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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 2+ 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
|ATN PS15-2||CHECK PRICE|
|Armasight BNVD||CHECK PRICE|
|AGM FoxBat-5 NL3||CHECK PRICE|
|Nightstar 2x42||CHECK PRICE|
|ATN Binox 4K 4-16X||CHECK PRICE|
|Solomark Digital Night Vision||CHECK PRICE|
|Nightfox 100V Digital 3X20||CHECK PRICE|
|AGM NVG-40 NL2||CHECK PRICE|
|GThunder GTU2||CHECK PRICE|
|Bestguarder NV 900||CHECK PRICE|
|Creative XP GlassOwl||CHECK PRICE|
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 Night Vision Binoculars - Best Overall
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
- Head mountable
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. Armasight BNVD – Best Gen 3
In general, Armasight is back and on a mission to improve and impress. Though outrageously expensive, the BNVD is an efficacious investment into your nighttime activities whether it be for professional law enforcement and military engagements to civilian home defense and hunting. The BNVD is backed by a 3-year warranty with registration.
- Gen 3
- Single barrel flip-up
- 51-degree FOV option
- Dual power source option
Armasight now only delivers high-grade Gen 3 IIT tubes available in green or white phosphor. The BNVD has 64-72 lp/mm resolution, automatic brightness and manual gain, built-in IR illuminator, and Bright-Light Cut-Off. Like what many NVDs now offer, it has a dual power source option of taking either a CR123 or AA battery for operation.
It’s a true-to-form binocular with double eyepieces, double objectives, and double IITs – it’s not a bi-ocular. It’s conveniently compact to be mounted to head and helmet gear as it’s 5.4 x 2.8 x 4.6” in size. While arguably heavy, it weighs 1.4 lbs, and in comparison, bioculars can get a lot heavier.
You can adjust for dioptric correction and focusing. Facilely, you can flip one barrel up for unassisted vision in one eye as a monocular. It’s both fog and water-resistant. With 1x magnification, it’s well-suited for use as goggles and hands-free applications.
There are two lines in the BNVD series, the BNVD (standard) and BNVD-51. The standard model has a 40-degree FOV with a larger 27mm lens and longer eye relief of 25mm. While you acquire a wider 51-degree FOV for improved situational awareness, it has a smaller 19mm lens and shorter eye relief of 17mm.
As expensive as it is, the cost jump for the BNVD-51 is minimal at that point. As a high-end binocular NVD used as hands-free goggles, it offers a lot of potential for serious hunters and professional applications where maximum situational awareness, navigational mobility, and high-performance IITs are required.
3. AGM Foxbat-5 NL3 - Best Gen 2
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
- Detachable IR
- Battery options
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!
4. NightStar 2x42 – Best Gen 1
Gen 2 is becoming more affordable, and digital night vision is filling in where Gen 1 once was. Even though the pickings are slim, Gen 1 is still around. The NightStar 2x42 binoculars are one of the few optics left in the market with the first generation of night vision technology.
- Gen 1
- Battery life & source
- Good resolution
- Decent detection range
- Eye relief
Gen 1 is as cheap as it’s ever been and is always a great option as a first-time buy for those who want to experience real night vision without spending over $1000.
The NightStar 2x42 binoculars have a Gen 1 tube that lacks a microchannel plate. Ultimately, you still get the photocathode and phosphor screen to get the green intensified night vision image. Though everyone belittles Gen 1 resolution, the NightStar has 32-36 lp/m that is still pretty good for Gen 1. It’s far better than no night vision at all and can be more reliable than cheap digital alternatives.
One can presume that there is a single IIT in the binoculars though it has double eyepieces.
The company boasts a long-ranging 250-yard detection range and that may be true. But the identification range will likely be inside 80 yards. Expect best performance between 50-100 yards on nights with half-moons.
