Hollywood might make you believe that only covert military operatives require night vision binoculars, but in reality these useful devices come in handy for many situations. From scouting hunting areas to hiking after dark, investing in a good pair of night vision binoculars opens up a whole new world and allows you to see your surroundings like never before. It is also a vital safety tool for anyone that spends their time boating in the dark or indulging in some nocturnal hiking. As with any high tech gadget it is possible to spend a lot of money on night vision binoculars and still end up with something that will leave you dissatisfied, so doing a bit of research beforehand can save you a lot of trouble in the long run.
The number one thing to look out for in night vision binoculars is image quality. After all, the main purpose of the binoculars is to enhance your own vision and to see in lighting conditions that would normally be impossible with the naked eye. Most common night vision binoculars still use generation 1 technology, which are larger and heavier than newer generations, but also much easier on the wallet. Some manufacturers might opt for cheaper optics or less intensifier tubes to save costs, but this will naturally be reflected in the image quality.
Comfort and ease of use are also factors that should be taken into serious consideration as you will more than likely be operating the binoculars out in the wild. Binoculars that are not comfortable to hold or require fumbling around in the dark to operate properly is going to be a nuisance outdoors and might make you regret your decision. The best binoculars for the job will also be durable enough to withstand the wear and tear of everyday use, so pay attention to the material that the equipment is made from and how resistant they are to the elements.
After determining what you want from your new night vision binoculars and what you are willing to spend you can look at the available options to see which ones match your expectations. Take a look at our top three picks below to see what we think are some of the best offerings currently available on the market.
A mid-range offering with high-end features: The Night Owl Pro Nexgen Night Vision Binocular
The Night Owl Pro Nexgen Night Vision Binocular offers the trademark Night Owl quality and ease of use without a price tag that is going to put you in debt. It is certainly not the cheapest night vision binocular on the market, but you do get plenty of value for your money. The 5 X magnification is probably more than you would need while operating in the dark and the binoculars work great even when only using ambient light thanks to the image intensifier tubes. Switch on the built-in infrared illuminator and you will get even better range in total darkness.
The Nexgen continues to impress with its 50mm lenses made from high quality glass, durable casing and comfortable design. About the only things that count against it are the fact that it is a bit on the heavy side and cannot be mounted on a tripod, but these are minor concerns when looking at the binoculars as a whole. With all the great features and the reasonable price the Night Owl Pro Nexgen is easily our top pick when it comes to night vision binoculars.
Stick To Your Budget: The Yukon Tracker 2X24 Night Vision Binocular
The Yukon Tracker 2X24 is another night vision binocular that is a bit more affordable than similar products on the market while still offering great performance. It loses out against the Night Owl pro Nexgen because of its lesser magnification and smaller lens diameter, but when it comes to quality and durability it is hard to beat. It is also a versatile product as it features pin holes in the lens caps which allows you to operate the binoculars during the daytime, something not commonly seen on night vision products.
The Yukon Tracker is also a rugged product that you can take out into the wild with you without worries that it is not going to withstand the elements. It has rubber armor for protection and is weather as well as drop resistant. The image quality is quite good despite the fact that the magnification is not as high as other night vision binoculars and it also features a reasonable battery life to prevent you from being stuck in the dark due to a flat battery. If the magnification ad lens was better for the price the Yukon Tracker could easily have been a top content, but as is it is beaten to the post by the Night Owl Pro Nexgen.
When Money Is Not An Issue: The Night Owl Explorer Pro 5X
The Night Owl Explorer Pro 5X doesn’t come cheap, but if you insist on owning one of the best first generation night vision binoculars on the market then this is a very good place to start. It packs the expected 5X magnification as well as 50mm lenses. This binocular offers great image clarity thanks to the multi element glass optics and is durable enough that it can withstand a bit of impact without crumbling. Due to the size and quality of the materials the Explorer Pro 5X also suffers from being a bit on the heavy side, but this is a small price to pay for all the features that it packs and something that you can get used to.
If it wasn’t for the high price tag the Night Owl Explorer Pro 5X would have been our top pick, but as it is the Pro Nexgen from the same manufacturer offers a lot of the same features, but at a much lower price. If you have the money to invest you can’t go wrong with the Explorer Pro 5X.
Make An Informed Choice
It is very important that you don’t blindly buy a night vision binocular based on a single feature such as the price or style. Examine all aspects of the binocular and then decide whether it is worth the asking price or whether you should consider some alternatives. Take a look at the reviews to see what someone who has handled the binoculars themselves think of the product if you are not able to get some hands on time yourself.