5 Best Thermal Monoculars 2024: Work Both Night & Day


As I reviewed the best monoculars in my previous post, I was curious to try the thermal monoculars. I would say that a thermal monocular is also a must-have for hunters. But, why? These can help you to see objects with clarity, so you don’t waste a shot at a small target. These monoculars can work both night and day, provide clear views, and come with a hefty battery life. 

Best Thermal Monocular

With a thermal monocular, I was able to rack deer more efficiently. They are very handy when you need to trail or track a deer. If you have ever shot a deer right at night, then you know the deal! It can be very challenging to track. At such times, a thermal monocular can be an excellent choice to consider.  You can also use these compact devices for locating turkeys, scanning hogs and coyotes, or locating rabbits. 

Overview of 5 Best Thermal Monocular

1. AGM Global Thermal Monocular

Best Overall

AGM Global Thermal Monocular

 Main Specifications

  • Resolution:- 160×120
  • Objective Lens:- 30mm
  • Field of View:- 15.61° × 11.74°
  • Detection Range:- 100 Yards
  • Refresh rate:- Sensor 25 Hz / OLED 50 Hz
  • Eye Relief:- 18mm
  • Storage:- Built-in 8 GB
  • Weight:- 0.6 lb

2. Bushnell Thermal Monocular

Hunter’s Brand

Bushnell Thermal Monocular

 Main Specifications

  • Resolution:- 160×120
  • Objective Lens:- 32mm
  • Field of View:- 15.61° × 11.74°
  • Detection Range:- 150 Yards
  • Eye Relief:- 16mm
  • Weight:- 1.3 lb

3. Pulsar Thermal Monocular

Good Reference

Pulsar Thermal Monocular

 Main Specifications

  • Resolution:- 384x288px
  • Objective Lens:- 30mm
  • Field of View:- 15.61° × 11.74°
  • Detection Range:- 1800 Yards
  • Refresh rate:- Sensor 50Hz
  • Eye Relief:- 18mm
  • Storage:- Built-in 8 GB
  • Warranty:- ‎3 Years
  • Weight:- 1.4 lb

4. ATN OTS Thermal Monocular

Best NV Monocular

ATN OTS Thermal Monocular

 Main Specifications

  • Resolution:-320×240 px
  • Objective Lens:- 30mm
  • Detection Range:- 900 Yards
  • Refresh rate:- Sensor 60Hz
  • Eye Relief:- 25mm
  • Storage:- Built-in 8 GB
  • Warranty:- ‎3 Years
  • Weight:- 1.2 lb

5. FLIR Thermal Monocular

Expensive One

FLIR Thermal Monocular

 Main Specifications

  • Resolution:-320 x 256 px
  • Objective Lens:- 30mm
  • Field of View:- 12° × 9°
  • Detection Range:- 200 Yards
  • Refresh rate:- Sensor 60Hz
  • Eye Relief:- 25mm
  • Storage:- Built-in 2 GB
  • Warranty:- ‎1 Year
  • Weight:- 1 lb

1. AGM Global Thermal Monocular

Best Overall

AGM Global Thermal Monocular

 Main Specifications

  • Resolution:- 160×120
  • Objective Lens:- 30mm
  • Field of View:- 15.61° × 11.74°
  • Detection Range:- 100 Yards
  • Refresh rate:- Sensor 25 Hz / OLED 50 Hz
  • Eye Relief:- 18mm
  • Storage:- Built-in 8 GB
  • Weight:- 0.6 lb

What We Like About It

  • Resolution:- The AGM Global vision ASP-Micro is equipped with a 160 x 120 infrared detector and comes with a detector type of Vanadium Oxide uncooled focal plane arrays. 
  • Lens:- The brand offers an extraordinary focal lens that hunters love to use. It comes with a 6.2MM lens which can zoom up to 8 times.
  • Display:- Equipped with 720 x 540 LOCS display adaptive Agc, Dde, 3D Dnr. This ensures you can see a clear image through the display. You can also see the battery operating time on the display. 
  • Battery Type:- Built-in rechargeable Lithium battery which is capable of running for more than 7 hours with Wi-Fi function off. 
  • Storage:- Comes with a built-in memory module with a capacity of 8GB, so you don’t have to worry about running out of storage in the middle of a hunt.
  • Mode Switch & Hot Spot Mark:- This thermal monocular comes with a pallet switch and distance measurement and it can also detect and mark the hot spot of the highest temperature. 
  • Lightweight & Compact:- The device is compact and lightweight and a must-have tool for the all-night hunter. 

