Best Monoculars Review Guide – Updated 2019 Edition

Are you someone who loves exploring and going on adventures? Love taking aimless trips to end up someplace that is breathtakingly beautiful?

Then what you need to take with you on such trips, whether it’s hiking or camping or just simple exploration, is monoculars.

Although similar to binoculars in functioning, they are more powerful and can be used with one hand and one eye.

Comparison Chart of the Best Monoculars

PRODUCT
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Wingspan Optics 12X50

  • Waterproof and fog-proof
  • One-hand focus and control
  • Best overall monocular to get your hands on
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Authentic ROXANT Monocular

  • Wide view allows clear image
  • Comes with added accessories
  • Runner-up, high-definition grip scope
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Celestron UpClose G2 10x25

  • Best for the money
  • Aluminum body to keep it from corrosion
  • Waterproof, allowing you to use it in a humid environment
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Carson MiniAura Digital Night Vision Monocular

  • These are the best night vision monoculars
  • It produces digital images which are quite unique
  • One-year warranty reduces the hassle of investing in this
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Occer 10X42 Monocular

  • Best for bird watching
  • Wide FOV reduces the strain on the eye
  • Large eyepiece making it suitable for those who wear glasses
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Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Monocular

  • Best for hunting
  • ED prime glass and PC-3 phase coated prism
  • BaK-4 prism allows it to produce ultra HD view
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Feemic Monocular 8x42

  • Rubber body for long life
  • Features
  • Most powerful monoculars
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Celestron Nature 10x25

  • Most compact monoculars
  • BaK-4 prism promises clear image
  • Waterproof and fog proof to keep the lens clear
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Zeiss 10x25B Monocular Scope

  • Best from Zeiss
  • Handy lanyard adds to the convenience
  • Magnification up to 10x to provide a better view of the image
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What is a Monocular and What is it Used For?

A monocular is an optical device similar to binoculars in functioning. The tool, however, requires one eye for viewing distant objects clearer. It is essentially a telescope that refracts light by its passage through various lenses and prisms. However, it is more compact and lighter in weight compared to an actual telescope.

A monocular is more powerful than a pair of binoculars with the same functioning. However, it makes viewing distant objects about 50 percent easier. You can easily view objects at far greater distances easily using a monocular compared to a pair of binoculars.

What Makes a Great Monocular?

If you are wondering what features come together to form a perfect monocular, then wonder no more. Below, we have compiled a list that allows you to point out the aspects of an excellent monocular:

Compactness

The more compact the design, the easier it is to carry it around. Compact design is also lightweight and extremely portable.

Magnification

Choose a product that offers magnification to suit your needs. Higher magnification means you can see objects far away even more easily. However, higher optical power means a higher price, as well.

Prism Types

Three types of prisms are available for varying the optical range of a monocular. Roof prisms are good for long distances, Porro prisms are excellent for shorter distances, and Galilean prisms are best-suited for shorter ranges.

Prism Grades

These are the BaK-4 and BK-7 prisms with BaK-4 being superior and providing excellent light transmission.

Lens Sizing

The larger the lens, the larger its diameter will be. A larger lens will ensure a higher quality zoom in of the distant objects. A larger size, however, will make the monocular heavier.

Coating

Lens coatings comes in various levels. These include the simple coating and multi-coating for increased image quality and full coating for the best possible results. However, the price goes up with each layer of coating that is added to the monocular. It all depends on what you want to use your monocular for.


Quick Take | Best Monocular

Just looking for the top three best monoculars? Here they are:

  1. Wingspan Optics 12X50
  2. Authentic ROXANT Monocular
  3. Celestron UpClose G2 10x25

Review of the Best Monocular

Now, that you understand what features you need to look at when purchasing a monocular, let us look at some of the best ones up for sale in the market.

