The 10 Best Night Vision Monoculars 2017

A good night vision monocular allows you to operate in complete darkness, which is a boon to everyone engaged in nocturnal activities, but as with all products, not all are created equally. It is important to purchase a monocular that is suitable for whatever it is that you get up to in the dark to avoid disappointment. For example, someone that only requires a monocular to scan their own property for night-time intruders, might not need the range and magnification favored by folks who prefer to do their hunting or fishing after dark.

Whether you need to see in the dark for hunting, fishing, boating, hiking, camping, wildlife observation or security you will find that a night vision monocular makes the job much easier. Even the worst night vision monocular is probably going to give you better vision in total darkness than your own eyesight, but with the wide range of products available on the market, there is no reason to settle for something inferior.

If you have decided that you have had enough of squinting into the dark trying to discern shapes and it is time to invest in a good night vision monocular, there are a few things you need to look into first. Make a list of things that you want to use the monocular for and what features match these. For example, if you are going to be on the move and have other hunting equipment weighing you down, you would ideally want a monocular that is compact and lightweight, but if you want to survey an area from a static viewpoint where you might be spending a while then a monocular with a tripod mount would be a good investment.

Our Selection of the 10 Best Night Vision Monoculars:

There is more to buying a night vision monocular than just comparing prices as some lack features that might be vital to your requirements while others are filled to the brim with features that could make them hard to master out in the field. It is no use paying extra for features if you are not actually going to use these features, so check out what we think are three of the best all round night vision monoculars based on their price and performance.

1. Bestguarder 6x50mm HD Digital Night Vision Monocular

Bestguarder 6x50mm HD Digital Night Vision MonocularThe Bestguarder is a very impressive monocular with its 6x50mm digital night vision technology. The handheld digital night vision device comprises of high-quality optics and electronics. The monocular uses an infrared sensitive CMOS sensor that provides the viewer with an edge to edge resolution – not to mention, with this device, you will get outstanding image quality. The night vision monocular also has fully multicoated optics that functions to decrease glare and increase light transmission.

As you know, the Bestguarder allows you to look into the darkness and see what is lurking in the shadows – whether it is a deer, a bunny rabbit, or perhaps another person. However, with the Best guarded, you can also capture images and record video clips that will then be stored on the SD card. This is a really great feature as it allows you to go back and rewatch what you saw or perhaps show somebody else. The night vision monocular also has a video output port that allows you to connect the device to a computer or to some video equipment. You also get the convenience of a built-in accessory mounting rail which will enable you to attach a more powerful IR illuminator or you can attach other compatible accessories.

The Bestguarder night vision monocular features an adjustable for both convenience and control of your images. This device is great for seeing in the dark whether you are indoors or outdoors, it also comes with a powerful infrared spotlight that will really come in handy if you tend to roam areas where it is considered darker than normal. You can use night vision monoculars for many things, this one, in particular, can serve quite a few purposes, including night hunting and scouting game, security, and surveillance, camping fun, exploring caves, navigation, night fishing and boating, wildlife observation, search and rescue, nighttime show, bird watching, or simply watching the night time scenery.

The built in Infrared Illuminator of the Bestguarder 6x50mm HD Digital Night Vision Monocular offers a viewing range of for up to a 1150 ft. Produced in  Shenzhen, a city located in Guangdong Province in China, this product has been made in accordance with all quality and safety regulations, making it the perfect choice for an avid hunter or explorer. The 1-5x digital zoom and a 50mm objective lens offer a great quality of night vision and remarkable optical clarity.

The Bestguarder Night Vision Monocular comes with a variety of accessories, including cleaning cloth, a pouch, a user manual, both USB cable and TV cable along with a removable strap. As far as design goes, it has a rugged water-resistant housing which provides comfortable usage over longer time periods.

One of the features that stands out when this model is concerned is its ability to take great quality photos and record videos. As far as photos go, the user gets to choose between three different quality options, 2592×1944 pixels,1600×1200 pixels and 640×480 pixels. As for the video quality, this model offers 1280×720 pixels @30 fps and  640×480 pixels @30 fps. Additionally, date and time can be stamped on photo or video.

The shipping weight of Bestguarder 6x50mm HD Digital Night Vision Monocular is 2 pounds. Additional features of this model include a built in 7 languages menu, which is quite easy to use. The Field of View is around 20.5ft while the monocular also offers a 6x magnification option. It can also be used equally well during daytime activities.

