Monoculars vs Binoculars: Which Are Better?

Maybe you are new to hunting or you are an experienced hunter looking for a way to step up your game. Then what you need is a monocular or a binocular. A monocular and a binocular is an optic instrument that gives you the ability to see and study far distant objects.

It can be used by a hunter to study their prey. However, this instrument is not valuable to hunters alone. It is used by hikers to examine their route and avoid obstacles that might be on their way. Scouters and explorers also use it.

Thermal monoculars and thermal binoculars are a specially designed optic devices that can work in conditions where there is a total absence of light.

Monocular Overview

Monocular is a single-lens optic device that is used for long distance sightings. Monocular, being a device that has only one viewing tube, makes them similar to a telescope; however, the magnification of a monocular is not as strong as that of a telescope.


  • Very light in weigh
  • Easy to carry
  • Easy to use
  • Easier to adjust
  • It is suitable for users with impaired eyesight on one eye
  • Better for night vision
  • It is cheaper than binoculars of the same specification


  • It cannot be used to track targets that are moving
  • Users are more likely to experience a straining eye faster than users of binocular
  • It is not suitable for wide-angle viewing
  • It is not suitable for long-term usage

Monocular Bonus Features

  • Night vision
  • They have a rangefinder
  • They have a Gallery Scope Finder
  • The zoom power of the lenses are impressive
  • They have a built-in compass
  • Built-in image stabilizer
  • They have a compact design and some are even foldable

Binocular Overview

A binocular is a pair of monoculars put together for both eyes. Since both eyes are used to focus on an image, users of binoculars get a three-dimensional image.

Binoculars come in different sizes, variations and price range.


  • It provides a 3D view of the image
  • Can be worn around the neck
  • It is more comfortable to use for long period of time
  • Can be used to track moving objects
  • It provides a wide angle view
  • It provides a clear and acute glassing for details


  • It is less portable in comparison to monoculars
  • Is more expensive than monoculars
  • It is heavier than monoculars

Binocular Bonus Features

  • They can be used for long distance ranging
  • They have Image Stabilization features
  • Built-in inclinometers
  • Independent focus
  • They have ballistic reticles

Monocular vs Binoculars

Impact on the eyes: Binoculars are preferred to monocular when viewing for a long-term purpose. This is because using monocular for a long-term purpose could strain the eye. However, people with one defective eyesight would enjoy a better view using a monocular. Also binoculars having two tubes provides two slightly different images of the same view at the same time, which is similar to what the brain is used to processing with the natural eyes.

Image Width: Binoculars cover a wider viewing angle than monocular

Weight and Size: Binoculars are generally heavier than monoculars. This is due to the fact that binoculars have two tubes whereas monoculars have just one tube.

Cost: Binoculars are more expensive than their monocular of the same functions and specialty.

Magnification: Both binoculars and monocular have similar magnification specifications

Night Vision: Monocular are ideal for night vision than binoculars.

Depth Perception: One of the most important thing you would need to do if your are a hunter using an optical lens is to estimate the position if your prey and the distance between the two of you. Depth perception is important for monitoring the object’s movement and finding targets. Binoculars uses two eyes and provides images with more depth than monoculars provide.

Versatility of use: Binoculars often requires using the two hands when viewing whereas monoculars are lightweight and compact which makes them so portable that you can operate them using just one hand. This gives you the freedom to operate or hold another thing with your second hand. Also, you can fix a monocular to your rifle.

Night Vision Monoculars vs Binoculars

Binocular Bonus Features

Features shared by both monoculars and binoculars:

Eye relief

Eye relief is the measure of the distance between the viewer’s eyes and the ocular lens of the monocular or binocular where the image seen through the lens is clear enough for the eyes. When the eyes is located farther than the eye relief, then the image becomes hard to see. People who wear eyeglasses need to consider this when making a purchase.

Twilight factor

The twilight factor is the ability of the monocular or binocular to accumulate light to aid the user in the image visualization. This is an essential factor to be considered by users who uses monoculars or binoculars in low-light environments such as indoor use or late evening hunting.

Exit pupil

When you place your monoculars or binoculars at an arm length then look through it, a vibrant circle shows up on the ocular lens of the device. This circle is known as the exit pupil. It is used to determine the lighting in relation to the associated view.

Flawed vision

Apart from defection in the eyes of the users, defections or the use of inferior materials for the component of the monocular or binocular can cause the device to produce a flawed or sometimes blurred image

Monoculars vs Binoculars Wrap Up

What is right for you depends on the activities you want to use the device for. If you are considering cost for higher quality, then a monocular might save the day. In addition, carrying around a monocular might be easier as it is more portable than binoculars. However, if you are involved in a long-term activity, using a binocular might save your eyes from fatigue.

Monoculars are better for hiking, golfing, spotting, bird watching and doing any activity that involves a night vision. Binoculars are better for scouting and tracking, stationary hunting, sporting, marine sightseeing, observations and equestrian activities. However, you should buy the device that is best suited for your needs. In addition, try to get the best quality device you can get.

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