Thermal Monoculars: Half the Size, All the Function

Armasight’s Sidekick thermal mini-monoculars are a major step up from your classic binos, with all the benefits of thermal imaging in a compact package.

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Thermal Monoculars: Half the Size, All the Function

Every hunter replies on a good set of binoculars to help them locate and identify game. These days, that applies day or night, as night-vision and thermal optics have become hot sellers among predator hunters seeking to control coyote and wild hog populations after dark. While binoculars have served hunters well for generations, you might not have considered that you can get all the functionality and versatility in a smaller, more easily carried, and perhaps less expensive package — by utilizing a monocular.

The smaller, lighter trend is alive and well in monoculars, with “mini” versions taking the market by storm. Mini monoculars are a cinch to carry, easy to use, and more than up to the task you’d normally use your binos for. And if thermal imaging is something you’ve wanted to try, this is a great way to get started using the technology without jumping straight into a full-on riflescope.

Armasight has made the choice easy with its Sidekick mini monoculars, which it calls the smallest fully functional 12-micron thermal imaging monoculars on the market. There are two models with different resolution — a 320, weighing 210 grams, and a 640, weighing 250 grams. Not only are they lightweight, but you don’t need to sacrifice functionality to pack all that tech into a small package.

This isn’t your everyday monocular. The Sidekick has a fast 60Hz frame rate for smooth operation and outstanding visual acuity. This means you won’t experience lagging or jumping when you’re panning or scanning quickly — say, if you’re watching an animal that’s running. It’ll be a smooth video picture from start to finish, based on Armasight’ Iron Wolf thermal technology platform.

A high-def 1024x768 OLED display provides a crisp image, and simple three-button controls make operation simple. Internal video recording lets you capture all of your hunting experiences with one touch, and it captures still images as well. It also allows for USB video streaming and has a USB-C interface for external devices.

Multiple color palettes are available as you prefer, and image detail enhancement makes sure you’re always seeing the best image possible. An on-board compass keeps you grounded, and the rugged ULTEM composite body and ergonomic design make it comfortable to use without having to worry about its durability.

One of the coolest aspects of the Sidekick monocular is that it’s helmet-mountable, if you’d like to go hands-free. Contrary to what you might be thinking, this isn’t just for law enforcement and security personnel — hunters, too, can benefit from helmet-mounted optics afield to keep their hands available for any number of necessary tasks. A dovetail mini-rail is included if you want to go the helmet-mounted route (with optional mount).

Still not convinced you need a thermal monocular? Think about where else it sure would be nice to be able to “see” in the dark — camping, boating at night, search and rescue, recovering downed game, general security. And because thermal imaging works as well during the day as it does during the night, use of the Sidekick is a 24/7 proposition, limited only by the number of batteries you’ve got. Standard run time is about 4 hours at 68 degrees on a 2x CR123 battery. You can also use external power banks for even longer operational capabilities.  And, did we mention the Sidekick is designed and assembled in the USA?

Binoculars are great — we know you already own a pair you love. But a lightweight, compact, easy-to-take-anywhere monocular can be incredibly convenient, and thermal imaging can add a tremendous amount of functionality to your hunting, day or night. Armasight’s Sidekick just might be the perfect addition to your hunting pack — and who knows, you might even find yourself leaving those old binoculars at home on your next hunting excursion.


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