12 Best Night Vision Monoculars Worth the Money (2021)

Night vision is over the top combat multiplier. With NV, you can easily out-maneuver opponents who can’t even see their hand in front of them.

A proper night vision monocular allows you to see objects with clarity, so you won’t waste a shot at a small target or get too near to a predator or something scary.

The best night vision monocular works night & day, offers clear views, and has decent battery life. Here are our favorites.

We Recommend

Best NV monocular

Luna G3 Digital

Best Gen 3 night vision

ATN PVS 14-3

Best budget option

Bushnell Equinox Z

Best Night Vision Monocular

1. Luna Optics 6-36X50mm Digital G3 Day & Night Vision Monocular

night vision monocular on a white background

The Luna Optics G3 is the best all-around night vision monocular available. It gives you a direct HD viewing experience with its AMOLED-Q display backed up by Quad Pixel technology.

With this technology, the G3 can combine nighttime sensitivity with image quality.

The result is a blue-ray level video recording and an adjustable frame rate at selectable resolution.

The scope comes with a 12.2-megapixel camera that provides you with distortion-free images no matter in what time of the day you take them.

You can make adjustments to the menu using user-friendly controls. The powerful IR illuminator paired with a 50mm objective lens makes it the best night vision monocular for hunting.

It means you will get your images regardless of the dark conditions. And with 6x magnification, you can comfortably zoom in your target for details.

The scope achieves this with the help of a focussed beam along with variable power operation. Apart from that, you can also work with 36x digital zoom for perfection.


What we liked

  • Best price/value ratio
  • Optical and digital zoom
  • High powered IR illuminator
  • FHD image sensor
  • 12.2MP camera
  • Adjustable controls and menu
  • Focus range varying from 2.6 feet to infinity 
  • Fully multi-coated optics

What we didn’t like

  • Low battery duration 
  • Narrow field of view

Generation: Digital night vision
Resolution: 64 lp/mm
Objective lens: 50mm
Magnification: 6x to 36x
Field of view: 9°
Battery life: 3.5 hours
Weight: 17.6 oz

2. ATN PVS14-3 Generation 3 Night Vision Monocular

night vision monocular on a white background

This ATN high-end night vision monocular GEN 3 has a 27mm objective lens and comes with a 1x zoom.

With a larger lens, this scope can provide you with images that are free from any distortions.

In most cases, the devices with low magnification come with high FoV in terms of angle, and this is no different.

The field of view of this device is 40 degrees covering a lot of distance in a single view.

This ATN night vision monocular comes with a new image intensifier tube.

It can easily handle varying light conditions. You can control your views with this versatile and lightweight monocular. The package contains several accessories.

These include a soft carrying case, head mount, lens tissue, sacrificial window neck cord, and demist shield.

This night vision monocular with head mount also features an adjustable diopter adjustment range from -5 DPT to 2 DPT. You will get 25mm of eye relief as well. It is powered by a single AA battery that allows the drive to run for more than 40 hours.


What we liked

  • Operable temperature varies from -40C to 55C
  • Excellent battery life
  • Lightweight
  • Diopter is adjustable form -5 DPT to 2 DPT
  • 25mm of eye relief
  • Waterproof
  • Several accessories

What we didn’t like

  • Limited magnification
  • Higher price tag


Generation
: Generation 3 night vision
Resolution: 64 lp/mm
Objective lens: 27mm)
Magnification: 1x
Field of view: 40°
Battery life: 40 hours
Weight: 11.1 oz

3. Bushnell 4.5X40 Equinox Z Digital Night Vision Monocular

night vision monocular on a white background

The Bushnell Equinox Z review has revealed that this night vision monocular features a 40mm objective lens and 4.5x magnification.

You can conveniently work with it not only during the day but at night as well, without any problem.

The optics this Bushnell night vision monocular comes with, make sure you get the best-in-class quality and performance at any time of the day.

Bushnell has equipped it with IR illumination, and you can capture images and record videos with it too.

The scope also comes with daytime coloring, and you can conveniently mount it to your tripod.

This device is an excellent choice for revealing all that is unknown in the dark. And even in the daytime, the images that you get from it are crystal clear.

Of course, you won’t be able to carry it around like a pocket monocular. But using it with a tripod will ensure vivid images.


