6 Best Night Vision Crossbow Scopes to Buy in 2021 [Reviews & Guide]

night vision crossbow scopes

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This buying guide is for all the archers planning to invest in a night vision scope for their crossbow. After testing the top products in the current market we will discuss and compare them to help you pick the best.

Also, you’ll learn about our top three choices in this category.

So you haven’t used night vision before and wondering where to start?No pressure there! We’ll cover the basics and a buying guide to give you the right idea.

As a stealth weapon, the crossbow is simply unmatched. And attaching a night vision scope on a crossbow makes it even more useful.

If you love hunting during the dark hours, this is an investment that’s worth making.

Ready to learn about the best choices?

Let’s get down to business.

The Top  Night Vision Crossbow Scopes Reviewed

Best all-round performer
ATN X-Sight 4K Pro Smart Day/Night Rifle Scope 5-20x - Ultra...
Best value choice
Night Owl Optics NightShot Digital Night Vision Riflescope...
Best high-end scope
ATN ThOR-HD 384 4.5-18x, 384x288, 50 mm, Thermal Rifle Scope...
Best Generation 1 scope
Firefield NVRS 3x42 Gen 1 Night Vision Riflescope
Best in terms of ease of use
ATN X-Sight II HD 5-20 Smart Day/Night Rifle Scope w/1080p...
Best for durability
Sightmark Photon RT 4.5-9x42S Digital Night Vision...
ATN X-Sight 4K Pro Smart Day/Night Rifle Scope 5-20x - Ultra...
Night Owl Optics NightShot Digital Night Vision Riflescope...
ATN ThOR-HD 384 4.5-18x, 384x288, 50 mm, Thermal Rifle Scope...
Firefield NVRS 3x42 Gen 1 Night Vision Riflescope
ATN X-Sight II HD 5-20 Smart Day/Night Rifle Scope w/1080p...
Sightmark Photon RT 4.5-9x42S Digital Night Vision...
  • A high 600 lp/mm resolution
  • Excellent battery life
  • Affordable price
  • Good weatherproofing
  • Thermal imaging capability
  • Fast processing speed
  • Long battery life
  • Lightweight design
  • 100 Yards of clear view in darkness
  • 1080p HD video recording & images
  • An 850 nm LED IR illuminator
  • Shock-proof and waterproof
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Best all-round performer
ATN X-Sight 4K Pro Smart Day/Night Rifle Scope 5-20x - Ultra...
ATN X-Sight 4K Pro Smart Day/Night Rifle Scope 5-20x - Ultra...
  • A high 600 lp/mm resolution
  • Excellent battery life
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Best value choice
Night Owl Optics NightShot Digital Night Vision Riflescope...
Night Owl Optics NightShot Digital Night Vision Riflescope...
  • Affordable price
  • Good weatherproofing
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Best high-end scope
ATN ThOR-HD 384 4.5-18x, 384x288, 50 mm, Thermal Rifle Scope...
ATN ThOR-HD 384 4.5-18x, 384x288, 50 mm, Thermal Rifle Scope...
  • Thermal imaging capability
  • Fast processing speed
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Best Generation 1 scope
Firefield NVRS 3x42 Gen 1 Night Vision Riflescope
Firefield NVRS 3x42 Gen 1 Night Vision Riflescope
  • Long battery life
  • Lightweight design
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Best in terms of ease of use
ATN X-Sight II HD 5-20 Smart Day/Night Rifle Scope w/1080p...
ATN X-Sight II HD 5-20 Smart Day/Night Rifle Scope w/1080p...
  • 100 Yards of clear view in darkness
  • 1080p HD video recording & images
Best for durability
Sightmark Photon RT 4.5-9x42S Digital Night Vision...
Sightmark Photon RT 4.5-9x42S Digital Night Vision...
  • An 850 nm LED IR illuminator
  • Shock-proof and waterproof
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Best Crossbow Scopes: 6 Crossbow Scopes Reviewed

This is our list of the top crossbow scopes to take your crossbow skills to the next level. Take a look.

