11 Best Night Vision Binoculars In 2021 (Digital, Gen 1+ & Gen 2)

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Best Night Vision Binocular Reviews

With varmints to hunt and midnight raids to execute, night vision is a must.

Fortunately, I’ve gathered a wide variety of night vision binoculars specifically tailored for the job.

As a general rule, the best night vision binoculars should have dual image intensifier tubes, high magnification, and large objective lenses like the Gen 3 AGM Foxbat-5 NL3. Excellent exceptions would be high quality digital night vision binoculars like the ATN Binox 4K 4-16x.

To nail nocturnal prowlers, I have a lineup geared for night hounds who want the best bang for the buck.

Take note of my tips on the differences between the top night vision binoculars. As expensive as they are, you don't want to buy something without knowing what it is first.

Our 11 Top Night Vision Binoculars

tt-table__imageATN PS15-2
  • Technology: Gen 2+
  • Ideal For: Professional Surveillance
  • Price Range: Under $4000
tt-table__imageAGM FoxBat-5 NL3
  • Technology: Gen 2+
  • Ideal For: Armed Professionals
  • Price Range: Under $2500
tt-table__imageNight Owl NOB3X
  • Technology: Gen 1
  • Ideal For: Civilians
  • Price Range: Under $500
tt-table__imageATN Binox 4K 4-16X
  • Technology: Digital
  • Ideal For: Hunting
  • Price Range: Under $1000
tt-table__imageSolomark Digital Night Vision
  • Technology: Digital
  • Ideal For: Recreational Use
  • Price Range: Under $300
tt-table__imageNightfox 100V Digital 3X20
  • Technology: Digital
  • Ideal For: Recreational Use
  • Price Range: Under $200
tt-table__imageSightmark Ghost Hunter 4X50
  • Technology: Gen 1
  • Ideal For: Hunting
  • Price Range: Under $400
tt-table__imageNight Owl NOB5X
  • Technology: Gen 1
  • Ideal For: Wildlife Viewing
  • Price Range: Under $800
tt-table__imageBestguarder NV 900
  • Technology: Digital
  • Ideal For: Camera
  • Price Range: Under $400
tt-table__imageCreative XP GlassOwl
  • Technology: Digital
  • Ideal For: Day & Night Use
  • Price Range: Under $300
tt-table__imageBarska NVX300
  • Technology: Digital
  • Ideal For: Day & Night Use
  • Price Range: Under $300

Be careful scouring the market for very cheap night vision binoculars (NVB) as you might end up with a regular one.  Night vision (NV) is expensive technology, so price will be an indicator of quality and whether it's a true night vision binocular.

A trick to see through some false advertising is the term "low light night vision binoculars."  These do not offer true night vision tech as they tend to function best in daylight with some acceptable low light vision.

The night vision binoculars in our lineup have true night vision technology distinguished by their passive generation class or active digital systems.  Everyone can benefit from seeing in the dark.  You might only think that military snipers or cops use 'em, but you'd be wrong.

Night vision is a must-have for varmint hunting at night, scouting before dawn, and quartering up your buck at night.  Using night vision while camping, hiking, and watching wildlife in the dark lends to a more enjoyable and safer activity. 

Night vision for home defense, security, and property surveillance provides peace of mind and enhanced security measures.  Should we go on?  Meh, we think you get the idea.

But, why choose a binocular over night vision goggles or monoculars?  Essentially, you have higher magnification, larger apertures, and dual IITs (Image Intensifier Tube) that can give you greater light amplification, greater detail at longer distances, and longer, more comfortable glassing sessions. 

But, we'll get into that some more down below.

For now, let's get into the binoculars that are trending hot and the ones have defied time and trend as the most dependable night vision binoculars the consumer market currently offers.

Best Night Vision Binoculars On The Market

1. ATN PS15-2 - Best Overall Night Vision Binoculars

ATN PS15-2

The PS15 series are the only binocular-body NVB ATN offers.  The iconic PVS7 and NVG7 models are bioculars.  If biocular designs are too weird for you to get around, stick with the PS15.


  • Gen 2+
  • 1x magnification
  • Close focus
  • Compact/lightweight
  • Head mountable


  • Price

The specs on these binoculars actually qualify it as goggles.  What are the benefits?  It has 1x magnification, an extremely close focus distance of 0.25 yards, and it comes with a goggle kit assembly.  As goggles, it's not entirely fair to pit it against the binoculars in the lineup, but you wanted to know about the best out there, right?

