Let’s get right to the point.
There are two reasons you’re here…
You’re on a budget or you’re looking for a digital scope.
Night vision is not cheap, but it’s a whole lot cheaper than thermal.
If you already have a thermal optic for nighttime spotting, and you are now looking for a budget night vision scope for identification, you’re in the right place.
Let’s scope out the market’s current offerings and specific tips to choosing a night vision scope under $1000 bucks.
Best Night Vision Scope Under $1000
|Sightmark Wraith 4K Max 3-24X50||CHECK PRICE|
|ATN X-Sight LTV 5-15X||CHECK PRICE|
|Pard NV008 Plus 6.5-13X||CHECK PRICE|
|SiOnyx Aurora Black Monocular w/Mount||CHECK PRICE|
|X-Vision KRAD 4-8x||CHECK PRICE|
|Accufire Noctis TR1||CHECK PRICE|
|Pard NVOO7S||CHECK PRICE|
|OWLNV L3-LRF||CHECK PRICE|
NVDs were saved for military and law enforcement operations and maybe for a SHTF prepper with deep pockets. However, as NV technology has improved, they are becoming less ubiquitous as they become more affordable.
The tech is now so affordable that you can buy night vision for under a grand. Most of the night vision options in this price range will be digital. Digital scopes have their advantages that includes day and night use, digital reticles, One Shot Zero, and more digital features.
There are some Gen 1 tubes in this price range, but they must be weighed against quality digital options as digital may prove to provide better imaging quality.
To see what the best options are in this price range, let’s shoot straight into it.
Best Night Vision Scope Under $1000 Reviews
1. Sightmark Wraith 4K Max 3-24X50 - Best Overall
The Wraith 4K Max is new, hot, and as digital as it gets. Giving digital alternatives a run for the money, the Wraith may be the preferred scope for your next nighttime adventure.
- 4K Hi-Res sensor
- Dial interface
- Day & Night modes
- Digital features
- Needs extended mount
The Wraith has an unusually high CMOS resolution sensor of 4000x3000 and high display resolution of 1280x720. Obviously, there’s only so much the eye will see once it hits the display and then the eyepiece. But still, exceptional resolution is promised.
It’s rated to provide detection out to 300 m so that automatically gives us some insight into more of the technical side of the specs and how it performs. With use of the IR, it boosts even more clarity and distance – but that’s true of all scopes.
We like that it has a dial control for navigating the digital interface, although it is rather small. It could be beefed up, but that may be a future design tweak.
As far as digital features, there’s not much you can do to tweak this thing as it has everything from recording, colored Day mode, adjustable display settings, One Shot Zero, and a stadiametric rangefinder.
You will need the rear extended mount to get it closer rearward for comfort among other things, and unfortunately, it’s not included in the package.
As a scope that has the makings to compete with the other digital bad boys, the Wraith certainly has a few, interesting perks of its own.
2. ATN X-Sight LTV 5-15X - Best Value for Money
The X-Sight LTV series of scopes may very well be setting the new industry standard for lightweight night vision scopes. Seriously, everything else seems heavy and bulky now.
- HD display
- Ultra-low power consumption
- New look
- Limited digital features
The X-Sight II of yesterday has been discontinued and to replace it is the X-Sight LTV. Both the 3-9x and 5-15x models are incredibly lightweight, have new cores and sensors, and a new body style.
The X-Sight’s Obsidian LT core and QHD+ M584 sensor brings color to life during Day mode and light to the eye in Night mode.
Its body style has moved away from the tank-like and bulky build of its predecessor and now sports a classic outfit that appears more natural on the rifle during daylight hours. It’s slim at 2.2” tall/wide and weighs a mere 1.7 lbs – told ya so!
Because ATN took the chance to redo the X-Sight, they also took the chance to provide a scaled-down scope that rids itself of the features shooters didn’t seem to care for. That would be the syncing with other ATN products, inbuilt rangefinder, and WiFi compatibility. It still retains video recording as a staple essential, so that may be about as techy as you get.
All in all, without the extra fuss, this ATN may very well holdup. It may be safe to say it won’t crash on you as much as their other products have proven to do.
3. Pard NV008 Plus 6.5-13X - Best Compact
This is one compact, lightweight standalone NV scope. The firmware-updated model is new, but the previous version created quite the buzz with the masses. It only gets better, right? Check it out.
- Day & Night Mode
- Fully waterproof
The NV008 Plus was and is still known as the NV008 6.5-12x scope. With the upgrades, it now has 2x zoom that has changed its magnification specs – hence the new name.
