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Best Night Vision Binoculars – Buyer’s Guide

Best Night Vision BinocularsNight vision binos are handy if you are birding, hiking, or hunting at night.

They also offer some protection hunting or camping in the dark of night.

So it makes sense to spend money on night vision binos that of premium quality if you enjoy doing your outdoor activities in the moonlight or in the dark.

But you should also know that not all night vision binos can see well in the dark.

Generation 1 night vision binos can see in dim conditions but not in utter darkness. More advanced night vision binos like the gen 3 and 4 binos have no problem seeing in the dark because they have powerful infrared illuminators.

Plus they also use high-grade glass lenses. But gen 1 and 2-night vision binos are a lot cheaper than 3 and 4. So your buying decision is going to be based on three factors: the purpose of the binos, type of environment, and lighting situation.

For hunting coyote, deer or elk at night, gen 3 or 4-night vision binos would be more ideal than gen 1 and 2 binos as they can see well in the dark.

Other than optic quality, also consider features like the objective lens size, magnification, eye relief, field of view, and close focus distance. Weight and size are also important particularly if you enjoy spending a lot of time out in the field.

For some people, the budget is also usually a priority and the good news is that most standard night vision binos are inexpensive. So you don’t need to spend an insane amount of money on a good pair. But if money is not an issue, then you have more options.

With that said, read on and see our list of the best night vision binoculars. And find out how to select night vision binos that are right for you.

Top pick
Night Owl NONB2FF

After testing several night vision binos, the Night Owl Pro Nexgen binos took top place on our list for several reasons. And here is why we felt that this bino was outstanding.

Night Owl NONB2FF

  • Fixed-Focus Mechanism – no need to manually focus on your target or view
  • 24mm Objective Lens
  • 2x Magnification
  • Infrared Illuminator for Night Viewing
  • Diopter Adjustment Mechanism
  • Electronic Image Intensifier Tubes
  • Superior All-Glass Optics
  • Rubberized Armoring
  • Field of View of 107 feet

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We’ve tested 5 night vision binoculars and the winner is above!

Night Vision Binoculars Comparison Chart

Model

Night Owl NONB2FF

ATN DGBNBN4KLRF Binox 4K

Sightmark SM15073 Ghost Hunter

Night Owl Optics NOB5X

Night Owl NOXB-5 Explorer Pro

Photo

Night Owl NONB2FF

ATN DGBNBN4KLRF Binox 4K

Sightmark SM15073 Ghost Hunter

Night Owl Optics NOB5X

Night Owl NOXB-5 Explorer Pro

Magnification

2x

4-16x

4x

5x

5x

Objective Lens Diameter

24 mm

65 mm

50 mm

50 mm

50 mm

Resolution

35 lp/mm on center

600 lp/mm

36 lp/mm

35 lp/mm on center

35 lp/mm on center

Field of View

107 feet/200 ft

220 feet/1000 yards

78 feet/1000 yards

53 feet/200 ft

79 feet/1000 yards

Angular Field of View

30°

15°

15°

15°

Diopter Adjustment

-4 to +4

-5 to +5

-5 to +5

-4 to +4

-4 to +4

Infrared Illuminator

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Battery Life

40 hours (with IR)
80 hours (w/out IR)

15+ hours

20 hours (with IR)
72 hours (w/out IR)

40 hours (with IR)
80 hours (w/out IR)

40 hours (with IR)
80 hours (w/out IR)

Weight

25.3 oz

40 oz

25 oz

38.8 oz

38.8 oz

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5 Best Night Vision Binoculars (as of November, 2020):

1. Night Owl NONB2FF – Best 2.5x Fixed-Focus Night Vision Binocular Review

Night Owl NONB2FF

  • 2x Magnification
  • 24mm Objective Lens
  • Fixed Focus Optical Design
  • Dual 1st Generation Intensifier Tubes
  • Adjustable Interocular Distance

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It’s not easy to come by a night vision bino that offers exceptionally clear viewing in the dark at a low price. That’s what you get with the Night Owl NONB2FF Pro Nexgen binos.

These binos use all-glass optics to provide you with high-resolution visuals. They have an infrared illuminator to provide visibility at night.

But their one main setback is that they only work well at night when there is moonlight. When its pitch dark, they are useless.