As the only binocular-body NVBs for the brand, it deserves a spot in the lineup even though it's ridiculously priced out of most everyone's budget range.  But upper level generation tubes have never been cheap, and on a binocular body, it proves to be even more expensive than bioculars.

So, what does the PS15 have over a biocular?  The dual Gen 2+ IITs provide excellent depth perception for night vision binoculars.  You can be as mobile as you can be at night time to creep, walk, and run and still see detail needed to avoid the pitfalls of what seems like unpredictable terrain in the dark.

You can also read text, graphics, and maps with this high-quality, 1x power bino.  It has 45-54 lp/mm resolution which isn't the best in the industry, but it's a far jump up from the 30-36 lp/mm of Gen 1 tubes.

Additionally, it has a whopping 40 degree FOV.  This may be due to its 1x magnification and placement of its optical assemblies.  Requiring either a single CR123 battery or AA battery, you can have up to 60 hours of operation for those midnight stake outs.

Much smaller and lighter in weight than bioculars, it's 4.7" long and weighs 1.5 lbs.  This makes it one of the best options for long-viewing sessions needed for hunting at night and professional use by security personnel.

2. AGM Foxbat-5 NL3 - Best Gen 2 NV Binoculars

AGM Global Vision FoxBat 5 NL3 Gen 2+""Level 3"" Night Vision Bi-Ocular
  • Super fast, multi-coated, all-glass optics; Dual eye viewing system for long viewing sessions
  • Detachable long-range infrared illuminator, Rugged and versatile design, Water and fog resistance

The price for Gen 2 night vision may seem like a leap from Gen 1 and that's because it is.  Not only is price significantly higher, quality is too.


  • Gen 2+
  • 5x magnification
  • Biocular
  • Detachable IR
  • Battery options


  • Heavy/bulky

AGM is a brand-new manufacturer of sporting optics, and their products include night vision binoculars.  As a babe to the market, we're giving them their 15 minutes of fame right here to help promote the American-based brand to showcase what they have to offer.

For our top pick for Gen 2 binoculars, we've chosen the Foxbat-5 NL3.  It's a biocular by design and has its own set of benefits to aid in your night time stalking adventures.  This Foxbat has 5x magnification, a huge 108 mm aperture, and multi-coated, all-glass optics.  The potential for incredible light transmission and amplification is all there.

With its powerful and large configuration, it's a long-ranging binocular that will help you see great detail at night.  Usually seen on night vision binocular is a built-in IR, but this Foxbat won't always need it due to its high-quality, Gen 2+ "Level 3" IIT tube. 

But, when you find yourself needing IR light, it comes with a detachable Sioux 850 nm long-range IR illuminator.  Obviously, because of its large size of 10.3" (L) and 2.9 lb weight, you'll want to mount it to a tripod for extra-long glassing sessions.  Not a big deal. 

You either want big and powerful, or you're going home empty-handed and unsatisfied.

The Foxbat has all the usual fixings you want to see on a serious night vision binocular, namely, Bright Light Cut-off, Automatic Brightness Control, and long-lasting operating times.  Powered with 1x CR123A battery, you can expect up to 60 hours of glassing. 

Powered with 1x AA battery, it's limited to 30 hours - of course, IR use will affect how fast you run out of juice.

We like everything about the Foxbat - even its price tag.  We will go so far as to say it's good enough for law enforcement, hunting, and professional surveillance use.  For upper level Gen 2 tech, you're getting the very best for less than $3000.  Support the new guy, they deserve it!

3. Night Owl NOB3X - Best Gen 1 NV Binoculars

Night Owl Pro Nexgen Night Vision Binocular (3X)
10 Reviews
Night Owl Pro Nexgen Night Vision Binocular (3X)
  • Generation 1 technology; central focusing; integrated infrared all-glass optics
  • Field of View: 70 feet at a distance of 200 feet

Are you looking for low power, lightweight, and high resolution in one of the best true night vision binoculars?  The Night Owl NOB3X may end your search today.


  • Price
  • Gen 1
  • Resolution
  • Adjustable IPD
  • Manual focus


  • Not waterproof

The NOBX5 has a wider FOV than its sibling, the NOBX5.  The angular FOV of 19.7 degrees or 70 ft at 200 yards is great for an night vision device and comes in second to the Sightmark Ghost Hunter 2x24 with its 25 degree FOV.  For this reason and more, it's our favorite first generation night vision binocular.

