You’ll be astonished at how a night vision monocular can change your life. Someone with an active lifestyle can suddenly hike or fish at night, when previously such activities were limited to the daytime hours. If you like looking at animals in the wild at night, or perhaps you want to scan your property for intruders, then you should get the best night vision monoculars you can get with your budget.
It’s true than even a middling-quality monocular with night vision capability is a great help, compared to just relying on your own eyesight at night. We’re not just physically equipped to see properly in the dark. But with night vision monoculars, your vision expands, while you don’t have to use bright lights to see in the dark. You don’t need more expensive binoculars when monoculars will do.
Best Night Vision Monoculars Reviews
1. Bestguarder Monocular with 1.5 inch TFT LCD
As this comes with 6x magnification and 50mm objective lens, you can be assured you’d get high quality imagery. It also has fully multicoated optics to reduce the glare and to boost the light transmission.
This even lets you take HD photos and videos with sound. It comes with a built-in microphone, so that you can record video with sound.
It helps that it comes with a built-in 850Nm IR illuminator that’s good enough to brighten things up to 1150 feet. It can even put a date and time stamp on your photos and videos. There’s also a built-in accessory mounting rail that lets you put in a more powerful IR illuminator if you have one.
The user interface includes a 1.5-inch TFT screen that displays lots of info. It tells you when you’re recording and the display also shows the remaining battery power level. The IR LED light status is shown, the brightness setting (low, med, high) too, plus the zoom factor that goes up to 5x. You do have to focus by hand by turning the lens.
You can use this for hunting and other outdoor activities, or you can use it to shoot videos at night. It’s even possible for you to shoot very long movies with this, as you can power it with an external power bank. It comes with a tripod so you can get steady shots, though if you’re using this for hunting or hiking it helps that it comes with a portable strap.
Don’t mind the rain, as it features rugged IPX4 water-resistant housing. The rugged of this monocular is amazing, and it’s quite affordable too. What’s more, the image clarity you get here can let you see what type of animal you have outside up to 150 yards. Some can even see clearly past 200 yards. This level of image clarity can match other monoculars that cost 10 times as much!
Key Features :
- It offers great value for money.
- You can record videos and take photos with a time stamp.
- With a power bank, you can take very long movies.
- The clarity is amazing.
2. Firefield Nightfall 5×50 Night Monocular
As the name says, this gives you 5x magnification with 50mm objective lens. You’d think that those features would surely come from a bigger monocular, but the Firefield FF24066 is surprisingly compact. This particular monocular in the Nightfall lineup is perhaps its most ergonomic, so it’s a lot easier to hold, use, and bring along with you.
This is easy enough to use with one hand, and its light weight makes it better for longer use and for travel. The built-in Pulse IR illuminator doesn’t really need a lot of power, so it only needs 2 AA batteries. Put in some lithium ones, and you can go for 3 hours straight.
A lot of ex-military people like this, as the quality is pretty much at par with military monoculars. Its clarity depends on the ambient light at night, and with starlight it’s possible to see for 200 yards out. The range increases a lot more when you have a full moon out. You just need to make sure you practice to learn how to adjust the 2 focal lenses so you can dial in a crisp image.
If there’s no light from the night sky or from your suburban setting, then you can still use the built-in IR illuminator. This works well enough to check your property at night as you can still see about 40 yards out.
The monocular can stand rugged use, and it’s fully weather-resistant. A little rain won’t be a problem. You may want to accessorize this with a more powerful IR flashlight, but as is you get a lot of value for your money.
Key Features :
- Very easy to hold
- Lightweight and easy to carry
- Works very well with ambient life
- Can stand rugged use in the outdoors
3. HD Digital Infrared Camera Scope
Don’t blame us for putting in a lot of Bestguarder monoculars on this list. It’s a rather well-known brand for a reason. This time, you get the same capabilities as the Bestguarder Wi-Fi HD Digital Night Vision Monocular except the lack of the Wi-Fi feature.
