In this article, I’ll show you a list of the best thermal monocular for hunting coyote, hog, coon, squirrel and more. They enable you to detect animals day and night before identifying with your shooting optics.

After 25 hours of research, I found Burris Thermal Series Handheld Thermal Vision Device for Night Hunting is a top choice. But wait, there’s more…

Best Hunting Thermal Monoculars:

Best Thermal Monocular For Hunting Reviews:

1. Burris Thermal Series Handheld Thermal Vision Device for Night Hunting:

 Burris Thermal Series Handheld Thermal Vision Device for Night Hunting

Via Amazon.com

If you are looking for long-range scanning with many extra features and perfect image quality in total darkness, check out the Burris thermal vision device.

Specs:

Sensor resolution

400 x 300

Base Magnification

2.3x - 9.2x

Optical Magnification

1x - 4x

NETD (clarity)

N/A

Pixel Pitch

17μm

Objective lens

35 mm

Detection range

750 yds

Weight

1.06 lb

Battery Life

5 hours

Great Sensor

The high pixel pitch of 17μm offers a fantastic image quality. It allows you to detect animals from long distances up to 750 yards.

Pixel pitch is the distance between the centres of two pixels of a microbolometer.

(Source: Pulsar-vision)

Nice for low-light hunting

It is great for low-light spots with a large aperture of F1.2. It gathers more light in dim conditions.

High Power

high power

Via Amazon.com

With a base magnification of 2.3 to 9.2x, it offers less zoom than Pulsar Helion.

It’s great if you are standing still or hunting from a blind and want to scan a large area with a long-range identification and a crisp image.

But the field of view (FOV) is tight, so it’s a bit of a trade-off.

The digital zoom is 1 to 4x, with a smooth zooming in.

High-resolution display

The LCOS screen has a 400 x 300 resolution with a fast refresh rate of 50Hz, providing real-time pictures from your truck.

5 color palettes

5 color palettes make your prey stand out from the background. It includes:

  • Red hot
  • White hot
  • Black hot
  • Iron red
  • Blue hot
burris color palettes

Via thefirearmblog.com

It’s extremely helpful if you need to identify the coyote or coons in the brush and cover that you can not see with your naked eyes.

Have a check how they perform:

Hot Tracking

hot tracking

What makes this monocular stand out is the fast-tracking. It locks the heat signature even when the object is moving, so it’s a breeze to follow the targets.

Lightweight

Burris Lightweight

The monocular is lightweight, as it only weighs 1.06 pounds, making it easy to carry around.

Picture-In-Picture Mode

You will have detailed viewing as a thermal scope while maintaining a wide FOV.

picture in picture mode 2

Great Housing

The housing makes it easy to grip your hands, even wearing gloves.

The buttons and menu are big and user-friendly, so it’s easy to use, even wet or dark.

The unit is waterproof and dust-proof according to the IP66 standard, which can withstand harsh weather.

A manual focus ring on the front gives you a sharper and more detailed image.

burris thermal buttons

Via burrisoptics.com

Internal Lithium Battery

The battery can last up to 5 hours, which can be extended with a power bank or turned to low power mode.

Burris battery

However, you cannot replace the battery without sending it back to the factory.

Built-in rangefinder

The rangefinder function lets you measure how far your target is out in the field.

Burris built in rangefinder

Built-in rangefinder - Via burrisoptics.com

Pairing to wifi

You can pair the monocular to your phone using Wi-Fi, allowing you to change the app's settings and remote control.

Pro tips:

I advise you to attach the thermal monocular to a tripod in a different location, allowing you to view it remotely from your stand.

Lifetime warranty

lifetime warranty

The lifetime warranty ensures the manufacturer backs you up, which is nice.

Downside

I didn’t like the bulky size. It’s 7.5 by 2.5 by 2.7 inches which are bulkier than most monoculars on this list.

The battery is not self-serviced, and the startup time is long.

Besides, you cannot adjust manual focus from the mobile app, and there is no internal memory for video recording.

Last but not least, there is no lens cover so that the lens can be scratched.

