When you think of picking from the best night vision binoculars, you feel it’s unfair you’ve to spend lots of time and effort finding and deciding what’s best for you from a seemingly inexhaustible variety. In the end, you wind up buying a binocular that doesn’t live up to the hype after all. And you feel like you’ve wasted your time and effort, and, more outstandingly, your hard-earned money.
Given that our budgets are limited, and the cheapest binocular is still costly, the prospect of having to decide to buy yourself can be discouraging and heart-breaking. Feel short-changed no more. At the end of this review, you’ll have cut at least half of time and effort you need to arrive at the right decision.
- Our pick of the 10 Best night vision binoculars
- Ultimate Guideline: How to Choose the Best Night Vision Binoculars
Our pick of the 10 Best night vision binoculars
- High Quality Image And Resolution with 2x Magnification
- Close Observational Range Of Focus and 1/4" Socket For Tripod
- High Power Built-In Infrared Illumination
- Ergonomic Design And Quick Power-Up
- Lightweight And Durable Composite Body
Weight is 14.1-ounces (0.4kg), Sightmark Ghost Hunter is ultralight. Adding AAA batteries whose lives are 72 hours when you turn on the illuminator and 20 hours when off contributes more weight.
To maximize field of view, magnification power is 2x, meaning that you’ll see an object twice as large at a close range. But you would able to see objects around you, but not as in 1x magnification.
However, both objective lenses are small with diameters of 24mm. Lower focal lengths are faster, because they trap light more effectively, adding to the quality of optics.
Affording a sufficiently high power to trap invisible light deeper into the infrared region of the spectrum, further from the visible region, is an illuminator, which absorbs lights whose wavelengths are 805nm.
For a generation 1 intensifier, and at such an affordable price, it’s very rare to come across optics of such a quality. Makes this model one of the best night vision binoculars out there.
Therefore, you’ll be amazed by how bright the images would remain, despite darkness levels.
Built to last, making up the body are durable, lightweight and resistant polymers. Adding to durability of the intensifier tubes are anti-glare and protection circuits, which regulate the amount of light, which enter the device.
On top of it all, when brightness is too much, increasing the risk of damaging the intensifier tubes and photosensitive cathodes, the device switches off automatically to protect the internal components.
- 8x magnification and 42mm objectives lenses, the Razor HD features hand selected prisms and premium high density glass, delivering unparalled resolution and color, creating stunning high def images.
- State of the art anti-reflective coatings with cutting edge plasma tech application guarantee the highest level of brightness during critical low light periods.
- The true open hinge magnesium chasis forms a strong, lightweight, and ergonomic design resulting in more durability in the field. Strategically placed indents in the rugged armor ensure a comfortable grip in any conditions.
- Adjust the multi-position eyecups to optimize fit for comfortable viewing with or without glasses. A locking right eye diopter adjusts for focal differences between your eyes.
- Argon purging and o-ring seals provide a lifetime of waterproof and fogproof performance. Ultra-hard, scratch resistant armortek protects the exterior lenses from scratches, oil, and dirt.
One might wonder why Vortex Razor has such a high magnification power (8x) and medium-sized objective lenses (42mm). For such a combination, you expect to get long-range viewing distance in exchange for a narrower field of view.
Yes, that’s right.
As narrow a field of view as 388 feet at 1000-yards is enough to detect a man-sized object.
Quality of optics is high, no doubt. Ultralow dispersion optics makeup consists of heavy glass, and combine with HD features and custom prisms for color and resolution of unbelievable quality for devices in its price range.
Multiple layers of coatings covering the lenses maximize light transfer and remove glares, and combine with plasma technology to give you vision darkness.
But a weight of 25-ounces (0.7kg), the binocular is quite heavy and weights it down the list of the best night vision binoculars.
You can hold it without losing grip, as its coverings have indentations for uneven texture. Material makeup for a body consists of a durable and lightweight magnesium.
Even if your eyesight is poor, you can position eyecups differently and adjust diopters, so you can view without wearing spectacles.
Filling up the main tubes is argon, so optics won’t fog up. O-ring seals around the eyepieces and objective lenses prevent water from entering inside.
Armortek covering around the tubes and optics is extremely hard, so you don’t have to worry about abrasion, dirt and oil.
- Quality optics with stunning HD clarity
- 100% quality materials used and tested extensively
- Beautiful design and durability built to last
- Gen 1 Night Vision binocular with 2.5x magnification and 40mm objective lenses
- Built in Infrared Illuminator for long distance viewing up to 90 yards
If you intend to spot criminal activities, secure your premise, view wildlife or find your way in darkness, Bushnell Lynx is a suitable go-to choice for you.