In fact, the resolution here is a bit higher. Videos are still the same at 1280 x 720, but now the jpegs can be taken with a 2592 x 1944 resolution. The viewing distance ranges on up to 1150 feet. You can tell what kind of animals are out there with you at night, so you differentiate between coyotes and your neighbor’s dogs.
These are surprising specs, given that it’s a nice, compact unit. It’s only 8.1 inches long and it only weighs 1.5 pounds. That makes it extremely easy to bring along with you on hikes.
The eyepiece here is adjustable, and it also has an IR illuminator. It offers a 1.5-inch TFT display, and it also has an IPX4 weather-resistance. You can connect this to a PC with a USB cable, or connect with a TV with the TV cable. You can also buy a 32GB micro SB card in which you can save your photos and videos.
This is a tough little monocular, and it shows in the way it looks. You can mount it on a tripod or just bring it along with your portable strap. Just make sure you have at least 4 AA batteries and some spares. This comes with a 1-year warranty.
Key Features :
- Super HD resolution for photos
- It can act as camera or camcorder
- The viewing range goes up to 1150 feet
- Supports micro SD cards of up to 32GB
4. Carson MiniAura Digital Monocular
Lots of monoculars tend to look like camcorders. They can be 8 inches long and still boast of its compactness. Bit this Mini Aura is truly tiny and pocket-sized, as its longest side is only 2.6 inches long! it also only weighs just 3.4 ounces.
Obviously, this is just for viewing your immediate surroundings. It can go to as far as 82 feet in total darkness, though the field of view is wide at 19 degrees. That’s good enough to check out your property and to look over the nearby areas when you’re hiking at night. It’s also easy to use.
This doesn’t have image intensifier tubes that over time will burn itself out. It’s completely digital. This means that when you look through this, you won’t see images tinged with a greenish color like with most night vision monoculars. Instead, you get them in sharp black and white colors, and you only need to push a button to adjust the intensity.
For your money this is a great buy, because in some instances you can see out to a hundred yards from your position. The build is unexpectedly solid with the use of tough ABS plastic, and it only uses 3 AAA batteries.
When you have this, you basically have a night vision monocular that you can bring anywhere with you. It can be part of your EDC kit. There’s no need to trot around a huge monocular when you’re just ambling along at night and you don’t want to worry about your surroundings when it’s dark.
Key Features :
- You can still see far in total darkness
- It’s extremely portable due to its tiny size and weight
- The images are digital clear
- It’s very easy to use
5. Bushnell Equinox Z Digital Monocular
This is available in 3 sizes, ranging from 3×30 and 4.5×40 to 6×50. The 3×30 lets you view out to 656 feet, while the 4.5×40 extends that to 738 feet. You get up to 984 feet with the 6×50.
However, you will sacrifice the length of your field of view as the monocular becomes more powerful. You have 30 feet at 100 yards for your FOV for the 3×30, but that goes all the way down to 20 feet at 100 yards for the 6×50.
These all come with an IR illuminator and a tripod mount, and they all need 4 AA batteries. You also get a carrying case, a tethered objective lens cap, and a wrist strap.
They don’t weigh a lot at all, with the 6×50 weight the most at only 27 ounces. If you’re taking pictures and videos, then you have to stick with the 2 larger sizes as the 3×30 doesn’t have this capability. The bigger sizes let you take photos to save onto a micro SD card, and transmit video through the video out cable.
The clarity of the image you get through the Equinox Z is terrific, and part of the reason for that is its use of glass for the objective lens. Lower-quality monoculars stick with plastic for their objective lens. This can also be used for both day and night time.
You can zoom in up to 3x so you know what you’re looking at. While many monoculars are just for looking, this may be used on certain rifles. It’s been tested for recoil for up to 350 grams.
Key Features :
- Rugged water-resistant housing
- 3 night vision levels, with a daytime mode
- Can be powered by the mini USB port
6. Night Owl iGEN 20/20 Day/Night Monocular
Night vision technology can be classified according to generation. The Gen 1 devices are basic, though of course with modern tech they’re still quite good. the Gen 2 devices are much more advanced, while the Gen 3 are often reserved for military and law enforcement use.