The Night Owl has Gen 1 IITs, low power of 3x, 42 mm objective lenses, and 35 lp/mm resolution.  With the 3x power and high resolution for Gen 1, you can see clearer and brighter images without sight picture distortion that occurs with higher magnification binos. 

With a manual focus found near the objective lens, you can clean up the picture for better image quality at a minimum of 6.6 feet.

A nice touch to the binoculars is its adjustable IPD that will fit most eye widths of its users to collimate the picture to one, complete image.  It's also lighter in weight at 30.6 oz and smaller at 6.7 x 5.8 x 2.5" in size compared to the NOB5X.

Powered with 1x 3V 123 lithium battery, it can last up to 80 hours without use of the IR and up to 40 hours with the IR.  But, there’s no word on its tough exterior being waterproof.  Many cheap Gen 1 devices lack fog and waterproofness, so we assume the Night Owl does, too.

The NOB3X may not be the serious option for the secret agent, but it is an affordable option for the night time stalker on a budget.

4. ATN Binox 4K 4-16X NV Binoculars - Best Digital Night Vision Binoculars

ATN Binox 4K 4-16X

Priced on the higher end for night vision digital tech, the Binox 4K sets the standard for all digital devices.  Is it worth pulling the trigger on?


  • Day/night use
  • Laser rangefinder
  • Ultra HD sensor
  • BIX tech
  • Live stream


  • Bulky

For all your digital and night vision needs, you won't find anything better than the Binox 4K.  It has HD optics, can be used in both day and night light, and it's smart - maybe too smart for its own good. 

It's so smart that it has every digital feature you can think of that includes WiFi, Bluetooth, and a 3D Accelerometer; 3D Gyroscope, 3D Magnetometer, and E Barometer; E-Compass, Live Streaming, and lastly, a Smart Rangefinder.

With all the bells and whistles, you better figure out how to use this before you hit the hunt tonight.  The rangefinder can range from 5-1000 yards with +/-1 yard precision.  With video 1080P recording, a 4-64GB micro SD card, and Dual Stream Video, you can snap, record, and share live on-screen with your buddies in the field or those waiting at home.

No wonder the Binox is a beast at 9.4" long and 2.5 lbs - it's a camera, laser rangefinder, and night vision binocular in one package.  But, what is the BIX (Ballistic Information Exchange) technology?  The binoculars are compatible with ATN's Smart HD devices that includes their rifle scopes to exchange vital information needed to holdover and hit bull's-eye. 

Even if you don't have an ATN Smart scope, you can use it with your traditional glass scope by using their Laser Ballistics App.  Geez, talk about being versatile!

With its dual CORE technology and Ultra HD sensor image quality is unbeatable in the digital night vision device market.  With true color fidelity in daylight and 600 lp/mm resolution and 1280 x 720 x 2 display resolution for nighttime use, you'll have sharp clarity and brightness no matter the time of day.

Is the Binox worth the higher price tag for digital night vision gear?  Definitely. . . Duh.

5. Solomark Digital Night Vision Binoculars - Best Night Vision Binoculars Under $300

Night Vision Binoculars Hunting Binoculars-Digital Infrared Night Vision Hunting...
154 Reviews
Night Vision Binoculars Hunting Binoculars-Digital Infrared Night Vision Hunting...
  • Built in 3W Infrared LED, 850nm Infrared Illuminator allows viewing up to 1300 ft/400m viewing distance in full darkness; Day or night use(with IR off for daytime color);...
  • Outstanding optical clarity, high performance digital night vision binocular, clearly see up to 7X magnification in the darkness, 2x Digital Zoom and a 31mm Objective...

Solomark debuts with their digital night vision device, and like so many other popular models like it, it's a winner with the cost-conscious buyer.


  • Price
  • Digital
  • 4" screen
  • 640 x 480 resolution
  • FMC optics


  • No batteries included

As seen with digital devices of this caliber, the 8x AA batteries required to power it are not included.  Additionally, the Solomark comes with a 4GB TF card instead of a 32GB micro SD card that its competitors are now including in the buy.

But, it has the same 2" screen converted to 4" of a display with its convex lens assembly.  You will have color detail during daytime use and black/white detail for night vision.  It has optical magnification of 7x and 2x digital zoom. 

Make sure to keep the IR-filter cap over on the left objective lens during daylight use to protect night vision components.  Simply remove the cap when you're ready to stalk in the night.

