The Best 4 Bushnell Night Vision Monoculars in 2022 [Full Reviews]

bushnell night vision binoculars

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Up until pretty recently, NVD’s (Night vision devices) were simply too expensive for most of us everyday people. But the cost of the tech has fallen drastically in the past few years, to the point where you can now find night vision-enabled equipment in a plethora of shapes and sizes for less than you are probably expecting!

The gear that most commonly incorporates NV are goggles, binos, and monoculars (and sometimes rifle scopes). One of the most reputable producers of NVD’s is Bushnell. Founded in 1948, they have consistently produced some of the best sporting optics available to consumers.

So come with me, as I take a look at the best Bushnell night vision products currently on the market!

 Product's nameMagnification and Objective Lens DiameterNight Vision RangeMore Info
Bushnell Equinox Z2 6x50 Night Vision, Multi, One Size ,...Best Overall
Bushnell Equinox Z2 6x50 Night Vision, Multi, One Size , Black
6 x Magnification with 3 x Digital Zoom
50 mm Objective Lens Diameter
1000 Feet
See on Amazon
Bushnell Equinox Z2 4.5x40 Night Vision, Black (260240) Best Mid-Range Option
Instant Pot Duo Nova 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice...
4.5 x Magnification with 3 x Digital Zoom
40 mm Objective
750 FeetSee on Amazon
Bushnell Equinox Z2 3x30 Night Vision Best Current-Gen Budget Option
Instant Pot Duo Nova 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice...
3 x Magnification with 3 x Digital Zoom

30 mm Objective
500 FeetSee on Amazon
Bushnell Equinox 5x32mm Night Vision Monocular with Infrared... Best Older-Gen Budget NV Monocular
Bushnell Equinox 5x32mm Night Vision Monocular with Infrared Illuminator...
5 x with Digital Zoom

32 mm Objective
650 FeetSee on Amazon

Bushnell 6×50 Equinox Z2 Digital Night Vision Monocular – Best Overall

Sale
Bushnell Equinox Z2 6x50 Night Vision, Multi, One Size ,...
  • 6x magnification and 50 millimeter objective lens
  • See targets more than 1,000 feet away day or night with a power built-in IR illuminator
  • Stream live video to your mobile device
  • Control zoom, video recording, image capture and IR brightness directly from your mobile device
  • Capture high-quality 1080p video, day or night

The Bushnell 6×50 Equinox Z2 Digital Night Vision Monocular is the flagship unit from Bushnell’s brand new Equinox Z2, and it’s pretty damn impressive! Easy to use, robust and rugged, and with a more than decent NV range, the Bushnell 6×50 Equinox Z2 Digital Night Vision Monocular packs a punch indeed.

Specs

  • Dimensions: L 7.5 in. / 191mm – W 3.8 in. / 98mm – H 2.5 in. / 64mm 
  • Magnification: 6x with 3x digital zoom (18x Combined Zoom)
  • Weight: 27 oz / 765g
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 50mm
  • Range: 1000ft. / 305m
  • Field of view: 74.2 m at 1,000 m / 221 ft at 1000 yards
  • Maximum viewing distance (night mode): 274 m / 300 yards
  • Waterproof: Water-resistant
  • Batteries: 4x AA (use Li-Ion for best results)
  • Warranty: Warranty: Full lifetime (5 year) warranty – Bushnell counts the lifetime of this model at 5 years.

If you’re looking for an NV optic that isn’t going to cost multiple thousands of dollars, the Bushnell 6×50 Equinox Z2 Digital Night Vision Monocular is possibly your best option right now! 

It comes packed with a mighty inbuilt infrared illuminator which is perfectly coupled with the infrared-sensitive complementary-metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) sensor. This combination produces top-class NV images that offer near-perfect edge-to-edge resolution with no noticeable aberrations or signs of distortion. The image quality is up there with many higher-priced units.

bushnell night vision quality

This isn’t just a great night optic though. Oh no, the 6×50 Z2 works just as well (if not better) in the daytime hours. The glass components all have full multi-coating and anti-scratch resistance. These coatings provide the highest possible light transmission while also diminishing any glare issues that may arise.

The combination of the 50 mm Objective lens and 6 x optical zoom allows for long-distance viewing. There is 3 x digital zoom thrown in, which allows up to 18 x magnification when used in conjunction with the optical zoom.

No matter if you are looking for a night vision device for hunting, fishing, and camping, or for security and surveillance applications – the Bushnell 6×50 Equinox Z2 Digital Night Vision Monocular has you covered!