Pros:

  • Great sensor
  • High power
  • Impressive image quality
  • High-resolution display
  • 5 color palettes to switch
  • Lightweight
  • Hot tracking
  • PIP mode
  • Great housing
  • Built-in rangefinder
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Pairs with phones

Cons:

  • Internal battery
  • Bulky
  • Long startup
  • No lens cover
  • No manual focus in-app
  • No internal memory

2. Pulsar Helion 2 Thermal Monocular - XP50 Pro:

Pulsar Helion 2 Thermal Monocular

Via Amazon.com

If you are looking for a sensitive handheld monocular that offers top clarity and detects long-range amazingly, check out the Pulsar Helion 2.

Specs:

Sensor resolution

640 x 480

Base Magnification

2.5x

Optical Magnification

20x

NETD (clarity)

25 mK

Pixel Pitch

17μm

Objective lens

50 mm

Detection range

1800 yds

Weight

3.2 lbs

Battery Life

8 hours

Best Clarity

With the NETD of under 25mK, it’s certainly better than the previous generation and offers a crisp and astonishing image while observing.

You can’t beat the optical clarity.

What is NETD in a thermal camera?

The expression stands for “Noise Equivalent Temperature Difference”. It measures how well a thermal imaging detector can distinguish between very small differences in thermal radiation in the image. NETD is typically being expressed in milli-Kelvin (mK).

(Source: MoviTherm.com)

High Sensor Resolution

The 480 x 640 resolution and the 17µm pixel pitch sensor offer a much higher resolution than the old 320 units.

This handheld scanner also has a larger objective lens than the XP50 regular monocular, which provides superb image quality.

It also has an image boost, improving the image contrast from the background. You can see small insects within distances of 50 to 60 yards. Have a check:

Note: this feature might be turned off by default, but it’s pretty easy to turn it on.

Extremely Powerful

With the 2.5 base magnification, it’s a balance between power and long range. You have a powerful base for long-range observation and a pretty wide FOV.

The digital zoom is 20x that is easy to locate animals at a max of 1,800 yards in the wide open field.

Wide Field of View

FOV is wide thanks to the big objective lens of 50mm.

With large FOV - 218 on 1000m, you can pick out coyotes at distances of up to 2,000 yards.

The best part: you can replace the lens with a 28 or 38 mm to get even wider FOV with less range.

8 Color Palettes

Pulsar color palletes

You can freely switch around and pick out animals with multiple colour palettes in low or no light conditions. Nothing can hide.

Bulky size & weight

Pulsar Helion 2 weight

With a weight of 3 pounds, it’s somewhat heavy. The size is bulky - 13 by 5 by 5 inches, but it still feels good in your hands.

AMO LED Display

AMO led

Via pulsar-nv.com

This thermal spotter provides a large screen with a high resolution of 1024 by 768. But if it were any higher, it would consume much of your battery.

The refresh rate is fast - 50Hz, so you can get an instant picture with zero issues.

Built-In Recorder

built in recorder

Via Amazon.com

The built-in recorder allows you to easily take videos or photos day and night for up to 8 hours.

It can work as a hunting camera with sensitive audio to record nearby sounds but does not take background sounds well.

The wifi enables you to share your hunting trips with your friends.

Built like a tank

built like a tank

Via Amazon.com

The housing is a tank, thanks to the magnesium alloy housing, making it more reliable and shockproof. So you never have to worry about dropping it accidentally.

It can work smoothly in harsh weather, down to -13 to 122 degrees Fahrenheit, which is much lower than other models on the market.

User friendly

Pulsar Helion 2 buttons

Via optics-trade.eu

The menu and the buttons are easy to use.

The eye relief of 15 mm is excellent for hunters who wear glasses.

The product is IPX7-standard waterproof so that it can work on rainy days.

waterproof

Via Amazon.com

Fast startup

The startup is fast. It takes less than 3 seconds to start, and the sleep mode is there to save battery life.

Interchangeable Battery

Pulsar Helion 2 battery life

You’ll love interchangeable batteries, which is an advanced feature.

It allows you to change the battery quickly if it drains without hooking to a charger or sending it back to the factory.

The battery life is great, up to 8 hours. You can extend it with a backup battery or a power bank.

Built-In Rangefinder

Pulsar Helion rangefinder feature

Via Amazon.com

It’s not as good as the hunting rangefinder, but it’s still functional enough to estimate deer, wild boars, and rabbits.

Warranty

3 year warranty

The warranty is 3 years, but you can use this monocular for much longer.

Frequently update software

The software is frequently updated yearly to refresh your visual experience; not many brands do it.

