10 Best Monocular for Backpacking – Buying Guide & Reviews!

Best Monocular for Backpacking

Image: Gosky

Last Updated on March 16, 2021

There are many gadgets that you can buy that will make hiking or backpacking easier, safer, and more enjoyable. Each of these gadgets has a specific purpose that can help you in a different way. One gadget you might consider buying is a monocular. This device can help you to see into the distance to plan your route, identify landmarks, or spot potential hazards. There are many monocular to choose between and each has its own pros and cons. This buying guide will help you to choose the best monocular to meet your needs and the product reviews of the best monocular for backpacking will allow you to compare the different products available.

Quick Overview of The Best Monocular for Backpacking

NameMagnificationLensCheck Price
Wingspan Optics Explorer High Powered Monocular12x50mmCheck Price
ROXANT Grip Scope HD Wide View Monocular6x30mmCheck Price
Vortex Optics Solo Monocular10x/8x25/36mm
Check Price
Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Monocular10x42mmCheck Price
Gosky Titan High-Power Prism Monocular12x50mmCheck Price
Leica Monovoid with Leather Case8x20mmCheck Price
FEEMIC Monocular Telescope High Power8x42mmCheck Price
Meter.llc Monocular Telescope10x42mmCheck Price
VEMTONA Monocular Telescope16x50mmCheck Price
HOKONE HD Compact Monocular Scope12x50mmCheck Price

Best Monocular for Backpacking Product Reviews

Although there are many monocular available, the following are some of the best monocular for backpacking on the market now.

1. Wingspan Optics Explorer High Powered Monocular

This monocular has higher magnification, making it one of the most powerful monocular on the market. Not only does it magnify objects to 12 times closer, it also gives a very clear view. This is ideal as a hiking or backpacking monocular as it is waterproof and fog-proof. It is designed in such a way that no moisture, debris or dust can get inside the monocular to tarnish the image. Therefore, it is suitable to use in any environment. The external material of this monocular is durable and non-slip. It is easy to use this monocular and focus on your target using just a single hand, thanks to its ergonomic design.

Key Features:

  • Non-slip grip
  • Durable
  • Waterproof
  • Powerful
  • Ergonomic design

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2. ROXANT Grip Scope High Definition Wide View Monocular

This monocular is ideal for people who want a small monocular as it is perfect for slipping into your jacket pocket or one of the outer pockets of your backpack. It features optical glass that is premium full multi-coated that guarantees superior light transmission and brightness. This high-quality monocular also has a non-slip comfort molded grip, so you can view into the distance with less shake. Despite its solid build, this is lightweight that makes it a good choice for backpackers. It comes with a retractable eyecup that you can use with or without spectacles, a cleaning cloth, a neck strap, and a carry pouch with a belt loop.

Key Features:

  • High-quality materials
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Superior light transmission
  • Non-slip comfort grip

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3. Vortex Optics Solo Monocular

This is ideal as a backpacking monocular as it is designed for outdoor use. It is nitrogen purged and o-ring sealed so that it is both waterproof and fog-proof. This small, lightweight monocular performs well as it has 10X magnification and a 25mm objective lens that is fully multi-coated to give a clear, crisp image. The field of view is approximately 315 feet and six degrees. This monocular has an adjustable eyecup, which allows you to comfortably use this monocular with or without glasses. It is fully rubber-armored, so it has excellent grip and is extremely durable.

Key Features:

  • Waterproof
  • Lightweight
  • Clear images
  • Good field of view
  • Adjustable eyecup

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4. Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Monocular

This is a high-quality monocular that has stunning HD clarity and is made from quality materials. This compact monocular has a roof prism optical design and a 10X magnification level. The objective lens is fully multi-coated, so it gives an exceptional view. It has a smart design that is aimed at those spending time outdoors as it is both waterproof and fog-proof. It is also a durable item that can withstand lots of use and the general wear and tear you would expect from using outdoors. The comfortable eyecups have a twist-up design and you can use this either with spectacles or without. The monocular comes with a picatinny rail and a carry clip.

