Best Night Vision Binoculars

Night Vision Binoculars - Reviews & Guides For 2020

Our Top Night Vision Binoculars

Need Help Choosing Night Vision Binoculars?

Night Vision Binoculars buying guide

Love to spend time in the wilderness? Love to camp outdoors and want to enjoy mother nature in the night time? Opt for suitable night vision binoculars to enjoy the nightlife in the wilderness.

The piece of equipment allows you to enjoy the beauty without the interference of any light. You can quietly get a good view and target different targets.

Being a wildlife photographer, you have to be very patient to capture the billion-dollar picture. These binoculars provide you with a clear view without any noise to capture amazing pictures with your camera.

However, while selecting a binocular, you have to look into several elements. You need to deem about the size, weight, magnification power, purpose, and other additional properties. To gather all the information, you have to look into different sources that can consume valuable time.

Moreover, you may not get all the right facts and details. On the contrary, with a comprehensive buying guide, you don’t need to search here and there. You get all the necessary details under one roof.

You can quickly skim through them and funnel down the best product. With all this, you get answers to several common questions and queries.

So without wasting any more time, let us have a quick introduction to the product and then move further into the guide.

What do you mean by Night Vision Binoculars? Why do you need them?

As the name suggests, a night vision binocular is a special type of binocular designed with in-built magnification. This specialized device comes up with two eyepieces.

They allow you to identify the fine details of the targets from a distance. With advanced zooming features, they elevate the accuracy of the pictures.

You can get the best results when you are standing and observing the target. Constant motion can hinder the magnification process and your view.

You can also choose a dual-tube model at an affordable price for better depth perception.

Typically, these binoculars are incredibly essential for people working in the military, security, search, rescue, etc.

Also, they can have significant benefits for people who are engaged in law enforcement or astronomy. They are crucial for different outdoor activities like hunting, camping, bird watching, etc.

With a night vision binocular, it is easier to locate your target position, so you can choose this device to find hidden objects.

Why should I read this buying guide before selecting night vision binoculars?

With a plethora of options available in the market, you will get a hard time selecting the best option. You have to study all the factors so that you can invest your money in the right product.

Also, with several brands gloating over their models, you should have prior knowledge about the product to sort out the best option. This will also prevent you from falling into the market’s bear trap.

By referring to this well-structured guide, you will get all the necessary details in an organized way. You can quickly analyze all the critical pointers and pin down a particular product.

So, let us dive into this immense pool to know all about the product so that you can make an informed decision.

Generations of Night Vision Binoculars

1st generation

First-generation night-time binoculars are the oldest models with a very low range of detection up to 75 yards. They are designed with an in-built IR illuminator, but the light gain is within a thousand. Nonetheless, this is the cheapest model available in the market.

You can find several products on an online platform. They allow you to have a glimpse of night vision technology. They are best suited for sightseeing purposes or fun activities.

2nd generation

These models are renowned for their better range, resolution, and image quality. They are much better than Gen 1 devices in terms of the sharpness and brightness of the images. As they have a range of about 200 yards, you can consider them for more serious roles.

2nd Gen IIT

They have high-quality tubes and excellent resolution. Tube life is also more than 5000 hours.

  1. CGT IIT

These tubes are designed with a multi-alkali photocathode and have a higher resolution, so they offer good contrast in different situations.

  1. HPT IIT

They are the upgraded version of the above-mentioned tubes and are hugely known for their sensitivity and resolution.

3rd generation

Though these models use the MCP amplifier, the photocathode tubes are made of gallium arsenide. Therefore, you can have crystal images even in the darkest environment. They offer a range of 300 yards, but you need to spend a little more on these binoculars.

  1. 3rd Gen. Standard IIT

3rd generation image intensifier tubes come up with the highest quality. They are designed with a microchannel plate, gallium arsenide photocathode, and an integrated high-voltage power supply. It is hugely used in the USA military.

  1. 3A Gen. Premium select IIT

This is the highest IIT among the 3rd Gen IITs. They are handpicked and provide maximum specifications.

  1. 3P Gen. ITT Pinnacle™

It has the gated power supply that provides incredible performances in high-light and less-polluted environments. These tubes also have a data record sheet. They are appropriate for urban areas, but you can not avail of them for export.

4th generation

These models are designed with the most advanced night vision technology, which is powerful as well. So, you can have a more resolution, better target detection, and sharper image quality.

But they are the most expensive among all generations of the night vision binocular models, but they are hugely appreciated for their performance.

2nd Gen + (2I) IIT

These high-quality tubes provide outstanding resolution and brightness. All the tubes are designed with a micro-channel plate, multi-alkaline photocathode, and an integrated power supply.

2nd Gen +(2IA) IIT

These are the upgraded version of the above-mentioned tubes. They are handpicked and provide better performance than the previous generation.

Also, there are several other image intensifier tubes such as CGTI IIT, HPTI FOM 1250 IIT, and more that you can choose for better performance.

Things to deem about while selecting appropriate Night Vision Binoculars

Size and Weight

Due to the robust technology used in a night vision binocular, it comes up with a large size. The size usually increases with higher magnification.

