Best monocular for the money

Best monocular for the money

Last Updated: 23.08.19

Monoculars - Buying guide & Comparison

What happens when you don’t have much time on hand but you need to take a reasonable decision when it comes to buying the best monocular for the money? Well the alternatives are, you either spend days on end browsing dozens of cheap monocular reviews or you read the suggestions in our buying guide. Our findings show that the first product you should take into consideration is the Bushnell 191142 Legend Ultra HD, due to its many useful features. For example, it is manufactured using high-quality materials that have been extensively tested, resulting in an item that’s made to last. By using Bak-4 prisms, the final quality of the images is significantly increased. Also, it’s worth mentioning that this model is both waterproof and fog proof. Should this design be currently unavailable, we recommend you check out the Vortex Optics S836 Solo Monocular instead.

Comparison table

The Good
The Bad

Everyone knows how difficult it can be to search for the best monocular on a budget, in a market filled with aggressive advertising and countless options. Without having the knowledge, it may seem like an impossible task. Luckily for you, we’re here to make sure you make the most of our research and advice by following the tips in our comprehensive buying guide.

Lenses and image quality

Perhaps the most important feature to look for in such a device is the ability to render a good quality final image, detailed enough, bright enough and last but not least in accordance with your expectations and the price you paid. It’s crucial to establish your budget before going about buying gear, to make sure you understand the difference between professional and amateur use and the subsequent price difference.

Once you have that figured out, you can set off to find a good monocular for the money. Since you’re reading this guide it’s probably safe to assume you don’t intend to use it for professional purposes, so a cheaper alternative will be a lot easier to find. That’s the good news. Now onto the real problem, if you want an accurate and detailed view delivered to you, make sure you pick an item equipped with an optical system containing fully multi-coated lenses.

A set of protective layers destined to reduce effects such as reflection, that can prevent a generous amount of light from actually entering the optical system, can do a great deal in increasing image quality. Another important aspect to consider when it comes to lenses is the magnification power. You should choose a value according to your purpose and also your budget since more powerful devices are obviously more expensive, but it’s also possible to find a bargain if you look well enough.


This particular aspect doesn’t necessarily refer to who uses the monocular, although this should also be considered. For example, if you’re an eyeglass wearer, you should look for a product with long eye relief, to wear over your glasses. Versatility is also about how easy an item is to pack and carry and when it can be used.

Look for devices that come with additional accessories such as carrying cases or shoulder straps to make it easy for you to carry them while on a trip outdoors. A lightweight alternative would be the best since you probably don’t need to add any more weight to your backpack, your other pieces of gear being heavy enough already.

If you want to get rid of the burden of having to check the weather forecast daily on the upcoming days of a trip just to see if there have been any major changes, you should certainly look for a waterproof and fog proof model, since this way you will be able to use them regardless of environment and weather conditions. You will also be spared of certain mishappenings such as fogging.

The importance of design

In order to fully enjoy the qualities of a product, it’s not enough for it to be equipped with professional features at a reasonable price, it also needs to look professional. Although design usually costs and more appealing items are subsequently more expensive, it’s surely worth searching the market for the showiest models.

If you’re somehow able to find a smart looking alternative that’s reasonably priced and also offers great quality, then you are in luck, but you shouldn’t stop at that. Take things a step further and check the product specifications for the outer layer. You will be surprised of its importance in preventing outside factors from interfering with the interior system.

A resistant outer layer is great in an optical device, but if you get the chance you should also look for additional features such as a rugged rubber armor that increases stability and prevents you from accidentally dropping the object, or one that’s provided with slots to keep your finger firmly grasping the monocular.

Top monoculars reviews in 2019

If you feel as if the information we’ve delivered so far isn’t sufficient or doesn’t go in depth concerning the product you’re interested in buying, we’ve showcased a selection of our favorite products for sale at the moment to help you make up your mind.

Bushnell 191142 Legend Ultra HD

You should definitely try this product if you’re looking for something that’s affordable but still manages to deliver quality similar to high-end brands. For example, by using Bak-4 prisms and a combination of protective layers to coat the lenses, it manages to obtain a good final rendering. The ED glass enhances its performances.

Many features define this model, but the ones that definitely should be taken into consideration are magnification, which is of 10x, more than you would get by trying other similarly priced products, and the inclusion of protective devices such as comfortable twist-up eyecups that prevent the lenses from getting damaged.

Should you need this type of item for outdoor trips in a variety of climates, you are in luck, since the Legend Ultra HD is both waterproof and fog proof and can be used regardless of weather conditions. For you to be able to carry it more easily, accessories such as a carry clip and a Picatinny rail have been included in the packaging.

Buy from for ($170.65)

Vortex Optics S836 Solo Monocular

When shopping for monoculars, it’s important to consider your budget. If you want to buy a model that will deliver reasonable quality for an affordable price, try the Solo Monocular from Vortex Optics. The fully multi-coated lenses will deliver some of the brightest, sharpest images you’ve seen and the color palette is varied enough to offer a great level of detail.

It’s also important to mention that the design manages to be appealing while also having a rugged rubber armor to prevent the device from accidentally slipping out of your hand while in a wet environment. Speaking of which, this monocular can be used regardless of the weather conditions, because it is both waterproof and fog proof and will spare you from having to check the weather forecast before setting off on a trip outdoors.

Aside from it’s other perhaps more important qualities, it’s also worth bringing its portability into the discussion, since this particular design is easy to pack and carry along.

Buy from for ($99)

Night Owl XGEN Night Vision Viewer

Shopping for monoculars may be all about useful qualities, but that doesn’t mean that design should never become part of the problem. It was certainly an issue in the producer’s eye when manufacturing the Night Vision Viewer, and the result is quite satisfying. For an affordable price, this item offers you the features you would expect from a professional product all packed into a smart design.

Destined for nighttime use and packed with night vision technology, this alternative will allow you to view objects as far as 70 yards, due to the built-in infrared illuminator. The magnification is only 2.1x, a lot less than other products also reviewed in our list, but enough for a device created with the sole purpose of allowing you to see in the dark.

It’s important to mention that this device works on batteries and is also equipped with programmed settings, so it can be put to use straight out of the delivery package.

Buy from for ($130.11)

Opticron 30348 Waterproof LE Black

Among the many useful features that define this particular alternative, we’ve decided to first bring to your attention the design. The rubber armor is countered with three spots for you to place your fingers in order to increase stability while using the product. Also, the long eye relief will allow you to use it even if you’re wearing glasses.

Speaking of qualities, it’s outer layer is designed to prevent water from getting beneath the surface, meaning it’s safe to use this device even in wet environments. Filled with nitrogen gas, it’s certainly an item made to last.

The optical system tasked with rendering a good quality image is equipped with layers of multi-coated lenses, all in order to achieve the best results. Pocket-sized, you can easily pack this small monocular and get going without worrying about adding too much weight to your backpack.

Buy from for ($155)

Eyeskey EK8573 Zoom Monocular

One of the most affordable models you’ll find on the market is this offer from Eyeskey, that, besides it’s reasonable price, also displays many interesting and useful features. For example, the level of detail you will reach is worth mentioning, since it’s magnifying power is of 10x to 30x, more than you would normally get in a product within this price range.

Safe to use in any type of weather conditions, this particular alternative is both waterproof and fog proof due to its nitrogen gas construction. Not only will it prevent water from penetrating the outer layer but it will also prevent other mishappenings such as fogging, dust or debris.

The fully multi-coated lenses will make sure you enjoy some of the brightest images captured through this type of device. In order to have more control over the item, a central focus adjusting knob has also been included.

Click to see the price on Amazon!
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