If you’re looking for a modern and innovative monocular for satisfactory viewing, consider the Bestguarder HD Digital Night Vision Monocular. This can magnify objects six times closer so you can have a better view of everything even from a distance. Whether it is day or night, you can get the same high-quality images through the IR illuminator for a better view of up to 1,150-feet distance. By turning off the IR technology you can achieve the bright daytime quality.

If you want to use the Bestguarder HD Digital Night Vision Monocular for security purpose, you can do so. This device can function as a real-time surveillance camera that you can connect to your computer through the USB cable that comes with it. Truly ideal for outdoor use, this night vision monocular can stand durable outside your house to secure your property as this is weatherproof. Undoubtedly, this security camera-cum-monocular device is worthy of an investment.

Available at: Amazon

2. Armasight Vampire 3X Night Vision Rifle Scope

Armasight Vampire 3X Night Vision Rifle ScopeThe Armasight Vampire definitely deserves its spot as one of the best night vision monoculars for quite a few reasons. The scope is built using a new technology known as proprietary CORE image tube. The ‘CORE’ stands for Ceramic Optical Ruggedized Engine and the reason for using this material is that it doubles the resolution of Generation one devices. Thus, with this new technology, the scope will produce clearer night vision images that appear flatter and make it easier to see detail even in the darkest of night. The CORE platform offers ‘best in class’ resolution with 60-70 lp/mm. It also offers increased photocathode sensitivity levels of upwards of 400 μA/lm. This results in image quality that rivals that of high-end Generation two image tubes, even in challenging ambient light conditions.

Let us take a closer look at the outer shell of the Armasight Vampire. The body of the scope is constructed using solid aluminum while the O-ring is sealed and rubber coated in order to provide further protection. Like all Armasight scopes, the Vampire is nitrogen-treated and comes complete with a soft carrying case, batteries, a user manual, and all the hardware that you will need for solid mounting to a typical 7/8” Picatinny or Weaver-style rail. This device is a step ahead of all the other night vision monoculars we have on this list but just look at this thing. It is immaculate. So, I know this is technically a scope but it can also act as a monocular and it is just so darn good, we had to add it. As I have already explained, the body of this device is quite sturdy with an intelligent construction that allows the internal components to be protected at all times. It is important to have durability when you are looking at any type of outdoor equipment since it can get quite rough out there and accidents are bound to happen.

The Armasight Vampire has several impressive features beyond the CORE technology such as its shock protection. When you buy a night vision monocular you want to be sure that it will survive your outdoor hunting adventures and not break at the slightest bump. While you are out hunting and walking through the forest, you will probably be thankful for another Vampire feature, namely the fact that it is water resistant, fog resistant, sand resistant and dust resistant. If you do not agree that those are some awesome features then you aren’t getting dirty enough while hunting. The monocular also has multicoated all-glass lenses and a manually-adjustable fine reticle that makes precise shot placement very easy and will allow you to be a better hunter.

Overall this is a really good night vision monocular as well as a hunting scope. The fact that it is Gen 1 is almost hard to believe since it definitely out performs other Gen 1 night vision monoculars. If the fact that it doubles for a hunting scope bothers you too much but if you are a hunter then I honestly cannot think of a reason why you wouldn’t choose this device above all the other options that are available to you.

Available at: Amazon

3. Night Owl iGEN 20/20 Day/Night Vision Monocular

Night Owl iGEN 20 20 Day Night Vision MonocularThe iGen 20/20 is the future of night vision. Within this advanced tech monocular, you will discover how the world comes to life after night time. There so many animals that come out at night and thrive in the darkness while we can barely see our hands in front of our faces. We might be at the top of the food chain but we were not designed to see at night as many of our four legged friends were which definitely gives them an advantage whenever human attempts to hunt at night. Luckily thanks to modern technology, that is no longer the case. Night Owl has designed a night vision monocular that evens the playing field and exposes everything that goes on after sundown to our feeble human eyes.

You have probably already noticed that the iGen night vision monocular does not look like your everyday monocular as its style differs from that of standard NV monoculars. The iGen has kind of a flatter and curvier design, unlike the general cylinder shape design that we are used to seeing when looking at monoculars. Personally, I like the design – if you feel like trying something new and step away from the classic monocular design then you should also enjoy this particular device.

The unique design makes it easy to hold the device and you can reach all the buttons and switches without having to change your grip in any way. This is quite nice since it can be a bit annoying having to fiddle with a device, trying to change settings all the while hiding in the bushes, trying not to be spotted by your target. While holding the iGen with one hand you will be able to use the other hand to hold onto the barrel of the objective lens at the front of the device. You can use this to adjust focus and steady the device. Thanks to the design, you can adjust the focus and change all the settings without having to move the device away from your eyes.