Pros

  • Inbuilt IR illuminator with variable strength.
  • Digital zoom up to a maximum of 18 x.
  • Fully multi-coated glass elements.
  • Captures 1080p video to SD card.
  • Night vision range of 1000 feet.
  • Water-resistant.
  • Lifetime (5 year) warranty.

Cons

  • Although cheap for an NVD, the price may still be restrictive for some consumers.

Bushnell 4.5×40 Equinox Z2 Digital Night Vision Monocular – Best Mid-Range Option

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Bushnell Equinox Z2 4.5x40 Night Vision, Black (260240)
  • 4. 5x magnification and 40mm objective lens
  • See targets more than 500 ft. away day or night with a power built-in IR illuminator
  • Stream live video to your mobile device
  • Control zoom, video recording, image capture and IR brightness directly from your mobile device
  • Capture high-quality 1080p video, day or night

This little beast of a day/night monocular packs a punch. With the power to view night targets up to a distance of about 750 ft this unit almost instantly proves its worth. This is combined with rock-solid construction, a cheaper price tag than its bigger brother (the Bushnell 6×50 Equinox Z2 reviewed above) but still with most of the same great features.

Specs

  • Dimensions: L 7.9 in. / 20 cm  – H 4.1 vn. / 10.5 cm – W 2.3 in. / 5.8 cm
  • Magnification: 4.5x with 3x digital zoom (13.5x Combined Zoom) Weight: 22 oz / 624 g
  • Range: 750 ft. / 228 m
  • Field of view: 314 ft at 1000 yd / 105 m at 1000 m
  • Maximum viewing distance (night mode): 750 ft
  • Waterproof: Water-resistant
  • Batteries: 4x AA (use Li-Ion for best results)
  • Warranty: Full lifetime (5 year) warranty – Bushnell counts the lifetime of this model as 5 years.

Just like the previously reviewed unit, the Bushnell 4.5×40 Equinox Z2 Digital Night Vision Monocular uses a digital night vision system in place of a conventional intensifier tube. When merged with the built-in IR illuminator, the results are quite stunning.

There is a handy side rail that allows for any number of attachments to be easily mounted directly to the monocular. One attachment you don’t have to worry about is a top-quality viewing screen (unlike some of the priced matched competition), with the inbuilt LED screen doing a great job in both day and night conditions. Daytime viewing is displayed in full color, while night viewing is restricted to black/white to help with the clarity and contrast. 

The Bushnell 4.5×40 Equinox Z2 offers the option to record directly to any sized SD card up to 256MB. The included USB and RCA out ports also offer the option to directly view the feed on an external monitor or to record on a separate recording device. 

Aside from the slightly shorter NV range, this unit offers all of the same benefits of its more expensive sibling. The one glaring upside of this unit is the wider field of view – almost 100 ft more at 1000 yds.

So, if you are looking for a great mid-range priced option, the  Bushnell 4.5×40 Equinox Z2 should be at the top of your wishlist!

Pros

  • 40mm objective lens with full multi-coating.
  • Wide FOV.
  • 1080p recording options to either SD card or external unit.
  • Lightweight and compact.
  • Robust and well built.
  • IPX4-rated.
  • Lifetime (5 year) warranty.
  • Built-in side Picatinny rail.
  • Auto-off after 10 minutes.

Cons

  • With a faintly smaller objective lens than the 6x50mm, the amount of light transmitted is slightly diminished.

Bushnell 3×30 Equinox Z2 Digital Night Vision Monocular – Best Current-Gen Budget Option

Bushnell Equinox Z2 3x30 Night Vision
  • 3x magnification and 30mm objective lens
  • See targets more than 500 ft. away day or night with a power built-in IR illuminator
  • Stream live video to your mobile device
  • Control zoom, video recording, image capture and IR brightness directly from your mobile device
  • Capture high-quality 1080p video, day or night

Last up in the Z2 line is the Bushnell 3×30 Equinox Z2 Digital Night Vision Monocular. The NV reach of this device is lower than the other options in the Z2 line, but that does not mean this unit is unworthy of its spot alongside its two bigger brethren. 

And the 3×30 has one big upside which you might be able to notice in the specifications column, but more on that later!

Specs

  • Dimensions: L 7.9 in. / 20 cm  – H 4.1 vn. / 10.5 cm – W 2.3 in. / 5.8 cm
  • Magnification: 3 x with 3 x digital zoom (9 x Combined Zoom)
  • Weight: 15 oz / 425 g
  • Range: 300 ft. / 91.4 m
  • Field of view: 383 ft at 1000 yd / 127 m at 1000 m
  • Maximum viewing distance (night mode): 300 ft
  • Waterproof: Water-resistant
  • Batteries: 4x AA (use Li-Ion for best results)
  • Warranty: Full lifetime (5 year) warranty – Bushnell counts the lifetime of this model as 5 years.

