NIGHT VISION

Best Night Vision Binoculars: Seeing the Distance in the Dark

Binoculars-with-NV
Nick Stucker
Written by Nick Stucker

Night vision binoculars are increasingly becoming popular, especially among people who like outdoor adventures. These devices are mostly used for camping, surveillance, caving,  hunting, marine navigation, wildlife observation, and other night activities both on the sea and the land.

The fact that they allow you to see clearly at night means you’ll have the chance to enjoy your hunting experience in the blackened forest but to get the best clarity; you need the best night vision binoculars for that.

It has an IR illuminator that does the job of providing lights so you can still see your target at night. They work excellently that using them during the night makes the night appear to be like daytime.

High powered nv binoculars

If you’re interested in night vision binoculars or goggles, there are many places you can go to and find them, but before you start thinking about making the purchase, you should probably focus on learning a bit more about these devices.

So, if you want to have a better understanding of the night vision binoculars, this review highlights the most recommended scopes in this niche. Below is the table of the list of best night vision binoculars on the market.

Product NameMagnificationBattery LifeObjective LensPrice
Firefield  FF25023 Tracker2xUp to 72 hours24 mmCheck price on Amazon
Night Owl Explorer Pro 5X5xUp to 100 hours80 mmCheck price on Amazon
Bial Wide Angle10xUp to 72 hours40 mmCheck price on Amazon
Bushnell Lynx2.5xUp to 70 hours40 mmCheck price on Amazon
DAXGD Waterproof Fog-proof8xUp to 70 hours50 mmCheck price on Amazon
Night Owl Explorer Pro Nexgen5xUp to 80 hours50 mmCheck price on Amazon
Green-state BF6060

N/AUp to 70 hours50 mmCheck price on Amazon
Aurospots 30×60 Folding8xUp to 70 hours25 mmCheck price on Amazon
ATN Night Scout VX5xUp to 60 hours25 mmCheck price on Amazon
Armasight Dark Strider5xUp to 58 hours80 mmCheck price on Amazon

Features to Consider Prior to Purchase

While every model incorporates varied features, there are universal factors that one should consider when in the market for a pair of night vision binoculars. Such include:

What Environment Will You be in?

The kind of environment you will be in as well as the purpose of your night vision viewing will play a significant role when it comes to which binoculars are best for you.

Night vision binoculars

Different models have different distances. For instance, there is no need to spend extra cash on something that explores a longer distance if you only need to view objects a short distance away.

Also, keep in mind that weather can affect visibility and light levels. Depending on the climate, this will, in turn, make some binoculars more effective than others.

Image Quality

It will be easier to see things with your binoculars if it has good image quality. Unfortunately, the better the image quality, the higher the price tag. This is why knowing the climate conditions of your location, as well as the gain level you need, is so important. It doesn’t make much sense to pay a lot of money for something you won’t need.

Camo night vision binocular

Gain Level Needed

Another important consideration you need to make when purchasing a night vision binoculars is the gain level needed. Gain refers to the amount of light seen when looking through the device.

With greater magnification lenses, the gain is generally worse and this prevents you from using more expensive technology. High gain night vision binoculars will prove handy if you need them for hunting deer.

Range

The distance to be viewed ought to be a factor to be considered while picking the right device. The capacity to view a distant object is determined by a night vision binocular magnification power, its resolution, the amount of light available, and the gain of the product.

Night owl nv binoculars

Ease of Use

Think of how you will be using your night vision binocular and choose a device that matches your particular needs, and also portability issues play a significant role in determining the ideal size of night vision binoculars.

Budget

The amount of money to be spent on the device is also important. Don’t waste money on what you do not need. One of the advantages of buying a night vision binoculars is that at the price of a single piece of equipment, you own a device that is suitable for numerous applications, and the money you pay will depend on your actual needs.

Durability

Best night vision binoculars must be comfortably used during long periods of observation without any strain. They must be designed with waterproof and fog proof to withstand harsh weather conditions.

Magnification

Night vision scope is all about seeing great distances and seeing in the dark. The recommended range of magnification in night vision scopes is from 1x to 3x. Anything above that may not give you a clear image. Which means the greater the magnification in night vision optics; the lower the image quality.

Tactical night vision binoculars

Generation 1 versus Generation 2

Night vision gear, regardless of the generation, utilizes image intensifiers so that one can see clearly in the dark. The intensifiers collect light that is not visible to the naked eye and amplifies it by hundreds or thousands of times to make it visible by the human eyes.

The main difference between Generation 1 and Generation 2 night vision comes down to photosensitivity, system resolution, and system light gain.

