Top Monoculars Under 200 This Year – Guide & Comparative Analysis
If you are short on time but you need to find the best monocular under 200, this short paragraph will provide the answer you are looking for and you might even decide on the model you are going to choose. After extensive research which included market data and expert reviews, we’ve concluded that the monocular you should consider as a first option is Bushnell’s Legend Ultra HD. With a compact design that allows you to take it anywhere during your travels, this monocular also features high-quality multi-coated optics that render bright and clear images, as well as premium components such as the ED Prime glass, PC-3 Phase-Coated prisms. Given its waterproof and fog proof construction, it can be used outdoors without any trouble, which makes it a good solution for a wide range of situations. In case this model is unfortunately unavailable, the next option you might want to keep in mind is the Vortex Optics Solo R/T.
Getting a very good budget monocular might not be as easy as you would’ve hoped, especially if you are new to this and you don’t know exactly what you need or what your preferences are. Plus, with all the models available on the market, things can get overwhelming.
For this reason, we’ve decided to put together this guide to help you better understand what key characteristics you should take into consideration while browsing through the options. Also, since a monocular is half the size of a binocular and therefore a more compact and light alternative, it does come with some particularities, so let’s take a look at what these are.
Size and weight
A monocular is a great tool to carry around, keep in your car, or in your pocket when you go hiking. Generally, models with sizes of 8×25 or 10×25 are considered compact ones and they can easily fit into your bag or pocket, being a handy and portable cool gadget.
When you do choose a smaller monocular, it’s true that you shouldn’t expect outstanding performances in terms of the images you’ll get, since the lens is, of course, smaller. The eyecup as well can be rather small for some users, so it’s best to think about how you are going to use the device and then make your choice.
Luckily there are some models on the market that offer very nice results in a compact design. As a rule of thumb, for a wider and sharper image, you can choose a 30mm to a 42mm monocular, although many models are either above or below this range, to fit all needs and budgets.
You might not be sure what the right lens size is for your needs, especially since there seem to be a lot of numbers in the description of such a device. To make things a bit more clear, you should know that when a monocular is described as an 8×25, 8 represents the magnification power (8x) while 25 is the lens size (in mm).
A standard model generally features a lens of 20mm to 42mm, and a magnification ranging from 6x to 10x. The higher the magnification power, the more distant your targets will be and you’ll still be able to visualize them, while a bigger lens means a wider overall view and a brighter the image.
The downside of more powerful models with bigger lenses is that they are heavier and bulkier, so it’s really just a matter of determining what you are going to use it for and then seeing which option is the most suitable one.
If you are not sure what the difference between these characteristics is during use, you can go to a local specialized store and test some of the models to get a better idea. This way you can also see what the look and feel of monoculars of different sizes is, to know what you need in terms of portability.
Although night vision devices were first developed for military applications, today they are increasingly popular among civilian users. Such a device can be useful for many different applications, such as professional surveillance, exploring caves, or hunting at night.
Their technology amplifies the existing light to render better images than you can normally see, and this is called a built-in IR illuminator. The thing you should be aware of when you are looking at night vision models is that they normally have less magnification in order to provide a better image, with less fuzzy results.
If you want to take the night vision idea to another level, you can take a look at thermal or infrared monoculars. Their technology allows you to see anything that emits heat in very dark conditions. However, this is a more specialized topic, so we’re not going to go into more detail at this point.
Our 2018 list: Find the right monocular under 200 for your needs
We know that going through numerous reviews of monoculars under 200 can be quite overwhelming, especially since there are many choices available for sale. For this reason, we’ve decided to give you a hand by putting together the selection you can see below which features the most acclaimed models in this category.
Bushnell Legend Ultra HD
When it comes to finding a good travel monocular, the Bushnell Legend Ultra HD might be the answer to your problems.
This model was designed to allow you to travel light without sacrificing true excellence in imagery, as the quality optics ensure the stunning HD clarity you need to observe your subjects in different conditions.
Made 100% of quality materials that were extensively used and tested, this device was built to last.
Its construction includes premium components such as the ED Prime glass, PC-3 Phase-Coated prisms, as well as fully multi-coated optics.
For more versatility during use, the monocular can be handheld or mounted to a tripod if you need extra stability.
Besides the beautiful and intuitive design it features, the Legend Ultra HD also offers 10x magnification and a 42mm objective, and it’s 100% waterproof and fog proof. Plus, the comfortable twist-up eyecups ensure the user’s comfort during use.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($179.99)
Vortex Optics Solo R/T
If what you need is one of those good handheld monoculars that offer multiple benefits, then keep reading, as Vortex’s Optics Solo R/T model might be just what you were looking for.
With an 8x magnification power and a 36mm objective lens, this device works very well for observation and range estimation.
What makes it even more appealing is the lightweight and compact construction, as this means you won’t be burdened if you need to carry it around for an extended period.
The high-quality optics include fully multi-coated lenses and anti-reflective coatings so that you can enjoy crisp images. Moreover, the Solo R/T is built to ensure that enough light is gathered so that it can provide a top performance even in low light conditions.
Of course, the user’s comfort was also taken into account and the flared eyecups were designed to block extra light. They can also be folded for those who wear glasses.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($119)
Available for a reasonable price and offering a very good performance, it was impossible for the Nikon HG5X15D not to be added to our selection of good monoculars under 200.
The multi-coated lens ensures high-quality images that you can rely on, while the 5x magnification proves to be more than enough in many situations.
With clear and bright optics, the image’s center is sharp, while the close focus is handy and proves to be useful in a wide range of situations.
The great part about it is the superb portability. You can almost fit it in the palm of your hand, which makes it an excellent choice for traveling.
The product also comes with a convenient case, so you don’t need to worry about whether you’ll be able to keep it safe all the time. Plus, it can be a great alternative to use indoors for museums and art galleries, when you are traveling.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($177.72)
Gosky BAK4 Mon-1250ED
You might need a good monocular for hunting and, if that’s the case, take a closer look at Gosky’s BAK4 model.
With a 10×50 high power magnification, this device brings you the bright and clear images that you need when you are on any outdoor adventure.
The generous, light-gathering 50mm FMC green film objective wide lens ensures enough brightness even in low-light conditions, while the large BAK-4 Prism included in its construction is one of the key elements that, together with the coated eyepiece, deliver the crisp images you want to enjoy.
With a solid framework and rubber armor, this monocular can withstand the toughest conditions, which makes it ideal for outdoor enthusiasts and explorers. Moreover, its construction is also waterproof, fog proof, dust-proof, and shockproof.
Since it’s handheld, you can easily and safely use it for bird-watching, wildlife, camping, traveling, and of course hunting. Furthermore, it can also be mounted on standard tripods.
Click to see the price on Amazon!
Another excellent example of a compact monocular that offers multiple benefits, the Vixen 6x16mm might be the right alternative for you if you want a device that can be used indoors without a problem.
With a near focus as short as 10 inches, this model can be successfully used at museums and exhibits.
Moreover, the 9.3-degree field of view also comes in handy when you want to take a closer look at a certain subject in a museum.
With no edge blurring and a tidy and clean focus, you can easily understand why we added this model to our selection.
Even more, you can use it as a magnifier as well.
In case you need to purchase a gift for someone who is passionate about museums in general, but is also rather hard to please, this monocular might be exactly what you need to attain the almost impossible and make them happy.
Click to see the price on Amazon!