As for the materials used, the main external casing on the chassis is made out of a hard plastic, whilst the focusing section near the objective lens is constructed from metal. The body has matte black color with a velvety texture to it. The matte finish helps the device be at non-reflective as possible, which is great as a reflection can easily give away your position.

The eyepiece is located at the rear end of the monocular and the eyecup has an external diameter of 30mm which is covered with a thin rubber coat to help with comfort when the device is pressed against your face. As with many monoculars, the eyecup can be rotated to alter the diopter setting and so focuses it for your personal eyesight onto the display screen. This simple procedure is covered extensively in the user manual that is included with the device. Luckily you will also only have to do this once.

There are only three buttons to be found on the iGen and their functions are simple to understand.

The large button closest to the eyepiece on the top of the iGen is the main power button. This button can also be used to toggle the Infrared settings.

The second large button on the top of the device is used for taking pictures. Simply press and hold the button to activate image capture and then click it again whenever you want to capture an image.

Underneath the eyepiece is a small three-way switch. Pushing this switch to the left or right will adjust the amount of electronic gain of the device. You can also push this switch up to enter the main menu of the iGen. You can view the menu by looking into the eyepiece of the night vision monocular.  In order to navigate through this menu, you simply continue using this switch. Push it left or right to scroll and press the switch to select an option.

Located right next to the objective lens is what looks like a second smaller lens, this is the infrared illuminator where a very bright infra red light that is invisible to the human eye is emitted from.

Night Owl claims that the emitter casts the light out at an angle of 12° from the device, which is the same as the viewing angle of the iGen. This is why when you switch the IR on, the whole image you see lights up and not just a small spot in the center of the field of view.

This infra red light is not a laser, it is created using a very small light emitting diode (LED), which are known for their long life and despite their size are able to deliver light at very high power but use a relatively low amount power to produce it.

Unlike many other night monoculars on the market that allow you to manually adjust the intensity and occasionally the spread the angle of light, the only adjustments that you can make on the iGen is toggling the settings between Auto, Max or Off. However, in Automatic mode, the night vision monocular will adjust the intensity in order to reveal the right amount of infrared light for the best possible illumination depending on your circumstances.

On the underside of the iGen is a cover that can be removed to expose the battery compartment. The iGen 20/20 Night Vision Viewer takes 4 AA alkaline batteries, which are not included in the box.

According to Night Owl Optics, they should last about 4.5 hours when used continuously. This reduces to 2.3 hours with the IR emitter switched on to maximum brightness.

Using the device in image or video capture mode also uses more power and can reduce battery life by about 25% if left on all the time.

Available at: Amazon

4. LaserWorks LRNV009 Day and Night Multifunction Laser Ranging Night Vision Monocular

LaserWorks LRNV009 Day and Night Multifunction Laser Ranging Night Vision MonocularThe LaserWorks night vision monocular is an excellent device to use in environments with low light conditions and in pitch black darkness. This monocular has a very basic design when it comes to the overall shape. The skin is black with a sort of pixilated camouflage print on the sides that looks pretty cool since the shape of the device is also rather square with the exception of the actual scope part which sticks out of the body and is obviously round. This round part that sticks out has a lens cap attached to the device that will cover the lens to protect it when you are out exploring the great outdoors. Just like you won’t leave the lens cap off of your camera, you should never leave the cap off the lens of your monocular when it is not in use as it can easily get damaged especially if you tend to go hunting in the woods or other areas where valuable equipment needs to be protected. The device also comes with a strap so you can easily hang it from your neck so that you will have it within reach whenever you need to see what is going on around you after dark. When it is not in use, you can place the night vision monocular in its carrying case which is also included in your purchase. The case will protect your LaserWorks monocular and ensure that it does not get bumped or scratched. In addition to the carrying case and the strap, you will also get a helpful user manual and of course a lens cloth to help you keep your lens clean to ensure that you get the best images possible.

That is pretty much the just of the exterior of the LaserWorks LRNV009 night vision monocular so let us take a more thorough look at what is going on underneath the hood. First of all, let us start off with the fact that the monocular has a pretty impressive 200m night vision scope that will of course not only give you totally rad night vision but it will also provide you with extremely clear imaging that will allow you to see a truly remarkable amount of detail.

