10 Best Night Vision Goggles and Binoculars in 2021 [Reviews & Guide]

Are you confused about choosing the best night vision goggles or binoculars? You’re at the right place… We’re here to guide you through the top night vision goggles in the market. You’ll learn:

  • The top night vision binoculars available today
  • How to choose one that fits your need
  • How they work

After comparing the numbers, price, and reliability of each binocular, the ATN Binox 4K Day & Night Smart Binocular trumps them. It may be on the pricey side of things, but it comes with every feature you’d need with night vision binoculars and then some. Whether you’re a boater wanting an accelerator feature, or in need of a gyroscope for flying, or the big-game hunter looking for a quality long-range option, this bino has it all!

Top 10 Best Night Vision Binoculars in 2021

  1. ATN PVS7-3 Night Vision Goggle
  2. Pulsar Edge GS Super 1+ 1×20 Night Vision Goggle
  3. Sightmark SM15070 Ghost Hunter 1×24 Night Vision Goggle 
  4. WANNEY Tracker Night Vision Goggle 
  5. Night Owl Tactical Series G1 Night Vision Binocular Goggles
  6. Solomark Night Vision Monocular  
  7. Yukon – NV 1×24 Goggles
  8. Superior Tactical PVS-7 Night Vision Goggle
  9. PVS-7 3P – Night Vision Goggle
  10. Night Optics USA Adventurer 1X Gen 1+ Night Vision Goggle

Are you looking for a specific feature? Check out the reference chart given below.

Product NameATN Binox 4K Smart BinocularsPulsar Edge GS BinocularsATN PS-15-WPT GogglesAtomic Beam Night Hero Binoculars
Imageq? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B07NHN77JL&Format= SL250 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=thermogears 20&language=en USq? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B0039ZGXFO&Format= SL250 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=thermogears 20&language=en USopplanet atn ps15 4 night vision goggles generation 4 nvgops1540 mainq? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B07DGMLVF4&Format= SL250 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=thermogears 20&language=en US
Weight2.5lbs1.8 lbs1.5 lbs1lbs
Infrared Illumination Range1000 metersN/A250 meters150 meters
Weather Resistance LevelIP-64
Dust Proof/Water resistant
IP-44

Water resistant
Fog Proof/Water resistantWater resistant
Field of View (at 1000 meters)220 feet; 6 degrees390 feet; 13 degrees2100 feet; 40 degreesN/A
FocusIndividualCenterIndividualCenter
Best forBest Overall BinocularBest option for huntersBest military optionBest affordability option
See latest priceSee latest priceSee latest priceSee latest price
PRODUCTTYPEMAGNIFICATIONRESOLUTIONDETECTION RANGEBATTERY LIFE
ATN PSV 3Gen 3 1X64 lp/mm80 mm50 hours
Pulsar Edge GSCF Super Gen 1+1X42 lp/mm100 mm 20 hours with IR
Sightmark SM15070Gen 11X30 lp/mm80 m20 hours with IR
WANNEY TrackerGen 11 X42 lp/mm100 m6 hours
Night Owl Tactical SeriesGen 1 1 X35 lp/mm138 m40 hours with IR
Solomark MonocularGen 31 X42 lp/mm100 m 5 hours
Yukon – NV 1×24Gen 11X36lp/mm80 mUpto 40 hours
Superior Tactical PVS-7Gen 31 X36 lp/mm0.25m to Infinity50 hours
PVS-7 3P Goggle Gen 31X64-72 lp/mm0.25 m40 hours
Night Optics NG-2Gen 1+1 X42 lp/mm100 m40 hours

10 Night Vision Goggles Reviewed by Experts

#1 Best Overall – ATN Binox 4K Day & Night Smart Binoculars

51JW2i2JUsL. AC UX679

If you’re the outdoor activist looking for an all-in-one binocular you can rely on day and night, the ATN Binox 4K Smart Binoculars should be right up your alley. Despite being a bit heavier than others on this list weighing at 2.5 lbs, ATN made up for it by designing in intricate features that any hunter, hiker, or outdoorsmen could take advantage of. 

