16 Best Night Vision Goggles 2019: ALL Budgets & Night-Vision Technologies

Last Updated on

Best Night Vision Goggles ReviewsWhen normal people choose to tuck away and slumber, you choose to own the night.  But, you can’t do that alone – you need night vision.

Between monoculars, binoculars, and scopes, the options between night-vision gear can be daunting, and they come with price tags that you can’t afford to muck around with.

That’s why you need this lineup to determine what type of night vision goggles you need, which ones will fit your budget, and which are best for professional, hunting, or civilian use.

But, to make the best, well-informed purchase the first-time around, you must know more about the features that will help in the elimination process of goggles on your wish list.  For everything there is to know, we have an all-inclusive goggle buying guide right here!

 

QUICK LIST: 16 Best Night Vision Goggles 2019

  1. Best Overall: FLIR MNVD-51 2HD Review
  2. Best Gen 3 Night Vision Goggles: Sightmark PVS-14 Gen 3 Select 1X24 Review
  3. Best Gen 2 Night Vision Goggles: FLIR PVS-7 Gen 2HD Review
  4. Best Gen 1 Night Vision Goggles: Pulsar Edge GS 1X20 Review
  5. Best Digital Night Vision Goggles: X-Vision Hands Free Night Vision Pro Review
  6. Best White Phosphor Night Vision Goggles: ATN NVG7-WPT Review
  7. Best Night Vision Goggles for the Money: PRG Defense Wolf-7 NL3 Review
  8. Best Night Vision Goggles Under $1000: Yukon Tracker 1X24 Review
  9. Best Night Vision Goggles Under $500: Pulsar Challenger GS 1X20 w/HMK Review
  10. Best Cheap Night Vision Goggles: Sightmark Ghost Hunter 1X24 NVG Kit Review
  11. Best Night Vision Goggle Under $100: Spy Gear Ultimate Night Vision Goggles Review
  12. Best Compact Night Vision Goggles: ATN PS15-2 Review
  13. Best Night Vision Goggles for UFO Watching: Armasight by FLIR PVS-7 Gen 3AG Review
  14. Best Military Night Vision Goggles: ATN PVS7-2 Review
  15. Best Civilian Night Vision Goggles: Wanney Tracker Review
  16. Best Night Vision Goggles for Kids: AGM Kids Night Vision Goggles Review

 

Our 16 Top Night Vision Goggles

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS
tt-table__imageFLIR MNVD-51 2HD
  • Technology: Gen 2+
  • Ideal For: Tactical Shooting
  • Price Range: Under $2500
VIEW ON AMAZON
tt-table__imageSightmark PVS-14 Gen 3 Select 1X24
  • Technology: Gen 3
  • Ideal For: Armed Professionals
  • Price Range: Under $5000
VIEW ON AMAZON
tt-table__imageFLIR PVS-7 Gen 2HD
  • Technology: Gen 2+
  • Ideal For: Armed Professionals
  • Price Range: Under $3500
VIEW ON AMAZON
tt-table__imagePulsar Edge GS 1X20
  • Technology: Gen 1
  • Ideal For: Close-range Hunting
  • Price Range: Under $1000
VIEW ON AMAZON
tt-table__imageX-Vision Hands Free Night Vision Pro
  • Technology: Digital
  • Ideal For: Close-range Hunting
  • Price Range: Under $200
VIEW ON AMAZON
tt-table__imageATN NVG7-WPT
  • Technology: White Phosphor
  • Ideal For: Armed Professionals
  • Price Range: Under $2000
VIEW ON AMAZON
tt-table__imagePRG Defense Wolf-7 NL3
  • Technology: Gen 2+
  • Ideal For: Value
  • Price Range: Under $2000
VIEW ON AMAZON
tt-table__imageYukon Tracker 1X24
  • Technology: Gen 1
  • Ideal For: Civilians
  • Price Range: Under $600
VIEW ON AMAZON
tt-table__imagePulsar Challenger GS 1X20 w/HMK
  • Technology: Gen 1
  • Ideal For: Hunting
  • Price Range: Under $500
VIEW ON AMAZON
tt-table__imageSightmark Ghost Hunter 1X24 NVG Kit
  • Technology: Gen 1
  • Ideal For: Budget
  • Price Range: Under $300
VIEW ON AMAZON
tt-table__imageSpy Gear Ultimate Night Vision Goggles
  • Technology: Digital
  • Ideal For: Kids
  • Price Range: Under $100
VIEW ON AMAZON
tt-table__imageATN PS15-2
  • Technology: Gen 2+
  • Ideal For: Compact
  • Price Range: Under $4000
VIEW ON AMAZON
tt-table__imageArmasight by FLIR PVS-7 Gen 3AG
  • Technology: Gen 3
  • Ideal For: UFO Watching
  • Price Range: Under $5000
VIEW ON AMAZON
tt-table__imageATN PVS7-2
  • Technology: Gen 2
  • Ideal For: Military
  • Price Range: Under $2500
VIEW ON AMAZON
tt-table__imageWanney Tracker
  • Technology: LCD
  • Ideal For: Civilians
  • Price Range: Under $500
VIEW ON AMAZON
tt-table__imageAGM Kids Night Vision Goggles
  • Technology: LED Lights
  • Ideal For: Kids
  • Price Range: Under $50
VIEW ON AMAZON

 

What Are Night Vision Goggles (NVG)?

Technically, any NV (Night Vision) optic that can be mounted to head and helmet gear can constitute as a night vision goggle device.