What we liked

  • Best budget option
  • Large diameter objective lens
  • Good magnification for most applications
  • 750 feet of viewing range with IR illuminator
  • Adjustable IR brightness
  • Comes with a tripod mount
  • Daytime coloring option
  • Image capturing and video recording

What we didn’t like

  • Not the best option for short distance observations

Generation: Generation 1 night vision
Resolution: 40 lp/mm
Objective lens: 40mm
Magnification: 4.5x
Field of view: 11°
Battery life: 72 hours
Weight: 22 oz

4. Bering Optics 4.3X60 HiPo Gen I Night Vision Monocular

night vision monocular on a white background

The Bering HiPo Gen I NV monocular is equipped with a 60m high powered objective lens that delivers crisp images even at night.

With 4.3x magnification, you can zoom in on your target as much as you need.

With these kinds of specifications, the scope is better suited for long-range applications.

Want to buy the best in class Gen 1 NV monocular, this is the best pick.

It comes with decent eye relief as well, and you can even use your scope with your eyeglasses on.

You can comfortably use this monocular night vision for hours without any eye strain. This scope also features a weaver mount that enables you to connect multiple accessories to it.

For instance, if you want to connect your IR flash with it, this mount will allow you to do so effortlessly.


What we liked

  • 60mm objective diameter
  • 4.3x high magnification 
  • Excellent battery life
  • IPX4 certified water resistance
  • Focus range varies from 1 yard to infinity
  • Fully multi-coated lens
  • Integrated IR illuminator

What we didn’t like

  • Feels somewhat heavy in the hand

Generation: Gen 1 night vision
Resolution: 40 lp/mm
Objective lens: 60mm
Magnification: 4.3x
Field of view: 20°
Battery life: 70 hours
Weight: 24.7 oz

5. iGen 20/20 Day/Night Vision Image Processor Monocular

night vision monocular on a white background

The iGen 20/20 monocular powerful IR can automatically adjust to various levels of darkness, and you can use it any time of the day.

It has also increased the IR feature for several tube-based technologies. It means you can view your images with 0% distortion.

As it is a lightweight device, you can conveniently use it for various outdoor applications. It is an excellent choice for fishing, camping, hiking, hunting, and even law enforcement.

In terms of performance, this device works wonders in the field as compared to a Gen 3 night vision monocular.

You can comfortably program it according to your preferences as all the controls are available on the screen.

You can also select your view’s color. It can either be green, red and amber, or B&W. Moreover, you can use this device with a standard video recorder to record real-time videos.


What we liked

  • Infrared intelligence
  • High sensitivity
  • Even better than several Gen 3 night vision monoculars
  • Programmable controls
  • Different colors view
  • Works well with any standard quality video recorder
  • Automatic light amplification

What we didn’t like

  • A feeble carrying case
  • Not the most ergonomic design

Generation: Generation 1 night vision
Resolution: 30 lp/mm
Objective lens: 41mm
Magnification: 2.6x
Field of view: 16°
Battery life: 70 hours
Weight: 21 oz

6. Firefield Nightfall II 5X50 Gen 1 Night Vision Monocular

night vision monocular on a white background

The Gen 1 night vision Night II features a powerful 50mm objective lens.

A lens of this size can gather as much light as possible from the surroundings and provide you with a clear image without using any other piece of technology.

So that’s a good start for better image processing in the dark. This monocular is great as an entry-level NV monocular for surveillance purposes.

Your perpetrator will always be in your sight with the Nightfall II.

It has an ergonomic and easy-grip design that you can comfortably hold for hours. This handheld night vision scope comes with an IR illuminator (PULSE), which is one of the largest of its kind, making it one of the most desirable monoculars for nighttime applications.

This Firefield night vision scope has the best IR illuminator. The handheld night vision scope has a weather-resistant construction with rubber armor casing to ensure durability without adding to the overall weight.

You can use it for hunting, general observation, or surveillance at nighttime. It is also the smallest night vision monocular in this range.


