Looking for the best monocular for backpacking and hiking? You are in the right place. This post sheds light on monocular suitable for backpacking and hiking expeditions.
A monocular is an indispensable addition to any backpacking and hiking gear list. Unlike hiking binoculars that are often costly, bulky, and cumbersome to carry around, monocular are compact, lightweight, and easy to use. The compact design makes them easy to carry everywhere you go as you can stash them inside the pocket.
A quality monocular is the best alternative to hiking binoculars. It offers you the same benefits binoculars provide with the added advantage of being light and small in size. But finding the right model for your hiking and backpacking needs is no mean feat given the multitude of products available on the market.
If you are having a hard time trying to find the best monocular for backpacking and hiking, we have put up this review for you. Here are some of the best models available on the market that you can choose from. Let’s take a look.
Best Monocular for Backpacking and Hiking – Top Picks
1) Vortex Optics Solo Monocular 8×25
Vortex made the Solo Monocular 8×25 with avid outdoorsy people in mind. This compact monocular weigh just 5.6 ounces so it’s perfect for backpacking and hiking. Though compact, the monocular provides a powerful 8x magnification. This magnification brings distant targets closer so you can get closer to nature.
This easy-to-carry monocular provides excellent optical clarity. The fully multi-coated optics facilitate maximum light transmission to give you bright and crystal-clear images. With the adjustable eyecups, this product allows for snug viewing even with your eyeglasses on. It also provides a generous eye relief that reduces eye strain and fatigue during long glassing sessions.
The solo is made to provide unbeatable durability. It’s fully armored to absorb shock and impacts as well as give you an ergonomic, non-slip grip in wet conditions. Furthermore, it’s nitrogen purged and O-ring sealed to deliver reliable fog proof and waterproof performance respectively. Above all, the monocular comes with a built-in utility clip that attaches easily to any flat edge surface for quick and effortless external access.
- Waterproof and fog proof
- Durable shock-absorbing rubber armor
- 8x magnification and 25mm objective lens
- Built-in utility clip
- Compact, ultralight and easy to handle
- Adjustable eyecup
- Fully multi-coated lenses
- Comfortable, non-slip grip
2) Wingspan Optics Titan 12×50 High Powered Monocular Scope
This monocular scope comes with a 12x magnification power which makes it one of the most powerful monocular on the market. With the high optical power, you can easily identify targets from over 1000 yards. You also get a large and clear field of view which is essential for easy target identification.
This monocular boast revolutionary optics technology which gives you unparalleled image brightness and clarity. It also features top-tier BaK-4 prism for high-quality images with excellent color differentiation.
Another impressive feature about this monocular is the compact and lightweight design. It weighs just 14 ounces so you’ll have an easy time carrying it around. Additionally, it comes with a wrist wrap loop and an attached lens cover to protect the lenses during transit. It’s also ergonomically designed to allow for single hand focus and give you a secure, non-slip grip even when it’s raining. Lastly, the monocular is fog proof and waterproof so you can use it in all environments.
- Tripod adaptable
- Durable and ergonomic design
- Waterproof and fog proof
- Decent 14mm eye relief
- Comfortable, non-slip grip
- Powerful 12x magnification
- Compact and lightweight
- Wide field of view
- Revolutionary optics technology
3) Roxant Wide View Monocular Telescope
If you are looking for a quality and functional monocular for backpacking and hiking, look no further than the Roxant Wide View Monocular Telescope. It features a true 6x magnification and a 30mm objective lens. It’s easy to use and the best option for beginners.
This monocular is compact, lightweight and easy to maneuver around with. It has a non-slip molded grip which makes it easy to handle with one hand. Other than that, the monocular comes with superior lens coating that facilitate optimum light transmission and BaK-4 prisms for bright and vivid viewing.
Although this monocular is compact, it’s toughly made to give you many years of field use. The premium construction stands up to the harsh outdoor conditions. Additionally, the monocular comes with a retractable eyecup, so it’s eyeglass-friendly. Overall, it’s a quality and versatile product that’s ideal for all outdoor adventure applications.
- Durable and solid construction
- Compact, light and portable
- Fully multi-coated optics and BaK-4 prisms
- All glass optical system
- Retractable eyecup
- Non-slip comfortable molded grip
- Carrying pouch, belt loop, neck strap and cleaning cloth included
4) Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Monocular
Bushnell is renowned for its top-tier optics and the Legend Ultra HD Monocular is no different. This monocular is specially made for all outdoor fun activities. It’s built tough to withstand wear and tear, and provide unbeatable durability. It’s also 100% waterproof and fog proof for all weather reliability.