Coming with as light a weight as 17-ounces (0.5kg), you can hold Bushnell Lynx for sufficiently long periods before your muscles tire. Weight increases when you add durable AAA batteries, but worth it.
Objects, when you view them through the ocular lenses pair, appear 2.5 times larger behind objective lenses whose diameters are 40mm.
Equipped with a generation 1 intensifier, you acquire a gain sufficient to detect a man-sized object at distances between 75 and 90 yards. And that range is less for a smaller object and if you were to make a distinction.
When there’s an overcast, heavy rain or fog, or you’re in a dense forest, where darkness is complete, an illuminator generates infrared rays, ensuring vision.
Resolution is high, because the lenses have AR coating, and give high-definition (HD) objects whose clarity is unbelievable. Field of view is wide, as the magnification is low.
Made of tough and pure quality materials, the night vision binocular is durable. You can use it without worrying about weather elements damaging the optics and internal components.
- Field of view: 200ft at 53ft
- 2 electronic intensifier tubes inside stringer system for precision & control
- Powerful built-in columnated IR illuminator provides clear & bright Viewing in complete darkness
- High-quality, all Objective & ocular lenses
- Generation 1 technology; 5X magnification
Weighing 38-ounces (1.1kg) before you add a lithium battery, Night Owl Pro is heavy, given that you’ve to hold the device with a rubberized finish for a long period. If you run a tight budget, you should consider what’s among the night vision binoculars for the money.
But battery powers the infrared light, so viewing for long drains life, which is just between 40 and 80 hours.
With a width of field of view being 200 feet (67 yards), you can detect as large an object as a human being at as close a distance as 53 feet (18 yards) without an illuminator.
That means you’ll make out full details of a human-sized or smaller objects at a less distance, as the night vision binocular uses generation 1 intensifier.
However, the manufacturer has columnated the illuminator to trap the invisible light within infrared near visible light range (400nm to 900nm), so you can be sure of seeing in pitch darkness.
While a magnification of 5x isn’t powerful, it’s just the right magnification since you don’t need a greater power to see in darkness.
Objective lenses have a diameter of 50mm, both of which you can focus at the same time. Making up the pairs of objective and ocular lenses are high-quality materials, giving you a high resolution of 35 line pairs/mm.
- Water and fog resistant
- Built-in PULSE system IR
- Multicoated optics
- High resolution intensifier
- Modern ergonomic design
For a night hunter who’s on a long trek, you require a hunting gear that doesn’t add unnecessary baggage. With a weight of just 13.4-ounces (0.4kg), you’ll be happy with ultralight night vision binoculars for hunting. One of the best night vision binoculars for sure.
As a headgear, you don’t need to hold it for long – all you need to just flip it up from or down to your eye level when necessary. Made of rubber, you’ll feel comfortable and light wearing the night vision binocular on your head or cap.
No magnification (1x) combines with high-gain intensifiers and multicoated lenses to give you crispy, clear and bright images and widest field of view at close ranges.
And so, you can detect and recognize man-sized objects or smaller objects at a longer range than 50 to 75 yards (150 to 225 feet) to about 75 to 100 yards (225 to 300 feet) for a generation 1 intensifier.
Even when it’s raining heavily, and you move across variable temperatures and under misty conditions, you don’t have to worry about fogging up of optics. O-ring seals prevent water from entering inside the main tubes.
Infused into the device is an illuminator to trap light in the invisible part of the light spectrum: infrared region. Hence, even when it’s completely dark, you can still see.
While battery power drains when producing the invisible infrared light, you have little to worry about life. An energy-efficient frequency produces pulses to reduce battery usage and extend battery life.
- Lightweight and compact, Water and dust resistant with an IP44 weather rating
- R-contact optical system
- Multi-coated lenses with High resolution through the field of view
- Built-in illuminator with variable power
- Flexible carrying case
Focal lengths are long for as large objective lenses as 50mm, meaning that the illuminator traps light less effectively.
And because magnification is 2.7x and optics are large, you’ll sacrifice field of view for a brighter and clearer image.
Therefore, if you intend to gain awareness of what’s around, you’d require the least magnification: 1x. But the manufacture tailored the optics for one purpose: long-range observation at distances inside of 150 yards.
A 0.65kg (23-ounces) weight would be quite burdensome if you hold the device for a lengthy period of observing. AAA battery life when you switch off the illuminator is 50 hours but reduces to 20 hours when on.
Trapping longer-wavelength light in the deeper regions of the infrared spectrum requires a higher power illuminator, and Pulsar Edge has it. Above, there’s a wheel, which you can vary infrared power, depending on your lighting needs.
