quality, soft, carrying case.
Size-wise, it is a relatively compact option. It doesn’t weigh as much as, for example, binoculars. So in my opinion, it is nice in this regard.
Functioning and performance is quite impressive with this model. We used it for various applications and it came out good. For instance, we used the ATN PVS14-3 in low light conditions with and without features like IR laser and floodlight and I enjoyed using them. If you are looking for an affordable option in low light conditions, then you’ll be pleased by the performance.
The product is battery-powered and can last for up to 50 hours. It also has an objective lens that lets you view objects some distance away.
What could be better: Well, there is almost nothing to complain about here, but it is often observed that the materials used in making the mounts and hardware attachments are not as durable as buyer’s would like. While we did not break anything during our test, we are certainly not convinced about the long term durability of these parts. Another issue people had with this model is that there is fixed pattern noise. It doesn’t really affect your viewing, but it is annoying.
More features: nitrogen filling, AquaDura coating, elegant design
There are many monoculars on the market right now, so it will take something really special to have a model stand out. The Leica Monovid 8 x 20 Monocular stands out among its contemporaries for several reasons, especially because of the design. It has good features as well and will serve you for a long time.
What makes it special? Some products come with only the scope included in the packaging, and while some offer some accessories, these are sometimes not good enough. Thankfully, the Leica Monovid 8 x 20 Monocular comes with accessories and these are well made. Inside the package, you have the Leica Monovid 8 x 20 Monocular itself. You also have a close focus lens, eyepiece cover, and leather carrying case included. From my testing, we have observed that these are all high quality options that add to the overall appeal of the product.
For instance, the close focus lens helps you to see objects that are pretty close with more focus. Thus, you can see flowers, insects, and other things as close as 10”! While the product on its own has a focus, it isn’t nearly as good as when used with the close focus lens. While testing, it was observed that it can only do close focus at 6 feet. Thus, the close focus lens comes in pretty handy. The carrying case is also made of high quality leather and provides protection and ease of transportation.
As the name of the model indicates, the Leica Monovid 8 x 20 Monocular gives you up to 8X magnification power. This is one of the most powerful magnifications on this roundup. It also has a 20 mm objective lens. While that is rather small, you will not suffer any lower quality since the odel feature the highly rated Leica glass, impressive coating, and weather resistance. Therefore, you will get stunning views when you use this model.
The FOV is 110 meters at 1000 yards. While this is a midge bit narrow, it is cool for anyone looking at slow or still objects.
Interestingly, this monocular offers you eye relief of up to 15 mm. Therefore, you can wear them with your glasses. If that isn’t big enough for you, you will benefit from the sliding eyecups available.
Looking through the monocular is a delight since there are prisms with phase correcting coatings. These make the object you are viewing clearer and with greater contrast. Since the tube is nitrogen fused, you have a model that is water and fog proof. You can immerse it up to 5 meters without damage.
What could be better: This is an incredible piece of equipment. The only drawback is that it is sometimes unsteady. However, that can be corrected with the use if a tripod. Additionally, it is quite expensive.
More features: phase-corrected roof prism, fully multi-coated, fully rubber armored, nitrogen purged, waterproof and fogproof, available in other dimensions
As a monocular enthusiast, I was heavily interested in the Vortex Optics 8×36 Solo Monocular. Our team couldn’t wait to lay our hands on it considering all the good things we had heard about it, especially the 8 X magnification. We finally got a chance to use it and here is my review.
What I liked: In terms of size, this is one of the more compact models on the market. It comes at just less than 5” length, thus, it can easily fit into the palm of your hand. Although some people have remarked that it feels a bit bigger than expected, I did not have any qualms with the size. It is lighter than any binocular with the same level of magnification.
It also comes with the necessary layering to ensure comfort and durability. For example, there is a rubber covering that protects it from falls, drops, bumps, and impact related accidents.
Among the accessories comes a handy clip. This clip lets you to hang it on your belt, the strap of your bag, or some other place. It makes it very convenient to handle and take about with you. Often people prefer to hang it from the included lanyard or neck strap as these are comfortable. Unfortunately, there is no covering for the lenses. Thus, if you are concerned about getting dirt on the lens, you will have to use a cloth and hold it to the product with a band or something similar.
