Night Vision Monocular vs Binocular for Hunting

Every hunter is always faced with the dilemma of choosing between a night vision monocular and binocular. These two devices both serve a crucial role in enhancing your vision at night. Their only major difference is the number of lenses. A monocular is designed for use with one eye while binoculars work with both eyes. Imagine a monocular as a one-side barrel of the binocular.

The biggest question remains, which is the best night vision for hunting between a monocular and binocular. Each of these tools is uniquely designed to serve a major role. They help bring long-distance images closer for a better view. Let’s first understand these night vision devices and how they work.

What are binoculars?

Binoculars are the most common optical device and one that you’ve probably tried out once.  In simple terms, binoculars are dual tubes with a built-in optic system and magnification power. You can think of binoculars as two mini telescopes. You have to use two eyes giving you a three-dimensional image.

There is little to introduce binoculars since they are widely used in the hunting field. Nowadays, we have night vision binoculars that enhance night vision for hunters. This simply means you get the advantage of spotting animals at a distance at night.

What is a monocular?

A monocular is a single tube optical device that works on one eye. It is a single tube system that you view with a single eye. Most people imagine a monocular as a miniature telescope. Monoculars are often overlooked not because they don’t function well. However, this is because most people are familiar with binoculars.

It is worth noting that monoculars serve a crucial part where it is hard to use a binocular. Night vision monoculars are among the most versatile night vision devices. They are compact and lightweight thus ideal for head mounting.

These two devices are pretty similar but with minor differences that make one suitable in different situations. To help you make a wise decision regarding what is best for hunting, we are going to analyze the two under the following categories.

Night Vision Monocular vs Binocular for Hunting


Monoculars are the obvious winner when you consider portability. This is because they are compact and lightweight as opposed to bulky and heavy binoculars.  The best choice comes down to purpose and place of use. For persons in a stationary place, then a spotting scope on a tripod stand is a better choice of the two.

When moving around hunting at night, these two devices can work perfectly. However, monoculars have an edge due to their compact size. Monoculars are easy to store in your jacket pocket and access with ease. While you can carry a binocular over the neck, they tend to add more weight and not as fast focusing as monoculars.

Apart from weight, consider fog proof and waterproof features of these two devices. Not all models are waterproof and fog proof for a safe outdoor hunting expedition.

Night vision

Since we are hunting at night, you need to consider the night vision capability of these two devices. You’ve probably seen movies where the military prefers monocular NV over binocular NV devices. Monoculars again stand out as the best choice since they free one eye to examine the surroundings. Moreover, night vision light can be blinding to your eyes. A monocular gives you an extra eye to scan your hunt area without blinding your eyes.

This is something most hunters are realizing when it comes to night hunting. While there are pretty decent NV binoculars, monoculars are considered the best choice.  Nowadays you can find monoculars specifically targeted at hunters. Some advanced night vision monoculars feature IR illumination. They can light up a non-visible spectrum without making the target aware of the light.

Field of view

When you consider the field of view, binoculars have twice the field of view since they feature two lenses. Binoculars offer a wider field of view relative to your eyes. You can find monoculars with bigger lenses but this also means more money.

However, the field of view drastically reduces as you increase magnification. The choice comes down to whether you need a wide field of view or not.


When it comes to comfort, the best choice comes down to what is easy to carry when not in use. Binoculars are heavy but come with a neck strap to hang around the neck. The strap quality might vary affecting comfort levels. This is something you want to consider if you choose a binocular.

On the other hand, monoculars are lightweight and easy to carry. They feature wrist-straps but carrying it on the wrist is not very comfortable. We have a few with neck-straps but you can also improvise a strap.

Ease of use

There is no obvious winner here since both devices use the same technology. The only major difference is using both eyes to focus and one eye. Focusing on one eye is considered easier and friendly.

Final verdict

In conclusion, both night vision monoculars and night vision binoculars are great devices for hunting. You can choose any depending on what best works for you. However, monoculars tend to have a slight edge in different categories hence the better choice. You can check out for more details about these kind of optics.