Vortex Solo 10X36 Monocular: Don’t Leave Home Without It

Ever been in that spot where you think you see something cool but can’t quite see good enough to tell? You either think, dang I bet that was cool, or you pull out a gigantic pair of binoculars to see what it is. A big set of binoculars is great to have when you need them, but a pain in the butt to carry around everywhere.

Especially if you have a rifle, backpack, or a bunch of other stuff to lug around. Even if you just want something in the car when you need it, a large set of binoculars doesn’t always fit in the glove box. So how do you fix this very complicated problem? I’m glad you asked. The answer is to buy a monocular. It’s smaller, more compact, and you can use it with one hand.

The Vortex Solo is available in several magnifications. Each one comes with a lanyard and carry case. [Photo: Jason Mosher]

Having some type of magnification is not always the first thing we think about when leaving the house. But when you need to see something far away, a good monocular is priceless.

After graduating from the police academy, my first “manhunt” was a guy that ran off into a wooded area. I was asked to watch a field to the east, so I parked on the edge of the field and watched intently. When I saw movement, I screamed on my radio that I saw him. When one of the state patrol men came racing down there, he was more than irritated to find I was seeing a deer move in the tree line. I bought some binoculars after that.

Vortex Solo 10X36 Monocular

So, what is a monocular? It’s half of a binocular, like the old pirate spyglass. This Vortex Solo has a magnification of 10 and an objective lens of 36. It has a multi-coated lens and is nitrogen gas purged. You can adjust the focus from the dial just behind the eyepiece making it quick to focus on whatever object you are looking at.

One of the things I like most about the Solo is its size. The overall length is 4.9 inches, and it weighs just over nine ounces. It has a metal clip on the side making it easy to carry on a vest, pocket or anywhere else you want to clip it. Even the shape of the Solo is designed to fit perfectly in your hand. It comes with a carry case and lanyard, but the clip is all that I needed so I never attached the lanyard. What makes this thing worth the money is the Vortex lifetime warranty.

Vortex Solo monocular.
The Vortex Solo monocular comes with a lifetime warranty. [Photo: Jason Mosher]

I am critical of limited/lifetime warranty logos on products because they often mean very little. There is normally a clause that basically says, unless it stops working all by itself, we are not responsible for fixing it. But Vortex makes it clear they will replace the product no matter what.

Under their warranty guarantee, Vortex says “It doesn’t matter how it happened, who’s fault it was, or where you purchased it.” That is a lifetime guarantee I am willing to pay for. They also state you don’t need the receipt, just send it back to them and they will fix it or replace it.

What is a monocular good for?

Growing up, my grandfather always had a pair of binoculars in his truck. He would grab them when he saw something out in the distance that caught his eye. If we were going fishing, they went into the boat. If he fell in the water, well, they went with him. I even remember him using them in traffic one time to see what was going on down the road.

My grandma wouldn’t stop yelling at him to stop because she was afraid someone would think he was spying on them. Probably because of him, I grew up doing the same thing. Keep a pair in your car because you never know when you will need them. I still have a larger powerful set of binoculars, but because of the size, they stay in the case. The Solo monocular has been the perfect blend of size versus magnification.

Using the Vortex Solos monocular.
The Vortex Solos can be handy to have around. [Photo: Jamin Mosher]

When you need a quick reference point when hiking, or something quick while hunting, this thing is perfect. Because it is compact, it’s also nice for keeping in a bugout bag or with your survival gear. You never know when you may need to check down the road for zombies!

We normally think of binoculars and monoculars as something that is only used by hunters or hikers. But having them close by at home or in a car is great for lots of other things too. Even though my grandma didn’t like my grandpa using them to look at cars down the road, being able to see some type of disaster down the road could be helpful.

How durable is the Vortex Solo?

Typically, I like to put any product I review through a series of torcher tests to see how it holds up. With optics, I often bake them in the oven, soak them in water and drop them repeatedly. I never really got around to those tests with the Solo because I stuck it in my car and started using it.

But in the past couple of years, I have dropped the Solo numerous times on the job, and even left it on the top of my patrol car once. It fell off as I was flying down the highway and the guy behind me picked it up. It didn’t even scratch the rubber coating on the outside of it. It’s been in my car when it’s over 100° F, and below 16° F. Regardless of the condition it has always worked without issue.

 monocular on a vest.
The Solos is small enough that it will easily fit on a vest, and it works great just clipping on a pocket. [Photo: Jason Mosher]

I dropped the Solo in a bowl of water to make sure any moisture would not get in it because I can’t remember ever dropping it in water while working. As expected, however, the Solo is completely waterproof and there was no water penetration at all. This thing has held up great for me and with the Vortex warranty, I feel confident this will be a one-time purchase.

Need a pirate scope?

Ok, I know it’s not the same as a pirate scope, but that’s what my kids called it when they saw me playing with it. Either way, this is a no-brainer for anyone who hikes, camps, hunts, or goes on any kind of adventure. It’s also perfect for survival gear, bug-out-bags, get-home-bags, homes, and cars.

It’s light and the clip makes it easy to pack around. This is one of those items you may not think about, but once you have one, you wonder how you went without it before. If you’re looking for the next cool item to add to your gear, check out the Vortex Solo monocular. It will last a lifetime (literary) and you never know when you will need to see what obstacles await you down the road.

The post Vortex Solo 10X36 Monocular: Don’t Leave Home Without It appeared first on The Mag Life.