1. ATN X-Sight 4K Pro Rifle scope

Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Paste

Specifications:

  • Obsidian 4 Dual Core Processor
  • 600 lp/mm resolution
  • 5-20x magnification
  • 1080p HD video recording
  • Field of view – 240ft at 1000 yards
  • Weighs 2.2 pounds
  • 90 mm eye relief

Pros

  • High-end features
  • Two years of warranty
  • One-shot zero feature
  • Obsidian 4 app for iOS and Android
  • A whole range of accessories

Cons

  • Night performance isn’t the best
  • Some users reported freezing
  • Firmware update issues.

At first glance, this scope from ATN might look like a camcorder. But make no mistake about it. The streamlined design packs a range of advanced features that delivers a top-notch optical performance.

To start with, it weighs just 2.2 pounds. It’s built with aluminum alloy that makes it resistant to recoils. Note that, it’s weather resistant but doesn’t come with any official IP rating.

Keep in mind that this scope is also available in a 3-14x zoom range and a wider field of view of 9 degrees.

The Ultra HD day/night sensor ensures that you get top-quality images for both day and night hours. The dual-core processor delivers a fast performance at all levels while consuming minimum power. As a result, you get an exceptional battery performance of around 18 hours.

On top of that, the ballistic calculator makes all the necessary calculations to make you hit the target. Also, it comes with an intuitive design. For example, even if you don’t deliver the weather information, it can still adjust to zero. It also packs a gyroscope, accelerometer and a barometer.

The RAV (Recoil Activated Video) feature can record sharp videos even during night hours. However, we noticed some degradation in quality at full zoom. The scope can stream and record videos at the same time. 

It has a few issues with the software and the app needs some improvement. Still, this night vision scope is an excellent package from ATN at this price. 

Want to learn more about it? Take a look at our detailed review.

In the end, we had no hesitation about marking it as the top choice for crossbows.

2. Night Owl Optics NightShot Digital Night Vision Rifle scope

Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Paste

Specifications:

  • Focusing distance-3 meter to infinity
  • 5.6 degree Field of View
  • 3x zoom
  • 3.5-gram syringe
  • Weighs 1.46 pounds
  • 68.50 mm eye relief

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Good image resolution
  • Super lightweight
  • 100-200 yards night time range
  • Compatible with Weaver or Picatinny rail 
  • Affordable pricef

Cons

  • No streaming or recording features
  • Not the best durability
  • The range is limited

A low-cost night scope that comes without bells and whistles but offers good image quality. 

Sounds good?

The NightShot is the perfect choice for a beginner who wants to enjoy shooting a crossbow on a budget.

To start with, mounting the scope of the crossbow is super easy. It offers a 3x magnification and the 640×480 resolution looks good. Considering the shooting range of 100-200 yards, a 5.6 degree field of view is respectable.

The scope comes with three reticle types. That’s good enough at this price range. The IR illuminator with the IR blaster works effectively within 75 yards during nighttime shooting. You can stretch it to around 125 yards on a full moon night.

The thermoplastic construction keeps the weight light. That makes it one of the easiest scopes to carry around. The downside is, you don’t get the durability of aluminum. The good news is, the scope is marked as waterproof and dustproof.

The scope runs on 4 AA or lithium batteries that provide anywhere between 12 and 15 hours of run time with the IR off for daylight shooting. A high IR setting, you will get battery life around 2 to 3 hours.

All in all, it’s a basic scope that lacks advanced features. But with the unbeatable price tag and ease of use, we aren’t complaining.

News Flash: we rated this scope as the best value pick in this category.

3. ATN Thor HD 384 Smart Thermal Rifle scope

Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Paste

Specifications:

  • 384 x 288 thermal sensor
  • 50 mm objective diameter
  • Field of view – 23ft at 109 yards
  • Weighs 1.85 pounds
  • 6 x 4.7 angle of view
  • 65 mm eye relief

Pros

  • Excellent image quality in darkness
  • One-shot zero feature
  • Smart rangefinder
  • An ergonomic design
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.1
  • 3-year warranty

Cons

  • It’s pricey
  • Operation can get complicated for first timers
  • Pixel blurring at higher zoom

If you don’t mind the premium price tag, this is one of the best day and night scopes for a crossbow you can pick.

