The 6 Best Monoculars: Reviews and Complete Buying Guide

A sport monocular telescope

Are you looking for the best monocular, but are finding the process to be overwhelming? Between the magnification size, objective lens diameter, and other features, the task of choosing a monocular may seem difficult or impossible to navigate. If you find yourself in this place, look no further. We have created a list of the best 6 monoculars and compiled a complete buying guide for your convenience.

In a Hurry? Here Are Our Top 3 Picks:

Top Pick
Monocular Telescope - 12X50 High Power 【HD Monocular for Bird Watching】 with Tripod IPX7 Waterproof Monocular Made by Hyper FMC BAK4 Prism & Eco-Friendly Materials
Runner Up
Wingspan Optics Explorer High Powered 12X50 Monocular. Bright and Clear. Single Hand Focus. Waterproof. Fog Proof. For Bird Watching, or Watching Wildlife. Daytime Use. Formerly Polaris Optics
Best Budget Pick
Authentic ROXANT Grip Scope High Definition Wide View Monocular - with Retractable Eyepiece and Fully Multi Coated Optical Glass Lens + BAK4 Prism. Comes with Cleaning Cloth, Case & Neck Strap.
Monocular Telescope - 12X50 High Power 【HD Monocular for Bird Watching】 with Tripod IPX7 Waterproof Monocular Made by Hyper FMC BAK4 Prism & Eco-Friendly Materials
Wingspan Optics Explorer High Powered 12X50 Monocular. Bright and Clear. Single Hand Focus. Waterproof. Fog Proof. For Bird Watching, or Watching Wildlife. Daytime Use. Formerly Polaris Optics
Authentic ROXANT Grip Scope High Definition Wide View Monocular - with Retractable Eyepiece and Fully Multi Coated Optical Glass Lens + BAK4 Prism. Comes with Cleaning Cloth, Case & Neck Strap.
$27.19
Price not available
$39.95
-
Top Pick
Monocular Telescope - 12X50 High Power 【HD Monocular for Bird Watching】 with Tripod IPX7 Waterproof Monocular Made by Hyper FMC BAK4 Prism & Eco-Friendly Materials
Monocular Telescope - 12X50 High Power 【HD Monocular for Bird Watching】 with Tripod IPX7 Waterproof Monocular Made by Hyper FMC BAK4 Prism & Eco-Friendly Materials
$27.19
Runner Up
Wingspan Optics Explorer High Powered 12X50 Monocular. Bright and Clear. Single Hand Focus. Waterproof. Fog Proof. For Bird Watching, or Watching Wildlife. Daytime Use. Formerly Polaris Optics
Wingspan Optics Explorer High Powered 12X50 Monocular. Bright and Clear. Single Hand Focus. Waterproof. Fog Proof. For Bird Watching, or Watching Wildlife. Daytime Use. Formerly Polaris Optics
Price not available
-
Best Budget Pick
Authentic ROXANT Grip Scope High Definition Wide View Monocular - with Retractable Eyepiece and Fully Multi Coated Optical Glass Lens + BAK4 Prism. Comes with Cleaning Cloth, Case & Neck Strap.
Authentic ROXANT Grip Scope High Definition Wide View Monocular - with Retractable Eyepiece and Fully Multi Coated Optical Glass Lens + BAK4 Prism. Comes with Cleaning Cloth, Case & Neck Strap.
$39.95

Last update on 2020-12-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Reviews of the Best 6 Monoculars

Let’s zoom in on the best 6 monoculars on the market!

