Best Monoculars to Watch the Wildlife

Review & Comparison, Last Update October 11, 2017
Imagine you're in a forest, the wind is still and the air is full of birds twittering. You can hear them but cannot see. Well, that won't be an issue anymore, as with a monocular you will finally find out which bird chirps that song. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2017
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Prism System
Optics (Objective / Eyeglass)
Objective Lens Diameter
Ocular / Eye Lens Diameter
Magnification Ratio
Minimal Focal Length
Field of View
Body Specs
Extras
Dimensions
Weight
 
PROS
Has an exceptional ratio of magnification and lens diameter, providing a bright detailed picture on the objects along the wide field of view.
CONS
Has no lens caps, however, the lenses are sunk into the body.
OUR VERDICT
A balanced combination of decent optics and usability. Due to light weight, it's great for tourists and mountain climbers.
detailed parameters
Prism System
ROOF
Optics (Objective / Eyeglass)
Fully multi-coated optical glass / BaK-4
Objective Lens Diameter
30mm
Ocular / Eye Lens Diameter
5mm
Magnification Ratio
6x
Minimal Focal Length
No
Field of View
250 ft / 1000 yards
Body Specs
Waterproof, Fogproof
Extras
Nylon case, Microfiber cloth, Neck strap
Dimensions
1.8" x 5.5"
Weight
7.8 oz
PROS
Comes in a package with a tripod and has a great light transmitting coefficient, allowing to use it even in dim lighting.
CONS
The tripod is somewhat easy to tip over as the monocular has a gravity center closer to the front.
OUR VERDICT
Top rate monocular, with weather-resistant qualities and durable body, that shows a bright, crisp picture. A perfect choice for bird watchers and hunters.
detailed parameters
Prism System
ROOF
Optics (Objective / Eyeglass)
Fully multi-coated optical glass / BaK-4
Objective Lens Diameter
50mm
Ocular / Eye Lens Diameter
4.2mm
Magnification Ratio
12x
Minimal Focal Length

6.6 ft

Field of View
246 ft / 1000 yards
Body Specs
Waterproof, Fogproof
Extras
Nylon carrying case, Lens protection covers, Microfiber cloth, Stainless steel tripod
Dimensions
3.1" x 6.4"
Weight
14 oz
PROS

Thanks to ergonomic marcs on the housing and two focusing rings, it is easy to adjust the unit to accommodate your needs.

CONS

The included detachable hand strap is a bit flimsy.

OUR VERDICT

If at a concert or sporting event your seats happened to be all the way in the back row, this MulioTech monocular boasting a 16x magnification will help you clearly see what is going on on the stage/field.

detailed parameters
Prism System

ROOF

Optics (Objective / Eyeglass)

Fully multi-coated optical glass / BaK-4

Objective Lens Diameter

52mm

Ocular / Eye Lens Diameter

~5mm

Magnification Ratio

16x

Minimal Focal Length

~8 ft

Field of View

216 ft / 8749 yards

Body Specs

Waterproof, Dustproof

Extras

Carrying bag, Wrist strap, Cleaning cloth

Dimensions

2.17" x 6.1"

Weight

~8 oz

PROS

Equipped with a tripod and phone clip, this model is perfect for those who enjoy watching nature's little treasures as much as sharing images with friends.

CONS

It might take some time to put the unit's eyepiece and your phone's objective lens center in a straight line.

OUR VERDICT

Featuring adjustable eye cups, it is perfect for glass wearers. The unit has a wide ocular to prevent your eyes from getting tired during prolonged viewing. Besides, it comes with a handy tripod for shooting stunning pictures.

detailed parameters
Prism System

ROOF

Optics (Objective / Eyeglass)

Fully multi-coated optical glass / BaK-4

Objective Lens Diameter

42mm

Ocular / Eye Lens Diameter

21mm

Magnification Ratio

10x

Minimal Focal Length

N/A

Field of View

342 ft / 1000 yards

Body Specs

Waterproof, Dustproof, Shockproof

Extras

Carrying bag, Wrist strap, Cleaning cloth, Tripod, Smartphone clip, Eyepiece and Lens protection covers

Dimensions

3.66" x 6.4"

Weight

10.6 oz

PROS
Fully multi-coated objective lens shows great results at dusk.
CONS
Detachable lens caps are small and can be lost.
OUR VERDICT
A great choice for both wildlife and city surveillance that showed nice results even in dim lighting.
detailed parameters
Prism System
ROOF
Optics (Objective / Eyeglass)
Fully multi-coated optical glass / BaK-4
Objective Lens Diameter
42mm
Ocular / Eye Lens Diameter
5mm
Magnification Ratio
12x
Minimal Focal Length

6.6 ft

Field of View
216 ft / 8749 yards
Body Specs
Waterproof, Fogproof
Extras
Pouch, Lens caps, Cleaning cloth, Neck strap
Dimensions
1.6" x 6.4"
Weight
11 oz

What Is a Monocular?

