Best small monocular

Best small monocular

Last Updated: 10.12.18

Small monoculars - Buying guide & Comparison

When you’re in a hurry, but you still need to make sure you buy the best gear available, you need some advice in order to know your options. Finding the best small monocular certainly isn’t easy, but it’s doable, especially with our product reviews and recommendations. We’ve done proper research and prepared a comprehensive guide after reading many small monocular reviews. Our research shows that the first item to consider is the Wingspan Optics Outdoorsman, due to its very useful functions. Specifically designed for birdwatching. This device will offer you the sharp and detailed images you expect. You can watch while wearing your glasses since the adjustable eye relief makes it easy for anyone to accommodate. The focus adjusting wheel is easy to reach and can help you watch your favorite wildlife in close detail. Should this option be unavailable, we recommend you try the Orion 8431 Waterproof Monocular.

Comparison table

Shopping for a good compact monocular doesn’t necessarily mean disregarding other important factors. To strike the right balance between the features that you need in a product, check out the tips in our buying guide and follow our advice.

Optical system

Before starting to think about the quality of the image that you want to obtain by using your device, outline a budget and consider your priorities. If you’re an amateur or you’re not sure about the outdoor hobby that you wish to take up, you should definitely consider buying a less expensive and subsequently weaker item, at least in terms of lens quality.

If you’re looking for something designed for professional use, the rules change, but so does your budget. In the end, it all comes down to what you can afford and what best suits your interests, but you shouldn’t be prepared to spend a lot of money on a model without carefully assessing its qualities first. Although specification vary from one choice to another, there are a few aspects that you should always consider.

In order for the optical system to be effective, the lenses need various protective layers. One that you should always check is an anti-reflective coating that will allow a maximum amount of light to enter the device and thus result in an overall brighter image. Magnification is also worth taking into consideration, especially with regards to the level of detail you expect to be able to see, while a wide field of view will allow you to track down animals as they move.

Design

Apart from the features we’ve already discuss, and that can be found in many small-sized monoculars, at a subsequent price, of course, it’s also important to choose a model that’s well designed. This doesn’t only refer to looks, but rather to functionality and to what extent an item’s shape can aid its purpose.

For example, an external layer in the form of a rubberized armor can protect the insides from harmful factors and thus result in a more durable alternative. Should you feel the need for increased stability, you can always go for a model that has ergonomic finger holes carved into its surface. This way safety is increased, and accidents are prevented.

Design can also refer to portability, but since we’re particularly discussing small binoculars, it’s safe to say that you should choose a model that can fit the insides of your pocket. Pay attention though, because this doesn’t mean that you should disregard packagings that include transportation accessories such as shoulder straps or carrying cases, since they’ll always prove effective.

Adaptability

The best pocket monocular is certainly the one that manages to perfectly adapt to exterior conditions. If you want a design that can be used regardless of environment or weather conditions without having to worry about damaging it, make sure you carefully read the product specifications file and look for this type of features.

For example, most models are waterproof, but you should go a step further and check to see if they’re also fog proof or have a nitrogen layer to protect them from fogging and thus hindering your sight. Other important protective features include anti-debris layers that prevent dust from entering the lens system or anti-slip exterior coating to increase stability.

Adaptability can also refer to the activities for which your model is designed. When talking about small monoculars, it’s probably safe to assume that they’re specifically meant for trips where you need to have a light backpack or activities such as birdwatching where you need to have the device on hand at every moment. However, if you’ve paid a few pennies for an item, you probably expect it to do a lot more. Therefore, it never hurts to check if the product you’ve decided to buy can be mounted on a tripod or used as a telescope.

Top small monocular reviews in 2018

Should you feel like you need more information in order to take this decision, we’ve provided a few product reviews by choosing from our favorite items. In order to find a small monocular for sale that also fits your expectations, go through our reviews to find out what to look for.

Wingspan Optics Outdoorsman

This affordable model from Wingspan Optics will rise to your expectations in more than just one aspect. For example, it renders some of the finest images seen through birdwatching monoculars, the sharpness, vibrancy and crisp being worthy of a professional product.

It’s easy to use them in any type of environment, regardless of weather conditions. Waterproof and fog proof, you can stop worrying about the weather forecast before taking this gadget out on a trip. A few more features include a slip-proof exterior layer to prevent you from accidentally dropping the monocular and damaging it and an anti-debris treatment to make sure the optical system isn’t affected by the environment.

You can use this item even if you’re an amateur or you’ve never used anything similar before. Your experience will be enjoyable anyway.This is also a good choice if you’re unsure about taking up a new hobby, since you can try them out for 30 days and give them back if you feel like birdwatching doesn’t suit you.

 

Pros

Possibly the most impressive aspect of this monocular is its ability to provide good images at a 12x magnification power.

To better support this capability, the model is also resistant to harsh weather. It performs great in rainy and wet climates and due to its design, it also does great in dusty conditions.

The exterior is rugged and slip-proof, so even when it’s wet, you won’t risk dropping it. And when you do, it’s pretty sturdy so it won’t get damaged.

Because it’s particularly made for bird watching, it can offer great quality images, with crisp, sharp and vibrant colors. You can truly see each bird’s brilliant details.

 

Cons

Because it offers so much in terms of image clarity, this monocular is a bit bigger than expected, and that may be one of its downsides. It won’t fit in a pocket or a small purse.

Although it can be used at night, it doesn’t function very well in low light conditions.

Click to see the price on Amazon!

Orion 8431 Waterproof Monocular

Another item perfect for birdwatching, again available at an affordable price, the Orion model is a good choice especially due to its compact shape. It can be stored and transported with ease, and this is what makes it perfect for family trips, aside from its optical qualities.