The NV008 has a color sensor that provides both a color Day mode and black/white Night mode. It’s excellent for coyote hunting and other pests that may be skulking around the property. But this isn’t your long-range scope as it’s a close-range 200-yard max detection NVD.
The mount isn’t great out of the box because it requires shims to lift the rear-end to raise the reticle, acquire enough elevation, and get zeroed. Once it’s done, this thing will get you onto bull’s-eye with no issues. It’s been done over again and is worth taking the time to make this extra step.
It’s 6” long, weighs 1 lb (seriously!), and it’s not a clip-on – it’s a standalone rifle scope. It’s also IPX7 rated, so this thing is fully waterproof – not splashproof. For the price, the Pard NV008 is the best cheap digital scope for the money.
4. SiOnyx Aurora Black Monocular w/Mount - Best Weapon Mounted
An imaging camera used as a rifle scope? It’s an odd contraption but it works. This is a tool you will never get rid of.
- Action camera
- For AR-15
- Day & Night Mode
- Clip-on design
- Imaging camera
The SiOnyx Aurora Black is the mid-range unit of its series. It’s essentially a digital night vision camera that functions best as a monocular within the sports optics realm. However, it’s been weapon-rated to 223 (5.56) calibers for mounting to an AR-15 for shooting and hunting in the day and dark.
The camera has both color and monochrome modes, and it actually functions rather well with only ambient light. As such, it does not come with an IR illuminator – built-in or otherwise. That will be up to you to buy separately.
Because it comes with a Picatinny mount, you can mount it to a rail. Whether it goes in front or rearside of your day scope or red dot, it works. The only thing about it is, you’ll be kissed by the scope if you’re mounting it to a kicker cartridge.
With plenty of digital features to explore, it’s worth its digital cost. Do you really need it? Well, think of use beyond the barrel – it’s not a tool that is destined to collecting dust. Helmet, handheld, boating, NV imaging – the Aurora Black wears many hats and can pull them off too.
5. X-Vision KRAD 4-8x – Best with WiFi
Newly released is the X-Vision KRAD XANS550 that is a fully featured, digital night vision scope. X-Vision is a Red Wing Gear brand located in Minnesota, USA, and the KRAD comes with a 2-year warranty.
- Mid-range distances
- 4-button control
- Must use the X-Vision App
The KRAD scope is monocular in form and function until you’ve utilized the X-Vision Night Vision 2.0 app. It can be downloaded onto both iOS and Android devices to complete rifle scope setup for shooting applications. With the app and screen mirroring, you can take video recordings and still image capture, adjust frequency from 50 Hz to 60 Hz, set noise reduction, and choose from various reticles and reticle colors.
More importantly, you must use the app to initially zero your scope and set for trajectory compensation with custom input of ballistic data. Once completed, you won’t need to use it again except for video or further custom control. Between the app and riflescope operation, it minimizes the need for multiple buttons thus allowing for a 4-button onboard interface.
The buttons are intuitive as red icons indicate long presses to activate and adjust while black icons indicate short presses. The scope has manual optical adjustments such as the diopter for a sharp view of the display and a focusing dial for a sharp view of the target.
An IR illuminator is also included and has three intensity levels allowing for night vision detection up to 350 yards and daytime detection up to 950 yards. The scope comes with a mount that fits Picatinny rails. It has two internal, rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that powers the scope for six hours.
The X-Vision KRAD offers the works in digital technology. If you’re the type that wants onboard simplicity and further custom adjustments to be done via WiFi connection to the app, the X-Vision riflescope is exactly that.
6. Accufire Noctis TR1 – Best for 308
Accurfire Tech may be new to night vision, but they’re manufacturing high-quality digital optics that provide refreshing competition against rooted manufacturers and mediocre alternatives. The Noctis TR1 has a traditional form factor for mounting ease to bolt action to semi-auto rifles.
- OLED display
- Minimalistic interface
- Long battery life
- Mounting options
The Accufire Noctis V1 weighs 1.8 lbs while the TR1 weighs 2.3 lbs. The primary difference that sets the V1 apart from the TR1 is obviously the form factor, but the V1 is only compatible for mounting with Picatinny rails. The TR1 can be used with conventional mounting systems (30mm tube) for topping any rifle. It has an extremely high recoil rating and handles kick with ease from 45-70 and .308 calibers as reported thus far.
