Best Monocular for Hunting for the Money in 2017

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best budget monocularMonoculars are great tools for scouting terrain, watching birds and more. They are a great alternative to binoculars since they are more compact and affordable.

They sport a single lens body like telescopes and use prisms as well as lenses to magnify images like binoculars. If you are on the market for a good monocular, this post will provide an easy-to-understand guide on how to narrow down your choices. But first, here are the top 10 best monoculars on the market.

 

 

ImageModelDimensionsWaterproofPrice 
Wingsman Optics Explorer 12x50 Monocular (Editor’s Pick)3.31 x 4.41 x 7.72 inches+$ Check Price
Vortex VMX-3T Magnifier (User's Choice)3 x 7 x 6 inches+$$$ Check Price
Vortex Optics Solo 10x251.97 x 4.41 x 2.36+$ Check Price
Bestguarder 6x50mm HD Digital Monocular4.13 x 8.19 x 2.44 inches+$$$$ Check Price
Vortex Optics Solo R/T Tactical Monocular3 x 7 x 3 inches+$$ Check Price
Wingspan Optics Titan 12x506.4 x 1.9 x 3.1 inches+$$ Check Price
Outerdo Monocular2.76 x 6.69 x 2.76 inches+$ Check Price
Barska NVX1003.6 x 5.2 x 1.8 inches-$$$ Check Price
Gosky Titan 12x502.76 x 7.09 x 3.39 inches+$ Check Price
MeeQee 10x422.7 x 2.2 x 5.8 inches+$ Check Price

Best budget monoculars on the market – Reviews

1. Wingsman Optics Explorer 12×50 Monocular: Best All-Round Monocular

The Wingsman Optics Explorer is designed for individuals in need of distance, power and clarity during the day. It is a good monocular for someone in pursuit of greater magnification as well as bright, clear field of view.

The Explorer 12×50 offers a range of view of up to 100 yards. The rugged and durable armor is sure to survive the toughest weather conditions while the waterproof construction protects the internal components from moisture, fog, debris and dust.

You get up to 12x magnification power and the 50x lens provides a clearer view of the subjects. It is offered with a durable tripod stand for a hands-free viewing experience. The monocular also comes with a nylon mesh carrying case for easy storage and/or transportation as well as eyepiece and lens protection covers.

 

Pros
  • Backed by a lifetime warranty
  • One of the clearest and brightest monoculars on the market
  • Has durable armor for non-slip grip and external protection
  • Waterproof and fogproof construction
Cons
  • Tripod is a little too short for some users

2. Vortex VMX-3T Magnifier : Best Dual Focus Monocular

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The Vortex VMX-3T Magnifier has a 30mm and only weighs 11.09 ounces. It comes with a flip mount that allows you to use the red dot sight without the magnification. All of the components are housed in a hard-coat-anodized machined-aluminum armor.

You get up to 3x magnification power in red dot sights. Vortex integrates multi-coated optics to ensure optimal light transmission. Another reason for loving this monocular is that the magnifier is internally filled with nitrogen for reliable fogproof and waterproof performance.

The Vortex VMX-3T also features waterproof O-rings seals that improve waterproof capabilities and protect against damage due to dust and debris. The matte black finish provides added durability and gives the monocular a classic look. Other notable features include 3.25″ eye relief, field of view of 38.2′ @ 100 yards and VIP warranty on the magnifier.

 

Pros
  • Mount is solid and locks in place easily
  • Comes with a well built flip mount
  • Quite versatile
  • Clear and precise images
Cons
  • Lacks a lens cover

3. Vortex Optics Solo 10×25 Waterproof Monocular: Best cheap monocular under $100

While it doesn’t scream “high end,” the Vortex Optics Solo doesn’t scream “baby me” either. The contents are encased in sufficient amount of plastic and soft rubber for added protection against external elements.

The fogproof glass works great unless the weather is below -20C/-4F. This monocular comes with fully multi-coated optics that allow for optimum transmission of light. All of the air-to glass surfaces also have multi anti-reflective coatings.

You get a field of view of 31.5 feet at 100 yards, which is quite impressive for a compact unit as this one. A 10x magnification and 25mm objective lens do a great job of providing clarity. The adjustable eyecup provides a customized fit when twisted up and down. Another notable feature of this monocular is the roof prism design, which is favored for its durability. Overall, it makes a great addition to any gear list.

