Best Night Vision Goggles Reviews 2018 (Comparison and Buying Guide)
Night vision goggles are the perfect tools for using in the dark to have better visibility. The best night vision goggles are lightweight, comfortable, versatile and provide you the best service. Decades of innovation and widespread popularity have made the night vision gear more useful to law enforcement, hunters, the military or casual optics enthusiasts.
Whether you are hunting in darkness or camping outside at night, a night vision goggles will help you to see the environment clearly. Without a night vision device, it is near impossible hunting at night or dark environment. You must use it; otherwise, you won’t be able to make your hunt successful. Without the help of the device, you have too much chance of failure.
When you are using a night vision goggle, you should use the best one. Here we will discuss on that point. You will get every single information that you need. You will get an ultimate buying guide and a list of top 5 best rated night vision goggles that we will review below.
Top Rated Night Vision Goggles 2018
|1×20.6mm||5.8 x 3.2 x 1.8 in||0.54 lbs|
|1×26 mm||4.9 x 4.9 x 2.3 in||1.13 lbs|
|1×24 mm||5.9 x 4.0 x 2.7 in||1 lbs|
|1×24 mm||11.9 x 7.1 x 4.1 in||1.4 lbs|
|1×35 mm||6.3 x 1.9 x 3.2 in||0.8 lbs|
What Is a Night Vision Goggle?
When you see the words night vision, the first thing that comes to your mind is a spy or an action movie that you have seen before. The scene that will be moving in your mind is someone straps on a pair of night vision goggles and trying to find someone else in a dark building on a dark night.
And then you may be thinking, “do those glasses really work? Can he actually see through them?” Well, the answer of both of your questions is YES. You can see things at dark with proper night vision equipment. You can see things 200 yards away from you. Depending on the technology used in goggles.
Night vision is an excellent technology that has been at the forefront both for stealth and safety. It was first widely used by the US Military in the World War II. Best value night vision goggles have two eyepieces and come with built-in magnification. Magnification can zoom you in an extended area.
They can work in two different ways.
1. Image Enhancement: In this method, the device collects a little amount of light, including the lower portion of the IR light spectrum which is present but is imperceptible to our eyes. Then amplify the light to the point so that we can easily observe the image.
2. Thermal Imaging: This technology works by capturing the upper portion of the infrared light spectrum. The object emits heat instead of simply reflecting light. A hotter object such as warm bodies of human or animal emits more light than cooler bodies such as trees, stone, buildings or other objects
Why Need to Use Night Vision Goggles?
Human eyes are great parts of a human body and they are really powerful. Thousands of years of achievements tell the power of the human eyes as a wonderful creation. From the age of the hunting people to the modern man human eyes has been a vital part of humanity. But, no matter how powerful eyes you got, there are certain times where natural eye power is not enough to see things clearly.
After the nightfall, if there is no moon in the sky you would not be able to see anything. This can be disturbing to your enjoyment if you want to see the less illuminated side of nature.
If you want to go hunting in the night or a dark forest. If you want to hike a trail through the mountain at the evening hour. If you want to take photographs of natural creatures like owls, lemurs or bats in the dark in their natural habitat, then human eyes are not enough. All of the task mentioned above can’t be done with only human eyes. You can use night vision goggles along with hunting binoculars.
And that is the reason you need to use a night vision goggle to see in those situations when human eyes are not able to see. Wearing it, you can do any outdoor activity you want at night. You can run, you can hunt, you can hike, capture fantastic photographs or enjoy the natural beauty from a different angle.
That’s kind of cool, isn’t it?
Which Night Vision Generation to Buy?
Night Vision generally has four generations. Generation is used to rate most commercially available night vision devices like night vision goggles, monoculars and binoculars. Best commercial night vision goggles can be chosen at the generation level. Generation is also used to make a comparison to the level of technology that incorporated into the device. Now let’s talk about different generations.
Best Gen 1 night vision goggles have a vacuum tube with photocathode sensitivity which is 120 to 280 microamperes per lumen. Also, have 120 to 900 times light amplification. The resolution is 20 to 38 line-pairs per millimeter, and the maximum range is 80m.
They often provide bad quality around the edges of the image, so it is not recommended for photography. Without this issue, generation 1 night vision has so many advantages. And because of their affordable price, they are the most popular among the people.
This is an updated version of the generation 1 night vision. They got a fiber optic plate installed at the front or the back of the tube that prevents the distortion at the edge of the image and increase the image resolution. With 300 microamperes per lumen sensitivity, they provide a light amplification of 900 to 1000 times.