Photosensitivity refers to the minimum light requirement. The term is also used to refer to the type of light picked up by the sensor. Generation 2 is generally better compared to Generation 2 when it comes to photosensitivity for both the resolution at the center as well as the periphery.

System resolution has everything to do with how sharp and clear the images are. The light amplification in Generation 1 is less than a thousand while in Generation 2, it is less than 6000.

Portable nv binoculars

System light gain reflects the number of times light amplification amplifies the light. It ranges from 300 to 900 times in Generation 1 gear and 20000-30000 times in Generation 2 gear and beyond.

Putting everything together, Generation 2 has a considerable advantage over Generation 1 night vision gear. Images are crisper, brighter and clearer. It is, however, important to note that Generation 2 equipment is 3-4 times more expensive than Generation 1 gear.

That said, consider purchasing the latter if you need night vision binoculars for casual use like hunting as well as general time observation.

Top Night Vision Brands

Bushnell

There isn’t a lot that Bushnell doesn’t manufacture in the world of optics and this includes night vision gear.

Bushnell nv binoculars

Having been in business since 1965, the company is best known for its range of entry-level goggles, monoculars and binoculars that are ideal for individuals looking for surveillance, wildlife night time observation or camping equipment for a bargain. The LYNX Gen 1 Night Vision Binocular is a customer favorite.

Armasight

This is another major player in the optics industry. The company has spent many years providing high-quality night vision and thermal imaging gear designed for both law enforcement communities as well as the military.

Aurosports

While it is difficult to find information on Aurosports, you can rest assured that this company is one of the biggest binoculars brands you can buy from. They are famous for making inexpensive and high-quality optics equipment. Their models are perfect for simple bird watching, traveling, sightseeing and hunting.

Aurosports compact nv binoculars

ATN

Short for American Technologies Corp, ATN also produces a variety of day-time optic equipment. They, however, excel in the world of night vision gear. The corporation is one of the biggest producers and suppliers of night vision equipment in the world. They also specialize in laser sights, laser rangefinders, and thermal imaging.

Night Owl

Night Owl is an industry leader that produces a wide range of night vision gear including binoculars, monoculars, and goggles. Most of their equipment amplifies light using the traditional electron intensifier tube technology.

Lunar Optics

They specialize in high-quality night vision gear that incorporates technology designed for the military. Lunar Optics has a great portfolio of night vision equipment as well as accessories including rifle scopes, binoculars, monoculars, and goggles.

Lunar optics nv binoculars

Top Products Available on the Market Today

With a wide range of options to choose from, find the perfect fit for your night vision needs may not be as simple as it sounds. You have to search far and wide for you to land with quality at an affordable price.

Luckily, we have simplified the process for you with our top 2017 ten best night vision binoculars. We have factored in everything there is to know when it comes to selecting the perfect fit.

Firefield FF25023 Tracker Binocular

Firefield FF25023 Night visionPrice: Approx. $330

Weight: 1.6 pounds

Dimensions:  9.2 x 7 x 4 inches

Specific features: Built-in pulse ir unit, lens cap system and a compact body

Best use: Long and short distance viewing.

The Firefield FF25023 Tracker Binocular offers incredible detailed optical illumination under the midnight sky. This night vision device is well adaptable to the night’s darkness thanks to its built-in IR Infrared Illuminator.

The illuminators emit energy efficient pulsing frequency that creating less battery drainage for a prolonged battery life. Furthermore, the IR illuminators offer 150 meters for short and long distance viewing while providing crystal clear images in darkness.

Its ingenuity takes into account user’s comfort. The ergonomically designed rubber body is super lightweight making it an ideal selection for all kinds of outdoor expeditions.

The binocular implements the use of the revolutionary Eclipse Lens Cover System. This system uses flip-up covers that are easily clipped back against the binoculars body.

They also rotated out of your viewing area while removing lens cap hassles. The lens caps feature pinholes that allow the binoculars to have an extended daytime use when the caps are closed.

The binocular also features a double diopter adjustment with fully multi-coated optics and central focusing knob. The multicoated optics offer high light transmission, enhanced It has an objective lens of 24mm with 2x magnification power. Also featured is the 12mm of eye relief for comfortable viewing.

PROS:

  • Excellent day/night performance
  • It is lightweight and weatherproof
  • High resolution and outstanding optical clarity
  • Has an ergonomically made rubberized design

CONS:

  • Not sturdy enough
  • Headgear not easily adjustable

Related: Firefield also offers an excellent Night Vision Monocular which you can take along if you want a simplified version of night vision. It has a 2x fixed magnification to afford a full field of view. This monocular is simple to operate with buttons located on top of the device. One acquires a sure grip thanks to the textured finish.

