Best Pocket Monoculars 2019 – Reviews & Top Picks

a monocular that fits into a pocketPocket monoculars are great for those times when you don’t need a full set of binoculars or want something smaller you can carry in a pocket or purse. They’re also useful for spotting game or birds or whatever. Good deal, we’re all on the same page. But how do you pick the one you want, the one that’s best for you?

Nearly every manufacturer who makes binoculars also offers a couple of monocular models as well. That means there’s a lot to choose from and a wide variety of quality. Not every manufacturer who builds good binoculars also builds good monoculars. Some do, but it’s not a sure thing.

That’s why we’ve put up these reviews of the monoculars below. We’ve gone out and looked over the field, examined what the manufacturers have to offer, then compared and contrasted them to come up with some recommendations to help you make your selection.

Think of us as the guide who’s already been down the path and can show you the best way to go. Follow us.

Comparison of our Top 4 Picks of 2019

ModelPriceWeightEditor Rating
Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 10×42 191142
Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 10×42 191142
(Top Pick)


Check Price
1 lb4.95/5
Nikon 7394 5×15 High Grade
Nikon 7394 5×15 High Grade


Check Price
1 lb4.7/5
Vortex Optics Solo S105
Vortex Optics Solo S105
(Best for the Money)


Check Price
1 lb4.5/5
Celestron UpClose G2 10×25 71213
Celestron UpClose G2 10×25 71213


Check Price
1 lb4.2/5

4 Best Pocket Monoculars – Our Reviews:

1. Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Pocket Monocular 10×42 191142 – Top Pick

Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 10x42 191142

This monocular uses ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass, fully multi-coated optics, and prisms to deliver exceptional clarity. There’s almost no color fringing at all. The very bright light gathering gives you sharp images even when you’re at full 10x magnification. The field of view through it is huge. It’s a bit like being Superman with his supervision.

The superior optics of this monocular come in a waterproof and fog proof package that is easy to use. The focus adjuster can be adjusted with one finger from the same hand you’re using to hold the unit. That’s really handy! It includes a nice belt clip, flip-down style lens caps, and rubber armor for durability.

The only fly in the ointment is the hard lens caps put dents in the rubber armor, which will eventually start tearing up the rubber. The caps should have been made from softer material to avoid that problem.

Other than that, this is a wonderful monocular made from high-quality materials that are tough and durable. It definitely earned its place as our top pick.

Pros
  • Excellent clarity
  • Nice carrying clip
  • Field of view is huge
  • Very bright light gathering
  • Focus can be adjusted with one finger
Cons
  • Hard caps put dents in rubber armor

2. Nikon 7394 5×15 High Grade Pocket-sized Monocular

Nikon 7394 5x15 High Grade

This is an incredibly compact monocular you can easily slip in your pocket or purse. It only weighs in at 2.6 ounces – this thing is tiny! But for all that, it still packs a lot of quality optics into a tight, well-made unit.

The field of view is really quite excellent. The images through it are full of color and contrast, the resolution it produces is amazing. It’s only 5x resolution but it’s fine for casual viewing when you’re out hiking or boating, and the field of view more than makes up for it. It’s also easier to hold the image steady with a 5x resolution than with an 8x or 10x.

The close focus distance is pretty awesome as well, you can use it to enlarge objects as close as 12 inches away. It has multi-layered anti-reflective lens coating to cut down on glare while increasing the light transmission. You almost feel like you’re “there” in the middle of the scene.

It’s not as rugged and impact resistant as we’d like but all things considered this is an above average monocular.

Pros
  • Very compact
  • Excellent field of view
  • Image is bright and crisp
  • Easy to hold the image steady
Cons
  • Not very rugged
  • Only 5x resolution

3. Vortex Optics Solo S105 Pocket Monocular – Best for the Money

Vortex Optics Solo S105

This monocular has a crazy good 10x magnification in a small, lightweight unit. It comes with a fully multi-coated lens to increase the light transmission and resolution, which gives you the clear, crisp images you want. Excellent optics all the way around and the field of view is really quite impressive.

It is fully rubber armored to protect it against bumps and bangs, along with a non-slip grip. It’s extremely rugged and durable. The twist up eye cup works nicely and stays in place.

The focus ring is too difficult to turn with just one hand, which is a disappointment. Monoculars should be one-handed devices. It also doesn’t work as well as it should in low-light conditions, such as early sunrise and late sunset, and the case that comes with it is terrible. The belt loop is weak and the loud Velcro just feels cheap. It says “Made in China” and we believe it.

This is a quite a nice monocular at a very low price, but with just enough problems to keep it out of the top two on the list. It’s still our choice for best for the money.

Pros
  • Great field of view
  • Clear, crisp images
  • Fully rubber armored
Cons
  • Poorly made case
  • Doesn’t work well in low light
  • Focus ring can’t be adjusted one-handed

4. Celestron UpClose G2 10×25 Monoculars – A budget buy

Celestron UpClose G2 10x25 71213

You get what you pay for. For the price, it’s better than the naked eye but the magnification can’t possibly be 10x no matter what the package says. It might be a 5x but even that’s pushing the envelope. The field of view is limited too.

It claims it has multi-coated optics to increase light transmission but it’s difficult to focus and the glass is hazy, resulting in a cloudy image. Outdoors it works reasonably well unless there is a light source in your field of view, as in, part of the sky. Not the sun, mind you, just the sky. As soon as that happens, you get a lot of glare.

The image is passable during the day, but the moment the light dims the image goes bye-bye. It becomes very cloudy to the point it’s useless.

The body feels solid at first touch, but closer inspection reveals cheap plastic grooves and glued connections that will wear out in no time. It might be water resistant, but we weren’t inclined to test it. At least the case seemed alright.

This monocular might be alright for a child, but it’s not a serious optic. It stays in the last place.

Pros
  • The case is decent
  • It doesn’t cost much
Cons
  • Hazy images
  • Limited field of view
  • NOT 10x magnification
  • Doesn’t work in low light
  • Too much glare in the day

Buyer’s Guide

A lot of people prefer to shop online these days, and we understand that, but monoculars are one of those products that you might be better off researching online but buying from a local sporting goods store. That way you can put them to your eye and “test drive them” so to speak before plunking down your hard earned cash.

If you buy them online, keep, and print, all the paperwork in case you need to do an exchange or send them back and get a refund. It never hurts to be safe.

Other types of monoculars to consider:

Conclusion

Well, we’ve gone off the beaten and returned in one piece. In these reviews, we’ve shown you what is out there and what you can expect from the various models. One of them is bound to be right for you.

Our choice for the top pick is the Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 10×42 191142. Bushnell makes good binoculars and took that expertise to make some equally good monoculars. This one has a superior field of view, excellent clarity, and image sharpness. The focus adjustment is easy to use with one finger and it’s fully rubber armored for great durability.

The Vortex Optics Solo S105 is the monocular that is the best for the money. It has a great view of view, crisp images, and good rubber armor for durability. It doesn’t work as well as we’d like in low light, and it takes two hands to adjust the focus but the price, it’s worth it.

Hopefully, these reviews have provided you with the kind of detailed information you need to make a good decision that will work to your benefit. If you’re satisfied, we’re satisfied.