Generation 2 devices are something different from Generation 1 and 1+ in several points. They use the Micro Channel Plate (MCP), an electron amplifier. There are two types of intensifier tubes with MCP available – 18mm and 25mm. The efficiency of the tube depends on the amount of diameter. Larger diameter provides more efficiency.
They have the sensitivity of 300 to 350 microamperes per lumen. They provide a light amplification of around 20000 to 30000 times which make them suitable for video or cameras.
They are expensive and mostly used for professional services.
Gen 2+ is the updated version of Gen 2 night vision. Gen 2 devices have automatic gain control feature. Depending on the outside light conditions the feature helps you to control the brightness of the image. The image becomes vertically distortion-free even at the edge. Another great feature is the flash protection. It was mostly used by the military, but now it is widely available commercially.
They are made in Russia; the US switches from Gen 2 directly to Gen 3. They have the sensitivity of 350 microamperes per lumen.
Generation 3 night vision is used by both US military and special forces. It is currently the best Generation in the market. But the problem is the price is too much high. This is not a budget-friendly equipment. As their price, they also provide more advantage than other generations.
They provide 300+ yards ranges and the best resolution. They perform more effectively in the low light. They have a very long battery life of 10000+ hours. Also very reliable and durable.
Generation 4 is the latest version of night vision technology. Gen 4 units are filmless and gated image intensifiers. In Gen 4 the Gen 3 image intensifier has been removed to get an even clearer image. And that’s the reason of it’s becoming filmless. It can also be used in the daytime in bright light sources. They are not that much popular.
All of the generations are different from one another depending on their feature and price. You have to consider which one matches your need the most. Then you have to go for that generation.
Top 5 Best Rated Night Vision Goggles Reviews
1. Armasight Vega Night Vision Goggle Gen 1+
The Armasight Vega Night Vision Goggle Gen 1+ is a night vision device which comes with so many cool features. It comes with flip-up adjustable headgear which enables a hand free use. The adjustable headgear also allows you to position the goggles over both left and right eye.
The durable body of the goggles is made of glass-fiver reinforced composite which makes it waterproof and weather resistant. It has an infrared light source.
Though the infrared illuminator provides a short range, it helps you to see things in the situation where there is no light at all. The optics of the goggles is made of multicoated heavy glasses. It provides a 35-degree field of view with the 35mm diameter.
The goggles run with a 3v CR123 battery and the battery life is very long. The device is extremely lightweight. It weighs only 8 ounces.
Overall, The Armasight Vega Night Vision Goggle Gen 1+ is best gen 1-night vision goggles under 500. You can go for it without any confusion.
- Lightweight and compact body;
- Fully adjustable headgear;
- Generation 1+ image intensifier tube with high resolution;
- Infrared illuminator with flood lens;
- Waterproof and fog resistant;
- Multi-coated heavy glass optics ensure excellent optical performance;
- Powers with 3v CR123 lithium battery, which has more than 58 hours long life;
- Comes with adaptable tripod;
- Hands-free operation design;
- Suitable both for right and left eye;
- Has a long Life;
- Comes with a good warranty;
- Minor fisheye effect around peripheral.
2. Night Optics D-2MV Gen 1+ Dual Tube Night Vision Goggle
The Night Optics D-2MV Gen 1+ Dual Tube Night Vision Goggle is the best value night vision goggles under 1000 available in the market. Though it is expensive, you will get so many features in this pair of goggles. The device is compact and lightweight, weighs only 4 pounds.
It has a built-in sensor that works automatically for detecting bright light. The sensor protects your eyes from any damage that can be caused by overexposure. So you can be worry-free about your eyesight while using it. The goggles can also be used as a pair of binoculars as it comes with a 3.6x magnification.
The headset is adjustable so it can be fit in any shape. No matter you are an adult or a kid, it will surely fit your head comfortably. Also, has an adjustable chinstrap that provides extra comfort and stability.
- Generation 1+ image intensifier;
- Has bright light exposure controlling sensor;
- Can be easily converted from binoculars to helmet-mounted night vision goggles;
- True stereo perception;
- Runs with a single 3v CR123 battery that has the lifetime of up to 40 hours;
- Comes with Integrated IR illuminator;
- Multi-coated glass optics ensures clearer image;
- Long Battery life;
- Dual tube night vision device;
- Comes with warranty;
- Price is a little bit high.
