Magnified optics are only the best invention ever – oops, second best, because beer! – but unfortunately you can spend a small fortune on good glass. Vortex is a rare exception, producing high quality optics for less than extortionate prices.
The Solo 10×36 monocular is an awesome piece of kit. You don't always need to lug binos or a full scope with you just to get a better view across the valley or downrange, and a compact monocular you're just more likely to take with you and so have it when you want it. The Solo has the perfect short to medium magnification level at 10x, and the 36mm objective is big enough to collect the light even at dawn and dusk. The field of view at 1,000 yards is 325 feet or 6.2 degrees, darn good. Eye relief is 15mm with an exit pupil of 3.6mm, and there's a twist-out eyecup for shade.
The Solo feels solid in the hand, but we didn't mind because the rubberized armor coating makes it easy and comfy to grip; no slippage here, and the convenient pocket clip is removable. It weighs in at a slightly portly 9.4oz, but that's a small price to pay for the upside: waterproof, fogproof, and with fully multi-coated lenses that provide a clear, sharp picture that rivals units costing twice as much.
So what's not to like? Just one thing: the lack of lens covers, an omission made worse by the ballistic nylon case having open sides. Find a decent MOLLE or PALS utility pouch and that problem is solved, but flip up lens covers would turn this near-perfect 9 into a perfect 10. That shouldn't stop you from buying it, we can't think of anything else at this price point that can touch the Solo.