Now, you may be wondering what the differences are between this unit and the other, more expensive options on the Bushnell Equinox Z2 range. 

Well, in terms of downsides, the Bushnell 3×30 Equinox Z2 does have the shortest detection range of the three. And the marginally smaller objective lens does not allow for the same amount of light to be transmitted down the monocular.

But let’s not write this one off just yet!

It does offer the widest field of view of any of the three (383 ft at 1000 yd). When compared to the mid-range 4.5x40mm (314 ft at 1000 yd) or the highest priced 6x50mm (221 ft at 1000 yd) you can see how much of a difference this one single stat may make. 

The 3x30mm still comes with all of the same great features. There’s the inbuilt Picatinny rail for mourning attachments, the option to record directly to an SD card or to an external device, the great inbuilt LED screen, and the option to connect directly to your smartphone through the integrated app for remote viewing. 

And although the dimensions may be exactly the same on all the units, the Bushnell 3×30 Equinox Z2 is by far the lightest option. This can make a huge difference depending on your desired usage.

I’m sure you can see that this unit is perfect for anyone looking to see through the dark of night up to 500 ft, and to do so on a tight budget. 

Pros

  • Largest FOV of the three Z2 options.
  • Lightest of the three Z2 options.
  • Fully multi-coated glass elements.
  • 3 x digital zoom.
  • IR-sensitive CMOS sensor.
  • Three variable image brightness levels.
  • Records 1080p video to SD or external device.
  • Stream directly to your smartphone.

Cons

  • Shortest detection range in the Z2 line of monoculars.

BUSHNELL EQUINOX X650 DIGITAL NIGHT VISION MONOCULAR – Best Older-Gen Budget NV Monocular

Sale
Bushnell Equinox 5x32mm Night Vision Monocular with Infrared...
  • [BUSHNELL] is a leading Optics manufacturer based in the USA that has been serving the outdoor and wildlife enthusiast for more than 70 years.
  • [EASY VIDEO RECORDING] Capture high-quality video, day or night on a micro SD card
  • [BUILT-IN IR ILLUMINATOR] Night vision range exceeds 650 feet with built-in IR illuminator
  • [DAY OR NIGHT VIEWING] Use any time of day with daytime color image
  • [FEATURES] include a built-in infrared illuminator, a tripod-mounting adaptor, micro SD card recording, a 5X zoom that really brings out the details, and full-color daylight viewing for 24/7 use.

Ok. So, you’re looking for a truly budget-priced option that is still able to perform up to the expected standard? One that costs about half as much as the Bushnell 3×30 Equinox Z2 while still delivering NV imaging that is clear and easy to read?

Well then, say hello to the Bushnell Equinox X650. Sure, this unit may be slightly outdated in a few areas, but overall there is almost nothing to complain about!  

Specs

  • Dimensions: L 7.5 in. / 19 cm  – H 3.3 in. / 8.5 cm – W 2.7 in. / 6.9 cm
  • Magnification: 5 x with digital zoom (9x Combined Zoom)
  • Weight: 11.6 oz / 329 g
  • Range: 650 ft. / 182 m
  • Field of view: 368 ft at 1000 yd / 122 m at 1000 m
  • Maximum viewing distance (night mode): 650 ft
  • Waterproof: IPX4
  • Batteries: 3x AA (use Li-Ion for best results)
  • Warranty: Full lifetime (5 year) warranty – Bushnell counts the lifetime of this model as 5 years.
EX650 BuildoutEX650 NightVision Context 4

Why is this unit so much cheaper than the other options on this list?

It’s simple really. When the Z2 line dropped last year, most reviewers thought that it made this unit obsolete. 

But did it?

In my opinion, hell no. Indisputably, there are some downsides to this model when comparing it to the newer options. 720p is the maximum recording or viewing resolution, and the ergonomics are not as good.

But in reality, the difference between 720p and 1080p when viewing through the inbuilt LCD screen or a smartphone is negligible. And in terms of ergonomics, it is still a comfortable unit for long sessions, if not as comfortable as the newer options.

It still features the rugged IPX4 design, the option to record to SD card or to an external source, the ability to remotely view the feed from a smartphone, three adjustable image brightness levels, the inbuilt IR illuminator, and a large FOV. It is also much lighter and smaller than the competition, making this one perfect for people who like to obsess over pack weight (aka me).

I still find it pretty amazing that you can pick up a unit with so much potential for less than $200!