Metal and plastic combine as a material makeup for a durable and resistant device.
Unlike most generation 1 intensifiers, you needn’t be worried about distortion, as the ocular lenses can accommodate wide angles.
Moreover, lenses and intensifiers have a special design to increase precision, quality and sharpness of images. Line pairs per mm is 42 lp/mm; hence, high resolution.
Even when excess lights falls on photosensitive cathodes and intensifier tubes, protection circuits reduce the amount of brightness when it exceeds the threshold.
- 2000-yard detection range with 640x480 resolution, 17Am pixel core, High-contrast, color AMOLED display
- Picture in picture digital zoom with a Stream Vision app that connects scope to smart device
- IPX7 waterproof, dustproof, Fog proof performance
- 12.4 degrees field of view
- Image optimization observation modes with 8 custom color modes
When it comes to weight, the bi-ocular is heavy, as it weighs 48-ounces (1.4kg). No other battery discussed so far than IPS5 lets you observe nonstop for 8 hours. That’s too good to be true for a device with a generation 1 intensifier.
Sure, you can bet on what’s among the military night vision binoculars.
With a single objective lens whose diameter is 50mm, you can expect brighter and clearer images.
But what’s more amazing about the objective lens is that you can vary its magnification power between ranges 2.5 and 20x. Such a flexibility allows you to zoom in and out, something you won’t in a fixed magnification device. Therefore, you can vary distances for a close- or a long-range viewing.
Packed with high-gain intensifiers, light is amplified many hundreds of times. So, you can detect a man-sized object as far as 2000-yards (6000 feet). On top of it all, the device calculates range according to object’s size in a matter of seconds.
AMOLED display adds 640480 of resolution to the optics, so you can make out or recognize details of images more sharply. Objects emit heat, and a 17μm pixel core senses it to give you images.
What aids quick and easy recognition is the eight different ways you can adjust color in accordance with changing temperature conditions and terrains.
No need to worry about image distortion, as a pulse whose frequency is 50-Hz refreshes it, improving stability, fluidity and quality.
- Dual Infrared Pro Pulse System
- Central Focusing
- Dual Eye Diopter Adjustment
- High Resolution Intensifiers
- Multi-Coated Optics
If you intend to make the most of image viewing at a close-range yardage, then you require a wide field of view and a sufficiently large objective lens.
Fit for your purpose, Yukon Tracker’s magnification power is fixed at 3x, and the objective lens has a diameter of 42mm. Maximizing light transmission are multiple layers of coatings around the lenses.
With a weight of 25-ounces (0.7kg), the binocular is quite heavy, but you’d have to hold or carry it for long to begin feeling weary. Adding a 3V battery contributes to weigh. But it’s worthwhile, as the durable battery can sustain nonstop viewing for about 10 hours.
No need to worry about lack of vision in darkness, as an illuminator is present to absorb and emit invisible light whose wavelengths fall within the infrared region of the spectrum. Not just that, but the illuminator generates pulses whose frequency conserves energy, preventing wastage of battery life.
More interestingly, covering lenses are covers, which can you can flip up or down or rotate them out of your line of sight, removing the need for a lens cap. These covers come with pin holes to limit the entry of amount of light, especially when you the binocular for daytime observation.
Diopter adjustment mean you can view without wearing spectacles. Another candidate to be one of the best night vision binoculars.
- 5x magnification, 700 field of view, 575 range of view
- Built-in infared illuminators for viewing in complete darkness
- Steel stringer system for additional precision and control
- Low battery indicator and extended infared operation on low battery
- Power Supply:requires (1) 3-volt Type-123 lithium battery (not included)
You can hardly imagine how you can achieve a 575-yard range with a field of view as wide as 700 feet using a generation 1 intensifier. But Night Owl is defying all our expectations with this incredible piece of technology.
Unsurprisingly, magnification power is low at 5x, and both lenses have a diameter of 50mm. While field of view isn’t as wide as 1x would provide, it’s just the right for a longer range.
Weighing 54-ounces (1.5kg), the binocular is heavy to hold and carry for long. Further addition to weight is a 3V lithium battery. When you run low on battery, the binocular senses it, and automatically switches to conservation mode.
Observation in total darkness shouldn’t be a problem, as an illuminator harvests invisible infrared light.
Making the most out of light transmission are layers of fluoride and metal oxide coatings around the optics. Quality of material composition of the optics is not 100% pure, as different elements make up the glass.
Large lens combines with characteristics of the elements to give you images whose quality is second to none. And best of all, the elements contribute to toughness, so you don’t have worry about a fragile glass of optics.