In our lineup, this includes the best:

  • Monoculars
  • Binoculars
  • Bioculars

Often, the included head mount assembly is called a goggle kit, and when a monocular, for example, is mounted to provide hands-free operation, it’s now a complete goggle assembly.

So, what features should you look for in the various types of goggles to determine if it is a goggle or just another night vision binocular or monocular?

  • 1x magnification
  • 20-29 mm apertures
  • Hands-free operation
  • Included goggle assembly kit

 

Who needs NVGs?

Many professions and civilian sports and lifestyles incorporate goggles in one way or another.

  • Law enforcement
  • Military
  • Security/Surveillance
  • Home defense/SHTF preparation
  • UFO watching
  • Hunting
  • Stargazing
  • Camping

. . . And the list goes on.  With so many uses for NVGs, we took the initiative to provide you with not just the 10 best, but 16 goggles that are ranked and rated to be the best in the commercial market.  From under 100 bucks to lip-biting, high-end prices, we have the top-ranking cream of the crop goggles right here.

 

Night Vision Goggles Reviews

1

Best Overall: FLIR MNVD-51 2HD Review

FLIR MNVD Night Vision Monocular
  • Notice: By purchasing the FLIR MNVD the buyer acknowledges the product is subject to Export Administration Regulations (EAR)
  • Product cannot be exported, re-exported, resold, transferred or otherwise disposed of to any country without approval from the US. Dept. of Commerce, Bureau of Industry &...

The FLIR Monocular Night Vision Device makes an excellent goggle setup with it’s wide-angled FOV of 51 degrees.  Increase stealth and operation success with a wider FOV to spot the slightest movements with peripheral vision.

PROS:
  • Price
  • Monocular
  • Gen 2+ tech
  • 51° FOV
  • Manual Gain

CONS:
  • Goggle kit not included

Monoculars are noticeably cheaper than NVGs, and even though a goggle kit isn’t included, the price for the right one is marginal.  You’ll need the FLIR Goggle Kit #2 to get set up in seconds for hands-free operation.

With it mounted, these goggles have Gen 2+ High Definition technology with 1x magnification and a 26 mm aperture.  You can increase magnification for hand-held use with 3x and 5x afocal lenses bought separately.  But, what is the 51 in MNVD-51 for?  It’s for the wide 51 degree FOV you’ll have to get a wider view of the scene ahead.

This model doesn’t have an automatic brightness control feature because it does you one better with manual gain.  With it, you can finetune brightness levels yourself to your current conditions.

As a monocular, its compact and lightweight – 4.1 x 1.9 x 2.8″ in size and 11.2 oz.  It allows for multiple battery options including 1x CR123, 1x AA, or its rechargeable counterparts.  Standard for FLIR, it will provide up to 40 hours of use.

The built-in IR illuminator and pivotal flood lens has two levels of illumination brightness to extend the detection range and improve brightness.

Not only is this a stand-alone monocular, it’s also an ideal, lightweight device for use as goggles on head and helmets, and it’s weapon mountable.  You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on multiple devices for all your gear – who has that kind of money?  This is your top multi-purpose accurate NVG compatible for use with all your gear.

 

2

Best Gen 3 Night Vision Goggles: Sightmark PVS-14 Gen 3 Select 1X24 Review

Sightmark PVS-14 3rd Gen Night Vision Monocular
1 Reviews
Sightmark PVS-14 3rd Gen Night Vision Monocular
  • Single AA Battery Operation
  • Integrated IR Illuminator

Inspired after the military AN/PVS-14, Sightmark releases their own version in the PVS-14 Gen 3 Select 1×24 monocular.  But, with everything that is included in this set, it’s your ultimate NVG you’ll never need to replace.

PROS:
  • Gen 3
  • Thin filmed
  • Battery type
  • Battery life
  • IPX7

CONS:
  • Price

For a Sightmark, this is one of their top high-end and most expensive products, but it’s expected because its night-vision.  However, it’s not just any ol’ night vision, it’s Generation 3 night vision – it’s supposed to be out of your price range.  But, if it’s not . . .

It comes with everything you need to make the most of its potential.  It comes with a head mount assembly, head mount adapter, and a brow pad for small, medium, and large fits.  With 57-64 lp/mm resolution, it’s right up there with the best in providing sharp, clear, and bright image quality.

Fully equipped with a protective auto-off feature, it won’t fizz out on you and fry your very expensive device when exposed to bright lights.  Internals consist of a Gen 3 IIT tube that’s non-gated and has a thin film expected of upper gen NV optics.

Conveniently, it only requires 1x AA battery to get 50 hours of use.  It also helps to keep the monocular lightweight at 12.4 oz and compact at 4.5 x 2 x 2.5″ in size.  However, while it has an IPX7 rating for waterproofness, it’s not fogproof lacking nitrogen gas purging.

Also thrown into the buy is a demist shield for eyepiece protection, a sacrificial window for the objective lens, an eyecup, and shuttered eye-guard.  You’ll also get a daylight filter, lens paper, weapons mount, and a green military soft case with a shoulder strap.

The PVS-14 Gen 3 Select goggles are Sightmark’s pride and joy NV device.  Head, helmet, and weapon mountable, hand-held use, and photo/video adaptable, this Sightmark may just be your last NV buy – ever.

 

3

Best Gen 2 Night Vision Goggles: FLIR PVS-7 Gen 2HD Review

FLIR PVS-7 Gen 2+ Night Vision Goggle/Binocular
  • Notice: By purchasing the FLIR PVS-7 the buyer acknowledges the product is subject to Export Administration Regulations (EAR)
  • Product cannot be exported, re-exported, resold, transferred or otherwise disposed of to any country without approval from the US. Dept. of Commerce, Bureau of Industry &...

