Best Night Vision Binoculars in 2017 – Top Picks With Detailed Features

Whether you love to go hunting after dark or you want to see the world from a different perspective, nothing compares to having a set of night vision binoculars by your side. These handy devices can make it super easy to pinpoint your next target, no matter how dark it is.

That being said, not all night vision binoculars are the same, which is why we’ve compiled a list of the top ten models on the market. Also, to help you narrow down your search, we’re going to discuss the various features and components that will ensure that you get the best model for your needs. 

10 Best Night Vision Binoculars - Reviews

1. Bushnell Equinox Z Digital Night Vision Monocular

Bushnell Equinox Z Digital Night Vision Monocular

When it comes to night vision, one of the choices that you’ll have to make is whether you prefer to have a set of binoculars or a monocular.

For the most part, binoculars are ideal if you plan on getting headgear so that you can wear them without having to use your hands, and a monocular is better for watching or mounting as a scope. 

In this case, the Bushnell Equinox Z is one of the better monoculars out there, given the rugged housing and clarity of vision. It comes with 3x optical zoom, and the lens is 30mm. One thing that distinguishes night vision from a low-light lens is the inclusion of an infrared flashlight. This one helps you see up to 500 feet away, making it ideal for many different situations.

What we like most about the Equinox is that it comes with a Pica​​​​tinny rail so that you can attach various accessories to the monocular to make it even easier to use, including a tripod for stability. Also, it has an output for both video and images, meaning that you can save what you see by transmitting it to a recording device. Overall, this is an excellent night vision monocular. 

What we liked

  • Durable construction
  • Compact design
  • 3x optical zoom
  • Day or nighttime use
  • 30mm objective lens
  • Infrared illuminator built-in
  • 500-foot viewing distance
  • Multi-Coated lens for clarity
  • Picatinny rail for accessories
  • Capable of transmitting video
  • Water-resistant housing
  • Tripod mountable design
  • Uses AA batteries
  • Image capturing available

What we didn't like

  • Battery life can be extremely limited in some situations
  • In rare cases, the lens may have trouble focusing correctly

2. Firefield Tracker 1x24 Night Vision Goggle Binoculars

Firefield Tracker 1x24 Night Vision Goggle Binoculars

When talking about night vision, there are a couple of different methods that manufacturers use to create an illuminated image through your binoculars.

Standard night vision is classified by generations, with higher numbers being lower quality. As such, you want to get a system with generation 1 clarity, like this set from Firefield Tracker. 

Although it only provides 1x magnification, it does come with a head mount, making it ideal for hunters or anyone who doesn’t want to hold binoculars for a long time. As with all other night vision models, this one has an infrared flashlight that illuminates up to 200 feet.

Another cool feature of these Goggle Binoculars is that they come with lens caps that have pinholes in them. These allow you to use the lenses in the daytime without blowing your eyes out, so that adds some versatility to your ensemble. 

What we liked

  • Durable construction
  • Handheld or head-mountable
  • 1x magnification setting
  • Generation 1 image resolution
  • Built-in infrared flashlight
  • Lens caps for protection
  • Rubberized housing for protection
  • Multi-coated optics for clarity
  • Pinholes in lens caps allow for daytime use

What we didn't like

  • Limited vision distance
  • Some components may feel a bit flimsy

3. Bestguarder 6x50mm HD Digital Night Vision Monocular

Bestguarder 6x50mm HD Digital Night Vision Monocular

If you are looking for a monocular that provides exceptional range and clarity, then you will love this model from Bestguarder. Unlike the Bushnell above, this one has increased zoom and a larger optical lens to allow more light to enter.

This enables you to see farther and experience everything more clearly. 

As far as performance goes, this monocular has 6x magnification with a 5x digital zoom setting. The lens is 50mm, and the infrared flashlight allows you to see up to 1150 feet away. Overall, this is perfect for either hunters or animal enthusiasts that want to get a good look without the risk of scaring their target in the process.

The other cool thing about this monocular is that it can capture both images and videos and save them directly onto a hard drive. This way you don’t have to connect it to a separate device to record everything. Date and timestamp are optional, and you can even stream the images live. 

