If you are a fan of outdoor sports like hunting, camping in the night or simply fishing there are a number of things to consider.
The most important part is to make a list of things that are essential when going hunting or camping in the dark specifically. Your list should contain camping and hunting equipment and other stuff that will help you during your time outdoors.
A pair of night vision goggles helps outdoor adventurists in extending their eyesight in the dark to a great extent. That being said, if you happen to be one of those who hunt in the night, you would know how important stealth and night vision is for successful night hunting and simply camping. These are a special type of night vision goggles which fall under the category of tactical gear for such adventurers. These special night vision goggles can make or break your time outdoors which should give the idea that it’s one of the basic hunting equipment an outdoor adventurist must have.
Night vision goggles look a lot like regular binoculars which help you to magnify your view. So what’s the difference between binoculars and night vision goggles? There is definitely a lot of difference. While the concept behind both is the same, the night vision goggles are there for you to see in the dark like an owl. If you want to be stealthy, accurate and professional, a pair of night vision goggles is what you need.
So what if you are new to night vision goggles and don’t know quite a lot about these devices? No worries because that is exactly why we are here! We shall go in detail about how these night vision goggles work and also which night vision goggles are the best out there in the market for you to buy today.
Top 10 Best Night Vision Goggles in 2019
|Night Optics D-2MV||1||4 oz|
|Armasight Nyx7||2||3.1 oz|
|Sightmark SM15070||1||2.5 oz|
|ATN PVS7||3||3.2 oz|
|Pulsar Edge GS Super 1||1||3 oz|
|Yukon NV 1x24||1||2.3 oz|
|Superior Tactical PVS7||3||1.5 oz|
|Armasight Spark G||1+||2|
|Night Owl Tactical||1||2.2 oz|
1. Night Optics D-2MV Gen 1 – Best Night Vision Goggles for the money
Just the name of this first one sounds tough. There here is a night vision goggle that is made by an American Company and it is definitely a popular one. It is one of the leading brands in making night vision goggles and gives some serious competition to the competitors. The company gained popularity by its affordable (in terms of the product capability) and competitively priced products that are of premium and extremely high quality. The D-2 MV Gen 1 is one of its products which offers you premium quality and reliability which is critical when getting products of specific use such as night vision goggles. These are made by Night Optics.
This here is a ruggedly build goggle that weighs as little as just 4 ounces. The dimensions of them are 2.9 by 4.4 by 2.3 inches. It is made with the point kept in mind that it should be as much comfortable as it can be. The design of it is very ergonomic making its usability simple but high. A good thing about this product is that it can be worn for extended periods of time without causing irritation or discomfort. The mask housing itself is waterproof and weather resistant which is why it is so tough. The headgear that it comes with is adjustable so that it can be worn by people of different head sizes. The D-2MV is a Gen 1 device which has a dual tube night vision goggle, offering wide exit pupil vision so not much adjustments have to be made for the vision to be clear.
This one has a high-class feature that protects your eyes from bright light by using its automatic exposure sensor. This is a feature which you do not usually find in Gen 1 devices but only in high end and Gen 2 and above devices. The D-2MV comes with the option for 1x, 3.6x and 7x magnification or zoom and you can easily switch between these modes as per your requirement. The glasses on the goggles are multi-coated, meaning they will provide a clear image. The field of view that the D-2MV offers is a 40-degree wide angle with a range of 125 meters of detection and a recognition range of 100 meters. The focusing range is commendable, from 10 inches to infinity so that your vision doesn’t get blurry. The D-2MV is powered by a single CR123 battery of 3 volts which will ensure backup of up to 40 hours which is more than enough for anyone.
2. Armasight Nyx7 Gen 2 – Best Professional Goggles
The second device on our list is the Armasight Nyx7. Armasight is a brand quite well-known for its high-quality gear and other products. One of the tactical products Armasight deals in is night vision goggles. This device is for serious outdoor adventurists who take their trips seriously, especially the night time trips. The Nyx7 is one of the top line products by Armasight and the manufacturer has not compromised in the quality with this device.
