September 2022

Monoculars: Meta Ranking Report

This report contains an aggregate consensus of Monocular rankings posted by key online experts, as of September 2022.

Summary

As of 13 Sep 2022, Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Mono takes the cake as the most critically-acclaimed monocular with 7 expert endorsements. 1 experts out of 7 recommended it as the '#1 monocular' this month. It is followed by Leica Monovid and Roxant Grip Scope , with 7 and 5 expert endorsements respectively.

At a glance - September 2022 Ranking

Scroll horizontally to browse this ranking table
Rank Change Price Monocular
Optics Addict
Target Tamers
OpticsMag
Range Expert
Best Binoculars Reviews
T3
BestReviews
Expert World Travel
Digital Camera World
Space Exploration and Astronomy
1
- $180
Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Mono
4
4
3
9
1
-
-
3
-
4
2
- $525
Leica Monovid
1
5
8
12
-
4
-
7
2
-
3
- $37
Roxant Grip Scope
3
2
2
3
-
-
4
-
-
-
4
- $69
Vortex Optics Solo
-
6
4
5
-
-
2
2
-
-
5
- $64
Gosky Titan
6
11
10
7
-
-
5
-
-
-
6
- $89
Wingspan Optics Explorer
-
-
1
1
-
-
-
-
-
-
7
New * $207
Opticron Explorer WA ED-R 8x42
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
1
1
8
+4 $75
Celestron Outland X Mono
-
-
-
-
-
1
-
-
7
6
9
+1 Check price
Opticron BGA WP
-
-
-
-
5
5
-
6
9
-
10
+5 $120
Hawke Endurance ED Monocular
-
-
-
-
-
2
-
-
6
2
11
- $126
Gosky Skyhawk 12X55 HD
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
1
4
-
12
-5 $140
Vortex Solo Tactical R/T
2
7
-
6
-
-
-
-
-
-
13
New * $195
Maven CM.1
-
1
-
-
-
7
-
-
-
-
14
-5 $32
Barska Blackhawk
-
-
9
-
-
-
1
-
-
-
15
-2 $200
Zeiss MiniQuick
5
-
-
-
-
-
-
4
12
-
16
+2 $60
Emarth 10-30X50 Zoom
-
3
7
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
17
+3 $309
Bushnell Equinox Z2
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
5
8
-
18
New * $80
Hawke Endurance ED 25mm
-
-
-
-
-
8
-
-
5
-
19
+2 $299
Vortex Recce Pro HD
-
10
-
-
6
-
-
-
-
-
20
-12 Check price
Wingspan Optics ProSpotter
-
-
-
8
9
-
-
-
-
-
21
New * $598
Vortex Recon RT
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
8
-
9
22
+1 $370
Zeiss Conquest Mono
-
8
-
-
-
-
-
-
11
-

We ranked Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Mono #1 in September 2022 because:

  • 7 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Monoculars” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Mono as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Optics Addict

Best for Bird Watching

Go to ranking

Target Tamers

Best Monocular Under $200

Pros
Lightweight/compact
ED Prime glass
PC-3 Phase Coating
Ultra Wide Band Coating
RainGuard HD

Cons
Price

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OpticsMag

Premium Choice

Pros
Very impressive optics for the price
Both waterproof and fog proof
Twist-up eyecups are comfortable

Cons
Not the smallest or lightest monocular

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Range Expert

Pros
Product quality
Great climate protection
Picatinny rail for mounting accessories
A fantastic warranty
Reasonable pricing

Cons
An overly large carrying case that allows the product to bounce around a bit
Hard plastic lens caps which can cause creases in the rubber armor

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Best Binoculars Reviews

Best Overall

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Expert World Travel

Pros
High-end materials
Great image quality, even in low lighting
Versatile
Fogproof and waterproof
Waistbelt included

Cons
Eye caps doesn't always stay in place
Waistbelt designed for right-handed people
Slightly expensive

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Space Exploration and Astronomy

Best for Accessories

Pros
Superb optics
Excellent quality accessories
Good for glasses wearers

Cons
High price
Lacks a tripod thread
Relatively heavy

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We ranked Leica Monovid #2 in September 2022 because:

  • 7 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Monoculars” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Leica Monovid as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Optics Addict

Best for Under $500

Go to ranking

Target Tamers

Best for Surveillance

Pros
8x magnification
Extreme close focus
HDC/AquaDura coatings
Weatherproof
Aluminum housing

Cons
Price

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OpticsMag

Best Waterproof Monocular

Pros
Waterproof and fog proof
Excellent optics even at greater magnifications
Small enough to fit into your pocket

Cons
It’s an expensive product

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Range Expert

Pros
It can be used for many varied activities
The construction is refined
Comes with the close focus accessory lens and eyepiece cover
Comes with its own elegant leather case
Superb optical performance

