Okay, show of hands:
Who else would like to get a great thermal imaging monocular at under $1000?
Yeah, most of us are… that’s why Leupold LTO Tracker is fast gaining popularity since its launch.
But does this thermal scope really work as claimed, or there is a catch to take note?
And what about comparison of Leupold LTO Tracker vs FLIR Scout TK as the other thermal vision monocular at a similar price point?
Let’s jump right in to review through, including videos with images.
Is Leupold LTO Tracker Thermal Viewer Worth It?
Hunting or the act of spotting animals need not be stressing if you have the right gear for the activity. You just need to have a thermal imager – a device capable of easily detecting peculiar heat signatures – as part of your hunting gears.
Packed with great features, the Leupold LTO Tracker gives you an edge over other tracking enthusiasts in hunting or rescue missions. Whether during the day on a hunt through thick forests or when there is pitch darkness at night, this tracker delivers the budget solution many have been searching for.
Built to be handheld and not for use on a firearm, the unique features this monocular tracker with thermal imaging gives you will help in easily picking up heat signatures or blood trails of animals and games while on the move.
Using this tracker poses no problems as the cool features it has give you ease of operation. Made with buttons for easy powering, zooming and color palette toggling functions, your operations and hunting expeditions can be done effortlessly.
The color palettes with 6 standard colors that accompany this tracker, enables you to transit swiftly into any environment you find yourself in. Irrespective of your environment, using the color palettes and the two settings for zooming, you can easily zoom in on different objects right from a far distance of up to 600 yards while on your hunting expedition.
Check out what actual users say about LTO Tracker >> here
This budget thermal imager is also good for your multi-purpose casual use in daily life, as you can see from the excellent video below.
For examples, you can use it to explore the neighbourhood, detect suspicious behavior or objects in dark scenes around your house, and much more.
Manufactured with optics capable of thermal imaging, this light weight tracker alerts you on the details you need while on a hunting mission.
Running on the commonly used CR123 battery, you can continuously use this tracker for longer time of up to 10 hours battery life. Should you be inactive in using it for about 15 minutes, it is made to automatically power off saving you the stress of remembering to switch it off while on a hunt to avoid depleting the battery.
Reliable and easy to use, this affordable thermal imaging monocular with optimized target detection features really has its own unique value propositions that sets it apart from the high end thermal imagers that cost several thousand dollars.
The 5 videos below cover the details and features you need to know about this Leupold LEU-172830 LTO Tracker, including sample images.
If you plan to use LTO for hunting purpose, there are related experience sharing >> here that you can take a look.
Leupold LTO Tracker vs FLIR Scout TK: Any Catch?
If you solely do a side-by-side comparison on the key product specifications of Leupold LTO Tracker vs FLIR Scout TK, it seems a no-brainer that LTO is the obvious winner as it outshines in most aspects.
30 Hz Frame Rate
206x156 Thermal Sensor
240x204 Pixels Display Resolution
600 yards Detection Distance
<3 seconds Startup Time
10 hours CR123 Battery Life
No Video Recording function
No lens cap
FLIR Scout TK
Thermal Imaging Monocular
<9 Hz Video Refresh Rate
160 × 120 Thermal VOx Microbolometer
640 × 480 LCD Display
Detect Man 100 yards
<5 seconds Startup Time
>5 hours Battery Life
Built-in Video Recording function
With Lens Cap
Scout TK thermal monocular, on the other hand, has lens cap and its FLIR proprietary digital detail enhancement for image processing. It is also rated IP67 and submersible.
And if you consider built in video recording function as a mandatory requirement, then Scout TK is apparently the thermal imager you should consider, as LTO does not have this feature.
There are two things you need to know about LTO though, to better align your expectations:
#1: ‘600 Yards’ Detection Distance of LTO Thermal Tracker
The specification of Leupold LTO Tracker indicates it has detection distance of 600 yards.
Watch the Leupold field testing results in this video – are the images at 300 yards clear (without water background)?