Check the price on Amazon

Night Owl Explorer Pro 5X

Night Owl Explorer ProPrice: Approx. $450

Weight: 3.8 pounds

Dimensions: 8 x 10.5 x 5.5 inches

Specific features: Built-in infrared illuminators, steel stringer system, low battery indicators, 2 AA batteries.

Best use: Target recognition, wildlife viewing.

If money is not a factor, then the Night Owl Explorer Pro 5X would be a great option for first generation night vision binoculars to buy at the moment.

The Night Owl Explorer Pro 5X Binocular is not your everyday kind of night vision device. This amazing device offers better performance, ergonomics, and aesthetics compared to others. It uses the latest infrared illuminator integrated into its functionality.

This binocular is portable but not short on performance. It features two intensifiers tubes burrowed inside its steel stringer system for more precision and control.

The multi-element glass optics is coated with fluorides and premium layers of metal oxides to provide you with a clear view. The night owl optics feature a central focusing wheel that allows easy and quick focusing on both objective lenses.

PROS:

  • High-quality image
  • High precision and control
  • Suitable for sports and other activities

CONS:

  • Somewhat expensive
  • Average optic resolution
  • Mostly for night vision

Related: You’ll find the Pulsar Night Vision Flashlight extremely useful to complement this product. It can mount easily on rifles using a 940nm weaver mount. This unit extends visibility for tracking and taking accurate shots. It also extends the digital range to help in acquiring correct depth perception.

Check the price on Amazon

Bial Wide Angle Binoculars

Bial Wide Angle BinocularsPrice: Approx. $70

Weight: 1.75 pounds

Dimensions: 3.2 x 7.9 x 8.6 inches

Specific features: Rubber-coated body for firm, non-slip grip; Diopter adjustment for fine focusing

Best use: Bird watching, boating, climbing, walking, travel

The black Bial Wide Angle Binoculars is a great choice when it comes to night vision aid gear. It utilizes some of the latest night vision technology for crystal clear images.

This binocular is fairly priced for the average person. Overall this night vision binoculars makes a great fit for bird watching, boating and any kind of outdoor activity.   Its large aperture makes it ideal for stargazing and low light conditions.

PROS:

  • Water resistant
  • High-quality image
  • Multipurpose binoculars

CONS:

  • Not sturdy or compact
  • Average optic resolution

Related: When you are working in the dark it can help to make sure that everyone is looking at the same target.  To aid that take a look at the Laser Light Designator from Firefield.

Check the price on Amazon

Bushnell Lynx Night Vision Binocular

Bushnell Lynx Night Vision BinocularPrice: Approx. $420

Weight: 1.1 pounds

Dimensions: 6.5 x 6.3 x 3 inches

Specific features: Built-in infrared illuminators, steel stringer system, low battery indicators, 2 AAA batteries

Best use: wildlife surveillance, night navigation, and law enforcement

The Bushnell Lynx Night Vision Binocular takes night vision to the next level. It is extra lightweight, with a long viewing range while still offering quality HD clarity.

Furthermore, it is super comfortable to use during long viewing hours. This night vision optics spot a viewing distance of up to 750 feet. The LYNX brand features built in IR for excellent night viewing. Its battery life last long thanks to the two AAA batteries used.

The LYNX Gen is made using high-quality material that is tested extensively and proven to be weather resistant.

PROS:

  • High-quality vision
  • Comfortable for extended periods
  • Lightweight, durable construction

CONS:

  • Not for significant distances
  • Still, needs a good amount of ambient light

Related: If you are out using this device you might also want a night vision torch.  The Evolva Night Vision Torch will light up the area, but just for those wearing night vision gear.

Check the price on Amazon

DAXGD Night Vision Binoculars

DAXGD night visionPrice: Approx. $45

Weight: 1.8 pounds

Dimensions: 7.8 x 3.9 x 7.8 inches

Specific features: Inclusive of a backpack, high powered binocular, backpack, strap, lens cap, eyepiece cap, lens cloth, packaging boxes.

Best use: Bird watching, hiking, and hunting.

The DAXGD Night Vision Binoculars offer a strong optical lens that adapts to day and night vision. Its night vision function utilizes HD LLL that is adapted for faint light use only unlike the infrared night-vision goggles that can see in total darkness. Can be used both in day and night vision (used in faint light vision but not in total darkness).

PROS:

  • ​Excellent zero function
  • With Gen 1 tube intensifier
  • External power source capability

CONS:

  • Focusing problems
  • Head straps need improvement
  • Doesn’t have a well centered binocular view

Related: You will love working with the Night Optics Long-Range Pro-Variable IR Illuminator.It mounts securely on rifles when you are out hunting in dark surroundings.  It is lightweight not to add any unwarranted weight so that you can use your gun for hours on end.