Like comparable models in the market, it boasts of 1300 ft (400 m) detection ranges.  It could be this good with perfect conditions and with the built-in 850 nm IR illuminator on max, but realistic expectations will be about 100 yards at night.

With FMC optics, 640 x 480 pixel resolution for photo and video recording, and 31 mm apertures, the Solomark can provide better than decent clarity and resolution.

It comes with the 4GB card, soft carry case, shoulder strap, AV cable, and a USB cable.  It can be mounted to a tripod for extra steady use.  Recommended for amateur, casual, and recreational use, it's not one intended for looking at the skies. 

For cheap night vision technology on a budget, the Solomark is another digital option that you can play around with in the dark.

6. Nightfox 100V Digital 3X20 NV Binoculars - Best NV Binoculars Under $200

Nightfox 100V Widescreen Digital Night Vision Infrared Binocular with Zoom 3x20
1,792 Reviews
Nightfox 100V Widescreen Digital Night Vision Infrared Binocular with Zoom 3x20
  • Revolutionary widescreen viewing monitor - comfortable viewing with both eyes.
  • Viewing range of up to and over 110 yards at night, 3x fixed magnification with a 2x digital zoom button (6x magnification total)

For under $200, you can have night vision.  No, it's not true generation night vision technology as it's digital technology at its core.  Still, to see what's prowling and lurking in the dark, besides you, a cheap pair of digital glasses is the way to go.


  • Price
  • Digital
  • Widescreen display
  • Focus wheel
  • Tripod mountable


  • No photo or video recording

For a digital binocular, it's almost strange that it doesn't include photo or video recording features, but we suppose that's what helps to shave the costs down to under 200 bucks.

The Nightfox has fixed 3x optical magnification with 2x magnification digital zoom for a total of 6x magnification for long-distance viewing.  With the built-in IR illuminator, you can see in total darkness, and you can adjust the IR intensity with 7 settings. 

The detection range is stated at 110 yards, but many users have said they have easily reached out to 300 yards depending on where they are, i.e. desert plains, woods, or in light-polluted cities.

It has a widescreen display and you can adjust the focus with the itty-bitty center focus wheel on the underside of the body by the objective lens.  It might be narrow and small, nevertheless, you'll appreciate that it even has this feature.

You can also mount it to a tripod which is nifty.  Viewing time may be cut short since it operates with 8x AA batteries for only 6 hours.  It's digital, so it's going to eat up juice power faster than true night vision tubes.

The Nightfox is an entry-level, digital night vision binocular, and it's priced as such.  But, what surprises us is the 18-month warranty on the binoculars.  For a budget optic, it's impressive it even comes with a warranty. 

If you're looking to spend as little as possible for the most simplistic night vision gadget without the doodads of sub-par features, the Nightfox is your best pick.

7. Sightmark Ghost Hunter 4X50 - Best NV Binoculars For Hunting

Sightmark Ghost Hunter 4X50

This Ghost Hunter has 4x magnification and huge 50 mm objective lenses.  Designed to amplify light at a higher transmission rate than smaller aperture binoculars, it has more value to the night hunter who is looking to tread the woods like a ghost - unseen.


  • Price
  • Gen 1
  • 50 mm apertures
  • Battery type
  • Lightweight


  • Front & rear focus

As mentioned in our Ghost Hunter 2x24 review, the 4x50 model shares the same front and rear focusing system.  It can be a little confusing to beginners new to these types of night vision devices, but they're easy to focus and provide the clarity and sharpness you need to hunt in the night.

You first focus the eyepiece focusing on a target about 30 m away, and then you focus the objective lenses.  Refocus the eyepiece again if needed.

Like its smaller sibling, it has all the great features we like to see in Gen 1 tech: 36 lp/mm resolution, cheap battery types (2x AAA), and long-lasting battery life of 20-72 hours; a built-in 805 nm IR illuminator, light weight of 25 oz, and an IPX3 rating for water-resistance.

It also has a Bright Light Cut-off feature that will instantly power down the device when exposed to bright lights that could damage the tubes.  Fortunately, the tubes are covered with Sightmark's 3-year warranty with a lifetime warranty on the housing.

But, what sets this Ghost Hunter apart from all other models is its higher magnification of 4x and huge apertures of 50 mm.  It has a good FOV of 15 degrees or 78 ft at 100 yards, and a great detection range of almost 200 yards. 

For Gen 1 tech, this is great news, and you know you can always test out for further detection range with a bright moon out or with a more powerful IR.