Note that the LTO tracker does not have built-in video recording feature, so the images on digital screen were recorded using separate video camera, as such there are certain image resolution loss when we watch these youtube videos – compared to the actual image seen through the thermal monocular screen.
Let’s see another video clip with Leupold field test results, from 50 yards to 300 yards:
If we go a bit more technical into the optical system calculation metrics developed by John Johnson in 1958, below are the definition of Johnson Criterion based on the ability of an observer to detect the criteria 50% of the time:
Detection: Ability to distinguish an object from background
Recognition: Ability to classify the object class (eg. human, animal)
Identification: Ability to describe the object in details (eg. a man with a cap, a hog)
Let’s watch the following “Detection Range of Leupold LTO Tracker” video:
As you can see, the field testing results in videos above show the identification / recognition of the objects in LTO images at 300 yards distance are already below satisfactory, making the ‘600 yards detection range‘ in Leupold LTO Tracker product specification seems somehow a bit suspicious.
#2: Do You Intend To Mount Leupold LTO Tracker To A Rifle?
According to the manufacturer of this handheld Leupold LTO Tracker thermal monocular:
Still, many are interested to mount a Leupold LTO Tracker to a rifle and use it for hunting.
Can you really do that?
Watch the excellent video below to find out…
… and this is another one:
If you are looking for a cheap thermal rifle scope that can get the job done, then we suggest you check out the Pulsar Core RXQ30V in this guide to learn more, because it is the best least expensive thermal riflescope commonly recommended by the hunting experts.
A Glance at FLIR Scout TK Pocket Thermal Monocular
FLIR Scout TK is a pocket-size handheld thermal imaging monocular that is suited for outdoor activities. It can detect heat signature and reveal it to you as an thermal image.
This thermal imager allows you to take and record still images and videos of the objects that you have captured. It can store images and videos on to the onboard flash memory. The stored images can be transferred to a personal computer.
Scout TK comes with a fixed 20-degree lens that narrows the field of vision while at the same time providing good images over long distances. You can use it to see people, animals, and objects up to 100 yards away.
It is equipped with 160 x 120 pixels Lepton thermal core. This core resolution is then enlarged and smoothed to the LCD display screen at 640 x 480 resolution.
Watch the comprehensive video review below to learn all the features of Flir Scout TK, operated through its 4 control buttons.
The video above mentioned the price of this thermal imager was $599, you can check out its latest price >> at Amazon.
FLIR Scout TK thermal scope is also a great tool for home security and personal security at night or during lowlight conditions. It allows you to keep an eye on your property all night long and even search for missing pets.
This device is built with a rugged design with an IP67 water resistant rating. You can submerge this thermal camera in water up to three feet, and it is completely dust proof. It comes with a 5-hour rechargeable Li-Ion battery that ensures it last long in your operation.
The videos below cover more details and features you need to know about the FLIR Scout TK pocket-sized thermal scope, including sample video footage and images.
If you are specifically looking for an inexpensive thermal imaging monocular with video recording function and/or lens protection cap, then FLIR Scout TK is hands down the best Leupold LTO Tracker alternative.
This video shows test results of FLIR Scout TK on a smoking man and SUV car at 12-100m with an environment of total darkness and light fog.
Leupold LTO Tracker Reviews: The Verdict
Leupold LTO Tracker thermal viewer is a great deal for those who want to have a cheap affordable thermal monocular for hunting, scouting, and general casual use.
However, we must be realistic that we can’t expect this LTO Tracker to perform at the same level as a professional high-end thermal imaging scope that costs 4 or 5 times more — just as we can’t expect a Honda Accord to perform like a Porsche or Ferrari.
With LTO Tracker and FLIR Scout TK are the only 2 established thermal imaging monoculars on the market that are available for (far) less than $1000 at present moment –
Leupold LTO Tracker or FLIR Scout TK? You decide, based on your preference.
At this price point, you should be happy with either choice, as both represent excellent value.