As we have reviewed the best hunting monoculars before, today, we are looking at the best thermal monocular. We have selected the these thermal monoculars based on the reviews and expert’s opinions on the best features.
You will find the best features listed under our buying guide section and a care and maintenance guide as well.
So, let’s see the best thermal monoculars then!
Best Thermal Monocular Reviewed: Our Top Picks
Let’s see 8 of the best thermal monoculars available in the market now!
Leupold LTO Tracker 2 is a top-rated all-around thermal monocular. It is the most customer favorite with the best features possible on the market. We will discuss the features that have satisfied the needs of the customer now.
Leupold LTO Tracker 2 is made in the USA. This thermal monocular is made with the extreme weather conditions of the hunting zones and seasons in mind; it can work under almost all weather conditions.
This Leupold LTO Tracker 2 has a mouthful model name, Leupold Model #177188 tracker 2 HD, but it is known as Leupold LTO Tracker 2. This is a waterproof, shock proof and fog proof monocular.
It is a digital monocular with a thermal sensor resolution 390 x 390 eyepiece display to see the image in digital mode. This high-resolution monocular can have a detection range of 750 yards, meaning it can detect infrared radiation as heat signature and create a thermal image from 750 yards away.
As per user reviews and expert opinions, this handheld monocular is one of the best thermal imaging monoculars. This thermal imager comes with a 7x digital zoom that enhances the detection range to very specific spots.
It comes with a gorilla glass display that is shockproof, breakproof, and very durable. The display can translate the thermal image into 6 different colors, with 6 different color palettes for long-range observations and short-range spotting options for low light environments.
You have the hi black, where you will see the game or whatever you are looking for in a bright red and orange color; darker shades represent the background.
Then there is the hi white where you can see the object or the game in a lighter orange and yellow against the backdrop of a darker ashy color. It makes detection in a decent range much easier.
There is hi/lo green where the hunt is seen in a darker color against a bright background. It is not too bright to hamper the detection; it merely aids the detection for your hunt.
You have the classic black palette where the hunt is seen in a black color against the background that is also dark but creates a contrast against the hunt. This makes detection easier.
You have the white, which is the opposite of the black palette. You will detect large animals as white against a dark background.
Lastly, the green palette makes the game a bright green object against a dark background. This makes your long-range animal scouting and hunting easier.
As mentioned before, Leupold LTO Tracker 2 thermal imager comes with a 7x digital zoom that helps you zoom in on specific points on the field of view. This thermal imaging monocular is made with lightweight aluminum. Moreover, the rugged construction quality gives monocular durability.
There is a beacon mode that allows you to recalibrate the screen quickly for daytime use. This thermal monocular requires 1 CR123A battery that gives you up to three hours of battery life.
The Leupold LTO Tracker 2 thermal imaging monoculars have two models; we have reviewed the Leupold Model #177188 tracker 2 HD. The other model is called Leopold model no. 177187 tracker 2. The model we have reviewed costs a bit more than this one. But both, in fact, all Leupold products come with 2 years electronics warranty. You might have to contact the seller for that!
- Best thermal technology monocular
- Good thermal sensor resolution
- A great objective lens with high resolution
- Mini thermal monocular with 7x digital zoom
- Lightweight, durable construction, compact thermal monocular
- Good operating temperature range with 6 color palettes
- Can withstand rugged environments, absorb infrared radiation
- 750 yard detection range animal spotting
- Excellent monocular with high magnification power
- 2 year warranty, the relatively affordable price tag
- Not very high end thermal monocular
- Poor image quality with relatively low resolution, no video recording
We have received a lot of recommendations for Flir scout products, especially for Flir Scout iii. We could not find enough reviews or information for that one; we’ve found this! This is a high-end thermal monocular with all the best features and recommendations from experts. Let’s see why this is so good!
First of all, this is an affordable thermal scope with all the features considered to be the best! Flir Scout TK monocular comes with the best objective lens in the budget, video or image recording with great display resolution, decent optical performance, or imaging performance with sharp images. All the things that you need for hunting!
The FLIR Scout TK thermal monocular is a rugged and lightweight construction that converts infrared light or infrared radiation into crisp thermal images for your hunting needs.