Downside

This thermal imager is relatively expensive, but it’s worth every penny.

It’s also bulky and doesn’t have the option to review your recording as a video camera - you will need to do it via a computer.

The StreamVision 2 app might be difficult to connect, as well.

The unit is comfortable to use in your right hand, while you might experience problems if left-handed.

Pros:

  • Best image clarity
  • Wide FOV
  • Extremely Powerful
  • 8 color palettes
  • AMO LED display
  • Built-in video and photo recorder
  • Durable
  • Interchangeable battery
  • Fast startup
  • Built-in rangefinder
  • 3-year warranty

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Bulky
  • Difficult to connect to the app
  • Problematic to use with your left hand

3. AGM Global Vision Thermal Monocular Taipan TM15-385 Thermal Imaging Monocular:

 AGM Global Vision Thermal monocular Taipan TM15-384 Thermal Imaging Monocular for Hunting 384x288 (50 Hz) Monocular for Adults

Via Amazon.com

If you are looking for a long-range, fixed focus lens with a balance of the wide FOV and medium range, the AGM Global Vision Taipan monocular is a good choice.

Specs:

Sensor resolution

384 x 288

Base Magnification

1.5x

Optical Magnification

2x - 8x

NETD (clarity)

35 mK

Pixel Pitch

12μm

Objective lens

15 mm

Detection range

755 yds

Weight

0.64 lbs

Battery Life

7.5 hours

Extremely Sensitive Lens

The highly sensitive lens has a NETD of 35mK which is bigger than Pulsar. But it has less clarity than Pulsar.

The pixel pitch is 12μm, so it’s lower than the other monoculars but gives you a higher resolution, providing a smoother and crisper image. You can see landscape details very clearly, day or night.

The sensor resolution is 384 x 288 pixels, so it's not the highest, but it still provides high contrast and a clear image.

Extremely Sensitive Lens

Via Amazon.com

Hot Spot Mark

The mark allows you to capture the heating source on a large field before you take a closer look at your scope.

The large screen with the 0.4” and 1280 x 960 LCOS display is decent, but it’s still easy to see. I wish it offered an AMO LED display like Pulsar.

4 Color Palettes

There are only 4 color modes, but it enables you to allocate critters in wooded areas and win any scenario at night.

4 Color Palettes

Via Amazon.com

Not powerful

The product is not powerful, but the low power still has an advantage.

It enables a 1.5x base magnification with a wide FOV - 92 feet at 100 yards which is nice for scouting in wooded areas.

digital zoom

Via Amazon.com

Ergonomic Design

This infrared monocular is half the size of the Pulsar: 6.3 x 2.4 x 2.2”

It’s light (only 0.6 pounds), small and compact to fit in your pockets.

small and portable

Via Amazon.com

Intuitive menu

The buttons and the menu are easy to use with only 4 fingers, so you can simply take pictures and videos.

Intuitive menu

Via manuals.plus

Even more, you can attach it to a helmet with the additional dovetail mount to free your hands.

Tripod mount

The bottom mount to a tripod will stabilize your scanning process.

Durable

ip67

The monocular is IP67-waterproof, but it can restrain only light rain.

The working temperature is from -1 to 131 degrees Fahrenheit, so it works fine in poor weather, fog, cold, and rain with no issue.

Pretty Long-Range Detection

The detection range is 775 yards, so it’s shorter than Pulsar. However, you can recognize hogs at about 200 yards accurately.

Affordable price

This monocular is affordable and a lot cheaper than the Pulsar monocular. So it’s a nice entry-level gadget for night hunting.

Long battery

The battery lasts up to 7.5 hours without Wi-Fi, so that it can go through all night.

Taipan TM15-385 battery life

Pairing with app

You can pair it to your phone using the T-Vision app, which allows you to zoom in and out and stream.

3 year warranty

The unit comes with a limited 3-year warranty.

Using a thermal device definitely makes it easier to see livestock and farm infrastructure in the background, which can only increase the safety aspects of hunting on private farmland – and avoid any costly mistakes that will put you at odds with the farmer.

(Rod Byfield -  I Am Hunter by HuntShack)

Downside

The fixed focus on the objective lens offers no focus to adjust the ring. So it’s not good for focusing on targets long distancein your bib. You can only spot above 12 feet.

