This is a comprehensive Vortex Solo Monocular review!
I found this Vortex monocular’s light gathering capability better than I expected. You can see a crystal clear and sharp image even in twilight conditions. If you like hiking and bird watching, you’ll find this to be a better and light alternative to packing two full binoculars because it feels less tunnel-like with glasses and produces bright images.
In this review, we will discuss the specs, features, sizes, and capabilities of all the models in great detail.
- Optical performance
- Construction and quality
- Model sizes and specs
- What’s in the box?
- User reviews
- Our verdict
Vortex Solo Overview
This device is designed for all outdoor enthusiasts looking for a compact and lightweight device and delivers exceptional ocular performance. As this device is great for using on the go, nature observers, birders, and hikers will love using it.
The Vortex Solo monocular size is so compact that you can conveniently use it with a single hand. The focus wheel is pretty convenient to access and control. With such a miniature design, the optics that it comes with allow you to see sharp images with great details.
I’m aware Vortex is produced in China, but I don’t doubt its performance because you get a VIP lifetime warranty. The device is covered for any defects or issues in materials or craftsmanship.
If you are looking for an entry-level device for a variety of outdoor activities but nothing too serious, then this is the right option for you with an affordable price tag.
There are four different sizes available in Vortex Solo monocular, and the most popular one of them all is the 10×25 among the wildlife observers and hunters alike because of its superior ocular powers despite being light to carry.
The next two sections of this Vortex monocular review will focus on the common features of all sizes. Later on, we will highlight specific features of each size.
I found the Solo monocular’s overall optical performance to be satisfactory because you can see sharp images no matter where you point your device. The lens system works well in different light conditions and produces high-contrast images.
The Vortex Solo monocular device comes with fully multi-coated lenses along with a premium quality roof prism system. These coatings ensure better light transmission. It means you’ll see clear and bright even during low light conditions.
The lens also comes with anti-reflective coatings for reducing reflections for all air-to-glass surfaces. It improves overall light efficiency because a lesser amount of light is reflected. Most of the light entering the binocular is used by the device to produce crisp and brighter images.
You can see a surprisingly stable image through these monoculars. The Vortex Optics Solo monoculars keep everything simple with their multi-coated lenses that make sure maximum light enters the device. It ensures better light transmission, and you will see brighter images during dawn and dusk.
The anti-reflective coating on the lens ensures that a minimal amount of light escapes the tube, and you get the full bright and crisp image.
You won’t have to deal with any washed-out colors because of the roof prism system. With these monoculars, you get better color performance that is close to reality.
Construction and quality
The Vortex Solo monocular is a solid device built to take on any weather conditions and any terrains. The rubber Armor coating gives you a secure and non-slip grip with external protection.
Body and grip
The Vortex Optics monocular comes with a compact design that is pretty comfortable to hold and use in one hand. The body also has rubber armor over it to ensure a secure, anti-slip grip.
This rubber armor protects your Vortex monoculars from any impacts. You can conveniently use it in any weather conditions and on any terrain due to its waterproof design. The O-ring sealing prevents debris, dust, and moisture from entering the device.
Vortex has also nitrogen purged this device to prevent it from internal fogging. Therefore, you can use your binoculars at different temperatures.
Focus wheel and focusing
Focusing your Vortex Solo monocular is pretty simple, and you can manage it single-handedly. The focus wheel is right there on the eyepiece of this device.
The operation is smooth and easy. All you have to do is to turn it until the subject comes into focus. You can turn it clockwise to focus on distant objects. Turning it counter-clockwise will bring the closer objects into focus.
The focusing wheel has a very ergonomic design, and you can conveniently use it in rainy conditions, even with your gloves on.
Eyecups and lens covers
The Vortex Solo monocular is a pretty small-sized device, but it still comes with fully adjustable eyecups. They twist up and down and allow you to use the device with or without your eyeglasses.
The eyecups are made of good quality, and you won’t have to deal with those cheap-quality ones that some of the Vortex binoculars come with. So for an entry-level device, that is a huge bonus.
Your monocular doesn’t come with a lens cover. But you can purchase it separately if you want.
Vortex Solo model sizes
There are four different sizes available in Vortex Solo monoculars. The most popular one is the 10×25 among wildlife observers and hunters because it comes with powerful optics and still has a compact design.
The following table provides a detailed overview of all the sizes that are available in this model.
|Objective lens diameter||25 mm||36 mm||25 mm||36 mm|
|Eye relief||15 mm||18 mm||14.5 mm||15 mm|
|Exit pupil||3.13 mm||4.5 mm||2.5 mm||3.6 mm|
|Linear field of view||378 feet/1000 yards||393 feet/1000 yards||315 feet/1000 yards||325 feet/1000 yards|
|Angular field of view||7.2 degrees||7.5 degrees||6.0 degrees||6.2 degrees|
|Close focus||16.4 feet||16.4 feet||16.4 feet||16.4 feet|
|Dimensions (Height/Width)||4.4 x 2.2 inches||4.9 x 2.6 inches||4.4 x 2.2 inches||4.9 x 2.6 inches|
|Weight||5.6 oz||9.7 oz||5.6 oz||9.7 oz|
|Handheld||Easy to hold on the go||Easier to use when stationary||Easy to hold on the go||Easier to use when stationary|
Vortex Solo 8X25 monocular
The Vortex Solo 8×25 monocular is suitable for hiking, and general-purpose birding, and wildlife observation. The Vortex Solo 8×25 is extremely light and weighs less than 6 ounces. It means you can comfortably carry it without any issue.
This backpacking monocular allows you to operate it with one hand. Due to decent eye relief, you can use it with or without your eyeglasses. The Solo 8×25 has a wide field of view of 378 feet at 1000 yards, and you will get a good view of the proceedings outdoors.