Without a doubt, one of the most popular portable optic device for looking into the distance is binoculars. However, such field glasses usually have a massive weight and size. The monoculars solve this problem as they share the same working principle but have only one ocular, hence the name. They are lighter, take twice less space but, unlike spy-glass, they don't have a telescopic body. Not to mention the price. At a cost of one pair of binoculars, you can buy two monoculars for different purposes!

If you also need an more powerfull optical device for a day-time observation, we recommend you to take a look at binoculars.

Did you know that night vision devices come not only in a form of goggles? Check them out in our review of the night vision devices.

What Features to Compare

Optics

We cannot stress enough that the first thing you should look for in any optical device is optics specs. Monoculars are not an exception. As a rule of thumb, the bigger the outer lens is, the more light it collects. The light refracts into the ocular lens, and compressed, magnified picture can be seen through it. There are different magnifying monoculars that have a small zoom – 2-4x, medium – 5-8x, or large – 10-22x. The higher this value is, the closer and bigger a distant object appears.

Another feature in optics is a coating. This refers to layers of anti-reflective coating on an objective lens. The glass itself reflects a lot of light, but with such coating, more light comes through, meaning you are getting more detailed, brighter view of objects. Multi-coated and fully multi-coated lenses are more preferred than single coated. Monoculars can also be assembled in accordance with different prism systems. For instance, ROOF prisms are more compact than PORRO, plus usually somewhat lighter.

The last but not least is the glass type. Usually, it's BK-7 or BaK-4. Those refer to a form of an eyeglass lens. In the case of monoculars, Bak-4 is a preferable choice as it gives a slightly better picture than BK-7 type of glass. The latter has a prism glass in the form of a square, what may create a small chromatic aberration. However, BaK-4 has just a slightly higher refractive index than BK-7, so in both cases you'll get a great result.

Body Design

Monoculars often come in a body of a tube; therefore they're easy to hold in one hand. Manufacturers come up with different surface materials and finishes for even steadier grip: wavy or knurled, dimpled or pimpled, rubber or plastic, you name it. A high-quality monocular should also have waterproof and dirtproof qualities. And in order to protect the inner side of the glass from fogging, special transparent gas is pumped and sealed inside the body. Among other features, there may be adjusting rings with or without dials for better focusing on a target.

Features

The size and weight of a monocular are also critical parameters, especially, if you are going to climb up a mountain or go camping. Monoculars are often chosen because they are smaller and lighter than binoculars. Therefore, look for lightweight, compact models. Monoculars usually come with a case or a carrying pouch for transportation, neck or wrist straps, protection lens caps, a cleaning cloth, etc. What’s more, the eye lens may have a rangefinder reticle, just like a sniper sights, or even a built-in compass that comes in handy if you like camping or fishing on a boat.

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ROXANT High Definition

World in Your Pocket

ROXANT monocular has a neat, compact body. At 1.5" x 5.5", it weighs only 7.8 oz. And what’s even more surprising is that at such dimensions it boasts a great 6x magnification and an overall great light transmittance coefficient. What’s more, the ocular lens is made of  BaK-4 glass with extra-low dispersion glass. Overall, that means you’ll see a clear picture with bright colors and distinct details. The objective has a lens with a comparatively wide angle of view to capture even more objects into the sight. Field of view here is 250 ft. at 1000 yards. Such an impressive result was achieved due to the precisely calculated ratio of magnification to the diameter of an objective lens diameter.

This universal monocular is excellent for finding your prey while hunting or simple bird watching if you prefer more peaceful activities.

Review of ROXANT High Definition Monocular With Retractable Eyepiece and Fully Multi Coated Optical Glass Lens

Maximum Efficiency

This monocular has a great grip owing to pimples on the sides and antiskid finish. You can take it with you into the field or to the mountains, as it is light, waterproof, shock-resistant, and filled with gas to prevent fogging. A special pouch and neck straps for transportation are supplied too. However, one of the greatest features might be a retractable eyecup for using it with or without eyeglasses. The focusing ring is easy to adjust with a thumb, but at first, it might take some practice. Anyhow, once you've got a focus right, you get a perfect, crisp view on the object.

