Survival Primer No Image

Best & Worst Tactical Monoculars

The best gear in your inbox

All the tips you'll need to get started in Urban Survival:

We'll only use your email address for our newsletter and respect your privacy

When you are out on a trip in the outdoors, your bag or travel pack is incomplete if you do not have a good monocular. A monocular is better than a binocular because it is just so goddamn easy to carry! It hardly takes up any space, is usually extremely lightweight and you can also handle it using only one hand! With a good monocular, any trip in nature, even if it means coming out to the porch of your rented cabin in the woods, can become enriched.

If you are looking for the perfect tactical monocular for your next adventure, you do not need to look any further, my good man/woman ! In the following sections, I will take you through some of the best tactical monoculars I have found in the market. I have labeled all these monoculars in different categories so you can find one that is closest to your requirements. There is also one unlucky selection that has made it to the category of ‘stay away from this product!’. I hope you find this list helpful and on that note, let’s get started!

Best Overall

Wingspan Optics Explorer High Powered 12×50 Monocular

The Wingspan Optics Explorer High Powered Monocular is a great accessory to carry with you when you are out on a hunting trip, bird watching, a camping trip and more. The 50 mm lens allows you to get a closer, clearer and brighter view of things around you and makes any trip outdoors more worthwhile. So the next time you hear a mockingbird calling in the distance, you only need to whip your monocular out to also be able to see the bird with the sweet sound.

What’s Included

  • 50 mm lens
  • Non-slip grip
  • External protection
  • 12×50 magnification
  • Single-hand focus

What I Think

This is a great accessory to have with you when you are out on a boy’s trip in the woods or simply on a day hiking trip. It allows you to see all the stunning sights far away and gives you a more enriching experience in nature.

Common Questions
  • Is this a night vision monocular?

The 50 mm lens lets in a fair amount of light so this can be used at night as well, but this is not a night vision monocular.

  • Can you attach a phone adapter to this?

No, there are no provisions to attach a phone adapter to this monocular.

  • Is this monocular battery operated?

No, the monocular does not require any batteries.

What I Like
  • It has a great single-hand focus and allows you to see very far into the distance.
  • It is waterproof and fog proof and prevents moisture from entering the monocular.
  • You can view easily up to 1,000 yards.
  • It has an easy to use and durable non-slip grip.
What I Don’t Like
  • The focus wheel is too heavy for some people.
  • The edge of the optical field is blurry, some customers have reported.

I hear all the less positive feedback, but I would still recommend this as the best tactical monocular out there overall. It allows you to see things at a great distance, provides a sharp and clear picture and can be handled easily with one hand. Additionally, it is waterproof and fog proof. A clear winner!

Buy it Now

Best Buy

Vortex Optics Solo Monoculars

I would consider the Vortex Optics Solo Monoculars as the best buy because it offers incredible features and is also not too heavy on the pocket. It is a lightweight monocular with multi-coated lenses that offer a sharp, clear view. It has a rubber armor that protects it externally so you do not need to use the monocular with extra careful gloves — this baby takes care of itself!

What’s Included

  • 36 mm objective lens
  • Rubber armor
  • Adjustable eyecup
  • Multi-position utility clip

What I Think

This is a versatile and durable monocular that will serve you well on a hike in nature and other such outdoor activities. It is lightweight and will fit neatly into a small bag without taking too much space.

Common Questions
  • Does it work with phone adapters?

Yes, it is compatible with phone adapters, provided you find the right one. The monocular is very sensitive to movement.

  • Can someone with progressive lenses use this?

Any monocular will be tricky to use for somebody with progressive lenses but you only need to adjust for a bit before you get used to it.

  • How far can you see with this?

You can easily see a large object at a distance of 1,000 yards.

What I Like
  • I like how lightweight these monoculars are.
  • The monoculars are nitrogen-purged and O-ring sealed, making them water and fog proof.
  • The eyecup is adjustable so you can view quite comfortably, regardless of whether you are wearing glasses or not.
  • The utility clip allows you to attach the monocular to your clothing or any other equipment.
What I Don’t Like
  • The focus wheel tends to tighten easily.
  • It is difficult to handle the monoculars with one hand.

Despite some of its shortcomings, like a stiff focus ring, this is a monocular that provides great features and is easy and smooth to use. You can simply place it in your travel bag, it is so lightweight and its external armor protects it well. I would certainly peg this to be the best buy.