But the technology in the iGen 20/20 is so advanced that it may be considered beyond Gen 3. It’s very robust, with no vacuum tubes and no risk of damage from bright light exposure.
The ambient light amplification can go up to 650x, which basically means that a few stars in the sky may be enough to make it seem like it is dawn. The field of view is also amazingly clear of distortion, and you certainly don’t get the black spots you see through other monoculars.
The IR intensity automatically lights up as well so you only get the right amount of IR illumination. But you can also manually choose from 10 levels of IR intensity. You have 4 display brightness settings, and you can program the time the devise automatically shuts off. The lens here is made of glass and you get 2.6x magnification. The objective lens focuses on the objects in the distance.
Since the image quality is so good, you may want to record too an external device. This can record to NTSC and PAL video formats, and it can also be fitted to mount a tripod.
All in all, this is a heck of a monocular and even its look is unique. Look through the monocular, however, and it’s like daytime at night except in black and white.
Key Features :
- Better image quality with no image distortion
- The IR emitter illuminates the scenes with no dark spots or uneven light patterns
- There are no bright-spot blooming effects or halo-effect normal with conventional night vision
- Automatic IR adjustment
7. Xgen 2.1x Digital Night Vision Viewer
There’s always a market for affordable sub-$100 best night vision monoculars, except that a lot of them are crappy. But that’s not an adjective you’d use for the Xgen 2.1x.
This offers digital technology and 2.1 magnification. The infrared illuminator is built in, and you just push on a single button to pick from 5 different settings. The sensor resolution reaches 640p by 480p and you can view for up to 70 yards. That’s good enough for most use when hiking, camping, or just checking the property at night.
It’s remarkably easy to use, since there’s just a single button to push. It’s also compact so you can easily take it with you. Its length is just 4.8 inches and it only weighs 7 ounces without the batteries. The ergonomic design makes it comfortable to grasp with one hand.
The utter simplicity and affordability of this device is what makes it special. It’s just a nice gadget that you use at night, no big deal. Except you do get night vision capability that can be useful in many ways, yet the quality is good while the price is amazingly low.
Key Features :
- Great 1st night vision monocular for teens
- Extremely affordable with great value for money
- Quite portable
- Very easy to use
8. Bestguarder Digital Monocular with WiFi
Sometimes you just want to set up a monocular on a tripod and look through it with your smartphone when you’re snug and warm in your living room. You can do that with this Bestguarder model. But when you want to bring it with while camping at night, you can do that too.
Its image quality at night is terrific. The digital zoom can go up from 1.5x to 3x with an optical magnification of 3.5x. That’s how it’s called a 3.5-10.5x model. It’s good enough that you can read license plates at night from 350 meters (about 1150 feet).
What this means is that you can easily identify various animals that come into your property at night, and of course you’re able to see a lot more clearly when you’re hiking in the dark. It’s also waterproof and it meets IPX4 standards.
It’s also impressive that you can take 1280p by 720p jpegs and videos with this model. Since it’s a Wi-Fi model, you can take the photos and videos through your phone and then send them to your friends.
Without using the IT illuminator and solely relying on the ambient lighting, the 4 AA batteries can go for as long as 9 hours straight. Using the IR illuminator still leaves you with at least 3 to 5 hours of use.
It’s extremely easy to use, and in fact you can fiddle with the buttons with no trouble. There are only a few of these buttons to begin with, so you can be an expert quickly even without the manual. Manually focusing the images isn’t all that difficult either.
Key Features :
- The viewing range is up to 1150 feet
- It’s a Wi-Fi model, so you can use it with your smartphone to capture videos and photos
- It’s extremely easy to learn to use even without a manual
- You have plenty of hours of use without changing batteries
9. Barska NVX100 3x Monocular with Built in Camera
This one is an affordable model too, yet you may not suspect it when you look at it and its list of features. Even at a glance you can tell that it offers high tech features, and it also has a built-in camera.
This works with its built-in IR illuminator, which can light up the scene with infrared for up to 328 feet or 100 meters. At that distance, you can use it for night time observation though it’s a lot more suitable for surveillance.