Best Overall:
Wingspan Optics 12X50

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

PROS

  • Easy to Carry it With Yourself Wherever You Go
  • Extremely Portable as it’s Lightweight and Has a Compact Design
  • Affordable, as it Offers Exactly What it Promises for a Fair Amount
  • A Magnification of 12x Helps in Viewing an Extremely Clear, Sharp, and Precise Image

CONS

  • The Included Tripod is Not Sturdy Enough to Hold Up the Monocular
  • The Field of View is Too Narrow and Does Not Allow You to Capture a Large View

Wingspan Optics’ Monocular has been created to allow you to see objects a whopping, 12 times closer and with increased clarity. The 50 mm lens incorporated into the design makes Wingspan’s monocular one of the best of all those up for sale. The robust, sturdy, and durable external armor helps you to have a firm grip and protects the equipment from damage.

Apart from giving you a clearer view, Wingspan’s monocular is both waterproof and fog-proof. This feature prevents moisture, dust particles, and other impurities from entering the monocular. As a result, internal fogging and lens clouding, both are kept at bay.

What good is a monocular that cannot be guided with just one hand? Definitely, no good and Wingspan’s monocular proves exactly that. Its perfect design allows smooth control with simply one hand. This monocular is perfect for bird watching, sightseeing, and even for watching wildlife.

Bottom Line

All in all, this is a great piece of equipment for a fair price. The monocular offers what it promises except it does not come with a lanyard and a sturdy tripod stand.

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, Black

PROS

  • The Wide View Feature Helps You See Your Targeted Image With Increased Precision and Clarity
  • Sturdy Build and Portability Make it Easy to Carry it With You Whenever You Go Out for an Adventure
  • The Lightweight Design Allows You to Watch Whatever You Intend to, Without Causing Strain on Your Hand

CONS

  • A Little on the Pricier Side Compared to What it Offers
  • Some People Have Reported Problems With Focusing and Seem to Feel it Fails at Giving You Any Kind of Magnification

Roxant's Monocular is more popularly known as the grip scope. This high definition monocular has been specially designed to ensure easy gripping whilst you view everything up-close in high definition. No shaky viewing and no hand aches, this monocular is perfect for sightseeing and even bird-watching.

The lens is made from high-quality optical glass, which has a premium full, multi-coating. The Bak-4 prism is a fully glass-made prism that ensures extraordinary light transmission to allow the user to view everything with endless precision and brightness.

Unlike most others, Roxant’s monocular offers a wide view that is 6x30. This allows you to see more of what you are interested in, all in one go.

The monocular comes with its own retractable eyecup, so anyone can use it regardless of whether they make use of spectacles, or not. It also has its own carry pouch, belt loop, cleaning cloth, and neck strap.

Bottom Line

Although lightweight and portable with a sturdy build, this monocular fails to focus and provide the magnification that most people expect out of it. Due to this, it seems to be pricier than most other, similar models.

Best for the Money:
Celestron UpClose G2 10x25

Celestron UpClose G2 10x25 Monocular, Black (71213)

PROS

  • Inexpensive and is Great for Those That Use a Monocular Simply for Delighting in a Hobby
  • The Small and Compact Design Makes it Easy to Carry Around and Use Whenever You Like
  • The Multi-Coated Lens Does What it Promises. The Clarity of the Image Viewed Through This Monocular is Simply Spectacular

CONS

  • A Cloudy Image Has Been Reported By Some People
  • Does Not Have a Very Wide View so May Be a Disappointment for Those Who Prefer Wide Vision
  • Although it Works Great in Dim Light, it is Not the Best Tool to Use in Bright Light as it Gives Off a Lot of Glare

Celestron’s UpClose G2 10x25 boasts high quality at an affordable price range. This black monocular has a lens that is multi-coated. This multi-coating increases optical accuracy by allowing light transmission to be undeterred. A perfect light transmission channel, hence, allows you to view objects far clearer and brighter with extremely high contrast levels.

