The 4 Best Monoculars for Hunting — Compact Optics Review

best monocular for hunting, best night vision monocular

Photo by John Samuel / CC BY

A monocular is a very simple optic that is often very easy, very compact, and very affordable. Hunters can utilize a monocular as a lightweight option that allows the hunter to scout effectively at ranges beyond normal eyesight. The advantage over a traditional rifle scope is you won’t have your weapon in a potentially unsafe area.

When shopping for a monocular, a hunter should focus on a few different factors. First off is durability since hunting can lead you into a number of harsh conditions. You’ll be exposed to everything from water, to bumps, falls and bruises. The next factor is the optic sufficient in power. If you are hunting in the plains of Texas, you’ll need something more powerful than something designed to be used in the Southeast. The monocular also needs to present a clear and bright picture so the hunter can guarantee the animal he is looking at is legal for the hunt.

Here are, in our opinion, the 4 best monoculars for hunting on the market:

Wingspan Outdoorsman Monocular

The Wingspan Outdoorsman is a 8 x 42 monocular that is designed for nearly any environment. The Wingspan Outdoorsman is completely waterproof and capable of surviving rain and extended periods in high humidity environments. The Wingspan Outdoorsman is designed for heavy field use and is not only resistant to water but is fog and dust proof as well. The Outdoorsman is coated with a rubberized material designed to protect the optic for short falls, and drops.

The 42mm objective lens is extremely powerful and captures a significant amount of light. The wide objective lens gives the user a 388 foot field of view. The fully multi-coated lens are crystal clear and provide a top notch high definition picture. The 8 power magnification is very powerful and capable for nearly anything in the United States.

The Wingspan Outdoorsman even comes with a complete carrying case along with some other goodies like a shoulder strap and ebooks (see full specs). This monocular is lightweight, tough as heck, and conveniently easy to carry, making it one of the best monoculars for hunting.

The Barska Battlaion 8×42 Monocular

The Battalion series binoculars are plenty popular and sadly enough not enough people know that the Battalion series was split into a monocular line. They basically cleaved the Battalion Binoculars in half and this is what we ended up with. The Barska Battalion monocular comes in a few different magnification levels, and the 8 x 42 is an excellent moderate amount of magnification for handheld use. The Battalion Monocular comes with all the fixings to make it an outstanding monocular.

This includes a 22mm eye relief compensation that allows for easy use while wearing glasses. The Barska Battalion monocular also comes with a tri-pod nut that allows you to mount this monocular to a stable platform. The Barska Battalion is also remarkably clear. The fully multi-coated optics aid in low light use, and provides a crystal clear picture that gives you an outstanding sight picture. It’s perfect for hunting, for scouting, or simply watching nature.

The Barska Battalion is an awesome monocular for birders, and is plenty durable for other tasks. It’s an affordable option as well. The Barska Battalion is an outstanding choice for hikers and campers. It’s very light and compact, making it easy to carry in nothing more than your pocket.

Vortex Optics Solo Recon Monocular

The Vortex Optics Solo Recon Tactical monocular is a small, clear, and powerful monocular. The Vortex brand is well known for their quality, as well as their affordability. The Vortex Optics Solo Recon is an excellent little monocular and is on the higher end of the monocular side. The Vortex Solo Recon is designed for a variety of purposes, and this includes hunting, military use, and even just casual nature observation. The Solo features a fixed 8x magnification with a 36mm objective lens. The overall package is pocket-friendly but powerful.

The Solo Recon rocks a set of fully multi-coated lenses with anti-reflective coatings. This gives you a beautiful and crystal clear picture. It allows you to see the lush and living world around you. The Vortex Solo Recon optic is a great all-around optic and is very easy to use. Vortex has included flared eyecups that makes it easy to use with glasses and keeps extra light out. The Solo Recon is also nitrogen purged for fogproof performance as well as completely waterproof.

The Solo Recon is textured rubber that provides a nice solid grip and is textured to make gripping it easy. The Vortex Recon is just easy to use, easy to adjust, and functions as a premium grade optic.

Vortex Solo R-T Monocular

Night Owl Optics Monocular

The Night Owl optics NOXM50 is a little different from the other optics we’ve mentioned. This optic is actually a night vision monocular. This utilizes early generation night vision technology to provide a close range night vision picture for the user. The Night Owl optics night vision monocular is a five power optic, which is impressive for a night vision monocular.

Hunters using night vision has increased greatly with the rising population of wild hogs and the loosening of regulations on hunting invasive species. Night vision allows the hunter to own the night, so to speak, when hunting. This monocular can maximize light amplification 500x. The wide 50 mm gives the user a field of view of 200 feet.

The NOXM50 has an attached infrared device to aid in providing an increased amount of perceived light. The NOXM50 is an electronic optic, and does require a battery, but is rugged and tough enough that the electronics are plenty protected. The Nite Owl optic increases a hunter’s capability, and gives him true mastery over his environment. This is among the best night vision monoculars.

Night Owl Night Vision (2)

Monoculars: A View

A monocular is an excellent piece of gear that can be used for a variety of tasks. Monoculars are designed to be powerful and affordable. Easier to construct than both binoculars and traditional rifle scopes, a monocular is perfect for hunters—and we hope you’ve found the best monocular for hunting here. Good luck!

  • Owner of, Boyd Smith is a major handgun enthusiast, and although he owns Glocks, he prefers the revolving wheel type. His go-to guns are a Smith & Wesson 642 Performance Center for carry and a Ruger GP100 in the nightstand biometric safe (he has kids). He loads both revolvers with old-school 148-grain Federal Gold Medal .38 wadcutters. It’s OK if you think he’s a wimp. Email him.

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