For a wider FOV, its 2x24 counterpart has the better stats, but for more magnification and longer distances to stay hidden from those coyotes, the 4x50 will be your star performer.

8. Night Owl NOBX-5 NV Binoculars - Best for Wildlife Viewing

Night Owl NOXB-5 Explorer Pro 5X Night Vision Binoculars with Infared...
8 Reviews
Night Owl NOXB-5 Explorer Pro 5X Night Vision Binoculars with Infared...
  • 5x magnification, 700 field of view, 575 range of view
  • Built-in infared illuminators for viewing in complete darkness

These are highest power of night vision binoculars Night Owl has in production.  With 5x magnification paired with Gen 1 IITs, the Night Owl will have you hooting all night long.


  • Gen 1
  • 5x power
  • Adjustable IPD
  • 50 mm apertures
  • Manual focus


  • Heavy

The NOBX-5 has true first Generation tubes in each barrel.  With large 50 mm apertures, and multi-element fluoride glass coatings, you can expect great light amplification and detail with 35 lp/mm resolution.  The industry standard for resolution on Gen 1 devices is around 30 lp/mm.

Getting the best sight picture is easily done with an adjustable IPD range - this feature isn't always on night vision binoculars and goggles, so that's a plus.  It also allows for manual focusing of the target and distance so you can fine-tune your sight picture for the best image.

However, the angular 15 degree FOV or linear 53 ft at 200 yards is decent for a Gen 1.  It's not the best for binoculars at around 20 degrees, but it's better than anything below 10, and believe us, there are some of those out there.  For watching wildlife in the dark from a safe distance, the FOV is generous for an night vision device.

But, with the large objective lenses, you can expect they tack on some extra weight.  Weighing in at 38.8 oz and 7.8 x 5.8 x 2.9" in size, it's no lightweight binocular.  At least that's all binocular and not battery weight, too. 

It only takes 1x 123 lithium battery to provide anywhere between 40-80 hours of continuous use depending on how much you will use the IR illuminator.

Night vision device snobs will always say get Generation 3 or better, but for those on a budget looking for night vision for casual use, Gen 1 will fit the bill.

9. Bestguarder NV-900 - Best Digital NV Binoculars with Camera

Bestguarder NV-900 4.5-22.5X40mm Digital Night Vision Goggles Binocular with...
335 Reviews
Bestguarder NV-900 4.5-22.5X40mm Digital Night Vision Goggles Binocular with...
  • HIGH QUAILTY IMAGE & VIDEO AND RESOLUTION WITH 4” GLASS VIEWING SCREEN**: Built In 2 inch TFT screen, convert to 4 inch large viewing screen by the convex lens,...
  • UPDATED VERSION AND POWERFUL NIGHT VISION WITH OUTSTANDING OPTICAL CLARITY**: High power built-in 850NM 3W no-glow infrared illumination for up to 1300ft/400m viewing...

If you were a fan of the popular NV-800, then you'll love the new and improved version, the NV-900 model.  What are the differences?  We're glad you asked.


  • Price
  • Digital
  • 4" screen
  • Time lapse
  • Waterproof


  • Constant focus adjustments

What are the upgrades from the popular NV-800?  Screen resolution was improved to 640 x 840 pixels on the 4" screen.  Its video and photo resolution were upgraded, optical and digital zoom increased, and an included memory card now has 32G of storage.

New features include a redesigned ergonomic build with an easy-grip design.  It also has a Time Lapse, Multi-Shoot, GPS ID stamp feature, and more.  A built-in 850 nm 3W LED allows 4 illumination levels, but it will drain battery life from 14 to 10 hours. 

However, users have reported much lower operating times.  It's a good thing then that you can power this with a 5-6V power bank for extra time since carrying around 8x AA batteries at a time may prove to be expensive and bothersome.

With the poundage of all those batteries, this is no lightweight unit at 32 ounces (2 pounds).  Thanks to the included neck strap, you don't have to tote this thing by hand the entire night.  Now that you've heard the good, what's the bad and the ugly?

Between the IR adjustments and the magnification changes, you'll need to refocus the binos every time to get the best image.  There's also no rail for attachment of an additional IR or flashlight.  While there are 8 buttons to move through the various settings, it's been said they're difficult to differentiate and you must leave your sight picture to use them.

Bestguarder also boasts that the NV-900 is capable of detection ranges up to 400 meters with the use of the IR in complete darkness.  However, users have said it's good to about 100-300 meters.  For the price and the tech, the lower ranges are much more realistic.