What we liked

  • Durable construction
  • Soft rubber housing
  • 6x magnification
  • 5x digital zoom
  • 50mm objective lens
  • Can capture images and video
  • Date and time stamp capable
  • Infrared flashlight built in
  • Vision range of 1150 feet
  • Day or night use
  • Water-resistant housing
  • Tripod mountable
  • Can stream live images
  • Uses AA batteries
  • Adjustable eyepiece

What we didn't like

  • Can be hard to get focused correctly
  • Daytime view can be a bit blurry

4. Night Owl Pro Nexgen Night Vision Binocular

Night Owl Pro Nexgen Night Vision Binocular

Next, we have another set of traditional night vision binoculars, meaning that you can use them as a wearable set (headgear not included) or you can hold them manually.

To make things easier for you, these binoculars come with Generation 1 clarity and a max viewing distance of 200 feet. To make the images as bright as possible, this set has object and ocular lenses to filter everything and provide a better, cleaner view. 

What we like about these binoculars is that they have a greater zoom than the others above, with 5x magnification instead of one. The eyepiece is also softer and more versatile so that you can gaze longer without discomfort. The only downside is that these binoculars are not capable of working in the daytime. 

Another excellent feature of the Night Owl Pro Nexgen Binoculars is that they can last up to 80 hours on a single battery charge, depending on how much you use the infrared flashlight. Also, they come with a padded neck strap so that even if you don’t mount them on your head, they won’t feel too uncomfortable.

What we liked

  • Durable construction
  • Generation 1 clarity
  • Vision distance up to 200 feet
  • Objective and ocular lens
  • Infrared flashlight built in
  • Soft eyepiece for comfort
  • 5x magnification with zoom
  • Impact-resistant housing
  • Padded neck strap
  • Long lasting battery (up to 80 hrs)

What we didn't like

  • Can be hard to get focused
  • Limited viewing distance

5. Firefield 5x50 Nightfall 2 Night Vision Monocular

Firefield 5x50 Nightfall 2 Night Vision Monocular

If you aren’t that anal about your night vision performance, but you still want something durable and reliable, then you may prefer to have a model like this one from Firefield.

It doesn’t come with a ton of extra features like the other monoculars we’ve seen, but it still enables you to see clearly in the dark. Also, its compact size and lightweight design mean that you can carry it with you practically anywhere you go. 

Performance-wise, this monocular comes with a rubberized shell that protects it from both the elements and impact. It has 5x magnification and a 50mm lens so that you can see much more clearly at night. Finally, a rubber grip enables you to be more precise with your vision, particularly because this unit isn’t compatible with a tripod.

What we liked

  • Compact and lightweight design
  • Rugged housing and construction
  • 5x magnification
  • 50mm objective lens
  • Easy grip design
  • Weather-resistant covering
  • Infrared flashlight built in

What we didn't like

  • No daylight vision
  • Smaller size can be hard to use for some people

6. Bestguarder HD Digital Night Vision Binocular

Bestguarder HD Digital Night Vision Binocular

For the most part, monoculars are the ones that can capture both images and video, since they can work much like a regular camcorder. It’s harder to do with a binocular because you have two lenses that can distort the image.

Fortunately, that is not an issue with this set of binoculars from Bestguarder. You can record high-definition pictures and video without any problems. 

When comparing this unit on performance, it has 4x magnification and 5x digital zoom. A 50mm objective lens allows more light to enter, which enables you to see up to 980 feet. You can record with both the date and timestamp if you wish, and the whole thing runs on a reliable lithium-ion battery (powering the infrared flashlight).

Finally, these binoculars come with a thick housing that is both shock and weather-resistant, and it has two thick lens caps to protect the fragile components inside.