Its built-in laser range finder makes it easy to find the exact distance of your target. Then ATN takes it a step further by including in Ballistics Information Exchange(BIX) technology that allows these binos to connect with other devices to send that data, showing you the most optimal point of aim. Additionally, BIX technology supports HD video recording that you can simultaneously live stream to other devices via Wi-Fi connection. 

To top it all, the ATN Binox 4K Smart Binoculars finish off at a weather resistance level of IP64, making it protected from any dust/debris and able to withstand any rainy weather.

Pros

  • Livestreaming & HD Recording w/ BIX technology and microphone
  • 3D Accelerator, 3D Gyroscope
  • 1000 meter Laser Rangefinder
  • E-Barometer/E-Compass
  • Weather Resistant (dust & water)

Cons

  • Not as long battery life (16 hours)
  • Heavier in weight (2.5lbs)
  • Higher price

#2 Best for Hunting – Pulsar Edge GS Night Vision Binoculars

51Owh6jJdSL. AC SL1000

Pulsar Edge GS Night Vision Binoculars are specially designed for long-range viewing thanks to it’s five lens eyepiece and optics set up, making it perfect for the avid hunter. Not to mention it’s 50-hour battery life so you never miss a beat no matter how far in the woods you trek. 

Whether used as binoculars or if you prefer to operate them as goggles, Pulsar equipped these night vision binoculars with a built-in long-range Infrared Illuminator and a unique CF-Super Image Intensifier Tube designed for when you need additional lighting power at above-average distances. Pulsar Night Vision binocular also features a sealed metal and plastic body that keeps the fog, rain, and sand at bay.

Pros

  • Can function as goggles
  • 50-hour battery life
  • Water-resistant; metal/plastic body

Cons

  • Only rated to withstand water
  • Didn’t state infrared illuminator distance
  • Big in weight and size

#3 Best military night vision binoculars – ATN PS-15-WPT Night Vision Goggles

opplanet atn ps15 4 night vision goggles generation 4 nvgops1540 main

The ATN PS-15-WPT Night Vision Goggle’s price may deter you at first glance but they also double as a binocular with optional 3x afocal lenses to feature higher optical magnifications to let you see longer distances. PS-15-WPT Night Vision Goggles, along with a new line of select units, are being introduced by ATN with their White Phosphor Technology (WPT). 

Black and white color provide clearer information about contrast, shapes, and shadows.  Operators that tested units that use ATN WPT reported a significantly better degree of detail, overall contrast, full moon similarity, and range of shades. These goggles were designed for Special Ops and are most definitely not for the fainthearted. So if your life depends on your gear and you want to improve your operational effectiveness you should check WPT out. 

Compared to other night vision goggles on this list whose degree of angular view doesn’t break double digits, WPT goggles have a 40-degree angular view to offer a wide view of your surrounding vicinity. Between it’s advanced WTP technology and broad viewing range, the ATN PS-15-WPT Night Vision Goggles live up to its price with its cutting-edge technology.

Pros

  • Dual Binocular/goggle
  • WPT technology (B&W image)
  • Camera/camcorder adaptable
  • Optional 3x focal lens
  • IR illuminator up to 250 meters

Cons

  • Super expensive
  • Only protects against water and fog

#4 Best affordable night vision binoculars (under $100) – Atomic Beam Night Hero Binoculars by Bulbhead

71mCF5wS2tL. AC SL1500

Maybe you’re a newb to the realm of the outdoors or just don’t need all the fancy add-ons other binoculars have that indefinitely raise the price. A more simple night vision option, like Atomic Beam Night Hero Binoculars, maybe more suiting for some people. It’s small and water-resistant in design, so not even rain will slow it down.

The Night Hero Binoculars are equipped with an atomic night vision laser that can reveal objects up to 150 yards away in the dark. These day and night binoculars have a 10x magnification, compared to others on this list, so you can see your surroundings clearly and up close.

Pros

  • Light-weight
  • 10x magnification
  • Very affordable

Cons

  • “As seen on TV”
  • Reviews by customers say IR illuminator is dangerously bright

Best Night Vision Binoculars Brands

Best ATN NV binocular – ATN Binox 4K Day & Night Smart Binoculars,

51JW2i2JUsL. AC UX679

ATN created this all-in-one night vision binocular to satisfy the needs of any outdoorsmen with tons of features to suit whatever outdoor passion that fires you.