This is a pocket sized monocular that is very easy to carry around. It is very easy to use with the four buttons it comes with. You can do video recording as well as image recording on this thermal monocular using the buttons. Short pressing the button will take perform and image recording, and a long press will record videos.
There are multiple color palettes: white/black hot, InstAlert™, Graded fire video palettes, and many more. This excellent monocular can withstand rugged environments and is very durable and safe to use anywhere.
Flir Scout Tk thermal monocular comes with a Handheld Thermal Camera, Neck Lanyard, USB Cable, Lens Cap in a package. This monocular has a 100-yard detection range.
It comes with a 640 x 480 LCD display, with a resolution of 160 x 120. This monocular is powered by 1 Lithium ion battery that can last up to five hours. It has a lasting battery life.
As we’ve mentioned before, this is a cheap thermal monocular that’s second to none in term of value for money. The Flir scout products come with a 2-10 year warranty; contact the seller to know more.
- Handheld thermal monoculars with video recording
- Entry-level thermal scope with a compact design with decent image quality
- Multiple palette options
- Night vision thermal imaging devices with lithium ion battery
- Thermal sensor resolution with video or image recording thermal devices
- Thermal imager with a great objective lens high-quality optics
- Rugged and lightweight construction affordable thermal scopes
- Compact monocular decent optical performance with a decent operating temperature range
- 2 to 10 year warranty thermal imaging monocular
- Variable magnification information not available
- Short detection range, entry-level thermal monocular
AGM ASP Micro TM160 is the next thermal monocular on our list. This is another high-end thermal monocular with an affordable price point.
This thermal imaging monocular is a handheld monocular with a 160 x 120 infrared sensor and a 720 x 540 LCOS image display. You can use this thermal monocular for observation, wildlife watching, thermal tracking, highest temperature target tracking, distance measurement, and so on.
It comes with a built in thermal detector for a clear view even in 100% darkness. This monocular is used in patrolling, law enforcement, search and rescue operations, drug enforcement, anti-smuggling, criminal seizing, hiking, travel, hunting, etc.
This thermal imaging monocular can measure distances that allow ballistic calculation and make a long-range shot accuracy higher. You can also mark the target based on the body heat or current temperature patterns as you should on a thermal monocular. You can switch the color palettes to make your target object more visible and detect the target easily.
This thermal imaging monocular has inbuilt memory storage that allows video recording and image recording. You can share these images with your smartphones using the Wi Fi hotspot feature of this device. You can connect your phone to this hi-tech monocular for a distant observation to not scare your game away.
This thermal imaging monocular has 1x, 2x, and 4x digital zoom. There is a high sensitivity thermal sensor for easy detection of targets from far away. There is a rechargeable lithium ion battery that can be used for 7 hours straight. However, the manufacturer recommends that you not continuously use the Wi-Fi hotspot function to get extra battery life.
The rechargeable battery can be recharged using a Type C cable. The whole device comes with a 3 years limited warranty; contact the seller for the warranty.
The price point of this thermal imaging monocular is relatively affordable thermal imager price. With all the features on the arsenal, it is a good investment indeed. This thermal imaging monocular is #4 on the night vision monocular bestseller list.
- Thermal monoculars with Wi fi hotspot and infrared detector
- Entry-level thermal scope with a compact design doesn’t reduce image quality
- Rechargeable battery with 7 hours of backup time and battery capacity display
- USB Type C cable, wrist strap, thermal imaging device lens tissue included
- Video or image recording thermal device, high quality monocular
- Rugged and lightweight construction, long detection range
- Variable magnification 1x, 2x, and 4x digital zoom thermal imaging unit for mid-range animal spotting
- 8GB internal memory stores images
- Mid-level performance range
Flir Scout products seem to be the best products when it comes to thermal monoculars. This is a second Flir Scout Product; this one is called Flir Ocean Scout TK. Let’s see the features of this one!
This is a small, compact, rugged, and lightweight thermal monocular for seeing a thermal image. It is great for hunting, surveying, and security works. This Flir Scout product specializes in ocean travel but can be used for hunting as well. It is a perfect monocular for duck hunting.
This Flir Scout product can have thermal video recording features that are very useful to share your adventures with your friends and family. You can also record images with this thermal monocular. The monocular can store up to 1000 images in thermal imaging.