What we liked

  • Durable construction
  • 4x magnification
  • 5x digital zoom
  • 50mm objective lens
  • Image and video capture
  • Infrared illuminator built in
  • Range of up to 980 feet
  • Date and time stamp included
  • Long-lasting lithium-ion battery
  • Weatherproof housing
  • Thick lens caps for protection

What we didn't like

  • Image can be somewhat blurry at times
  • Heavier than other binoculars

7. Firefield FF25023 Tracker Night Vision Binocular

Firefield FF25023 Tracker Night Vision Binocular

Although we’ve seen some incredible traditional night vision binoculars, this set from Firefield is one of the best regarding overall performance.

Unfortunately, they are not compatible with headgear, meaning that you can’t wear them like the others, but they do have a greater range without sacrificing clarity.

Comparing this set to the others, you get up to 72 hours of battery life, 2x magnification, and a range of up to 150 meters. The lens is a bit smaller than some of the other ones we’ve seen (only 24mm), but it works well with the infrared flashlight. Also, like the previous units, this one comes with Generation 1 clarity. Overall, if you want something that will last a long time and provide ideal imaging, this is a great set to get. 

What we liked

  • Durable construction
  • Generation 1 clarity
  • Infrared illumination built-in
  • Dual tube design for depth perception
  • Lens caps with holes for day vision
  • Long lasting battery (up to 72 hours)
  • Rubberized body for grip and protection
  • Multi-coated optics for clarity
  • 2x magnification
  • 24mm objective lens
  • 12mm eye relief for comfort
  • Range of up to 150 meters

What we didn't like

  • Not compatible with headgear
  • Limited magnification distance

8. Bial Wide Angle Binoculars Day And Night Vision Optical

Bial Wide Angle Binoculars Day And Night Vision Optical

As we mentioned before, there is a difference between true night vision and lenses that work well in low light.

These binoculars from Bialare one of the latter, which means that you can’t take them out in pitch blackness and expect to see anything. 

Nonetheless, these are still some fantastic binoculars. You can use them during the day and during conditions where it’s harder to see because the lenses are optimized to let in as much light as possible. This creates better clarity during sunlight hours and decent imaging at dusk or early in the morning.

Overall, the range of these binoculars is about 1000 yards, and they have 10x magnification. The lenses are multi-coated for improved vision, and you get a diopter in the center so that you can focus much more easily. Also, the benefit of having a set of binoculars like these is that you don’t have to worry about battery life since there is no infrared flashlight. 

What we liked

  • Day or night viewing
  • 10x magnification
  • Vision range of 1000 yards
  • Rubber coated body for grip
  • Diopter for better focusing
  • Lightweight design
  • No batteries required
  • Water-resistant housing

What we didn't like

  • Only designed for low light, not total darkness
  • Can be tricky to focus for some users

9. Sniper Digital Zoom 2X Deluxe Night Vision Binoculars

Sniper Digital Zoom 2X Deluxe Night Vision Binoculars

If you’re interested in night vision, then you may want to get a set of binoculars that can make you look cool in the process.

We’ve all had fantasies of being a special ops marine using night vision to take out some bad guys, and this set of Sniper Goggles is about as close as you can get to the real thing. 

Instead of having two separate lenses, this set merges them to create a sleek, futuristic appearance. While it doesn’t come with headgear, if you strap it on then you will look like you came straight out of a Tom Clancy novel.

The performance of these goggles is also pretty decent, with 2x magnification and a range of 66 yards. The lenses are multi-coated for improved clarity, and it comes with a padded neck strap. Where these binoculars really shine, however, is with the infrared flashlight.

Unlike standard models that only have one option, these come with seven different settings so that you can choose the best one for your situation. Overall, if you want to feel like a trained professional, these binoculars will help you look the part. 

What we liked

  • Durable construction
  • Sleek and ergonomic design
  • Infrared flashlight with seven settings
  • 2x magnification
  • Range of up to 66 yards
  • Multi-coated lens for clarity
  • Padded neck strap
  • Uses AA batteries

What we didn't like

  • Limited battery life, depending on the setting
  • Can be heavy

10. Tsumbay Binoculars 6X24 HD Telescope

Tsumbay Binoculars 6X24 HD Telescope

Our final stop is with another set of low-light binoculars. Although these don’t work in total darkness, they do provide exceptional vision for most of the day and early evening, and they are even military-grade in both performance and construction.