Two of the best aspects of the device are a 384×288 thermal sensor and a 30Hz refresh rate. The Smart HD Optics Technology ensures that you get spotless images in the darkness.

Then again, the Obsidian II Core processor is one of the fastest chips in the market. So the thermogram images are not only razor sharp, but the data processing speed is lightning fast.

And guess what? You get a magnetometer, accelerometer, gyroscope, barometer, and a GPS packed in this scope. The result is accurate data collection for the ballistic calculator. The smart range finder also increases the chances of an accurate hit.

The Thor also comes with the RAV (Recoil Activated Video) feature. The HD videos are captured at 30 fps. It can also capture still images at a resolution of 1280 x 960 pixels.

The overall built quality is good but it isn’t as hardy as a Norse God. Sadly, there isn’t any IP rating. ATN just mentions it as weather resistant.

This is our choice for the most advanced scope in this category.

Point to be noted- There are 4 different versions of this scope available. Plenty of options to choose the one that fits your needs.

4. Firefield NVRS 3×42 Gen 1 Night Vision Rifle scope

Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Paste

Specifications:

  • 30 lp/mm resolution
  • 3x magnification
  • 42 mm objective diameter
  • Field of view – 23ft at 109 yards
  • Weighs 30.7 oz
  • IPX4 rated
  • 45 mm eye relief

Pros

  • An affordable scope
  • Lightweight titanium body
  • Reticle brightness adjustment
  • An ergonomic design
  • Great battery life

Cons

  • Limited range
  • Black specks on inside of lens

For those looking for a generation one night vision scope, this product offers great value. Obviously it’s not for professionals. But it’ll serve casual users wanting to experience the advantage of night vision while using a crossbow.

The fixed magnification of 3x isn’t the best in this category. If you want variable zoom, you need to look elsewhere. On the other hand, the 42 mm objective lens combined with multi-coated optics delivers a good image quality.

It’s very lightweight and comes with a weather resistant design. There’s also a flip up lens cover to protect the lens. So durability isn’t an issue. 

Another useful feature is the quick detach weaver mount. That makes removing or remounting the scope a breeze.

The illuminator comes with an 805 nm IR wavelength. You can get clear vision within a range of 50-75 yards. At this price range, we think it’s a good performance.

The scope runs on 2 AA batteries. The long battery life even with the use of IR is formidable- close to 20 hours. If you use IR intermittently, it’ll easily extend beyond that.

Finding a quality Gen-1 night vision scope that offers the right features isn’t easy. This option from Firefield fills that gap effectively.

5. ATN X-Sight II HD 5-20 Smart Day/Night Rifle Scope

Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Paste

Specifications:

  • ATN L130 Sensor
  • 5 – 20x magnification
  • 1080p HD video recording
  • Built-in rangefinder
  • 160 lp/mm resolution
  • Weighs 4.4 pounds
  • 65 mm eye relief

Pros

  • High-end features
  • Day/night compatible
  • Illuminated reticle
  • Water resistant
  • 3D gyroscope and barometer

Cons

  • Field of view is narrow
  • Fast battery drain

What really sets this scope apart is the blend of some excellent features with good image quality.

Firstly, it offers HD resolution for day and night shooting. Next, you get a ballistic calculator and a laser rangefinder. The perfect combination for saying goodbye to the ballistic charts. 

You can also use multiple color schemes for the night vision, including monochrome and traditional green. Also, the detachable IR illuminator works like a charm in the dark.

There’s a  built-in SD card (up to 64 GB of storage) to capture and store your shots in 1080p full HD. The device also supports Wi-Fi Streaming for easy sharing of content. 

Another excellent feature is the recoil-activated video system (RAV). With this, the scope can automatically detect recoils and start recording.

The scope is pre-programmed with seven reticle styles. Apart from the BDC and a Mil-dot, there’s a specialized crossbow reticle. In addition, you can fully customize the size and shape of the reticles.

It also comes with a compass, barometer and GPS. That helps you to travel light. That said, this is one of the heaviest scopes that we tested. 