The rubber covering is thick and likely will not even allow you to use a third party lens cover. There is also a carry case included in the package.
Durability wise, this is a strong product that will last for long. It comes with water proof and fog proof ratings. Therefore, a change in humidity or weather will not overly affect the performance of the Vortex Optics 8×36 Solo Monocular. The O-ring sealing will stop moisture from getting into the device and will stop droplets from forming in the lens.
The eyecup here is a nice comfortable style that will be comfortable whether you wear glasses or not. During my first use, buyers might notice that the focus ring is somewhat stiff. However, after repeated use, it loosen up enough to be very comfortable.
In terms of optics, it is quite satisfactory. While it doesn’t have a close focus lens like the product reviewed above, it gives you close focus of 16 feet. It also comes with long eye relief of 18 mm. There is a usable FOV of 393 at 100 yards, which is the best users have observed so far. Buyers also noticed that it allows more light than most of its peers, making it a good pick in low light conditions. The glass on the Vortex Optics 8×36 Solo Monocular is completely multi-coated and gives a bright object viewing.
What could be better: The eyecups are comfortable, but users observed that it does not stay put as well as those found on other products in the same price category.
More features: 2-year warranty, BAK-4 prism, fully multi-coated optics, waterproof and fog-resistant, comes with phone adapter and tripod, O-ring sealed optics
If you enjoy the outdoors and use your time outdoors on activities like birdwatching or hunting, then you certainly need a high quality optical device like a monocular. This small telescope that uses one lens can be used with one hand and easily stored. There are many versions on the market, including those that are compatible with smartphones. If you want a model compatible with your phone, then the VIVREAL 12×50 HD Monocular will come in pretty handy.
What we liked: Are you looking for a monocular that can help you to capture a photo and bring it to life? Then you’ll be pleased with the VIVREAL 12×50 HD Monocular. This model comes in a compact design and has included in the package a phone adapter. It is an excellent option that will serve you well. Many users have complained about how taking photos via a lens leaves a distorted or unclear image, however, that isn’t the case with the VIVREAL 12×50 HD Monocular. It features fully multi coated lenses that ensure a clear view.
Users like the compact design and overall build of the model. It certainly looks better that some others that I have tested.
It is a lightweight model with a phone mount that lets you to use your phone instead of your eyes sometimes.
Optics are goo with this model. It has 50 mm objective lens and offers a stunning 12 magnification factor. The model also comes with a completely multi coated lens and a BaK-4 prism that deliver crisp images.
Using it with your smartphone is actually a breeze because all you need to do is attach the phone and start snapping photos or making HD quality images.
What could be better: While the optics are generally great with this model, the downside is the construction of the other parts. For one, the tripod is quite poor. It doesn’t look or feel sturdy and users wish they had put in more effort in the production. Additionally, while the phone mount is sleek, it is a friction fit and your phone might suddenly slide off while in use. Many people prefer a screw-on type of connection.
More features: 4x digital zoom, 12um pixel pitch core, LCOS microdisplay, stadiametric rangefinder, IPX7 waterproof rated, lifetime warranty
The Pulsar Axion Key XM30 2.5-10×24 comes as one of the latest offerings in Pulsar’s line of thermal imaging scopes. This monocular is an entry level option that is very affordable. Nevertheless, it offers plenty of useful features and hits the right notes for your hunting requirements. There are three different models in this series, and this model offers similar features. The only differences lie in that it doesn’t offer a smartphone app, video recorder, and has slightly lower image quality.
What makes it special? If you are looking to buy your first monocular with thermal imaging, then this is a good place to start. The model is mainly powered by an excellent processor with a 50 Hz refresh rate. It comes with a nice display and resolution, a trio of magnification levels and a high quality objective lens. Additionally, there are different color palettes that allow you to see the target in different colors.
Durability is one of the hallmarks of a good monocular, and this model does not disappoint. It comes with an IPX7 rating, which means that it will work correctly in different type of weather. You can submerge it up to 3 feet in water for half an hour without any damage. The body of the Pulsar Axion Key XM30 2.5-10×24 is made with a magnesium alloy. Thus, it is very durable while remaining lightweight.