A waterproof rubber armor protects the optical system from external factors such as hazardous weather. However, you shouldn’t bend the rules and try to use this product underwater, since it probably won’t be effective. It weighs close to 11 ounces, making it easy to pack and carry along without adding any extra burden to your backpack.

Fully multi-coated lenses are used to render good quality images. An anti-reflection layer ensures the maximum amount of light is absorbed in order to offer you a bright, clear view of your surroundings. The 10x magnification power allows you to observe birds and other wildlife in close detail.

 

Pros

Some models have an eye relief that is too short for people that wear glasses. This is not an issue with this model’s 17mm eye relief.

The eyecup is well protected and made of rubber and it lets you position the eye perfectly so you have the best view.

If you want to focus on objects that are as near as 20 inches, this monocular offers some great images and detail in them.

You don’t have to worry about accidentally dropping it because it is covered in a rubber that ensures a good grip. That rubber coating also acts as protection against bumps and drops.

 

Cons

Although it’s said to be a waterproof model, some users are not pleased with how resistant it is to water and they say that the model could do better there.

Additionally, some would appreciate it being smaller and easier to carry around.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($61.99)

Brunton F-Echo7018 Echo Pocket Scope

If you’re looking for a product that’s fit for amateur use and doesn’t require that you spend a lot of money on it, it’s worth giving this model from Brunton a try. Fairly inexpensive and definitely not destined for professionals, it’s still a good design that could be exactly what you needed.

With a quite narrow field of view that’s still enough to observe wildlife but won’t allow you to track their movements over long distances, the Echo Pocket Scope uses a polymer frame to protect the optical system inside. A near focal distance means you won’t get a very detailed view of far away objects, but for domestic use it’s probably not such a problem.

Many extra accessories are included in the packaging in order to spare you from having to buy them separately. For example, a lanyard and a case are added to help you with transportation, while a lint cleaning cloth is designed to help with maintenance.

 

Pros

The quality of the prism is exceptional in this model. That aspect, coupled with the fact that the light does not reflect due to the multi-coated optics of the monocular, means that this model offers some great images.

In order to be protected from falls and scratches, it has a rubber coating.

It can offer quality images, with the ability to focus up to 8 times (8x). It lets you clearly see even at greater distances, and it has a field of view of 181 feet at 1000 yards.

It manages to offer superb views with a very small body and a weight of 1.8 ounces. So it’s really portable.

 

Cons

Despite it being so small, it lacks in one aspect - it doesn’t let the user focus with only one hand and that can be annoying.

Adding to that, when used at long distances, the focus tends to be sensitive and if you’re not careful the monocular can go out of focus easily.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($20)

Celestron 71213-CGL UpClose G2

If you’re not sure what you’re looking for or you don’t which model best suits your needs, you always have the option of starting with a cheaper alternative and figuring out what you expect on the way. Such a choice is offered by Celestron in the form of the UpClose G2, an affordable product that’s perfect for beginners and won't cost you a fortune.

Light transmission is increased by using a system of multi coated-lenses, resulting in a brighter, sharper image. Contrast levels are also improved by the lens system, making the final view reasonably colorful and detailed. If you’re worried about bad weather conditions, keep in mind that this item is waterproof and can be used on a rainy day without any worries.

A rubber layer covers the aluminum construction and protects it from harmful external factors. In order to increase stability, ergonomic finger ridges are carved into the exterior layer.

 

Pros

This monocular is one of the sturdiest ones, due to its aluminum body. To make it even more resistant, the manufacturers added a rubber cover to it.

The design is made as such to ensure the monocular doesn’t slip out of your hand. It has indentations and ridges for that purpose.

Another great advantage that it provides is that it’s waterproof. Even in the worst conditions it rarely gets fogged up.

The image has a decent contrast and it offers a sharper and brighter perspective. This is due to the multi-coated optics that help with increasing light transmission.

 

Cons

The narrow eyepiece may represent a problem for those wearing glasses because you will not be able to properly fit the monocular to your glasses.

Despite the fact that the image is clear and sharp at longer distances, when looking at closer objects, the monocular doesn’t focus too well.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($13.95)

BARSKA AA10195 Lucid View

One of the most inexpensive items you’ll find out there, the Lucid View is a good idea as a gift for your kids or if you need something for domestic use. It can be used for various purposes, including camping, but you shouldn’t expect outstanding image quality and level of detail.

This model is small enough to fit in your palm and can be easily carried around in your pocket. What's more, it weighs next to nothing, so it will almost be as if you’re not carrying it at all. A set of fully coated optics paired with a folding roof prism make sure you get a good quality view.

In order to protect the interior optical system from harmful external factors, the case is coated with a rubber layer that not only keep the insides safe but also offers a tighter grip and increases stability while using the device.

 

Pros

The greatest quality that this monocular has is that it’s a model capable of being used for a number of purposes, including camping, backpacking, sports or general field use.

It’s very compact, measuring 4.5 by 1.3 by 1.3 inches, and it only weighs 0.8 ounces. It is thus small enough to fit in your pocket or your hand.

The exterior is coated in a rubber material. That makes it sturdier and resistant to bumps and it also offers a better grip, due to the rugged design.

Surprisingly, it can let you see things at a magnification of 10x, pretty impressive.

 

Cons

To make it work at long ranges, you need a very steady hand. Unfortunately, it doesn’t offer the possibility to be set on a tripod, so you might have issues when looking at a distant object.

Some users also complain that it doesn’t focus fast enough or that bringing it in focus is too hard.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($14.04)
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