The thing that got me about this night vision monocular is probably the variety of functions it has. All these functions have some sort of use that is not only convenient but in certain circumstances (especially if you are a hunter) these functions are simply essential. A good example of such a function is the fog mode. I don’t know about you but fog can get pretty nasty where I live. We were out in the woods once just exploring a bit and the fog just settled on us like in a horror film where everything is fine and dandy one minute and the next moment nobody can see a thing and you just know that some crazy Freddy Kruger serial killer is going to stab somebody with a knife. While it luckily wasn’t quite as bad for us, the fog did make it really hard to know where we were or how to get back to the main trail. While we did manage to make it back after walking around much longer than we should have, the LaserWorks LRNV009 sure would have come in handy. So whether you are hunting, golfing or exploring, you will never have to worry about fog again.

Other than the cool fog feature, the night vision monocular has some other functions that are really great. For one, it has a really great distance performance at 4 meters to 500 meters. If you have a highly reflective target, you will probably get 1600 yards of distance performance. Another cool thing is the speedometer function which allows you to measure a speed of up to 300 kilometers per hour which is really fast. I mean come on, how often do you see something go faster than 300 kilometers per hour.

Other functions of the LaserWorks LRNV009 night vision monocular include:

  • Flagpole Locking: Lightning separates the flagpole or other targets from its busy background.
  • Vertical Height Measure and Horizontal Distance Measure: These two modes not only display the vertical height and horizontal distance, but they also measure the gradient between the top and bottom.
  • Infrared Auxiliary Lighting: It has 3 classes and press IR to adjust.
  • The Key Auxiliary Lighting: Simply enable this to see in the darkness.

Available at: Amazon

5. Solomark Night Vision Monocular

Solomark Night Vision MonocularIf you are looking for a great night vision monocular that will allow you to see in the pitch black darkness or if you wish to observe wildlife after the sun has set, then the Solomark night vision monocular is the perfect choice for you. This advanced tech generation 3+ NVD monocular claims to outperform its rivals on many levels.

In case you are not quite familiar with GEN 3+ NVD then we will take a little look at what it entails. However, if you already know what it is and know all the basics then you can just move on while the rest of us get up to speed.

The devices that are classified as GEN 3+ make use of autogating technology, where a gated power supply regulates the photocathode voltage. This will enable the NVD’s to be capable of adapting to the different light conditions.

In addition to this, it includes a thin ion barrier which helps reduce the noise levels of the resulting image obtained. Also, it is capable of operating at a luminous sensitivity of 2850k.

So what features does the Solomark night vision monocular have to offer? Let’s take a look

The Solomark monocular has a color LCD screen that displays images and videos clearly. Also, capturing the images with brightness and clear view becomes easier. The color screen will allow you to spot the object accurately even if you find yourself in a much darker environment.

The captured photos and the videos can be saved into the built-in SD card which comes with a 1GB memory. Also, the video footages can be copied to an external device such as a Smartphone or a computer. The video feature does, however, tend to work better in dim lighting conditions and suffers in darkness.

In regards to the magnification power of the lens, the NVD has the ability to view people at over 100m and vehicles at a 300m distance. Furthermore, it offers a 14° field view that allows you to watch objects with clarity. It can also enlarge the size of an image with the 1X, 1.3X, 1.6X, and 2X zoom feature.

In spite of the devices coming with the rechargeable batteries, this particular device comes with four AA batteries. This help in easy operation and providing a longer battery life time. With this, even the bright pictures can be shot and viewed for a prolonged period. Also, it avoids the need for finding a plug point to charge often.

The night vision monocular also comes with the latest technology of night vision functionality. It makes use of 7 level IR illuminator that allows for a clear scene of objects even at the night time. With this, the NVD is capable of delivering clear pictures in dim light.

The device comes with a tripod base that you can use to conveniently place the device in an unwavering position and get a stabilized image and have a secure view.

This Gen 1 night vision monocular will definitely fascinate you. It has so many extra features it’s hard not to love it. The Solomark night vision monocular is very lightweight and compact, making it a versatile option for a range of night time activities. The only thing that might bother you is the fact that the battery life is not too long.

The Solomark Night Vision Monocular Features

  • Low light sensitivity: Even without the IR illuminator function, the night vision can deliver a usable image in dim conditions. Unlike some other bluffing night vision devices, this is a real night vision monocular.
  • Video and image function: With this device, you can take photos and videos at any time, record more true-to-life detail.
  • Integrated color LCD-Screen: From the screen within the monocular, you can see the images and videos clearly.
  • AV and USB function: It’s easy to display image and videos on the television and transfer files to a computer, which enables you to share the fun with your family and friends.
  • Illumination Flexibility: You can set the amount of IR illumination by 7 levels and obtain a proper brightness of the image.
  • Zoom control: You can vary the size of the image by 1X, 1.3X, 1.6X, 2X.
  • Handy and safe: The device can be mounted on a tripod, stored in a cloth bag, or linked to a harness. It is also covered by rubber on the outside which gains more friction, making it difficult to slip.
  • Compact Size: LWH: 5.8in x 4in x 1.85in. Net Weight: 5oz.