- See up to 900 feet at night, 1320 feet during the day
- 1X lens to sense real distance and avoid tripping
While it may not be as impressive as some we’ve discussed so far, for its price range, being able to detect man-sized objects at distances inside of 200 feet (67-yards) is commendable.
What gives X-Stand an advantage is you can be aware of objects around you, as you can vary magnification power between 1x and 2x for a wide field of view. You can rarely find an adjustable magnification power for a binocular with a generation intensifier.
More than that, you don’t have to worry about bright light of the daytime, as the manufacturer has adapted accordingly. And so, you can detect object as far 1312 feet (437-yards), making a suitable boost to your eyesight.
How’s that even possible?
There’s a large aperture whose size F1.4 allows light to enter, just like a camera.
As heavy as 32-ounces (0.9kg) of weight may not alarm you so much if you intend to hold and carry it for short periods. But when you add AA batteries, weight increases.
As you may expect, an illuminator is present to trap invisible light whose wavelengths fall within the infrared region of the spectrum.
Ensuring maximum light transfer are multicoated layers over the optics. What’s even more awesome, you can take photos and record videos!
Ultimate Guideline: How to Choose the Best Night Vision Binoculars
Picking the best night vision binocular has more to do with your budget and maximum range you’d like to view or observe objects.
Binoculars are generally costly but our budgets are limited. There’s no point of buying a long-range binocular if you need to observe objects nearby. You would be wasting money for extra ranges you don’t need.
Maximum Range - For a close-range viewing, choose a binocular or a bi-ocular with the widest field of view, so you can be able to see objects around you.
Longer-range viewing requires a magnification power of more than 8x, although the lenses perform poorer in trapping light in darkness.
An optimal range for a long-range viewing should be between 4x and 6x, and for close-range viewing between 1x and 2x.
Size and Weight - Moreover, size and more so weight matter. If you’re a hunter on a long hunting trek, your main concern is a light device whose addition to your gear isn’t burdensome.
Quality of Lenses - More importantly, quality of optics matters. Higher-quality optics are more expensive. Multicoated optics maximize light transfer and resolution, and have anti-glares or reflections.
High-speed lenses (those with low f values or diameters) trap light more effectively, and are more expensive.
Higher-quality optics are more expensive. Larger optics add more weight but not necessarily expense.
All night vision devices we’ve discussed use a generation 1 intensifier tube to amplify the available light in the absence of an illuminator.
However, most come with an illuminator to absorb light in the infrared region of the spectrum, so you can see when there’s no light at all, as in pitch darkness.
Hence it’s out of the question to consider the latest generations in these night vision binoculars reviews: generations 2, 3 and 4, which are much more advanced and expensive.
But they differ in how deep they absorb that light. The greater wavelength of light an illuminator absorbs, or deeper into the infrared region, further from the visible spectrum, the more expensive.
Gain - There’s also a difference in gains, which determine the effective detection and recognition ranges. The greater the gain, the greater the amplification of light and the greater the ranges and costs. And so, you need to keep that in mind when choosing from the best.
Durability and Toughness - Tougher, more durable and more resistant materials with multiple elements in the glass makeup of the optics, purging with gases in the main tube, and O-ring seals around the tubes, add more costs.
Intensifier Life - Intensifier tubes have periods before you they stop to function. Just as a battery, an intensifier runs out. Hence, it’s important to know how long your intensifier can last. That’s why we don’t recommend you buy second-hand binoculars.
Battery Life - Batteries have different lives. Some can sustain infrared emission for as long as between 8 and 10 hours, but such batteries are usually expensive. But if a battery has a longer life, then it’s worth the money. Interestingly, some binoculars emit pulses with frequencies to conserve power and extend battery life.
And so, what’s the ideal night vision binoculars for you?
Well, it all boils down to you. If money isn’t a problem, we recommend you look for the latest generation (gen 2 onwards) and highest quality of optics. But this isn’t to say that gen 1 doesn’t live up to your needs.
Picking the best night vision binoculars depends in no small part on your budget and maximum viewing range. You risk blowing budget if you don’t know exactly what you want. We recommend you check optics quality, size, weight, gain, battery life, intensifier life and durability and toughness.
If you run a tight budget, we recommend you pick Night Owl Pro Nexgen, Bushnell Lynx Gen 1, Pulsar Edge GS, Night Owl NOXB-5, and X-Stand Sniper. But if you’re ready to break your bank, we recommend you go for Yukon NV, Sightmark Ghost Hunter, Pulsar Accolade XP50, Vortex Razor and Yukon Tracker.
Related links > Review of the Vortex Diamondback 10x42
Last update on 2020-08-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API