Using this unit is quite easy and straightforward. It starts up almost instantly due to the internal power components. It also has a stand-by mode to help you to save power when not in use.
Straight out of the box, it is clear that this is a high quality option. Compared with some of the other models that I have used, this is a lightweight option with a nice form factor. Among the accessories found in the package include a lanyard and carry case.
Out of the box, I noticed how simple it is to set up and start using. Controls are easy to identify and use. The menu is also very easy to navigate.
The main focus of this monocular is the thermal imaging, and it certainly does not disappoint. It easily scans around, locking on body heat then identifying. For the thermal imaging to be very effective, you must not only be able to detect the animal but must also be able to know what animal has been detected.
What could be better: There aren’t plenty of flaws, especially when you consider the price. One thing I observed is that the battery release button is too easy to accidentally press. Therefore, you have to be careful so as not to lose the battery.
More features: OLED display, 12um sensor, 60Hz frame rate, edge detect mode, Wilcox Shoe Interface adapter, MaxPol, E-Zoom, DFC digital focus, configuration level, image capture feature, waterproof up to 1m
When night vision technology first came into the hunting and gaming industry, it changed the perception of many folks about hunting at night. After all, with this technology, night time becomes as clear as midday. One of the brands that waded into this industry was Trijicon and its Trijicon Electro Optics IR PATROL M300W model.
What are its best features? Trijicon is mostly known for the ACOG battle sight made for military applications. However, the company also specializes in scopes for rifles. The Trijicon Electro Optics IR PATROL M300W is an impressive model that offers plenty of benefits to the shooter. It sports an extreme clarity design that is common to products from Trijicon. The body is durable and will last for a long time since it is made of the same aluminum found in aircrafts.
This model has 12 micron pixel type sensor that improves your ability to see in the ark. The thermal imaging sensors are the most impressive part of this model. They are well designed and will help you to capture the tiniest and quickest of movements. And of course, it helps that it focuses on the temperature of the target.
It offers up to three separate reticles ranging from the duplex crosshair to the mil-dot, and the triangle post reticle found in their more expensive models.
Start-up is quick on this model. It takes just around 5 seconds to start and to be used. There is also a Monchrome Digital OLED display that allows you to use the monocular regardless of lighting around you. Another nice features is the Edge Detect Mode. This feature is excellent as it guides you from any night blindness.
Overall, images are pretty clear here and offer good contrast. Using a 19mm GASIR lens, you enjoy quick sighting.
Because of the matte finish, this scope is good for hunting because it will not reflect any light as you hunt. It also comes in a weather proof finish to enhance durability.
Because of the design, you can estimate how far away the target is. Thus helps you to get off more accurate shots across different distances.
The eye-relief is something that we also like. Because of this feature, you can use the scope without fear of injuring yourself.
What could be better: The base magnification level is excellent, but when increased, images become really blurred. Therefore, it isn’t designed for long-range sighting.
More features: 2-year warranty, multi coated optics, automatic cut-off and brightness control, built-in ¾ in tripod socket, IR illuminator, water-, corrosionand dust-resistant, photo and video equipment adaptable, PASGT and ACH/MICH helmets mountable
Not many people would have expected to find this model on this list on the best monoculars. However, after thorough testing, comparison with other similar units in the price range, and the surprisingly useful feature, it takes a rightful spot. It is cheap, easy on the eye and is superior to other cheap options on the market.
What are our favorite features? The unit boasts of fully multi coated optics that gives a brighter image even in dark conditions. You also get impressive magnification.
Due to the optic coating, you do not have a problem using it in low lighting situations. This design means that the lens uses every nit of light that enters it to improve brightness and clarity. This is a surprising feature in a budget model.
When you consider all these features and look at the price, it is clear that this is an absolute bargain buy.
What could be better? As this is a budget product, cuts are expected the scope still falls short in terms of magnification. The limited magnification of just 1X means it is one of the lowest rated on this roundup.
More features: Porro prism, fully multi-coated, fold down rubber eyecup, nitrogen gas filled, full field of view wearing glasses
It comes as a versatile monocular useful for both long and short range. Therefore, if you are unsure at which of the scope to because of indecision on the type of range you want, then this would be a good option.
