Top Monoculars for Stargazing Reviewed & Buying Guide
If you are in the market for the best monocular for stargazing and you’re having a little trouble sifting through the many alternatives available for sale, then it’s a good thing you’re reading this article. Based on our research and analysis of hundreds of stargazing monocular reviews, it seems that the model you ought to consider is the Bushnell Legend Ultra HD. This unit comes with a 10x magnification and a 42mm objective lens diameter, so it’s capable of capturing plenty of light despite being reasonably sized. The stunning HD clarity ensured by the quality optics featured by this product is another reason to give it a try. It also has a waterproof and fogproof construction, so that’s one less thing to worry about. If this option is no longer available, check out the second on our list, the Wingspan Optics NatureScope.
If you’re on the hunt for a good monocular for stargazing and you can’t seem to find one that best suits your needs, the first thing you have to do is take a step back and understand that the models designed specifically for astronomy are different from typical ones. Also, there are other aspects you must consider to be able to make the right choice.
For more information, we suggest reading the guide we’ve put together below. Over time, we’ve published many other articles, and the topics of these range from binocular accessories to how you can get the most of your brand new monocular scope.
Magnification and size of the objective lens
They say bigger is better in most cases, and this is especially true when it comes to stargazing monoculars. You want your model to come with the largest aperture possible, and the magnification has to be the most powerful, too.
But the problem that comes from buying the so-called best model in this sense is that it will end up being bulky. Just as you would when getting a telescope or a pair of binoculars for the same purpose, you have to consider the way you’re going to use your monocular.
Naturally, amateur astronomers should try to look at the sky while they’re out of town because if you do this from your balcony, the image will be affected by light pollution and will effectively prevent you from seeing any celestial object.
On the other hand, the smaller and the lighter the monocular, the less likely is it for it to be expensive. In the end, you must make a trade-off between specs and cost, since higher priced alternatives usually come with a more powerful magnification and a big aperture.
Faint celestial objects and stars are a lot more demanding compared to daytime scenes, and so you don’t want the optics of the instrument you’re purchasing to be mediocre. You wouldn’t believe the number of flaws you can discover when you look at the sky, especially if the product you have chosen doesn’t come with high-quality optics.
Price is a relatively good indicator of the quality of the lenses. No decent unit will be a cheap monocular for stargazing. Choose fully multi-coated optics for the best results.
Stability and image shakiness
If you are planning to use your monocular without any stabilization system, we hate to disappoint you, but it might not meet your requirements. The higher the magnification and the bigger the objective lens, the heavier will the unit be.
That means that your hands are going to be shaky and so, in turn, will be the image. Use a tripod or a monopod if you want to get a model that’s not exactly lightweight. Keep in mind that a bigger objective lens diameter will allow the optical instrument to capture more light, so the image will be brighter and you’ll actually be able to tell what celestial object you are looking at.
Our 2018 List: Find the right stargazing monocular for your needs
Finding a quality monocular these days can be a challenge, and part of that comes from the fact that the market is overflowing with products.
If you want to make sure that you’re getting the right unit for your needs, we would suggest checking out the models we have displayed below. Should you be interested in the topic, you might want to do some reading on how you can select the perfect survival monocular, too.
Bushnell Legend Ultra HD
Bushnell’s model is among the most popular ones that we were able to track down, but that shouldn’t come as a surprise given this brand’s history with manufacturing top-notch optical instruments.
This particular product comes with a 10x magnification power and a 42-millimeter objective lens, so it is more than capable of enabling you to take a peek at the sky. Of course, it doesn’t have the performance of a telescope, but that’s the case with most monoculars for astronomy purposes.
The product comes with a compact and eye-catching design and it also boasts high-quality optics, which in turn will allow you to benefit from excellent and crystal clear images. The twist-up eyecups are easy to use, and the rugged build of this product will allow you to get the most out of it by using it time and again. There is no need to replace this monocular ahead of time.
This model comes with a 10x magnification and a 42mm objective size, so it’s capable of gathering more than enough light, especially when compared to smaller alternatives.
Given that it is quite compact, you won’t necessarily need a stabilization system like a tripod if you decide to go for this product.
The Legend Ultra HD comes with an eye-catching design, so it both looks good and gets the job done.
Its waterproof and fogproof construction renders it impervious to the damages that inclement weather might otherwise cause.
Many customers say that this product offers an image quality compared to that ensured by Vortex models, which are typically pricier.
For applications such as hunting, for example, you might have to opt for a similarly sized pair of binoculars.
Some users say that they would have appreciated the model even more if it were even smaller.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($183.94)
Wingspan Optics NatureScope
If what you have been seeking is a highly affordable 10×42 monocular, then it’s a good thing that you’re reading this review. Wingspan’s NatureScope is one of the most critically acclaimed models designed by the brand, and for a good reason, too. It’s versatile, effective, and comfortable to use, and it can be used for many purposes.
Since it has a comparable magnification and objective lens diameter to those of the Bushnell Legend we’ve also mentioned here, this one seems to be worthy of your consideration. It boasts a durable armor, which in turn makes for a non-slip and secure grip, and you can use it both if you wear glasses and if your vision is crystal clear, too.