Key Features:

  • Quality materials
  • Smart design
  • Waterproof
  • Durable
  • Comfortable eyecups
  • Has a carry clip

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5. Gosky Titan High-Power Prism Monocular

Another powerful monocular, this product has high magnification of 12X and an objective lens measurement of 50 mm. This gives you a stunningly clear and bright image, thanks to its superior light transmission and the fully multi-coated lens. This is the perfect hiking or backpacking monocular as it is designed to withstand even the toughest weather conditions. It is waterproof, dust-proof, fog-proof, and shock absorbent. It has a solid framework and is coated with rubber armor with stripes that stops it from slipping out of your hand, even if your hand is wet. An unusual feature of this monocular is the smartphone mount, which allows you to film the views using your phone easily. This makes it the perfect gadget for the modern traveler. Despite all these features, it is surprisingly cheap, making it the best budget monocular available.

Key Features:

  • Smartphone mount
  • Superior light
  • Shock absorbent
  • Waterproof
  • Budget option

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6. Leica Monovoid with Leather Case

In terms of the quality of the materials, this monocular is superior to others on the market. Although you will pay a higher price to own this than others, the aesthetics alone are enough to make the extra cost worthwhile. It has an internal focusing feature with a central focusing knob. This feature make it one of the best zoom monocular available. It also has a close-up accessory lens and is filled with nitrogen to prevent misting during damp conditions. The lens has an AquaDura coating that repels water and dirt and the roof prism optical design has a phase correction coating P40. The monocular comes with a high-quality leather case to store and protect your monocular when it is not in use.

Key Features:

  • Superior materials
  • Quality lens
  • Smart design
  • Leather case
  • Good zoom
  • Mist prevention

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7. FEEMIC Monocular Telescope High Power

This is the best zoom monocular available and is also budget friendly. At just over $30, you can buy this monocular which boasts a wide-angle HD view and is designed with high-quality precision. The optical lens is fully multi-coated and the monocular has a large BAK-4 prism. This means this monocular has superior light transmission and gives a bright image. It has low-light-level night vision built-in, so it is a good low light monocular. It is waterproof, dust-proof, and shockproof, which is ideal for outdoor use for activities such as birdwatching, hunting, hiking, and backpacking. You can easily use this compact monocular with one hand and the adjustable eyecup means you can use this item both with or without glasses. It has rubber armor and you can connect this item to a monocular tripod if you buy one separately.

Key Features:

  • Good zoom
  • Budget option
  • Wide-angle HD view
  • Superior light transmission
  • Low-light level and night vision
  • Adjustable eyecup

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8. Meter.llc Monocular Telescope

This durable monocular has a rubber coating that protects the body from wear and tear or impact. It also makes this gadget easy to grip and to use with just one hand. It is ideal for outdoor activities as it is waterproof and dust-proof, so neither water or dust will hamper your view. There is a magnification of 10X and the objective lens measures 42mm, which allows you to see a clear image of the object you are viewing. The fully multi-coated lens and 60 mm prism allow you to view objects up to 9500m away and the focus is easily adjusted with one hand.

Key Features:

  • Durable
  • Non-slip grip
  • Waterproof
  • Good for long distance viewing

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9. VEMTONA Monocular Telescope

The VEMTONA Monocular Telescope is a powerful option as it has 16X magnification and a 50mm objective lens. This gives clarity, high-resolution, and wide-angle viewing. It has a BAK 4-prism and fully multi-coated lens to give either a wide view or face-to-face image without a loss of color and the extra-low dispersion glass prevents chromatic aberration. It has a waterproof and fog-proof design and is coated in a material that makes it non-slip and easy to use. There are indents for thumb-grip and this also makes the monocular easy to hold. This monocular comes with a tripod for hands-free use and an attachment to use the monocular with your phone.

Key Features:

  • Powerful
  • Wide-angle viewing
  • Good clarity
  • Non-slip grip
  • Waterproof
  • Tripod and phone attachment included

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10. HOKONE HD Compact Monocular Scope

Despite the low price of this monocular, it has many appealing features. It has a superior BAK 4 prism and full multi-coated all-glass lens that guarantees superior light transmission and brightness for a clear image. The long-range zoom means you can view images from far away and the focus ring has just enough resistance to make it easy to adjust. It is waterproof and dust-proof, which are important features for outdoor use. This monocular also has a retractable eyecup and an attachment that is compatible with almost all modern phones, including smartphones, which allows you to share your outdoor experiences with friends and family.