What are our favorite features? It is a versatile unit. With this monocular, you can have an enjoyable time. It is built with parts and knobs clearly labelled. Therefore, you will find the model easy to use.
Another notable feature we like about this unit is the simplicity.
Overall, this unit comes at a nice price without compromising on quality. The wide magnification of up to 7X means you can hunt over long distances. It has a Porro Prism, which means that you don’t have to be overly worried about the coating. The eyecup is designed to be foldable. Thus, you can use it with or without glasses. As nitrogen fused tube, it is resistant to fogging or weather conditions. The monocular also offers a full field of view.
What could be better? One thing that could be better is the weight. Although the material of construction improves durability, it makes the scope quite heavy.
If you are looking for a durable option to use while underwater, then you’ll likely fall in love with the Barska 7X42 WP Deep Sea Monocular. It comes with an internal range finder, is fully multicoated, and completely waterproof.
What are our favorite features? Although it is an entry level monocular, it comes with useful features that rival more expensive models. It comes with a 42 mm objective lens and BAK-4 prism that improves your viewing experience. The package includes a wrist strap, lens cloth and carrying case.
With the 42mm objective lens, you get 7X magnification. While this isn’t as high as that found in several other options that I have reviewed, I found it sufficient for regular use. Furthermore, at 7X magnification I did not notice any distortion.
The optics are great as the model comes multi coated. It is also built for underwater use. The model is completely water and fog proof, which allows you to use it in different weather conditions without any hassles.
A FOV of 366 feet at 1000 yards is impressive and one of the best that we have reviewed so far on this roundup. The rubber armored body results in a model that can take a beating without damage.
In the field, this is a fantastic option. It comes with wonderful grip , impressive resolution and clarity and is overall one of the best monoculars
What could be better: Well, I observed that the carrying case is quite flimsy. They could have made it better. Additionally, it is disappointing that it isn’t tripod compatible.
More features: can be quickly turned into a compact microscope, ideal opera glass, made in Germany
When we first saw the Noblex-Docter Optics 8×21 monocular on a YouTube video, we certainly couldn’t wait to test it out. We finally got our hands on this German model, which is especially praised as the theater monocular, and here is what we think about it.
What are our favorite features? First of all, the Noblex-Docter Optics 8×21 uses a Porro prism design and it can be folded. It comes with 8 x 21 configurations, which is quite impressive for a monocular of such miniscule dimensions.
It takes very little time to hold and use the Noblex-Docter Optics 8×21. It can be held in one hand, with the hand covering most of the device. To be fair, this design evokes spycraft, which is one reason why we like it. The objective lens here is offset from the eyepiece, therefore, it is pretty easy to hold and adjust it. The focus ring is very easy to adjust with one hand. It is an absolutely discreet monocular that I loved using.
It comes with a small leather carry case that you can put in a pocket or bag until you need it.
The optics are quite impressive. Since it uses a Porro prism, it does not even require any form of reflective coating. Additionally, it uses BAK-4 glass and full multi coating. Therefore, light transmission is much better than expected.
With a cast aluminum body, it feels pretty lightweight and durable.
What could be better: Well, for all its advantages, it lacks water proofing. Therefore, it isn’t exactly meant for the outdoors.
More features: prism with phase correction coating and a highly reflective aluminum coating, nitrogen purged, one axis center focus
The last, but not the least on this roundup is the excellent Gosky 12×55 High Definition Monocular. It is a model that offers, among several other features, the best magnification you can experience. It is made of high quality parts as well and will leave you with an overall pleasant experience.
What are its best features? If you check out reviews for the best monocular on the market, you will come across several reviews listing this as one of the best options money can buy.
Gosky is a relatively new company in the monocular industry. However, this brand does not show any signs of inexperience, especially when it comes to its products. The company has in recent years picked up the pace to become one of the leading makers of monoculars. They have put plenty of thought and effort into making the Gosky 12×55 High Definition Monocular one of the best options on the market. It shows just how far the company has come over the years.
If you are going outdoors for hunting, hiking, camping, or similar activities, you will be well served by this model. Among the plenty of useful features is a compatibility with smartphones.