ROXANT High Definition Monocular With Retractable Eyepiece and Fully Multi Coated Optical Glass Lens in the use

More Products to Consider

In order to capture a magnified image from the monocular, you can combine it with your phone camera and shoot photos or record videos of the things that you like. And you can achieve this with the help of width cell phone adapter mount for bino/monocular spotting telescope.

Detailed review of ROXANT High Definition Monocular With Retractable Eyepiece and Fully Multi Coated Optical Glass Lens

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


ROXANT High Definition
ROXANT High Definition
 

Polaris Optics High Powered Monocular

Rediscover the World

Polaris Explorer monocular will surely show you the world and all of its hidden beauty. When traveling, we often miss tiny but important details of scenery simply because of limitations of our eyes. And with this monocular, you will discover them all. We found it to be of great help for travelers and bird watchers. After taking a closer look, Polaris Optics Explorer shows bright and accurate image due to fully multi-coated glass that transmits a lot of light. This model has 12x magnification power. To put it simply, with such zoom, you will see an object from 300 ft. as if it were at 25 ft. from you.

Review of Polaris Optics High Powered Monocular Bright and Clear Range of View, Waterproof

Tested by Nature

Polaris Optics has created a sophisticated, yet easy-to-use monocular. It’s fully waterproof, while the interior is filled with gas to prevent fogging of glass from the inside. That means the lens will always stay clear and dry when the temperature changes rapidly, and can be used under the rain. At mere 14 oz. the monocular comfortably lies in a hand. Besides, it also comes with a pouch for transportation, and a tripod.

Tripod is an awesome inclusion for those of us, who likes bird watching. For example, when you find a beautiful bird sitting in the nest, just mount the monocular on a tripod, point at it and you can share the view with a friend or just gaze at the bird, without tiring your hand by holding a monocular for a long time.

Polaris Optics High Powered Monocular Bright and Clear Range of View, Waterproof in the use

More Products to Consider

You can upgrade your Polaris Explorer monocular to magnifying camera lens for your mobile phone. All you need is this Gosky universal cell phone adapter mount that's compatible with almost any smartphone. After assembling them into one unit, you will be able not only to take photos but also record videos to share them with your friends later.

Detailed review of Polaris Optics High Powered Monocular Bright and Clear Range of View, Waterproof

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


Polaris Optics High Powered Monocular
Polaris Optics High Powered Monocular
 

MiluoTech 16x52 Dual Focus

Don't Miss a Thing

If you are looking for a budget-friendly monocular that would still have great magnification power and a user-friendly and durable design, this MiluoTech model is just what you need. If features multicoated optics for bright and clear viewing, has a 52mm objective diameter, and offers a 16x magnification allowing you to see things far in the distance. To be exact, the unit has 98m/8000m field of view. The device features front and back adjustable zoom and has ergonomic markings on the housing for easy adjustments. Rubber armored, it is designed for outdoor use and will come in handy on camping and fishing trips and at concerts and sporting events when you can hardly see what's going on because you are too far from the stage/field. With this MiluoTech monocular scope, you won't miss a thing.
Review of MiluoTech 16x52 Dual Focus Monocular

At Hand and Ready for Use

So, you are getting ready for an outing. You have prepared everything you might need on your trip. But wait, maybe something is missing? If you love nature's beauty and want to see every detail, no matter how far it may be, you will need a monocular, just like this Miluo Tech model. With a user's convenience in mind, the item is pretty lightweight and portable and features single hand operation. This wonderful device comes with a detachable wrist strap, a handy carrying bag with a belt clip, and a cloth for cleaning lenses. These extras will help keep the monocular at hand and ready for use any moment you need.

MiluoTech 16x52 Dual Focus Monocular in the use

For Your Comfortable Rest

Resting in nature's lap makes you feel peaceful and happy. However, to be sure you will enjoy your outing you need to be well-equipped and prepared for any weather. If you are staying overnight, opt for these wonderful camping tents and sleeping bags. They will protect you from rain, wind, and cold. For comfortable outdoor dining, we recommend you to get a compact folding camping table and camping chairs.