Next, it runs on 4x AA batteries. The battery life is between 5 and 8 hours depending on how you use the features. Frankly, battery life isn’t the best here. So we would advise you to pick an external battery pack.

We wish it had a wider field of view for easy target acquisition. But considering the range of features, this is a terrific choice for your crossbow.

6. Sightmark Photon RT 4.5-9x42S Night Vision Rifle Scope

Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Paste

Specifications:

  • 240 ft/1000 yards field of view
  • 2x digital zoom
  • 850 nm LED IR illuminator
  • 656 x 492 pixels resolution
  • IP55 water resistant,
  • Weighs 2.5 pounds

Pros

  • User -friendly design
  • Can be used with aftermarket rings
  • Additional weaver rail
  • USB port for charging or data transfer
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • Daylight performance isn’t the best
  • Poor battery life

If you’re looking for a budget scope with the right features, this night vision scope from Sightmark is a great pick.

The scope offers 2x digital zoom. Actually, the digitally enhanced magnification allows you to zoom in between 4.5x scope to 9.0x. There’s a built-in 850 nm LED IR illuminator that provides a range of 250 yards in the dark.

The 768×576 resolution of the CMOS sensor delivers  bright and vivid colors. The 42 mm objective lens also makes visibility better during dark. In addition, it minimizes reflections and allows maximum light transmission. The result is a great balance of brightness and clarity.

The one shot zero functionality is another practical feature that allows you to zero in quickly. We were also impressed by the overall build quality. It’s shockproof and IP55 water resistant. Besides, the eye cup is one of the most comfortable ones we used..

You can also record your shooting sessions in video format. The scope comes with a micro SD card. With the Stream Vision App, streaming the footage to IOS and Android platforms is also simple.

The 4xAA batteries don’t deliver the best battery life. With the IR on, it delivers close to two hours of running time. So you need to carry a battery pack for a long day of shooting.

Overall, a good choice if you’re looking for a user-friendly scope with good resolution.

Night Vision Crossbow Scope Buying Guide

All the night vision scopes we have listed come with their advantages and disadvantages. To pick the right one, you need to learn about the essential features that you need in a scope.

Take a look.

Optical Clarity

The quality of the optics is essential for identifying the target and improving accuracy. Look for a high resolution image in the scope. Now, resolution is measured by lines per millimeter ( LP/mm). Naturally, a higher value indicates better image resolution. A high-end night vision scope should offer around 50 to 70 LP/mm.

Also, for tracking fast moving targets in the dark you need a lens of high quality. There are multi-coated, fully coated, and fully multi-coated lenses. Coating not only makes the lens perform better but it also improves the overall durability.

In addition, the use of high-end glass also reduces the distortion levels in the image. Distortion doesn’t play an important role in short ranges. It gets most important while practicing long range shooting.

Weight and Durability

While using a crossbow at night you might need to tackle condensation and low temperatures. Moreover, there’s a risk of tripping and dropping the scope in the darkness. So a durable scope that’s impact resistant, shockproof, and waterproof, is a great choice. 

Materials like aluminum alloys and titanium are good choices. But you also need to consider the weight factor. A light device is easy to carry and handle and is better suited for a crossbow. So it’s best to pick a compact scope.

Recognition Range

For a night vision scope, the recognition range is an essential factor. Keep in mind that this is different from the detection range. Once you detect an object, it is important to recognize what it is. Both these factors depend on the quality of the optics and the objective lens size.

For the best performance in a night scope choose a higher recognition range over the total range. Point to be noted- The recognition range depends on the ambient light. So a scope can offer a longer recognition range on a full moon night.

Magnification

While the magnification levels are pivotal while choosing a scope you need to strike the right balance with the field of view. In reality, the best level of magnification is the one that provides you a clear view of the target. 

With more magnification, the field of view decreases. So you can easily lose your target while viewing through the scope. Also, a high level of magnification reduces the amount of light reaching your eyes. That’s not desirable while using digital night vision.