There are various color palettes such as Black Hot, White Hot, InstAlert™ Rainbow, Iron, Lava, Arctic & Graded Fire—that you can choose from to shoot your video. This monocular comes with a 640 x 480 LCD display. In addition, it has an operating temperature range of -4°F to 104°F that is -20°C to 40°C. It works just as well in cool night temperatures.
The FLIR Scout Ocean TK comes with a rechargeable Li ion battery that has long battery life. You can transfer media using a USB cable.
The price tag of this thermal monocular is relatively high. Still, it is very useful in hunting, as per the reviews.
- Handheld monocular, good detection range
- Rechargeable lithium ion battery
- Operating temperature range of -4°F to 104°F that is -20°C to 40°C
- Variable magnification video or image recording thermal device
- Rugged and lightweight thermal imaging monocular
- Higher price tag
Pulsar axion key xm30 is another thermal monocular on our list. This also has some high recommendations and market demand.
Thermal Monocular Pulsar axion key xm30 comes with a 320 x 240 thermal resolution display and 12 megapixel pitch core. It has a high optical magnification for acquiring targets from far away. It also has 4x digital zoom.
Pulsar axion key xm30 is a lightweight and rugged construction made with magnesium alloy housing; it is durable and long lasting. You can perform image and video recording with it very easily. You can directly use the Stream Vision app.
Pulsar axion key xm30 comes in a package that has-
- Axion Thermal Imager for capturing images
- APS3 rechargeable battery
- Battery charger
- USB cable
- Carrying case
- Hand strap
- Quick start guide
- Lens cloth
- Warranty card
It is expensive thermal imaging monocular for your hunting needs, but as it comes with the best features, you can be sure that you will not need to buy 10 cheap ones as long as this one is there with you.
- Handheld thermal monoculars
- Rechargeable lithium ion
- Good detection range video or image recording thermal device
- Comes with the best packages, a good night vision camera
- Rugged and lightweight monocular
- Higher price (Although not as expensive as Pulsar Helion)
FLIR Breach PTQ136 Multi-Purpose Thermal Monocular is the next product on our list. And this is the third Flir product, but this is here of its own caliber. Let’s see why.
FLIR Breach PTQ136 Multi-Purpose Thermal Monocular has a thermal resolution of 320 x 256 and a refresh rate of 60 Hz. The display resolution is a VGA 1280 x 960 FLCOS display.
The monocular captures heat signals and produces thermal images with extra efficiency. It has an advanced image processing capacity that creates sharp images. These sharp and crips images can be easier to detect.
You can use FLIR Breach PTQ136 as a hands free head mounts thermal monoculars. It comes with an integrated railing mounting point for that purpose.
FLIR Breach PTQ136 is a small and compact thermal monocular for hunting and law enforcement. You can keep it in your jacket pocket, and no one will even know.
The package comes with-
- CR123A Battery
- Lens Cloth
- Hard Case
- USB-C Cable
FLIR Breach PTQ136 is a high-end thermal monocular. Reflecting on the price of this thermal monocular, although it’s an expensive thermal monocular, it is worth every cent!
- Head mount and handheld monoculars
- Video and image recording night vision camera
- Rechargeable cr123a battery
- Hard case included, USB c cable
- Rugged and lightweight construction thermal imaging monocular
- Small detection range
This is one of the most premium products on our list. ATN OTS-HD 384 checks all the marks on the best features list.
ATN OTS-HD 384 comes with a 384 x 288 pixel HD resolution display; hence the name ATN OTS- HD 384 has a 384 on it. There are powerful thermal sensors that allow you to get the best thermal images possible. You can catch the slightest discrepancy in the heat with the ATN OTS HD 384 thermal monocular.
ATN OTS HD 384 comes with a built in smart rangefinder for easy detection. You also have a 3D gyroscope and e compass. It will help you locate yourself and your angle of slope easily.
ATN OTS HD 384 comes with e zoom features that allow you to focus on distant objects and gives you clarity of the image. You can transfer the images and video recording to your smartphone using Wi Fi that is built-in on the ATN OTS HD 384.
ATN OTS HD 384 has a smooth zoom feature that allows you to zoom in with the press of a button. You can use the ATN OTS HD 384 thermal monocular with an iOS and Android app. This gives you mobility and comfort of use.
Image stabilization software allows you to take stable, clear, and sharp images, with crisp image quality, even in a colder climate. You can use this for hunting anywhere, in the swamp, ice, and wilderness. It has all the features that will provide you help for hunting and get you home to safety!
