Best lightweight monoculars in 2018 – Comparison & reviews

Best lightweight monoculars in 2018 – Comparison & reviews

Last Updated: 21.10.18

Top Lightweight Monoculars This Year – Guide & Comparative Analysis

People seldom have the time to research about the best lightweight monocular, but if you are short on time, the following paragraph contains enough information to help you make a good purchasing decision. After looking at the value and quality of many of the options available for sale at the moment, we have concluded that the product you should consider is the Wingspan Optics Outdoorsman. This model comes with high-quality optics that should provide users with industry leading clarity and brightness. The owners appreciate the lightweight and portable construction of this product, meaning that it is a great choice for people that want to purchase a quality compact monocular. The eyecup is adjustable which will allow users to utilize this option with or without glasses. If by any unfortunate event you are unable to find our first pick, we recommend that you consider the Vortex Optics Solo as your second-best option.

It can be quite difficult to find a good lightweight monocular if you don’t focus on a few features to help you narrow down on your choices. Thorough research of the market is a great first step, but few people have the time for such an undertaking. To make things simpler, we have outlined a few of the critical points of consideration when looking to purchase a quality monocular.

Magnification

If there is one thing that cannot be denied it’s that when talking about optical instruments such as a monocular, the most important feature to consider is the magnification power of the product you have in mind. If you take the magnification out of the equation, you take away the entire purpose of the product.

When it is time to find the ideal magnification power, things can start to get a bit complicated because the magnification you require depends greatly on what you are trying to observe. After examining numerous lightweight monocular reviews, we have concluded that if you are looking for an all-purpose product, 8x to 10x magnifications should do the trick.

Customers recommend these numbers because they offer the golden ratio between magnification and peripheral viewing. You have to take into account that the higher magnification you have available, the harder it will become for you to stay focused on a single object since a simple shaking of the hand could make you lose sight of the object or bird you are observing.

If you do plan to get a monocular for bird watching that has a magnification power higher than 15x, we recommend that you get an option that is tripod compatible. High magnification devices are ideal for viewing a specific object such as a small bird laying a nest in a large tree that you can barely see with your bare eyes on the horizon.

Quality of the optics

Apart from the magnification power, you will also have to consider the lens diameter. The larger the lens diameter is, the more capable your device will be at capturing light, and that can improve performance in low-light conditions and give you a better picture all-around.

The one thing that you should consider is that a unit that features a larger lens diameter will need a bigger and heavier body to accommodate the larger optics. Thus, if you are looking for a lightweight model, you might have to stick to devices that have a lens diameter equal to or smaller than 50mm.

If you plan to use the monocular to observe up-close objects, you should check if the product you have in mind comes with close focus. This is a nifty feature to have since it will allow you to take a good look at bees-covered flowers in springtime.

Comfort and durability

You should beware of monoculars that are meant to sit flush against your eyes. Such a feature is great for cutting glare and making it easier for your eyes to focus on the objective, but if you wear glasses, it can become a bit problematic. We advise you to scrutinize each option to see if it can accommodate your glasses.

Finding a unit with eye relief shouldn’t be a problem since it is a very popular feature and manufacturers will try their best to showcase it.

When it comes to durability, the best way to ascertain if a quality monocular for hiking can handle the rough use of an active outdoor enthusiast is to take a look at the exterior materials of the device. We recommend products that come with a rubber armor and that are waterproof and fog proof.

Our 2018 list: Find the right lightweight monocular for your needs

While we can’t decide for you, if you have trouble finding cheap lightweight monoculars, we have prepared a list of the top-rated models currently available on the market. These are the products that stood out due to their quality, compact design, and reliability.

Wingspan Optics Outdoorsman

With the Wingspan alternative you can experience the details of the object you are observing in a totally new light thanks to the use of high-quality optics that make this unit ideal for bird watchers. You will be able to view every bird in brilliant detail, as though you are standing right next to it.

The Outdoorsman offers a magnification of 8x and an objective lens diameter of 42mm, making it capable of handling use in low-light conditions without sacrificing on image quality. The field of view is also quite impressive, 388 feet at 1000 yards, allowing you a great peripheral view so that you never lose sight of your target.

Another standout feature of this model is the DiamondBright optics design that will provide users with industry leading clarity and brightness. The monocular is lightweight and portable, and it comes with an adjustable eyecup for optimal viewing with or without glasses.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($47.5)

Vortex Optics Solo

The Vortex Optics Solo offers a magnification of 8x and a 25mm objective lens all in a lightweight and compact body that is easy to carry in your pocket by using its nifty utility clip. To preserve the compact design without sacrificing on light transmission and resolution, the optics of this model are fully multi-coated.

The monocular features a fully rubber armored body which provides it with a non-slip grip and makes it capable of handling a drop or two. The Solo is also nitrogen purged and O-ring sealed, meaning that it can deliver waterproof and fog proof performance in any environment and weather condition.

For users that wear glasses, the adjustable eyecup can allow for a comfortable viewing experience with or without glasses. The wide field of view of 378 feet at 1000 yards makes this product a great all-around choice that can be used for a wide range of activities.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($49)

Wingspan Optics Titan

With a magnification of 12x, this is the most powerful monocular on our list and it is a great choice for people that are looking to observe distant objects with superb clarity and brightness. The lens diameter is equally impressive, at 50mm it will allow copious amounts of light to enter the objective so that you can enjoy impressive performance even in low-light environments.

The upgraded structural optics will allow users to identify the target and enjoy a face-to-face level of detail with increased precision and accuracy. The quality of this unit can also be observed when it comes to comfort and ease of use. The ergonomically designed single hand focus and ComfortGrip design will make you want to never stop using this option.

While this might be a lightweight choice, it is also durable as a tank. The monocular is waterproof, climate-proof, fog proof and drop resistant thanks to the external body DuraArmor that will eliminate the fear of damage.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($58.18)

Orion 10x42 Waterproof

The Orion option comes in a very advantageous small size, but it manages to provide high optical performance thanks to the more than generous 42mm objective lens and the quality BK07 roof prism. As far as magnification goes, the 10x power and the wide field of view will make it easy to track moving objects.

We were also pleased to learn that this unit comes with an amazing near focus distance of just 20 inches, which will allow you to observe your target even when it gets really close to you. This feature makes this particular option great for bird and wildlife watching.

The waterproof rubber-armored construction will ensure that this option can be used for viewing in almost any weather. In the package, you will also find a removable carrying strap so that you can place the monocular around your neck during hikes or climbing sessions.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($49.99)

BARSKA Style 10x25

If affordability is on your mind, and you want to get a quality budget monocular, we believe that the BARSKA alternative fits the bill perfectly. This is an option built for fast action on the go, and it fits easily in any backpack, pocket or purse without adding excessive weight or bulk.

The compact design makes it very comfortable to use and hold, while the 10x powerful magnification will enable users to make very detailed observations of distant subjects. The 25mm objective lens might be on the lower side, but the anti-reflection fully coated optics will help with light transmission and performance in shadowed areas.

The entire monocular is wrapped in a very durable rubber armor that comes with raised finger grooves designed to provide grip stability and slip-resistance. Together with your purchase, you will also get a multi-pocket neoprene pouch for storing and a nifty neck strap to help you transport the device.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($12.73)
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