Unremovable battery

The battery is built-in and not removable, and you cannot replace it yourself when it wears out. In short, you will likely need help from manufacturers.

If you prepare for multi-day hunting, you must recharge it with a power bank.

Small memory

The internal memory is only 8GB, so you need to pair it with a laptop to edit the video. There is no external SD card supported.

Want more?

The lens is low-resolution due to the small objective lens of only 15mm, gathering less light than bigger ones.

There is no audio recording, and the startup might take over 30 seconds.

Pros:

  • Extremely sensitive lens
  • Hot spot mark
  • Large screen
  • 4 color modes
  • Ergonomic design
  • Easy to use
  • Long-range detection
  • Affordable price
  • Long battery
  • Limited 3-year warranty

Cons:

  • Fixed focus
  • The battery is not removable
  • Small internal memory
  • Low-resolution lens
  • No audio recording
  • Slow startup

4. FLIR Scout III Thermal Imaging Monocular:

FLIR Scout Thermal Imaging Monocular

Via Amazon.com

If you are looking for a viewer without a recording feature with a fast refresh rate, you might want to check out FLIR Scout III.

It allows you to check what kind of animals are in the brush.

Specs:

Sensor resolution

640 x 512

Base Magnification

1x

Optical Magnification

4x

NETD (clarity)

50 mK

Pixel Pitch

N/A

Objective lens

35 mm

Detection range

1246 yds

Weight

0.75 lbs

Battery Life

5 hours

High resolution lens

With a resolution of 640 by 512 pixels, it’s a higher resolution than the Pulsar Helion. It picks up a detailed image from 1,000 yards away under ambient temperature.

The clarity is good - with the NETD of under 50mK, double the Pulsar Helion but with less clarity.

The objective lens is pretty big - it’s 35mm, so it sends more light to your lens, but luckily, you can be adjusted it.

Lightweight & Portable

FLIR Scout III Lightweight

Weighing only 0.75 pounds, it’s relatively lightweight.

It’s compact and easy to use with one hand. Thanks to the 6.7 by 2.3 by 2.4 inches size, it’s slightly bigger than the AGM TM384, but it can fit nicely in your bibs.

Big Screen

The 640 by 480 LCD screen has a fast refresh rate of 60Hz. You get light-speed thermal images on your screen; few spotters can get such a high refresh rate.

3 Color Palettes

You have a good variety with 3 color palettes:

  • Black hot
  • White hot
  • InstAlert

It’s good enough for enhancing the highlighted coyote in the small field.

Wide Field of View

The base magnification is 1x, which is low, but it’s great if you move. It’s perfect for spotting in tight quarters where you can see within 100 yards only.

The 4x digital zoom offers a broader FOV observation for a longer range if needed.

Medium range

The range is medium, meaning you can easily spot a coyote from 1,200 yards away, but I think you will feel the most comfortable within 500 yards’ distance with the Scout III.

Wide Field of View

Via Amazon.com

Well-Built Housing

With the rubber coating, you will feel the monocular is steady in your hand.

It’s durable and shockproof, so you don’t have to worry about dropping it. Frankly, it's been tested from 6.6’.

It can withstand snow without damage. It works well from -4 to 122 degrees Fahrenheit.

The monocular is waterproof, so you can use it under snow or wet conditions.

Well-Built Housing

Via Amazon.com

Straight to use

The menu and buttons are straightforward.

Besides that, the tripod mount at the bottom allows you to attach it to most tripod heads and stabilize your sighting.

Fast Startup

Just press the power button for 1.5 seconds, and you will always have your monocular ready to do thermal scanning if a coyote passes through.

Made in USA

made in usa

The IR spotter is made in the USA, so you can feel confident about its quality.

Downside

No self-serviced battery

The battery is non-exchangeable, as the monocular has a built-in internal battery.

You will need to hook it to the outlet or a power bank to recharge it. Besides, you cannot replace it without returning it to the manufacturer.

For viewer only

There is no built-in camera to take photos and videos. If you want to, you will have to connect the video output to an external camera or phone to capture the footage.

The lack of this feature makes this overpriced monocular IMO.

Fixed focus lens

The focus is fixed with no manual focus, so that the picture might seem a bit blurry at distances further than 50 yards.

But note that this is a monocular rather than a spotting scope or binos for range-glassing.