While there are many night vision goggle devices which are Gen 1, Armasight decided to bring this out with the Gen 2 technology so you can expect great things from the Nxy7. In terms of weight and portability, this thing is quite lightweight and very compact, making it highly portable. That increases the usability of the device other than of it being ergonomic. Wearing this thing will not strain your head or your neck as some products do. In fact, at times you might not even feel you are wearing it at all. This thing is built to be used in harsh weather conditions such as in heavy rain, dust, and other unfavorable weather conditions.
The field of view this thing offers is just awesome. It is not just because it uses the Gen 1 tag, but simply, the technology used in it is newer than the other night vision devices in the marketing, competing. The casing of the Nxy7 is rugged enough to take some abuse without giving in just like that. It is built to last. It features an automatic bright control, fed information by the exposure sensor to automatically adjust the aperture in bright light and low light accordingly. Overall, the device is expensive when compared to similar devices out there but it being a Gen 2 device makes it hold up to many users.
3. Sightmark SM15070 – Best Budget Night Vision Goggles
One the number 3, we have SightMark, with a remarkable night vision goggle device, the SM15070. SightMark is also a company, known for its high-end and premium quality products. For now, we are looking into its night vision goggle. You can get this thing with the surety that you are going to get a high quality and techy night vision device, without just wasting all that hard earned money just like that.
In fact, the SM15070 is something you can compare with military grade equipment. And talking about the trained hunters and campers, this here is the perfect night vision goggle device for the price, for them. Even if you are new to outdoor adventures, you don’t have to worry about getting this thing, thinking that it is too high tech for you. Rather, it will be an investment that will benefit you for a long time to come if you are regular in such activities and outdoor events. Coming to the device itself, it is undoubtedly a ruggedly built pair of goggle that is made with a standard for night vision usage under harsh weather conditions.
It features the dual tube system which will provide you an ever comfortable view when compared to simple night goggles with the dual tubing. In terms of the googles’ usability, the night vision goggle weighs just about 14 ounces, making it one of the lightest weighted night vision devices which will make it easier for you to not just wear it but also carry around without too much of a weighted drag.
You will feel much comfortable wearing it like you are not even wearing it at all. The head mask composed of the nylon makes it comfortable and integrated at the same time. But the great part is that this thing isn’t limited in ways of usage. It can be used either as a head mount or can be hand-held, making it popular amongst the people who prefer either way of using it. This gives the users multiple options to select from as per their convenience. When used as a head mount, it becomes a hands-free device. The glasses of the goggle are multi-coated, which greatly improves the quality of the vision and image. Simply put, go for these night vision goggles if you want a good quality piece of equipment which is long lasting and durable and can withstand various weather conditions.
4. ATN PVS7 Gen 3 – Professional
Here we are with the ATN PVS 7-3 night vision goggles. There is one thing that makes this night vision goggles stand apart from all the other devices we have covered so far. The fact that this device from ATN, the PVS 7-3 is a Gen 3 night vision goggle that makes it a tough one out there, giving other goggles a hard time and tough competition.
This night vision device will give you features that you may not get in other night vision devices. Since it is a Gen 3, it is a little more expensive than the other devices in the market so Gen 2 and above night vision goggles are usually preferred by the more experienced outdoor adventurists and hunters but if you are new, but have an expandable budget and wish to invest in a long-lasting product, then this here is your best bet. This Gen 3 night vision goggle can be called the king in the night vision goggle industry which will give you crystal clear sight with features that you will use during your usage period. The PVS 7-3 uses the very technology that many military and army goggles use, so that should let you know how tough this thing really is.
There here is no toy to play with. Also, if you happen to make up your mind into buying one of these, you will be fully assured that you have gotten one of the high-end military-grade comparable product so no doubts will be left in your mind. This thing has an intensifier tube that has a B rating for the low occurring blemish rat. What this all means is that the PVS will reduce those small black specs that you would usually get in your view through the goggles, which you usually get in the Gen 1 and Gen 2 night vision goggles. With this Gen 3, there will be no room for improvement in the resolution and quality of the image.