The ATN OTS HD 384 comes powered by four AA batteries that can be found in any local shop. ATN OTS HD 384 costs a bit higher than most other thermal scopes, but it is worth every cent!
- Handheld thermal monoculars
- Great detection range
- Video and image recording night vision camera
- High image quality, high res video capability, high definition display, geotagging, built-in rangefinder, wi-fi, integrated compass, e-zoom, 3d gyroscope, ios & android apps
- 4 aa batteries required, easy to get batteries
- Rugged and lightweight construction thermal imaging monocular
- The price of this thermal imaging monocular is a bit high for some people
This is a boating-specific thermal monocular on our list. And we think this is the last because the list has grown a lot now!
AGM ASP TM25-384 has a 385 x 288 resolution high sensitivity thermal sensor detector for detecting the target. It has a focal length of 1.0 and a 1024 x 768 OLED display.
You can use this thermal monocular for up to 5 hours of continuous use. And recharge the monocular using a USB cable. It has a thermal sensor that can take images far away yet give you clear and crisp images. It is the best scanner for the money, the best value product according to the customers.
- Handheld thermal monoculars with the best thermal sensor
- Video and image recording night vision camera
- Rugged and lightweight construction thermal optics
- Beginner thermal scopes
- Limited detection range
Buying Guide for Best Thermal Monocular
Thermal monoculars capture the radiation emitted by various objects through a lens and convert that data into images. This is a very handy device for hunters, outdoor activities, and security force workers. That is why knowing how it works is very important when it comes to buying the best thermal monocular. There are so many alternatives to cherry-pick from in the market that it becomes confusing and frustrating to choose the right one for yourself at the most affordable price. Researching the features makes the purchase easier, but it takes time! Well, we are here for that. We have looked into the best thermal monocular features, and we will discuss them here for your convenience.
Thermal monocular capture IR radiation (infra-red radiation) emitted by various objects. It is sometimes called the heat signature because it is the body heat of every object. The heat signature is different for every object and living being.
Naked eyes can not see IR radiation, so you need special devices for that reason. And Thermal monoculars are those devices that detect heat signatures to aid your need.
Thermal Monocular vs. Night Vision Monocular
It is vital to be acquainted with the difference between thermal monocular and night vision monocular. A thermal device captures the heat signature emitted by objects like humans, animals, and other objects.
The heat signatures are converted into a grayscale image. The hotter objects appear in white, and the cold objects appear blue or black. There are thermal monocular that have color palates that give you colorful images. The hot objects are seen in red, orange, and yellow so that you can tell them apart.
Some sensors do that for you; the sensors convert the electrical impulses into an image.
But a night vision monocular amplifies the light captured by the lens. Sometimes night hunting monocular use ambient light or moonlight. Night vision monocular fails to work in completely dark conditions. So, it is not reliable in the rainy season or cloudy nights. This is the striking difference between Thermal monocular and night vision devices.
Types of Thermal Monocular
Though it is not important, knowing the types might be helpful for some people. There are generally two types of thermal monoculars.
i. Handheld Thermal Monocular
Handheld Thermal Monocular is very popular among hunters and wildlife enthusiasts. These monocular are portable, durable with rugged construction that can be carried for your hunting expeditions.
Handheld thermal monoculars are lightweight and easy to carry, and it is easier to put away. These monoculars are long-lasting and functional. However, these monoculars are to be used by hand, so there is a chance that you might end up losing faster games. These can be tiring for your hand and eye. There are eye sockets for comforting your eyes, though.
Handheld monoculars have a narrower field of view. That also can be an issue for hunting purposes. Otherwise, these monoculars are the best. And handheld thermal technology costs a bit more.
ii. Head Mount Thermal Monocular
These are hands-free options. These come mounted on headgear or helmets. Head Mount Thermal Monocular gives you the freedom to work with your hand, like using a rifle.
These monoculars are stable because it is mounted on your head. You get a clear and stable thermal image that can be very helpful for hunting. Unlike handheld thermal monoculars, you can use the head mount thermal monocular for a long time.
Head mount thermal monoculars are a bit more expensive. The downside of these monoculars is they are not very durable and flimsy. It can be a hassle to fix the focus of the thermal monocular. Other than that, you can use these monoculars for hunting with ease.