With 12X magnification, your adventures will take on even more meaning and become more expansive. While the magnification might be a problem for some models because of heavily distorted images, that is not the case with this model. It comes with a 50mm FMC objective lens and BAK-4 large prisms that give you the best viewing performance. As a result, it lets in a large amount of light that makes your images crisp and clear all the time.
Design-wise, it is a solid choice. The eyecups are adjustable and twisted to accommodate your needs. Therefore, you can use it with glasses without plenty of hassle. You won’t have to remove your eyewear before using the model. It comes with a durable build that is weather resistant. Weighing 13.85 ounces, you can use the Gosky 12×55 High Definition Monocular for extended periods without feeling fatigue in your arms. For hands-free use, there is the tripod-mount. The Gosky 12×55 High Definition Monocular is compatible with several third-party tripod stands.
Another notable design feature is the rubber covering with stripes. The rubber insulates the product from impacts and drops, while the stripes help you to grab the monocular easier. There is also O-ring sealing that stops any moisture from passing through to the monocular.
With up to 6.5 degrees field angle, you have a model that gives you a near perfect view of your surroundings.
What could be better: Well, there are almost zero faults to be found here. To nitpick, it is disappointing that it comes only in black.
Choosing the best monocular can be a challenge, but thankfully we have narrowed down your choices to 15 of the best models on the market. If you want to know the factors we considered when making this list, then this buying guide will interest you.
Features to consider when buying the best monocular
The features we discuss here can also help you to choose independently when looking for the best monocular.
When choosing the best monocular, one of the factors that you must keep in mind is the size. Many people make the mistake of focusing on the magnification power of the monocular. While that is essential, there is more to that. Most of the options we have reviewed above come in a pair of numbers. For example, 3 x 28. What does that mean?
First, the ‘3’ refers to the magnification power of the optic. The second number, ‘28’, is the size of the front objective lens. It is measured in millimetres.
This lens lies at the end of the monocular. When choosing a scope, you must consider this factor. Now, there is a primary reason why the lens is important.
This lens is very important because it is what gives you clarity. The quality of this lens will determine how clearly you can see through the monocular. It is also responsible for the brightness of your scope. In our experience, and as most experts would agree, the bigger the lens, the better your clarity. However, if you have a quality objective lens, you will have some setbacks.
For example, the scope would be heavier. The reflection of light on the big lens can also alert your target to your presence.
So, what is the most important reason to consider the objective lens? It is because the larger it is, the more light it attracts. Choosing the larger option might seem like the logical next step, however, if you are looking for a portable option, you might want to hold your horses, as it were. If you are going hiking or backpacking, you do not want anything to weigh you down.
One way to get around getting a bigger lens is by choosing a model with tripod stand compatibility.
If you’re searching for higher magnification, consider getting a spotting scope instead. Read more on monocular vs spotting scope difference.
Now that you know why the objective lens is important, you should now consider the type of coating on the lens.
Most of the optics available on the market today come with one form of coating or the other. When shopping, you will see many descriptions and you need to make sense of them before choosing a monocular. Most of the models that we have above come with fully multi-coated lenses. What does that mean, and why is it important?
Well, first of all, there are four different types of coating: coated, fully coated, multi-coated, and fully multi-coated.
Let’s consider what each one means.
Сoated lens is one in which a cheap and simple coating is used over the lens to improve the quality of the image that you see. It is the barest type of coating and is also the least expensive.
Fully coated lens are slightly different from the coated lens in that it is just another layer added. It isn’t much different, and so there isn’t a lot of difference in quality or price.
Multi-coated lenses are lenses that feature more than one type of coating. It gives a better image than what you’d find in the coated or fully coated lens. It is therefore, more expensive than them.
Fully multi-coated lenses are the best option, and most of the models we have reviewed come with that coating. These, as the name implies, use several coatings over the lens. The result is that it absorbs light more to give you better quality ad crispness. They are invariably more expensive.
Field of View
As the name clearly implies, this refers to how much of your surroundings you can see while looking from left to right through the scope. The more you magnify the lens, the less you can see in your field of view. It will be something like 10 feet at 10X power. That means that you will be looking at a 10 feet diameter of view at 10 power.