Pros

  • By far the cheapest option from Bushnell.
  • Works in full daylight or pitch-black darkness.
  • High quality LCD screen.
  • IPX4 rated with sturdy and tough build quality.
  • Tripod mount and Picatinny rail.
  • Video-out port for live viewing.
  • Super affordable.

Cons

  • Only 720p viewing and recording options.

Buyers Guide

Night Vision enabled devices allow the user to see through the darkness. In the right conditions, a quality NV unit can offer over 1000 yards of vision. Digital NV also allows for still photography or video recording, plus the option to stream the vision to your smartphone at the same time!

When it comes to NV, there are two main types of tech.

The first is “optoelectronic image enhancement”, which is what is most commonly used in traditional night vision equipment. This works by measuring minute amounts of infrared light reflected off objects and electrically amplifying that light. This signal is then displaying it as the distinctive luminous green images made iconic by film and T.V.

The second is known as “digital image enhancement”. This is a modern piece of tech that collects available light on a digital image sensor and then enhances the image digitally, which can then be viewed on a full-color display. All the products reviewed today fall into this category.

These first main categories of NV can be further broken down into 3 main “Generations”. 

NV Generations Explained

gen 1 nvg exmaple 1

Gen 1 Night Vision

The oldest and most out of date, gen 1 devices are now pretty much totally obsolete. Developed for use in the 1950s, this is the only generation to not have a global standard meaning the quality can vary greatly from one device to another. 

Gen 1 devices are totally out of date and you would do yourself a favor by steering well clear of them, as they are known for producing low-quality imaging with obvious blemishing and blurred edge clarity.

Gen 2 night vision

Gen 2 Night Vision

Second-gen NV devices were first introduced in the early 1970s, and incorporate drastically improved image intensifier tubes that utilize micro-channel plate (MCP) tech. These changes led to a sight image that is much brighter and clearer, especially at the edges. 

Gen 2 devices were the first units capable of producing a readable sight image on nights with extremely low ambient light, such as moonless nights.

Gen 3 Night Vision

Gen 3 is as good as it gets with traditional NV devices. These units come with a restrictively high price tag, and so they are mostly operated by law enforcement agencies and militaries.

The intensifier tubes come with a much-increased life expectancy when compared to gen 1 or 2, with most offering between 7500 to 10500 hours of operation. 

Gen 3 devices work extremely well in low light conditions and without the aid of any illuminator. They are known for producing exceedingly clear and crisp sight images.

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Digital Night Vision

Digital Night Vision is the newest NV tech to hit the consumer market. These devices offer several advantages over traditional options. 

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Digital Night Vision has swept the consumer market in recent years, as digital devices offer more compact, lightweight, rugged, and adaptable options to manufacturers. 

Digital NV units incorporate the use of a CMOS sensor, similar to the ones used in everyday digital cameras. These sensors have sensitivity in the IR spectrum, meaning they can capture IR radiation.

They are much more robust and hardy than traditional NV setups, they are cheaper to produce, they have an unlimited lifetime (with proper handling techniques) as they are resistant to burnout, and they are not damaged if and when they are exposed to bright light sources. 

They work extremely well when coupled with an IR illuminator. Digital night vision is easily recorded and can also be shared to smartphones through app integration. The sight vision can be displayed in multiple color palettes. 

Equinox Z2 Phone App Image

NV Units Explained

The three main devices on the consumer market are NV goggles, NV binoculars, and NV monoculars.

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NV Goggles

NV goggles are hands-free devices that are worn on the head, and can usually be flipped up when not in use. Most sets of NV goggles come with an included head strap. They allow the use of both hands while NV is engaged. Most come with a 1x magnification, and are designed for close-range use. 

NV Binoculars

binoculars range finder night vision 600w 1496796179

Just like traditional binos, NV binoculars are great for long-range observations. They offer wider FOV than monoculars, but are heavier and you need to use both eyes when looking through a set of NV binos. 

NV Monoculars

These are the most versatile of the three options. NV monoculars are like the swiss army knife of NV devices. With the option to mount them directly to a rifle or spotting scope, they only need one eye for operation leaving the other eye available for normal vision, and they are smaller, cheaper, and more compact than the other options.

I always suggest people first purchase an NV monocular and then see if they need one of the other two options unless they have a specific job in mind.

Factors to Consider

Resolution

The sensor resolution is the deciding factor on the crispness and overall clarity of the sight picture. .Devices with higher sensor resolution will produce clearer images for the user. Luckily for us, all Busnell NVDs come with top sensor quality 

The screen or display resolution is also a factor to consider. What’s the use of having an NVD with great sensor resolution if you cannot view the sight vision in all its glory. It also makes no sense to buy a device with great display resolution if the sensor is low quality. 