The first and most important thing in purchasing anything is durability. Durability is an essential buying consideration for your thermal monocular. Thermal monoculars need to be durable because of the game zone’s stress, pressure, and weather conditions.
A thermal monocular’s durability depends on the rugged construction and waterproof features. It is also important to know the operating temperature range of functionality. All these features come at a higher price, you have cheaper options, but those are not reliable.
A thermal monocular that has rugged and lightweight construction can last decades. Cheaper ones can be appealing, but it is a long-term investment if you spend once on an expensive thermal monocular.
Magnifying factors are another important buying consideration for your monocular purchase. Magnification is the ratio between the object distance and the image size.
The monocular should give you a proper image from several hundred yards away.
There are many variable magnification ranges in thermal monocular products. Numbers like 8x specify the magnification capability, 10x, 15x, etc.
Larger magnification levels can amplify lens movement, meaning the image may not be very stable if you use a handheld thermal monocular. You must use a tripod or image stabilization software. Larger magnification narrows the field of view down.
The high resolution of a device determines the clarity of images that are converted from electric impulses. That, in turn, is determined by the number of pixels in that image. Pixels are smaller units of images that form together to make the whole image. For example, 2000 x 1000 means 2000000 pixels or 2 megapixels.
High resolution means better image quality. The minimum pixel range is 640 x 480. However, the highest resolution can be many times that. Looking for a good resolution or fair resolution for display resolution is better.
It is better for the image if you buy a higher resolution thermal monocular. A fairly low resolution thermal monocular can give you an image that works. Still, clearer images mean better chances of getting a good game.
Refresh rate is the rate at which the display is refreshed. The unit that measures the refresh rate is called hertz.
A faster refresh rate means you can see the faster moving games, and the image blurring is minimum. It also means that the image is more or less stable. 9Hz, 30Hz, 50Hz, and 60Hz are the refresh rates that are very common among thermal monoculars. Experts have suggested getting a monocular with a refresh rate of 30 Hz or more for hunting. This makes identifying the target easier and gives you a clear image.
Battery and Power
The power source is another important buying consideration for thermal monoculars. Power is necessary to convert the image into electrical impulses and then back to it and project it on a screen. Without a power source, thermal monoculars are useless.
Thermal monoculars with Wi Fi and BlueTooth connectivity feature drain batteries faster and need power sources like rechargeable lithium ion batteries. Long battery life is a paramount requirement for a monocular for hunting. Usually, batteries last 5 to 7 hours on average. But some brands claim their battery life is around 7 to 10 hours. If you get a warranty with those monoculars, you should get that.
This external power supply battery can be really handy. A rechargeable battery with an extended battery life that is higher battery backup time can be very useful for hunting.
Internal Memory for Video or Image Recording
Many modern thermal monoculars come with video or image recording features. As we all know, video recording and image recording require internal memory.
HD video recording is a feature that makes it easier for you to show your friends and family the hunting experience. Video recording and image recording thermal monocular makes it possible.
A thermal monocular that comes with internal memory is better to serve that purpose for you. The memory can range vastly from 2 GB to 128 GB and even more than that. It is better to consider your budget when it comes to video or image recording thermal monocular.
Thermal Monocular with On Screen features
Some modern brand thermal monoculars come with very handy new features like range finders and on screen temperature readings. This makes hunting easier for the hunter. You can accurately measure the distances and see what kind of heat signal is emitted by the object so you can be sure if that is a hunt or not.
Smart range finder comes with a built in ballistic calculator that helps you recognize the range and temperature differences of the hunt.
Some thermal monoculars come with Wi fi technology that makes sure that you can connect your monocular with a smartphone or a tablet. This feature comes in handy for tripod-mounted thermal monoculars. You can leave the thermal monocular on a high spot and get the images on your phone.
This feature also makes sharing video or image recording easier. You can also live stream the video recording easily.
Some thermal monocular comes with a built in compass that helps you keep track of the direction and other vital variables for hunting. You can use these compasses to find your way around the wilderness. Some other compasses come with an inclinometer that tells you the angle of the slope or if there is any slope around. It is very handy to know the exact location of the games and if there is any angle that you need to account for if you are taking a shot.
