Top Monocular Scopes Reviewed – Buying guide & Comparison for 2018
If you are here to find the best monocular scope, but you’re too pressed for time to go through the information provided by our researchers, see here the model you should spend money on. The Celestron 52250 makes it to the top of our list as it is praised by consumers and experts alike, and the sales figures also reflect its excellent value for the price. Its multi-coated optics ensure that you will always get a clear, sharp image even when you’re using your monocular in poor lighting conditions. Focusing on your target is easy, due to the large focus dial that many users find comfortable to use. Ready for field duty, this armored monocular is durable and reliable. In case you cannot find this model, the Roxant Authentic Blackbird is the second option on our list we recommend.
What makes a good monocular scope? If you’re asking this question, the following buying guide will offer a comprehensive answer that you will be able to use to narrow down your search and purchase a high-quality model. We covered all the requirements so that you don’t have to.
Optics quality and details
As is the case with all the devices that need optics to operate, you should first and foremost, pay attention to the overall quality of the lenses used, as well as other details that pertain to this particular part of the model you intend to purchase. Even cheap monocular scopes may come equipped with optics of decent quality, so you should not abide by the common misconception that only the most expensive monoculars come with perfect optics.
That being said, you should check the prism construction, and any improvements brought to the optics by the manufacturer. The optics should be multi-coated, to ensure proper light transmission, for a bright, sharp image. A BAK-4 prism construction is a good choice, as well.
After optics construction and quality, you should observe details such as the lens size and the magnification power. The larger the lens size, the better, as your monocular scope will be able to gather more light from the surrounding environment to offer excellent performance even in less than ideal lighting conditions.
The magnification power can reach outstanding values in the most competitive products, helping you see objects you would not be able to notice with the naked eye or even a magnification device.
If you intend to make a bit of an investment and buy a monocular scope, you should consider covering numerous applications. For instance, models with a higher magnification are ideal for spotting your prey when you go hunting. Situations, such as being stuck in a tree stand for hours, will require you to have a proper monocular scope to observe your surroundings from your fixed locations.
Should you consider purchasing a model for hunting, bird watching, or hiking, it would not be a bad idea to get a monocular with waterproof capabilities. Since you cannot tell what kind of weather you are going to face, it is nice to know that your equipment will not have to suffer. In case you want something more specialized for nighttime viewing, maybe you should look for a night vision monocular.
Also, if you intend to use your monocular in all weather conditions, another good idea would be to get one that can stand a bit of wear and tear. A rubber armor protecting the delicate mechanisms of the monocular will ensure that even dropping the scope by accident won’t result in the need for a replacement. Even a budget monocular should have some means of protecting your investment.
Other details to consider
When there are multiple options on the market, and you don’t know which one to choose, you may want to compare the extras the manufacturer offers. This piece of advice works for any situation, no matter if you want a thermal monocular for the money or just a general purpose model. So, for instance, a carrying case can be a nice touch in case you plan to move around a lot, and you need to protect your investment correctly.
You should also check the various specs made available by the manufacturer to gauge if the monocular is easy to use. Many people use glasses, so they need a model that offers comfortable viewing for glass wearers. A tripod adapter may be an excellent touch for some users, too.
Our 2018 list: Find the right monocular scope for your needs
A simple look at the models for sale will tell you that you have plenty to choose from. However, you should be aware that not all of them offer the same advantages, and running comparisons would take you a lot of time. To ease the burden of this endeavor, we readily collected the necessary information on the most popular models, and we’re sharing it with you.
A model often mentioned by the monocular scope reviews available from users and experts, the Celestron 52250 is, for many, the number one model to consider. Its large lens that has an 80mm diameter is large enough to ensure proper performance in bad lighting conditions, while the 20x to 60x variable magnification is a clear indication of why this model is loved by many.
You can use it as a monocular for bird watching, but nobody forbids you from using it in all sorts of conditions. Because it is waterproof, you can take it along with you when you have to face harsh weather. Due to the multi-coated optics, the image quality is superior, another reason to consider this model over others.
Other details, such as the limited lifetime warranty offered by the manufacturer, and the fact that it has a forgiving design for eyeglass wearers, contribute to its outstanding popularity.
This refractor monocular scope comes equipped with a large 80mm lens, and 20x to 60x magnification power, offering outstanding performance for an easy to use device.
You will find this model ideal for bird watching, viewing natural landscapes, as well as for hiking and camping, when you need a proper tool to observe your surroundings from a safe distance.
As it is waterproof and comes equipped with a tough, rugged exterior layer, it is the monocular you should pick for your more extreme adventures in the wild, with no fear that it might break.
Users find the T-mount adapter sold with the monocular to be quite handy for connecting their device with DSLR cameras; shooting awesome videos and snapping pictures is easy.
Quick focusing can be an issue for large monocular scopes, but it’s not for this one; its large focus dial is comfortable to use, and you will be able to make the image clear quickly.
While the model is comfortable for eyeglass wearer, some buyers say that the eye relief is a bit on the smaller side.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($149.99)
Roxant Authentic Blackbird
In case you are looking for a monocular for hunting, you may find the Roxant Authentic Blackbird just the thing you need. Its variable zoom – 12-36x – and decent lens diameter of 50mm offer the perfect conditions for spotting your prey and bringing all the details closer so that you can take your aim.