The PVS 7-3 offers a great long range of 300 yards that is just awesome for various events. In terms of its versatility, this model can be mounted on as a head mount and can also be used as hand-hand or helmet mounted. Because of its versatile usage, it is very popular amongst a wide range of professional hunters and adventurists. The lens on this thing is multi-coated which is the reason behind its remarkable image quality. It has a built-in infrared blaster or illuminator which helps you to see in the night more vividly.
5. Pulsar Edge GS Super 1 – Great Value
Here we are with another top level and high-performance night vision goggles, worthy of being in the list on the number 5th position. It is simply because it offers great features, is highly durable and performs great for what it is built. It is also one of those night vision devices which are light on your budget but at the same time offers great value for what you pay for.
You do not have to worry about the performance, the image, the resolution or the features it offers because it’s a package containing everything a hunter or an adventurist want in such a piece of equipment. The Pulsar Edge GS super 1 comes features with optics, which gives you full surety that you are going to get a 100 percent picture quality. You will not be making the wrong choice of buying one of these.
This model features the dual tube binoculars, offering a quite comfortable experience while wearing and using these night vision goggle. The dual tube will make it easy for you to perceive clearly in depth, your scene. The GS super 1 has been improved in terms of resolution which is an important aspect, especially for seeing at night. This means that you will have a clear and crisp vision while looking through these in the night and will be able to detect either your pray if you are hunting, or simply spot a nice place for camping far ahead of you. One thing to note is that the resolution quality the GS super 1 offers is actually a lot better than many other Gen 1 devices and this device really lives up to its claims of having an improved image quality. Coming to the design of this device, this thing is made using durable and tough housing to withstand extensive outdoor measures and different weather conditions such as rain.
Your visibility shall not be compromised in the fog or in the rain so you do not have to worry about that. This device also comes built-in with an IR illuminator which can be adjusted for different brightness settings which is great for different eyes with different light sensitivity. The battery in this thing is remarkable, giving a backup of nearly 50 hours which is a bonus as no one can really use night vision goggles for 50 hours straight but it is good to know that frequent charging is not needed after just single night use. Overall, the GS Super 1 by Pulsar offers great value for the money and offers all the necessary features along with some high-end features also, usually found in the more expensive models. This model is a good pick for both, the new hunters and the experienced ones alike.
6. Yukon NV 1×24 – Lightweight & Portable
The Yukon Company has been active since 1998 and known for making advanced optics gear and equipment with high-end technology since then. Out of its many products, we have here its NV 1 x 24 goggles. It is known to extremely feature full and user-friendly for those new to such gear. This model offers all the great things of top-level night vision goggles we have covered so far.
Although saying this doesn’t make it a bad product. The NV 1 x 24 has a multi-coated lens as you would expect to have in your night vision goggles. You know why that is so important. It is because the purpose of night vision goggles is to offer a clear and bright enough view in the dark for you to be able to spot a good point for deploying your camp or simply spot an animal in the dark which you have been searching for. Simple, the Yukon NV 1 x 24 is a high-quality product offering great value for the price. This device is made with the point kept in mind that it should offer utmost comfort to the user. The google itself is extremely easy to use with a user-friendly interface without being a daunting one. Even if you wear this device for extended periods of time, you will not feel strained. This thing is just perfect for both, stationary or recon use. You can use it hand-held as binoculars or mount it on your head for a hands-free experience.
The device weighs only about 2 pounds, making it very light and portable and it has got dimensions of 6.9 by 4.8 by 2.8 inches. Don’t worry about straining your neck or eyes because of this. This unit comes with eclipse lens covering that omits the problem of losing the lens caps because they are flip covers. This also protects the lenses when the unit is not in use. Also, this way, scratching the objective lenses becomes less likely. When coming to what kinds of protection this unit entails, this device can resist water splash and fog, which can heavily interface without vision. Yukon has its own ‘pulse’ system which is used by its built-in IR illuminator which blasts the IR in pulses rather than continuously blasting, saving battery power in the process but that’s not the only good thing. This pulsing ensures an extending viewing range and a better image quality. This unit can provide you a 30-degree field of view with 1x zoom making it have an advanced level of perception when determining the depth of the scene.