As a binocular, you can adjust for dioptic correction to -/+ 4, focus from a minimum of 5 yards to infinity, and work with a 15° FOV. The eye relief is 12mm, so it’s very short. Needless to say, you’ll want to use the diopter to ditch the lenses and get snug with the eyecups.
When it comes to battery life, it definitely has an edge over digital night vision. The NS 2x42 takes a single CR123A battery and provides a runtime of 30 hours. Not bad at all for budget Gen 1 technology under $500.
4. ATN Binox 4K 4-16X NV Binoculars - Best Digital
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
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 Under $300
- 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.
- 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 Under $100
- EASY TO USE: There are just three buttons for power, infrared and zoom. There's a focus wheel at the front of the device. There are no complex menus to worry about,...
- THE PERFECT SPOTTER: With 3x optical magnification and 2x digital zoom, the 100V is perfect for spotting animals up to and over 100 yards away. Spot foxes, deer,...
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.
- 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. AGM NVG-40 NL2 – Best for Hunting
Overall, the AGM NVG-40 are binocular goggles. It has 1x magnification for hands-free navigational use and is suited to hunting and law enforcement applications. It can be head or helmet mounted for hands-free use. With dual IITs, the NVG-40 offers binocular vision with night vision goggle benefits.
- Dual IITs
- Manual gain
- Bright light cut-off
- Mounting difficulties
AGM has had a track record of comments here and there regarding mounting difficulties for various NVDs. It’s not that there are problems per se, but there’s more involved than one may think. Fortunately, AGM provides thorough mounting instructions, optional part numbers, and diagrams to aid in the process. Once that’s figured out, the NVG-40 works with irreproachable performance.
Additionally, they preinstall an interface shoe for dovetail systems and include in the box an interface shoe for bayonet (horn) systems. It’s ready for pairing with the mount you already have for hands-free use and maximum mobility benefits.
Worth pointing out is its price point that is significantly cheaper than other dual IIT binocular goggles. Granted, it’s a Gen 2+ “Level 2” IIT and not Gen 3, but it’s almost half the price of Gen 3 alternatives.
AGM states the binoculars have a redundant dual-tube design. It’s plausible to interpret this as each barrel has its own IIT tube and the configuration allows for continued performance even if one goes out.
Features include 45-57 lp/mm resolution, manual gain, bright-light cut-off, and automatic shut-off. Standard specs for this configuration include its 40° FOV, 25mm eye relief, and 27mm lens. It’s also powered the same as comparable alternatives with the dual battery option of either a CR123A or AA battery for 20 hours of operation. It weighs 1.42 lbs and comes in more compact than others at 4.5 x 4.6 x 2.9”.
With performance and quality such as this at its fair price point, the stereoscopic vision for ultimate mobility whether you’re in the hunt or on duty is worth the investment.
8. GThunder GTU2 Digital Night Vision – Best for Wildlife Viewing
The GThunder are likely the best night vision binoculars you will get for under $200. It’s a budget alternative to more expensive digital alternatives, but it performs adequately for close-range observation of what’s roaming after dark.
- Day/night use
- 3x magnification
- Digital zoom
- Video/image capture
- Battery life
Digital night vision is safe to use during the day, so the GThunder allows for wildlife observation during daylight conditions. As a digital device, users are accustomed to having built-in image capture and video recording that is saved to a microSD card. While cheap alternatives tend to lack this feature, the GThunder binoculars have it and the SD card is included.
It offers 3x optical magnification with 4x digital zoom. Buyers must remember that binoculars often have magnification and budget versions will have some degree of power. They do not have the wide FOVs or 1x power inherent to goggle alternatives.
To power the electronics, it’s a hog-hungry digital binocular that requires 6x AA batteries. Fortunately, the GThunder can be used with rechargeable batteries, and you will want spares on hand as the built-in IR illuminator will use most of that juice. Batteries are not included.
Speaking of the IR, you will need it to gain any decent range, but at least the resolution is decent from 50-80 yards for wildlife identification. The detection and recognition range is likely inside 150 yards on average wildlife sizes such as horses and cattle.