Other details make this model an excellent choice. Compared to other models available, it can be considered a compact monocular, and, while it is not as impressive in size as some competitors, its outstanding performance recommends it.
Featuring military grade lenses, these scopes made by Roxant are adaptable to any field conditions, and that is what matters. The fully multi-coated optics ensure that you will get the sharpest image possible. This model is so good that it can even be used by law enforcement in their operations. From stargazing to hunting, this multi-purpose monocular is a must have for people who like spending time outdoors.
If you’re looking for quality, the military grade optics on this model will convince you that you can purchase outstanding performance for the right price.
Offering an adjustable zoom, and a large diameter lens, the monocular has fully multi-coated optics for superior light transmission and overall excellent image performance.
You will get a plethora of extras with your purchase, such as a tripod that can be folded and carried around with ease, a carrying case, and lens caps to protect the optics.
Accidents should not be a problem, as the rugged exterior of this model will make sure that the scope is not easy to drop.
The focus ring is placed on the main barrel and easy to reach, making the use of this monocular scope a breeze.
Although the monocular is designed to adjust for people with glasses, some buyers say that they found it difficult to use while they were wearing their glasses.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($99.95)
Wingspan Optics Explorer
The Wingspan Optics Explorer is, if we take its name as a dead giveaway, an excellent monocular for hiking. Of course, this simple observation should not stop you from using it in various situations, but nature viewing is among the number one uses for this model. The 12x magnification power will bring everything closer to you, and you won’t have to worry about image quality, either.
At the exterior, the monocular is protected by a durable armor that plays a double role. For starters, it protects the monocular against any damage, and, it also provides a secure grip so that you can use it in bad weather, too.
Speaking of bad weather, the model is both waterproof and fog proof. That means that you will be able to take your scope with you, regardless of the climate and other weather conditions. Another thing that must be mentioned is that its ergonomic design allows you to focus the image quickly.
Some monocular scopes require the use of a tripod, but this handheld model eliminates the need for extra support to stabilize the picture, as the image it offers is jitter free.
Under any environmental conditions, this monocular will prove to be a reliable ally, as its waterproof and fog proof construction will maintain its overall performance the same.
You will appreciate the non-slip grip and the rugged armor at the exterior that protects the monocular.
Another thing that many people like about this model is the single hand focus allowed by the ergonomic design.
A few accessories are provided with your purchase, such as a carrying case made of nylon, covers for the lens, and a cleaning cloth made from microfiber so that you don’t have to worry about scratching the optics.
While there are many good things to appreciate about this monocular, some buyers comment on the image quality which they say it could be better.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($54.5)
Vortex Optics Solo
Not everyone looks for a huge monocular to use when they go hunting or hiking. For them, this pocket version is an excellent option. The Vortex Optics Solo has a 25mm lens and 8x magnification, aspects that make image stabilization a non-issue. The device is lightweight compared to other models on the market, and you will quickly find a place for it in your backpack.
You will make a sound investment if you decide to buy this model. Due to the exterior rubber armor, it is durable, and it will serve you for years to come. As it has a nitrogen purged construction, it is fog proof, and the O-ring sealing ensures that water stays away, too.
Many people appreciate the adjustable eyecup design that lets you use the monocular with glasses, or without them, as you see fit. Outdoor enthusiasts will find this model an excellent option for their trips.
For its size and capabilities, this model offers superior image performance, as its fully multi-coated optics provide proper light transmission for a bright, sharp picture.
It is highly portable since it is lightweight, and its size qualifies it as a pocket monocular; the 25mm lens offers superior performance while keeping the weight and size to a minimum.
You will be able to take this monocular with you anywhere you go, as its construction ensures proper waterproof and fog proof capabilities.
Users don’t have to worry about dropping and damaging the monocular, due to the armored exterior and the non-slip grip.
Easy to handle, and shockproof, it is a sturdy piece of equipment that can serve you for years to come.
Most users declare themselves satisfied with this model, but some of them mention that the carrying case is not that good, and the absence of a lens cover is a minus.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($49)
If you are looking for a monocular that can help you do it all, from birding to watching sports games on a stadium, the Celestron Nature should be on your list. The multi-coated optics offer proper image performance, and the light transmission is excellent and ensures that the details you see are sharp and clear.
When you hold the monocular in your hand, you will feel right away the solid grip provided by the secure surface. The deep grooves in the armored exterior ensure that your hands won’t slide from the monocular, even when wet, thus protecting the monocular.
Using a diopter focus dial, the monocular makes it easy for you to adjust the focus so that you never miss any details. The eyecups twist easily, allowing even people with glasses to use it without a glitch. Weighing just six ounces, its portability is ideal.
Image quality leaves nothing to be desired, as the multi-coated lenses ensure that even when dealing with poor lighting conditions, you will still get superior performance.
A multiple purpose model, it can be used when you go bird watching, as well as when you attend sports events.
If you plan on taking your monocular with you in wet or damp climate areas, you will find that the waterproof and fog proof capabilities of this model are out of this world.
The unique design of the armored exterior is an added plus, as the deep grooves allow you to handle the monocular with ease while providing a sturdy grip.
A pocket-sized monocular, it is an option for people who don’t want to carry extra weight.
There are no lens caps delivered with your purchase, and the deep groove design might not be to everyone’s liking, according to some reviews.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($29.99)