Yukon protects its lenses from bright light with its own lens protection system. The unit has got a detection range of 150 meters and 1 meter of focus range minimum. It is powered by a single CR123A battery giving a battery time of 20 hours which is good enough considering the other features it offers. Even though this unit uses Gen 1 tech, it still proves to be better than most Gen 1 devices, keeping the quality good.
7. Superior Tactical PVS7 Gen 3 – High-End Goggles
This unit is without a doubt, a strongly built and durable night vision goggle made by Superior Tactical. The PVS7 is a Gen 3 tech device which is a reliable piece of gear and will offer you the greatest features, all what you need. By the name, you can tell that Superior Tactical has constructed the PVS7 to meet the high engineering standards and designs. In fact, the specifications and design even match military grade night vision goggles so that shows that the PVS7 is all tough.
This thing is designed using the toughest and strongest material to provide the durability under various weather conditions and other circumstances. That means, if you are a fan action movies with secret agents going through the night putting on their night vision devices and tactfully making their way through, this thing will make you feel like an agent similar to a movie. Only, what you wear will be the real deal and not just some show toy. Since it is a Gen 3 device, the features and functionality it offers come at a budgeted price tag so yes, this thing is expensive and wanted by those who want some serious equipment. But if you think in terms of the features, and from the eyes of a professional hunter or camper, the price is actually reasonable considering the features it has to offer. That is to say that there are even more expensive night vision devices out there, which don’t offer the same features like this device here.
So since this is a Gen 3 product, it is made carefully from tough and rugged material to hold against the various harsh weather conditions. This makes the device extremely strong and durable. That is because it is supposed to be strong and not just break after a single drop of water splashed on it. It is meant to be used outdoors. The housing of the goggle is made waterproof which makes it usable in the rain. The internal design of it is a little different than other units out there, having 2 eyepieces but a single objective glass. The device’s eyecups contain rubber to act as a cushion for the eye area, providing comfort and less strain on the neck and eyes. The PVS7 can be used hand-held or head-mounted, something now every hunter and camper wants in night vision devices.
The resolution this thing offers is exceptional, without you having to worry about adjusting it at all. This device’s intensifier tube lets you see perfectly even in low lighting situations, hence the name night vision goggle. But this ensures that the google isn’t completely dependent on its IR blaster to see during the night. This thing will provide you with 1x magnification and has a detection range of 300 yards along with focusing of 0.25 to infinity. The optics on this unit uses ProShield coating like many Gen 3 units. The unit has a convenient low battery indication. Although highly expensive, this here is truly one of the most professional night vision units out there for those with a good budget.
8. Armasight Spark G – All in one Kit
We are here with another one of the Armasight models. The spark G. Armasight is based in San-Francisco and known to be a leading brand in making daylight, thermal and night vision imaging devices so you will see the brand name a lot when it comes to such devices and since we are here to discuss about night vision devices, there is no surprise why we are hearing Armasight again. Armasight makes equipment for both, the military as well as civilians. That gives an idea about the brand name and quality. The spark G is Armasight’s low budget night vision device which, even though is low budgeted, offers great features along with the necessary ones that the night vision units come equipped with. This thing has its image intensifier tube built around its core technology as Armasight calls it.
The CORE stands for, in Armasight’s terms, Ceramic Optical Ruggedized Engine. Although this unit here is a Gen 1 device, this technology gives it a name of its name and its quality keeps it somewhere between the Gen 1 and Gen 2 devices. Traditionally, many night vision devices have their intensifier tubes made out of glass which makes the spark G stand out as it contains ceramic. This offers durability to the intensifier tube and this offers a better resolution. The intensifier tube in spark G uses ceramic fused with a metal alloy. The reason why spark G doesn’t get to be in the Gen 2 still is that it lacks some features such as microplate channel.
