Leupold LTO Thermal Imaging Tracker Review

Aug 23
Leupold LTO Tracker Review

Leupold makes a wide range of thermal imaging products. Whether you are in law enforcement, part of a rescue team, or you are a hunting enthusiast, you’ll find high-quality products from the Leupold brand.

Today, we focus on the hunting enthusiast who needs compact equipment for hunting or spotting targets in low-light environments or complete darkness.

The Leupold LTO Tracker is the lightest model in the LTO series. It has some great features that will help give you an edge when you are hunting or spotting animals.

Features on the Leupold LTO Tracker

This is a handheld thermal monocular which operates by detecting and interpreting heat signatures from objects. You can see game, blood trails, and other environmental features night or day. Unlike a night vision monocular daylight conditions will not harm the optics.

But you might be wondering, what will you be doing with a handheld monocular if your not going to mount it on your rifle? A thermal imaging monocular can be very useful as you can carry it in your pocket and when needed use it to spot or track your targets. Monoculars are also typically less expensive than thermal imaging scopes making them a cheaper alternative if you do not need to take shots in complete darkness or from very far away.

A thermal imaging monocular like the Leupold LTO is also an invaluable tool for home security purposes. The Leupold allows you to see what may be lurking in your backyard and alert you to potential dangers from trespassers or dangerous animals.

High Display Resolution

This monocular boasts a 240 x 204 resolution display. It can display images with high clarity and excellent contrast so that you can tell what you are looking at. This makes it easy to identify a target in little to no light environments. The LTO screen is not the widest, however you can still tell what image it is displaying, whether it’s a tree, a person, a car, a boar, etc.

This thermal imager runs at a 30Hz refresh  rate meaning it refreshes the image 30 times per second. It produces images that are similar to real-world movement by eliminating any jerks or jumps which the human eye can up pick with lower refresh rates.

This thermal imager also has a fixed reticle. The focus does not shift, but you can zoom up to 6X on the 1.22-inch screen which can be useful when you need a closer look at a far away object.

Thermal Sensor

The Leupold LTO Tracker comes with a super-sensitive (microbolometer) 206 x 156 infrared sensor. It can thermally detect objects from a distance of up to 600 yards (rated by manufacturer).

Realistically, this viewer can  identify objects from a distance of 120 yards when it is around 5o° F outside. This makes it easy for you as a hunter since you don’t need to be too close to an animal to take a shot.

Wide Angle of View

This viewer captures images and displays them in a wide field of view. You will have more detail displayed on the 21-degree display. This results in better detection of objects and even recognizing them at a further distance.

Intuitive Functions

It has three push buttons that sit on top of the monocular. The left button allows changing of the color palettes while the center button lets you zoom in and out. With the right button, you’ll be able to toggle on and off as needed.

Leupold LTO Tracker comes with six color palettes. You will be able to select from one of these colors simply through the push of a button. 

leupold lto review

The color selection on this viewer includes; black, white, hi-white, red, hi-black, and green. This allows you to customize the display so that you can see heat signatures in the color you want.

Compact and Sturdy Construction

This thermal viewer is only 5.6 inches long making it very compact. It is easy to fit into any hunting gear as it does not take up very much space. It also weighs less than 10 ounces meaning the weight won’t make a difference to the hunting equipment you’ll be carrying. You can comfortably hold it with one hand while scanning the surroundings.

You have a device with an IP67 water resistance rating. The housing is completely protected from dust, and it can withstand immersion in water up to a depth of 1 meter without any damage.

The Leupold LTO Tracker cannot withstand recoil from high caliber weapons though. Leupold says that this viewer failed their recoil test. As such, you should try not to mount it on high-caliber weapons. However, some users claim to have used it on weapons with a softer recoil like a 9mm pistol; it should be noted that this thermal monocular is not intended to be mounted to a gun of any caliber.

Battery Life

One C123 battery powers the LTO Tracker which is enough for up to 10 hours of operation. This type of battery is quite useful since it is readily available and it is usable with other devices so you can easily replace them.

Leupold LTO tracker powers up in 3 seconds. It is also designed to automatically shutdown after 15 minutes of inactivity. This saves you from a dead battery especially if you have to be out in the field for several hours.

Accessories

Your new Leupold LTO Tracker comes with the case and a spare battery. The case protects the device from impact if it falls. With the extra battery, you’ll know you always have a backup when needed.

Warranty Information

A 2 year limited warranty covers the Leupold LTO Tracker Thermal Viewer. It is quite incredible to have such a long warranty considering that some manufacturers are not willing to guarantee their products for more than one year.

If there are any defects with the Leupold Tracker, the company will repair and even replace (if no fix is possible) the product.


Other Devices in the Leupold LTO Series

LTO Tracker HD Thermal Viewer

This model uses a 2nd generation thermal sensor which can detect thermal signatures in objects that are as far as 750 yards. It has a higher display resolution of 390 x 390 pixels. This device has a 25 Hz frame rate, but you’ll have eight color palettes instead of 6 as in the LTO Tracker.

However, this model has 3 hours of battery life. Although the batteries are replaceable, this is a much shorter battery life than the LTO Tracker and could incur additional expenses.

Leupold LTO Quest HD

This is a powerful handheld camera, thermal imager, and a 300-lumen flashlight. It allows you to capture and store thermal images. With a 15 Hz frame rate and 320 x 240 thermal resolution, Leupold LTO Quest HD can detect heat signatures up to 750 yards away. It is powered by a CR123 battery which provides up to 4 hours battery life.

leupold quest hd review

Available on AMAZON.com

LTO-Quest

The LTO Quest is a camera, thermal imager,  and 300-lumen flashlight. It can detect heat signatures up to 300 yards away. It is an excellent companion when tracking downed game thanks to the 206 x 156 pixels thermal sensor. Its battery life is similar to that of the LTO Quest HD at around 4 hours.

Leupold Quest Thermal Imager

Available on AMAZON.com

When we compare the four models, we see why the Leupold LTO Quest is the most popular model in the Leupold LTO series. It has the longest battery life, a dependable thermal sensor, fast frame rate, and a reasonable detection range. The LTO Quest also gives you great value for the money as it can almost always be found for under $1,000.

Leupold LTO Tracker vs. FLIR Scout TK

The FLIR Scout TK claims to make you feel like a spy. But how does this thermal device compare to the Leupold LTO Tracker?

The FLIR Scout TK is an entry-level thermal monocular. It uses a USB rechargeable battery that can hold power for around 5 hours. It operates with excellence, but you can’t swap batteries so you’ll have to time your expeditions around the available power.

Looking at the thermal sensor, the FLIR Scout TK (read review) uses FLIR’s VOx microbolometer. It can detect animals and objects over 100 yards. It is a very small model weighing only 6 ounces so it can easily go into your pockets or use a lanyard to hang on your neck.

The device has a resolution of 160 x 120 pixels. We like that it can record a 4-hour video and you can choose from nine video palettes. It also durably constructed and impervious to direct water splashes.

Conclusion

It’s no doubt that a thermal tracker is an invaluable tool for hunters. The Leupold LTO Tracker makes adventures memorable. It is an affordable handheld monocular that will be satisfying every minute you are using it. It is ultralight, durable, and best of all dependable.

If you want a thermal viewer that you can take to the rugged backcountry or just in your backyard, you have it in the Leupold LTO Tracker.