What we liked

  • Large diameter objective lens
  • Better nighttime zooming
  • A decent field of view
  • 2 AA batteries required
  • 12mm eye relief
  • IPX4 water resistance
  • Wide operating temperature range

What we didn’t like

  • The battery runs out fast
  • Close focus range is not that great

Generation: Gen 1 night vision
Resolution: 36 lp/mm
Objective lens: 50mm
Magnification: 5x
Field of view: 15°
Battery life: 8 hours (with IR on)
Weight: 15.2 oz

7. TRYBE Optics GEN2 and GEN3 PVS-14 Night Vision Monocular

night vision monocular on a white background

The Trybe PVS-14 night vision monocular comes equipped with a 25.4 mm diameter lens and features 1x zoom.

You might think zoom on this device is pretty disappointing, but the device makes it up with a wide-angle of FoV.

This device comes with a 40-degree field of view, and you can cover a lot of ground in your single view.

It runs on a single AA battery and provides you with a focus range of 1 foot to infinity.

If you happen to wear glasses, this is the perfect device for you as it comes with an eye relief of 25mm.

The night monocular provides you with a diopter adjustment range varying from -6 DPT to 2 DPT. This device is submersible up to 66 feet in the water; therefore, you can use it for various marine applications too.

A single AA battery provides you with more than 50 hours of backup. So if batteries trouble you a lot, this is indubitably the best device to choose from.


What we liked

  • GEN 3 night vision
  • Innumerable accessories 
  • Diopter adjustment from -6 to 2 dpt
  • Wide field of view
  • High-quality Gen 2 monocular
  • 22mm eye relief
  • Waterproof up to 66 feet

What we didn’t like

  • Higher price tag

Generation: Generation 3 night vision
Resolution: 57 to 64 lp/mm
Objective lens: 24.5mm
Magnification: 1x
Field of view: 40°
Battery life: 50 hours
Weight: 10.8 oz

8. Carson OPMOD MiniAura Digital Night Vision Monocular

night vision monocular on a white background

This Carson OPMOND Night Vision monocular features a 10mm objective lens with 1x magnification.

You can adjust the diopter from -4 to 2 DPT. It also comes with a carrying pouch or a wrist band.

The entry-level night vision monocular can produce sharp images in B&W, so you don’t have to use it at night only.

It can produce the same results as in the daytime. You can access and customize your viewing experience using its four different IR settings.

The device runs on three AAA batteries to provide you enough battery life to work through your project. There is no need for any special-purpose batteries to work with this device. It is the best night vision monocular for the money.

This infrared monocular can not only allow you to see in the dark to enjoy nature’s nocturnal activities, but you can also take it on your next excursion.

See the faces of your children light up in the dark and keep a right eye on them. The device is equally useful for any post-dusk observation that you have to make.


What we liked

  • Great entry-level device for small scale observations
  • IR on/off button
  • A decent 10mm objective lens
  • 19-degree FoV angle
  • 82 feet focus range
  • Runs on 3 AAA batteries
  • Lightweight

What we didn’t like

  • Uncomfortable wrist strap
  • Only 1x magnification
  • Only suitable for short-range viewing

Generation: Gen 1 night vision
Resolution: 30 lp/mm
Objective lens: 10mm
Magnification: 1x
Field of view: 19°
Battery life: 12 hours
Weight: 3.40 oz

9. ATN PVS14-4 Multi-purpose Gen 4 Night Vision Monocular

night vision monocular on a white background

The ATN PVS14 GEN 4 features a 27mm objective lens with a wide 40-degree field of view.

The focal range can manage ranges from 0.25 meters to infinity, so you can work with different ranges.

The monocular runs on a single AA battery that can easily last for more than 40 hours.

For the users who wear eyeglasses, it is the right choice as the device comes with an eye relief of 25mm.

You can use it in different weather conditions due to its waterproof feature.

The operable range of this device is -40C to 55C. You can attach it easily to the ballistic helmet, but you need to buy the L4 G 11 Mount separately.

Using its pouch, you can attach it to your waist, leg, or belt when you don’t want to use it. With its stunning sensitivity and clarity, you can hunt coyotes in total darkness.

Being a lightweight vision monocular, you can take it on night huntings.


