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One piece of viewing gear which boasts excellent versatility is the monocular. While you’re probably familiar with binoculars and telescopes, monoculars deserve some more attention too. An important advantage of this device is the compact footprint. You can carry a monocular more easily compared to other viewing devices. Another reason to consider monoculars is the superior value for the money compared to binoculars. You’ll usually be able to benefit from a larger objective lens without sacrificing portability.

With the help of monoculars, you should be able to view anything whether you’re hunting or involved in tactical sports. If you’re considering this kind of device, it’s important to be aware of the essential features of monoculars. A high-quality model needs to be well built and have a suitable field of view for your intended usage. It goes without saying, but it should also fit your budget requirements.

We’ve created a roundup of the best monoculars for the cost. The research part has been taken care of by us as we’ve analyzed each product to see if it’s worth the investment. The most important factors that we’ve considered were the design choices, included accessories, and overall features. Budget-conscious users will also be glad to find some models that can match their needs. Take a look at the best monoculars currently on the market. You might also be interested in our articles about the best binocular and the best sniper scopes.

1. Wingspan Optics Explorer PE-12501

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Wingspan Optics is one of the leading forces in the world of monoculars. Their Explorer PE-12501 model has great potential for offering a clear view at an affordable cost. It delivers 12X magnification to see even distant objects in full detail. The lens measures 50mm in diameter to ensure a comfortable range of view. Some powerful durability features are also present.

The external construction can be easily described as the tool having a reinforced armor. You’re not only able to get a better grip, but the monocular is also more reliably protected against accidents. Moisture and debris shouldn’t make their way inside the monocular, and the sealed construction also prevents internal fogging. One advantage of using this monocular is the one-hand focusing ability allowing the user to see a particular target more clearly.

With the help of this monocular, you should be able to see well up to 1000 yards away. This aspect combined with the rugged construction means you can rely on this tool for any outdoor expeditions. Considering the magnification performance, great field of view, and durable external armor, the Wingspan Optics Explorer PE-12501 is a powerful choice for a high-quality monocular.

2. Roxant 6X30 Monocular

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Reasonably-priced and very performant, the Roxant 6X30 monocular has a lot to offer including a wide view, no-slip comfort, and high-definition images. The secret behind the performance of this compact monocular lies in its quality multi-coating for the glass lens. Enjoy a 6X magnification that can be put to good use in a varied range of applications such as concerts, hunting, bird watching, and many more.

The lens of this model makes use of BaK4 Prism technology for a more effective light transmission which results in crisper images. With the help of 6 x 30 viewing, you will be able to watch objects with precision and at a decent resolution. One special feature of this monocular is the retractable eyecup which might be useful for people wearing glasses.

In terms of accessories, this monocular doesn’t disappoint. It arrives complete with a carry pouch and cleaning cloth. There’s also a neck strap supplied. Taking into account the quality of the optics and the user-friendliness, the Roxant 6X30 deserves an entry on this list of the best monoculars. It’s practical and handy in various settings with a very reasonable cost.

3. Vortex Optics Solo S105

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For those who prefer a smaller lens with powerful magnification, check out the Vortex Optics Solo S105. This monocular is one of the most lightweight models you can buy which promises a crisp view in various situations. As it comes equipped with a reliable rubber armor, the device is easy to operate by anyone. The durability is also enhanced by the nitrogen purging and O-ring sealing.

This compact monocular offers 10X magnification that works particularly well when you consider the 25mm lens diameter. When it comes to the field of view, this model promises some good results of 315 feet/1000 yards. The focus wheel can be used for making some adjustments during the observation process. At close distance, this device can focus at 16.4 feet. To keep your hand more securely on the monocular, the exterior design comes with a diamond-checkered grip.

For those who wear glasses, there’s no need to worry about comfort as this tool offers an adjustable eyecup to find an optimal fit. When it comes to accessories, this monocular arrives with its own dedicated case and a convenient lanyard. All in all, whether you’re a hunter or backpacker, the Vortex Optics Solo S105 seems like an excellent item to include in your gear pack.

4. Roxant Pro 7X18 Monocular

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Fans of mini monoculars will definitely appreciate the Roxant Pro 7X18. At a highly competitive price, this pocket scope offers the same level of crystal-clear quality we’ve come to expect from Roxant. The compact design has been reinforced with a molded grip to keep the tool steady during operation. While the 7X magnification doesn’t seem as impressive, it’s actually more practical compared to 10X or 12X models.

Large magnification comes at a cost, namely increased shake and jitter. The 7X magnification of this monocular is actually optimal for most purposes as it allows anyone to use it effectively. This device could be a solid choice for senior citizens or those with some visual impairments. Thanks to this model’s large refractive index you can enjoy less shake as you will be able to hold the tool with confidence.