We tested these binos at night and while they do work well in poor lighting conditions, they don’t do well at night. And this is owing to the fact that they are generation 1 night vision binos.

You choose to use a flashlight as a light source but you are only going to scare away your target. In spite of this, the binos have some great features. One such feature is the electronic image intensifier tubes, which you more control and improves your precision.

Night Owl NONB2FF Review, Pros and Cons

The 24mm binos have a field of view (at 200 ft. distance) of 107 feet, which is wide enough if you are focusing on a particular object like a bird or deer. And the 2.5x magnification enables you to bring objects that are far away into close focus.

The bino has a fixed-focus mechanism so you don’t need to manually adjust the focusing to track your target.

Night Owl NONB2FF has a padded neck strap and case

Another great feature is the rubberized armoring, which provides a layer of protection against water and impact damage. The armor rubbering also gives you a firm grip even when your hands are wet.

Main Features

  • 2x Magnification
  • 24mm Objective Lens
  • Fixed-Focus, Field View Optics – No Manual Focusing
  • Dual 1st Generation Intensifier Tubes
  • Adjustable Interocular Distance
  • ±4 Dioptric Correction
  • Built-in Columnated Infrared Illuminator
  • Objective & Ocular Lenses Constructed of High-Quality All-Glass Optics
  • Soft-Touch Rubberized Finish
  • Impact-Resistant Molded Thermoplastic Lens Housings
  • Padded Neck Strap
PROS:
  • Fixed-focus mechanism to quickly focus a moving object
  • 24mm objective lens
  • Field of view of 107 ft
  • 2.5x magnification
  • Infrared illuminator for night viewing
  • Electronic image intensifier tubes to give you more control and improve your precision
  • Superior all-glass optics for sharp views
  • Rubberized armoring for waterproof and shockproof performance
  • Affordable

CONS:
  • They don’t work well in the dark

2. ATN DGBNBN4KLRF Binox 4K – Best 4-16x Night Vision Binocular Review

ATN DGBNBN4KLRF Binox 4K

  • Day & Night Mode
  • 1000-Yard Laser Rangefinder
  • Dual Stream Video
  • Built-In IR Illuminator
  • Interpupillary Adjustment
  • Ultra Low Power Consumption

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The ATN DGBNBN4KLRF Binox 4K make hunting at night a breeze. Utilizing 4K Ultra and Obsidian core technologies, these binos provide crystal clear views whether it is in the day or night.

And with its integrated laser rangefinder, you can see objects that are over 1000 yards.

ATN DGBNBN4KLRF Binox 4K has an integrated laser rangefinder

It also has an infrared illuminator for viewing or hunting in the darkness. The illuminator is built-in into the optic system and you can switch it on and off depending on the lighting conditions.

You can also record what you are viewing using Binox’s HD internal recording system. And you can live stream what you are seeing to your smartphone and share your experiences with family members or friends.

You can also download videos and still images from the binos to your smartphone. To share with other people or keep them as mementos.

ATN DGBNBN4KLRF Binox 4K Review, Pros and Cons

What is also extremely impressive about the ATN Binox is that it utilizes ballistic information exchange technology. This technology allows you to send ballistic data to ATN’s smart scopes. This is a great feature and useful when you want to go hunting.

ATN DGBNBN4KLRF Binox 4K utilizes ballistic information exchange technology

Via: @canicomsrl

The other thing you might find extremely helpful is how long the internal battery holds a charge. The ATN Binox internal battery can hold a charge for 60 hours allowing you to be on the field for as long as you want.

Main Features

  • Ultra HD Sensor with Ultra HD Optics
  • Day & Night Mode
  • 1000-Yard Laser Rangefinder
  • 1280 x 720 Display
  • Ballistic Information Exchange
  • Video Record – In Sharp 1080P
  • Dual Stream Video
  • Built-In IR Illuminator
  • Interpupillary Adjustment
  • Ultra Low Power Consumption
  • Weather Resistant
PROS:
  • Built-in IR illuminator for night viewing or hunting
  • Video recording feature for recording your views
  • Built-in digital compass
  • Built-in WiFi that allows you to share what you are seeing with other people via internet
  • Long-life battery that can hold a charge for more than 30 hours
  • 4-16x magnifications that allow you to see objects that are far away
  • It has rubberized armoring to make it easy to hold the binos
  • flexible eyepieces that you can adjust to enhance your viewing
  • Budget-friendly