Cons
It’s expensive, making it not for everyone’s budget
The front lens diameter may be limited for some viewing activities

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T3

The best high-end monocular

Pros
High quality observational device
Rugged build
Agreeably lightweight and portable

Cons
Eye-watering price tag

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Expert World Travel

Best for Birdwatching

Pros
Lightweight
Great close focus
Good eye relief
Coated lenses to reduce reflections

Cons
Not the best in low lighting
Very expensive

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Digital Camera World

Not cheap, but the best monocular for birdwatching

Pros
Unbeatable build quality
Watertight to 4.8m

Cons
Very expensive

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Methodology: combine opinions of key experts

Identify Experts

We identify key publishers and experts that consistently review and recommend Monoculars.

Capture Rankings

For each publisher we find a currently recommended "top 10" list of Monoculars, it must be updated in the last 9 months.

Aggregate Rankings

We put all those lists together and aggregate them. The more frequently a product is recommended, the higher it is in our ranking

Experts chosen for September 2022 ranking

We ranked Roxant Grip Scope #3 in September 2022 because:

  • 5 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Monoculars” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Optics Addict

Best for Backpacking

Go to ranking

Target Tamers

Best Budget Monocular

Pros
Price
Compact
No-slip grip
BaK-4 glass
Retractable eyepiece

Cons
Focusing issues

Go to ranking

OpticsMag

Best Value

Pros
We like the grip which is non-slip and comfortable
Retractable eyecups and good eye relief for glasses wearers
Easy to use with minimal wobble

Cons
Only offers up to 6x magnification
No lens caps included with the product

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Range Expert

Great for Hunting

Pros
It has a good solid magnification ratio and lens diameter
The optical glass has a very low light dispersion
It offers a nice bright, clear picture with the wide view field
A comfort grip which is non-slip
Affordable for all

Cons
The magnification is somewhat low so you may not be able to see really distant targets.
Not great for detail viewing

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BestReviews

Most portable

Pros
Wide-view lens lets you take in panoramic landscapes at a glance.
Molded, nonslip grip cuts down on shakiness.
Comes with case and neck strap.
6x magnification, 30 mm lens.

Cons
Two-hand focus adjustment.
Some customers say they want more magnification.

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We ranked Vortex Optics Solo #4 in September 2022 because:

  • 5 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Monoculars” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Target Tamers

Best Monocular for Hunting

Pros
Price
Lightweight/compact
Fully multi-coated
Rubber armored
Weatherproof

Cons
Price

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OpticsMag

Pros
Rubber armored for superior grip and durability
Very wide field of view of 315 feet
Nitrogen purged waterproof and fog-proof
Excellent optical clarity
Small and lightweight

Cons
Close focus of 16.4 feet
Narrow focus ring interferes with the eyepiece

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Range Expert

Pros
Sturdy outdoor construction with rubber coating for a no-slip grip
Good image clarity and good resolution
Easily adjustable eyecup intermediate settings
VIP Unconditional Lifetime Warranty
Very good price

Cons
The lack of a lens cover
A short eye relief measurement of only 15 mm
Diminished viewing capacity at 16 feet or less

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BestReviews

Best Bang for the Buck

Pros
This monocular is built around a 25mm lens and features 8x magnification.
Body is fully rubberized, and the interior is filled with nitrogen and sealed with o-rings to prevent fogging.
Weighs less than 6 ounces.

Cons
Field of view isn't very large.

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Expert World Travel

Pros
Fully multi-coated anti-reflective lenses
Waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof
Rubber armor provides great grip

Cons
Included case is a little flimsy
Focal dial is sometimes stiff

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We ranked Gosky Titan #5 in September 2022 because:

  • 5 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Monoculars” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Optics Addict

Best for Cell Phone

Go to ranking

Target Tamers

Best to Use With Smartphone

Pros
Price
Smartphone capability
High power
BaK-4 glass
Weatherproof

Cons
Some quality control issues

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OpticsMag

Pros
12x magnification is impressive for the price
Smartphone adapter for photos and videos
Solid build with rubber armor exterior

Cons
Optics aren’t comparable to top quality products
Included accessories are fairly cheap

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Range Expert

Pros
Size and weight
Sharp images
A smartphone adapter
A reasonable price
It’s easy to use

Cons
The adapter becomes loose relatively quickly
Some iPhone users reported difficulties with the smartphone holder

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BestReviews

Best Magnification

Pros
Rugged exterior is waterproof, dustproof, fogproof, and shockproof.
Excellent-quality optics, too.
Owners give the company's customer service top marks.

Cons
Some users feel it's a bit bulky.
Smartphone camera mount is of poor quality.