Pros

  • Comes with a lens tissue
  • Works great in about 100 yards
  • Worth the price
  • Long-lasting battery life

Cons

  • Night vision is not effective as a thermal effect
  • Not for a longer range

The AGM Global Vision is my first choice and comes with high–an end thermal monoculars at an inexpensive price point.  The new Micro TM160 thermal monocular costs under $300! But will it be useful? This is not a mountable scope but a compact product that can be used by hunters to search for the game at night. It is equipped with a high-resolution thermal detector and a powerful lens which makes not just hunting easier but also used by security personnel. 

What I love the most about this product is it is super sensitive and comes with a built-in thermal detector that offers you a clear view of all things in the dark. I have also seen patrol police using these devices in the U.S. for patrolling drug enforcement and anti-smuggling. Other models from the same range are the Taipan TM10, Taipan TM15, Taipan TM25, and ASP TM35. Each comes with a different field of view, lens, and resolution. 

This thermal monocular also comes with hefty features that you get with expensive ones. But the thing is that it’s scaled for short-distance operation. Weighs less and is portable to carry in your pocket. There are control buttons that make it easy to operate and handle. The digital magnification increases by two to four-time and has a small knob on the side to aim an image at your eye. This monocular also supports video recording and images that can be downloaded to your personal computers. 

The other model from the same brand that I liked the most after the ASP Micro is the Taipan TM10; it comes with an expensive price tag but with the same storage and display. The only difference is the resolution and the focal length this one comes with 256 x 192 resolution and a 10mm focal length lens.  

2. Bushnell Thermal Monocular

Hunter’s Brand

Bushnell Thermal Monocular

 Main Specifications

  • Resolution:- 160×120
  • Objective Lens:- 32mm
  • Field of View:- 15.61° × 11.74°
  • Detection Range:- 150 Yards
  • Eye Relief:- 16mm
  • Weight:- 1.3 lb

What We Like About It

  • Resolution:- The Bushnell X650 is equipped with an infrared illuminator that offers users exceptional nighttime wildlife viewing out to 650 yards
  • Lens:- This NV monocular includes a 32-millimeter objective lens diameter that is suitable for both wildlife enthusiasts and outdoor photographers. 
  • Display:- Comes with a light display screen that can show the target at 200 yards easily. 
  • Battery:- Includes 3 AA batteries and the charge looks strong after using the device for a couple of hours 
  • Other Features:- Includes a tripod mounting adaptor, Micro SD card recording, 5X zooming capability, and 24/7 full-color daylight viewing. 

Pros

  • High IR setting for better image
  • Good quality rechargeable battery
  • They include an SD card
  • Good button operation

Cons

  • No proper manual is available
  • Blurry screen

Another night vision monocular I was waiting to review was the Bushnell Equinox. The brand comes with innovative ideas for hunters and this one is no exception. This lightweight design makes my hunting trips lighter and comes with a digital night vision feature. Comes within your budget and can perform to the expected standard. 

When their Z2 line dropped buyers thought that it made this unit obsolete but it is not. I felt that their maximum recording or viewing resolutions and ergonomics were not up to the mark. Features a rugged IPX4 design and users can record to an SD card or an external source. Users can also view the feed from their mobile phones remotely; you can also adjust the image brightness levels. This makes the product for people like me obsess a lot. 

If you are looking for an NV monocular under $200, then the Bushnell Equinox 5 x 32mm monocular will be my suggestion. Check out their key features above and I suggest the brand enhance their viewing and recording option which I felt lacks in this specific model. Apart from this one is affordable and includes a tripod mount and Picatinny rail.