Yes, there will be some quality control issues that mostly involves units not working correctly or no night vision detection past 10 yards. Fortunately, the cheap NV binoculars are available with multi-year protection plans and are eligible for returns, refunds, and/or replacements if you purchase through specific online retailers. For the money, it’s obviously not perfect, but it’s a budget option for a first-time NV device to see what’s digging holes in the backyard or what’s stalking your chicken coop.
9. Bestguarder NV-900 - Best with Camera
- 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.
- 4" screen
- Time lapse
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
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
|Product||NV Generation||Price Range|
|ATN PS15-2||Gen 2+||Under $4000|
|Armasight BNVD||Gen 3||Under $8000|
|AGM FoxBat-5 NL3||Gen 2+||Under $2500|
|Nightstar||Gen 1||Under $350|
|ATN Binox 4K 4-16x||Digital||Under $1000|
|Solomark Digital Night Vision||Digital||Under $300|
|Nightfox 100V Digital 3x20||Digital||Under $200|
|AGM NVG-40 NL2||Gen 2+||Under $4500|
|GThunder GTU2||Digital||Under $200|
|Bestguarder NV 900||Digital||Under $400|
|Creative XP GlassOwl||Digital||Under $300|
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.
|Product||Magnification||Angle of View|
|AGM FoxBat-5 NL3||5x||9.5°|
|ATN Binox 4K 4-16x||4-16x||Undisclosed|
|Solomark Digital Night Vision||3.5-7x||9°|
|Nightfox 100V Digital 3x20||3x||12°|
|AGM NVG-40 NL2||1x||40°|
|Bestguarder NV 900||4.5x||9°|
|Creative XP GlassOwl||3.5-7x||Undisclosed|
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 PS15-2||1.54 lbs|
|Armasight BNVD||1.4 lbs|
|AGM FoxBat-5 NL3||2.9 lbs|
|Nightstar 2x42||2.0 lbs|
|ATN Binox 4K 4-16x||2.5 lbs|
|Solomark Digital Night Vision||Unknown|
|Nightfox 100V Digital 3x20||1.32 lbs|
|AGM NVG-40 NL2||1.4 lbs|
|GThunder GTU2||1.6 lbs (with batteries)|
|Bestguarder NV 900||1.98 lbs|
|Creative XP GlassOwl||1.67 lbs|
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.
|Product||Battery Type||Battery Life|
|ATN PS15-2||1 x 3V (CR123A) or 1 x 1.5V (AA type battery)||60 hrs|
|Armasight BNVD||1 x 3V (CR123A) or 1 x 1.5V (AA type battery)||20 hrs (3V) / 12 hrs (1.5V)|
|AGM FoxBat-5 NL3||1 x 1.5V AA type or 1 x 3V CR123A type battery||60 hrs (3V) / 30 hrs (1.5V)|
|Nightstar 2x42||1 x CR123A||30 hrs|
|ATN Binox 4K 4-16x||Internal Lithium Ion||15+ hrs|
|Solomark Digital Night Vision||8 x AA Batteries||Unknown|
|Nightfox 100V Digital 3x20||8 x AA Batteries||6 hrs|
|AGM NVG-40 NL2||1 x 1.5V AA type or 1 x 3V CR123A type battery||Up to 20 hrs @ 20°C (68°F)|
|GThunder GTU2||6 x AA Batteries||17 hrs (without IR), 6 hrs (with IR)|
|Bestguarder NV 900||8 x AA Batteries||10 hrs (with IR) 14 hrs (without IR)|
|Creative XP GlassOwl||8 x AA Batteries||Unknown|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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Simon is an avid outdoor enthusiast and the owner of Target Tamers. He is passionate about bringing you the most up to date, accurate & understandable information on sports optics of all kinds and for all applications. When not glassing the local wildlife, you can find him in the garden with his German Shepherd.