Pros:

  • Good resolution
  • Good clarity
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Big screen
  • 3 color palettes
  • Wide field of view
  • Medium range
  • Well-built housing
  • Quick startup
  • Made in the USA

Cons:

  • The battery is not exchangeable
  • No built-in camera
  • Fixed focus

5. ATN OTS-XLT Compact Lightweight Thermal Viewer:

ATN OTS-XLT Compact Lightweight Thermal Viewer

Via Amazon.com

If you are looking to substitute your night vision scope, retaining the option to scan surroundings without pointing your rifle for extra safety, check out the ATN OTS-XLT compact thermal viewer.

It’s the ultimate option for entry-level thermal hunting.

Specs:

Sensor resolution

160 x 120

Base Magnification

N/A

Optical Magnification

8x

NETD (clarity)

N/A

Pixel Pitch

17μm

Objective lens

19 mm

Detection range

850 yds

Weight

0.81 lbs

Battery Life

10 hours

High Resolution Display

The display of 720 x 540 pixels with 4 color palettes makes watching animals at night so much fun.

Check them out: white hot, black hot, red hot, and color.

ATN color palettes

color palettes - ATN OTS-XLT 

Low Resolution Sensor

The sensor has 160 x 120 pixels, which is functional for scanning hogs in thick brush.

However, it will be blurry from 20 yards and more. The small sensor of 17μm provides a high-density image in a short range.

Heat Signature

The heat signature marks the hottest source clearly with no effort. It can be helpful in the field where you need to track deer and identify moving animals.

Heat Signature

Via atncorp.com

Lightweight

ATN OTS-XLT Compact Lightweight

Weighing only 0.81 pounds, this unit is lightweight and can easily fit in your pocket.

Good Magnification

With the 1x base magnification, this monocular offers a wide FOV due to low power. It’s ideal for scanning and recovering wounded games on a large open field.

The digital zoom offers magnification from 2x to 8x. Although the image quality is not excellent but relatively good.

Built-In Rangefinder

Built-In Rangefinder

Via Amazon.com

The rangefinder can detect up to 263 yards and save you some bucks on getting an additional rangefinder.

Far Detection Range

The detection range goes up to 670 yards - but in my experience, the actual yardage is about half, so that you will get about 300 to 400 yards in the open field.

You can identify animals up to 170 yards away during the day or night.

The video recording ability with the integrated camera can make your hunting trips fun.

Long Battery Life

ATN battery life

The battery life is up to 10 hours, so it can last you all night with no issues.

However, the battery is internal, so you cannot self-service if it drains.

Well-Made & Ergonomic Viewer

well made and ergonomic

Via atncorp.com

The rubberized coating secures your investment from accidental drops.

The ¼” tripod screw at the bottom allows you to attach the monocular to your helmet and free your hands.

The buttons and menu are intuitive and easy to use even without the manual.

Budget-friendly

The price is budget-friendly, making it an excellent pick for an entry-level hunter who is getting into night hunting.

The 2-year warranty can leave you without worries as the manufacturer will stand behind the product.

2 year warranty

Downside

Bulky

I didn’t like how bulky this monocular is - it’s bulkier than the AGM and the Scout III, with dimensions of 6.85 by 2.63 by 2.08 inches.

However, it’s still comfortable to handle with big hands.

Difficult to use rangefinder function

Using the rangefinder function is difficult, so you will need to pass many steps to identify the target, which might take too much time on the field.

Low resolution

The low-resolution sensor is expected - you can’t get too much from an affordable unit.

Others:

  • There is no manual focus with the less detailed images when zooming.
  • The startup time is long - it can take between 6 and 8 seconds.
  • No lanyard cord is included, but you should get it to make it handier while hunting.

Pros:

  • High-resolution display
  • Heat Signature
  • Lightweight
  • Good magnification
  • Built-in rangefinder
  • Far detection
  • Video recording
  • Long battery life
  • Well made viewer
  • Budget-friendly

Cons:

  • Bulky
  • Low resolution lens
  • Long startup
  • No lanyard cord and manual focus
  • Difficult to use rangefinder

How to Choose the Best Handheld Thermal Imager for Hunting:

Besides the great products I have researched, I have compiled a buying guide to help you pick the best features for your new thermal monocular. So keep reading:

Sensor Resolution

Thermal monoculars detect heat signatures which makes them different from regular monoculars (thanks to their sensor).

