Those who love wilderness and nature always look for solutions to observe the natural environment in its total spontaneous condition so they want to catch every moment 24/7. Camping at night may be a mysterious thing full of danger and the vision is almost impossible. For this purpose, manufacturers developed a new type of binoculars which will allow users to have complete vision at night.
There are dozens of night vision devices and each one has its own concept that helps it do the job but all in all, they all have a common system that consists of a simple theory: it collects a very dim light from the scene then it converts the photons into electrons which will get multiplied then diffused as photons again to the user on the eyepiece that plays the role of a TV screen.
In this article, I will show you the best night vision binoculars and tell you all what you need to know about these items from features, use, special recommendations…
But before we go deep into information, you should have a look at this top-notch product that happened to be one of the best night vision binos.
Bushnell 4×50 Equinox Z Digital Nightvision
This powerful invention is able to show you crystal clear images at night with its powerful illumination capacity as well as its 4X magnification that works day and night to make you appreciate nature all day long.
The Bushnell 4X50 Equinox Z is absolutely the best night vision binocular thanks to its interesting features such as the 50mm wide objective lens that produces a wide field of view even at night and the powerful infrared illumination that makes everything in your scene visible at night.
If night hunting is your thing and you need a very powerful IR illuminator that works well in zero moonlight, then this device is truly for you. You will see predators from 300 yards easily and still have a good field of view. Even if it works well on daytime, it is better to look for something else since these binos are digital and use batteries to function.
- Most useful night vision binocular for >100 yards game hunting.
- Awesome clarity and outstanding optical performance thanks to its high quality glass
- Functional on day and at night but the quality of the images is not top-notch.
- Amazing quality versus price ratio
- Perfectly sealed water-resistant housing and tough material used in its construction to help it resist chocks.
- Tripod adaptable
- Records videos on SD-card or via cable.
- Photos are a little bit grainy
- Digital zooming system so the quality collapses in an obvious manner.
- Demands high quality lithium batteries that last for a good amount of time.
Even if this product could be the best on market, we should never ignore the high quality of other interesting night vision binoculars that we will cite later below. But before reviewing any other product, let’s discover what “night vision binoculars” is all about.
Why would one want a night vision binocular?
As it is called, night vision binoculars allow users to have a clear vision at night but why a binocular? Well, in addition to the night vision characteristic, it is also convenient during the day so it is a very versatile product for day and night hunting.
If you are fond of nature and you do not want to miss any aspect of the diurnal or nocturnal natural life during your stay into the wild, then this is absolutely for you.
It can be used in many activities that are practiced under day light or in the total dark such as: wildlife observing, hunting, exploring caves, marine activities like sailing and rescuing, surveillance…
What different types of night vision binoculars are there?
There are so many different types of NV binoculars but there are two main types that represent the two basic concepts of night vision: the image intensifier and the infrared systems.
How does the image intensifier work?
As cited above, it is the true night vision system. It takes a dim light and intensifies it until it makes an appreciable image of the scene.
It receives the light from moon and starlight then creates real visible images so it allows the user to see the scene clearly. It is used by military forces from around the world and the latest image intensifiers can work in total darkness.
How do infrared systems work?
Binoculars equipped with infrared systems usually use an infrared illuminator which is a sensor that determines the difference of temperature between objects and then creates a crisp clear image of the scene.
Yet, this is not considered an optical system like the image intensifier that uses lenses to receive light. This is totally electrical and the resulting image is just a virtual representation of the real scene.
Fortunately, all the products we will be talking about in this article combine the optical and the electrical aspects of night vision. They use, at the same time, both an image intensifier and an infrared illuminator to guarantee total convenience under all conditions.
What features to look for on NV binoculars?
Like any other binoculars, it is important to check magnification power and objective lens size before you make a purchase to guarantee that you will get an outstanding optical performance, clarity and wide field of view at a high range. In addition to these features, you must consider a few others when it comes to night vision such as the infrared illuminator, the generation of night vision optics and does it include a rangefinder or not.
Infrared illuminator – this feature is important since it helps get clear vision in very dark situations and rough weather. You can switch it off if the NV optics gets you enough clarity or if you are using your binos during day light.
Generation – there are 4 generations of night vision optics: Gen 0, 1, 2, 3. Gen 2 and 3 are strictly limited to military use and cannot be exported outside of the U.S only under permission of the department of Defense. Gen 0 and 1 are also useful and give great results but the system is somehow not very optimized.
Rangefinder – this option is an additional feature to your binoculars which helps you determine the distance between you and the game. It gives precise results and depends on the infrared system. It is recommended to ensure great results especially when hunting at night.
What things to be aware of?
In addition to the usual common parameters to know about such as the tripod adaptability, neck strap inclusion… you should consider the fact that these are not truly binoculars. They are actually monoculars: a tube is responsible for receiving the light and working the optical part while the second is an IR illuminator responsible for the digital part.
Feeling ready to check what manufacturers have to offer? Well, I collected some of the best products available on market; these binoculars below will be able to give you mesmerizing results for a very fair amount of money.