This monocular provides excellent optical performance. The fully multi-coated optics increase light transmission and minimize light loss through reflection. This gives you outstanding optical clarity even in low light situations. It also features BaK-4 prisms and ED prime glass which enhance the optical clarity and RainGuard HD lens coatings which provide clear views in wet conditions.
This compact monocular is amazingly light and easy to carry around. The twist-up adjustable eyecup accommodates eyeglass/sunglasses wearers, while the carry clip ensures that it’s easily available when needed.
- 100% waterproof and fog proof
- RainGuard water-repellent lens coating
- Fully multi-coated optics
- Picatinny rail and carry clip included
- BaK-4 prisms, ED prime glass and PC-3 phase coated prism
- Comfortable twist-up eyecups
- Sturdy and durable construction
- Smart lightweight design
5) Celestron 71210 Nature DX 10×25 Monocular
Here is another excellent monocular for budget buyers. The Celestron Nature DX 10×25 Monocular comes with everything you need to make your hiking expedition better and memorable.
Featuring a rugged and durable design, you can take this monocular anywhere you want. It’s fully waterproof so you use in any environments. Furthermore, it comes with a durable, deep grooved rubber armor which offers additional protection from weather elements while giving you a secure gripping surface.
This monocular is incredibly light and pocket-sized. It weighs only 6oz. The compact size allows you to put it inside your pocket and carry it wherever you go. Thanks to the fully multi-coated lenses, this monocular provides reasonably bright, vivid and sharp images even in dismal environments. Moreover, it has a soft rubber twist up eyecup that provides comfortable viewing and accommodates users who put on eyeglasses.
- Multi-coated optics
- Waterproof and fog proof construction
- 14mm eye relief
- 18-feet close focus
- BaK-4 prism
- 10x magnification and 25mm objective lens
- Comfortable eyecup
- One hand focus
- Durable rubber armor
- Robust construction
- Lightweight and pocket sized
6) Gosky Titan 12×50 High Power Prism Monocular
Next on our list of the best monocular for backpacking and hiking is the Gosky Titan 12×50 High Power Prism Monocular. This monocular feature a high 12x magnification which is designed to give you the best views outdoors. It also features a wide 50mm objective lens which delivers clear and bright images even at the highest magnification setting.
This monocular is designed to give you excellent optical performance. The fully multi-coated lens offers superior light transmission making your images bright and crisp clear. The smart phase correction BaK-4 prism reduces glare and minimizes chromatic aberration to give you sharp and color accurate images across the whole spectrum.
When it comes to construction, this compact monocular feature a solid framework to withstand harsh outdoors. It’s completely sealed and nitrogen filled to provide reliable waterproof and fog proof performance. It also comes with a durable rubber armor which makes it extremely hard for slippage to occur even in the wettest conditions.
For added convenience, this lightweight monocular is tripod adaptable. You can attach it on the tripod and enjoy snug, hands-free viewing. Better yet, the adjustable eyecup makes it eyeglass friendly, while the quick aligned cell phone adapter lets you capture the beauty of the objects that you see.
- Center focus system
- 17mm eye relief
- Smartphone adapter
- Waterproof, fog proof and shockproof design
- Smart phase correction BaK-4 prism
- 12x high power magnification
- Tripod adaptable
- Advanced FMC multi-coated lens
- Solid framework with durable rubber armor
- Adjustable eyecup
7) FEEMIC 8x42HD Monocular Telescope
This monocular features 8x magnification and 42mm objective lens. It provides a wide field of view in a field of 1,000 yards. This is essential for getting closer to nature as it brings the targets closer. The objective lens has an FMC green film which facilitates more light transmission and brightness.
Designed with BaK-4 prisms and fully multi-coated lenses, FEEMIC gives you great vision and clear images. It’s ultra-compact, lightweight and simple to use with one hand. Moreover, it has a tripod interface so you can mount it on a tripod and get more stable views.
This monocular has a strong body designed for outdoor application. It has a solid framework which enhances its durability and a rubber armor to provide a secure, non-slip grip even when your hands are sweaty or wet. It’s also fully sealed and nitrogen filled to offer reliable performance even in the worst weather conditions. Above all, the monocular is eyeglass-friendly, user-friendly and suitable for both adults and kids.
