Monoculars are incredibly useful for a vast array of activities, including hiking, wildlife viewing, and a wide variety of sports. Unlike binoculars, you can store them in your pocket, purse, or in a camping backpack without taking up very much room at all. Nobody wants to always carry around a big pair of binoculars all the time, but a small monocular lets you be prepared 24/7 anytime you need to see a long distance away.
That being said, there are hundreds to thousands of monoculars on the market. To narrow it down and make your decision a whole lot easier, we went ahead and did countless hours of research on the topic. The results led us to find you the best monocular that money can buy If you’re looking for a new one, read our list below!
Whether you’re searching for a compact monocular for ‘on-the-go’ usage or a heavy-duty, long-stance monocular for the trails, we’ve got you covered.
View The Best Monocular Below
1. Vivreal Monocular Telescope
There’s not a better option to start the list off with than the Vivreal Monocular Telescope. It combines a handful of sought after features like waterproof lenses and a budget-friendly price to make one the best monoculars we came across. It’s easily adjustable and you’ll have no problem leveling it perfectly thanks to the tripod mount.
One of the greatest features offered by the Vivreal Monocular Telescope is that it’s compatible with smartphones. You can hook it right up in a matter of seconds and expand your camera’s capabilities beyond anything you’ve ever seen before! Stretch your distance for miles with the 12 x 50 zoom.
A huge challenge facing compact monoculars is generally the durability. While the competition seems to crack and fog up, this monocular is resistant to natural wear and tear. Don’t let its pocket-sized dimensions fool you, it’s easily one of the toughest options around.
+ Compatible with smartphones
+ Budget-friendly price range
+ Ultra-durable for drops, bumps, and scratches
Why We Like It – We like this monocular because it’s compatible with smartphones, doubling its use for you and your family to take pictures and capture the views forever!
2. Vortex Optics Solo Monoculars
Next up on the list are the Vortex Optics Solo Monoculars. These monoculars are nice because you can choose from four different sizes to best match your expectations. The available choices include 10 x 25, 10 x 36, 8 x 25, and 8 x 36. With quick-adjusting magnification, you can forget about the annoying blurry images that we’ve all experienced.
We really enjoyed the fact that this monocular is double-sealed to make it waterproof for the harshest environments. Rainy days shouldn’t ruin your monocular, which it definitely won’t with this one. The lenses also have several coats that help reduce fog, glare, blurriness, and so on.
This small monocular can be stored wherever you want to put it, including your pocket. Reducing the size lets you focus on packing more backpacking gear instead of limiting your pack. It also has a utility clip if you want to put it on your belt, shirt, or the outside of a pocket.
+ Choose from four different sizes
+ Small enough to store almost anywhere
+ Comes with a utility clip for easier carrying
Why We Like It – We like this anti-fog monocular because you can bring it with you anywhere you go. You never know when a moment will present itself, and this one lets you stay prepared at all times.
3. Occer 10X42 High Power Monocular Telescope
The Occer 10X42 High Power Monocular Telescope is one of the most durable options in the industry. It’s definitely a bit bulkier than some of the other entries on our list, but it’s more than worth the results you’ll get. The gripped material and texture at the bottom are a nice addition to keep you from dropping it as well.
Adjustable features are found all over the Occer Monocular, such as the eyecup that moves in and out to fit anybody who wants to give it a try. You can also play around with the zoom wheel to catch a glimpse of scenery far in the distance or up close. It’s also compatible with a smartphone for pictures.
The extra-large eyepiece is a relief compared to some of the other small eyelets that barely allow any vision at all. When you’re all done with it, you can cap it off with the provided lid to keep it safe from scratches.
+ Bulky and super durable
+ Comes with numerous adjustable features
+ Compatible with smartphones
Why We Like It – We like this monocular by Occer because it’s designed for intense situations when you might drop it or scratch the lens. Instead of having to buy a new one, this monocular is built to last.
4. Wingspan Optics Explorer Monocular
We’ve all tried out a monocular or pair of binoculars that didn’t satisfy its own purpose. Whether it was too blurry, foggy, or the distance wasn’t far enough, it’s never fun to deal with it. However, the Wingspan Optics Explorer Monocular is anti-fog and it helps you see up to a massive 1,000 yards away with a crystal-clear definition.