Most products you will find online with a high-resolution pitch have a detector of 480 by 640 pixels.

pixel pitch

At the very least, you will need to find a scope with that resolution, but I advise you to look for products that offer a higher resolution if you want great pictures.

Noise Equivalent Temperature Difference (NETD)

What is NETD?

NETD is the thermal sensitivity level, indicating the minimum temperature difference that the camera can detect. The NETD values are measured in mK, and they are essentially a result of the noise made by the infrared detector.

If the noise is lower, the smaller the temperature differences are, and the camera can detect even the smallest changes. So, most products offer a resolution of 100 mK, which is what you should look for.

For instance, the Pulsar Helion has the lowest NETD (under 25 mK) and has the best clarity.

Pulsar 40mk Netd

40mK (clearer) - Via pulsar-nv.com

Pulsar 50mk Netd

50mK - Via pulsar-nv.com

On the other hand

If your thermal monocular can detect even the smallest changes in the temperature, you can spot your prey wherever it is. Even if your game is hidden well, nothing will stop you with a good sensor resolution.

That is why you will need to pay special attention to the sensor resolution, as that’s the feature that makes a good thermal monocular. Without an exceptional sensor, the thermal monocular is pretty much useless.

Magnification

What is the magnification and base magnification?

Magnification is, essentially, the ability of the scope to enlarge objects by zooming. Most scopes and monoculars have specifications that allow them to enlarge objects up to a certain distance optimally.

On the other hand, base magnification is the optimum distance you can see without blurring, no matter how much you zoom it.

Do you need a high-power monocular?

The critical point to remember about monoculars is that with a higher power comes a longer distance and low FOV. Higher powers will help you identify objects at a longer distance, but the issue with high base magnification is that you lose the field of view.

My recommendation:

I would rather be unable to identify a coyote at the maximum shooting distance than miss one slipping right past me at 100 yards.

So, I recommend you look for a thermal monocular with a base magnification between 1.5 and 2x.

Moving

If you plan to use it while moving, I would stay around 2x or less base magnification-wise.

This allows for the widest field of view, and it’s ideal if you are in a tighter quarter, seeing less than 100 yards.

It’s also great for finding dead deer. On top of that, it’s faster to scan than optical zoom.

Standing still

If you wish to hunt while standing still, you can go for a base magnification of over 2x.

Pro tips:

I found it’s much easier to turn my head and scan a wider area than to use a low-power thermal and lift up my rifle whenever I wanted to identify something before starting a long stalk.

Detection Range

Detection range

The detection range is very effective for all hunters looking for a long-distance hunt. You should focus on the detection range to hunt from a good distance.

For example, you can see an object with a heat signature at the maximum detection range, but you cannot tell what it is - just that it exists.

The identification range is smaller than the detection range, and the maximum identification range is where you can get a good guess at what the object is.

The recognition range is even smaller, and on the maximum recognition distance, you can confidently say that the object you’re seeing is on the maximum recognition distance.

If your monocular has an identification range of over 200 yards and can detect targets - allowing you to get a good look at the target, it will improve your success at all times.\

It won't affect how you usually hunt if it doesn’t offer a decent detection range. The point is to make it easier, so make sure you look for a 200+ yards detection range.

Display Resolution

Display resolution will show everything the heat signature picked up - visualised for humans. Your monoculars must also have a great display resolution to present everything the sensor found.

At the very least, your display should have a least resolution of 480 by 640 pixels. With this resolution, you can see everything enough to shoot.

Color Palettes

color palletes

Via agmglobalvision.com

Thermal monoculars come with various color palettes, and you should pick a palette that works best according to your needs.

There are different palettes for various styles, and most hunters have a preference for the color mode.

  • Darker shades usually depict objects with a lower temperature, 
  • Bright colors depict something with a higher temperature.
  • Some people cannot detect certain colors, so they pick a palette that works best for them.

Now, there is one more point I need to make:

The more color palettes, the more choice. It will ensure you see all the objects clearly without missing a good shot.

With plenty of color modes, you can try them all to see what doesn’t tire out your eyes, even when you spend a lot of time looking through the monoculars.

If your eyes are sensitive to light, there are great options to choose red palettes so you don’t get a headache.