Buy it Now

Best Features

Gosky 12×55 High Definition Monocular Telescope and Quick Smartphone Holder

The Gosky High-Definition Monocular Telescope and Quick Smartphone Holder is a product with features that satiate you completely. Not only can you enjoy great views you can also photograph those great views for posterity. This is a great monocular to take outdoors, whether you are going birdwatching, hiking, camping, etc. What’s more, you can also bring back those stunning photos that will make everyone on your social media list envious of the adventure you just had.

What’s Included

  • 50 mm objective wide lens
  • Smartphone mount
  • Twist-up eyecup
  • Rubber armor

What I Think

This monocular truly offers some amazing features which you would otherwise be hard pressed to find at this price point. The smartphone mount comes in the set and does not escalate the price by too much. I have to concur, this is a fairly great bargain.

Common Questions
  • Can the monocular be attached to a tripod?

Yes, this monocular can be attached to most standard tripods, including tabletop tripods and monopods (1/4-inch screws).

  • Is the monocular fog proof?

Yes, the monocular is nitrogen purged and 100% sealed.

  • Is the phone mount adjustable?

Yes, you should be able to attach most phones to the mount. It should adjust to different sizes and shapes.

What I Like
  • I like that the monocular can also double as a camera since you can attach your phone.
  • The monoculars are waterproof and fog proof.
  • It has a long eye-relief system and a twist-up eyecup which makes it extremely easy to view.
  • It comes with a lifetime warranty.
What I Don’t Like
  • The product might be difficult to use for someone wearing glasses.
  • Some of the heavier phones are difficult to mount.

This monocular certainly provides some great features, the most promising one being the ability to mount a phone camera and document what you see for posterity. This is water, dust, fog and shockproof monocular that can be used in all kinds of weather.

Buy it Now

Fan Favorite

Wingspan Optics Prospotter 10×42 Compact Monocular Scope

The Wingspan Optics Prospotter Compact Monocular Scope is the fan favorite, and I can see why. This is a huge hit with nature enthusiasts and comes with a lifetime warranty. The eyecups are adjustable so you can use the monocular even without glasses — this monocular is made for everyone, even if they have eye power!

What’s Included

  • Adjustable eyecups
  • Easy-fit tripod capability
  • Expert birding pro training ebooks (4)
  • Lifetime guarantee

What I Think

It makes sense that this monocular has been chosen by customers over and over again. It is easy to use, provides a great image and does not discriminate against those who have eye power and need to wear glasses, thanks to the adjustable eyecup.

Common Questions
  • Are these night vision monoculars?

No, these are not true night vision monoculars but they do provide great images even at night.

  • Does it come with a rangefinder?

No, the monocular does not have a rangefinder.

  • Is the monocular steady?

It can be slightly harder to steady the monocular when it is magnified at optimum.

What I Like
  • I like how adjustable the eyecup is.
  • It comes with a lifetime guarantee and is drop-proof, slip-proof, waterproof, etc.
  • It has a larger turning wheel compared to its predecessors.
  • It can be used by amateurs and professionals alike — the learning curve is smooth.
What I Don’t Like
  • The monocular is not as lightweight as expected.
  • The image is shaky at full magnification.

The people have spoken and this monocular has some great and promising reviews. It certainly has a lot to offer and seems to provide customers with their basic needs. Despite some of its drawbacks and negative reviews, I would still consider this monocular.

Buy it Now

Stay away from this Product!

Bushnell Equinox Z Digital Night Vision Monocular

The Bushnell Equinox Z Digital Night Vision Monocular has a fancy-sounding name, folks, but it ends there! This monocular is simply too expensive for the kind of performance it delivers. It often creates problems for viewing something in the distance and the light seems to reflect from closer objects, making the image washed out. Besides, the monocular is not even easy to use. There are so many buttons and triggers that you would be hard-pressed to find them in the dark when you actually need to use the monocular.

Several customers have reported that they could only use it for shorter periods because the device ate up so much battery power. The monocular sure promises a lot but leaves much to be desired for. It focuses poorly, the images are often blurry and the red infrared light is not discreet — which you need it to be if you are using it to watch deer and other animals at night. I would strongly recommend that you stay away from this one.

Apart from this shoddy and overpriced monocular, all the other items that have been reviewed in the list above are some of the best I saw in the market. They will all be ideal companions for hiking, hunting or camping trips, though some, of course, may be better than the others. Even the ones that have not made it to the ‘best overall’ or ‘best buy’ category have something unique and exciting to offer. I enjoyed putting this list together immensely because I too have found something I want to purchase for my next trip with the boys, hope you find something of use too, let me know!