It’s safe to say that you shouldn’t expect miracles when it comes to the overall viewing performance. The image is decent for a mini monocular and the tool is priced correctly for what it can do. There are definitely more capable models out there, but they’re usually bulkier and way more expensive. If the Roxant Pro 7X18 seems to fit your needs, you will definitely appreciate its usefulness.

5. Wingspan Optics ProSpotter 10X42 Monocular

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Another capable model from Wingspan Optics is the ProSpotter 10X42 monocular. This device is mostly intended for observing birds or other animals in their natural environment. It manages to pack lots of advanced optics in a compact design. Birdwatching enthusiasts will probably appreciate the multiple protective features to ensure the monocular can take some abuse, even from water and fog.

It’s not hard to see why this makes a great option for nature observation. Beginners and experts alike prefer a user-friendly monocular which can be focused quickly on a target. This tool comes equipped with a large wheel for this purpose which can be controlled by one hand. Thanks to the addition of a convenient strap slot you will be able to get your hands on the monocular in record time.

You will be able to acquire targets in an effortless manner from more than 1000 yards out with the help of this monocular. Despite your far-away position this model makes gives you a face-to-face feel. As the monocular is built to be as lightweight as possible without sacrificing durability, the Wingspan Optics ProSpotter 10X42 is highly recommended. It delivers powerful 10X magnification and a large enough lens to capture brilliant images in any situation.

6. Vortex Optics SOL-3608-RT

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The Vortex Optics SOL-3608-RT is a tactical monocular which offers great capabilities for efficient observation and range estimation. The objective lens of this model reaches 36mm and combined with the 8X magnification power, you can expect very accurate results. Hunters will probably like the R/T Ranging Reticle and the integral utility clip. Some great enhancements have been made for the exterior to face virtually any field condition.

Once you get a feel of this monocular’s construction, you’ll immediately realize how nicely built is. The rubber armor creates a pleasant surface texture and the utility clip has some great tactical potential. You can quickly retrieve it from a belt or vest to observe an object in the distance. Another impressive detail is the O-ring sealing and nitrogen purging for ensuring the best performance even in foggy or rainy weather.

When it comes to viewing performance you can count on the multi-coated lenses and the strong light gathering ability of the optics. You can expect some more professional-grade images, brighter and clearer than other units. Operating this tool is a breeze thanks to the adjustable eyecups and focus. Balanced in all the important areas, the Vortex Optics SOL-3608-RT is an excellent tactical monocular for the price.

7. Wingspan Optics NatureScope PR-104201

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If you love exploring the outdoors and observe birds or other wildlife in their natural habitat you will need a capable tool that offers a detailed image from a considerable distance. While a binocular might seem the obvious choice, the monocular is also a convenient solution if you favor some extra portability. One ideal model that offers you a clear view in any environment is the Wingspan Optics NatureScope PR-104201.

This monocular can easily cover all your bird watching needs. Thanks to its 10X magnification you will be able to view far away objects in clear details as if they’re brought 10 times closer to you. As this device relies on the advanced BaK4 prism type you should benefit from crystal clear viewing even when the lighting conditions are starting to dim. With or without glasses you can take advantage of the performance of this monocular due to the integration of convenient eye-cups that twist up or down.

The performance seems solid, but what about the construction? Wingspan Optics promises no fogging issues and the tool is completely sealed against water damage. Aside from the handy monocular itself, the package offers a few extras such as the lens cover, storage case, and shoulder straps. Reaching a more professional level of bird watching is possible with the help of the cost-effective NatureScope PR-104201 monocular.

8. Celestron Nature 71210

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With a durable armor and fast focusing ability, the Celestron Nature 71210 is a great low-cost monocular to observe natural environments or for use during sporting events. Similar to more expensive models on the market, this device offers multi-coated optics to boost the light transmission resulting in a superior image resolution. Other great abilities are the waterproof and fog proof protection as well as the ergonomic design.

There are few monoculars on the market designed so well in terms of user-friendliness and comfort. The eyecup is crafted with particular attention to ergonomic details. That’s why it relies on soft rubber and can be easily twisted to accommodate users with glasses. As it weighs just 6oz, this monocular can be slipped in your pocket without any sign of discomfort.

When you want to focus on a specific object you only need to adjust the diopter focus dial – a process that can be done effortlessly with only one hand. Among the included accessories we can count the lanyard, cleaning cloth, and the case with a convenient belt attachment. Quite a nice package for the cost. The Celestron Nature 71210 deserves a spot on our list of the best monoculars for the money.