All in all, the NV-900 is a good device.  Used properly and within its capabilities, you'll be snapping pics and recording videos of late-night deeds all night long.

10. Creative XP GlassOwl - Best Day & Night Vision Binoculars

CREATIVE XP Night Vision Goggles - Digital Binoculars w/Infrared Lens, Tactical...
3,040 Reviews
CREATIVE XP Night Vision Goggles - Digital Binoculars w/Infrared Lens, Tactical...
  • SEE IN TOTAL DARKNESS - Unlike other night vision binoculars that can't give you high-quality visibility without ambient light, our goggles feature an infrared...
  • VIEWING SCREEN - These binoculars for hunting and security feature a 4" TFT screen with a 2x digital zoom, allowing you to view crystal-clear photos and videos in an...

There's nothing like a "sold out" sticker that proves popularity status, and the GlassOwl binoculars have done it once but are available and out in production once again.  With having just been released to the market, you might want to hop on these quickly - like, right now.


  • Price
  • Digital
  • 4" screen
  • FMC optics
  • Lifetime warranty


  • Batteries not included

The main feature of the GlassOwl binoculars is its digital features.  As such, it can be used both in day and night conditions.  It has 3.5-7x optical magnification and 2x digital zoom.  With it, you can see your targets in up-close detail on the 4" display.

It promises 1300 ft (433 yards) of a detection range, but it's likely this is with use of the built-in 850 nm IR illuminator and with clear night skies.  With 31 mm objective lens, FMC (Fully Multi-Coated) optics, manual focus, and 10-30 mm eye relief, the digital binoculars are at the top of their field.

With its included 32GB micro SD memory card, you can take pictures and video recordings with audio without giving away your position.  Thanks to the No Glow IR Illuminator, you can see more while remaining hidden.

The unit will be on the heavy side because of its build and its many batteries it must be powered with.  You will need to purchase 8x AA batteries to power this thing, and the bad news is, they're not included.

The good news is, the cheap night vision binoculars are covered with a lifetime warranty.  Unlike warranties that only cover components and sensors for a limited time period, such as 2 years, this set is covered for life.

11. Barska NVX300 Digital NV Binoculars

Barska NVX300
Image Credit: Barska

The NVX300 digital binoculars are from a budget-friendly manufacturer that is well-known within the optics world of brands. It may be under 300 bucks, and it may be underestimated, but if you want the best day and night vision in one package from one binocular for heck of a deal, Barska steps in to give it to you.


  • Day or night viewing
  • 7x power/2x digital zoom
  • Wide FOV
  • Recording feature
  • Weather-resistant


  • Micro-SD card sold separately
  • 1-year warranty

Previous Barska NVX models just didn’t cut the mustard, so Barska came back with more power, lighter weight, and less batteries required to operate it. This resulted in the NVX300 being newly released to the market.

Weight has been shaved down from 22 ounces to only 15.2 ounces, and where the NVX200 model takes 8x AA batteries to operate, the NVX300 only requires 4x AA to get juiced up.

It’s a digital binocular, so it’s safe to use it during the day as you would for nighttime hobbies. It has 7x magnification, up to 2x digital zoom, and a 20 mm aperture. This provides the user with approximately 100 yards of a field of view at 1000 yards. Not too shabby when you’re peering around in pitch black darkness, right?

As a digital bino, you can take pics and record to your heart’s content. Transfer them to your computer and share your hunt with the rest of the online world. You will have to purchase an SD card separately though.

Built to be tripod compatible, weather-resistant, and easy to use, the Barska model is an affordable day and night optic that provides the solution to your budget and dual-use needs.

What to Look for in Night Vision Binoculars

When shopping for a night vision binocular, you'll need to know about the features that sets them apart from daytime and lowlight binoculars.  We'll lay them out for you here.

But, we need to mention a couple things first.  We deliberately looked for affordable options that one would realistically spend on a pair of night vision binoculars, so most of our lineup consists of night vision binoculars under $1000. 

For higher-end models with high-ticket prices from brands such as ATN, Pulsar, and Armasight/FLIR, check out our Night Vision Goggles lineup and guide.  We did you a favor by providing as many options as possible by not listing duplicate models here.

Right-ee-o, let's get to it.

Night Vision Binoculars VS Night Vision Goggles

Goggles and binoculars are terms that are used interchangeably, but there are pivotal features that sets them apart.