When compared with the other models on this list, these binoculars have 6x magnification and 24mm lenses.

They are multi-coated for additional clarity, and they have a range of up to 1000 meters. To make things even better, there is a built-in reticule so that you can measure distances and pinpoint your next target much more easily. Finally, they are waterproof and do not require any batteries to operate. 

What we liked

  • Military style binoculars
  • Low light vision
  • Multi-coated lens for clarity
  • 6x magnification
  • 24mm objective lens
  • Durable construction
  • Range up to 1000 meters
  • Reticule built in for accuracy
  • Compact and portable design
  • Waterproof housing
  • No batteries required

What we didn't like

  • Not for total darkness
  • May be a bit too small for some users

How to Choose Night Vision Binoculars

Monocular vs. Binocular

As we’ve seen, you can find night vision in one of two different options. There are pros and cons to each model, so let’s make a comparison.

Monocular: these are usually easier to mount to a tripod and have better clarity overall because you only have to focus one lens. Also, monoculars can capture images and video, allowing you to record your experiences if you prefer. Finally, they can have an increased range when compared to binoculars and can be much more compact and lightweight.

Binoculars: overall, if you want to mount night vision to your head, then this is the way to go. For the most part, binoculars don’t have as much clarity or range, but they can work wonders for hunting or exploring because they are built to show what’s right in front of you, rather than what’s several hundred yards away.

Night Vision Generation

If you are going to buy a set of binoculars with traditional night vision, then you might as well opt for Generation 1 because that is by far the best. If you choose a higher number like two or three, then you will be sacrificing performance, clarity, and durability. There are up to four generations out there, but it’s better just to pretend like there is only one, since anything else will just be a waste of money.

Range

This factor will be most important depending on what you need night vision for. If you are hunting in pitch blackness, then you will want something that provides ample range so that you can spot your target much more easily. This is particularly the case if you use anything like a hide to mask your presence since you need to be able to zoom and focus correctly from a distance.

Conversely, if you are only trying to explore in the dark, or you don’t care about spooking any prey, then a set of binoculars with a shorter range can be a good option for you. This way, you can stay focused on what’s directly in front of you, rather than paying attention to things that could be hundreds of yards away.

Image and Video Capture

At first, you may think that it’s always better to choose a model that lets you take pictures and video, but you have to ask yourself if it’s necessary at all. If you are animal watching at night, then it can be a great feature to have, but when it comes to hunting or just general exploration, you may not care too much about it.

Overall, if you’re not sure about recording your adventures, it’s better to get a model that has that capability so that if you do decide to capture something you have that option. Otherwise, you are out of luck.

Another thing to consider with this is how the images and video are saved. They can sometimes be saved onto an SD drive inside the device, or they may have to connect to a separate recording unit. Usually, having an SD card is much better because they are easier to use and can be swapped out quickly.

Lens

There are several different things to consider when picking out the right lens for your monocular or binoculars, so let’s go over each one in detail.

Magnification: this is an inherent setting, meaning that if your lens is 5x, you can’t make it less than that.

Zoom: in this instance, you can adjust the level of magnification as needed so that you can spot what you want to see. 

Width: lenses are measured in millimeters, with higher numbers allowing more light to enter. So, a 50mm lens will be brighter and clearer than a 24mm option.

Coating: for the most part, night vision devices use multi-coating because it is a generic option that makes blurry images sharper. Since most night vision is relatively blurry no matter what, this is a necessity.

Finally, when looking at different models, you may notice a set of numbers like 5x24. The first number is the magnification, and the second is the width of the lens. If the first number is something like 1-6x50, then it signifies that it has a zoom.

Final Verdict

With so many great night vision options from which to choose, it’s difficult for us to narrow it down to just a few models. However, when it comes to monoculars, we have to say that we love the features and benefits of the Bestguarder HD Night Vision device, especially when it comes to exporting and saving images and video.

As far as binoculars are concerned, we do love the appearance of the sniper goggles, but if you want the best performance and clarity, you have to go with Night Owl instead. Overall, they will be much better out in the field. 

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