What we liked

  • Rare GEN 4 night vision
  • Wide field of view
  • Extended battery
  • Modern tubing technology
  • Crystal clear images with high resolution
  • Lightweight
  • Gated power supply
  • Comes with a range of accessories

What we didn’t like

  • Limited zoom
  • Expensive

Generation: Generation 4 night vision
Resolution: 64 to 72 lp/mm
Objective lens: 27mm
Magnification: 1x
Field of view: 40°
Battery life: 40 hours
Weight: 11.1 oz

10. Night Owl Marine 3X Lightweight Night Vision Monocular

night vision monocular on a white background

The Night Owl Marine digital night vision monoculars come with a resilient waterproof design that is built to be used for excursions.

Night Owl has made this digital night vision monocular for extreme weather conditions that users have to deal with during nautical use.

The Night Owl optics night vision monoculars float on water, and if you are looking to use them in water, you won’t be disappointed.

This device is built for search and rescue operations and features two-piece body construction.

It also comes with Night Owl’s signature steel stringer system to ensure high precision images.

With light amplification, this Night Owl night vision monocular can boost available light. You will get green colored images, but they will be clear and sharp even in the pitch black.

It also features an IR illuminator, which allows you to see without being noticed by anyone. No humans or animals will go unnoticed by you.


What we liked

  • High magnification with a large objective lens
  • Diopter adjustment range is 4 to -4 dpt
  • Up to 100 hours of battery life
  • Waterproof
  • Floats on water
  • Rubber armor construction
  • All glass optics

What we didn’t like

  • Uses only CR123 battery
  • No rubber eyepiece

Generation: Generation 1 night vision
Resolution: 35 lp/mm
Objective lens: 42mm
Magnification: 3x
Field of view: 14°
Battery life: 45-100 hours
Weight: 12.3 oz

11. Carson Aura 2X/4X Digital Night Vision Monocular

night vision monocular on a white background

The Aura NV-150 digital monocular comes with a variable magnification that ranges from 2x to 4x.

This scope is made to be the ideal option for all your night endeavors.

It comes with a dioptric compensation with durable optics and materials for long-lasting performance.

This top rated night vision monocular has an inbuilt IR illuminator powered by digital technology.

It ensures a bright, sharp, and precise image each time you use it.

It will come in handy for all your outdoor nighttime adventures. With a variable zoom, you can focus on far and near objects.

It provides you with a view of 546 feet per 100 yards and runs on three AAA batteries. With the IR feature, you can comfortably see in the dark as everything comes to life as if you are viewing it in broad daylight.

Another great feature of this night vision monocle is its ergonomic construction. Carson has designed it for you to use it effortlessly with your one hand, as the device is pretty lightweight as well.


What we liked

  • Ergonomic and lightweight
  • Variable magnification
  • Inbuilt IR illuminator
  • Wide field of view 
  • User-friendly controls
  • Easy to carry and use
  • Dioptric compensation

What we didn’t like

  • Battery life is not that great
  • Takes a bit time to focus

Generation: Gen 1 night vision
Resolution: 40 lp/mm
Objective lens: 24mm
Magnification: 2x to 4x
Field of view: 8.5°
Battery life: 10 hours
Weight: 4.20 oz

12. Sightmark Ghost Hunter 2X24 Night Vision Monocular

night vision monocular on a white background

This Sightmark Gen 1 night vision monocular comes with 2x zoom. A 24mm objective lens is suitable for close-range observation.

No matter how dark it gets, this monocular will work just fine to produce clear images of the surrounding objects.

The IR illuminator of this night vision monoculars enables you to see comfortably at nighttime.

You don’t have to give away your position to get the best digital night vision.

It has a compact body with a robust polymer construction; this scope is ideal for traveling. The lightweight design allows you to carry it without any inconvenience.

The device will automatically shut itself off if it encounters bright light so it won’t have to deal with any unnecessary damage or wear and tear. The objective lens of this IR monocular comes with a diameter of 24mm.

It can gather the right amount of light even in the darkest conditions and the rest is covered by the IR illuminator. In the end, you get an image that is astoundingly clear to your eye, allowing you to identify every object without any hurdle.