1. VIVREAL 12×50 Monocular Telescope

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Monocular Telescope - 12X50 High Power 【HD Monocular for Bird Watching】 with Tripod IPX7 Waterproof Monocular Made by Hyper FMC BAK4 Prism & Eco-Friendly Materials
  • ✅【12X50 High Power Magnification】 Get a high-quality image of 12X closer, also a 50mm objective lens provides you with a wider-field of view. Camping, hiking, hunting, bird-watching, or stage-watching, whenever you need a better vision for afar view, just take it and go enjoy.
  • ✅[High-Quality Optics] With BAK-4 prism and FMC lens, light transmittance reaches up to 99.5%, delivers more light to the view, reduces chromatic aberration and ghost images, give you clearer, brighter and more colorful view.
  • ✅【Single Hand Focus】Do not want to carry a cumbersome telescope while wandering in beautiful nature? Lightweight(0.61 pounds, only about 2 battery(D)) makes it more comfortable to use with only one hand, both hold and adjust focus. Also, the durable rubber armor with stripes offers a slip-free grip, avoid thosee unnecessary accidents.
  • ✅【Waterproof & Fog Proof】 IPX7 Nitrogen-Filled Waterproof, allow you to see the world also in wet/rainy weather. O-ring sealed optics and the fog-resistant coating prevent the lens from dust or moisture, keep the view clear all the time.
  • ✅【Monocular Widely Compatible Of Smartphone】Comes with a 2020 newest quick alignment smartphone holder and tripods. Perfect for iPhone 8/8 Plus, 7/7 Plus, 6/6s Plus, Samsung GALAXY S9/S9 Edge, S8/S8 Edge, S7/S7 Edge, LG, HTC, Sony, and almost all other smartphones on the market. Easy to install, provide HD images or videos to share with your friends.

Last update on 2020-12-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you’re looking for the best monocular around, you must check out the VIVREAL 12×50 Monocular Telescope. This monocular is ideal for all purposes and includes luxury features. See why we ranked this monocular at the top of our list!

One key feature of the VIVREAL 12×50 Monocular Telescope is a that it has 12×50 high power magnification. This means that this monocular provides 12x magnification and 50mm object lens diameter. The high-power magnification makes this monocular ideal for all outdoor adventures like birdwatching and hunting.

The VIVREAL 12×50 Monocular Telescope is also noteworthy because of its high contrast and resolution images. It is equipped with BAK4 prism and fully multi-coated lens. These features guarantee the highest quality resolution and the ability to see in low-light-level night vision.

Another reason this model stands out is that it has a single hand focus. Single hand focus allows you to focus on an item quickly and accurately, and the nonslip grip allows you to do so with comfort and ease.

The VIVREAL 12×50 Monocular Telescope is waterproof and fog proof as well. It has IXP7 Nitrogen-filled waterproof and fog resistant coating. These features protect the monocular from moisture, dust, and debris that would inhibit vision.

This model stands out because it is compatible with most smartphones too. The VIVREAL 12×50 Monocular Telescope comes with an alignment smartphone holder and tripod. This feature ensures HD images and videos that you can post online and send to your friends!

Pros:

  • High power magnification
  • High resolution and contrast images
  • Low-light-level night vision
  • Single hand focus
  • Waterproof and fog proof
  • Compatible with most smartphones

Cons:

  • Smartphone holder is not suitable for all phones
  • Small tripod
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

2. Wingspan Optics Explorer 12×50 Monocular

Wingspan Optics Explorer High Powered 12X50 Monocular. Bright and Clear. Single Hand Focus. Waterproof. Fog Proof. For Bird Watching, or Watching Wildlife. Daytime Use. Formerly Polaris Optics
  • 12X50 MAGNIFICATION - See things 12X closer and Get Clearer and Brighter range of view with 50mm lens - The most powerful hand held monocular available in the market today, that also provides the most pleasant and clear view.
  • DURABLE EXTERNAL ARMOR - Provides a secure, non-slip grip, and durable external protection.
  • WATERPROOF AND FOG PROOF - Prevents moisture, dust, and debris from getting inside the monocular - designed to inhibit internal fogging. For any weather and any environment.
  • SINGLE HAND FOCUS - Ergonomic design helps you focus on your target quickly and accurately with one hand.
  • THE BRIGHTEST AND CLEAREST VIEW OF ANY MONOCULAR ON THE MARKET TODAY - Allows you to get the best view possible for bird watching, watching wildlife or scenery

Last update on 2020-12-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you plan on bringing your monocular to rough terrains, make sure to check out the Wingspan Optic Explorer 12×50 Monocular. This model is great for outdoor activities. See why this model is the runner-up for the best monocular.