It’s built-in laser range finder makes it easy to find the exact distance of your target. Then ATN takes it a step further by including Ballistics Information Exchange(BIX) technology that allows these binos to connect with other devices to send that data, showing you the most optimal point of aim. Additionally, BIX technology supports HD video recording that you can simultaneously live stream to other devices via Wi-Fi connection. 

To top it all, the ATN Binox 4K Smart Binoculars finish off at a weather resistance level of IP64, making it protected from any dust/debris and able to withstand any rainy weather.

Pros

  • Livestreaming & HD Recording w/ BIX technology and microphone
  • 3D Accelerator, 3D Gyroscope
  • 1000 meter Laser Rangefinder
  • E-Barometer/E-Compass
  • Weather Resistant (dust & water)

Cons

  • Not as long battery life (16 hours)
  • Heavier in weight (2.5lbs)
  • Higher price

Best BARSKA NV binoculars – BARSKA Night Vision NVX300 IR Illuminator Binoculars

51eHCFBcVAL. AC SL1000

Barska NightVision NVX300 Infrared Illuminator Binoculars feature battery life that can last up to a year and only weighing in at a pound, making it the perfect accessory for any hike in the woods.

Whatever the activity, Barska outfitted these night/day binoculars to have 5x magnification with 2x digital zoom giving you a crisp, clear view so you never miss a thing. Rain or shine, record images and videos with Barska’s built-in tripod mount to give you a steady hand to capture necessary moments. The NVX300 features an infrared illuminator that allows you to view up to 100 meters in the dark.

Pros

  • 5x magnification(w/ 2x digital zoom)
  • Records images and videos
  • Built-in tripod mount
  • Water and dust resistant

Cons

  • Questionable battery life
  • IR illuminator range is only 100 meters

Best Bushnell NV Binocular – Bushnell Night Vision Equinox Z Monocular

51s%2BRLsF5KL. AC SL1000

The Bushnell Night Vision Equinox Z Monocular is a great option to consider if the original binocular isn’t quite your cup of tea, but don’t want to ditch the magnification power or night vision capability.

The Equinox Z Monocular with 3x digital zoom is rigged with an adjustable Infrared Illuminator that can light objects up to 500 feet away. Whether you’re bird watching, hiking, sightseeing, or hunting, these monoculars allow you to capture pictures and video recording ease, along with it’s tripod mount compatibility. And with a water resistance level of IPX-4, Bushnell’s Equinox Monocular can withstand water splashing from any direction.

Pros

  • Tripod mount compatible
  • Records images and videos
  • Adjustable infrared brightness
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Only resistant to water
  • Small field of view

Applications of Night Vision Devices

Night vision devices play a vital role in various fields.  Actually, this technology was originally developed for warfare. You can get exact information about the location of enemy troops and awareness of your surroundings are the most important type of information. Mostly military uses a variety of NV devices for such purposes,

» Hand-held sighting scopes,
»Weapon scopes, and
»Night vision goggles are the main three pieces of equipment for them.

Military

Night vision devices were introduced in the second world war . So in the very earlier times, night vision devices were used mainly by the military to identify the attackers or enemies at night, to survey the surroundings, supervise tactical operations, etc.

Military Night Vision Goggles
Here, a military officer is showing the route to move forward at the night, they have used night vision goggles for identifying the target at night.

These devices greatly help shooters to turn down enemies from a safe distance.

Wildlife

With the improvement of night vision technology, the use of those devices has increased a lot. Most of the professional hunters and birdwatchers make use of any of the night vision devices to see their target even in the dark times. A dark night is a right time for hunting so it’s good to have high-quality optics for pinpointing the target. Wildlife observers used NVD’s as their night vision eyes for watching nighttime wildlife.

Law Enforcement, Surveillance, and Security

With the ease of access to night vision, now CC TV cameras and other surveillance devices can easily monitor the areas clearly even in dark environments. Using this technology the law enforcement agencies can move forward and identify the attackers easily before any potential damages occur.