Can’t pull the trigger on the FLIR Gen 3 PVS-7?  We don’t blame you.  Priced way out of budget, you can save some bucks with the Gen 2HD PVS-7 instead.

PROS:
  • Price
  • Gen 2+
  • High Definition
  • Max resolution
  • Close focus

CONS:
  • Warranty

Built with the same specs and configuration as the Gen 3 version, it lacks the Gen 3 tech, but that’s where the cost savings come in.  With Gen 2 night-vision, you have 55-72 lp/mm resolution – can still achieve industry-best sharpness and clarity.  It’s not just Gen 2 tech either, it’s Gen 2+ High Definition technology that ranks it in at the top of the Gen 2 charts.

Like its high-end sibling, it has a 5.8 x 6 x 3.5″ size without the eyecups.  With the winged-back eyecups, its length extends to 7.9″.  It weighs 24 ounces, has 1x magnification, and a 26 mm aperture.

To power the PVS-7, you’ll need 2x AA batteries or 1x BA-5567/U Lithium battery for up to 40 hours of use.  To help save some of that life-pumping juice, it features an auto shut-off feature.  You won’t be caught out in the dark due to a dying battery since there is a low battery indicator visible in the FOV.  To save its optics and your butt when exposed to bright lights, it has a Bright Light Cut Off feature.

However, if it burns out on you, you might be screwed.  To have a 3-year, extended warranty on components and 10-year protection on the uncooled sensor, you must register your goggles with FLIR within 60 days of the purchase date.  Additionally, you must be the original owner, or at least have the original proof of purchase paperwork.

Included in the buy are the batteries, instruction manual with warranty card, and lens tissue.  You’ll also receive a neck lanyard, soft carry case with shoulder strap, and head mount assembly; brow pads, demist shield, and sacrificial window.

 

4

Best Gen 1 Night Vision Goggles: Pulsar Edge GS 1X20 Review

Pulsar Edge GS Super 1+ 1x20 Night Vision Goggle
19 Reviews
Pulsar Edge GS Super 1+ 1x20 Night Vision Goggle
  • Dual tube binoculars for depth perception CF Super technology
  • Improved resolution over Gen 1 technology

The Pulsar Edge NVGs are widely known among NVD users and owners, and there’s good reason for that.

PROS:
  • Gen 1
  • CF Super tech
  • Wide FOV
  • 5-lens eyepieces
  • Weaver rail
CONS:
  • Heavy

Oh, my word – weighing in at 30 ounces, the Edge goggles top the scales as a heavy pair of optics to wear mounted to the head.  To be fair, this weight is with the head mount included, and no one has complained about its heft – but, weighing in at almost 2 pounds, it’s worth noting.

The Edge has Gen 1 tech with a CF Super photocathode that enhances consistent clarity and resolution across the entire FOV.  There is less than 20% distortion difference from the center and edges.  The angled FOV is 36 degrees or a linear 65 m at 100 m.  This is wider than most other Gen 1 NVGs that top in at 30 degrees.

With a 5-lens eyepiece system, CF-Super tech, and a consistent, clear FOV, image quality will be better than what you expect for Gen 1.   Add to that a metal and carbon-filled composite build for dust, shock, and waterproofness and a Weaver rail to attach an IR flashlight, and you have a superior pair of goggles for nighttime expeditions and some casual spying on unsuspecting neighbors.

However, you’ll have to limit your spying or hunting to within 90 meters on a dark night.  You could stretch the distance with an IR flashlight or with a full moon and starry night.  If you’re needing to identify hogs from coyotes and humans from animals, you’ll need to keep your expectations to within close-range parameters.

 

5

Best Digital Night Vision Goggles: X-Vision Hands Free Night Vision Pro Review

X-Vision Pro Rechargeable Digital Hands Free Night Vision Goggles, see 300 yards...
14 Reviews
X-Vision Pro Rechargeable Digital Hands Free Night Vision Goggles, see 300 yards...
  • Minimum Zoom: 1x Maximum Zoom: 2x
  • Field of View @ 100 yards: 17.5 yd.

You can’t beat this if you’re on a tight budget.  The X-Vision goggles are one of the cheapest you will find in the market that is not a child’s toy.  It’s digital NV, hands-free, and incredibly affordable.

PROS:
  • Price
  • Digital
  • Day/night use
  • Battery life
  • Black/white display

CONS:
  • No photo/video recording

Most digital NV devices provide for photo and video recording features, but this model doesn’t.  It’s not always a bad thing since it keeps the price very low.  There’s more to like about it than not.

We like the rechargeable battery that will last up to 8 hours in daytime and 5 hours at night.  This is a long-lasting feature for digital NV.  We like the adjustable aperture that allows for use during the day, and of course, at night in the dark.

The 10 degree visual angle will provide a sight picture in black and white.  We also like how compact and lightweight the X-Vision Pro is.  It’s 5.51 x 6.3 x 2.6″ in size and weighs a mere 12 ounces.  For hands-free operation, it comes with an adjustable head strap.

The digital goggles are advertised to provide up to 300 yards of detection range at night and up to 440 yards during the day.  For an entry-level model, low price, and digital resolution of 320 x 240, we think those estimations may be stretching it, but it’s certainly possible with the aid of an IR flashlight.

This may not be your ultimate, covert pair of goggles, or even a set you’ll want to use to sprint around with, but it is NV in a hands-free design for search and rescue, close-range hunting, and searching the skies – day or night. 