Available at: Amazon

6. Firefield 5×50 Nightfall 2 Night Vision Monocular

Firefield 5x50 Nightfall 2 Night Vision MonocularThis is a great looking product right out of the box. You can tell it is made sturdy because there are no cheap plastics or other shabby materials used in its construction. Included right in the package are the two rechargeable AA batteries that it requires. Once you insert the batteries and read the product users guide that is included, you are ready to start seeing in the dark with this handy night vision device.

Everything you need for this night vision monocular, you will find in the box. That includes the protective case, carry strap and lens cleaning cloth. Firefield has been pretty thorough here, to say the least.

It’s no secret those night vision products tend to be a little on the expensive side. The Firefield 5×50 night vision monocular is, however, an introductory type night vision product that is very affordable. Simply because you are shopping on a budget or unsure of whether night hunting will appeal to you, does not mean that you should not be able to get your feet wet doing it at a decent price.

That is exactly what you get with this monocular night vision product from the reputable Firefield Company. They are an established leader in products that enable you to still see long after the sun has gone down. This great introductory night vision product does nothing to hurt their excellent reputation.

This powerful night vision device uses infrared light to paint a picture of your surroundings after dark. Some people think that infrared imaging is not the way to go with night vision products but that is hardly the case. These days the technology is so advanced you can see very clear images of heat signatures even if they are very far away from you.

Not only does it feature technology that puts out very high digital image resolution but it also gives you multi-coating on the lenses to help make the images that it produces even clearer. When you add to all this 12mm eye relief technology then you have a product that will really up your game when you go after your desired prey at night.

The optics on the Firefield 5×50 will enable you to conveniently zoom in and out on your potential targets. This handy night vision monocular offers a full five power magnification. This simply means that you can zoom in to identify prospective game even when they are several hundred feet from you. Clearly, this feature is not only great for hunting but it will make it safer if you can positively identify the target you are shooting at.

The lens on the optics is also a full 50 mm lens. That is a lens that will really give you a very wide viewing angle. These monoculars will give you a full 15-degree field of view from of the terrain as you scan anywhere from 600 – 3000 feet away from you. It is nice to be able to scan that far from side to side when you are looking for game to shoot at night.

The device comes with an array of convenient features. One of the best things about it is that it’s a very weather resistant design. That is a great feature because we all know that some of the best hunting is done on days when the weather is a little off. It’s nice to not have to worry about ruining your night vision girl when you are out in the adverse weather. But don’t mistake this for being able to totally immerse it in water because that will most likely ruin this monocular night vision device.

This monocular night vision instrument is very durable. It has a rubberized armor coating on it that will go a long way toward keeping the unit in good shape. It is highly resistant to cracking, warping, puncture, etc. This is obviously a great quality to have in a night vision device that is being used in a hostile environment like the woods foothills and underbrush.

The device is also pretty great in terms of ergonomic design. It will make you hunting trips so much better than when trying to use just a night vision scope on your rifle. You have all the adjustments for it right at your fingertips and you get much less eye strain because of the clear night time images it produces.

The best thing about the Firefield night vision monocular is probably the image quality that you get with this device. It is nice to be able to scan the horizon from where you are sitting or standing without having to strain your eyes while doing so and also to have a clear image of what it is you are about to shoot.

Available at: Amazon

7. Armasight Spark Multi-Purpose Night Vision Monocular

Armasight Spark Multi-Purpose Night Vision MonocularNight vision is one of those amazing adventures that once again made man better, stronger and more powerful regardless of our biological weaknesses. It is a common fact that humans are vulnerable at night time due to our inability to see in the dark like many animals can. Since night vision made its appearance though, this weakness has slowly but surely became a thing of the past – much like our inability to fly or breathe under water. Truth be told, it is almost cheating, it provides such an advantage to those so equipped, whether defending or hunting.

Any level of night vision capability is going to give you an immense advantage at night over those who do not possess it.