The adjustable eyecups boasted by this model will definitely come in handy if you’re an eyeglass wearer. Since this model is both fogproof and waterproof, you can use it for wildlife viewing and hunting, too.
The 10x magnification and 42mm objective lens diameter provide more than decent results if you want to watch the sky and experience no image shakiness.
The unit is reasonably sized, so you won’t find it either heavy to carry around or too big to store in your backpack, for example.
You can use this product whether you are an eyeglass wearer or not as it comes with adjustable eyecups.
The durable armor that the Wingspan Optics NatureScope is fitted with renders it capable of withstanding the test of time.
As with other models out there, this one has a fogproof and waterproof construction.
The NatureScope Monocular isn’t tripod-capable, and that’s a disadvantage for those people who want to experience absolutely no image shakiness whatsoever.
Some say that it is a bit heavier than what they would have liked it to be.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($39.99)
Orion 10×42 Waterproof
The optics that this unit comes with are what you should be excited about, and that’s because they are fully multi-coated. What that means is that the 42mm objective lens is capable of transmitting light in an extremely effective manner, and so the images will be bright and clear.
As with other monoculars used for stargazing purposes, this one comes with a 10x magnification. What does set it aside from the rest, though, is its 20-in near focus. This feature will allow you to view birds and other objects up-close.
Another aspect that you ought to be interested in is the fact that this alternative is conveniently compact and it measures just 6.1 inches in length. Also, it weighs in at just 11 ounces, so it won’t be too heavy in your backpack or even in your hands. As a result, you’ll experience less image shakiness.
The Orion model is one of the most portable and compact options that we were able to track down, so the likelihood of you experiencing image shakiness is quite low.
The waterproof rubber-armored construction boasted by the unit should give you a pointer as to whether or not it can stand the test of time.
It measures just 6.1 inches in length and weighs in at only 11 ounces, so it is lightweight and can be used conveniently.
The optics of this monocular are fully multi-coated, so you can rest assured that the brightness will be on par all the time.
Based on what one user has had to say about it, you can see the Moon rather well, but it doesn’t magnify the stars or planets to get any amount of detail. It’s rather suitable for people who just want to look at the sky and stars without expecting precision.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($49.99)
Vortex Optics Recon 15×50
This tactical scope monocular is definitely worthy of your consideration since it comes with a large objective lens diameter and as such, it’s capable of gathering plenty of light. The 50mm objective boasts anti-reflective coatings and is made from high-quality glass.
What’s also worth mentioning about this product is that it comes with a more powerful magnification compared to many of the other choices we’ve gone through. Also, it is equipped with a large focus wheel, as well as a smaller reticle focus wheel.
The unit is shipped with a utility clip that can be securely attached to your pack or the edges of your pockets. Also, the strap that the monocular is fitted with is ambidextrous, so even if you prefer using your right or left hand, you can still get the most out of this particular product. Finally, the rubber armor boasted by the model is an advantage in itself as it extends its durability.
Since it is fully waterproof, this model can even be used in bad weather and for various purposes such as hunting and long-range observation.
The 50mm objective lens diameter lets in plenty of light, so the images you’ll look at are going to be bright and crystal clear.
The 15mm magnification is far more powerful compared to that of other choices available these days.
The product is shipped with a strap and a utility clip that can be attached to the edge of your pocket or some parts of your backpack.
It’s also worth noting that the Vortex Optics monocular comes with a textured rubber armor, so you’ll benefit from a solid grip.
This is not the lightest alternative ever to have seen the light of day, but that’s understandable seeing that it comes with a bigger lens.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($599)
If you need a more compact version of a highly user-friendly monocular for your celestial viewing applications, then you might want to know that many stargazing monocular reviews recommend the Opticron model. It’s compact and lightweight and it does precisely what it’s been designed to do.
Like many other units in the same line, this one comes with a 10x magnification and a 42mm objective lens diameter. This means, on the one hand, that you won’t be able to see stars and planets in detail, but you’ll definitely be able to look at the sky without the use of a tripod.
The fully multi-coated optical system makes it possible for this optical instrument to capture more than enough light and render images in a crisp and clear manner. Something that makes it stand out from the crowd is its nitrogen gas filled waterproof construction, which enables this unit to stand the test of time.
If you’re looking for a monocular that comes with top-notch optical components, then you should give a try to this one since it comes with a fully multi-coated system.
The unit comes with a 10x magnification and a 42mm objective lens diameter, and the size of the lens should be enough for it to allow sufficient light to penetrate the monocular.
You can use this device whether you wear glasses or not.
The nitrogen gas filled waterproof build of this alternative is an advantage in itself since you won’t have to worry about any inclement weather damaging your investment.
The design of this unit is both lightweight and compact, so you won’t have any issue carrying it.
The cost of this monocular might be an inconvenience for people looking to purchase a monocular for the purpose of stargazing on a budget.
If you have enjoyed reading this article, we suggest checking out some of the other ones we’ve written in the past. Find out more about travel monoculars or if you’re passionate about wildlife, discover how you can find the right lightweight binoculars for birding.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($219)