Part of its aesthetically appealing form is due to the internal battery system. It has two rechargeable batteries that provides approx. 10 hours of runtime. It is compatible with connecting an external USB-C type battery pack for longer runtime if so desired.
The TR1 has an upgrade in the digital screen with its 1024x768 OLED display. This is where all the settings and mode functions will appear. This is vital to note because it has an extremely minimalistic control interface with only a power button and knob. It will take some adapting to become familiar with short presses, long presses, etc. to familiarize yourself interface navigation.
Though the Noctis TR1 is compatible with mobile app connectivity, it’s nice that you can still run every operation needed via the scope without it. You can peruse through various reticles, use the Smart Rangefinder, zero the scope, and more.
As an optical device, you have a focus ring that is in a similar location to an AO on a daytime scope. It has 3.2-22x magnification, 60mm lens, 31.2 ft/100 yards FOV, and 2” eye relief. Like competitive warranties, it comes with a limited 3-year warranty.
7. Pard NV007S – Best for Air Rifle
Overall, most clip-on night vision scopes are bulky, cheap, and require a separately mounted screen. The Pard NV007S is new and unlike most budget night vision scopes under $600. It’s a small, short-range, easy to mount clip-on scope that is well under $1000.
- Digital clip-on
- 1080P sensor
- 350m detection
- Battery life
- Short eye relief
The eye relief of 20mm is very short, especially considering that the NV007S mounts behind a daytime scope and is recoil-rated up to .308 calibers. If you have the perfect rifle in mind, the Pard clip-on is extremely compact at 4.17” in length and weighs 8.8 oz. It comes with mounting adapter bases that makes for extremely fast mounting to the eyepiece of a day scope.
Though a short-range NVD with max detection to 350 meters, it provides good seeing with its 1080P sensor through a 1024x768 OLED display with a 30 fps refresh rate. Like many digital scopes, it can take a SD card and is WiFi compatible for video recording and image capture. The Pard goes a step further with recoil activated recording.
It’s always a good indication of manufacturer attention to detail on budget optics to see that manual adjustable features are included such as a diopter and focus knob for the 16mm lens. The 850nm IR illuminator is built into the top of the clip-on and is what helps you get maximum detection range.
Though small and affordable, the Pard is IP67 rated and is said to be waterproof even when submersed – of course with limitations. For hog and coyote hunting, the NV007S gets it done with upgraded features for better performance on a budget.
8. OWLNV L3-LRF – Best with Rangefinder
OWLNV produced a digital rifle scope with a built-in laser rangefinder for under $1000. With additional digital features, it offers seemingly incredible value in a night vision scope that would typically run for 50% (approx.) more. Backed by a 2-year warranty, the L3-LRF could be a profitable buy.
- Built-in LRF
- Battery life
- Made in China
It’s neither here nor there for some, but the L3-LRF is made in China as are many NVDs. OWLNV is a Chinese-based company with manufacturing experience in machinery. Now, they’re getting involved in the night vision niche and have started off strong with a LRF NV rifle scope.
The L3 model is the standard version complete with identical features minus the LRF. However, a rangefinder is always a convenient and luxury feature on NVD scopes. While most may have ‘smart’ stadiametric versions, the L3-LRF emits laser wavelengths for measuring distance capabilities from 5-1000 meters.
It takes a rechargeable 18650 battery that provides 8+ hours of operation which is on the higher end for a digital device. That battery will power WiFi connectivity, GPS, HD 1080 video recording, and a frame rate of 30 fps. It has a 1024x768 resolution sensor which is standard for digital technology in this price range.
Given its built-in rangefinder, it’s lightweight at 20oz (approx.), and since it’s a fully operational rifle scope, you don’t have to pair it with a red dot sight or daytime scope. It’s a standalone NV scope with multiple reticles and a zeroing feature.
With the built-in IR illuminator, you can acquire distances up to 350 m after dark and having a recoil-resistant rating of up to 6000 joules and included Picatinny rail mount, it can easily be used for varmint and predator hunting. Hunters will love the PIP (Picture-in-Picture) mode in 26x zoom that features crosshairs in both PIP and main screens.
For the features it offers, the OWLV L3-LRF is easily one of the best bang for your buck night vision scopes available. With the LRF, it has added value and performance potential over its similarly priced competition.
What to Look for in a Night Vision Scope Under $1000
Stumped with what specific features you should look for in an affordable scope? Not sure what’s reasonable to demand what is out this price range? Clear the haze with this quick buying guide.