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We ranked Wingspan Optics Explorer #6 in September 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Monoculars” rankings.
  • Out of those, 2 experts ranked Wingspan Optics Explorer as #1.
Critic endorsements:
OpticsMag

Best Overall

Pros
Waterproof and fog-proof
Non-slip armor
Viewing range up to 1,000 yards
12x magnification
14mm eye relief works with glasses

Cons
Big and bulky compared to other models

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Range Expert

Top of the List

Pros
Quick and easy identification of your target thanks to the wide view and zoom function
Extremely transportable with a loop for a wrist strap built-in
The attached lens cover ensures immediate protection
Efficient in the transmission of light in dim lighting situations

Cons
At 14 ounces it may seem heavy to some people
The tripod is easily tipped as a result of the weight

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We ranked Opticron Explorer WA ED-R 8x42 #7 in September 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Monoculars” rankings.
  • Out of those, 2 experts ranked Opticron Explorer WA ED-R 8x42 as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Digital Camera World

At this price point this monocular is probably one of the best options today

Pros
Great price point
Compact and lightweight
Crystal clear optics

Cons
Stiff focusing
Low-quality accessories

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Space Exploration and Astronomy

Best for Wide-Angles

Pros
Top quality optics
Waterproof and fog-proof
Pocketable

Cons
Ergonomically nicer than the binocular counterpart

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We ranked Celestron Outland X Mono #8 in September 2022 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Monoculars” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Celestron Outland X Mono as #1.
Critic endorsements:
T3

Best value-for-money monocular package with a host of extras included

Pros
Large objective lens with 50mm model
Generous magnification at 20x
Pair with smartphone via included adapter and tripod
Waterproof

Cons
Plastic-y feel

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Digital Camera World

With large lenses and a smartphone adapter, this is a versatile monocular

Pros
Large objective lens
Waterproof, fog-proof
Can attach to tripod

Cons
No compass

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Space Exploration and Astronomy

Best for Using with a Smartphone

Pros
Includes smartphone adapter
Large objective lens
Twist-up eyecups

Cons
Relatively heavy
Smartphone adapter is fiddly

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We ranked Opticron BGA WP #9 in September 2022 because:

  • 4 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Monoculars” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Best Binoculars Reviews

Best Birding

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T3

Best alternative to using a pair of high-end binoculars

Pros
Best-in-class optical performance
Waterproofed and fog proofed
Similar performance to using a (larger) pair of roof prism binoculars

Cons
Pricey for this level of spec

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Expert World Travel

Best for Backpacking

Pros
Great close focus
Good eye relief
Coated 42mm lens for bright, sharp images
Weatherproof
Lightweight
30-year warranty

Cons
Could be more shock-resistant
Magnification could be a bit better

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Digital Camera World

Binocular style optical clarity but in a neat, pocketable design

Pros
Excellent optical performance
Waterproof to 3m

Cons
Expensive
Relatively large

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We ranked Hawke Endurance ED Monocular #10 in September 2022 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Monoculars” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
T3

Best high-powered, tough construction monocular out there

Pros
Useful 10x magnification plus above-average 42mm lens
Waterproof and fog proof construction
Top-of-its class optical performance

Cons
Better glass bumps up price tag

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Digital Camera World

Excellent lightweight monocular for use on land or at sea

Pros
Clear optics
Fog and water proof
Superb quality

Cons
Needs a ball and socket head to mount on tripod

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Space Exploration and Astronomy

Best for Weight Saving

Pros
Excellent optics
Astro-centric specifications
Waterproof and fog-proof

Cons
High price
Large for a pocket

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We ranked Gosky Skyhawk 12X55 HD #11 in September 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Monoculars” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Gosky Skyhawk 12X55 HD as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Expert World Travel

Best for Stargazing

Pros
Included smartphone mount for photography
Good for stargazing but versatile
Waterproof, dustproof, fogproof, and shockproof
Fantastic eye relief
Great value for money

Cons
Mount could be more robust
Smartphone use may require a tripod

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Digital Camera World

Great for those on a budget and comes with a smartphone mount

Pros
Smartphone mount included
Extensive waterproofing

Cons
Attachment slightly fiddly
Mount is flimsy

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We ranked Vortex Solo Tactical R/T #12 in September 2022 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Monoculars” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Optics Addict

Best for Hunting

Go to ranking

Target Tamers

Best for Target Shooting

Pros
8x32 configuration
Mrad ranging reticle
Good eye relief
Reticle focus
Vortex tough

Cons
Not tripod adaptable

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Range Expert

Pros
Terrific optics
Guaranteed durability
Wonderful quality of the image
The ample eye relief, coupled with the exit pupil measurement, provides it with optics that you would usually find in a pair of binoculars
VIP lifetime warranty

Cons
The absence of lens covers
Requires practice for full use of reticle range estimation