3. Armasight Nyx7-ID Gen 2+ Night Vision Goggles – Best Night Vision Goggles for the Money
The Armasight Nyx7-ID Gen 2+ Night Vision Goggles by Armasight is a highly lightweight device weighing only 1 pound. It has an adjustable headset and chinstrap that enable it to fit any shape head. The model is more of a professional level as the price is very high. It is more suitable for the serious users.
The device is fully waterproof so that you can use it anywhere you want, anytime you want. The built-in IR illuminator helps the device to work for many close ranges and also helps to work in fully dark weather.
This night vision goggles come with 3x, 5x and 8x optical lenses which allow you to customize the device. The device can run on both lithium and alkaline battery. The built-in battery is a CR123 lithium battery.
Overall it’s an excellent night vision device. But, you have to take your decision wisely as the price is too high.
- Highly compact design;
- Built-in infrared illuminator
- Auto brightness control sensor;
- The durable body is waterproof and resistant to weather;
- Included Gen 2+ night vision technology;
- Can be mounted to helmet that ensures hands-free use;
- Easy operating system;
- Uses CR123 battery to run and has up to 60 hours long life;
- 40 Degree field of view
- Compact and lightweight;
- Dual eye viewing;
- Multipurpose uses;
- Bag that is included is disappointing
4. Firefield Tracker 1×24 Night Vision Goggle Binoculars
The Firefield Tracker 1×24 Night Vision Goggle Binoculars is a heavy duty pair of goggles with an innovative design. The headset is adjustable and lightweight that can be used in any shaped head and very comfortable.
The body is compact and durable. It is waterproof and fog resistant also. The goggles are foldable so you can easily carry it in any bag and also easily store it wherever you want.
The headset and the binoculars can be easily disconnected. They can be used both in handheld, and head mounted. The weight is only 1.4 pounds. The built-in infrared illuminator helps to keep the battery running for longer.
The battery itself boasts a 72-hour life. That’s really a longer life, isn’t it? Has dual tube and offers high-quality image resolution. The dual tube makes depth perception that makes the Tracker 1×24 suitable for hunting and fishing.
Overall, the price is affordable and this is the best night vision goggles for hunting.
- Dual tube for accurate depth perception;
- 1x magnification;
- Handheld and head mountable operation;
- Generation 1 high-quality image;
- High resolution;
- Compact, durable and lightweight body;
- Ergonomic design;
- Built-in infrared illuminator;
- Up to 72 hours battery life (Without IR);
- Extremely lightweight;
- Doesn’t have any cons;
5. Armasight Spark-G Night Vision Goggle – The Best Value Night Vision Goggles
The Armasight Spark-G Night Vision Goggle is an excellent tool for any of your night vision use. It is a high-quality night vision device that has a compact and rugged design. It comes with so many outstanding features.
The operating system is very easy. The device has a ceramic core image intensifier tube that provides a fantastic image resolution. The ceramic tube makes the goggles greater than other goggles even with a generation 1 night vision technology.
The clarity and flatness of image are really amazing. If you want to get the taste of Generation 2 with a Generation 1 goggles, you should use the Armasight Spark-G. Comes with 1x magnification and has the option to customize in 3x and 5x magnification.
It offers a resolution of resolution of 45/60 lp/mm. Built-in IR light allows you to see in total darkness. 40 hours of the lifetime with a CR123 lithium battery.
Overall, good binoculars at the price.
- Compact and rugged design;
- Completely waterproof construction;
- Can be head-mounted with the headset for hands-free use;
- Infrared illuminator for dark viewing;
- Powers with a single CR123 lithium battery;
- Simple and easy operating system, easy to control;
- Can be adapted to cameras for photography use;
- Comes with a good warranty;
- Flip-up headgear;
- The OFF/ON/IR illumination switch does not lock out the IR on position.
Factors Consideration Before Choosing the Best Night Vision Goggles (Buying Guide)
When purchasing any product, people definitely want to get the best one. When you are going to purchase night vision goggles and want to find the best one you have to go through a hard job. Finding out the best affordable night vision goggles is not that easy because there are a huge amount of goggles models available in the market. So you have to choose one very carefully.
Are you worried about the huge number? No, you don’t need to be. I am here to help you with the issue. Instead of doing a wide research on the internet and waste much of your valuable time, you can do that by considering some points or factors. That’s easy, isn’t it?