ATN BinoX-HD 4-16x/65mm Smart
As it is called, this smart binocular works day and night and guarantees crisp clear images at a magnification that varies from 4 to 16X. Its 65mm wide lenses give you a wide field of view and perfect clarity.
This device is equipped with a thermal sensor and a smart rangefinder which are both important for night use.
- Includes a rangefinder that will help calculate the distance between you and the game
- High quality optics that provide HD resolution
- Gyroscope and E-compass for more steadiness and to cut wind vibration.
- Allows the user to record videos or photos into a SD card or via Wi-Fi on your phone.
- Great quality vs price ratio which makes it necessary gadget in every hunter’s gear.
- Needs very expensive batteries to function.
- Cheaply made which makes it not durable at all.
- The electrical zooming system is not really convenient especially at night.
Bushnell LYNX Gen 1 Night Vision
This night vision binocular from Bushnell is one of the best thanks to its amazing features that consist of 2.5X magnification and 40mm wide objective lens. This may not seem perfect but it very useful at night with its built-in infrared illuminator.
- High quality optics that guarantee outstanding optical performance
- Equipped with a built-in infrared system for long range viewing under low light conditions
- Durable material and weather resistant
- Difficulty in getting the sharpest focus
- The electrical system is defective contrary to the material which is surprisingly durable.
Sightmark Ghost Hunter 2×24
Another interesting product, this time issued by Sightmark is the Ghost Hunter 2X24. This night vision binocular can work in total darkness and still provide flawless results as well as the capacity of working day and night without the need of too much electrical energy.
- Provides high quality images even at pitch dark scenes.
- Made of a durable material supposed to last for a long time besides of ergonomic design and construction making it very light and comfortable to hold.
- Recommended for stargazing since it is engineered to work under low light conditions so it would be perfect to aim at a dark sky and enjoy the marvelous view.
- Automatic system that shuts the electrical compartment off when the lenses are exposed to bright light.
- Only useful for short range target, therefore, a hunter will find a struggle using one of these.
- The inter-pupillary distance is not adjustable for a wide enough variety of heads.
Pulsar Edge GS 1×20
We are looking here at a very special night vision binocular created by Pulsar. This device contains the most convenient image intensifier tube among all other binoculars in addition to a latest version of an energy conserving infrared illuminator. So, imagine taking this pair with you on a hunt trip and using it at night while targeting a deer or a hog? You will have the best experience of your life.
- The IR illuminator power is adjustable as well as other control systems that make your experience way better.
- Very professional design and it comes with a head gear that consists of straps to fix this binocular on your head.
- Very light weight and comfortable grip (450 grams)
- The price is slightly more expensive than other binoculars with same aspects so you can get better for less
- Construction and material are not really durable so they need extra care
Night Owl NOXB-5 Explorer Pro 5X Night Vision
Night Owl products are always on top when it comes to optics and night vision technologies. So is this Explorer Pro 5X. It allows you to have a clear view at night at a range of more than 100 yards using exclusively two image intensifier tubes and an infrared illuminator. With these features, this product is able to beat high-end night vision binoculars and provides high-end quality photos.
- Useful for star gazing and long range targeting.
- Low battery indicator helps you have an idea about the condition of your batteries.
- Batteries not included.
- Very expensive for the quality.
Solomark Night Vision Monocular
This is a monocular in the very sense of the word and it is an amazing night vision monocular that has the capacity to turn your night into a crisp clear day.
With its high sensitivity sensor, it can even work in extremely dark conditions. In addition, you can save a high resolution copy of what you see on SD card or on a laptop via usb connection.
- This device can fit in all the activities where night vision is needed, such as surveillance, rescuing, hunting, observing wildlife, exploring…
- Weighs only 250 grams so it is the most comfortable monocular ever to hold.
- Very comfortable eyepiece suitable for eye glass wearers.
- Only visible at close range and optics are not really of good quality
- It does not record sound and a microphone cannot be attached.
SOLOMARK Night Vision Binocular
From the same manufacturer as the one above, this product is a little bit different. This is the night vision binocular from Solomark that comes with some interesting features that should have your attention.
With its 2X digital zoom and 31mm wide objective lens, you may think this is just a piece of trash, but believe me, it is one of the best and it is worth every penny spent on it.
- New concept which consists of a wide screen instead of two separate eyepieces and the view is in real-time.
- Supports up to 32GB SD card to save recorded videos and photos and prevent data loss.
- A very fair price vs quality ratio that will make you run and buy one right away.
- Heavy for a binocular and not comfortable being held all night long (weighs around 1 kg)
- The risk of getting the electrical system damaged is high since it is neither waterproof nor resistant to shocks.
- Needs 8 AA expensive batteries which are not included.
After going through tons of information and so many products, it is time for you to decide by yourself what do you need and what you do not. This is the only question that will help you choose the right item. If you are a lot into night vision and you want the latest trends of binoculars, go for an expensive and worthy pair and make sure it is reliable, if you are still confused whether it is worth the shot or not, just go for a cheap pair and see for yourself, after all, it is an amazing experience that can be added to your hunting career.
I am sure you will make the right decision in the end. Good luck with your purchase!