 

6

Best White Phosphor Night Vision Goggles: ATN NVG7-WPT Review

ATN NVG7-2 Gen 2+ 1x Expandable Night Vision Goggle
3 Reviews
ATN NVG7-2 Gen 2+ 1x Expandable Night Vision Goggle
  • Lightweight, compact rugged goggle System
  • Multi-purpose: hand-held, head-mounted or helmet mounted

Looking for law enforcement grade night-vision without the inflated costs of night-vision?  The NVG7 series of goggles is intended to provide just that.

PROS:
  • Price
  • WPT tech
  • Resolution
  • Adjustable IPD
  • Lightweight

CONS:
  • Warranty

One of the most attractive features of the NVG7 is the adjustable IPD.  Many NVGs don’t come with the ability to narrow or widen the eyepieces because of the top mounting design to head and helmet gear.  With these, you not only have an adjustable IPD feature, you also have one of the cheapest price tags for NV, and not just any NV, WPT at that.

What is WPT?  It’s White Phosphor Technology.  While it’s usually seen in upper Gen 3 tech, it can be used in any Generation class.  While this NVG7 has 51-64 lp/mm resolution, a SNR of 16-22, and standard features that includes 1x power, Auto Brightness, and Bright Light Cut-off, it can be comparable to Gen 2 tech.

It takes 1x CR123A battery for up to 60 hours of nighttime exploring and expeditions.  It comes with a goggle kit that is necessary for hands-free operation, and its biocular design includes a 26 mm aperture.  The multi-purpose NVG7 WPT is one of the lightest goggles we’ve seen at 1.1 lbs.

Be sure to take care of your water-resistant goggles because the NVG7 is only covered by ATN Corp with a 2-year limited warranty.  It’s certainly not the best in the industry, and with a possible 15% restocking fee, you’ll want to make sure you fully inspect it within 10 days of receiving the NVG.

Designed as a biocular that has been used by law enforcement and the military, the NVG7 are affordable goggles for armed professionals, hunters, and civilians on a budget.

 

7

Best Night Vision Goggles for the Money: PRG Defense Wolf-7 NL3 Review

PRG Defense 12WO7122103031 Model Wolf-7 NL3 Multi-Purpose Night Vision Goggles...
  • Multi-purpose: Hand-held, head-mounted or helmet-mounted
  • Comfortable flip-up headgear, Multi-coated all-glass optics

This biocular NVG has Gen 2+ “Level 3” technology.  Short story – it’s upper Gen 2 technology.  The jaw-dropping aspect of why it’s in this lineup is its price tag.  You get more for less with the Wolf-7 in your shopping cart.

PROS:
  • Price
  • Auto features
  • Waterproof
  • Multi-purpose
  • Lightweight

CONS:
  • Young company

Head of PRG Defense?  They were formed in 2010, and even though they have a decade under their belt, there’s not a lot of buzz in the market about them.  Thanks to their high-quality optics sold for less than their competitors, we’re giving them a spot in this lineup.

This is a biocular, similar in comparison to the AN/PVS7, which we assume the Wolf-7 was designed after.  It has the tell-tale features of a solid goggle setup with its 1x power, 24 mm  aperture, and included flip-up headgear.

If you’re wondering where it cuts short to accommodate for a low price, you’ll be left wondering.  It has 0.25 m close focus distance, 40 degree FOV, and 60 hours of use (at 20°C) on a single CR123A or AA battery.

It’s the lightest, true NVG biocular in this lineup at 0.9 lbs (14.4 oz), so it will be lightweight, easy to maneuver, and wear with the included head gear.  There are no shortcuts taken with any of the automatic features that includes Auto Shut-off, Auto Brightness, and Bright Light Cut-off.  True to NVGs, it has a built-in IR illuminator.

From what we see, the Wolf has it all.  Are you willing to give them a chance?  Law enforcement and the government has.  PRG and PRG Defense has multiple services, training, and products that they supply to the Department of Defense, Department of Justice, U.S. Coast Guard Strike Teams, and more local and nationwide governmental departments.  If you’re not impressed by that (and it’s hard not to), remember the price.  For under $2000, this might be your best NVG buy yet.

 

8

Best Night Vision Goggles Under $1000: Yukon Tracker 1X24 Review

Yukon - NV 1x24 Goggles
99 Reviews
Yukon - NV 1x24 Goggles
  • Tracker binocular with hands-free goggle head gear, protective carrying case and neck strap
  • Multicoated optics, high resolution intensifiers, modern ergonomic design

There have been many Tracker NVGs that have come and gone, but the 1X24 remains the most popular set that has withstood the tests of trend and time.

PROS:
  • Gen 1
  • 1x magnification
  • Dual diopter adjustment
  • Eclipse Lens Cover System
  • Central focusing knob

CONS:
  • Narrow FOV

With 36 lp/mm resolution, minimum focusing distance of 1 meter, and an 80 meter detection range, it’s within specs for Gen 1 tech.  However, the 30 degree FOV is narrow, which is noticeably restrictive when moving around, exaggerates the flaws of a Gen 1 device – fish-eye lens effect and soft edges.

Combine the dizzying effects of Gen 1 tech with a binocular design, and it can get uncomfortable to wear mounted to head gear for prolonged periods of time.  Weighing in at 21 oz and is 6.9″ in length, it’s definitely a full-size pair of binos.

But, the upside to having goggles that are more like binoculars is the optical system.  It has dual diopter adjustments and a central focusing knob.  With this system, you’re able to focus your image for your eyes and the target scene to improve vision with this Gen 1 device.