Goggle features include:

  • 1x magnification
  • 20-30 mm apertures
  • Included goggle kits/head mount assembly
  • Binoculars, bioculars, and monoculars

While goggles may include a variety of different type of head-mountable night vision optics, binoculars offer more versatility in their design that includes:

  • Higher magnification
  • Longer range
  • Multiple aperture sizes, generally much larger
  • Dual tubes
  • Greater depth perception


ProductNV GenerationPrice Range
ATN PS15-2Gen 2+Under $4000
AGM FoxBat-5 NL3Gen 2+Under $2500
Night Owl NOB3XGen 1Under $500
ATN Binox 4K 4-16xDigitalUnder $1000
Solomark Digital Night VisionDigitalUnder $300
Nightfox 100V Digital 3x20DigitalUnder $200
Sightmark Ghost Hunter 4x50Gen 1Under $400
Night Owl NOB5XGen 1Under $800
Bestguarder NV 900DigitalUnder $400
Creative XP GlassOwlDigitalUnder $300
Barska NVX300DigitalUnder $300
Product, NV Generation & Price Range Comparison

It gets repeated over and over again that night vision is expensive.  Many will tout that anything below Generation 3 is a waste of money, however, Gen 3 is considered the standard for law enforcement and military use.  The prices for these optics are upwards of $4000. 

That's not always a practical budget for hunters, nighttime wildlife observers, and hiking/camping outdoorsmen.

If you have a budget of around $3000, you can find Gen 2 night vision binoculars that should be good enough for professional use and hunting at night.  The increased performance and quality in Gen 2 tubes versus Gen 1 is significant. 

But, again, it's not always a reality to have a few grand in the pocket to spend on night vision.

The goal of our lineup is to provide you with the most affordable binoculars that are worth their salt.  Most are under $1000 and are either Gen 1 tubes or digital.

Night Vision Generations

True night vision generations include Generation 1, Generation 2, and Generation 3.  You will see Gen 4 night vision binoculars in the market, but it's a manufacturer's term, and not an official industry classification.  

Upper level Gen 3 and Gen 4 generally means the IIT (Image Intensifier Tube) has either a thin ion barrier film or an un-filmed design which tends to be featured on auto-gated, pinnacle, and manual gain models.

Other night vision systems include WPT (White Phosphor Technology), CORE (Ceramic Optimized Ruggedized Engine) that can be applied to any generation class.  Digital binoculars are active systems as they don't require ambient light to work. 

These are cheaper, dual-use (both day and night) binoculars that usually have a photo and video recording functions.  The latest models can live stream via connection to smart devices.


ProductMagnificationAngle of View
ATN PS15-21x40°
AGM FoxBat-5 NL35x9.5°
Night Owl NOB3X3x19.7°
ATN Binox 4K 4-16x4-16xUnknown
Solomark Digital Night Vision3.5-7x
Nightfox 100V Digital 3x203x12°
Sightmark Ghost Hunter 4x504x15°
Night Owl NOB5X5x15°
Bestguarder NV 9004.5x
Creative XP GlassOwl3.5-7xUnknown
Barska NVX3007xUnknown
Product, Magnification & Angle of View Comparison

You won't see high-powered 10x night vision binoculars in the market.  The brightness, clarity, and quality needed to see with such high power just isn't there.  Most will be in the range of 2-5x magnification. 

Digital night vision binoculars may offer 2x zoom and attachable oculars may be available to increase the fixed optical magnification, but the higher in power you go, image quality will suffer.

Field of View

Night optics have a significantly narrower FOV versus daytime binoculars.  This is the measured distance of a target scene that you can see through the eyepieces at 100 yards.  The angular degree is the universal measurement of FOV.

Now, many night vision goggles have a wide FOV of 40 degrees while magnified optics such as binoculars are severely restricted.  Anything upwards of 20 degrees is considered very wide, but we usually see 15 degree FOVs as the average. 

Digital night vision devices have an even narrower FOV usually always below 10 degrees.


ATN PS15-21.54 lbs
AGM FoxBat-5 NL32.9 lbs
Night Owl NOB3X1.91 lbs
ATN Binox 4K 4-16x2.5 lbs
Solomark Digital Night VisionUnknown
Nightfox 100V Digital 3x201.32 lbs
Sightmark Ghost Hunter 4x500.88 lbs
Night Owl NOB5X2.42 lbs
Bestguarder NV 9001.98 lbs
Creative XP GlassOwl1.67 lbs
Barska NVX300 0.95 lbs
Product & Weight Comparison

The average weight will be around 1.5-2 lbs with the lightest models coming in around 15 oz and the heaviest topping the scales at 2.5-3 lbs. The advertised weight is usually with the batteries installed, but if it seems to light to be true, assume a heavier weight with the batteries in the device.

