Since the discovery of infrared light by Fredrick Herschel at the beginning of the nineteenth century, thermal imaging technology has developed tremendously. Although the technology was initially used in the military, it is now available to a wide range of civilian applications.
Among the broad selection of thermal imaging devices, monoculars will allow you to see and detect the heat signature of objects even from a distance. Even though thermal imaging devices have become more affordable, finding the right device can become a daunting task.
Here are some of the affordable thermal imaging monocular
i. FLIR Breach PTQ136 mini thermal monocular
Thermal sensor resolution and refresh rate are the two main factors that influence the cost of thermal imaging binocular. The more the sensor resolution, the better the image quality. On the other hand, a higher refresh rate also produces clear images.
It comes with a resolution of 320×56 pixels and a refresh rate of 60Hz. These features are sufficient for a broad range of applications. In addition, it has a high definition screen that displays excellent image clarity, day and night.
On top of that, it features a digital compass and inclinometer for navigation and orientation . The detection range is impressive at 656 yards. Also, it only 7.4 ounces, it is lightweight to carry it around.
- VOx microbolometer detector
- 320×256 resolution
- 60Hz refresh rate
- Seven palettes
- Boson thermal core
- Multiple rail mounting points
ii. Pulsar Axion XM30 Thermal monocular
Weighing at only 8.8ounces, this monocular is lightweight enough to use for a long time without getting tired. It has a high definition display and eight colour palettes that will enable you to take thermal imaging images and videos like a professional.
The best part is that you can stream your experiences through the stream video app. With a 12µm thermal sensor and a resolution of 320×240 pixels, you will get optimal image quality.
Furthermore, it comes with a magnification range of 4-16x, F28/1.2 objective lens and a detection range of 1200 meters. It is the right optic device for all your outdoor adventures.
- Wi-Fi enabled
- Android and iOS compatible
- Waterproof lens
- 1400 yards detection range
- HD AMOLED display
- 320×240 thermal sensor
- 4-16x magnification
iii. FLIR Scout III-240 thermal imaging monocular
FLIR system is perhaps the best and most popular brand on the market. The FLIR Scout III-240 thermal imaging monocular comes with a resolution of 240×180 pixels that produce quality images. These images are displayed on a bright 640x480pixels LED screen.
One of the most appealing features of this monocular is the detection range of up to 1200 yard. Also, with a refresh rate of 60Hz, this monocular will enable you to get clear images of even moving objects.
This monocular is easy to use with a button interface that will enable you to access relevant functions such as powering it on and off, adjusting brightness, etc. In fact, you can even operate the camera by holding with one hand.
This monocular also comes with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that can last up to 5hours of continuous operation. It is lightweight enough to hold it even for long hours.
The Scout III 240 monocular has a rugged design and IP67 waterproof rating, which means it can withstand all weather conditions and environments.
- 1200yards detection range
- 60Hz refresh rate
- 640×480 display resolution
- Waterproof and impact resistant
- Ergonomic design
iv. FLIR Scout TK Thermal monocular
This is an affordable monocular with superior features such as video recording function. It is specifically designed for outdoor use. For instance, it only weighs 6 ounces making it ultra-portable and can be operated with one hand.
It features a 160×120 pixel thermal sensor that can operate a temperature range of between -4o and 248OF. In addition, images are displayed on an LCD screen of 640×480 pixels. On the downside, it is a limited detection range of 100 yards.
The FLIR Scout TK involves over nine colour palettes to offer defined images. Some of the colour palettes involved include Black Hot, White Hot, InstAlert rainbow, etc.
It comes with a sufficient memory that will allow you to store up to 1000 images and 4hour video. You can transfer the images and videos to your PC or laptop via the USB port.
- VoX Microbolometer detector
- 160×120 resolution
- 640×480 LCD Display
- 100 yards detection range
- 5-hour rechargeable batteries
v. Leupold LTO Tracker Thermal Night Vision monocular
Leupold is a reputable brand based in the United States with over hundred years of producing world-class optics. The Leupold LTO monocular, in particular, comes with a resolution of 206×156 pixels which is sufficient for detecting and interpreting heat signatures.
It comes with a digital zoom with 6x magnification that will enable you to have a closer look at faraway objects during the day and night.
This thermal monocular is lightweight at 1.2 pounds and comes with the CR123 battery life that can last up to 10hours. So, it can come in handy for long hunting trips.
It has a refresh rate of 30Hz and an LCD display of 240×204 pixels which helps to display clear images.
This monocular is easy to use with three buttons that will allow you to perform various functions such as turning on and off, zooming in and out and choosing the colour palettes.
One common complaint from most users is that the manufacturer has indicated a detection range of 600 yards. However, in reality, the device can only detect objects from only 100 yards.
Since the Leupold LTO monocular is a budget option for the hunting enthusiast, some features have been compromised. For instance, it does not feature any form of mounting rail. Therefore, it cannot be mounted on a rifle.
- 240×204 display resolution
- 206 x156 thermal sensor
- 00 digital zoom
- -4F to 140F operating temperatures
- 30Hz refresh rate
- 600 yards detection range
Due to the huge variety of thermal imaging monoculars, it is very difficult to choose the right device. We have reviewed some of the best affordable thermal monoculars, and it is our hope that you will find the right device that fit your needs. Our top pick is the FLIR Breach PTQ136 because of its top of the range features at a very affordable price.