This particular Armasight device can be had from various outlets for $379 (DVOR) to $525. It purports to be a GEN 3 device using newer CORE technology, giving it an advertised 70 lp/mm resolution, the equivalent of conventional GEN 3 devices. I was excited to give this new tech a try.

Pros:

  • Small, slightly larger than the PVS14, but seems smaller.
  • Light weight, more so than the PVS14
  • Multiple shoe type mounting points, on three sides
  • Captive pin hole lens cap and eye cup(to allow daylight testing)
  • OD zippered MOLLE carry case and CR123 battery provided
  • Dirt cheap for this technology level
  • Adaptable to many types of proprietary mounts (weapons, head harness, helmet, scope)

Cons:

  • The mounting points are NOT compatible with all of the standard Mil Surplus mounts available. Armasite offers a variety of pricey mount types for their proprietary shoe. A good screwdriver and a tap and T-handle could remedy this.
  • The OFF/ON/IR illumination switch does not lock out the IR on position.
  • With the afterglow, after turning off, it is easy to switch the IR on
  • Rather than turning the unit off, and end up killing your battery.
  • (The PVS14 requires the switch to be pulled up and turned to activate the IR)
  • There are excessive hazing and distortion around the periphery of the image.
  • Uses the CR123 battery rather than the more common AA used on the PVS14

Both the clarity and the brightness of the Armasite is quite impressive. The image is the equivalent of good daylight binoculars, crisp/sharp, where as the ATN has that lower res TV type image but is almost twice as bright. The ATN amplifies some dark nooks and crannies that the SPARK does not.

Compared against my GEN1+ Adoptics, the SPARK out does it in both clarity and brightness. Based on this the SPARK can be considered an honest GEN 2 device with real 70lp/mm performance. At $4-500 this is an every-mans NVD, very good but not great performance at a reasonable price.

Can I recommend this device? That’s the $1000 question. Is it a true GEN 3 NVD? No, the brightness and the resolution, at the center of the field of view is very good. It is not quite GEN 3, but at least as good as GEN 2 devices and they sell for about $1500. So it is a good buy for the money, but the overall quality of the image and the fish eye lens type edge distortion really bothers me. I am hoping that perhaps I just got a bad one, it happens, and plan to talk with the factory about this. I really want to like this little NVD, as it has a lot going for it, especially price. As an entry level NVD, I would recommend it over the GEN 1 $2-400 units that are available out there.

My call to Armasite was returned. Not the most helpful but my questions were answered. They affirmed the 70 lp/mm rating, but denied Gen 3 performance, stating that it is more of a Gen 1+ or 2 devices. As to the hazing and distortion, they suggested I work with the front and eyepiece focus. No luck with that, the fish-eye is still there.

I have since had a bit more time with this NVD and have concluded that it may be the best out there for the price. You will have to decide for yourself if you can live with its’ drawbacks to saving yourself a lot of money to possess night vision. Seize the night!

Available at: Amazon

8. Bushnell Equinox Z Digital Night Vision Monocular

Bushnell Equinox Z Digital Night Vision MonocularIf you look at the Bushnell Equinox Z Digital Night Vision Monocular, you will notice that it comes in three different sizes, namely 3×30, 4.5×40, and 6×50. Each of these has different specs. The difference between the sizes is clear when we take a look at the viewing range, field of view and weight of each size. You can check it out for yourself:

6×50

  • Viewing Range: 984 feet
  • Field of View: 20 feet at 100 yards
  • Weight: 27 ounces

4.5×40

  • Viewing Range: 738 feet
  • Field of View: 28 feet at 100 yards
  • Weight: 22 ounces

3×30

  • Viewing Range: 656 feet
  • Field of View: 30 feet at 100 yards
  • Weight: 15 ounces

As you would expect, as the size of the objective lens changes from 60 to 40 to 30, all of the other specs are going to change accordingly. The most significant of these is probably the field of view (FOV). As the monocular becomes less powerful, the FOV increases from 20 feet to 28 feet to 30 feet at 100 yards.

If you have looked at other optical equipment, those numbers might seem really small at first. But you have to remember that something like binoculars normally takes this measurement at 1000 yards, not just 100. Now you can see why there is such a difference.

One other difference that’s really a feature, as opposed to a specification, is that the two largest models let you capture images (that is, take pictures) and record video and audio (that is, make short movies). The 3×30 model doesn’t let you do either of these things.

The specs that are the same across all three models are that they each require 4 AA (alkaline or lithium) batteries, have a tripod mount, and an infrared (IR) illuminator.

The good thing about the AA batteries is that you don’t have to hunt for some strange sizes. The bad thing is that you can quickly run through lots of power cells. But more on that later.

