The human eye is genetically designed only to see along the visible light spectrum. Our eyes, therefore, fail us in the dark. But we’re smart, and we’ve developed vision technology that allow us to engage in nighttime activities, such as nighttime hunting, which was previously harder to do. These night vision technologies are usually divided into three categories: image intensification, active illumination, and thermal vision.
Image intensification allows the human eyes to magnify the amount of light received by the retina. Active illumination, on the other hand, explores the near infrared or shortwave infrared bands of the light spectrum. Thermal vision detects the nuances in the temperature between the foreground and background. Most night vision technologies utilize one or two of the abovementioned categories to produce remarkable night vision goggles that could enhance our vision in the dark.
In this review, we have made use of succinct criteria to assess the advantages and disadvantages of each model of night vision goggles available on the market today. We have graded them on the criteria of weight, comfort, features, light gathering capability, safety and durability, ease of use, old vs. new generation models, and price. Read through this list of 12 best night vision goggles and choose the right one for your needs.
It is compact and is designed for use with the Edge G2 + 1×21 and Edge GS 1×20. With this joint use, you can utilize it hands-free! With its minimal protrusion, it is ably designed for fatigue reduction. Its body consists of fiberglass-reinforced plastic that can withstand strong impacts and is not affected by moisture and dust. That means it can preserve its clear functionality even in extreme conditions.
It also provides high resolution and precise geometric images for effective viewing and observation. It also comes with an image intensifier tube protection system. It is easy to operate and you can easily turn it on by pressing the “On” and “IR buttons,” respectively. Its field of view is 36° and is considered heavy at 1.87 pounds or 850 grams. Out of the box, it comes with the unit, head mount, carrying case, user manual, cleaning cloth, and a warranty card. It is also one of the more affordable high-quality night vision systems available.
The Sightmark Ghost Hunter is Russian-made and was manufactured with the view in mind of high safety and quality standards. Its primary features include an 805nm infrared illuminator that allows its users to see vivid and clear imagery even in total darkness. It comes with a 2x magnification with 24mm diameter objective lens that readily fits any operational distance. It also comes with a durable nylon case, lens cloth, and a limited warranty.
It is very lightweight at 8.8 ounces or 250 grams. Its field of view is 25 degrees, and its dimensions are 5.5 inches x 2.2 inches x 2.9 inches (139 x 57 x 74mm). It requires 2 AA batteries. This night vision goggle is definitely useful for active hunting expeditions and nature observation at night. Another added benefit is that this item is not expensive as it is in the lower end of the night vision goggles’ price spectrum.
Weighing only 1 pound (0.45 kilogram), the Nyx7 ID is considerably light with its adjustable headset and chinstrap that can readily fit any head size or shape. It measures 5.9 inches x 4 inches x 2.7 inches (127 x 102 x 69 millimeters), and its mount could be easily raised when not in use. You can use it outdoors in all types of weather conditions because it is water-resistant.
Its built-in IR source is powered by a CR123A lithium battery (with a 60-hour battery life) that comes with the package. Unlike most NVS products, the Nyx7 ID comes with three magnification lenses of 3x, 5x, and 8x magnifications for mid-range observation. Moreover, the Nyx7 has 40° FOV (field of view) with a focus range of 0.25 meters or 9.8 inches to infinity. However, this model is less suitable for driving (unless it is a crawl) as the reach of the IR illuminator is not that far-reaching.
The PVS7-3 unit measures 6 ½ inches x 6 inches x 3 inches or 165 x 152 x 76 millimeters and weighs 1.5 pounds or 680 grams. This night vision unit can be head or helmet-mounted for hands-free operation and features a built in IR light source or illuminator with a continuous or momentary IR switch. Its power and low battery indicators are shown in the FOV, so you’ll always know its status. The power is provided either by two AA-sized batteries or by a 3-volt BA-5567/U battery with a lifespan of 60 hours. This night vision unit is waterproof in accordance to MIL-STD-810 and can operate in temperatures between -60 degrees Fahrenheit or -51 degrees Celsius and 120 degrees Fahrenheit or 49 degrees Celsius.
You can also use other IR light sources aside from the integral IR illuminator. The Superior Tactical NVS comes with a 1x magnification lens with a 40° FOV (field of view) and has a minimum focus of 9.8 inches or 0.25 meters.
Like its military version, the PVS7 is equipped with a bright light cutoff device on its IR receivers to protect the wearer from blinding intense glare. Similar to the ATN PVS7-3, the PVS7 is waterproofed in accordance with the MIL-STD-810 specifications and can be operated in extreme conditions at temperatures ranging from -40 degrees Fahrenheit or -40 degrees Celsius to 122 degrees Fahrenheit or 50 degrees.