Check the price on Amazon

Night Owl Pro Nexgen

Night Owl Explorer ProPrice: Approx. $450

Weight: 2.37 pounds

Dimensions: 8.00 x 5.85 x 2.60 inches

Specific features: Padded neck strap, soft-touch rubberized finish, and two high-quality generation-1 image intensifier tubes

Best use: Hiking, bird watching, and night vision

The Night Owl Pro Nexgen is the leading first generation magnification binoculars available online today.

With proper attention put into its design, ergonomics, aesthetics, and performance, this pair of night vision binoculars is best suited for an individual who demands the highest performance that any first generation binocular can offer.

PROS:

  • Impact resistant design
  • Weatherproof construction
  • High zoom function
  • Compact and light without sacrificing durability

CONS:

  • Low-resolution camera
  • Still, needs a good amount of ambient light

Related: You’ll find the Pulsar Night Vision Flashlight extremely useful to complement this product. It extends the digital range to help in acquiring correct depth perception.

Check the price on Amazon

Green State Binoculars BF6060

Green State BinocularsPrice: Approx. $30

Weight: 1.6 pounds

Specific features: Inclusive of military optical binocular, backpack, strap, lens cap

Best use: Sightseeing, stadium sports, hunting, hiking and bird watching

The Green State Binoculars BF6060 is an amazing day and night time binocular. It offers high optical clarity and is suited for outdoor activities.  These night vision binoculars cost less compared to other leading brands.

This night vision function is the Hd LLL night vision, not infrared night-vision scopes; binoculars is an optical lens. Best for going through the sightseeing for traveling, stadium sports, bird-watching, concerts, hunting, hiking, etc

PROS:

  • Excellent low light performance
  • Rugged and can take a lot of impacts
  • Images come in clear even when using the maximum magnification

CONS:

  • Doesn’t have a well centered binocular view
  • Durability concerns on illuminator and circuitry

Related: If you are out using this device you might also want a night vision torch.  The Evolva Night Vision Torch will light up the area, but just for those wearing night vision gear.

Check the price on Amazon

Aurosports Folding Binoculars

Aurosports folding binocularsPrice: Approx. $15

Weight: 0.34 pounds

Specific features: Waterproof, metal inside with rubber coating, fully multi-coated green or blue lens

Best use: Both day and night

The Aurosports Folding Binoculars is the perfect fit for bird watching lovers and individuals who take pleasure in sightseeing. This binocular is super lightweight and easy to carry.  It comes in black shade and it offers optimal daytime and night time vision.

However, it is not adaptable to darkness or zero illumination. This set up comes with the Aurosports Binocular, Aurosports Lens Cloth, Aurosports Strap, English Manual, suitable Black Carry Bag, and Box.  While these can be used in both day and they do require some level of light.

PROS:

  • High zoom function
  • Designed for the outdoors
  • Small enough to fit in a pocket

CONS:

  • Not 100% night compliant
  • Only works in low light scenarios

Related: It helps to have a good place to keep your binoculars safe in between uses. A great option is the Travel Carry Case by Co2Crea.

Check the price on Amazon

ATN Night Scout Binocular

ATN Night Scout VXPrice: Approx. $1970

Weight: 4 pounds

Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 3 inches

Specific features: Multi-coated all-glass optics, long-range infrared illuminator, water and fog resistant

Best use: Hunting and surveillance

The ATN Night Scout Binocular is a cost effective night vision binocular that does not compromise on quality and night vision performance. It features a compact, lightweight, dual image tube system that offers depth perception and comfort while out on use.

This binocular is available in a variety of tube configurations to cater to the different pocket prices and performance requirements. With the help of the IR this binocular cuts through the darkest night without the need of a single light ray.

Overall the ATN NVBNNSCVCO Night Scout Gen CGT Night Vision Binocular is a good selection for hunting enthusiasts and military personnel.

PROS:

  • Easy to Adjust
  • Ergonomic design
  • Easy to Transport
  • High-Quality Image Resolution

CONS:

  • Expensive
  • Narrower Field of View
  • Blurry at Very Long Distances

Related: ATN provides a vast range of products including the ATN Laser Ballistics Rangefinder. With this unit, you can identify the correct range of a subject so if you are using the night vision goggles for scouting you can give accurate distance estimates. It is a useful accessory in active combat since as soon as you acquire range; it is ready to shoot when you are in 10 seconds.