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We ranked Maven CM.1 #13 in September 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Monoculars” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Maven CM.1 as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Target Tamers

Best Value for Money

Pros
Price
ED glass
Prism coatings
Weatherproof
Lightweight

Cons
No tripod mountable

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T3

A no-nonsense, rugged monocular at a premium price

Pros
Durable yet lightweight
Multi coated extra low dispersion ‘ED’ glass
Fogproof, waterproof and scratch and oil resistant
Lifetime guarantee

Cons
Hefty price tag
Orange focus ring is a bit tight

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We ranked Barska Blackhawk #14 in September 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Monoculars” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Barska Blackhawk as #1.
Critic endorsements:
OpticsMag

Pros
Nitrogen purged and sealed
Non-slip diamond pattern rubber exterior

Cons
Strong rubber smell makes it useless for hunting
The first one we received was broken
Noisy Velcro
Noticeable chromatic aberration

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BestReviews

Best of the best

Pros
With features like multi-coated optics and BK-7 prism, this monocular provides clear and vivid images.
Dry nitrogen sealed and rubber coated, this monocular can hold up to drops, water, and fog.
Textured grip on handle makes this easy and comfortable to hold without slippage.

Cons
Larger than expected and may not fit comfortably in all pockets.

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We ranked Zeiss MiniQuick #15 in September 2022 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Monoculars” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Optics Addict

Best Pocket Monocular

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Expert World Travel

Pros
Extremely lightweight
Tiny size makes extremely portable
Anti-reflective lens coating

Cons
Not fully waterproof or fogproof
Not the most powerful zoom
Expensive for specs

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Digital Camera World

A monocular the size of a fountain pen? Call James Bond!

Pros
Small and compact
Exceptionally well built

Cons
Costly
Only 5x magnification

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We ranked Emarth 10-30X50 Zoom #16 in September 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Monoculars” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Target Tamers

Best Zoom Monocular

Pros
Price
Zoom power
Good eye relief
Fully multi-coated
IPX7 rating

Cons
Narrow field of view

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OpticsMag

Pros
Zooms from 10x-30x magnification
IPX-7 nitrogen-purged waterproof
Durable rubber armor exterior

Cons
It’s bulkier than other options
Weighs more than other models
Hazy image quality

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We ranked Bushnell Equinox Z2 #17 in September 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Monoculars” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Expert World Travel

Pros
Infra-red illuminator allows night-time viewing
WiFi enables viewing and recording from smartphones
Records up to 1080p videos

Cons
Very heavy
Not very weatherproof
Slightly expensive
Extra functions drain batteries

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Digital Camera World

This night vision equipped monocular makes light work of the dark

Pros
Night vision
Video capture with wifi

Cons
IR light saps battery
Not as comfortable

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We ranked Hawke Endurance ED 25mm #18 in September 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Monoculars” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
T3

Lightweight yet rugged binocular suitable for birdwatching

Pros
Compact and solid
High quality optics
Useful 10x magnification

Cons
Binoculars might be better for birdwatching

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Digital Camera World

This multi-purpose monocular offers decent specs at a fair price

Pros
Reasonable price
Good general-purpose monocular

Cons
No compass

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We ranked Vortex Recce Pro HD #19 in September 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Monoculars” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Target Tamers

Best Under $300

Pros
ED glass
XR coatings
Ranging reticle
Lightweight/compact
Weatherproof

Cons
Folding eyecups

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Best Binoculars Reviews

Best Hunting

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We ranked Wingspan Optics ProSpotter #20 in September 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Monoculars” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Range Expert

Pros
Reasonable price
Sleek resistant construction
Clear, bright views
Lifetime guarantee
One hand easy use

Cons
Limited detail viewing at 50 yards or more
Carrying Pouch could be a bit larger

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Best Binoculars Reviews

Best Budget (Under $60 / £60)

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We ranked Vortex Recon RT #21 in September 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Monoculars” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Expert World Travel

Best for Hunting

Pros
R/T reticle is great for tactical use
Large, coated objective lens for bright clear images
Ambidextrous, versatile clip
Weatherproof
Protective rubber and coatings

Cons
Narrow field of view
Very expensive

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Space Exploration and Astronomy

Best for WildLife

Pros
Carry clip
15x magnification
Tripod thread

Cons
Very expensive
Small exit pupil
Not good in darkness

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We ranked Zeiss Conquest Mono #22 in September 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Monoculars” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Target Tamers

Best Under $500

Pros
Extremely compact
Extremely lightweight
Schmidt-Pechan prism
Extremely close focus distance
Wide field of view

Cons
Price

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Digital Camera World

Optical excellence and compact dimensions make this monocular ideal for backpacking

Pros
Great optical performance
Top build quality

Cons
Quality costs
Not completely waterproof

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