CONS:
  • It has a narrow focal view
  • The focal ring is hard to use quickly when you need to keep track of a moving target

The ATN BinoX 4K 4-16x Smart Ultra HD Day/Night Binoculars With Laser Rangefinder:

The ATN BinoX 4K 4-16x Smart Ultra HD Day/Night Binoculars With Laser Rangefinder

3. Sightmark SM15073 Ghost Hunter – Best 4x-50 Night Vision Binocular Review

Sightmark SM15073 Ghost Hunter

  • Magnification 4x
  • Objective Lens Diameter 50mm
  • Integrated IR Illuminator
  • Auto Shut-off on Bright Light Exposure
  • 72 hour Operating Time (w/o IR Activated)

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The Sightmark SM15073 Ghost Hunter night vision binos are generation 1 binos that are durable and affordable. Although generation 1 night vision binos don’t have powerful infrared illuminators, they can see well in dim conditions.

The only downside is that they don’t do well in the dark. You would need a source of light if you plan on going for your adventures at nighttime, which has its own challenges.

But if there is moonlight, you shouldn’t have a problem using the Sightmark Ghost Hunter at night.

The optics on these binos are great. The 4x magnification is not too bad as you are able to bring objects that are yards away closer. The 50mm objective lens has a wide field of view, which is what most binos users prefer.

Sightmark SM15073 Ghost Hunter Review, Pros and Cons

It was also great to see that the body of these binos is made of a polymer material which is why its lightweight. And on top of that, the chassis has a rubber coating to give you a solid grip.

The rubber coating also protects the binos from water and shock damage.

Sightmark SM15073 Ghost Hunter has a rubber coating to give you a solid grip

These night-vision binos use a battery and it was impressive to see how long it can last. The battery can last for 72 solid hours before you need to recharge it. And that means that you can use these binos for more than a day or two allowing you to enjoy nature to the fullest.

Overall, the Ghost Hunter night vision binos are not disappointing for generation 1 night vision binos. The only thing is that you cannot use them in the dark as the infrared illuminator is not that powerful.

Other than that, they see well in low luminance and they are pocket-friendly.

Main Features

  • Magnification 4x
  • Objective Lens Diameter 50mm
  • Integrated IR illuminator
  • Auto Shut-off on Bright Light Exposure
  • Ergonomic Design & Quick Power-Up
  • Head Mount
  • 72 hour Operating Time (w/o IR Activated)
  • Durable Glass Filled Nylon Composite Housing
  • Includes Lens Covers & Carry Case
  • 1/4” Socket for Tripod Accessories
PROS:
  • 4x magnification for long-distance viewing
  • Rubber coating for a solid and comfortable grip
  • Easy to carry and use
  • 50mm objective for sharp views
  • Clear images
  • Lightweight, rugged, and tough build
  • Waterproof construction
  • Fogproof body
  • Battery life that lasts up to 72 hours
  • Inexpensive

CONS:
  • Narrow field of view which makes it hard to keep track of a moving target
  • No visibility when it’s totally dark

4. Night Owl Optics NOB5X – Best 5×50 Binocular Review

Night Owl Optics NOB5X

  • Two 1st Generation IITs
  • Integral IR Illuminator
  • 5x Magnification & 50mm Objectives
  • Binocular Vision & All-Glass Optics
  • 15º Angular Field of View

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The Night Owl NOB5X may be one of the best generation 1 binos in the market, but unlike many others, it is not cheap. So if you are willing to spend a little bit more on a gen 1-night vision bino, then consider owning a Night Owl.

This 5x50mm bino may not look much, but when it comes to functionality, comfort, and durability, this bino is at the top of its game.

The housing of these binocular is made of long-lasting material and it’s covered with a rubber finish. The rubber finish helps you have a firm grip on the binos even when your hands are sweaty or wet.

For night hunting, birding or wildlife viewing, the binos are fitted with an infrared illuminator. The illuminator may not be as advanced or powerful as the ones found in gen 3 or 4-night vision binos, but if there is moonlight, you shouldn’t have a problem using them.