The making of the CORE intensifier in the Spark G, using ceramic and metal alloy allows tight integration of the components inside the device. This, in turn, makes the tubes vibration resistant which makes it durable and withstands shocks when the unit is dropped. This way, the tube doesn’t shatter and keeps intact the functionality. Not just that but the CORE effectively eliminates the distortion of the edges which intensifies the resolution clarity even more. In this regard, the Spark G performs sometimes as well as some Gen 1 and Gen 3 units. Overall, the unit is lightweight and very portable. The design of it gives you a feel of military equipment, something that is not present in other Gen 1 devices the dimensions of the device are 6.3 by 1.9 by 3.2 inches which makes it a little bigger than other units, but the feel of it is professional. The eyecups include a rubber edge so that the eyes are protected with the sharp edges of the body. This unit has only 3 controls, its 2 power knobs, and a focus dial. There is a small LED that notifies you which option you have currently selected or which mode is on right now. One knob turns on the illuminator and the other two turn on or off the whole unit. The body of the Spark G is made quite durable, protecting the internal components from external weather and temperatures of the extremes. The unit works perfectly under high humidity, rain, and fog.
The field of view this unit offers is of a 35-degree FOV and the focus range of 0.25 to infinity. The infrared blaster the unit comes built-in with is a low powered component that can work fine up to 20 feet. Indoors, the range of the IR increases greatly. A good thing about this unit is that it has an option for installing a more powerful IR if you need it. It has got a 1x magnification. One thing that this unit lacks is bright light protection which is a drawback. So bright lights can easily damage the lens so you have to be careful regarding that. This thing is powered by a single CR123 battery, giving you a backup of about 40 hours. It is a highly versatile unit as it can be used hand-held, head mounted and can also be fitted on a camera or a weapon.
9. Armasight Vega Gen 1 – Very durable
Armasight is back with another one of its high quality and affordable night vision goggles. The Vega by Armasight is not just one of the most affordable night vision units out there, but it also features great options and features for the price of the thing. In short, it is truly great value for your money. This unit is definitely worth the attention if you happen to be new to such equipment and night vision units, and you are a new hunter or a camper or simply, do not have a large budget to buy a very expensive and feature rich unit as this thing has all the basic and necessary features a night vision unit usually has.
Despite being a wallet-friendly device, this thing just cannot be called a cheap unit. It is made with good quality material, giving it a rugged feel to it but nonetheless a finished feel. The body is made with the composition of fiberglass and an integrated body that makes it lightweight but strong. Also, this makes the unit waterproof and even fog proof, not letting water to seep in and interfere with the image quality. The gear is fully adjustable for the user, giving the user complete control and comfort while wearing it. This thing even allows the user to choose which eye he or she wants to use for viewing through the night vision goggles. Since the unit is light and compact, it causes no eye strain or neck strain if head mounting it. It weighs as little as only 0.50 pounds, making it one of the most lightweight night vision goggles in the market.
This unit comes with a rail system which allows a tripod to be mounted with it easily. The unit includes a lens cap to ensure the protection of the lenses when the device is not in use. One thing the Vega falls behind is the bright light protection. This thing doesn’t have bright light protection so you need to take care of it, not to expose the lens to a bright source of light of it will blind you temporarily. The armasight has Vega equipped with an IR illuminator but it emits a red dot so if you are on a stealth mission, this unit may not be good for you. The glasses used in the Vega are multi-layered, offering a 40-degree field of view with 1x magnification. The focusing range of it is 0.2m to infinity. The unit will let you know when it is low on power which is a neat feature. This thing is powered by a single CR123 battery of 3 volts which will give you a backup time of about 60 hours. The timing is deducted by 12 hours if you are using it with the IR on which is still good enough.
10. Night Owl Tactical Gen 1 – Lightweight & Compact
Last on our list but not the least, is the Night Owl Tactical series Gen 1 night vision goggles. Even though the last on the list, it must have some good features to be on the list and it has. At first, Night vision tech was only researched, pioneered and produced by the military and other security-related companies. One of the pioneers is Night Owl. In fact, Night own is one of the first few companies which opened the night vision tech doorway to the civilians.