This gives you 3x magnification with a digital zoom of 2x. The imager offers decent resolution of 640 x 480p, and you’re able to record images and video. The video recording format is H.264, and you can also display the images on a TV. You can also transfer the images to your PC, or save them on a 4GB micro SD card.
You will have to buy that 4GB micro SD card on your own, though your purchase does come with a 1GB version. You also get a mini USB cable, an AV cable, a neck strap, and a soft carrying case. You will also need to buy the required 4 AA batteries on your own.
The price is terrific especially when you consider that it offers a recording function. That’s not common in this price range. It’s clear enough in the dark, and it offers a way for you to move around at night. If you’re planning to record scenes at night, then this is a terrific option.
Key Features :
- 3x magnification with 2x zoom
- 640p resolution
- Can record images and videos with the built in camera
- Comes with a 1GB micro SD card
- Not too big with a length of 5.2 inches and a light weight
- Comes with a 1-year warranty
10. Astromania Portable Digital Monocular
Have you ever gone camping and noticed deer at night near your camp? Obviously you can’t just blast your flashlight at them, and you may startle them with your smartphone flash. But you can record the cute “Bambi” with this monocular with a built-in camera.
This comes with an IR illuminator, but you don’t need to use it all the time. It can work enough in low light and still get you useful photos and videos. However, you can use the IR light and you can adjust the brightness through 7 levels.
This gives you 3x magnification and 2x zoom. The viewing distance is for 100 meters, and the resolution is at 640p.
The monocular lets you record videos and take photos, which you can save on the 4G Micro SD Card included in your purchase. However, this can work for up to the 32GB card. You can also use the USB port to transfer files to the PC, or use the AV cable to get the images on the TV. There’s also a screen inside the monocular that lets you preview your videos and photos.
This is nicely compact, with a length of only 5.7 inches (x 3.5 inches x 1.4 inches). It doesn’t weigh much either at 11.4 ounces.
Bring this along with you for sailing, camping, and hunting, and take photos as well. You can just enjoy the scenery at night, or maybe look around your property for wild coyotes and deer.
Key Features :
- Range of up to 328 feet
- 7 levels of IR illumination
- It is compact and easy to hold securely
- You can use it to record videos and take photos
How To Choose The Night Vision Monoculars
So exactly how do you go about buying the right sort of night vision monocular? First you have to consider your budget, and then you need to think about your need and preferences. It is one thing if you just want to look about at night from your porch, but you may want to take videos or perhaps take the device with you on nighttime outdoor adventures.
So here are some factors you should pay attention to:
This is the first thing you need to check out. Some of the mediocre night vision monoculars don’t really show much at all, but others can offer startling image clarity that may make it seem like it is day time. So check for image quality.
If you’re just checking around you, then you don’t really need to see beyond 40 yards or so. But for hunting or for nighttime rescue, a range of 300 yards can really help when you’re hunting for prey or for missing kids.
Here you should check the dimensions, the weight, and the ergonomics. Some models are tiny enough to fit in your pocket. Unfortunately, the ones with better quality images and range tend to be bigger.
Ease of Use
A device isn’t of much use if you can’t really use it easily enough. It should be simple to operate.
Unlike most binoculars, the best monoculars may come with built-in video cameras so you can take videos and movies. You may be able to save the images on a micro SD card, or perhaps transfer the files to a PC or display the videos on a TV.
Most of these devices use batteries, but you should check how long they last.
Obviously the better monoculars with more features will cost more. That’s why on our list we’ve picked the best ones for certain price points.
The night vision monoculars can be used for a wide variety of nighttime activities. Sure, they can be fun. But they can be immensely useful for serious activities like security, night rescue, and hunting (speaking of hunting at night, if you are using a gun it would be wise to use a night vision scope). These gadgets may seem like toys, but many professionals can use them for their work.
Still, there’s no denying the fun factor, and of course camping and hiking at night can be fun as well. Take one along with you. The best night vision monoculars may keep you safe and boost the fun as well!