What we liked

  • 24mm objective lens gathers more light
  • Field of view of 500 feet at 1000 yards 
  • Good battery life 
  • 12mm eye relief
  • IPX3 water resistivity
  • Excellent operating temperature range
  • Comes with carrying case and lens cloth

What we didn’t like

  • Not best for fast-moving targets

Generation: Gen 1 night vision
Resolution: 36 lp/mm
Objective lens: 24mm
Magnification: 2x
Field of view: 25°
Battery life: 20-72 hours
Weight: 8.8 oz

Types of night vision devices

Different types of night vision devices are designed to serve different purposes. If you are looking for a viewing device that is equipped with night vision capabilities, here are some for you to contemplate.

Night vision binoculars

A binocular is a device that comes with two lenses and you can use both your eyes. Binoculars are slightly bigger than monoculars, but it creates less eye strain and better image. Night vision binoculars have more powerful night vision capabilities.

Night vision monoculars

Monocular is a device that comes with a single lens, and you need to use it with your single eye. Eventually, you are putting more strain on your single eye. But this device is not to use for long hours. If you want to use a viewing device for long, you need to go for binoculars.

Night vision goggles

Goggles with night vision are incredibly convenient because you wear them. They are lightweight, and you can continue to use them for an extended period. These devices are suitable for search and rescue operations or law enforcement applications.

Night vision scope

To cover better distance and work with extended ranges, you need to opt for a night vision scope. For surveillance applications, these scopes will work better as they feature a large objective lens and heavy body, so you can use them on a tripod. 

Night vision generations

There are four different generations of night vision technologies. Each of them serves a different purpose. Let’s have a brief look at them. 

Generation 1

Gen 1 is the most popular of them all and emphasizes on basic principles of image processing. This technology provides very bright images by amplifying available light several thousand times. 

Hence, it is an ideal choice for a multitude of applications, including general observation, boating, hunting, or close-range surveillance. The images will be slightly blurry on the edges. Turning it off will make it glow green for some moments. You will experience a high-pitched whine when you turn it on. 

Generation 2

Gen 2 is more suitable for law enforcement, long-range hunting, and surveillance. It is more experienced than the previous generation. With all the features of Gen 1, it also features a micro-channel plate that works as an electron amplifier while further amplifying light, even several times than that of Gen 1.

Generation 3

For Gen 3, the manufacturers added a sensitive chemical (gallium arsenide) layer to its photocathode. With the application of this chemical, the image produced becomes sharper and brighter as compared to the 2nd generation. For better tube life, an ion barrier is also added for better low light performance. 

Generation 4

Gen 4 devices feature filmless or gated technology for better image intensification. The ion barrier is removed, and a gated system is introduced that substantially improves the detection range and resolution. The device achieves this in low light environments.

Related: 12 Cheap Night Vision Goggles Worth the Money

Night vision vs. thermal vision

These two technologies are designed to achieve the same purpose, but they are pretty distinct from one another. 

Thermal vision

Thermal imaging can detect even the minutest of differences in heat signatures when it is detecting its target. This technology detects heat signatures and doesn’t require light for image production. For longer ranges, thermal technology is better because it doesn’t need any ambient light and relies on heat signatures. 

Night vision

Night vision, on the other hand, relies on the light from the surroundings to create an image. It needs ambient light, so target detection is going to be very difficult when you are viewing long ranges. For short ranges, night vision is a better option because it uses ambient light. 

How to choose the best night vision monocular?

Since there are a plethora of technologies that you need to account for, there are some essential features as well you must keep in mind when buying the best night vision monocular that meets all your requirements.

Night vision generation

The first point you need to ponder over when buying a night vision scope is choosing the night vision generation. 

Gen 1 is a budget night vision popular for general-purpose viewing. 

Gen 2 features more sophisticated technology and is powerful than Gen 1, and costly too. It is a suitable choice for law enforcement and short-range hunting. 

Gen 3 is even more powerful and requires more financial input from you. This high powered generation of night vision is suitable for a variety of applications, both long and short-range. 

Gen 4 is the most expensive and the highest in terms of image quality and performance. It is better suited for professionals or if you have a high-profile covert operation at hand. 

Resolution

Depicted by ip/mm, resolution determines how clear an image a device can produce. Based on skeletal and digital radiography, the unit measures the level of sharpness in an image that a night vision camera can produce in pitch black conditions. For most applications, 30 ip/mm or sorts is the better option. But for high-profile applications, you need to choose resolution over 54 ip/mm.