This factor and magnification are linked. If your magnification power is high, you will have a reduced field of view. To negate this, some models use the BAK-4 room prism. That way, the effect of magnification on your field of view is vastly reduced.
Type of Prism
Optical sciences are what make monoculars work. There are three main types of prisms which guide the functioning of your device. These are roof prisms, porro prisms, and Galilean monoculars.
The porro prism is different from the roof prism and is focused on helping you see mid or close range targets. In the review above, some of the models that utilize this type of prism include the Opticron Marine-3 7×50.
While you might initially not think much of it, a waterproof rating is an important feature that every high quality monocular ought to have. If water enters the monocular, it will become utterly useless and you won’t be able to see through it.
Therefore, when choosing a monocular, look through the specifications to find the IP rating. The higher the rating, the better it will be at resisting water, dust, and the elements. Ensure that it has an IP rating of at least IP6.
While some consider eye relief only important when choosing a rifle scope, it is still important when choosing your monocular. The eye relief is the distance of the rear lens that the eye requires in order to see a clear image.
It is measured in millimeters and most of the monoculars on the market have eye relief around the 11 to 20 mm range. Eye relief is also important if you need glasses. The longer the eye relief, the better it would be for someone with glasses. The ATN PVS14-3 offers up to 25mm eye relief.
Gas Filled Monoculars
While going through the review, you will come across some models that are nitrogen fused. This feature is a very useful feature. Remember that most monoculars are designed to prevent any moisture or dust from entering them. By fusing the tube with an inert gas like nitrogen, you will get a better image when you look through the monocular.
The gases will prevent the light from refraction, reflection or splitting. Thus, you get a very clear image. Some of the models with this feature include the Leica Monovid 8 x 20 Monocular.
The best monocular will have a focus adjustment. It is this that helps you to get the most from your device. If a monocular lacks this feature, it is likely not worth your time or money. When you look through the monocular, it is near impossible to immediately get a perfect look. That is why you need to adjust the focus with the focus adjuster.
Some of the models on the market have focus adjusters that you can operate with one hand, while others require both hands. It can be set above or below the lens tube or somewhere else. The main thing is to ensure that your monocular has this feature and that you are comfortable with the placement.
Size and Weight
One of the main reasons why people prefer monoculars over binoculars is the size and weight. They are generally lighter and easier to carry around. If these factors are important to you, then you must choose a monocular that has a comfortable size and weight. Do you want a model that can easily fit into your backpack or even inside your pocket?
When making a choice in this regard, some excellent models come with carry bags that make it easier to transport the monocular. Check these out and ensure they are of high quality and that they would offer adequate protection to your monocular.
There are other features found in some of the high grade monoculars. One of the most common and useful is smartphone compatibility.
If you want to get pretty dope pictures, one way to achieve it is by pairing your phone with a monocular. Some models have been made with phone mounts that let you to adjust the phone so you can see through both devices at once. An example is the VIVREAL 12×50 HD Monocular.
If you will use the monocular in the dark, then you must look for a model with night vision capabilities. Thankfully, we have reviewed some models that offer this in the roundup above. Some are designed for night time use while others are only sufficient in low light conditions. If you’re interested in a more detailed review on products of this type, be sure to check out our article on the best night vision monoculars under $200 – that’s right, there’s a number of decent models that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
If you will be using the device over water, you should consider getting one with impressive water resistant ratings. While they might cost more than the typical monocular, they are a good investment. An example is the Barska 7X42 WP Deep Sea Monocular.
To ensure that the monocular lasts for a long time, it is important to maintain it. The major way to maintain it is by cleaning after use. If there is dust inside, you can use compressed air to blow these out.
Yes you can! That is why it is important to consider the eye relief. The longer the eye relief of the monocular, the easier it would be for you to use glasses. For more detailed instructions, read our article on how to use a monocular.
Yes. Some models can be used as both. They come with at least 2 magnification and some even offer night time use via thermal imaging. By the way, we have a more detailed monocular vs. spotting scope comparison – check it out, if you search for more information on that.
Now that we have given you all the important information about the best monocular, we sincerely hope that you find the right model for you. Consider all the options we have reviewed above, narrowing down your options until you find one that ticks off most of the boxes. We are sure that you will find the best monocular that will serve your needs!