Night Owl Optics NOB5X Review, Pros and Cons

The one thing that you might have a problem with is the weight and size of these binoculars. These are 50mm night vision binos after all so they are not as light compared to binos with objective lenses that are smaller in size.

So if you tend to use them for a couple of hours, a tripod might come in handy.

Main Features

  • Two 1st Generation Tubes
  • 35 lp/mm Resolution
  • 400 – 900nm Spectral Sensitivity
  • Integral IR Illuminator
  • 5x Magnification & 50mm Objectives
  • Binocular Vision & All-Glass Optics
  • 15º Angular Field of View
  • Adjustable Diopter: +4 to -4
  • Minimum Focusing Distance: 6.6′
  • Interpupillary Adjustment & Manual Center Focusing
  • Ergonomic Polymer Housing & Rubberized Covering
  • Impact-Resistant Molded Thermoplastic Lens Housings
  • Water Resistant & Rubberized Eyecups
PROS:
  • Infrared illuminator that makes objects visible in the dark
  • Rubberized finish for comfortable, firm, and easy handling
  • 50mm objective lens for sharp visuals
  • Wide field of view to help you monitor and keep a moving target in your view
  • 5x magnification that allows you to bring objects that are yards away closer
  • Sturdy and rugged construction
  • Durable and light in weight
  • Easy to use
  • Long-lasting battery

CONS:
  • The battery is expensive and can be hard to find
  • Cannot see in the dark
  • More expensive than other similar products
  • You might find it to be heavy

5. Night Owl NOXB-5 Explorer Pro – Best 5x W Infared Illumination Binocular Review

Night Owl NOXB-5 Explorer Pro

  • Two 1st Generation IITs
  • Columnated Infrared Illuminator
  • 5x Magnification & 50mm Objectives
  • Binocular Vision & All-Glass Optics
  • Low Battery Indicator

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The Night Owl NOXB- Explorer Pro 5x night vision binos is not your average night vision binos. Although it is a tard expensive compared to many other similar models, it does offer great image clarity in poor lighting conditions.

This is because it has an infrared illuminator that throws an infrared red light enhancing your visibility at night. viewing. And the lenses are treated with oxides and fluorides to improve the sharpness of the images.

The only problem is it’s a gen 1 bino. So it’s impossible to go out and view wildlife or hunt in the dark as you won’t see anything. But if there is some light, no matter how dim you’ll be able to see your views or objects clearly.

Night Owl NOXB-5 Explorer Pro Review, Pros and Cons

The Explorer Pro is a bit heavy because the objective lens is 50mm in diameter, which is large. But the good thing about the size of the lens is that you get a wide field of view, which makes it easy to track moving targets.

And with the 5x magnification long-distance viewing or hunting becomes real easy.

It has a steel stringer mechanism that not only gives you control of how you view your images but it also improves your precision and accuracy. And this is one feature that you’ll find to be useful especially when you are hunting.

And lastly, its body is sealed with special soft rubbering to make it easy for you to have a firm grip of the binos and without experiencing any discomfort.

Night Owl NOXB-5 Explorer Pro is covered with a rubber finish

All in all, when you compare the Explorer Pro, it has a lot to offer. So if your budget allows you to spend a couple of hundred bucks, then the Explorer Pro is worth having.

Main Features

  • 5x Magnification & 50mm Objectives
  • 700 Field of View & 575 Range of View
  • Adjustable Focus with Central Focusing Mechanism
  • Adjustable Inter-Ocular Distance
  • Two High-Quality Generation-1 Image Intensifier Tubes
  • Columnated Infrared Illuminator (not for day use)
  • Objective & Ocular Lenses Constructed of High-Quality All-Glass Optics
  • Steel Stringer System for additional precision and control
  • Low Battery Indicator & Extended Infared Operation on Low Battery
  • Soft-Touch Rubberized Finish
  • Impact-Resistant Molded Thermoplastic Lens Housings
  • Carry Case
PROS:
  • Clear views at all distances
  • Infrared illuminator for clear night views
  • Rubberized finish for weatherproof performance and a solid grip
  • Quality glass optics that have been treated to ensure that your views are clear and sharp
  • Wide field of view for easy and quick tracking of moving targets
  • Long-lasting battery
  • Solid construction that is built to last

CONS:
  • It is heavy
  • It doesn’t do well in total darkness

Buyer’s Guide – How To Choose The Right Night Vision Binos

Before we get into what you need to look for when choosing night vision binos, understand that varying night vision binos are designed for different purposes.