3. Pulsar Thermal Monocular

Good Reference

Pulsar Thermal Monocular

 Main Specifications

  • Resolution:- 384x288px
  • Objective Lens:- 30mm
  • Field of View:- 15.61° × 11.74°
  • Detection Range:- 1800 Yards
  • Refresh rate:- Sensor 50Hz
  • Eye Relief:- 18mm
  • Storage:- Built-in 8 GB
  • Warranty:- ‎3 Years
  • Weight:- 1.4 lb

What We Like About It

  • Resolution:- This NV thermal monocular is equipped with 2.5 – 20 variable magnification which comes with a 640 x 480 px resolution.
  • Lens:-  Comes with adult–size heat detection up to 2,000 yards and combines a powerful long-distance lens with a 640×480 at 17µm.
  • Thermal Imaging:- Unlike other NV thermal monoculars, this comes with a sensitive thermal imaging NETD <40mK sensor with a fast 50 Hz refresh rate. 
  • Battery:- The monocular is powered by the new Pulsar IPS7 rechargeable battery pack that can charge the unit for up to 10 to 12 hours on a single charge. 
  • Other Features:- Stadiametric rangefinder, mobile-friendly, User-friendly interface and includes additional 8 custom color modes for true colorized temperature mapping. 

Pros

  • Comes with a lens-cleaning cloth
  • Has a user manual
  • Effective thermal imaging
  • Remote control facility

Cons

  • Does not pick background sounds
  • No external microphone jack 

If you are looking for a premium thermal monocular then the Helion 2 has got your back! Well, if you are a much-trained hunter or a photographer then this is your friend! Believe me, the product comes with a highly sensitive thermal imaging sensor and comes with an AMOLED display screen. What made me include this product in the third place is that it’s super pricey. It costs you around $3,599.00 

The Helion 2 series thermal optics is not a riflescope; it is crafted for handheld use. You can use it just for observation and target identification. It is a rugged thermal camera that can be used for hunting, security, and also for rescue operations. I use it to find wildlife at night and it is one of the most recognized and top-selling high–end thermal monoculars on the market.

I have hunted with a wide range of thermal monoculars and some of them are listed here. This specific model includes a micro–boltometric sensor with detailed imaging.  I felt that this specific model was far better than last year’s model. They combine to offer enhanced images in all kinds of weather conditions. The device is waterproof and can be used for weather conditions in temperatures from 13 to 120 degrees. This device is equipped with a static rangefinder which makes distance images possible but there is no laser range finder. This also includes an additional 6 color palettes. 

The pack includes a battery pack charging unit, USB cable, 220-USB plug, hand strap, user manual, lens cleaning cloth, and a carrying case. 

4. ATN OTS Thermal Monocular

Best NV Monocular

ATN OTS Thermal Monocular

 Main Specifications

  • Resolution:-320×240 px
  • Objective Lens:- 30mm
  • Detection Range:- 900 Yards
  • Refresh rate:- Sensor 60Hz
  • Eye Relief:- 25mm
  • Storage:- Built-in 8 GB
  • Warranty:- ‎3 Years
  • Weight:- 1.2 lb

What We Like About It

  • Resolution:- Comes with a 160×120 px/17 µm 60 Hz; 320×240 px/12 μm 60 Hz sensor and its core is ATN Obsidian Core Lt.
  • Lens:- You get crisp images and extended range with the extended range of their comfortable 25mm eye relief lens. 
  • Battery:- This Night vision monocular is a handheld thermal monocular that can consume low power consumption resulting in over 10 hours of regular use. 
  • Ultra-Sensitive Sensor:- It is also equipped with the ultra-sensitive next-gen sensor with a 60Hz refresh rate that offers long-range performance. 
  • Other Features:- Compact and Ergonomic, lightweight design make the product a must-have for hunters. The product is also weather-resistant.

Pros

  • Cones with LCD optics
  • Affordable
  • Comfortable grip
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Cheap hand strap
  • Defective thermal 

You probably know the capabilities of thermal optics and the perks they offer you in the field. This device is phenomenal in detecting and identifying games. This thermal monocular can detect games out to 15,000 meters comes with a battery life of 9+ hours and can be invaluable for scouting in hunting locations as well. The NV monocular is redesigned and it’s compact and lightweight. 

It is also powered with cutting-edge sensors for crisp, sharp infrared monocular images in white hot or black hot. After getting so my suggestions from the readers to try this unit, I decided to give it a try in the hunting field. The focus was very clear and I was able to see all the tiny signs of deer at 300 yards. I also use this for hunting hogs and coyotes. Priced at $1,799.00 and for the features you get I felt the price was fair. 