The Wingspan Optics Explorer has 12×50 magnification. This allows you to see things 12x closer with a clear and bright range. These sizes make this model one of the strongest monoculars on the market.

Additionally, the Wingspan Optics Explorer has a durable external armor. The armor provides a nonslip grip and durable protection. This makes the Wingspan Optics Explorer both protected from breakages and an ideal choice for outdoor and rough activities.

This model is even more durable because it is waterproof and fog proof. It is sealed to prevent any moisture, dust, or debris from settling into the monocular and inhibiting vision. This feature makes this model even more ideal for any weather or environment.

This model also stands out because it has a single hand focus. The Wingspan Optics Explorer has an ergonomic design that will allow you to find and zoom in on your target quickly and easily while only using one hand.

Pros:

  • Clear and bright magnification
  • Durable external armor
  • Waterproof and fog proof
  • Single hand focus

Cons:

  • Eye lens rubber cover
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

3. ROXANT Grip Scope High Definition Wide View Monocular

Sale
Authentic ROXANT Grip Scope High Definition Wide View Monocular - with Retractable Eyepiece and Fully Multi Coated Optical Glass Lens + BAK4 Prism. Comes with Cleaning Cloth, Case & Neck Strap.
  • NO SLIP COMFORT MOLDED GRIP - Provides Less Shake - Very Easy To Hold Steady With One Hand - We’ve combined the best of comfort and functionality meaning you can comfortably hold them for long periods of time. Solidly built, yet lightweight for outdoorsman and adventure seekers.
  • SEE IN HIGH DEFINITION - Don't be fooled by Copycats. If it doesn’t say ROXANT on the side it’s not a ROXANT Scope. We use Optical Glass With Premium Fully Multi Coated, BAK4 Prism ALL Glass Lens guarantees superior light transmission and brightness for optimal bright, crisp, clear viewing. Seeing is Believing.
  • WIDE VIEW - Our Top of the Line Wide View Monocular Offers True 6 x 30 Viewing - Compact, Durable, High Quality Precision Design Featuring All Glass High End Optics, (FMC Superior BAK4 Green Film Prism)
  • IDEAL FOR TRAVEL - Concerts, Outdoor Activities, Bird Watching, Hunting, Archery, Hiking, Camping, , Boating, Target Shooting, Climbing, Water Sports
  • SPECIAL FEATURE + ACCESSORIES - Retractable Eyecup For Use With Or Without Eyeglasses. Comes With Carry Pouch With Belt Loop, Cleaning Cloth & Neck Strap

Last update on 2020-12-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you want a monocular with all the bells and whistles, you need to look at the ROXANT Wide View Monocular. This model includes many additional features that the other models have lacked. Let’s see why this model is one of the best on the market.

The ROXANT Wide View Monocular has a great nonslip comfort molded grip. This feature allows you to hold the monocular with ease and comfort. It is also lightweight, which lets you hold the model for long periods of time without your hand getting tired.

Another reason the ROXANT Wide View Monocular stands out is for its high definition. This model uses a BAK4 Prism and fully multi-coated glass lens. This feature ensures optimal light transmission and clear viewing, giving it superior optics.

This model also provides wide viewing. The wide viewing is made possible by 6×30 viewing. This feature makes the ROXANT Wide View Monocular suitable for any viewing needs.

The ROXANT Wide View Monocular stands out because of its special features and accessories as well. It comes with a carry pouch with a belt loop, cleaning cloth, and neck strap. The ROXANT Wide View Monocular also comes with a retractable eyecup. This eyecup is suitable for viewing with or without glasses, which makes this model suitable for anyone.