The point is, with a crossbow, your range is mostly within 100 and 150 yards. At that range you won’t be needing a high level of magnification. Note that some low quality scopes don’t deliver the best images at higher level of digital magnification

Battery Life

A scope with a long battery life is a better option. Night vision scope uses a variety of electronics that will affect the battery life.  If you are heading for a remote area, it’s important to pick a scope with batteries that last for the whole night. 

Some devices also allow you to attach a separate battery pack of a higher capacity. Not to forget, the weight of the battery pack is also important. Too heavy packs can make the scope bulky for comfortable use.

Important Things to Know Before Choosing a Night Vision Scope

How Does Digital Night Vision Work?

In traditional night vision systems, optoelectronic image enhancement is used. This technology collects the infrared light reflected from objects and magnifies it to develop a clear image. This image appears green in color when displayed on a phosphor screen.

In digital image enhancement, the light is collected in a Charge-Coupled Device (CCD) image sensor made of pixels. The sensor generates a color image on the screen, which is the eyepiece. The larger the sensor, the better is the resolution of the image.

Since digital sensors are cheaper, these scopes are more affordable. Digital night vision also has a longer lifespan than a traditional device. The images can also be shared or digitally stored on SD cards. In fact, the digital technology has revolutionized the night vision industry.

But what about viewing in total darkness? 

With no ambient light, the night vision technology isn’t functional. For this purpose most night vision scopes use an infrared (IR) illuminator that acts like a flashlight to provide additional light to the optics. 

Even so, the illuminators have a limited range. That’s why advanced night vision scopes like the ATN Thor HD 384, uses a thermal sensor. Thermal imaging technology is effective even in complete darkness.

FAQs for Night Vision Crossbow Scopes

Can I use night vision scopes in fog?

In reality, reflecting light affects the performance of night vision scopes. And fog reflects light very effectively, So in foggy conditions, it will be difficult to identify shapes at longer distances. Other weather conditions like rain or dew can also have similar effects on night vision.

How do I maintain a night vision rifle scope?

It is necessary to clean the body of the scope regularly to remove dirt and dust. These elements combined with moisture can lead to the formation of fungus. That’s why we recommend the use of weatherproof devices. Even though these devices are made from high quality materials, we suggest that you handle them with care to prevent any damage.
Make sure that you follow the instructions provided in the user’s manual for cleaning the device. Never use harsh detergents and abrasives for cleaning a night scope. In addition, keep your batteries in a waterproof case. Changing the batteries in a wet environment isn’t a good idea. And remember: you should remove the battery when storing the device for long periods.

Can I use any night vision rifle scope with a crossbow?

Not exactly. The truth is, most night vision scopes are designed for rifles. Only some of the devices are designed for use in different weapons. The trick is to  ensure that they have the right rail system to mount on the crossbow. In this review, we have used only those products that are compatible with crossbows.

Do I need to buy an external IR for better vision?

In general, a crossbow operated within a range of 100 yards. The top choices that we have listed here has an in-built IR that offers good clarity within that range. In case you are looking to use the crossbow beyond that range, you can think of buying a more powerful IR illuminator.

Do I choose night vision or thermal imaging?

Thermal imaging has the advantage of being functional at any light conditions. With the advancement in thermal technology, there are quite a few thermal scopes available at an affordable price. Does that mean you need to dump night vision technology?
Not at all.
High-end thermal devices don’t offer the right level of clarity that’s needed for hunting. On the other hand, night vision scopes offer excellent image quality even at a modest price range. So both the technologies are very effective. You need to choose based on your budget and the required performance.

Conclusion

So now you have the best night vision crossbow scopes listed for you. 

Our team has gone through the details to point out the best and worst aspects of each product. Also, we have added all the necessary points that need to be checked before picking a scope.

To sum up, we have the ATN X-Sight 4K Pro as the top pick in this category. It has an image quality that’s sharp, there are an excellent range of features and a fantastic battery life.

The Night Owl Optics NightShot is the best value for money choice for beginners. It’s a basic scope that gets the job done.

Lastly, the ATN Thor HD is the best high-end option for pro-users. The combination of thermal imaging technology with some top-notch features makes it a solid performer.

Obviously, the final choice will depend on the features you need and the budget.

So go ahead and make the right pick.