Search and Rescue

Due to its advanced technology and usefulness, it is used for rescue operations. In case of emergency, you can make use of this device as it can find alive people around the destroyed area and rescue them.

How Do Night Vision Goggles Work?

Night vision goggles are optio-electronic tools which help to see in the dark. How is this possible? The goggles amplify the light so that you can get a clear vision, it is specifically designed to use at dark times where the natural eye vision doesn’t work. Let’s look into the working principle of night vision goggles here.

WORKING PRINCIPLE

⊕ First, the dim light from a night scene enters the lens at the front, the light is completely made of photons

⊕ As soon as photons enter the goggles it will strike through the light-sensitive surface which is photocathode. If they strike once, the entire particles will be converted to electrons.

⊕ In the next step, electrons are amplified by a photomultiplier. In this case, electrons leave the cell more than those entering.

⊕ If photons are large in number, the screen will be brighter than the original source of light.

You may have a doubt on why everything looks green through night-vision goggles because the photons that enter the lens carry all colors. The human eyes recognize the green light easier, also it’s good to look at the green color for a longer time when compared to black and white screens.

Things To Consider When Buying Night Vision Binoculars

As thermal imaging goggles have taken their place in the market, night vision goggles now occupy equal space.

Compared with olden days, now we all using distinct sorts of thermal products in our daily routine habits such as thermal imaging binoculars, thermal pastes, thermal laminators, thermal receipt printers, thermal binding machines.

Industrial Thermal Cameras also play a  major role in night vision as it can detect even small objects.

If you are going to buy a night vision goggle you must consider our list of good choices.

1.Environment

The first thing you must consider the environment where you will be using this goggle. You know what you are looking for and where you will be looking. The selection of the night vision goggle is based on your viewing distance. If you buy only the sake of looking then you can to take a step down quality and price.

view through night vision goggles

​2.Image quality

Image quality is the main thing for the night vision goggles. So, you must take care about the image quality before buying goggles. This image quality depends upon the resolution ranges and the ranges vary from one goggle to another one. If the edge of the image is sharp means then you can get the best quality images. 

Image quality

Sometimes you need only the clarity of the image and you can get a lot of goggles and you can satisfy your needs. This image quality is based on how much money you will spend on the image than other parts of devices like battery devices.

3.Type of Generation

Gen 1

gen 1 nvg exmaple
Generation 1 NV

If affordability is at the forefront of your mind when deciding what binocular to buy, then Gen 1 is great to pick from. Despite some of its technology dating back to the early 1960s, they’re perfect if your goal is to stay in budget while still being able to do a lot.

  • Maximum useful range is about 75 meters 
  • Lower resolution; not as bright
  • Shorter battery life
  • Susceptible to image distortion due to excessive light
  • Small field of view
  • Shorter life expectancy: Gen 1- about 1,500 hours, Gen 2- about 5,000 hours, Gen 3- about 10,000 hours

Gen 2

generation 2
Generation 2 NV

If the Gen 2 models are in your price range, then it’s certainly worth it as there’s a huge step from Gen 1 to Gen 2. A decent Gen 2 is a lot closer to Gen 3 in performance than compared to Gen 1. The biggest decision is whether to just go all the way to Gen 3 or to stick with Gen 2.

  • Longer range (200 meter range depending)
  • Better resolution; brighter, clearer images
  • Can operate without IR illuminator
  • Less susceptible to image distortion
  • 3 times longer battery life than Gen 1

Gen 3

gen 3
Generation 3 NV

Gen 3 autogated is the real deal night vision that our US Military and Special Forces, so you know it’s the best. There are multiple levels within this generation, and this is also where image intensifier tubes were first introduced.

  • Longest ranges (300+ meter range depending)
  • Started introducing image intensifier tubes
  • Also introducing intensifier tubes with autogated power to work in all lighting conditions
  • Best low light performance
  • Longest life expectancy

Gen 4

gen 4 NV
Generation 4 NV

There actually isn’t a Gen 4 classification, according to the US Army. After they tested for its reliability and lifespan, they concluded that the technology didn’t meet their requirements and renounced the Gen 4 classification. On the other hand, there is new tech out there similar to Gen 4 called Filmless Gen 3 but is still classified as Gen 3. Now companies just use the term Gen 4 as a marketing ploy to claim they have the best image quality.