Pros:

  • No slip comfort mold
  • High definition
  • Wide view
  • Special features

Cons:

  • No single hand focus
  • Not waterproof or fog proof
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

4. Pankoo Monocular Telescope 40×60

Pankoo Monocular Telescopes 40x60 High Power Prism Monocular HD Dual Focus Scope for Bird Watching,Wildlife,Traveling,Concert,Sports Game,Gifts for Adults with Phone Adapter&Tripod
  • 💧【Easy to Use】 You can see scenery Easily and Rapidly by using our monocular telescope for Single Hand-Adjust the eye cup and Focus Wheel until see clear and bright image, the Smartphone Holder and extendable stable tripod would help you to get a HD IMAGE or VIDEO easily.
  • 🔥【HD Dual Focus Scope】The HD monocular Scope with 419ft/1000yds(128m/1000m).magnification 10, 40mm large objective lens,letting you look farther and see wider. Coating with FMC Broadband coating and premium BAK4 prism, it ensure imaging verisimilar.
  • 🌎【Wide Applicability】This 40x60 monocular is suitable for adults and kids,it’s a good partner for climbing, hiking, driving, racing, traveling, watching wildlife,bird watching, sightseeing, hunting etc.
  • 💪【Package Accessories Includes】1xMonocular -1xSmartphone Holder -1xTripod -1xVelvet Bag -1xDust cover -1xCleaning Cloth -1xStraps -1x Eye Cup - 1xUser Manual
  • 🔒【100 Satisfaction Guarentee+7x24 hours Customer Service】Superior Service,100% money back guarantee. If you are not 100% satisfied with our product,no-questions asked,we offer a 30-day money back guarantee.

Last update on 2020-12-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you’re looking for a monocular on a budget, you need to check out the Pankoo Monocular Telescope. This model contains luxury features and won’t break the bank either. Let’s look at the Pankoo Monocular Telescope, our best budget pick.

The Pankoo Monocular Telescope has an HD Dual Focus Scope. This model has a BAK4 prism and an FMC Broadband coating. This feature will allow you to view items with superior quality and clarity. The HD Dual Focus Scope ensures that you do not sacrifice quality.

This model also stands out because of its single hand focus. This feature makes finding and enlarging targets easy and efficient. Most budget-friendly monoculars do not have a single hand focus, which makes this model the best budget-friendly choice!

Additionally, the Pankoo Monocular Telescope contains various accessories. It comes with a smartphone holder that allows you to take HD photos or videos on your phone while using the monocular. It also comes with a tripod, velvet bag, dust cover, cleaning cloth, strap, eye cup, and user manual. These features ensure that you get the most bang for your buck!

Another reason this model is our Best Budget Pick is because of its 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you are not satisfied with the product, Pankoo offers you a 30-day money-back guarantee, no questions asked! This ensures that your money will not be wasted even if you do not like the product.

Pros:

  • HD dual focus scope
  • Single hand focus
  • Package accessories
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee

Cons:

  • Screw attachment
  • Not waterproof or fog proof
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

5. ROXANT Ultra-Light Mini Monocular

Sale
ROXANT High Definition Ultra-Light Mini Monocular Pocket Scope - Carrying case, Neck Strap and Cleaning Cloth are Included
  • Compact, powerful, 7x 18, durable, low price, high quality, small enough to fit in a pocket or purse
  • Premium, high definition optical glass, multi-coated optics which guarantee superior light transmission and brightness for optimal bright, crisp, clear viewing
  • Comfort molded grip provides less shake - very easy to hold steady. Comes with carry pouch, cleaning cloth, neck strap.
  • Ideal for water sports, outdoor activities, bird watching, climbing, hunting, archery, hiking, camping, travel, boating and backpacking
  • IDEAL For Visually Impaired or Senior Citizens, Warehouse Workers: Watch TV, Read Street Signs, Identify Carton Numbers etc.

Last update on 2020-12-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you want an easy to use and lightweight monocular, you need to check out the ROXANT Ultra-Light Mono Monocular. This model is great for frequent travel and casual viewings. See why this model made our list!

The ROXANT Ultra-Light Mini Monocular stands out for its compact design. This model is notably smaller than the others listed and is strategically designed to be spatially and weight conscious. The ROXANT Ultra-Light Mini Monocular can fit in any purse or pocket, making it an ideal on-the-go monocular.

This model has a comfort molded grip. This feature makes the ROXANT Ultra-Light Mini Monocular easy to use and hold. Paired with its compact design, the ROXANT Ultra-Light Mini Monocular is one of the most comfortable monoculars on the market!