Build Quality

NVD’s are precision instruments. They need to be constructed from the most rugged and robust materials to safeguard the fragile internal systems.

You want to look for a device that offers full water, weather, shock, and fog proofing. Quality O-rings, gas purging, high-quality structural plastic, aircraft-grade aluminum chassis, fully multi-coated glass elements are just some of the features to keep in mind.

Weight, size, and how easy the NVD is to operate should also be taken into consideration. If you are wearing a set of NV goggles for long periods then you surely do not want an overly chunky set.

Battery Assembly

All night vision devices need a power source of some sort, and most are powered by a battery assembly. The gold standard right now is Li-Ion (lithium-ion) batteries, and ones that are rechargeable are the top-tier. 

The longer life the battery offers, the less you have to worry.

All the products reviewed in this rundown use AA batteries. For the best results I recommend getting your hands on a set or two of rechargeable Li-Ion (lithium ion) AA batteries – the ones I use can be found right here.

Magnification and Range

Before making a purchase have a good long think about exactly how you want to use your device.

If you need close-range NV then maybe googles are your best bet. If you want full autonomy with the option to range out a few hundred feet without the bulk of a set of binos, then a monocular is probably the unit for you. If weight is not a big consideration and you need to view targets or games at long distances then you should consider grabbing a set of NV binoculars, although a monocular will do just as good a job at a lower price and weight.

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FAQs for the Best 4 Bushnell Night Vision Products

What is an NVD (Night Vision Device) exactly?

A NVD is any device that offers users the abiltity to view a sight picture in near total darkness. This is achieved through a few different process depending on the type of NVD that you are using. In this article we have focused on Digital Night Vision devices.

Can an NVD be used in conditions where there is zero ambient light?

Every single NVD needs at least some small amount of light to do the job it is intended for. There is a handy solution for conditions where there is very little or even zero ambient light available, an IR illuminator. Every Bushnell NVD come with an inbuilt IR illuminator as standard.

How far will my NVD be able to effectively see?

That really depends on which product you choose. In terms of Bushnell NVDs, the unit with the furthest detection NV range is the  Bushnell 6×50 Equinox Z2 Digital Night Vision Monocular with a range of about 1000 ft for night time viewing. 

Is the Bushnell range of NVDs sensitive to external light sources?

No. Unlike traditional NVDs, the Bushnell line are all digital night vision devices that can be used during both night and daytime. It is not dangerous to the unit or user for them to be powered on, no matter the light conditions.

How durable is the Bushnell NVD range? What if I drop it?

Again, unlike traditional NVDs which have a reputation for being quite delicate and easily broken, the Bushnell NVD range features highly rugged and solid construction. Digital NVDs are inhentley more robust than traditional option, but it is still recommended that you take care when handling and operating a Bushnell NVD.

Are all NVD’s made equally?

No, they are definitely not. One of the most common mistakes i see people making these day is buying low quality NVDs that are cheap and easily accessible on cerain popular websites. These products sometimes make wild claims aboout the characteristics and range these products are capable of, but a quick look through the review section will prove that these claims are total bulls***.
I can not understate how important it is to choose an NVD from a reputable company like Bushnell. Not only are you assured of receiving a high quality product, this product will usually be backed up by a pretty solid warranty!

What can I use an NVD for?

NVDs are extremely versatile devices, and as such they have a wide range of applications. The most obvious applications are home security, hunting, and survellience.

But what are some other uses for NVDs?

Well, this list is almost endless! 

But the most common recreational uses are:

  • Observing wildlife and birdlife.
  • Camping or scouting.
  • Night fishing.
  • Night paintballing or airsoft.
  • Search and rescue.
  • Playing games such as “tag” or “hide and seek”

The Wrap Up

So here we are at the end.

What have we learned?

Firstly, monoculars are the most versatile of the three NVDs currently available to the everyday consumer.

Secondly, the best overall NV monocular that Bushnell currently offers is the Bushnell 6×50 Equinox Z2 Digital Night Vision Monocular. 

This product really does tick all the boxes, and I can’t see myself replacing it anytime soon! 

Click here to grab one right now

About Annalena Wood

Annalena is carrying her rifle with passion and pride for her love of the outdoors and the experience of hunting. Her most memorable hunting season was back in 2015 when she and her dad were drawn for special elk tags. That allowed them the chance to fill their tags with an actual bull elk rather than a spike. That year both her and her dad came home with their first trophy elks, with hers a 6 by 6 pointer and her dad’s a 6 by 5.