Top Marine Monoculars Reviewed & Buying Guide
If you’re short on time, our comprehensive guide is the best way to save it and to find products that will help you a lot and not prove themselves to be a waste of money. On our quest to find the best marine monocular, we came across a lot of clever advice meant to save you money and to educate you on this topic. Moreover, to construct the article, we’ve also read marine monocular reviews to find those underrated products that will speak to you on all levels. And one monocular that did just that is the Vortex Optics Solo. It has an ergonomic body that is easily handled, and it is perfectly equipped for life at sea since it is waterproof. Furthermore, it will provide clear and stable images, and won’t disappoint when it comes to poorly lit environments. As an alternative in case this one is out of stock, we offer you the Bushnell Legend Ultra.
Investing in a monocular is a great alternative to bringing a pair of high-end astronomy binoculars with you, which are much more cumbersome. Being only half the size of those tools, monoculars are significantly more compact, lighter, and, of course, more portable. The guide we put together talks about how to spot the best monocular for your budget and needs.
The first thing to look at in detail when choosing a good marine monocular is its power or magnification it offers, which is usually the first thing brands talk about. An excellent monocular for hunting will typically have a decent magnification of 6x to 10x.
Higher magnifications will enable you to see further and in more detail, but it will also come at a price. 9x or 12x monoculars will usually cost a lot more than 6x or 8x ones, as expected, but their versatility will be increased as well. The excellent thing about these products is that you get the same power of premium binoculars but without breaking the bank.
Remember not to expect fantastic performance from an 8×25 or 10×25 pocket monocular, as they are made for light tasks. These little tools have good power but also a minimal view because of the small lens they use. They might also be challenging to use due to their very small and uncomfortable eyecup.
If you analyze a monocular’s specs, you will almost always see two numbers. For example, 9×25. The first number before the x represents its power while the second number its lens size. Don’t neglect this part, as it makes a big difference when it comes to low-light performances.
A standard budget monocular will typically have a lens of 20mm to 42mm, which is more than enough for most people. A bigger lens will let you see a wider view, as expected. It will also result in a brighter image when looking through your monocular, but this feature also depends on other factors as well.
The most significant downside is that the larger the lens is, the heavier and bulkier your product will be. If you are browsing for a model to use at night or in complete darkness, then you should consider a premium night vision monocular because it will use a built-in IR illuminator to allow night vision capability.
Size and weight
Although these two features are mostly subjective and change from one adventurer to another, there are a few benefits to both extremes. You’ll have to think about your ideal size and the dimensions of your backpack, to make sure you’ll always have space for the model you go for.
In general, most experts say that an 8×25 or 10×25 monocular is considered to be a compact or pocket option, which is actually the perfect size we recommend for marine monoculars as well, especially if it has anti-glare coatings.
A model from this category will easily fit in your pockets and will be very portable. This type of product will usually come with a small carrying bag, so you won’t have to carry it by hand, which is especially important if you need a high-quality monocular for hiking. An average weight around 10 ounces is ideal for those who like to travel light and not be held back by their gadgets.
The monocular vs. spotting scope debate has been going on for a while now. A monocular is typically designed to be very compact and portable while a spotting scope will be significantly bigger and heavier, but if you’re a hunter, a feature-full Bushnell spotting scope would be a much better idea because it comes with improvements essential to this task.
Also, if you want a monocular for astronomy, we would suggest looking for a top-notch refracting telescope instead, as it will offer a much more pleasant experience.
Our 2018 list: Find the right marine monocular for your needs
Below you have some cheap marine monoculars for sale that are going to impress you with their durability. We’ve picked them so they will be both light and full of features at the same time. That’s why, no matter which one you pick, it will be a reliable and highly useful choice.
Vortex Optics Solo
And to ensure the unit easily fits in your hand and that it’s also durable, the item features a roof prism design. The monocular barrel is purged with the ever-so-popular nitrogen to combat fogging, while the O-rings seal the lenses and help prevent entry of dirt, dust, and even moisture or water.
This piece will help you tackle different terrains, weather, and climates, while still providing an amazing view and a lot of detail. With a field of view of 325 feet at 1,000 yards, the tool has decent territorial coverage and locating your target whether you’re deer hunting, bird or people watching is relatively easy.
We will start the list of features with the product’s 10x magnification and 36mm objective lens.
Moreover, the fully multi-coated lenses increase the light transmission and resolution so you can see even the tiniest of details.
The monocular is rubber armored, and it has a non-slip grip that makes it safe to use even when you’re sweaty or wet. Consequently, the unit is nitrogen purged and O-ring sealed so you can forget about water and fog damaging the product.
The adjustable eyecup allows for comfortable viewing with or without glasses, and the 36mm Solo comes equipped with a versatile utility clip.
One buyer said the rubber eyepiece came off in the first day of intensive use, which is not ideal for those expecting a premium product.
