Monocular vs Binocular

It appears obvious when you compare the two that a monocular is, in essence, a binocular cut in half.  So why should you have a one-eyed binocular on board? Let’s look at a few of the reasons why……

  • A monocular is lightweight and easier to carry than your traditional boat binoculars, either around your neck or in your pocket. As boaters, we know that if it is easy to use and carry, we will take it with us. They are great for gunkholing and hikes.
  • They have a lens and prism design like binoculars.
  • They are usually priced much less than traditional binoculars.
  • A monocular is not designed for extended viewing and places more strain on your eyes than typical binoculars. They are designed for quick glimpses.
  • A monocular is also great at night as you won’t lose your night vision completely.  The eye that you are using for the monocular will readjust to the dark faster than if you are using both eyes with a binocular.
  • I have a set of binoculars at each helm with a “do not remove” sticker.  When you are underway and see something ahead, you can’t be searching for the binoculars.  I have the monocular as a roamer and it is great while anchored (sitting on the bow) or day-tripping to throw around my neck or in my backpack.

The Coolest Thing About A Monocular

The coolest thing about this fabulous gadget is that you can use it as a telephoto lens for your smartphone!  If you don’t want to pack around your big traditional camera or perhaps you only use a smartphone, a monocular will allow you to capture amazing close-up photos on your phone.

  • Some are available with a phone kit that includes a tripod, hand strap, smartphone adapter, eyecup, cloth and handy carrying bag.

Which Monocular is Best?

My favourite is a product from Fetch Falcon, a local Vancouver company. A basic monocular starts at $39.99 and ranges up to $199.00. I purchased the Fetch Falcon 12X50 IPX7 Monocular with the Phone Kit.  It fits in my hand well, it is lightweight and waterproof.  There is also a less expensive version with a slightly smaller range, the Fetch Falcon 10-30 X 50. The company website can be found at

I only endorse products I have used or that come highly recommended by a fellow boater.  If you purchase a product through an Amazon affiliate link, I may receive a small commission.  However, there is no extra cost to you.  I am not recommending products solely for the commission, I am doing it so I can try more cool products.