The well-designed aluminum body prevents corrosion and rusting. Also, it increases durability and adds sturdiness. This robust monocular also has a rubber cover to allow you to have a better grip and control over what image you want to magnify. The thumb indents and finger ridges incorporated into the design make this even easier. The rubber cover also protects the body from wear and tear.

The monocular is also waterproof, which allows you to use it freely even when it’s humid without worrying about ruining your lens or the equipment’s inner parts. Accessories packed with the monocular include a binocular strap.

Bottom Line

Whilst some people are all applause for its clarity, some others seem to dislike it because of its cloudy view and narrow field of vision. This monocular is also not the best tool to use in bright light as it gives off a lot of glare.

Carson MiniAura Digital Night Vision Monocular (NV-200)

PROS

  • It is Super Portable and Super Lightweight and Fits Easily in Your Palm
  • The Compact Design Allows You to Easily Carry it, Even in Your Jeans Pocket
  • Offers Exactly What it Promises for an Affordable Price Range
  • Highly Compatible With an External Infrared Beam Which Increases its Range Even More by About 200 Yards

CONS

  • The Infrared Light is Visible as a Red Dot
  • It Offers Almost No Magnification But has a Real-Time View
  • Small Field of View May Not be Exactly Pleasing to Those Who Want a Wider View

Carson’s MiniAura night vision monocular is completely digital. This is a very unique feature which makes this equipment even more special. The monocular produces digital images in black and white.

Unlike other monoculars that are shaped like a cone or cylinder, this monocular is a rectangle with buttons and a battery box. Even though it is digital and you may assume it might be heavier in weight, it surely is not. Carson’s MiniAura is an extremely compact and lightweight tool which is super easy to hold and carry around wherever you go.

A button to allow you to easily control the infrared intensity has also been incorporated into the design. The device allows you to view all objects in a 19-degree angle and also promises night vision that allows you to view objects up to 82 feet away.

The monocular comes with its own carry bag and wrist strap. The monocular runs on 3 standard AAA batteries. A one-year limited warranty is also offered with the purchase.

Bottom Line

One of the cutest and most compact night vision monoculars, this model is extremely user-friendly and lightweight. It fits easily in one palm and can be carried around in any of your pockets.

Best for Bird Watching:
Occer 10X42 Monocular

Occer 10X42 High Power Monocular Telescope HD Dual Focus Scope, Waterproof Compact Monocular with BAK4 Multi-Coated Zoom Lens, Low Night Vision for Hunting Bird Watching Camping Outdoor Sporting

PROS

  • HD Dual Focus Helps Focus Anything Accurately and Correctly
  • The Adjustable Eyecup Prevents Strain and Helps Easily Focus in on Whatever You Want 
  • The 10x42 Lens Power Makes Up for an Intensely Spectacular View and Maximizes Precision

CONS

  • The Field of View is Still Not as Large as Most People Would Prefer 
  • Cannot Focus on Moving Objects as it Only Focuses on the Center of its Field
  • Does Not Come With Usage Instructions, Which May Make Operation Slightly More Difficult

This monocular promises a magnification of up to 10x with its powerful 42 mm lens. Occer's monocular is well-equipped for bird watching, sightseeing, and wildlife observation. Not only is the 18 mm eyepiece large, but it has also been multi-coated to create a perfect light transmission channel. This then allows the monocular to help make images brighter, sharper, and more precise.

The monocular also contains a BaK-4 prism and has a wide field of view. The high color reduction feature allows you to view the most natural image of an object via your lens. The HD dual focus helps magnify and zoom to incredible levels. It can be controlled using the two knobs built into the design.

The eyecup fitting is adjustable to entertain both type of users. Those that wear glasses and those that do not. The twisting feature allows you to view with both comfort and ease and prevents any kind of strain to the eye area.

As if all of this was not enough, Occer added even more features to this monocular. The device is not only water-resistant, but it is also compact and can be used easily with one hand. This is aided by the rubber body as it not only protects the body from wear and tear, it makes the monocular fog-resistant and makes for a tighter and easier hand grip, too.