Detailed review of MiluoTech 16x52 Dual Focus Monocular

MiluoTech 16x52 Dual Focus
MiluoTech 16x52 Dual Focus
 

MeeQee MON-JL-1

Excellent Performance Under Any Conditions

The MeeQee MON-JL-1 has high-quality optics for clear and bright image and an ergonomic well-thought-out design for a user's comfort. Equipped with a wide-angle eyepiece (21mm), large BAK-4 prism, and multi-coated green film, it will help you enjoy viewing nature in all its color and beauty. To prevent any possible damage caused by the environment or weather, the unit features a dustproof, shockproof and waterproof design (the lens is protected with high light transmittance glass to ensure that no water or dust gets in). The unit has an ergonomic wheel allowing you to adjust focus with ease. Besides, it boasts adjustable eyecups that can be twisted up and down in a breeze, so that you can use the monocular wearing or not wearing glasses. All these features make the item an absolutely excellent choice for watching wildlife and scenery, as well as for hiking, hunting, fishing, and other outdoor activities.

Review of MeeQee MON-JL-1 High Power Monocular

Watch and Capture

Not only will you be able to watch nature's beauty, but you will also be able to capture it with your phone camera to share with your family and friends. The unit comes with a stable tripod and a handy clip to hold your phone next to the monocular for shooting pictures and videos. Additionally, the tripod enables prolonged viewing without getting tired. Just make sure the unit's eyepiece center is on the same line with your phone's camera center before you start recording fantastic videos and taking awesome images. In the box, you will also find a carrying bag, a wrist strap, protective covers for eyepiece and a lens, a cleaning cloth, and a user manual.

MeeQee MON-JL-1 High Power Monocular in the use

Get Ready for Your Trip

Going on a camping, fishing, or hunting trip, take along a swiss army knife. This wonderful all-in-one tool usually includes a knife blade, a corkscrew, a can opener, a screwdriver, and a saw, and can cope with almost any task.

Do not let the cold weather stop you from enjoying outdoor activities! Small and portable hand warmers will give you feel of comfort and warmth wherever you go.

To bring you a stronger sense of security on any journey, opt for a personal locator.

Detailed review of MeeQee MON-JL-1 High Power Monocular

MeeQee MON-JL-1
MeeQee MON-JL-1
 

Aurosports 30X50

What’s in the Name?

First of all, we’d like to state that the name of this Aurosports monocular is somewhat misleading. Numbers like 30x50 are usually referred to a magnification ratio next to the objective lens diameter. However, the real magnification here is more like 10-12x. As a matter of fact, the lens diameter's 42mm. The field of view also appears wider than it's stated by the manufacturer, but this one is actually a good thing. Not to mention the 'binoculars' as the last word in its name. Of course, it’s a monocular! Nevertheless, it's proved to be a decent aid for anyone who likes hunting or watching the wildlife. Let's take a closer look at it.

Review of Aurosports 30X50 Compact Pocket-Sized High-Powered Monocular Telescope Binoculars

With Attention to Details

This Aurosports monocular was assembled with a high-value BaK-4 eyeglass and a fully multi-coated objective lens that provide a bright picture from dawn to dusk. As we’ve said, the field of view appears to be pretty wide, and you get to see more objects through it, making searching and aiming a simple task. The interior is filled with gas to prevent fogging when the temperature suddenly changes. The body is also sealed, making it water- and dustproof. The ribbed rubber sides allow you to get a tight grip, while the lens caps prevent them from getting scratched during transportation. A single focusing ring can be easily adjusted with a thumb of a holding hand. You can also attach a strap to wear it around your neck. All of this combined with an attractive price makes it a great choice as a monocular for open field activities.

Aurosports 30X50 Compact Pocket-Sized High-Powered Monocular Telescope Binoculars in the use

More Products to Consider

In the woods or swamps, waiting in an ambush for a bird or an animal to appear can be a tiresome task, as you usually get swarmed by insects. Bug repellent is an obvious noway, as the animal’s sense of smell is much better than ours, so they will run away from you even before you see them. That’s why you will appreciate this Coghlan's Bug jacket. It gives you a full body protection from insects and spiders while you can still use a monocular.

Detailed review of Aurosports 30X50 Compact Pocket-Sized High-Powered Monocular Telescope Binoculars

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


Aurosports 30X50
Aurosports 30X50
 

Sources:

1. OpticsPlanet Guest Expert Everything You Need To Know About Monoculars, Opticsplanet, July 17, 2015.

2. A. Rohlandt How do I Choose the Best Monocular Scope?, Wisegeek, June 20, 2016.

3. Eric Lind A Guide to Birding with Binoculars, National Audubon Society, June 15, 2015.

4. Tamia Nelson Focusing on Monoculars, Verloren Hoop Productions, October 9, 2012

5. Monocular Buying Guide, eBay, January 27, 2016.

6. Monoculars Zeiss.

7. How to Choose Binoculars, Ems.

8. Monocular, Wikipedia, June 22, 2016.

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