 

Pros
  • Durable, compact and lightweight construction
  • Great image quality
  • Includes everything you need from a monocular
Cons
  • Eyecup isn’t the best for individuals who wear glasses

4. Bestguarder 6x50mm HD Digital Monocular: Best Night Vision Monocular

The Bestguarder 6×50 HD is a high end monocular whose features fulfill more than just viewing purposes. Some of them include an eyepiece with a camcorder and camera for documentation. It offers a viewing range of up to 1150 feet. The 6x digital zoom and 50mm objective lens offer remarkable clarity, even in low light conditions. Components are housed in a rugged, water-resistant casing that has a good grip.

As far as photographs go, you have the option of choosing between three qualities i.e. 640×480 pixels, 1600×1200 pixels and 2592×1944 pixels. When shooting videos, you can choose between 640×480 pixels and 1280×720 pixels at 30 frames per second. The memory can be expanded up to 32GB and owners can use it during the day and night.

 

Pros
  • Great piece of night vision equipment
  • Suitable for various uses
  • Can shoot videos and still photos
  • Has built-in infrared illuminator that offers up to 1150ft viewing distance
Cons
  • More expensive than most on this list
  • Uses up batteries fast

5. Vortex Optics Solo R/T Tactical Monocular: Best Mococular uner $200

This monocular is lightweight, compact and designed to be an excellent tool for a wide range of outdoor activities. It is 2.3 inches wide, 5.3 inches long and only weighs 10.2 ounces. The monocular features 36mm objective lens and magnifies objects up to 8x.

You benefit from a close focus distance of 16.4 feet, which pretty long compared to other models. It a generous field of view of 393 feet at 1000 feet, thus allowing you to plenty of terrain with clarity. A very comfortable 18mm eye relief makes for easy use, whether or not you wear eyeglasses.

This monocular features a roof prism design, which explains the compactness. It is also more wear resistant and durable compared to the Porro prism design. The fully multi-coated optics provide optimum light transmission. A retinal focus wheel and target image focus wheel are unusual for a monocular but then again, this is no ordinary monocular. Both serve as an extra focusing mechanism that eliminates the parallax problem.

Vortex uses rubber armor to protect the internal components from shock as well as O-rings and nitrogen in the optics chamber for waterproofing.

 

Pros
  • Features excellent optics
  • Backed by lifetime warranty
  • Has a rangefinding reticle
Cons
  • Cheap utility clip

6. Wingspan Optics Titan 12×50 High Powered Monocular: Best under 500$

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The Wingspan Optics Titan is specially engineered to rival most high-powered daytime monoculars on the market. It features DiamondBright technology that helps catapult you to a whole new reality of clarity, color differentiation and brightness. The easy access strap slot allows you to have the monocular in your hands within a few seconds.

The Wingspan Optics Titan has an external body DuraArmor that improves resistance to wear and tear, even in the roughest terrains. It is offered with a few useful accessories including a stainless steel tripod for hands-free viewing, single hand focus, eyepiece and lens protection covers, nylon mesh carrying bag as well as a microfiber lens cleaning cloth.

With a 246 feet at 1000 yards field of view, 12x magnification and 50mm objective lens, this is one of the clearest monoculars you’ll find.

 

Pros
  • Clear and precise viewing
  • Improved and revolutionary optics technology
  • Lightweight construction
Cons
  • Tripod is a bit short for some users

7. Outerdo Monocular Dual Focus Telescope: Best Monocular for bird watching

If you are on the market for a monocular that you can use in any weather, the Outerdo Monocular Dual Focus Telescope will prove a good investment. It is one of the best on the market and can withstand some dampness thanks to the rubber covering that encases the body. With 16x magnification and 52mm objective lens, this monocular provides crystal clear images from a distance.

Its size is ideal for a variety of outdoor activities. Being a dual focus monocular, you can adjust it in two ways to capture clearer images. It is offered with a few accessories for an improved user experience including a lanyard, pouch for safe storage and a cleaning cloth.

Most customers found the Outerdo Monocular extremely durable and particularly useful for bird watching.