Refresh Rate (Hz)

refresh rate

As for the refresh rate - the general rule of thumb is that the higher, the better. For instance: the Flir Scout III (60Hz) has a higher refresh rate and is better than Burris Handheld Thermal.

Why is it so important?

Higher refresh rates ensure that the image is refreshed quickly so you can see more details and the object status in a matter of seconds if you are looking at it.

A higher refresh rate ensures you don't miss out on your target's movement and gives you a better chance at success.

If you aren’t too sure what a high refresh rate is for a thermal monocular, look for thermal monoculars with a refresh rate of 30 Hz or higher.

Choosing a 30+ Hz monocular will give you a perfect picture and a better chance of catching your prey.

Battery Life

battery life

As for the battery life, you will need to check for a monocular that will last you, at the very least, till the end of the day with constant use.

If you usually go camping and spend the entire weekend hunting, you will need to find a monocular that has a solid, strong battery.

Many thermal monoculars have specific helpful features that can quickly drain the battery. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth can shorten the battery life. These features are usually something you will need for an all-day hunt.

Our Recommendation:

You will need to look for a thermal monocular with a 10+ hour battery life. Ideally, it should be interchangeable, which you can replace without sending it back to the manufacturers.

Otherwise, you will have to carry an extra charger or battery, which can add more weight load and less convenience.

Durability

With bigger optics comes more vulnerability to external factors such as snow and rain.

Waterproof

waterproof

If you are looking for powerful optics, you must ensure you are buying a weatherproof unit - you don’t want to buy a monocular that will get wet from a little rain.

Shockproof

shock proof

Another note to remember is if you plan to move around a lot in the woods.

If you do, you should find a portable and shockproof monocular that can withstand bumps, mud and snow, or it won’t last nearly as much as you want it to.

Size and Weight

weight

Size

Size is something you will need to consider depending on your hunting style.

If you like to station yourself in a ground blind or a tree stand, you can get away with most thermal monoculars available on the market.

However, bulky monoculars will be annoying to carry around if you like to be on the move, and they can take up a lot of precious space.

If you like to move around, stick to more compact monoculars, so they don’t use up space for other accessories you want to take with you.

Weight

As for the weight - every ounce matters. If your hunting spots are far away from your truck, you certainly don’t want to haul too many pounds on your back as you will get tired quickly.

So, you will need to spare every ounce you can - including your monoculars.

Warranty

warranty

A solid warranty keeps you safe in case something happens to your monocular.

So, at the very least, you should look for a monocular with a 1-year warranty.

Preferably, you should find a monocular with a lifetime warranty, as it’s a sure sign that the manufacturer feels confident in the quality of the product.

Another thing you need to check is whether the warranty only applies to the original buyer.

If that is the case, you will not get a free warranty from manufacturers.


FAQs:

faq

Can Thermal Monocular Be Used in Daylight?

Yes, thermal monoculars can be used during the day and night. Unlike night vision gadgets, it will work equally well during the day because animals emit body temperature.

So, no worry if you want to use your monoculars in the morning - you will still see everything you need.

Can You Use a Thermal Monocular With a Scope?

Yes, thermal monoculars can be used with a rifle or crossbow scope. There are two options for mounting the monocular:

  • Mount it in front of the scope
  • Or mount behind the scope

I advise you to try both options before you settle for one of them to see what works best for you.

Is thermal imaging legal for hunting?

No, although most states allow hunting with thermal and night vision devices, such as North Dakota, it’s still illegal in some county as Utah and Missouri.

thermal imaging legal in Missouri

Thermal hunting in Missouri, 2021

thermal imaging legal in Utah

Thermal hunting in Utah, 2021


Bottom Line:

There are so many amazing thermal monoculars on the market today. I had a lot of fun researching thermal monoculars and trying out the best ones I could find.

However, despite finding solid choices - Burris Thermal Series Handheld Thermal Vision Device for Night Hunting is our best thermal monocular for hunting.

editor's choice

Via Amazon.com

  • Clear image
  • Powerful
  • Wide FOV
  • Lightweight
  • High resolution sensor and display
  • Long range detection
  • Nice color palettes
  • Lifetime warranty

Make sure to check it out.

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About the Author

Hi, I'm Robert Gate, a hunter from Texas and Founder of ArcheryTopic.

I first learned archery from my dad when I was 12 years old. He gave me a Mathew bow as a gift and instantly fell in love with the pursuit.