They used to, and still produce high-quality products which offer great value and most importantly, are affordable. The Tactical Gen 1 from the tactical series represents exactly what night own is capable of doing. Producing high quality and reliable night vision equipment which is easy on the wallet. The design of this unit is simple, yet retains a classic military style and look which is attractive to many. The dimensions of this unit are 5 by 5 by 3 inches, which weighs only about 14 ounces. The housing of the goggle is of premium quality, machined to give a finished look. The casing itself is made up of aluminum. This makes the unit light that does not strain the head and makes it easy to carry around
Night vision goggles buying guide and FAQs
When it comes to actually buy night vision goggles, there are numerous factors to think of and a lot of things to check and consider. Different night vision goggles will have different features and specifications which would vary with different users. With that, prices also vary greatly so it really depends on your usage and experience and also your budget, which brand and features you may need, while keeping yourself under your budget.
You will have tens and hundreds of brands that make night vision goggles to choose from but our list contains the most popular and best night vision goggles that are budgeted according to usage and features and not overly expensive. But what to really look for when buying a pair of night vision goggles? You do not need to worry as you will find all the critical and relevant information regarding night vision goggles and its features which will not only help you to select the right product for yourself but also give you a good bit of night vision goggles knowledge.
If you are one of those people who prefer to look for reviews and feedback from other users for a product, then that’s a good idea before going out to buy. If you know a few brands, select one and search for its reviews and feedback which should give you an insight into the product. But if you rather know the product from the inside and know the features it has, then you can find all the information here regarding night vision goggles.
So what things should I keep my eyes on when buying one?
There are a few things to consider before going out to buy night vision goggles. Read below to find out in detail about them.
Generation of the goggles
As you may have seen, as you read on, some goggles have Gen 1, some Gen 2, and some Gen 3 written in the specs. That is the generation of the goggles.
The Gen 1 tech is the oldest of them all and was used in the war. These are the least expensive units today. These are often found with an IR blaster.
The Gen 2 improved greatly from Gen 1, offering better quality, weight, and portability. The major difference is that MCP which is microchannel plating was introduced in the Gen 2 which plays an important role in the low lighting conditions.
The Gen 3 improved over the Gen 2, offering greater features and technology. These are considered the golden standard devices and are very expensive. These are usually used by professionals. The Gen 3 is currently is most advanced tech being actively used in night vision goggles. Although research has already been started on the Gen 4, it is still in the early stages and yet to fully arrive in the market.
Range or FOV
The FOV or field of view determines the amount of angle that comes under the sight line. The field of view is sometimes also measured or expressed in yards such as 1000 yards or FOV of 800 yards. The 1000 or 800-yard area will be that area measured in feet that will determine your angle of view. Simply put, how wide or narrow your sight is with the field of view. If night vision goggles have a high number of field of view that means that you will have a wide angle of view and will be able to see a wide image of the scenario you may be in. The greater the number of the field of view, the wider your sight through the night vision goggles will be.
This is what it allows you to see in the dark when using goggles. The concept behind these is the same as what is used with security cameras. As soon as it gets dark, your security will click and its IR will turn on, giving you a clear bright and white view in the dark. But night vision goggles don’t completely depend on the IR to see through. If you are with a limited budget, it is better to go for a goggle with IR blaster.
Since night vision goggles are something to be primarily used outdoors, there are some things that may damage these units. Certain feature conditions such as humidity, rain, and fog can greatly affect the working of these units to these units usually have this basic protection. In short, a particular unit which you have your eyes on should have these basic protection measures
Portability, weight, and size
As night vision goggles are head mounted or hand-held equipment, it can cause users to strain on their head if too heavy. Portability depends on the size and weight of the night vision goggles.
The cost of the night vision goggles
Perhaps the other most important factor besides image quality, the cost is something every outdoor adventurist just has to consider. The most expensive night vision goggles out there doesn’t always mean they are the right ones for you and good in performance and features. The most expensive ones may have features which you may not be needed at all.