It can be challenging to find the best quality monocular, which is why we have taken the time to research the market and give you our conclusion in this short paragraph. After looking at the value and quality of the many products available for sale, we have concluded that the Vortex Optics Solo is ready to meet the requirements of even the most rigorous buyers. If you want to find a quality compact monocular, this model manages to pack advanced optics in a small and lightweight body so that you can enjoy an improved performance on the go. The device is rubber armored which will make it extremely durable but also very easy to handle thanks to the non-slip grip. The unit is ready to handle any environment due to the waterproof and fog proof design. If our first choice is not available at your favorite store, we recommend you consider the Wingspan Optics Explorer as your second-best alternative.
We know that finding a good quality monocular can be time-consuming, especially if you are not yet sure about what are the features that matter the most. To simplify this entire process, we have decided to do the homework for you and outline the critical points of consideration in the buyer’s guide below.
If you have prospected the market, we are certain that you have noticed that monoculars are identified by two numbers. The two numbers can show as 10x25, for example, and the first number stands for magnification power, while the second for lens diameter. We will talk about both of these numbers, but we will start with the magnification power.
The magnification is the aspect that most people center their purchase on since it dictates just how close the object you are looking at will appear. If you have a magnification power of 10, then that object will appear 10 times closer than with your unassisted eye.
So if you were to stand 200 yards away from a deer, it will appear as though you were only 20 yards away (200 divided by 10). Of course, that does not mean that bigger is always better. Monoculars that have a magnification power greater than 10 will amplify the movements of your hands, and that will make steady viewing difficult.
Due to the compact and lightweight nature of most monoculars, such a device is much more difficult to hold steady than your favorite hunting binoculars. Thus, we recommend that you consider your needs carefully because otherwise you risk purchasing a unit that will make tracking a moving target close to impossible.
The second number used for identifying a monocular refers to the diameter of the objective lenses. The diameter is measured in millimeters and it refers to the lens at the front of the monocular, the one that is furthest away from your eye and closest to the target that you are observing.
The diameter of the objective lens will determine just how much light your monocular will be able to gather. Thus, the larger the objective lens diameter is, the more light the optics will capture. More light will mean a brighter view, and that will make the monocular capable of handling use in low-light conditions better.
The downside of a big objective lens is that it can affect the weight and price of the device greatly. This means that if you are in the market for a budget monocular that is lightweight and compact, and don’t plan to use the device in low-light conditions, you will have to search for options that don’t have a big objective lens diameter.
Monoculars come in a wide variety of sizes designed to handle various outdoor pursuits. To make it a little easier to find the size that you need, we have compiled a quick comparison for you below.
Full-size devices (10x50, 8x42) are ideal for serious wildlife viewing and for use on a boat since the generous objective lens diameter allows them to capture more light and perform great in low-light conditions. They also offer steadier images and a wider field of view. If you want to get a monocular for bird watching, go with full-size options.
Mid-size options (10x32, 7x35) are an all-around choice for sports and wildlife use since they offer a balance of size and above-average light transmission. Finally, the compact size (10x25, 8x35) is designed for daytime outdoor activities. If you want to buy a monocular for hiking, we recommend the compact size.
If you are still feeling overwhelmed by the sheer amount of products available for purchase, but you want to make a good purchasing decision, we recommend you take a look at our list of top-rated products. These are the models that have garnered positive quality monocular reviews and that stood out thanks to their features.
The Solo model offers a great magnification power of 10x, allowing you to observe even the most distant objects. The 25mm objective lens might seem small at first, but thanks to the use of fully multi-coated lenses, users can enjoy increased light transmission and resolution even in low-light conditions.
This device is very compact and it weighs only 8.8 ounces, but that does not mean that Vortex Optics has sacrificed durability for a lightweight construction. The monocular is fully rubber armored which will provide a non-slip grip to the user while also making the unit capable of handling a drop or two.
What’s more, the option is nitrogen purged and O-ring sealed meaning that the Solo can deliver fog proof and waterproof performance in almost any environment. Eyeglass wearers will also be able to enjoy this model since the eyecups are adjustable and will allow buyers to use the unit with or without glasses.Buy from Amazon.com for ($54)
If high magnification and a large objective lens are features that matter to you, and you don’t want to sacrifice the benefits of having a compact monocular, the Explorer is the right choice. With this model, you will get a clearer and brighter range of view. In terms of low-light performance, this is one of the most powerful handheld monoculars available.
Because durability is important while you are out bird watching or just observing the wildlife, this unit features a durable external armor. The armor is not only there to protect the device from drops and shocks but will also offer a secure and non-slip grip even if your hands are wet.
The waterproof and fog proof construction will prevent debris, moisture, and dust from getting inside the monocular. The ergonomic design will allow users to focus on their target quickly and accurately with the use of only one hand.Buy from Amazon.com for ($57.92)
This model features a 25mm objective lens with 10x magnification power. This means that the clarity and resolution that you will get from this device are quite good, especially if you are using it for daytime outdoor activities such as bird watching or hunting. You also get BaK-4 roof prism optics and all the air-to-glass surfaces are multi-coated.
The use of quality optics and coatings means that the images this model can deliver are crisp and clear, with a lot of contrast and detail. Light transmission is also good, meaning that you can use it to spot objects that are in shadows and even use it in low-light conditions.
The Celestron Nature is very durable and rugged and that is achieved thanks to the use of a rubber armor around the body for increased protection. The front lens is also situated offset from the front of the body, meaning that it would be quite difficult to scratch the lens even if you drop the device onto rocky terrain.Buy from Amazon.com for ($39)
The Orion 10x42 comes in a compact and portable design perfect for hand-held scanning and magnified study of scenery, wildlife, or distant birds. With a length of 6.1 inches and a weight of just 11 ounces, you will have no problem carrying this in your backpack and have it ready to use during your hikes.
The optics are fully multi-coated to ensure maximum light transmission throughout and bright and clear views. Performance in low-light conditions is further improved thanks to the use of generous 42mm diameter optics with anti-reflection coatings. You may also use this option for indoor activities such as sports events.
The great close focus of just 20 inches that this product boasts will allow users to view even up-close birds and objects at a full 10x magnification. This feature means that when observing objects that are as close as 20 inches you will still get a clear view, while other models might only offer a blurry picture.Click to see the price on Amazon!
The use of multi-layered anti-reflective lens coatings will help this compact monocular achieve great performance and brightness in all lighting conditions. If you want to purchase the ultimate compact device, the Nikon model is perfect for storing in your pocket or purse. It has a magnification power of 5x and a 15mm objective lens diameter.
The unit is 1.8 inches tall and weighs only 2.6 ounces which makes it one of the most lightweight and compact monoculars currently available on the market. Despite the small size, it remains very comfortable to use, thanks in part to the long 15.8mm eye relief that will allow it to be used by eyeglass wearers.
You shouldn’t be concerned by the small magnification power because this model comes with a wide field of view of 472 feet at 1000 yards. The increased field of view and the easy-to-hold-steady design of the Nikon model will make you feel like you are right in the middle of the scene you are observing.Click to see the price on Amazon!