It also comes with the necessary head gear to mount the Tracker, but many users have replaced it for a more comfortable and sturdier goggle kit.  The Eclipse Lens Cover System consists of flip-up caps that can be rotated to the side and securely attached to the bino, so you don’t lose them.

The detection range is said to be 80 meters.  With use of the built-in 805 nm IR illuminator on dark, cloudy nights, you’ll reach it.  With a quarter moon out, you’ll reach 80 meters without use of the IR.  On clear, full moon, starry nights, you should be able to push detection range distances out to 200 yards.  You can test the limits for yourself with 1x CR123A battery that’s supposed to last up to 20 hours with the IR, and 72 hours without it.  But, you’ll have to buy it yourself since it’s not included with the goggles.

The Yukon Tracker 1×24 isn’t what you would call a military-grade NVG, but when properly focused, mounted, and used, it’s an affordable device for civilian hunting, stalking, and exploring.

 

9

Best Night Vision Goggles Under $500: Pulsar Challenger GS 1X20 w/HMK Review

Sale
Pulsar Challenger GS Super 1+ 1x20 Night Vision Goggles
5 Reviews
Pulsar Challenger GS Super 1+ 1x20 Night Vision Goggles
  • CF-Super image intensifier tube
  • Ultra durable, polymer housing

The Challenger GS is more than just a monocular.  With 1x magnification, 20 mm objective lenses, and bought in this package with a head mounting kit (HMK), it’s an NVG setup all night, every night.

PROS:
  • Price
  • Gen 1
  • CF-Super tech
  • Wide-angled IR illuminator
  • Monocular

CONS:
  • 90m detection range

Don’t let the price give you any doubts.  The Challenger GS has true night vision with its CF-Super technology that puts it a notch above Gen 1 devices in the same class.  “It is a wide, sphere-shaped photocathode with specially designed optics.”

The main benefit of the CF-Super allows for consistent resolution for edge-to-edge clarity.  The monocular has a built-in wide angle 805 nm illuminator that brightens the image and extends sight distance; however, its detection range is only up to 90 meters.  There is a Weaver rail that allows for attachment of additional accessories like an IR flashlight to extend the range.

Hunters will appreciate the wide-angled IR, high resolution, and the short detection range for taking down varmints around the ranch.  Also important is how long it’s going to last.  Powered with a CR123A battery, you can get up to 75 hours of juice, but the illuminator will reduce battery life.

The monocular is compatible with the included head mount kit that allows for hands-free use.  It can be positioned over either the left or right eyes.  The complete system is durable and stable for use while moving about in the dark, and it reduces weight and fatigue on the neck due to its strategically positioned suspension point.

For under $500, you can have true Gen 1 NV from a device that is not only set up for goggle use but can also be mounted to weapons or used as a monocular.  Scan the area with your monocular goggles and find your target.  Detach the goggles and mount it to the rail with your red dot for precision night vision aiming.  It’s a hunter’s complete NV setup.  Now that’s money well spent right there.

 

10

Best Cheap Night Vision Goggles: Sightmark Ghost Hunter 1X24 NVG Kit Review

Sightmark Ghost Hunter 1x24 Night Vision Goggle Kit
61 Reviews
Sightmark Ghost Hunter 1x24 Night Vision Goggle Kit
  • Hands free operation
  • Secure mounting

The Ghost Hunter 1×24 is a monocular, and with the included goggle kit, it’s your entry-level get-up into the world of hands-free night-vision.

PROS:
  • Price
  • Gen 1
  • Battery life
  • Battery type
  • Monocular

CONS:
  • No horizontal mount adjustment

The Ghost Hunter is a lightweight (8.8 oz) and compact (5.47 x 2.24 x 2.91″) monocular with a glass filled nylon composite build.  Bump, fumble, and stumble no more in the dark with the monocular, and if you do take a fall, it’s built to be durable and rugged with its weatherproof body.

Mounted to the included head mount, you’ll have hands-free operation as an NVG truly should be.  The mount is sturdy providing stability even during rapid movement.  Flip it up when you want to view with your natural vision.  However, you’ll have to correctly set up the mount and straps because there is no horizontal mount adjustment to move the monocular left or right, only up and down movement.

With Gen 1 tech, it works best in twilight conditions, but it will also allow you to see in the dark with the built-in 805 nm IR illuminator.  With 30 lp/mm resolution, it’s not the best, but it’s expected with a Gen 1 device.

To power it, you’ll like that it takes 2x AA batteries – affordable and easily accessible.  With use of the IR, you’ll have approximately 20 hours of night vision.  Without the IR, you’ll extend that battery life to 72 hours, however, it will severely decrease the already short detection range of 87 yards.

For under $300, this Sightmark is a must-have.  It comes with all the fixings to get your goggle setup for your next expedition.

 

11

Best Night Vision Goggle Under $100: Spy Gear Ultimate Night Vision Goggles Review

Spy Gear Ultimate Night Vision Goggles
36 Reviews
Spy Gear Ultimate Night Vision Goggles
  • Now you can see in total darkness up to 30 feet away! Stay hands-free on night missions as you comfortably navigate through pitch-black conditions!
  • Just flip the infrared attachment down over your goggles to activate night vision!

Adults aren’t the only ones who want to play in the dark.  Let the kids join in on the fun while night hunting, camping, and exploring.  Warning: this product encourages kids to spy!