The PVS7 can be handheld during operation or can be utilized with the head or helmet mounts; however, you need to buy a head strap separately for this item. Another drawback of this model is its weight. At 1.4 pounds or 635 grams, wearing the PVS7 for a long period can be a bit tiring.
It also comes with a built-in IR that allows you to readily read a map and its functions even in total darkness. It also features a wide range of focus from 0.25m to infinity. Moreover, it is a fourth-generation night vision goggle with magnification capability of 1x, plus resolution of 64-72 lp/mm with a field of view of 40°. It’s diopter adjustment is -6 to +2, and it is equipped with an automatic brightness control.
The ATN PS15-4 has a built-in infrared illuminator with IR indicator and low battery indicator. It is powered by one 3V (CR123A) or one 1.5V (AA type battery). It is water resistant and can operate at temperatures ranging from -40 to 122 degrees Fahrenheit or -40 to 50 degrees Celsius.
The ATN PS15 is a great choice. Weighing only 1.54 pounds or 698 grams, the ATN PS15 is certainly light enough for law enforcement or professional use.
The Spark-G uses a single tube monocular design with a 1x magnification or optional 3x magnification lens for better clarity. With 60-70 lp/mm, the Spark-G provides high-quality imagery. It is powered by a single CR123 3-volt lithium battery that can last for up to 40 hours of operation. It also comes with three dials for focal, power, and objective adjustments. This night vision goggle is small with measurements of 6.3 inches x 1.9 inches x 3.2 inches or 160 x 48 x 81 millimeters. Weighing a measly 0.8 pounds or 370 grams, the Spark-G is quite nimble, especially when mounted to its accompanying head mount.
The only drawback of this model is its use of a single eye during operation.
The general features of this goggle include a built-in sensor that protects the unit against exposure to bright light. It is very lightweight at 1 pound and offers stereo perception with a focusable IR illuminator with adjustable headgear. It sports a unique, patented expansive exit pupil design that does away with the need for any interpupillary adjustment. It also has a multi-coated 3.6x lens kit that converts this goggle into a powerful yet affordable night vision goggle. It also comes with a soft case, 3V CR123 battery, operating manual, warranty card, and a 1-year warranty.
The dual objective lens of the night vision binoculars provides you a stereoscopic visual perception and depth of field. The Tracker 1×24 offers a detection range of up to 160 yards or 146 meters and a minimum focus of 1 yard or 0.9 meters. The integral IR source can illuminate up to a distance of 150 yards or 137 meters.
This 6.9 x 4.8 x 2.8-inch (175 x 122 x 71-millimeter) night vision goggle weighs 1.3 pounds or 0.6 kilograms, so it is quite hefty for its size and can be tiring to use during a long nighttime trek.
Produced by the Yukon Advanced Optics Worldwide company, the Yukon NV 1×24 embodies the longstanding quality reputation of this company. It has a rubberized body that is ergonomically designed for maximum comfort when worn even for a long period.
This tracker binocular is a hands-free goggle with headgear and it comes with a protective carrying case with a neck strap. It features multi-coated optics and high-resolution intensifiers. It is also water resistant, with a powerful built-in Pulse IR. Its dimensions are 3.4 inches x 2.4 inches x 5.6 inches (86.4 x 70 x 142 millimeters), and it is very lightweight at 13.4 ounces or 379 grams. The other benefit of this unit is that it comes with a lifetime manufacturer’s warranty. Its price is not very expensive compared to other night vision goggles, making the Yukon NV 1×24 an affordable option with high-level functionality.
Its multi-coated objective glass and light sensitive sensors provide a daytime clarity in the darkness of night and the unseen light from an IR source can illuminate your vision even up to a distance of 109 yards or 100 meters. Moreover, instead of seeing through lenses, this night vision system features an LCD screen for your view. Its 1.54-pound (698-gram) weight is tolerable enough as the goggles don’t protrude very far forward.
The main drawback is that night vision lens can’t be raised without removing the whole assembly from in front of your eyes.
This G1 night vision system is also capable of active IR illumination to detect and observe anything during very dark nights. These binoculars measure 5.25 inches x 4.85 inches x 2.1 inches or 133 x 123 x 53 millimeter and weigh 0.89 pound or 405 grams excluding the batteries. They require two 1.5-volt Type N batteries.
The G1 has a 30° wide FOV and a 35 lp/mm resolution. Like most militarized night vision devices, the G1 can be handheld, head, or helmet-mounted. When used with headgear, you can swivel the binoculars up when you don’t need them.