Magnification and zoom are different. Magnification is the image that is presented to you by the lens. It is the highest capacity of the lens. But zooming allows you to look even closer.
There is thermal monocular with optical zoom and digital zoom. Digital zoom allows you to see the image closer and see the details that are not there in the original image.
Thermal monoculars come with smooth zoom features that allow you to zoom without much hassle. There are various zoom ranges, 2x and 4x zoom being the measurement scale. E-zoom features are very handy for hunting monoculars and thermal monoculars.
Thermal monoculars require good storage to keep the device safe and snug. Storing it right can impact the longevity of a thermal monocular.
Some thermal monoculars come with protective cases that give the monoculars safe storage and protection from fall, dust, and dirt.
This is important for keeping the thermal monocular safe and working. This protects the lens from scratches and breaking and keeps the pegs and turning mechanisms intact and working.
Many thermal monoculars come with neck loop, belt clips, or wrist straps to keep the monocular close for use. Look for these features when purchase the monocular you have your eyes on.
Care and Maintenance of Thermal Monocular
Buying a thermal monocular is a tricky job, but if you buy the right thermal monocular, it can serve you very well with enough care. Many people do not know how to take care of the thermal monocular. For them, and for first-time users, here is a little care and maintenance guide.
Following these easy steps will prolong the thermal monocular’s service life and help you the hunt every time:
- Some thermal monoculars come with cases. It is one of the features that distinguish it from binoculars. Make sure you keep it in the case it comes in at all times. Your thermal monoculars will be protected from dust, water, scrapes, and falls with this. These factors can seriously impair your monocular performance, but it will be much easier and safer with a case. It’s also simpler to transport, thanks to the case, so that’s a plus.
- It’s an excellent idea to wipe your lenses after each usage. When using thermal monoculars, you accidentally collect dirt, dust, debris, and oil from your finger. This can create smudges on the lens, which can impair the image and possibly damage it. To wipe the lens, use a clean, soft, lint-free cloth. Cleaning may be done with water and rubbing alcohol. Lens caps or lens covers can be provided. Lens caps keep dust and debris out of the lens.
- Debris might become lodged in the cracks of your thermal monocular, causing it to malfunction. The trash and dirt may be blown away with a blower. If you keep your monocular in a purse or pocket, it is likely to collect lint. Clean the lint and dirt from your monocular with the blower on the lowest setting.
- Keep your thermal monoculars dry and cold at all times. Moisture and temperature can harm your monocular lens and other components. As a result, it’s best to keep it out of direct sunlight and in a cool, dry location. This will help your monoculars last longer.
- If you have a digital thermal monocular, ensure the batteries or power supply are removed at the end of the season. The power supply occasionally melts, causing the thermal monocular to be damaged. To keep your digital monocular secure, it’s best to remove the battery.
Our list features the best thermal imaging monoculars with the highest ratings and the best features recommended by the experts. These are the best of both worlds! We have carefully looked into the thermal monoculars for the best features; sometimes, the product has much more than the best features. But sometimes it has a feature so good that the other a few features are not as important.
You can show us your support, give suggestions and grievances; we appreciate your feedback!
Ans: As the camera sees the temperature differences, it can work in daylight too, provided it is not too flooded by visible light. Operating temperature range can be at play here.
Ans: Yes, as thermal monoculars pick up body heat, they can look for guns and hidden weapons on the body.
Ans: We have covered this in our buying guide section. Please refer to that.
Ans: A thermal vision monocular captures the heat signature of various objects and converts it into an image. But, a Night Vision Monocular amplifies the little light it captures from the surroundings.
Ans: Emissivity is a measurement of the effectivity of a body or an object’s radiated heat. Some thermal monoculars have on screen temperature readings for reading the emissivity.
Ans: You can see the list to know more, but Leupold, Flir Scout, Pulsar, ATN OTS seems to be the best hand held thermal monocular as per our research.
Ans: As per our research, Leupold LTO Tracker 2 seems to be the best for the money with the best detection range. We heard a lot about Flir Scout iii, but we didn’t find enough information on Flir Scout iii.
Ans: Leupold LTO Tracker 2, Pulsar axion key xm30, Flir scout are the best thermal night vision monoculars.
Ans: Thermal cameras are expensive because they require special tools to translate an image into heat signatures and turn it into an electric signal that is processed to images corresponding to the temperature.