Also, the case provided in the box is a poorly made Chinese product and not something that you would take pride in using in public.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($109)
Bushnell Legend Ultra
The model’s Patented Rainguard HD, a permanent and water-repellent coating, fights off humidity and helps deliver a clear, bright view even if it’s raining. The premium housing of the product is O-ring sealed and purged with nitrogen to ensure enhanced performance and to please even demanding sea explorers.
Bushnell has designed it to rock the BaK-4 roof prisms, which deliver amazing optical clarity while comfortably focusing on objects more than a mile away. The eye relief is at a healthy 15.2mm, and the eyecup has a twist-up design for use with or without eyeglasses.
We’ll have to mention that inside the model you can find quality optics capable of stunning HD clarity. The brand created it from 100% quality materials that were tested extensively to make sure they can survive intensive use.
Moreover, the tool has a beautiful design that is both ergonomic and pleasant to the touch.
When it comes to specs, you’ll be pleased with its 10x magnification, 42-millimeter objective lens and with the fact that it is highly intuitive.
The manufacturer opted for BaK-4 prisms and fully multi-coated optics and made sure the unit is 100% waterproof and fog resistant.
As we read reviews about it, we’ve noticed that there were a few beginner explorers that weren’t pleased with its more noticeable weight.
Even more importantly, the image it provides won’t be as steady while you’re running as it would be while standing still, which is not a deal-breaker.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($184.99)
Opticron Marine 3
An 18mm eye relief eyepiece and the unit’s considerable depth of field provide the ideal chances for stable, comfortable viewing even under constant motion with or without wearing glasses. With a nitrogen gas-filled waterproof housing and the specially mounted prism assemblies, the premium internal elements of the gadget are well-protected.
Its sturdy aluminum body with thick rubber armoring is created to be durable even in the harshest conditions, without weighing a lot and without damaging the pleasant experience the product provides. It has a smooth surface and can be held for long periods of time with both or just one hand.
Like all premium devices, the monocular has a Porro prism design with contoured protective rubber armoring that helps it impress you with its durability even in the roughest conditions.
Furthermore, the model is nitrogen filled so it can be waterproof and fog proof, which is something that outdoorsy people will appreciate.
You also get a fully multi-coated optical system on all air to glass surfaces and low light performances, all for a modest price.
Its long eye relief and large depth of field provide the best chances for comfortable viewing under constant motion, no matter if you’re an eyeglass wearer or not.
When compared to other monoculars from different brands, this model has nothing that helps it stand out. The things it comes equipped with are of the highest quality, but not innovative or unique. It is a simple piece that does its job well but not outstandingly.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($135)
Leica Sport Optics Monovid
The 20mm objective lens on the Leica-made provides you with 8X magnification and a view that is clear and crisp, without any blur or distortion. The resolution and contrast are incredible, giving you the feeling of truly being next to what you’re observing.
The monocular offers you a field of view that is 360 feet wide from 1,000 yards, and the close focusing distance of the unit itself is at 6’11″. Needless to say, it will be highly useful in all weather and light conditions, and its rugged body is capable of withstanding years of intensive use.
The Leica monocular uses a roof prism design, which combines phase correction coatings with enhanced light transmission to provide optimum resolution, contrast and accurate colors to the one using the product.
The item also includes a water-repellent Aqua-Dura coating on the outer lens that is efficient in keeping water and dust away from the internal components. Adjusting the focus is also easy and fast.
Because the seller provided an accessory close-up lens, you can view items at distances as close as 10 inches, which is more than other companies offer.
Other accessories include the eyepiece cover and a carrying bag with an attached belt loop.
The price tag is really the only complaint about the monocular that we’ve encountered so far. It is full of features, but it is not budget-friendly.
Also, the lens gets smudgy pretty quickly, and you’ll have to wipe it clean often with a piece of cloth.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($459)
This makes the unit easy to grip, and it protects it from hard use. The gadget features BAK4 prism glass and, as expected, fully multi-coated lenses for a high-contrast image. A built-in compass allows you to establish your direction, and the 8x magnification is strong enough to reveal distant details.
If you’re out at dawn, you’ll appreciate the light-gathering ability of the impressive 42mm objective lens. The Oceana model is a useful tool for both experts and beginners, and it is intuitive when it comes to figuring out its quirks. We should also mention that the images seen at higher magnifications are stable and not shaky.
As an optical instrument, this unit from Oceana series offers professional features like the high-grade BaK-4 prisms and its fully multi-coated optics for improved light transmission.
It comes with an integrated compass and reticle, and its ergonomic body will never fall from your hands, especially since it also features a rubber armor with an anti-slip texture.
A wider field like the one on this piece is much more comfortable for viewing, and it makes it much easier for you to find the object you wish to observe.
Moreover, the comfortable 18mm of eye relief this Celestron monocular provides is suitable for eyeglass wearers.
One recurrent complaint is that the compass is not as accurate as it is supposed to be, especially if it’s your only way of figuring out your directions.
Others wished the seller would offer more accessories in the box, to make up for its flaws.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($69.99)