- 8x magnification and 42mm objective lens
- Waterproof, fog proof, dust proof and shockproof
- Sturdy and durable construction
- Compact, lightweight and portable
- User-friendly design
- High-quality fully multi-coated lenses
- Top-tier BaK-4 prism
- Rubber armor with stripes
- One-handed operation
- Wide application and satisfaction warranty
- Best Binoculars for Backpacking and Hiking
- Best Night Vision Monocular
- Best Monocular for Surveillance
Best Monocular for Backpacking and Hiking Buying Guide
Whether you are buying your first monocular for backpacking and hiking or you are looking to replace your old one, here are the key factors that should help you make the right buying decision.
What do you plan to use the monocular for? This is an important question you should ask yourself before you settle for any monocular.
If you plan to use the monocular for bird watching while hiking or for backpacking in general, try to look for a model with a higher magnification. This way you’ll be able to bring distant objects closer and view the surrounding landscape comfortably.
If you are always on the move and you plan to carry the monocular wherever you go, get a unit that’s compact, lightweight and easy to fit inside your pocket. Other than that, if you love to capture the images of the objects that you see, consider getting a monocular that comes with a smartphone adapter.
Optics are very important in monocular. If the monocular has poor quality optics, then it will have very little value. Therefore, it’s very important that you look for a model that comes with excellent optics of the best optical performance.
The best way to identify the quality of optics used is to look for a unit with all-glass optical system and fully multi-coated lenses. Such a model facilitates maximum light transmission for excellent image brightness and clarity. Also look for a unit with top-tier prisms such as BaK-4 prisms.
The best monocular for backpacking and hiking should be durably made so you’ll get many years from it. Go for a model that comes with a superior shell that’s durable, protective and weather-resistant. The monocular should also come with a rubber coating which makes them secure to hold in wet conditions. This coating also cushions the monocular from impacts, falls and shock.
For added durability, you’ll want your monocular to be fully waterproof and fog proof. This way, the monocular will be usable in all environments.
The cost of monocular varies from one model to the other. You can spend as low as under $50 for an entry-level model and as high as above $500 with the high-end models. How much you spend largely depends on your budget and individual needs. When you pay more, you can rest assured that that unit will last long and give you great value for your money.
Another thing that you should consider is the eye relief. This is the maximum distance between your eyes and the ocular lens of the monocular. Eye relief is particularly important if you put on eyeglasses. The best monocular for backpacking and hiking should have a long eye relief that provides comfortable viewing even with your eyeglasses on. Try to look for a model that offers more than 14mm eye relief.
Close Focus Range
It’s also important that you look at the close focus range of the monocular you are eyeing. Close focus range is a measure of the closest distance the monocular needs to be to focus. Usually, the higher the magnification strength, the more distance is needed to bring objects into close focus. For instance, a monocular with 20x magnification may need a 20-feet lead to start getting a good focus, while a model with 8x magnification may need 24-inches only.
- What is a good magnification for monocular?
It depends on what you intend to use the monocular for. If you are in the market for an easy to use monocular, a model with a moderate magnification of 8x to 10x magnification will be ideal. You can go higher than 10x if you want more magnification strength.
- What is better, binoculars or monocular?
For backpacking and hiking, a monocular can offer the same magnification strength as a binocular, but be lighter and more portable. Additionally, a monocular is cheaper to buy than a binocular. However, during long glassing sessions, a monocular can cause more eye strain and fatigue.
- What do numbers on a monocular mean?
The two numbers found on monocular represent the magnification power and the objective lens size respectively. For example, in a 10×25 model, 10 represents the magnification strength, while the 25 is the diameter of the objective lens in millimeters. These two numbers determine how a monocular will be effective in various circumstances. They also contribute on the size of the monocular.
Benefits of Monocular for Backpacking and Hiking
- Lightweight. A monocular is fairly light and portable when compared with binoculars.
- Compact size. Majority of monocular are small enough to fit inside a pocket or any accessory pouch.
- Another advantage is that monocular offer excellent optical performance at a cheaper price.
- User-friendly. Monocular are easy to hold and easy to use. They can be used by beginners, professionals, adults and kids as well.
If you have never thought of getting a monocular for backpacking and hiking, I hope that this post has now changed your mind. The golden rule for backpacking and hiking is to keep weight at a minimum and keep things as compact as possible. Use our buying guide above and get yourself a quality monocular for your next hiking trip.