It is compact ergonomic and lightweight making the NV monocular easy to carry. A hunter in our party shot a deer, but it was made a less-than-perfect shot. When got to know that, the deer needed to be tracked before going back to the hunting shack. I gave him to try this NV thermal monocular, We were tracking the old blood trail, and the flashlight resembled fluorescent paint when I saw It through the NV thermal monocular and riflescope. Finally, we were able to see the deer and fill the tag. 

Check out the other range from the same brand ATN OTS XLT and it is priced at $699.00. 

5. FLIR Thermal Monocular

Expensive One

FLIR Thermal Monocular

 Main Specifications

  • Resolution:-320 x 256 px
  • Objective Lens:- 30mm
  • Field of View:- 12° × 9°
  • Detection Range:- 200 Yards
  • Refresh rate:- Sensor 60Hz
  • Eye Relief:- 25mm
  • Storage:- Built-in 2 GB
  • Warranty:- ‎1 Year
  • Weight:- 1 lb

What We Like About It

  • Resolution:- This specific model comes with a resolution of 320 x 256 and a refresh rate of 60Hz. This means you get crisp and clear night vision with this device. 
  • Display:- Comes with a Quad–VGA 1280 x 960 HD display. You can get complete records of animal movements and behavior.
  • Trusted Thermal Detection:- Comes with an advanced image processing of FLIR’s Boson Thermal core and offers supervision with Vivid OLED display in challenging environments. 
  • Redesigned UI:- It includes polished menus that enable quick thermal palette adjustments and offers quick access to new features like video recording, GPS, and zoom-in features. 

Pros

  • Good image quality
  • Comes with a premium-quality battery
  • Comes with a lens cloth
  • Has USB C cable

Cons

  • Freezing screen
  • Heavy body 

FLIR launches the latest thermal monocular and it views like never before. I love its revolution, this Oregon-based company has been offering high-tech thermal imagining devices for law enforcement companies and military agencies for years. And now that same tech has been used in a smaller way in more cost-friendly packages into the hands of hunters. 

The FLIR Scion offers a wide range of models and the one I reviewing is the OTM236 (60Hz) and it’s priced at $2.499.50. I would say that these features are more or less the same as the Scion PTM and for beginners, this comes with super Boson care. Thermal cameras from this brand can capture clear thermal imaging and can detect objects in complete darkness as well. This NV monocular can produce 60 Hz thermal imaging and records.

If you are looking for a compact lightweight and easy-to-use NV monocular, then this is my suggestion. Also experienced night hunters out there! If you have been longing for an expensive NV monocular then give it a try and you will thank me later! Also, I have listed this on the last list because of the price. It will cause a hole in your pocket but remember this level of thermal sophistication will cost in the five-figure range.

The package comes with a thermal monocular, lens cloth, USB-C Cable, and a couple of CR123A batteries.

Now you know the models that are currently raving the world of NV Thermal monoculars. Make sure to buy the right one that suits your budget. 

Frequently Ask Questions

1. Can thermal see through walls?

They are not meant to see through walls! No not like the ones you see in sci-fi movies. The walls are thick and insulated to block infrared radiation. But it can detect the heat from the wall and not what is behind it. 

2. Can I use thermal imaging for hunting?

You can use it where it is legal. Thermal imaging is used to scan a field under the cover of darkness to look after the properties you hunt. You can see what or if deer is there in the field you are willing to hunt. With a thermal monocular, you can track movements, identify bucks, etc. 

3. Can I use thermal to spot turkeys?

You can use a thermal monocular if you suspect turkeys are roosting. I usually take them for hunting in the dark. I scan treetops to spot any turkey roosting. Make sure to buy the ones I have listed above as they are some of the top-selling models. 

4. Can I scan for hogs and Coyotes with a thermal monocular?

I usually set guns and a tripod for scanning and locating animals in the dark. As soon as I spot them I get into the scopes. You can also use a monocular to scan but it cannot be attached to a gun. Yet it is the safest route for detecting games. 

5. Is thermal scope hunting legal?

Thermal scope hunting is legal in the US but California has laws about sniper scopes. So it is essential to remember that some states enable the hunting of specific animals and areas at night or with NV. Night vision is an excellent alternative for night hunting. But it is essential to use the right NV equipment and also know what and how creates look under NV to ensure it does not impact the ability to engage them correctly. 



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