The ROXANT Ultra-Light Mini Monocular also stands out for its nearly-shake-free magnification. This model has a 7×18 magnification. This is magnification makes the model easy for viewing without the issue of hand shaking. This makes the ROXANT Ultra-Light Mini Monocular great for new monocular users.

Pros:

  • Compact
  • Comfort molded grip
  • Shake-free magnification

Cons:

  • Not waterproof or fog proof
  • Lower scopes
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

6. Opticron BGA WP 8v24 Monocular

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Opticron BGA WP 8x42 Monocular
  • Compact, lightweight roof prism design
  • Nitrogen gas filled waterproof construction
  • Fully multi-coated optical system (all air/glass surfaces)
  • Full field of view wearing glasses
  • Close focus to 6.6ft (2m)

Last update on 2020-12-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you want a monocular with the best quality optics, check out the Opticron BGA WP 8×24 Monocular. This model has some of the best optics on the list, but you must be willing to pay a pretty penny for it. Let’s look at the Opticron BGA WP 8×25 Monocular.

This model has a fully multi-coated optical system on all air and glass surfaces. This means that the quality of the monocular’s lenses is maximized, and the loss of light is minimized. The quality of this monocular’s optics is comparable to a roof prism binocular. This feature makes the Opticron BGA WP 8×24 Monocular one of the top-performing optics!

Alongside its optics, this model is extremely compact. This allows you to take this model with you anywhere you go. Having 5.4×1.8×1.7in dimensions, the Opticron BGA WP 8×25 Monocular is specifically designed to fit in your pocket!

The Opticron BGA WP 8×25 Monocular is also waterproof. It is waterproof because of its nitrogen-filled construction. This feature will allow you to tackle any weather or environment with your handy monocular.

Pros:

  • Fully multi-coated
  • Compact
  • Waterproof

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Batteries required
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Buying Guide

Before buying a monocular, there are several factors to consider.

Monocular Sizes

There are two sizing parameters to consider when buying a monocular: magnification and objective lens diameter.

The magnification size is how much larger the monocular will make distant objects appear. For example, a monocular with 8x magnification will make objects seem 8x bigger.

The higher the magnification size, the more difficult the monocular will be to use. The reason for this is that the monocular will become more sensitive to movement as the magnification size increases.

Another important size parameter is the objective lens diameter. This size is expressed in millimeters and describes the lens furthest from the eye. This size simply tells the diameter of the lens. The larger the lens diameter, the better the performance of the monocular.

These two sizes are listed as magnification number x diameter. For example, if a monocular has a magnification size of 8 and an objective lens diameter of 30, the monocular will be described as 8×30.

Prism Type

Prisms are what allow us to see images. They are made of transparent objects and must include at least two smooth faces at acute angles. These angles allow for the light to be absorbed and dispersed.

Most optic prisms, such as those in monoculars, are made with glass BAK4 prisms. This prism improves refraction, which creates a better-quality optic.

There are two main prism types in monoculars: Porro and Roof.

A monocular with a Porro Prism will arrange two Porro Prisms in a Z-shape. This Z-shape is what allows an image to be seen. Monoculars with Porro Prisms are typically larger in size and have better image depth than Roof Prisms.

Roof Prism monoculars, on the other hand, either use the Abbe-Koenig prism or the Schmidt-Pechan prism to erect the image. These monoculars tend to be smaller in size and improve brightness and light absorption. Most monoculars use a Roof Prism.

For casual use, either prism is suitable in a monocular. The Roof Prism is more ideal for small and compact monoculars, though.

Lens and Prism Coating

Lenses are coated in order to maximize their full capacity and minimize light loss. There are several tiers of lens coating.

  • Coated: A coated lens is one with a thin anti-reflective coating on one or more lens surface. This coating is normally made of magnesium fluorite.
  • Fully coated: A full coated lens is one that has an anti-reflective coat on both sides of the objective lens, ocular lens, and long side of the prism.
  • Multi-coated: A multi-coated lens is one with multiple layers of coating on one or more lens surface.
  • Fully multi-coated: A fully multi-coated lens is one with multiple layers of coating on both sides of the objective lens, ocular lens, and long side of the prism.