There may not be many occasions for you to use your monocular on a tripod. After all, it doesn’t weigh very much (no matter which model you choose), and you’re probably not going to be holding it aloft for very long at a stretch. Still, you may have cause to mount it on a tripod, so it’s good to know that the ability is there.

Having an IR illuminator almost goes without saying. You will find many times that there just isn’t enough ambient light at night to spot your target. You will need to “light it up” with infrared light “shining” out from your Bushnell monocular.

This Bushnell monocular is not just for night vision. They work equally well during the daytime and give you full-color pictures and video when doing so. You could probably find uses for it much like those you would have a pair of binoculars. The obvious differences would be that there is only one tube and the monocular isn’t as powerful.

Speaking of power, in addition to the real, optical 3x to 6x magnification built into these monoculars, you also get up to a 3x digital zoom on top of that. I wouldn’t expect that your target would look as clear at 3x, but it may give you just the picture you need for identification.

Part of the reason you see such clear pictures is that the objective lens is made of glass, not plastic as many other monoculars use.

You can adjust the brightness of the infrared beam. There are times when all you need is a little more light, and there are times when you need the maximum available to see anything in the dark. If the object you’re watching is fairly close, you can turn down the IR so you don’t “wash out” the picture.

Bushnell assumes that some owners will attach the Equinox Z to a rifle because they tell you that it has been recoiled tested to 350 grams. You will have to decide if this will work on a given rifle, based on the specs of that gun. If it can produce more than 350 grams, you shouldn’t attach it using the Picatinny rail mount that it comes with, because the force will eventually shake it apart.

You might find other uses for the Picatinny rail beside attaching it to a rifle. If you are using the Equinox Z for surveillance, you might need even more light than the onboard IR can provide. You can attach an additional light module or other accessories via the rail.

I could suggest that you could use the rail to help steady the device, but I think that would be more the task of the tripod mounting socket that you also get.

All of these monoculars have video out ports so you can display your movies on a larger screen. You can select NTSC or PAL format which will depend on the device at the other end.

All models come with a carrying case, tethered objective lens cap, and wrist strap. Keeping your device clean and safe will make it last longer.

Available at: Amazon

9. Night Owl Optics 5-Power NOXM50 Night Vision Monocular

Night Owl Optics 5-Power NOXM50 Night Vision MonocularSummer is in full swing, the birds are out, and camping at the lake is high on many people’s minds. Taking pleasure in the serenity of the lake or river, a fire burning and observing nature play in front of you – and what better way to enjoy nature observation than through the Night Owl Optics 5-power Noxm50 Night Vision Monocular.

Many people do not know that there are affordable, high-quality night vision monoculars available on the market and the Night Owl Optics 5-power is the perfect example of this.

This monocular is a great way to observe the world at night time whether you are hunting or simply curious to see what is lurking in the shadows. The device comes with a strap and a great lifetime limited guarantee. However, I probably need to point out that you do not get a battery included in the package. The first time you try out the Night Owl Optics night vision monoculars, you should try to do so on a night that its pitch black – so obviously try to not do so on a full moon. You should be very surprised by the clear vision that this device provides as it allows you to see almost perfectly in areas where you will not be able to see at all without the device.

The monocular is rugged and provides you with advanced Gen 1 technology, giving you high quality all glass optics and not the old plastic optics found in older models – helping with light amplification for clear visibility while magnifying the light up to 500 times.

Another great thing I found is that the eyepiece is adjustable and you set it according to your eyesight and made of a 50 mm objective lens.

Late at night when looking through your monocular at the night life, you will notice just how different and more alive the outdoors look. One user of the Night Owl Optics has stated that one night while looking through his monocular, he was surprised to see the field mice five times their actual size in the distance, running around the grass and at times standing still looking for seeds. The Night Owl monocular has 35 line pairs per millimeter resolution. So you will definitely be able to get a better view of objects that are either tiny or far – or both.

The cool thing about this is that it does not distort the image and you will be able to see whatever you are looking at clearly and with a surprising amount of detail. According to the manufacturer, the night vision monocular utilizes a high-quality image intensifier tube, which is where the magic begins, and light energies are formed to help you see images clearly.

It also comes with a built-in infrared illuminator, when used in total darkness it really helps with being able to spot any target while outside at night or even in your home. The device is constructed well and has a soft rubberized finish with a molded thermoplastic lens housing that protects the objective lens.

It does not feel heavy at all while held in your hand as you can feel the ergonomic design fitting comfortably in your grip.