Bottom Line

This is a device that has both a set of pros and cons. Although it is fitted with a powerful lens, it fails to provide a great field of view. It cannot focus on moving objects and can only zoom into the center of the image you are viewing. However, the adjustable eyecup and HD dual focus give a brighter and more precise view.

Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Monocular, Black, 10 x 42-mm (Pack of 1)

PROS

  • A Very Huge Field of View Allows You to View a Larger Area
  • The Picatinny Rail and Carry Clip Make Using the Monocular With One Hand Super Easy and Comfortable
  • Remarkable Detail and Great Image Quality Due to the Powerful Lens and Prisms, Which Are All Coated and Treated for Superior Light Transmission

CONS

  • Defective Lens Cap That Digs Into the Lens Armor
  • Pricey, Compared to Similar Models Available on the Market

This black monocular is able to display the view in ultra-HD. This exceptional optical view and spectacular definition are aided by BaK-4 prisms laced inside the monocular. Moreover, the fully-coated optical lenses and prisms help perfect light transmission. A light transmission channel that loses almost none of its light helps in viewing the brightest, sharpest image possible.

The monocular also has an ED prime glass and PC-3 phase-coated prism. The hundred percent waterproof and fog-proof design prevents clouding of the lens and prisms, both on the inside and outside. This also helps in increasing durability.

For eye comfort and to suit both types of wearers, ones with glasses and those without, the monocular has been given a twisting cup feature. These make using the monocular super comfortable and prevent eye strain. A carry clip and Picatinny rail help the user carry the monocular around easily and ensure a tight grip.

The monocular has a 42 mm lens and has a magnification of 10x which enhances its amazing design.

Bottom Line

Undeniably, this is the best monocular available on the market for hunting. Although slightly overpriced, it offers exactly what it promises and does what it's supposed to.

Most Powerful Monocular: 
Feemic Monocular 8x42

Monocular Telescope High Power 8x42 Monoculars Scope Compact Portable Waterproof Fogproof Shockproof with Hand Strap for Adults Kids Bird Watching Hunting Camping Hiking Travling Wildlife Secenery

PROS

  • High-Quality Product at an Affordable Price
  • Very Lightweight and Compact, so it is Very Portable
  • Strap to Prevent You From Losing the Lens Cover, and Lens Caps on Both Ends

CONS

  • Does Not Zoom in Very Far
  • Tight Monocular Case, You Need to Push the Equipment into its Box

Feemic’s Monocular boast a wide field of view and HD results. This high-quality item is backed up by superb quality glass optics. This includes the FMC Superior BaK-4 green film prism. The high-quality optics ensure 99.9 percent light transmission and hence, a clearer image.

Feemic's monocular provides a magnification of 8x and has a 42 mm wide lens. The field of view of this equipment is as large as 360 feet or a whopping 1000 yards in total.

The body of the monocular has a rubber finish, which increases durability and protects the body from wear and tear. Not only this, but the device is also fog-proof, waterproof, dust-proof, and even shock-proof. These are enabled by the nitrogen-filled lens dust cover that keeps debris and moisture out.

The monocular is also compact and can be easily guided with one hand. Also, the adjustable eyecups ensure eye comfort, whereas the rubber body makes for a tight and controlled grip.

Bottom Line

This is the most powerful monocular for the best possible price. The high-quality glass optics and lens covers make this product simply amazing. Moreover, added accessories and compactness add even more spice to this tool.

Most Compact Monocular: 
Celestron Nature 10x25

Celestron Nature 10x25 Monocular, Black

PROS

  • The Waterproof Design Allows Ease of Use in Humid or Wet Environments
  • A Stiff Focus Ring Allows Precise Control Over How Much You Want to Focus
  • It Stays Focused Up Until You Change the Settings Yourself by Guiding the Ring
  • Small, Compact Size Fits Easily in Your Hand and Can Be Carried Around in Your Pocket

CONS

  • Narrow Field of View Which May Not Be Pleasing to Some Users
  • Small Design Makes it Slightly Difficult to Use, for People With Larger Hands

Celestron Nature Monocular is small and compact. With a 25 mm lens and 10x magnification, it is a compact yet powerful tool. The multi-coated lenses ensure the maximum resolution, high contrast, and bright, sharp views.