The armored exterior paired with the built-in grip provides a nearly unparalleled level of durability, keeping your new investment safe from harm. When you’re on the trail, dirt, water, and scratches are all part of the journey. That being said, it doesn’t have to damage your monocular too!
If you do decide to go through with this monocular, your purchase will include a soft cleaning cloth as well as a protective case to use when you’re bringing it from place to place. The entire monocular itself can be adjusted and used with a single hand as well.
+ Lets you view up to 1,000 yards away
+ Comes with a carrying case and a cleaning cloth
+ Durable armored layer and handgrip
Why We Like It – We like this monocular because you can work it entirely with one hand, instead of having to adjust the measurements and set down the rest of your gear.
5. Ceenda Monocular Telescope
The Ceenda Monocular Telescope takes modern advancements in the industry to the next level. Much like a couple of the previous monoculars on our list, this one works well with a smartphone. However, it takes the combination a step further by allowing you to take pictures thanks to the provided remote.
The monocular comes with a mount to attach right onto any smartphone that you could think of, and it gives you ultimate control right out the gates. Adjust the zoom with one hand and take the picture with the other, or feel free to record a video of the scenery shown via the lens.
This 12 x 50 lens is wonderful for viewing objects far away without a phone as well. It’s textured to fit perfectly into your hand, preventing you from accidentally dropping it. If you do happen to drop it, you can rest assured that the tough exterior won’t break a bit.
+ Comes with a smartphone attachment mount
+ Includes a remote to take pictures
+ Uses a tough, textured exterior shell
Why We Like It – We like this rough monocular because it embraces the age of smartphones and lets you use every last feature available. The handy remote is a huge bonus as well.
6. Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Monocular
For those who want a product that’s designed for the clearest of views, the Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Monocular should be near the top of your list. It uses high definition lenses to produce some of the most pristine, focused monoculars around. They’re even multi-coated to prevent fog and scratches.
The beautiful clarity of this Bushnell Monocular is only the first feature you’ll notice of many. They also included plenty of conveniences like a carrying clip to hook up on your belt, running rain jacket, or pants, as well as an adjustable zoom that fits right where your thumb goes for easy accessibility.
A big problem with most of the monoculars that you’ll find on the internet is that they tend to fog up after a bit of use. However, that’s not an issue with this product. It’s also waterproof, which makes it even better for hikes and walks in the rain. Many people will find the rail mount on the underside rather useful.
+ Includes an underside mount rail
+ Waterproof and fog-proof
+ Special coated lenses for HD vision
Why We Like It – We like the Bushnell monocular because it provides some of the best image quality out of the competition. The rail mount is a massive plus for people who hunt or have backpacking tripods with corresponding mount systems.
7. Aucee Monocular Telescope
Many of the previous monoculars on the list are for specific sets of activities. The Aucee Monocular Telescope fits in almost any scenario thanks to the numerous adaptations and adjustments that you can make with it. There’s even a special mount for a tripod if you want to set it aimed at a specific point.
You might also enjoy the smartphone mount that lets you hook it directly up to your camera. This feature lets you view through your screen for thousands of yards to take unmatched photographs. No phone on the market lets you zoom in that far, but you can do just that with the Aucee Monocular Telescope.
The great part about it is also that it comes with several coatings to protect against fog, moisture, and other unwanted debris. The exterior ‘armored’ layer is shockproof, preventing damage that might otherwise crack or harm the shell and lenses.
+ Includes smartphone capabilities
+ Comes with a side mount to line up with the phone’s camera
+ Uses a shockproof exterior shell
Why We Like It – We like this monocular by Aucee because it has a fantastic field of vision and it works well with smartphones. The exterior shell is a great addition to keep your investment safe.
8. Gosky 12×55 High Definition Monocular
Another fantastic monocular with all sorts of uses is the Gosky 12 x 55 High Definition Monocular. It’s much bulkier than the vast majority of entries on our list, but it’s perfect for long walks and trail hiking. The bulkiness is a result of the multiple layers of padding and armor for durability.
Easily one of our favorite features is all of the extra items that you get if you choose this monocular. Included with it is a hand strap to hold it like a camcorder, a nylon carrying bag, a cleaning cloth, some adapters, and covers for both sides’ lenses. The adapter lets you hook it up to most tripods.