Key Features:

  • Superior light transmission
  • Waterproof
  • Retractable eyecup
  • Adjustable focus ring
  • Phone attachment

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Best Backpacking Monocular- A Buying Guide

There are several things you should consider when choosing a monocular. If you consider the following points, it will help you to find the best monocular for backpacking.


The main consideration when choosing backpacking monocular is the specifications. This is something that people may find confusing if buying a monocular for the first time.

  • The specifications are written as two numbers, such as 8×30.
  • The first number is the magnification. If the number is eight, this means that an object will appear eight times closer to you than it really is when using the monocular.
  • Magnification varies between 4X and 25X.
  • Although a higher magnification gives you a better view of something further away, a lower magnification usually means a smaller field of view.
  • The second number is the diameter of the lens at the end furthest away from your eye. This is called the objective lens.
  • Therefore, if it says 30, it means the lens is 30mm in diameter.
  • The size of the lens is important as this dictates how much light comes into the monocular.
  • The more light that is coming in, the brighter the image.
  • Most people want a monocular that has a diameter of 30mm or greater, but there are some available with a smaller diameter.

Lens Coating

You can buy monocular with various coatings on their lenses. Some of these include:

  • Fully multi-coated- This is the best option as it is the brightest. However, it is also the most expensive. Most monocular with this coating also have a waterproof coating that improves their durability.
  • Multi-coated- A monocular with this coating has a high resolution and are a cheaper alternative to fully multi-coated.
  • Fully coated- These have just a single material coating the lens. This means that the image is sometimes not as clear because they are susceptible to glare from the sunlight. However, these are an affordable option.
  • Coated- If a monocular just says that it is coated, it is usually a budget option that is of lower quality. They are best used in a non-direct light.

Optical Design

There are three types of optical design available, although most are either roof prism or porro prism. The type of optical design used depends on the level of magnification. The three types of optical design are:

  • Porro prism- This is the most popular monocular optical design. They produce a directly erect image.
  • Roof prism- These are like porro prism but are used in models with higher magnification as they work best at a longer focal distance.
  • Galilean- This is the least used optical design and you will generally only see this design in lower magnification models as the field of vision is very small.


The price of monocular varies significantly and comparing prices is important if you have a budget set for buying a monocular.

  • The price depends on the brand, the size, the quality, the materials, and the features.
  • It is possible to get a cheap monocular that has all the features of an expensive monocular.
  • Shopping online for your monocular can save you money as a monocular sold online will often cost significantly less than one from a bricks-and-mortar store.
  • The price of a monocular varies greatly from under $50 to over $500.

Why Would You Want to Take a Monocular Hiking or Backpacking with You?

A monocular is a gadget that helps you to see into the distance, just like a pair of binoculars. The difference between a monocular and binoculars is that a monocular has only one viewing scope, while binoculars have two. While hiking and backpacking, you can use a monocular to view objects and landscapes in the distance. This can help you to safely plan your route ahead and to identify any potential hazards. They can also help you to navigate if you are looking for specific landmarks that are relevant to your route and navigation. A monocular has the following benefits over a pair of binoculars:

  • Portable- These are just a small item that you can easily carry with you in your pocket wherever you go.
  • Compact and lightweight- Compared to binoculars, a monocular is much more compact and lightweight. This means it is ideal for those who do not want to carry too much weight or want to save space in their backpacks for other items. There is a great choice of lightweight and small monocular from which you can choose.
  • Quick viewing- A monocular is ideal if you need to take a quick peek at something rather than taking an extended view into the distance.
  • Versatile- You can use a monocular for viewing the landscape, but you can also use it for birdwatching, hunting, and even watching concerts or sports events.

Final Verdict

There are many binoculars on the market from which you can choose. Each brand varies a little in terms of the specifications, the size, and the price. The best monocular for backpacking is probably the Wingspan Optics Explorer High Powered 12X50 Monocular as this is the most powerful monocular on the market in terms of handheld options. It is ideal for backpacking as it is waterproof, fog-proof, durable, and easy to use with one hand. Another good monocular is the ROXANT Grip Scope High Definition Wide View Monocular as this is from a leading brand and is the best compact monocular.

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  • Thanks for the reviews, but you presented too many for me to make a decision. I bought the Vortex solo as it seemed like a good option for me. Cheers!

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