Check the price on Amazon

Armasight Dark Strider Night Vision

Armasight Dark StriderPrice: Approx. $470

Weight: 3 pounds

Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 2.3 inches

Specific features: Inclusive of two years warranty, waterproof and fog proof, in-built long range, infrared illuminator

Best use: Military surveillance and hunting

The Armasight Dark Strider Night Vision resembles your everyday binocular. Its design, size, and weight is structured parallel to the daytime binoculars but only with a twist of nighttime visual optics. These binoculars offer an exceptional nighttime vision.

It is better suited for sustained viewing periods and better depth perception.  This pair of binoculars sports multi-coated all glass optics, dual-image intensifiers tubes inside, and rubberized outside casing.

PROS:

  • Easy to Program
  • Easy to Transport
  • Comfortable to handle
  • Good for the price

CONS:

  • Limited Setup Areas
  • Limited Mounting Areas

Related: If you are out using this device you might also want a night vision torch.  The Evolva Night Vision Torch will light up the area, but just for those wearing night vision gear.

Check the price on Amazon

Final Thoughts

Night vision devices can represent a significant investment, but if you do your homework on the various options the instrument provides, there is no reason why you can’t utilize affordable night vision year after year on your night hunts. These scopes are fun to use, and they offer specific navigational benefits.

Hunter using nv binoculars

With this piece information, I want to have the believe you will no longer grope in the dark seeking for the best night vision device for your expeditions.

Next is your turn, which pair did you decided to go with? Let us know in the comments section below. Also, be sure to share this article with your friends.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nick Stucker
Nick Stucker

Nick is passionate about weapons. He likes history of companies like Colt or Lockheed Martin, but also latest scopes, binoculars and laser sighters on the market and everything in between. Nick writes about different gear that could be useful during hunting, astrophotography, night vision or just for self-defence.

  • Tyler Wallace

    I’m looking for night vision binoculars or goggles for wildlife spotting. But I’m on a tight budget and really need to get the most bang for my buck. I thought I was sold on some goggles posted on another article, but I like that binoculars are less dependent, and fitting my head correctly.

  • Nick Stucker

    As far as night vision binoculars and goggles are concerned, the best model has to be compact, lightweight, head mountable, and full of high-quality features. Models with built-in IR illuminator produces better image in low light and complete darkness.

  • Jennifer Svasta

    My husband owns his own security company and he is going to be hiring a couple of people to join his team. They will be doing a mix of patrolling and stationary guarding. They will be usually located in urban-like, well-lit areas, and occasionally very poorly-lit areas that you can see almost unobstructed for miles all around. Is there anyone who can express which of these binoculars would be best for that kind of work?

    • Nick Stucker

      The Night Owl NOXB-5 Explorer Pro Binoculars are a good choice for the job. They are considerably lightweight and well-built with high performance.

  • Jacob Landry

    I’m taking my family on a trip to Barcelona next month and I want to bring a pair of high quality binoculars that can also provide night vision for night time touring. I work in security surveillance at night and I can also use the binoculars for work once we get back from the trip. This multi-use idea made me feel more at ease with the probability of me having to pay a large sum for a great pair of night vision binoculars. After reading this article, I am very pleased to see such a wide range in price for these items. I am really interested in the Green-state U.S Army Binocularsus-BF6060 and the affordable cost of it. Would these night vision binoculars be good for my “Travel and Work” needs?

    • Nick Stucker

      The Green-State Binoculars are a great choice, Jacob. They are remarkably inexpensive and they come with high-quality features and very few design flaws, if any.

  • Jessica Wilson

    I have $2000 and my mission is to buy the best binocular possible. It will be a birthday gift for the CEO of our company. So, I don’t want to screw up! I see that ATN NVBNNSCVC0 NIGHT SCOUT is the most expensive binocular from the list, but is it really the best one? I know that my chief has his own yacht and uses binocular in the sea. Will this model work well for him? Or can you suggest a better option?

  • Alex Melson

    Advanced technologies changed the world of hunting, making it even more fascinating. However, I’m 65 years old and sometimes it is difficult for me to figure up how to use such modern devices. It’s said in the article that Armasight Dark Strider Night Vision easy to program, but is it really so? Has anyone of my age used it successfully?

  • Nick Stucker

    The Armasight Dark Strider Night Vision Binocular is an easy to operate optics. This product is not highly recommended by most users, but it offers reliable performance considering the price tag. You should consider exploring other options.

  • Nick Stucker

    The ATN NVBNNSCVC0 NIGHT SCOUT Binocular does not come highly recommended by most users. I would suggest the Pulsar Edge GS Super Goggle. With this model, you will be able to save most of your cash.

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