Best survival monoculars – 2019 Reviews & comparison

Best survival monoculars – 2019 Reviews & comparison

Last Updated: 23.08.19

Top Survival Monoculars Reviewed & Buying Guide

If you don’t have the time to prospect the market thoroughly, but you are resolute about getting the best survival monocular, we have gathered all the useful information in the following short paragraph. Based on the criteria of quality and reliability, we have concluded that the model you should get is the Vortex Optics Solo R/T since it answers the needs of a survival product. The unit comes with high-quality fully multi-coated lenses capable of excellent light gathering capability in low-light conditions. The monocular has a magnification of 8x and a 36mm objective lens all packed in a light and compact package. You also get a utility clip so that you can attach the device to your belt or vest for quick access in the field. If our first pick is not available for sale, and you are looking for cheap survival monoculars, we recommend the Wingspan Optics Outdoorsman as your second-best alternative.

Finding a good survival monocular can be a cumbersome task since there are so many aspects that one must consider before buying such a unit. To make things easier for you, we have outlined the critical points of consideration when looking to purchase a high-quality monocular.

Magnification and lens diameter

The magnification that a monocular features shows just how much larger the equipment can render the image that you are viewing through its optics. Most people tend to believe that the bigger the magnification power of their device, the better it will perform. That is not the case, and there are advantages to both low and higher levels of magnifications.

When looking to purchase any product, you need to take into account how you intend to use it. After looking at the numerous survival monocular reviews, we’ve noticed that customers don’t recommend you focus too much on magnification.

A lower magnification will allow you to get a much wider field of view so that you can also observe the entire landscape, not just one object.

For survival purposes or when looking for a monocular for hiking, users have found that a magnification power of 8x to 10x is more than enough for this purpose. These magnification levels will also make your purchase a great all-around choice capable of handling a wide range of activities.

When looking at monocular specifications you will find two numbers, such as 8x36. The first number is the magnification level while the second refers to the lens diameter and is equally important when choosing a product. The diameter of the lens dictates just how much light will be let into the equipment.

Monoculars with a large lens diameter are suitable for use in poor lighting conditions, while smaller lenses are good for sunny and daytime use. Do keep in mind that if you are in the market for a compact monocular, options that have a large lens diameter will not be as portable since a bigger lens requires a bigger body.

The quality of the optics

If you want to get the best view of your subjects you should look at the quality of the optics. This aspect is quite essential since the level of detail, brightness and contrast that a monocular can provide at maximum magnification depends greatly on how well the optics have been treated and manufactured.

You should try and make sure that the optics use BaK-4 glass since this is one of the best prism options. The optics should also be fully multi-coated to ensure an excellent image and maximum light transmission.

If you intend to use your monocular for bird watching as well, where the details of the picture matter the most, the quality of the optics should not be understated.

Similarly, we recommend that you try to find information about the field of view that the device you’re considering can provide. Some options offer such a narrow field that even the smallest shakiness of your hands can make it impossible to use it without a tripod.


Knowing the inner workings of the monocular is the first step that you should take if you want to ensure the quality of your purchase, and if you want the product to last, you should pay close attention to the body or casing as well.

Users generally recommend options that are rubber coated for durability and that are comfortable to grip. Weather-proofing is also crucial and will help ensure that rain or fog will never be a problem. Search for options that feature a watertight design for waterproofness and that are nitrogen-filled to prevent fogging.

Our 2019 list: Find the right survival monocular for your needs

Although knowing what to look for can help, finding the right pick is not going to be easy since you will still have to filter through countless brands and models. To simplify things even further, we have extracted below some of the popular choices currently available.

Vortex Optics Solo R/T

The Solo R/T offers a magnification power of 8x and a 36mm objective lens which makes the device great for observation and range estimation. All that is achieved in a lightweight and compact package. The optics are fully multi-coated with anti-reflective coatings, meaning that the monocular will function perfectly in low-light situations.

The flared eyecup is built to block extraneous light so that you can focus on what you are viewing. What’s more, the eyecup is also designed to fold down and allow glass wearers to utilize the monocular comfortably. This option offers a linear field of view of 393 feet at 1000 yards.

For optimal target milling capability, this model comes with a large focus wheel and a smaller reticle focus to allow users to focus the image properly. The textured rubber armor will add grip and durability. This unit is also O-ring sealed and nitrogen purged, meaning that it is both waterproof and fog proof

Buy from for ($119)

Wingspan Optics Outdoorsman

As the name of this product implies, if you are an outdoor enthusiast, you are going to like the features and the quality that this unit offers for a very affordable price point. It comes with a magnification power of 8x and an objective lens diameter of 42mm for increased performance in low-light conditions.

There is no need to worry if this is your first time purchasing a monocular since this particular model is designed to cater to the needs of both hobbyists and professional hikers, hunters, or bird-watchers. With so many ways to use this device, you will find it hard to put it back in your backpack.

This model comes with a wide field of view so that you can identify your target from over 1000 yards out. The Outdoorsman is also highly portable thanks to the lightweight construction that will allow you to maneuver this unit easily with just one hand. You also get an easy access strap slot to store the device when you are not using it.

Click to see the price on Amazon!

Vortex Optics Solo S105

With the Solo option you can be sure that you will always have a quality optical device close at hand. This compact option does not sacrifice on features and performance, it remains easy to carry and capable of delivering quality viewing for outdoor enthusiasts who wish to bring nature a little closer to them.

This option offers a high magnification of 10x with a modest objective lens diameter of 25mm. The smaller lens diameter is required to maintain the compact design of this monocular, but since all the glass surfaces are fully multi-coated, you will still be able to enjoy good performance even in low-light conditions.

Vortex Optics uses a roof prism for greater durability and a more compact size. The unit is also ready to handle a wide range of environments and weather conditions since it comes with water and fog protection as well as a rubber armor for durable external protection.

Buy from for ($54)

Leica 8x20 Monovid

You can’t go wrong by choosing a Leica product and Monovid offers the same style, elegance, and optical performance one would expect from this famous brand. This model is highly portable and will help bring distant subjects in close and reveal even the tiniest details of nearby objects.

The quality optics will ensure that this device is ready to handle a wide range of activities, both indoors and outdoors. The optical system of this model features phase-corrected roof prisms and lenses with AquaDura and HDC coatings that will help maximize light transmission and deliver a sharp and bright image even in shadowed or low-light environments.

The close-up lens allows you to get an 8x magnified view at distances as close as 9.8 inches. The aluminum housing is nitrogen-filled to prevent internal fogging and it is sufficiently watertight to handle being submerged to a depth of 16 feet with no ill effects.

Buy from for ($469)

Carson 9x40 Tactical

If you are in the market for a budget monocular that is capable of offering similar performance and quality to the more expensive alternatives, the Carson 9x40 Tactical is a great choice for people that are on a tight budget. This model is a compact yet powerful companion ideal for tactical missions.

It is a very lightweight choice, and the compact body will make it very easy for you to store the monocular in your pocket, bag or backpack. When you are on the move, you will be able to grab the Carson Tactical to scout out the territory and get a closer look at the situation thanks to the generous 9x magnification.

The 40mm objective lens will let in a lot of light while the more than adequate field of view of 295 feet at 1000 yards will allow you to get a comprehensive view of your surroundings.

Buy from for ($24.99)
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