PROS:
  • Price
  • 30 ft
  • IR attachment
  • NV & natural vision
  • Digital display

CONS:
  • Heavy

If you want an NVG for an older child that is a notch up from a child’s toy, the Spy Gear goggles may end your search for one.  It’s a pair of goggles pairs with a small infrared attachment to provide night-vision sight in the traditional green display.

The attachment is essentially a small camera that has three micro-sized 840 nm IR lights that provides sight up to 30 feet.  Because of the IR lights in the attachment, it does glow red so it’s visible to other IR device users.

The camera flips over one eyepiece of the goggles.  Hold it up with one hand and you can see with your own natural sight in the dark.  As a children’s toy, image quality is pixelated but not so much that kids won’t enjoy it, if they notice it at all.

With 3x AAA batteries, it might be heavy for small children to wear for long periods of time.  By the way, batteries are not included.

For frog hunting, fort raids, and hide-n-seek games, these goggles will intensify nighttime fun for kids of all ages.

 

12

Best Compact Night Vision Goggles: ATN PS15-2 Review

ATN Corporation PS15 2
  • Dual goggle/binocular
  • Comfortable flip-up headgear

The PS15 series of goggles have dual tubes and dual lenses in a binocular design for the ultimate NVG experience.  This series is the premium line of optics that ATN Corp offers in NVGs.

PROS:
  • Gen 2+
  • Dual IITs
  • Dual lenses
  • Greater depth perception
  • Compact
CONS:
  • Price

Although this is the cheapest mode of the PS15 series with its Gen 2+ technology, it’s significantly more expensive than the biocular PVS7 with similar features.  You’re the only one that can determine if spending more than grand is worth it for the binocular goggles.

So, what benefits do you get with dual lenses and dual tubes?  With two IITs and two objective lenses, you have greater depth perception to see where you’re walking or running to avoid stumbling and fumbling around.  The increased light amplification also helps with much-needed tasks in the dark like reading maps and text without removal of the goggles.

However, there’s a downside you must know.  Because of the built-in features and top mounting system, the goggles do not have an adjustable IPD range.

The PS15-2 has 1x magnification, 27 mm apertures, and the optics have ATN’s Proshield Lens Coating system.  For a binocular, it’s right within weight limits of 1.5 lbs (24 oz), but it’s relatively lightweight for its full-size build – 4.7 x 4.5 x 2.7″.

The PS15 takes 1x CR123A or 1x AA battery for up to 60 hours of use.  It’s waterproof, has a built-in IR illuminator, Automatic Brightness Control, and a Bright Light Cut-off feature.

Included with the buy is ATN’s goggle kit that allows for flip-up, hands-free use, a soft carrying case, 1x CR123A battery, and necessary paperwork.

The PS15 goggles are night-vision binos without the high magnification of binoculars.  For increased stealth and depth perception to get closer to the action without being caught, it seems the jump up in price may be worth it.

 

13

Best Night Vision Goggles for UFO Watching: Armasight by FLIR PVS-7 Gen 3AG Review

PVS-7 3P - Night Vision Goggle Gen 3 High-Performance Thin-Filmed Auto-Gated IIT
2 Reviews
PVS-7 3P - Night Vision Goggle Gen 3 High-Performance Thin-Filmed Auto-Gated IIT
  • Compact rugged design with waterproof body
  • Head or helmet mountable for hands free usage

This Armasight by FLIR optic has a biocular design based on the popular and military-commissioned AN/PVS-7 NV goggles.  It’s a top high-end optic for serious hunters scanning enemy territory, scanning compounds before a raid, or maybe even hunters scanning the skies . . .

PROS:
  • Gen 3
  • 1x magnification
  • Max resolution
  • Close focus
  • Lightweight
CONS:
  • Price

What makes this a true pair of NV goggles?  It has the must-have features required of goggles – 1x magnification, a 26 mm objective lens, and it comes with a head mount assembly to use as a hands-free operating device.

As a biocular, it features two eyepieces with winged-back eyecups and one objective lens – classic optical and design feature of the AN/PVS-7.  For a rather large build, 7.9 x 6 x 3.5″, it’s much larger than a head-mountable monocular, but it’s lightweight at only 24 ounces – even lighter than some full-size binoculars.

It has a Gen 3 IIT tube, and you know what that means – lots of money, honey.  Yes, the high price is always going to be an understandable drawback, but it’s a true-to-form PVS-7.  With max resolution of 64-72 lp/mm, sight picture clarity is sharp and is expected for Gen 3 tech.  Even with 1x power, the high-quality IIT and resolution make it possible to look heavenward to spot darting, disappearing, and elusive UFOs – yes, we’re dead serious.

With an extreme close focus of .8 feet, you’ll have the details you need to avoid bear traps, holes, and imminent threats directly in your path.  While there is no manual gain, there is an automatic brightness feature designed to provide the picture clarity and quality you need to see with the ever-changing ambient light conditions.

Auto shut-off, Bright Light Cut-off, and an integrated IR illuminator are additional features you’ll appreciate in the field.  With 1x power, you may find yourself wanting additional mag.  These goggles are compatible with FLIR’s 3x and 5x magnification lenses for long-range viewing when used as a handheld device.

As the top price may indicate, this isn’t a tool for the amateur hunter or airsoft gunner.  These are high-end, military-grade goggles for law enforcement, military, and die-hard hunters of the night.  But, if you really want to see aliens driving the UFO, then you’ll be willing to pull the trigger on the best tech, right?

 

14

Best Military Night Vision Goggles: ATN PVS7-2 Review

ATN PVS7-2 Night Vision Goggle
  • Adjustable head mount
  • IR Illuminator

Built as an exact replica to the standard military commissioned AN/PVS7, these goggles have been combat proven to be effective in the field.  As the entry-level model to ATN’s PVS7 series, it puts affordable, military-issued tech in the hands of civilians.