The tool is also waterproof and fog-proof for protection in humid or damp environments. This feature ensures the lens remains cloud-free and clear.

Moreover, a rubber coating on the body promises protection against wear and tear and ensures a proper, smooth grip. The BaK-4 prism also aids in viewing sharper and clearer images. Meanwhile, the twisting eyecup allows ease of use. Both types of users, those that wear glasses and those that do not, can use this tool without any eye strain.

Bottom Line

All in all, this is a fairly good product for a fair price. It has a stiff focus ring which may or may not be something you would like. However, the monocular is compact and waterproof and helps you view many far away objects.

PROS

  • Lifetime Limited Warranty Helps You Have a Sense of Protection Over Your Purchase
  • Compact Design Makes it Easy to Carry Around.
  • Handy Lanyard Makes it Easier for You to Carry it Around Your Neck Whilst You Carry Other Stuff in Your Hands

CONS

  • Field of View Could Be Larger for Better Viewing
  • Very Small in Size so May be Uncomfortable for Those Who Prefer Larger Tools

The Zeiss 10x25B Monocular Scope has the ability to magnify your desired view by about a total of ten times. The simple yet compact and smart design allows you to fit the monocular easily in just one of your hands. Not only this, but you can carry it any of your pockets very easily wherever you go.

The device also comes with a lanyard to make it not only easy to carry, but also hang it around your shoulder or neck, whichever you prefer. The monocular also comes with a limited lifetime warranty so you can make your purchase without feeling doubtful.

Bottom Line

Overall, this is a fair tool that has a set of both pros and cons. To sum up, it is a compact tool that does its job fairly well and comes with a lifetime limited warranty.

Types of Monoculars

Now that you have compared and assessed various models available in the market, what you need to know more about is the types or kinds of monoculars that exist. There are two main types of prism monoculars which include the Porro prism and roof prism monoculars. Let’s get started:

  • Roof Prism Monocular

Roof prism monoculars are more compact and easier to hold but are more expensive.

  • Porro Prism Monoculars

These are affordable and have a good quality but are not as compact as roof prism monoculars. They cause strain on the hands if you hold them for longer periods. A variation known as the inverted Porro prism is, however, as compact as the roof prism monoculars.

Conclusion

Conclusively, a monocular is a great piece of equipment you would want to invest in if your hobby includes bird watching, sight-seeing, star-gazing, wildlife observation, hunting, and even just spying. There are various models available with various magnifications and power. So, pick one that suits your needs best.

People Also Ask

The following are questions that people usually ask when first getting to know about monoculars:

Are Monoculars Spotting Scopes?

Monoculars are mini versions of a spotting scope. A larger monocular with a bigger lens and wider field of view is referred to as a spotting scope. It is obviously larger and heavier.

What Powers a Monocular?

A monocular is similar to a binocular but only has one lens. It is used to magnify distant objects so you can see far away easily. It does not need any external power as it runs on optics and light transmission. However, one suited for night vision or one that is digital will require batteries to function.

What Do Lens Coatings Do?

A monocular is a modified refracting telescope that uses optics and light transmission to function and magnify images. The lens coatings offered on lenses help refract light perfectly. The better the coating, the lesser the loss of light during refraction and the stronger the light transmission channel. Hence, a powerful coating results in a powerful, bright, and sharp view.

What Do the Numbers on a Monocular Mean?

The two numbers mentioned with any monocular indicate the magnification and lens diameter. For example, if it says 10x42 in front of the monocular’s name, it means that the lens can magnify objects by about ten times and that the diameter of the lens is 42 mm.

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