The benefit of the coating also depends on quality. It is important to research the quality of your desired brand’s coating techniques. For example, a fully multi-coated monocular will only be superior if the quality is superior as well.

Exit Pupil

The exit pupil is the width of the beam of light leaving the eyepiece. It is normally measured in millimeters. The larger the exit pupil, the brighter the image.

This makes larger exit pupils ideal for low light conditions such as the night. If you are planning to use your monocular at night or in any other situation with low light, make sure to check out the exit pupil size.

Eye relief

Eye relief is a commonly overlooked factor of monocular use, but it is incredibly important for your satisfaction and comfort. The eye relief size is the distance between your eye and the spotting scope eyepiece. Eye relief should be at least 10 mm, but 15 mm will offer you the most comfortable experience.

Field of View

The field of view is how much you can see at one time while looking through your monocular. As magnification increases, the field of view decreases.

Monoculars have notably less field of view than binoculars.

FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about monoculars.

What is a monocular?

A monocular is a device that lets you enlarge distant items. It is essentially a hand-held, low powered telescope. You hold it to your eye like a binocular, but there is only one lens like a telescope. Monoculars are notably smaller and less powerful than telescopes. It may be easiest to think of a monocular as half of a binocular.

When would I use a monocular?

A monocular is used to see distant objects up close. It may be suitable for hunting, birdwatching, or sports-watching. A monocular may also be suitable for those who have difficulty with sight. Some elderly or seeing impaired individuals use monoculars to see classroom boards, street signs, etc.

What are the upsides of a monocular?

Monoculars are compact and convenient. They are easily transported and held. This makes them ideal for on-the-go or casual viewings. Just pop them in your pocket and go!

Monoculars are also simple to use. You simply place it on your eye and zoom in and out as needed. This makes them ideal for non-advanced users.

What are the downsides of a monocular?

Since monoculars are designed for one eye use, the eye can become fatigued quickly. This causes head pain, eye pain, and vision loss. Make sure to alternate eyes and pay attention to the eye relief size.

Monoculars also have minimal depth perception. This will make certain activities, such as hunting, more difficult.

Should I get a monocular or binocular?

There are several reasons you may find a monocular more suitable for your needs than binoculars.

Firstly, monoculars are smaller in size than binoculars. This allows you to transport and store your monocular more easily. You can put your monocular in your pocket and quickly pull it out anytime you need it. This makes monoculars more ideal for casual use.

Binoculars, on the other hand, show a wider field of view since both eyes are used. They also project spatial 3D images better. Binoculars are more ideal if you need to observe far-away items for long periods of time or if you need better depth perception. Some hunters, for instance, find binoculars more suited for their needs.

Is a monocular the same as a spotting scope?

No. A spotting scope is meant to enlarge distant objects like a monocular, but they are much heavier and more powerful than a monocular. Spotting scopes must be mounted on tripods for sturdiness; they cannot be held in the same manner as monoculars.

What scope is the best?

Many new monocular users assume that the higher the scope, the better the product. While higher magnification produces greater enlargement, it also makes the monocular more difficult to use.

The reason for this is that the monocular will become over-sensitive to any movement such as your hand shaking. Most people agree that a magnification around 5x or 6x is most ideal for monocular users.

Conclusion

There are a lot of factors to consider when buying a monocular, but we are here to shed helpful light on the topic. Our list has a wide range of monocular options, so there should be one that catches your eye.

Our top pick is the VIVREAL 12×50 Monocular Telescope. This monocular is great for all monocular needs and even includes a smartphone holder. The runner up is the Wingspan Optics Explorer High Powered 12×50 Monocular, which is extremely durable and easy to use. As for the best budget pick, the ROXANT High Definition Ultra-Light Mini Monocular Pocket Scope offers the best bargain without sacrificing quality.

Even if you did not find what you are looking for, there are many models out there. When looking for the best monocular, be sure to focus on monocular size, prism type, prism coating, exit pupil, eye relief, and field of view.