 

Pros
  • An excellent choice for most outdoor activities
  • Waterproof and fogproof construction
  • Features handwheel bump design for increased friction and better focusing
  • Backed by 1 year 100% satisfaction guarantee
  • 52mm objective lens is a considerable improvement over other models on this list
Cons
  • Eyepiece and main focus require constant adjustment

8. Barska NVX100 3x Night Vision Monocular: Best for Newbies, Under 300$

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If you want to explore the night, the Barska NVX100 is your go to monocular. Its ultra-compact design and lightweight construction just makes you want to carry it with you anywhere you go. The monocular boasts great optical features like 2x digital zoom, 3x optical magnification, 1/5″ CMOS digital image sensor, built-in infrared LED illuminator and 14.5mm objective lens.

Menu buttons are located under your fingertips at the top for easy access. You will certainly love the input/output panel since it includes a mini-USB port, power port and video-out port. It also comes with a 1GB removable microSD card.

Another notable feature is that the NVX100 has a contoured housing with a good grip and that offers shock-resistant performance. A hand strap makes it easy to access your equipment when need arises while a rubber eyecup improves your viewing experience. You can use it with a tripod stand for hands-free viewing.

 

Pros
  • Allows you to shoot videos and still photos
  • Offers resistance to bright light
  • Built-in infrared illuminator provides night vision capabilities
  • A 640×480 resolution ensures crystal clear imagery
Cons
  • Switching between photo and video modes is sometimes difficult

9. Gosky Titan 12×50 Prism Monocular: Best Monocular with Smartphone Adapter

This monocular is specially designed for outdoor enthusiasts and features 12×50 magnification, which is more than you need for clear and bright imagery. It features a 50mm FMC green film objective lens that improves light transmission.

Unlike other models on this list, the Gosky Titan is offered with a smartphone adapter so that you can take photos and videos with your phone. Large BAK-4 prism and multi-coated optics provide added durability while strengthening the key functions of a monocular.

The solid framework is achieved with tight fitting protection that withstands the toughest weather conditions. Components are protected by a rubber armor with stripes that’s comfortable to use and has a firm grip. Like other monoculars on this list, this one is waterproof and is sealed with O-rings to prevent entry of moisture, debris and dust. The field of view is 289 feet at 1000 yards while the field angle is 6.5 degrees.

 

Pros
  • Wide field of view
  • Crystal clear images and videos
  • Comes with smartphone adapter
  • Can be used with or without glasses thanks to adjustable eyecups
Cons
  • Adapter gets loose easily

10. MeeQee 10×42 Dual Focus Monocular: Best Monocular for hunting

For someone who’s on a tight budget, the Meeqee 10×42 Dual Focus monocular is worth considering. It allows you to view items up to 10x closer. This combined with the 42mm objective lens makes this a good monocular for hunting, bird watching, hiking, concerts, playing golf and other outdoor hobbies. The fully multi-coated lens and large BAK-4 prism guarantee excellent light transmission for brighter and clearer imagery.

Whether you wear glasses or not, the adjustable eye cups guarantee a comfortable viewing experience. The revolutionary optical structure along with the one-hand focus wheel allows you to easily adjust the focal length. This item is backed by a 40-day no-hassle money back guarantee.

 

Pros
  • Fully multi-coated lens
  • Comes with useful accessories
  • It’s a versatile piece of equipment
  • Waterproof and fogproof body
Cons
  • A little blurry in the periphery

How to chose Best Monocular – Buyer’s Guide

Size and weight

Monoculars are generally compact and very portable. If the goal is to get something that can fit inside your pocket, consider a 8×25 or 10×25 monocular. Such often come with a small carrying bag and are very cheap. The downside is that their performance isn’t very good and the field of view is limited. Their small eye cup makes them extremely difficult to use.

Lens size

The description of most monoculars features two numbers that look a lot like 8×25. The first digit refers to the magnification power while the second indicates the size of the lens. Monoculars have lenses whose size ranges from 20mm to 42mm, with some high end ones having a larger lens. Consider purchasing something with the largest lens you can afford and keep in mind that that means a bulkier monocular.

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Night vision capabilities

Some monoulars feature inbuilt infrared illuminator, which helps with increased visibility at night. The downside is that such models often have less magnification to produce less fuzzy imagery at night.

Waterproof

For a piece of equipment that’s usually used outdoors, getting one with waterproof capabilities makes sense. Whether you will be using it for sailing, hiking or hunting, the last thing you need is for your monocular to get damaged when it starts to drizzle. Maximize your experience by getting a waterproof monocular

Conclusion

Regardless of the budget or needs, it’s important to remember that every monocular is different. By putting together this detailed guide, we hope your search is easier. If you already have monocular, we would love to hear about it and why it’s your favorite.

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