This monocular is sealed with an O-ring to prevent water and dust from getting in which might otherwise permanently ruin the product. It also uses rubbered armor to prevent wear and tear as well as shock damage from dropping or bumping it against your surroundings.
+ Comes with a plethora of extra items
+ Sealed with an O-ring to water and dust-proof it
+ Padded with rubber to prevent dropping damage
Why We Like It – We like this monocular because it has all of the gadgets and adapters that you need to see everything around you from a far distance. There are also many protective measures that helped it earn its place on our list
9. Aurosports 10-30×40 Zoom Monocular
The Aurosports 10-30 x 40 Zoom Monocular is a low-profile alternative that’s small enough to fit in your pocket with a zoom that’ll blow your mind! The wide range of vision both vertically and horizontally is unlike any other monocular of its size. Simply twist it to adjust the clarity and distance, and you’ll be good to go.
You’ll also enjoy the extra-large eyepiece that makes it super easy to view rather than squinting to catch a glimpse. The optional tripod and rope area conceal away when it’s not in use, but it quickly opens up for you to use it as soon as you need to. Combined with an anti-glare green mirror coating, you can see everything around you with incredible precision.
It might seem a little bit complicated with all of the twistable rings to focus, zoom, and adjust the monocular, but the provided instructions clear it all up pretty quick. You don’t even have to worry about dropping it or splashing water on the exterior thanks to the rubberized coating throughout the unit.
+ Low-profile appearance and smaller dimensions
+ Comes with several adjustable features
+ Includes an area to attach a tripod
Why We Like It – We like this monocular because it has most of the best features found throughout the list in a product almost half the size. If you’re looking for a low-profile monocular to store away in a pocket or purse, this is probably the one for you!
10. Odyseaco Compact Monocular
Last but certainly not least on our list to find the best monocular is a rather budget-friendly entry. The Odyseaco Compact Monocular is very similar to the model at number 9 in the sense that it’s low-profile and easy to store. However, it also comes with a carrying case to protect it when you’re walking through town or down the trail.
Weighing in at just 0.35 pounds, it’s incredibly lightweight. Ultra-lightweight backpackers will love it for that reason, as well as the fact that it takes up very little room in the pack space. It’s only 2” x 7”, so you can throw it in the carrying case and hook it up to your belt or toss it in a safe spot in the hiking daypack.
Another similar feature between this monocular and the previous one is that they both twist in a few areas to make adjustments. It’s quite easily done, but they include detailed instructions on how to operate and maintain it just in case. Each ring is textured to let you grip it without the fear of possibly dropping it on the ground.
+ Ultra-lightweight and compact for backpacking
+ Budget-friendly price range in comparison
+ Includes a heavy-duty carrying pouch
Why We Like It – We like this monocular because it’s tough enough to last on its own, but it has rugged rings and a carrying case to keep it even safer. The lightweight nature of it is also a massive bonus for hikers and backpackers alike.
Monocular Buyers Guide
With all of the monocular telescopes on the market, you might have a challenge finding out which one is right for you. That being said, we’ve done our best to help you find the one that’ll stay with you for many years to come. If you’re on the fence between a few of the choices we’ve lined up for you today, check out our buyer’s guide and breakdown here!
How can you keep a monocular in perfect condition?
Monocular telescopes weren’t always as highly-durable as they are these days, but anything can be broken. It’s important to do everything you can, like storing it properly and wiping down the lenses after each use, to keep it from wear and tear damage over time.
What makes a monocular better than binoculars?
Monoculars have a few advantages over binoculars, including the fact that they’re much easier to store. They’re also generally more lightweight and they don’t take as much damage when they drop because of it. It’s still a matter of preference, but for convenience purposes, monoculars win the debate.
To reduce the glare and possibility of having to squint when using a monocular, wear a baseball hat to block out the sun. This will give you a much clearer view in a matter of seconds!
Did You Know?
Monocular telescopes were actually invented before telescopes as a way for people to see land from miles away while on a boat. Binoculars came around many years later.
The powerful HD quality and magnification that we have today vastly outperform what people used back then, and ours are less than half the size! They also didn’t have anti-glare technology, which made viewing objects much more challenging.