Here I am providing a buying guide containing some of those factors which will help you to find the best value night vision goggles quickly.
The range is a very important factor to be considered. Range maintain the area that you will see with the goggles. You have to consider how much distance you will hunt and then you have to choose that ranged goggles. Normally night vision device has the ability to see over hundreds of yards.
One thing you have to know that, the total range is not important, but the recognition range is important to take in mind. Most of the night vision goggles come with different recognition ranges depending on various lightings such as full moon, half moon, quarter moon or starlight only. Since the quality of night vision depends on the light, the range decreases as the light decreases.
Spectrum is another important factor to be considered as it maintains the visibility of the device. Visuality of human eyes is limited to a small portion of the visible light. They can’t see in the dark. Spectrum gives the night vision goggles the ability to help you see things from the non-visible sources of electromagnetic radiation like UV Radiation or Infrared Radiation.
The ultraviolet radiation extends from 100 to 400 nm while the near-ultraviolet extends from 300 to 400 nm and the visible portion of the spectrum from 400 to 750nm. On the other hand, the infrared region extends from 750 to 2000 nm and the near-infrared from 750 to 2,500 nm.
The resolution provides the ability of an image intensifier or night vision system to distinguish between objects close together. Resolution is measured in two unit, “Cycle per milliradian” and “Line pairs per millimeter”. If the resolution is perfect, then the image quality will be better. So it is important to consider this point.
Clarity is directly connected to the resolution. The relation between resolution and clarity is quite simple. Resolution is measured in lines per millimeter. The higher the lines are, the greater the clarity will be.
Magnification and FOV
When you are about to think about the magnification and FOV, it is important to own a pair of goggles with good magnification and FOV. The magnification depends on the distance you need and also the area that you are going to search. You can use a 1:1 lens with 400 FOV for optimal performance.
The higher the magnification is, the heavier and larger the optics will be. But for free movement and to use the device comfortably, you need a light optic. So choose magnification carefully with the perfect optics.
The goggles should have an Infrared Illuminator or the option to attach an Infrared Illuminator later. Infrared Illuminators are required to see things where there are totally no lights. Infrared Illuminator shines an infrared light which makes the night vision brighter. The range of an Infrared Illuminator depends on their size.
As you are investing a good amount in buying a night vision device, it must be long-lasting. The durability is important as you will not feel good buying a new one every month. Check the body, materials and the quality of the electronic parts. Never forget to check if the device is waterproof or not. Always choose one which is waterproof and weather resistant.
As you are going to use the goggles in various environment, it must have the ability to tackle any environment. The Best commercial night vision goggles are highly resistant to the environment and they are able to face any kind of obstacles. Some night vision goggles get internal fogging that reduce the visibility. That’s why the goggles must have the ability to resist humidity and moisture.
Size, Weight and Operation
The size and weight are that much important as they maintain the comfort of use. If your device is too large and heavy, you won’t feel comfortable while using it. The size and weight will be different depending on the type of use.
The best night vision goggles for hunting should be small in size and lightweight so that you can use it easily in any situation. On the other hand, if you want to use the device for viewing from a static position, a larger model will be more suitable for you.
The operating system needs to be easy so that you can get access to the device immediately when you need to. The switch, focus control and other options should be positioned in such an order that you can easily get access to them and they can easily be adjusted.
Generally, all of the night vision goggles are powered by batteries. There are two kinds of batteries – alkaline battery and lithium battery. When buying night vision goggles, you should think about the battery life and also the restoring cost. Alkaline batteries are cheap and they are not durable enough. On the other hand, lithium batteries are a little bit expensive, but they are durable enough and long-lasting.
These are the important factors that you must consider before you go to the market so that you can find the best night vision goggles for the money. Without taking into account them, you won’t be able to find the best one and hence your investment will become a failure. So what you have to do? You better know.
How to Choose Night Vision Goggles – Watch the Video Below
You will obviously need a pair of night vision goggles for hunting, hiking, fishing, taking a photograph and so other outdoor activities especially if you want to do it in the dark. No matter you are using it for which purpose, to get the best service you have to be sure that you are using the best night vision goggles.
All of the goggles reviewed above are good enough according to their price and features. Each of them has a different price so you can choose the one which matches your budget. You can choose one from the list without any confusion as there are so many positive reviews from the users available on the internet. And as there is a detailed buying guide included in the content you can justify yourself whether the products are good or not.
So, what else? Make your choice, buy it hurry and be the dark hunter.