Field of view

Field of view or FoV is the total area that a scope can scan if you don’t move the frame. The maximum distance it can cover in a single frame can be around 10 degrees to 40 degrees based on various applications. 

For long-range applications, you need to go for shorter FoV because with higher magnification. You won’t get much FoV. For short-range operations, you need to go with high FoV and ultimately lower magnification. 

Detection range

The detection range for a night vision monocular is essential because it works with ambient light. And at longer distances, there is no availability of ambient light. Therefore, you need to go for a better detection range if you are using your monocular for long-range viewing. Anything over 300 yards will be better suited for this purpose.

Price

Of course, with the latest generations and better optics, you need to pay more. Gen 4 is the most expensive of them all, and better suited for the professionals. Gen 1 is more of a right choice for general users. But if you are after clarity and sharpness in your images, prepare yourself for a hefty investment.

IR illuminator

The last of the night vision scopes come with IR illuminators. It emits light in the IR spectrum and works as a flashlight that is not visible to humans and animals. If you are taking images or recording videos in the dark, you can do so without being noticed by anyone. 

Water-resistance

Water resistivity will be the right choice if you are using your night vision monocular in varying weather conditions. On the off chance that you are out in the open and don’t have anything to cover yourself if there should arise an occurrence of a downpour, at any rate, you will have a water-safe extension you can keep on working without qualms. Water-resistance is a must-have feature for marine applications.

Extra features to look for

Here are some additional features that you must consider before buying the best night vision monoculars. We have listed them as follows:  

Magnifiers

If you want to focus on short-range objects, you should consider higher magnification. You will have to compromise on the field of view because with a higher magnification field of view is limited. For long-distance viewing, again, you will have to go for better optics if you need better zooming with a decent field of view. 

Auto-gaging unit

An auto-gaging unit will be better suited for the first time users or novices. Even if you are a professional, such features will save a lot of your time. The device can quickly make adjustments according to your viewing needs. So it is a beneficial feature to have in a night vision scope. 

Video feed

If you are documenting your data from the monocular; video feed is a must-have feature. You can connect your device with a laptop or a phone and don’t need to be around the monocular to access the feed. It is an essential feature if you have set your monocular somewhere out in the field.  

Recording

This is an important feature for documentation purposes. But for law enforcement and surveillance, this is indispensable.

Head mount

If you don’t like to carry your scope in your hands, you certainly need a head mount. For search and rescue operations or surveillance projects where you are carrying something in your hand, a head mount will come in handy. 

Power source

In most cases, you will find these devices to run on different batteries. They come with good battery life though. But for prolonged field operation, you can look for solar panels to power your device in case you are working throughout the day and night.

Rubber coating

Rubber coating makes sure your device stays resistant and durable in varying conditions. Such type of coating also ensures a stable grip on your monocular. Therefore, it is a nice feature to look for. 

Related: 12 Best Monoculars Worth The Money

Frequently asked questions

What is the best Gen 1 night vision monocular?

The best Gen 1 night vision monocular in terms of performance and reliability is the Night Owl Marine NONM4X-MR. It comes with good magnification power, a powerful objective lens, and suitable for a wide range of applications. 

What is night vision monocular?

A night vision monocular uses any available ambient light and amplifies it a thousand times to provide you with a clear and sharp image even in the dark. 

What are the best night vision goggles under $1000?

The Pulsar Super Night Vision Goggles are the best monocular night vision goggles under $1000. They come with IR illumination and have excellent battery life. 

What is a good cheap night vision scope?

The ATN X-Sight II is a good cheap night vision scope that features a reticle with a 50mm objective lean and a 3x to 14x magnification. 

What is better night vision or thermal?

For long-range observations, you need to choose thermal vision because it doesn’t require any ambient light for imaging. For shorter observations, choose night vision. 

Can civilians buy night vision goggles?

Yes, civilians can own night vision goggles, but they shouldn’t feature any tubeless technologies that you find in Gen 3 and Gen 4 for night vision models.

Why are night-vision goggles so expensive?

These goggles are exorbitant because they come with high-end optics, and feature various other technologies to provide the user with the best possible precise image. 

Can you use a night vision monocular with a rifle scope?

Yes, you can use a night vision monocular with a rifle scope. Some of them can be used as your rifle scope. 



Share This On Social Media!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *