Monocular vs. Binoculars: Which is Better for What Activity?

Monocular vs. Binoculars: Which is Better for What Activity?

Before buying an optical device, the most obvious question is- which one is better, Monocular or Binoculars? You may reply quickly in favor of binoculars for the best viewing option. But, the answer is not always black and white.

There are situations and circumstances where a monocular is a far better option than a pair of binoculars. Both the optics give you almost the same magnification. You just need to choose your pair of optical devices keeping in mind your convenience.

Monocular vs. Binoculars:

The most notable difference between a monocular and binoculars is a monocular has one viewing tube, whereas binoculars have two. As a result, a monocular is handier, often fits in a pocket, and weighs less than a pair of binoculars. Its magnification is also good.

On the other hand, binoculars cover a wide range of areas, and the magnification is better. In this post, we are going to explain which is better for what kind of activity to help you choose the right kind of optics for your next adventure. Let’s get started!


If you are a novice birder and do not have enough time or patience, you can consider a monocular to get started with. It will keep you focused and more concentrated while looking at distant birds. A monocular is easily affordable, very much portable, and easy to use.

When you get used to it, a monocular will give you the comfort you want. On the other hand, if you are a serious and passionate birder who wishes to invest in a good pair of optical viewing devices, binoculars will be the right option for you.

The capability of covering more area within your eyesight makes it very popular among professional birders. A good pair of affordable birds binoculars will give you the steadfastness and balance you need to focus on your target for a more extended time


Stargazing and other activities at night is an astronomer’s job, but if you are a passionate stargazer and like to observe the sky, you surely will need an optical device. A monocular can serve the purpose for sure. You can get a clear view of high magnification power through a monocular.

On the flip side, a pair of good-quality binoculars help see a wider range of view. You will get a more precise and more magnified version of the sky, stars, and other objects through binoculars. Again, if you are new to this field, go for binoculars.

Oppositely, if you are an advanced stargazer, you definitely can choose a monocular for its field of view and powerful objective lens.


When it comes to hunting, you may get confused about whether you need to get a monocular or a pair of binoculars. If you go hunting, you need to watch your target from a long distance for better views and images.

Monoculars are hunters’ first choice to go for wildlife hunting since they stay more focused and achieve precision. On the other side of the coin, if you need a better field of view and need to see a more expansive area, you surely can go for a pair of binoculars.

The durability, capability to identify details even from a longer distance, and performance in dim light make it the best suit in this category. As a beginner, you can opt for an affordable birds binocular to improve your hunting skill.


If you are a hiker or wildlife observer, you need optical devices to explore the area around you for better hiking and observing experience. If the purpose for hiking is to spend a good holiday or simply a leisure activity, a monocular is clearly a better choice.

It gives you the comfort and handiness you need. However, a pair of compact binoculars is also a great idea. From taking advanced photographs to observing a wider range of areas, binoculars always stand first.

Sports & Travel:

In terms of sports and travel, you can use both monoculars and binoculars. When it comes to indoor sports, a monocular can be a good purchase for sure. It is very lightweight and allows one to stay focused on the target and concentrate on accuracy.

Again, binoculars magnify the larger area. If the sports events are held in larger areas, binoculars will be great for surveillance and other tactical works.

Tourists, travelers, and frequent outdoor explorers can get benefit from high-quality monoculars. They are compact, handy, less weighty and pocket friendly, and have an outstanding magnifying capability.

Binoculars, in this case, however, are not much suitable. It is heavy, takes a considerable amount of space to keep, and is pricy at the same time. But nowadays, some compact binoculars out there that can also serve the purpose if you can choose wisely.

Is monocular as good as binocular?

When you are using a monocular for the first time, you probably think if monocular is as good as binocular. Well, certainly yes! The most fantastic part of a monocular is that it is small, lightweight, and compact. They are half the size of a pair of regular binoculars providing the same level of magnification.

In fact, they cost less. The only problem with monocular is that they can cause rapid eye fatigue since only one eye is used. On the other hand, you can have a relaxed vision with binoculars that might lack in a monocular. But a number of hunters, travelers, hikers, or birders choose a monocular over binoculars.

Bottom Line

Now, if you want to compare monoculars with binoculars, you have to ask yourself some critical questions. Do you need to cover an enormous field of vision? Do you want to spend more? Do you need a more professional optical device?

Do you want a relaxed vision? If all the answers are yes, opt for a pair of high-quality binoculars, but if the answer is no, just go for a monocular. Choose the one you need, not the one your friend or neighbor owns. And, that’s it!

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