The Sightmark Wraith HD is one of the best night vision scopes for its price and digital type.
It’s raved about by the masses, has foundational quality, and the brand is transparent about its capabilities without too much sugar coating.
As a scope that’s ideal for close-range hunting for predators and pests, the Wraith will be your varmint hunting day and night scope.
Wondering if you can afford it?
The Wraith HD is as affordable as you can get for night vision without compromising quality.
What We Like: Price
What We Don’t Like: Battery life
Best Uses: Night Shooting, Day Shooting, Tactical Use, Hunting, Scouting, Varmint Control, Digital NV, Close-Range Detection
- Sensor: CMOS 1920x1080
- Magnification: 2-16x
- FOV: 42 ft/100 yds
- Display Resolution: 1280x720
- Eye Relief: 2.4”/60 mm
- Color Modes: 3
- Battery: 4x AA
- Dimensions: 10 x 2.6 x 3”/2.08 lbs
Our Verdict: If you’re willing to stock up on AA batteries, the Wraith HD could be for you. It’s a battery hog and a little heavy, but it’s a solid performer. To stick to one of the cheapest budgets there is, you can’t go wrong with the Sightmark Wraith HD.
Who is the Sightmark Wraith HD 2-16x28 Best Suited to?
The Wraith HD 2-16x28 is the scope of choice for beginner shooters, varmint hunters, and those looking for the cheapest night vision scopes in the market.
It is entry-level quality, but its excellent performance has been able to attract seasoned hunters for close-range hunting distances at night. Sightmark also have the Wraith HD 4-32x50 if you are looking for a little more distance.
If you’re out to eliminate pests, keep an eye on the ranch during the night, or get some nighttime shooting practice in, the Wraith HD is one of the better ones in this price range that will do the job plus some.
How Does the Sightmark Wraith HD 2-16x28 Perform?
The Wraith HD is one of the best entry-level digital scopes of its kind. It may be limited to 200 yards, but at least what you can see to that distance is fully usable. You will have no qualms about hunting coyotes in the dark with the Wraith on your side.
The IR illuminator is fully adjustable with its three levels of intensity, adjustable beam width, and perfect alignment for the full field of view. Skunks, foxes, hogs, coyotes, squirrels – you name it, none can hide.
You won’t have to stick to a monochrome display for day hunting since it has a Color mode. If you plan on using the Wraith as your dedicated scope for your weapon system, it’s worthy of being seated there permanently. Besides, it does not come with a quick detach mount although there is a QD mount that can be purchased separately for it.
This scope has a good set of features that provides solid performance. For the price, it’s unbeatable. There’s nothing about it that screams too-good-to-be-true – it’s just a good digital scope that will work hard albeit quickly as evident by its poor battery life.
Features & Benefits
What’s a digital night vision scope cost these days? They’re usually found in droves for under $1000 but as night vision tech is improving, they’re less ubiquitous to even cheaper budgets.
The Wraith HD series can be found online for around $500. While its price point may be steep for some, it’s actually budget for the night vision realm. It’s only been in recent years that you can afford such technology in these price ranges.
Take it or leave it, $500 bucks is as cheap as it gets for night vision.
3 Display Modes
The Sightmark Wraith HD offers three display modes: Color, Black/White, and Green. The Color mode is intended for use during daylight hours while the other two can be used for dim light, low light, and pitch black observation, shooting, and hunting. An IR will boost detection and performance in complete darkness as it will be needed.
During daylight hours, image quality will be more than satisfactory, and while color sensors and color displays have a reputation of bottoming out at night, the Wraith HD does a fine job up to around 200 yards.
As a nods up to Sightmark, that’s the detection range they’ve rated the scope for. All in all, the brand has provided multiple display modes with a high-performing sensor and HD display to provide usable detail and vision up to the detection range they’ve advertised. Now that’s transparency the masses appreciate.
Some new digital and IIT scopes of 2020 do not have built-in recorders for video and photo like the Yukon Sightline or the AGM Wolverine-4 NL3. This is a deliberate design move by the manufacturers to provide a simple night vision device that caters strictly to shooters who don’t care for it.
This may be something the Wraith HD has over these models as it does have video recording and photo as an inherent feature. It has a Playback Mode, you can save your recordings to the micro SD, and you can record in either 1080 or 720 resolution.
The only thing it can’t do in relation to this feature is record audio.
The Wraith is just as user adjustable as any other digital scope that has a steeper price tag. It obviously has more display modes than the average NV scope. You have digital zoom from 2-16x that amounts to 8x zoom.
You also have five user profiles to save a zero for each depending on caliber or weapon platform being used for the night. You can adjust resolution settings, brightness settings, and make use of the Sleep Mode for battery conservation during breaks of non-use.
The Wraith HD offers up 10 reticle patterns and nine reticle colors. Zeroing in is not unlike the One Shot Zero feature of other digital scopes where coordinates are saved according to the elevation and windage adjustments of the POI from the bull’s-eye.
Sightmark rates the Wraith HD as recoil-proof to 308 calibers. As such, it’s comparable to scopes that cost almost twice as much like the newer Wraith 4K Max.
The only downside is its weight of 2 lbs. It may be too heavy for some weapon platforms which will then limit what you can mount the Wraith to. However, if you’re varmint hunting, this would be an extremely practical night vision scope for hog hunting.
This scope is a classic example of what night vision used to be. It’s heavy weighing in at 2 lbs for its small 28 mm objective lens. But even if you could get past that, it has poor battery life of 3.5-4 hours and that’s with four AA batteries!
That can explain the hefty weight right there. So, the Wraith HD is a battery hog. There is a micro USB port for plugging in an external 5V battery bank, but you can also use rechargeable batteries if you’d rather remain untethered.
The Wraith HD is not WiFi compatible. It does not incorporate any wireless technology. Everything is transferred via the micro SD card including firmware updates.
While the Wraith HD digital scope is safe to operate for full functionality during daylight hours, it still requires a power source to operate. It takes 4x AA batteries.
To mount the Wraith HD to a weapon system, a Picatinny rail must be used. The Sightmark Wraith comes with a Picatinny mount and requires a Picatinny rail for aligning the bolts and tightening them to the rail slots.
The Wraith can handle recoil up to 308 calibers which is a 3500 joule recoil rating. This is approximately equivalent to 15-18 ft/lb recoil energy.
This can include popular cartridges such as 223 Rem, .243, .6mm, .257 Wby Magnum, 6.5mm Grendel, .270 Win, .308, and 30-06 Springfield with 125g or 150g as the max.
Obviously, the lighter the recoil, the better, so it’s best to stay conservative if you’re concerned with the impact of high-recoil rifles affecting scope performance.
Sightmark provides a 3-year warranty on their night vision products and that includes their scopes with digital sensors. Since this model does not have an internal battery, the power supply is not covered by the manufacturer. It is not transferable, and the scope must be registered with Sightmark within 30 days of purchase.
The Wraith may not be the newest model out, but it’s been tried and proven.
The newest Wraith to hit the market is the 4K Max version that still has the same recoil rating and is a little heavier, but it has better battery life, dial interface, larger aperture, and a few additional perks.
But if you want to spend less than $500 on a night vision scope, this is the Wraith version you want. The Wraith HD is not only good for this price range, it’s just good.
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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.