PROS:
  • Price
  • Gen 2 tech
  • Battery life
  • Compact
  • Auto features

CONS:
  • Resolution

With 1x magnification, a 27 mm aperture, and a 40 degree FOV, it has industry-standard specs for NVGs.  It’s built like a tank, and it should be for all the combat time it may see.  With a Gen 2+ IIT, it provides 45-54 lp/mm resolution with a 12-20 SNR (Signal-to-Noise Ratio).  Obviously, it’s not 64-72 lp/mm resolution in Gen 3 gear, but then it doesn’t cost Gen 3 prices now does it?

For thermal biocular goggles, it’s compact.  It’s 6.4 x 3 x 6″ and this is smaller than FLIR’s PVS7 models.  It takes 2x AA batteries or a 3V BA-5567/U type battery to power on for 60 hours of use in -40°F to 122°F temperatures.  Built with an integrated IR illuminator, it has momentary and continuous use modes for improved vision.

Auto features are standard on this PSV7: Auto Shut-off System, Bright Light Cut-off, and Automatic Brightness Control.

For the price, you get a lot in this package as it’s a complete kit to get you night hunting tonight.  A day light filter protects the objective lens and filters out excess light.  An included demist shield intended for attachment on the eyepiece protects optics from internal fog and condensation.  You’ll also get a sacrificial window, eye cups, and lens paper; soft carry case, shoulder strap, and medium and thick brow pads.  But, the most important goggle feature is the flip-up head mount assembly that allows hands-free operation.  You might want to use the included instructional guide for assembly.

For vets, this ATN PVS7 might remind you of past tours.  For hunters, this may be overkill.  But, for the price, what the heck – just buy it anyway!

 

15

Best Civilian Night Vision Goggles: Wanney Tracker Review

Sale
WANNEY Tracker Night Vision Goggle Binoculars Water-Resistant Optics...
13 Reviews
WANNEY Tracker Night Vision Goggle Binoculars Water-Resistant Optics...
  • Night Vision which enable you to observe target in complete darkness. Ideal for a wide variety of uses such as surveillance, nighttime hunting wildlife observation and...
  • With multi-coated glass objectives, high sensitivity sensor, integrated LCD-Screen and IR LED illuminator. You can view in the dark up to 80m(View up to 300m with...

The goggles might look simple, bulky, and something from a Robo Cop movie, but it’s no kids toy.  The Wanney Tracker night vision goggle is an all-purpose optic for your civilian nighttime needs.

PROS:
  • LCD screen
  • Hands-free design
  • Adjustable head strap
  • 100 m sight
  • Black/white display

CONS:
  • Narrow FOV

If you want night-vision tech for recreational use, farming chores, and general surveillance, the Tracker is a cheap option compared to true NV tech.

A high sensitivity sensor, LCD display, and IR LED illuminator is built into the one-piece goggles.  It has a simple interface that makes it easy to use with one-hand operation.  On top of the goggles, it has a power control that switches from left to right, a micro USB port for recharging the built-in 18650 lithium battery, and a dial that adjusts picture quality.

The adjustment dial for picture quality is actually an adjustment of the built-in IR illuminator.  Adjusted all the way up for max visibility in the dark will allow up to 100 meters of sight.  Dialed down for stealth and nominal visibility of the LED light, sight range will decrease to 60-80 meters on the LCD display.

However, because of its small, embedded camera on the front of the goggles, field of view is restricted to limit peripheral vision.  To have effective sights on potential threats, movement in the distance, or to clearly see the task at hand, you must be intentionally looking in that direction.

The Tracker can fit all head sizes as it has adjustable velcro on the back and adjustable elastic on the sides and top of the head.  It also has soft silicone pads that wrap around the cheeks and brows to provide comfort and a tight fit to the face.

With these goggles, you’ll be able to stay out for a continuous 1.5 hours or 6 hours of intermittent use before the lights go out.  Sounds like plenty of time to put out the feed, go for a run, or scan the property for intruders.

 

16

Best Night Vision Goggles for Kids: AGM Kids Night Vision Goggles Review

AGM Kids Night Vision Goggles, Adjustable Spy Gear Night Mission Goggles with...
111 Reviews
AGM Kids Night Vision Goggles, Adjustable Spy Gear Night Mission Goggles with...
  • 👑【 Just Throw Away Uncomfortable Goggle ! 】We know you're searching a comfortable but cool goggles for your kids.AGM spy night vision goggles is your best...
  • 😍【 See In The Dark 25 Feet ! 】This spy night vision goggle can pop out lights that beam a cool blue light, let you see up to 25 feet away in the dark. Amazing...

Going camping and leaving the electronics behind?  Keep the kids interested in the woods for less than 20 bucks.  With a pair of NVGs, they’ll see camping as a new, fun experience.

PROS:
  • Price
  • LED lights
  • 25 ft
  • Durable
  • Wide vision

CONS:
  • Heavy

Okay, so these aren’t true NVGs as they have LED lights that illuminate the path ahead.  Flip-out lights on either side of the ears pop out and stream blue light that provides up to 25 feet of sight in the dark.

It should be noted that these goggles are not suitable for hunting, stealth covert missions, or any activity where an adult may need night-vision.  With visible LED emissions of light, you will be seen.  This is a child’s toy that enhances visibility in the dark for nighttime games of fun.