Digital VS IIT
Digital makes up the market of night vision scopes within this price range. They’re often feature-packed with multiple reticles types, stadiametric rangefinders, video recording, and more. However, more recent models are doing away with the extra digital features for a scaled-down product that appeals to no-nonsense shooters.
This includes the like the Yukon Sightline that does not include WiFi or recording. Other products like that offered by Pulsar are usually packed to the max with digital features.
IIT scopes are naturally more expensive than digital scopes. For under 1K, you will not find any IIT scopes save for limited entry-level Gen 1 scopes and possibly Core technology scopes. Gen 2 and higher – it’s out of your price range.
For the price, you can expect night vision performance anywhere from 50 yards to 500 yards. That’s a wide difference between models and manufacturers which is why you must do your research and keep in mind that most specs include use of an IR.
However, detection is different to identification. You may be able to spot a moving target at 400 yards but cannot identify it at the same distance.
Being able to tell the difference between a human and an animal or deer from a hog is essential and necessary for safety and legalities. Effective detection ranges depends on a lot of things, but at this price point, expect usable night vision distances up to 150-200 yards.
For Gen 1 scopes, resolution is pretty low and bottoms out at around 25 lp/mm. This often causes the fish-eye lens effect, edge distortion, a lower signal-to-noise ratio, and overall image degradation. Look for a Gen 1 scope that has higher resolution with a large aperture.
For new digitals, 1280x720 resolution sensors are quickly becoming the standard. In this price range, you will find multiple models with similar resolution and CMOS sensors.
Size & Weight
Night vision scopes are typically large, bulky, and heavy. Fortunately, as the tech improves so does its physical dimensions. Size and weight is not determined by price point, but this is still relevant information to know as it will determine if it’s right for your weapon system.
There are lightweight models as featherlight as 1 lb but 2 lbs is also considered lightweight. Heavier models will generally have larger objective lenses like that of 70 mm to 100 mm and will likely weigh over 2 lbs.
Size tends to be similar across the board with scopes measuring in around 9-13” and averages 3” in both height and width. The most compact models will be 6-9” long and 2” tall and wide.
What should you expect to get with a scope that costs almost a $1000? At this price point, you can expect to see a carry case with the scope. It may be an on-rifle scope cover or a soft carry case. Hard carry cases are rarely seen at this price point and are saved for the more expensive, high-end night vision scopes.
You will also receive a mount, but whether it’s a quick release/detach mount or rail is usually a manufacturer preference.
Almost always, an IR illuminator is included by either being built into the scope or provided as an external device with hardware or mounts for attachment. An 850 nm IR illuminator is typically the standard type.
Usually, the first battery supply is on the manufacturer, and if necessary, the charging hardware will be included.
Other small accessories may be thrown in like a micro SD card, lens cloth, objective lens cap, rain guard, and light suppressors.
Warranty information and a user manual is always provided. If they are lacking, it may be expected to retrieve this information online on the manufacturer website.
The best night vision brands all offer scopes under $1000. This includes ATN, Pulsar, Sightmark, Yukon, Luna Optics, Bering Optics, N-Vision Optics, and Pard.
They have comparable warranties that are non-transferable, limited to 1-3 years, and supplied batteries may only be covered for 1-year. Some may require product registration within a specific time window, so be sure to follow through with that after purchase and with proof of purchase.
You can acquire identification ranges from 80-150 yards with a night vision scope. While there are many things that determine detection and identification distances, use of an IR illuminator will extend these ranges.
Some of the best long-range scopes provide detection past 400 yards and incorporate high-quality IITs, large objective lenses, and high-resolution sensors.
The best night vision scope for the money is the one that performs. Regardless of how much you spend, if you utilize all its features, acquire repeatable accuracy, and can see in the dark to the distances reasonable of what the scope can provide – it’s a good scope for the money.
But you must also consider what you’re using it for or what you’re looking for in an NVD if your budget doesn’t stretch past $1000. If you want the lightest weight, the Pard NV008 does it. If you want no-nonsense simplicity, it’s the Yukon Sightline N450S. If you want feature-packed for a decent price, it’s the Sightmark Wraith 4K Max.
Biased for Digital NV? It’s What $1000 Buys You
After some time spent perusing the best night vision scopes available, you’ll find vast differences between cost, quality, and type.
If you can set your budget and it falls within the $500-$1000 price range, the market naturally narrows it down to digitals and Gen 1 scopes. That is the long and short of it.
Save some money, choose the best for your needs, and get hunting the best way – in the dark!