If you are a hunter, you should give certain features priority when selecting night vision binos. The same goes for if you are looking for night vision binos for birding or wildlife viewing.

ATN DGBNBN4KLRF Binox 4K

Via: @huntingmyway

Having said that, let us look at the basic features to look for when choosing night vision binos.

Generation Type

There are generation 1, 2, 3, and 4night vision binos. The generation 3 and 4 night vision binos are more effective at night than generation 1 and 2 binos.

This is not to say that generation 1 or 2 don’t perform well. They simply don’t do well in the dark as compared to generation 3 or 4 night vision binos. So when choosing night vision binos, it boils down to what you need them for.

Do you want binos that you can use to hunt in the dark? If so, then we would recommend going with the generation 3 or 4 night vision binos. But keep in mind that there are more expensive than gen 1 and 2 binos.

Image Quality

This is one feature that you absolutely cannot ignore because it is what makes a bino good or bad. The image quality is determined by the type of glass lenses they use.

Extra-low dispersion glass is used in most modern binos to minimize chromatic aberration or color fringing.

The other determinant is the lens coatings. Today, binos use lenses that are coated with multiple layers of anti-reflective coatings and other special coatings for clear viewing. Besides that, multicoated lenses improve your viewing in dim conditions.

And when it comes to night vision binos, you have to check if they have an infrared illuminator. The illuminator provides visibility in the dark by throwing an infrared light that you cannot see with your naked eyes. During the day, you can switch it off. But at night you need to switch it on to see.

Via: @ibericadearmerias

Another thing you might want to check is the resolution. Binos with high resolution deliver sharper and clearer images. So depending on what you want to use the binos for, activities like hunting require high resolution.

Magnification

Magnification is essential when you want to see objects that are located far away. And this is important for hunters who want to catch their prey without spooking it by getting too close.

But it should also be understood that night vision binos with a magnification of more than 10x deliver shaky images. So you might want to go with binos that have 7x or 8x magnification.

Field of View and Eye Relief

When it comes to the field of view, the wider the better. A bino with a wide field of view enables you to see more of your view widthwise. It also enables you to keep track of a fast-moving target like a running deer or flying bird.

The eye relief is a key consideration if you wear glasses or lenses. If you are a glass wearer, you should go for binos with long eye relief. In this case, we are talking about eye relief that is more than 11mm.

Focus

Almost all standard binos have a fast focusing mechanism and this is the same with night vision binos. The system allows you to focus on your target with ease and with speed using a central focusing wheel.

Sometimes this wheel can be hard to turn, which is usually a problem with the design of the bino. So check to see that the wheel turns smoothly with little resistance.

Waterproof Body

Most night vision binos have rubberized armoring to make them water-resistant. But the rubber armoring offers more than that. It allows you to have a firm hold on the binos even when it’s wet.

The armoring also protects the binos from getting damaged if dropped by accident. But they are not impervious to damage, so if they drop from a high height, there are likely to sustain some damage.

Size and Weight

When you are out hunting in the day or night, you need binos that are light and easy to carry. Usually, binos with large objective lenses tend to be heavier compared to those with smaller objective lenses.

Best Night Vision Binoculars should be light and easy to carry

Via: @lovtek.sk

So although they offer sharper visuals, carrying them around is not easy particularly if you are out in the field for a prolonged time.

Conclusion

Night vision binos give you an advantage that other binoculars don’t. And that is they allow you to see objects clearly at night.

The only problem comes in when deciding what type of night vision binos to buy. And this depends on what you want to use them for. Since there are different generations of night vision binos, it’s up to you to decide which one you want to buy.

If you are on a tight budget, you can opt to buy gen 1 or 2 night vision binos, but if you plan to go hunting or viewing at night, you need gen 3 or 4 binos.

Also, ensure that you take into consideration features like image quality, field of view, magnification, and the size of the objective lens when choosing night vision binos.

Best Night Vision Binoculars

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