The glasses have green-tinted, etched graphics that glow in the dark when the lights have been activated.  A one-piece lens allows for wide vision, and it also provides durability and eye protection.  They’re windproof, dustproof, and will hold up to reasonable abuse of mishandling by children.

While they’re designed with an ergonomic fit with a nose pad and adjustable elastic band, they can be heavy after installing 4x AAA batteries.  With the weight, they’re not ideal for long-term use on a child.  But, for 20 minutes of fun exploring the dark woods (supervision recommended), the AGM goggles will provide a special kind of camping experience they’ll never forget.

These days, it’s hard to limit screen time and pull the kids away from electronics.  With the AGM goggles, you don’t have to leave all the electronics at home.

 

What to Look for in Night Vision Goggles

The primary features to look for will always be the aspects that makes it a good goggle optic.  This not only includes included accessories and body type, but it must also include the features that makes it a good night vision optic.  Here’s the gist.  If you have more questions about night vision in general, see our FAQs on it here.

Miliary Man Wearing Night Vision Googles

Night Vision Googles

 

Budget/Price

You’ll have to save more than a pretty penny if you want true NVGs for professional use.  A budget with a minimum of $3000-$4000 can land you Gen 2 gear.  But, if you’re on a tight budget, we’ve got you covered.  We have a few Gen 2 NVGs in the $2000 range, and anything below that will be Gen 1.

NV is expensive.  You must determine how much you’re willing to spend on it and if your needs demand and justify having the tech, otherwise, you might have some explaining to do when it shows up on your credit card statement.

 

Magnification

Keeping magnification low and at 1x has its benefits.  It provides for more natural vision that allows you move freely in the dark to creep, run, and even fly helicopters.  It also allows for reading text and graphics without removal of the device and using artificial light that could give your position away.  1x magnification is the standard for NVGs.

However, the drawback is not being able to see detail at long-range distances.  But, with NV gear, long-range is a subjectable term.  Other factors like generation technology and resolution play a larger part in detection, identification, and long-range sight.

 

Night Vision Generations

The military equips their soldiers with Generation 3 and higher-end tubes.  The detail, resolution, and quality needed for their operations demand the absolute best when they often face life-or-death encounters.  However, Gen 3 tubes and higher easily start at $4000.

Gen 2 tubes start at $3000, and Gen 1 can be found for around $1000.  Many NVD users know the difference in quality between Gen 1 and upper level tubes, however, it’s not always the practical option for the civilian to buy Gen 3 tech.

At the time of writing, our recommendation is to buy upper level Gen 2 and Gen 3 if you intend to use NVGs for law enforcement and professional use.  Gen 1 with its detection range of 50-300 yards is suitable for the hunter, avid outdoorsman, and civilian using NV for recreational use.

If you need more info about NV Generation technology, we have a detailed explanation on all its types here.

 

Accessories

A must-have when buying NVGs are head mount kits.  Without it, you won’t have hands-free operation and essentially you’ve just bought a regular NVD.  Most goggles will come with a standard head mount that includes for adjustable straps and a chin rest.  It’s important to look at the information about the head mount for horizontal and vertical adjustments to achieve the proper fit for your head.  The type of mount connection will also tell you if the NVG will be easily attachable and removable or compatible with other gear.

You may want NVGs that allow for extra mounting of accessories for things like an additional IR illuminator or IR flashlight.  Some NVGs will have an integrated rail on the body just for this purpose.

 

Night Vision Goggles VS Night Vision Binoculars

The term “goggles” in night-vision, is somewhat of a catch-all term that includes bioculars, binoculars, and monoculars.  When mounted to head or helmet gear for hands-free use, it’s now used as goggles.  This is why you’ll see binoculars and goggles used interchangeably in the industry.  However, bioculars have a single tube design easily distinguished from binoculars with their two eyepieces and single objective lens body.

The AN/PVS-7 is a night vision biocular, and all PVS-7 models from various manufacturers design their NV goggles after this military issued night vision single tube device.  It is by far the most popular NV type of goggles available, and consequently, it’s one of the cheaper models.

As you know, binoculars, with night-vision or without, often come with much higher magnification.  For hands-free operation and moving in the dark, you need 1x power for the utmost stealth and natural vision.

As mentioned earlier, 1x power, smaller apertures, and included head gear are the iconic features of what separates goggles from ordinary monoculars and binoculars.

 

Night Vision Goggles VS Night Vision Monoculars

The AN/PVS-14 is a NV monocular, and all PVS-14 models from various manufacturers design their NV monoculars after this military issued night vision device (MNVD).  The PVS-14 is another popular NV device often used as goggles for hands-free operation.

They’re obviously more compact and lighter in weight than binoculars and bioculars, and they allow for one eye use of NV and one eye use in natural light without NV.

Again, for monoculars to be effectively used as goggles, it must have goggle features that includes head mount assemblies, small apertures, and low magnification.

 

Goggle for Great Night Vision Goggles!

To goggle means to stare or to be wide-eyed in amazement, and with these great NVGs, you will be the very definition of it.

Goggles will allow you to goggle at the open skies and spark of heavenly bodies, spot varmints that you’d normally be blind to, and see potential threats before they have the chance to do you harm.  All NV, regardless of generation, will help you see better in the dark.

When dark is the cover for illicit behavior, it’s also a cover for you to correct it.  When the dark means bedtime for everyone else, it means a fun night of UFO watching, the best game of hide ‘n seek outdoors, and wildlife observation like never seen before.  With NV, it’s better in the dark.

Next - Thermal BinocularsPrevious - Night Vision Binoculars

Never Miss a Thing 2