The Night Owl Optics night vision monocular definitely magnifies an image 5 times with manual focus. It also comes with generation 1 intensifier tube for high-quality image viewing. With the generation 1, it comes with a built-in infrared illuminator to use in total darkness and helps to improve recognition of targets. The 50mm optical lens is not made of plastic, but all-glass and the outer housings designed with a soft rubberized finish – while the lens housing is made of impact-resistant thermoplastic. The device works with one 3-volt lithium battery that is unfortunately not included and it can be used with a firearm.

Before buying anything new, it is always best to read some reviews to see what other people thought about the product. This is even truer when you are planning on buying something online. Amazon is a particularly good place to read some user reviews as there are always a ton of user reviews and every now and then you will get an expert who decided to give their 2 cents on the product. You will definitely find a bunch of real reviews on the Night Owl Optics 5-power Noxm50 night vision monocular here as well.

By looking at these reviews you will notice that the majority of reviews are fair with minimal criticism. It would seem that people enjoy this night vision monocular with many people calling it affordable and durable, with enough clear provided images for general after-hours exploration.

I would highly recommend the Night Owl Optics 5-power Noxm50 Night Vision Monocular if you are planning to use it for fun nature observation at night. The device is resilient and lightweight and offers great optics while viewing small critters or even large animals roaming around in the dark.

Available at: Amazon

10. Sightmark Ghost Hunter 2×24 Night Vision Monocular

Sightmark Ghost Hunter 2x24 Night Vision MonocularDo not underestimate the Sightmark Ghost Hunter because of its 24mm lens when comparing it to some of the more advanced tech night vision monoculars on this list. This little guy has a lot going for him, and it actually has a bunch of cool features to brag of. Sadly when taking the price into consideration, you will realize that there are many other products that are priced roughly the same and come with much more benefits. However, that does not take away from what the Sightmark Ghost Hunter night vision monocular has to offer. So, without further a due, let us take a closer look at this device.

Starting with the design, the night vision monocular has got a very simple design, yet it somehow looks like a super cool spy gadget. Maybe it is just me, but I can totally picture this device in Bourne Identity or maybe even one of the newer James Bond films – but, do not even get me started on Daniel Craig. I am personally a huge Pierce Brosnan fan. Anyways, back to the monocular – the device is extremely compact which makes it easy carry around and you will have no problem operating it out in the field which is a major advantage when dealing with any outdoor devices that you need to carry on your person. The device is also much lighter than some of its competitors due to the smaller lens size. This monocular weighs less than 9 ounces, so if you are looking for a device that is easily portable and won’t slow you down in the field then I suppose this monocular will be near perfect for you.

The Ghost Hunter night vision monocular comes with an IPX3 rating which is not too impressive – especially if you take some of the other night vision monoculars on this list into account. With an IPX3 rating, the device should be water resistant so it ought to be fine in the rain but do not even think about submerging it in water – while I personally have not tried doing this, I doubt it will survive a swim. Thus if you happen to be looking for a monocular that is completely waterproof then you should move along.

The body is constructed from some sort of durable plastic material that is supposed to protect it from any bumps and bruises that might occur in the field, however, I would still be pretty careful when handling the device as I would with any equipment. The night vision monocular also has an auto power down feature which is a really nifty thing to have as the monocular shuts down as soon as it is exposed to bright light sources. So if you walk into your house where the lights are on and you have your monocular in hand then it will shut itself off. This might seem like a small thing but if you have ever owned a night vision device or know a thing or two about them then you should be aware of the fact that they can break if exposed to sudden bright light. So this is definitely a feature that you should keep in mind with this monocular. The 24mm lens is made from glass rather than plastic as you would find on cheaper models which are great since it gives you a better image and it is harder to scratch.

The buttons are located on the top of the Ghost Hunter which makes them pretty easy to reach and operate in the dark. The design incorporates a 1/4″ socket that can be used to mount the Ghost Hunter on a weapon or tripod if you would like to do so, however as stated, it fits very comfortably into your hand. The night vision monocular is powered by two AA batteries that will give you roughly 20 hours of use with the IR illuminator and up to 72 when it is switched off. This is definitely not a bad lifetime and will without a doubt get you through your adventures and hunts. The batteries are also obviously really easy to get and not to mention cheap. So if you are planning on spending a week in a remote hunting cabinet then just take some spare AA batteries and you are set. In the box, you will also get a handy nylon carrying case and lens cloth, however, don’t expect other accessories or batteries to be included.

Available at: Amazon

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