​4.Style of Device

Type of generations

When you come to the style of device and you can get the two types of devices. Some devices attached with head mount on the head and leave your hands free.

Some devices do not come with the attached head mount and it is a separate one, you can fit when your needs.

Suppose you are a hunter and you know the scope of the night vision goggles.

Whatever you pick this but make sure your activities.

​5.Price

You can find a wide range of goggles for a wide range of prices. The price of the night vision goggles is based on your option. Two options here, one is cheap goggles and another one is expensive goggles.

If you choose the cheap night vision goggles then you may be bothering about the durability of the device. If you choose the expensive goggles you need not bother about the durability.

​6.Weight and Comfort

The weight of the night vision goggles is depended upon the effect of use. If you choose the too heavy device then you can’t use it for an extended period so choose the lightweight goggle and get the comfortable feel.

7.Range

The range is a very important consideration for choosing the night vision goggles. The range is nothing but the distance between the object and the device. This can vary from one model to another. Some devices have the range up to 100 m. So choose a wide range of meters for your great applications

8.Multi-coated Lens 

Multi-coated lens place one of the responsibilities for getting the best night vision goggles. The multi-coated lens is the lens that has a special coating and helps to see the image. It increases the depth view of perception. The coating is important for the low light view. So you must consider this multi-coated lens when choosing the goggles.

9.Weather Resistance

Weather resistance and waterproof are important factors for choosing the night vision goggles. It is responsible for the capability and this is the basic functionality of the goggle. The great quality of the night vision goggle is measured by the waterproof and water-resistant. Some devices came to prevent the fogging. By fogging you can end the problems. So, take responsibility for choosing the night vision goggles with waterproof and weather resistance.

10.Batteries

Battery life is a significant factor in choosing the best night vision goggles. Most of the time you will use the goggles for outdoor works so you must take care of the battery life. Some devices do not include the battery and you have to buy them separately. You should check the type of batteries that works with the night vision device.

Most of the device contains the AA, AAA, and 123 lithium-ion batteries and that the best battery for the device is 123 lithium battery ensures the 40 to 80 hours battery life. 

11. Infrared Illuminators

Infrared illuminator gives the visible light for the night vision goggles which increases the field of view perception and gives the bright image. Before paying for a night vision goggle you must check whether the goggle is built with IR illuminator or not.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Uses of Night Vision Goggles?

The night vision goggle are mostly used for military purposes, soldiers can see the objects even in the darkness. The night vision goggles technology is also used for fishing, hunting, and watching animals in the dark.

How do night vision goggles work?

The night vision goggles do work by amplifying a small amount of light present in the darkness. The infrared light is invisible to the human eye so at that time the night vision goggles will work better to detect the infrared light. Including the human bodies emit heat in the infrared light.

How far can night vision goggles see?

The night vision goggles depending on the objects you are looking for a person, buildings, and animals. This device can detect the range of 300 yards but the human’s eye detects only 150 yards away. The night vision goggles can easily find the hidden objects in the darkness.

Do night vision goggles work in pitch-black?

Yes, it is possible because the night vision goggles never truly pitch black outside. Night vision goggles will take small light coming from amplifying and street light even present during darkest nights. This device also can do something similar.

Why do night vision goggles use green?

The night vision technology provides a bright green color, the image intensification screen device is made of phosphor.  The phosphor screens are chosen to make green light because human eyes are more sensitive.

Conclusion

The number of options, power, and added features can make picking the right night vision optic pretty confusing. Our top pick of ATN’s Binox 4k provides features that any boater, aviator, hunter or hiker could make use of including, it’s 1,000m laser range finder, 3D accelerator/gyroscope, and live stream video recording. We hope our review on night vision binoculars provides you with the confidence you need to make the smart purchase.

Kim Goodwin
About Kim Goodwin

Kim Goodwin holds a Master's in thermal engineering from the University of Rhode Island. At Thermo Gears, she reviews most equipment that uses thermal imaging technologies.