Its close focus is 16.4 feet, so you can’t use it for viewing insects, at least with any specific details.
Vortex Solo 8X36 monocular
With a slightly better objective lens, the Vortex Solo 8×36 monocular can handle light in a better way. Wildlife observers, birders, and hunters will find this size more useful as it can produce sharper images with better results.
You can easily focus on your target with Vortex Solo 8×36 monocular’s wide linear field of view of 393 feet at 1000 yards. This Solo 8×36 will provide you with better information about your target’s surroundings for better situational awareness.
However, its close focus is still at 16.4 feet so it’s not that great device for close viewing. Not if you want to observe your close-range target with some details.
Vortex Solo 10X25 monocular
The Vortex Solo 10×25 monocular works well for general purpose viewing, nature observations, and birding up to some extent because it is an extremely lightweight model.
But if you want some details on your target, you can use its 10x magnification for identification purposes. The Vortex Solo 10×25 also works for hunting at shorter ranges as you get to clearly spot your target at a shorter range.
But make sure that you use the Solo 10×25 in brighter conditions because it comes with the smallest exit pupil of 2.5mm. It means just a small amount of light enters your eye from the tube. So, it’s not going to work well in low-light conditions.
Plus, with a 10x magnification, this scope comes with a linear field of view of 315 feet at 1000 yards. You need to use it to focus more on your target than its surroundings.
Vortex Solo 10X36 monocular
The Vortex Solo 10×36 monocular is the most powerful of all the Vortex Solos. It’s a top choice for all outdoor activities, including hunting, exploring, nature observing, and birding, because you get a surprisingly stable image for a 10x power monocular.
The Vortex monocular comes with a pretty decent linear field of view of 325 feet at 1000 yards, and with 10x magnification, you get to see your target with some additional details along with its surroundings.
The Vortex Solo 10×36 does come with an exit pupil of 3.6 mm, which means plenty of light enters your eye from the tube. So you can use the Solo 10×36 in slightly darker conditions.
Vortex Monocular Warranty
One of the best features of buying Vortex products is that they are covered under an unconditional, unlimited, VIP lifetime warranty. All your Vortex devices are covered for any defects or issues in materials or their construction with this warranty.
This warranty is transferable as well but doesn’t cover loss, theft, or any cosmetic damage or alterations affecting the overall performance of the device. This is one of the primary features of Vortex as a brand and why most people prefer to go for it.
Vortex Solo monocular doesn’t come with a lens cap. But it’s not a dealbreaker. If you want extra protection for your device, you will have to purchase it separately. The good thing is that the device doesn’t cost you much, so buying an add-on will not hurt much.
What’s included in the box?
- Vortex Solo monocular.
- Neck lanyard.
- Soft carrying monocular case.
- Vortex VIP warranty.
The package does come with pretty much everything that you will need to get going for this price. But I would still say that Vortex could have slipped in a lens cap in this package with a nominal increase in price for the consumer’s convenience. Everything else is pretty much fine with this entire package.
Vortex Solo user reviews
The Vortex Solo monocular comes with an average user rating of 4.7 stars which is awesome.
Most people love how lightweight this device is and how easy it is to handle the device. People also talked about the single-handed convent operation of this device.
But some of them have also compared that this device does come with a great close focus and that it doesn’t do well in low light conditions.
This monocular is rugged, with very clear, bright optics for a 25 mm objective lens. It feels like a quality instrument, and is: fully multi-coated optics, waterproof, BAK-4 prism. The image is surprisingly stable for a 10 power monocular, and the focus is easy to adjust the focus. The twist up semi-rubber eye cup is so much better than the older kind of eye cup. Comes with a good neck lanyard; however, the pouch is only so-so, as it is open on the sides.
The 2.5 mm pupil diameter is a bit small, in my opinion: I have to hold the monocular very steady against my eye, else the field starts to jump around, with blurry edges. I would recommend the 8 x 25 monocular for the larger pupil diameter, and would trade the slight decrease in power for the wider field. – I imagine that the 8 x 36 or the 10 x 36 would also be awesome, but the price and the greater weight are not options for me.
I also like the VIP warranty Vortex has: lifetime, no questions asked, no charge: it makes purchasing this instrument a no-brainer for me.
Pros: great optics; bright; lightweight; solid feeling.
Cons: wish the pupil diameter was a bit bigger, like the 8 x 25 model!
If you are looking for some alternatives to Vortex solo, you can explore the following devices.
Vortex Solo Tactical RT
The Vortex Solo Tactical RT comes with a good linear field of view and long eye relief. If you are looking for a device that you can comfortably use with your eyeglasses, this is it. This device is also pretty light and compact in size.
Hawke Sport Optics Endurance ED
The Hawke Endurance ED monocular features extra-low dispersion glass for better light transmission and produces bright images in low light conditions. Your image results will be sharper and brighter. This device also comes with a wide field of view and is pretty lightweight.
Zeiss 10×25 B Design Monocular
The high-end Zeiss 10×25 monocular comes with an extremely lightweight design convenient for use on the go. The lens is covered with T* coating that ensures better low light performance and an improved close focus range.
I have found the Vortex Solo monocular as a great entry-level device for recreational purposes. It’s extremely lightweight and compact to carry on hiking and other wildlife observations. The waterproofing and rugged rubber armoring allow you to use them in weather conditions and terrain.
This model’s most popular size is the 10×25 because it works well to produce quality images and is as light as a feather. Therefore, hunters and wildlife observers love using this size.
You can purchase Vortex Solo monocular both online and in-store directly from the company as well as its authorized dealers located all across the nation.