Brunton 7×18 Monocular

by | 24 November 2021 | Gear Reviews

Civil wars and other conflicts are raging at this very moment in a number of international locations. I’ve been receiving several updates a day from individuals on the ground, close by, or monitoring these situations from many miles away. Battles, drone strikes, unlawful detainments, and atrocities have been reported.

Whether it’s in conflict zones or simply in areas where lawlessness is endemic, it’s very helpful to have a means of being able to view a situation from a distance. A great example is while approaching a checkpoint. In some areas, especially in conflict zones, rebels, militants, or criminals set up ambushes in such a way that they appear from a distance to be government check points. It’s often only when a vehicle approaches the scene that this becomes evident. This can result in an extremely dangerous encounter.

Having the ability to evaluate such a situation from a distance using a small monocular can make a huge difference. We noted this in an article published on 29 January 2020 titled, “Quality Optics When You Need Them.” Click here to read this article.

We say, “When you need them” because very few individuals carry binoculars or other large optics all the time. They’re simply too heavy and take up too much room to be part of one’s Loadout Level 02 (LL-02), otherwise known as a Go Bag. On the other hand, it’s easy to include a light-weight monocular in an LL-02.

For years I’ve been carrying a Nikon HG5X15D monocular. This very high quality 5×15 unit weighs just 2.5 ounces, is 2.75 inches long, and has a diameter of about 1.25 inches. This has never let me down. The two issues with this unit are that it’s almost impossible to find anymore, and even when it is available it can cost close to $300.00.

With this in mind, a few months ago I ordered several Brunton monoculars for testing. I was most impressed with the 7×18 model. It weighs just 1.4 ounces, is 3.0 inches long, and has a diameter of about 1.25 inches. The amazing thing is that is sells for just $30.00.

The fact that this unit weighs almost half of what the Nikon does is likely due to the plastic case and lower lens quality when compared to the Nikon and its metal case. Still, the Brunton is bright, clear, and so far has done the job. We haven’t had this long enough to be able to suggest that it be carried as one’s only option in a conflict zone, yet for the amazing price we certainly do recommend that you order one and test it for yourself in harsh conditions.

The Brunton website notes that:

During November and December 2021, Brunton is transitioning to new systems under new ownership, so please be patient with us during this time!

This being the case, we are uncertain how long these units may be available, and thus we suggest that you order one for testing soon. I purchased one for my wife’s birthday recently. She loves carrying it on walks, and using it to keep an eye on what’s happening in the neighborhood as well.

As always, remember that has no affiliate relationships with manufacturers or retail suppliers, nor do we participate in third-party advertising. We simply share our views about gear and supplies that work well for us under hard use.


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