The average length is around 7". 4-5" lengths are generally more compact binoculars with shorter focal lengths, and longer ones of 8-10" may generally have larger apertures.

Battery Life

ProductBattery TypeBattery Life
ATN PS15-21 x 3V (CR123A) or 1 x 1.5V (AA type battery)60 hrs
AGM FoxBat-5 NL31 x 1.5V AA type or 1 x 3V CR123A type battery60 hrs (3V) / 30 hrs (1.5V)
Night Owl NOB3X1 x CR123A40 – 80 hrs depending on infrared usage
ATN Binox 4K 4-16xInternal Lithium Ion15+ hrs
Solomark Digital Night Vision8 x AA BatteriesUnknown
Nightfox 100V Digital 3x208 x AA Batteries6 hrs
Sightmark Ghost Hunter 4x502 x AAA Batteries20 hrs (with IR) 72 hrs (without IR)
Night Owl NOB5X1 x CR123AUnknown
Bestguarder NV 9008 x AA Batteries10 hrs (with IR) 14 hrs (without IR)
Creative XP GlassOwl8 x AA BatteriesUnknown
Barska NVX3004 x AA BatteriesApprox 1 Year
Product, Battery Type & Battery Life Comparison

The type of battery and quantity needed to power the device plays a major part.  Generally, a digital night vision binocular will take 4-8x AA batteries, and remember that this will quickly tack on weight.  True night vision devices may only require 1X CR123 or 1x AA battery.  Many models allow for rechargeable batteries and power banks to be used.

On generation night vision binoculars, the industry standard for battery life is 20-60 hours.  IR illuminator use will draw more power to operate and is usually associated with the low-end of advertised battery life.

A digital binocular will have significantly shorter battery life that ranges anywhere between 2-10 hours and understandably so with all its digital features.


Most binoculars will come with additional accessories designed to protect, store, carry, and clean your device.  A lens cloth, soft carry case, and neck strap, and lens caps are almost always included.  However, batteries are one of those things that you may or may not get. 

The general rule is, if it's digital, you'll likely have to buy the many batteries needed separately.  True night vision devices that only require a single battery will probably come with one, but it's always better to supply it with a new, fresh one anyway.


Which Night Vision Binoculars are the Best?

The best night vision binoculars are the ones that best serve the purpose you need them for and they also fit your budgetary constraints. The ATN PS15-2 night vision binoculars are some of the best available however are not recommended to a beginner hunter with a small budget.

How Far Can You See with Night Vision Binoculars?

There are multiple factors that affect how far you can see with night vision binoculars such as Figure of Merit, Signal-to-Noise Ratio, and Resolution. Budget options have 50-100 yards of decent viewing while 100-300 yards is the norm. The best binoculars in great conditions can view even further.

Can Night Vision Binoculars be Used in Daylight?

As a general rule, night vision binoculars cannot be used in daylight. Exposure to bright light can damage the image intensifier tubes. However, digital night vision binoculars like the ATN 4K Binox are also considered dual day/night binoculars and can be used safely during the day.

Are Night Vision Binoculars Worth it?

There is no denying that night vision binoculars are costly, but lack of vision in the dark is ineffectual. Being able to see further with improved clarity and target identification for security, law enforcement, hunting, and other nighttime, outdoor applications is invaluable.

What’s the Difference Between Night Vision Goggles and Night Vision Binoculars?

The main difference between night vision goggles and night vision binoculars is the magnification. Goggles have 1x magnification for improved mobility/navigation, reading text/maps, and hands-free operation. Binoculars have high magnification with small field of views for magnified vision.

Great Night Vision Binoculars! 

So there you have it, all the information about everything there is to know about night vision and buying the best binoculars for you.

If you don’t heed our advice, you'll likely have buyer's remorse and will learn the hard way that you can't buy night vision binoculars on a whim - it's an expensive lesson to learn.

Be smart and look to our FAQs on night vision to see if we can answer any more questions you may have.  We also provide more details about night vision generations so you know exactly what you're buying.

Yes, all this information comes to you free of charge - you're so very welcome!

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