If you want to have more precise images, you will need better magnification. With a higher generation, it is easy to get a smaller size so that you can maintain the clarity of the pictures.

Night vision models are heavier than the daylight binoculars because they have significant differences in magnification. For instance, a night vision binocular having a 5-power set can weigh more than 30 ounces, which is heavy compared to a regular set of 5x binocs.

If you look for the bi-ocular designs, you will have less weight and size. Instead of two eyepieces, they have one that is able to feed into two.

But when you are having a lightweight and small design, you should be more careful. If you choose the Gen 1 device designed with a plastic body, you must handle it cautiously to avoid any damages.

Magnification

It will be wise not to expect the night vision binoculars to have the same magnification as the regular binoculars. The night vision techs are not very compatible with higher magnification.

If you go over the 6-power of a night vision binocular, you may have serious issues with picture qualities. So it is highly recommended not to cross 6-power. Something near 4-power can be an excellent choice to have optimal magnification with balanced picture clarity.

Usually, most of the units have the magnification range between 3x and 5x. However, you should always focus on your purpose before choosing the magnification range.

Although they will not enhance the vision ranges, you can have detailed pictures within the vision range. With a night vision unit, you will never get higher magnification as expected. However, digital night vision models can provide higher magnification (12x or 24x).

Range

A standard binocular allows you to see up to a hundred-yard distance without any issues. If you have a high-end binocular, you will be able to see free little things from long distances.

If your night vision binocular has 5x magnification, you can see bigger targets at the 500-yard distance in proper daylight. But, it is possible with some particular night vision models.

On a full moon night, you can locate a man-sized target at 300 yards, but you should not expect more clarity. Night vision binoculars are mainly appropriate for finer details such as animal features, facial features, clothing, etc.

You can clearer image of a target out to 100 yards with a high vision binocs that you will not find in any other night viewing devices. It will help you to find and evaluate smaller details of the target with ease.

Purpose

Usually, night vision binocs can be used for different purposes like security, hunting, nature observing, etc. So, it is essential to figure out why you need this device to make sure you are buying the right generation within your budget.

If you want a night vision binocular for casual purposes, it will be pointless to spend 5k on the device. When it comes to some serious roles like security and surveillance, you can go for an expensive model.

On the other hand, people always want better magnification for hunting in an open area. So, it will be wise to go higher than 5x magnification.

If you are looking for a night vision binocular for nature observing, you should check the recognition and detection range.

You will need more magnification for a smaller target where a man-sized target can be easily seen with a small and lightweight unit.

Extra Features

  1. Infrared Illuminators

Choosing a night vision binocular equipped with infrared technology will help you identify your target in complete darkness. Infrared illuminators release a ray of infrared light so the binocular can magnify properly and create visible images.

  1. Recording Function

It is very convenient to record videos and images for future use with a digital night vision binocular. You will find a detachable micro SD card and a USB cable that will help you transfer the recordings to your computer.

  1. Power Source

It is wise to choose a night-time binocular that comes up with long battery life and a convenient power source. You can also consider replaceable batteries so you can change them according to your convenience.

  1. Focus

It is highly recommended to search for a night vision binocular having an adjustable focus. Usually, night vision binoculars use a central wheel to regulate both barrel focus. Some models have diopter adjustment rings to focus the barrels separately.

  1. Field of view

By having the best quality night vision binocular, you can have a wider field of view. With that, you can focus on the target and see without even turning the head.

  1. Fog Proofing

To make sure that your night-time binocular can work effectively in a foggy situation, you will need a unit that has lenses with a fog-proof coating to avoid condensation.

Ease of Use

While selecting your night vision binocular, you must check how convenient it is to use. You should choose a model that you can hold comfortably for a long time.

Also, you should make sure that the switches are in the proper position. This allows you to operate the binocular effortlessly.

Moreover, it will be better to go for an easily-adjustable focus. Most of the night vision binoculars are equipped with an adjustable focus for both eyepieces.

Having a head mount attached to the device can be an excellent choice to free your hands so you can do other tasks conveniently.

You should also consider whether you will be moving or staying in a particular place so that you can buy a larger model accordingly.

Power Source

In general, the night vision binoculars obtain power from batteries. They can run up to 50 to 100 hours effectively, similar to the other night vision devices.

Commonly, AA or CR123 batteries are used in most of the night vision devices. You should go with lithium batteries as they have a longer life. Also, they do not have any battery issues, so you can use them hassle-free.

If you are planning for an extended session, you should opt for a rechargeable battery kit to power up the battery whenever you need it. But they are a little expensive.

The power source of the binoculars depends on a particular device or a company, so it can go up to a hundred dollars.

Weather Resistance

You should look for a binocular designed with a strong and durable outer shell resistant to weather and water.

If the device is engineered with automatic brightness control features, you can use it for an extended period. Additionally, you will be able to adjust the images according to the change of cloud covers.

Versatility

The infrared illuminator can be a great addition to the night vision binoculars. You must check whether you can attach the IR illuminator to your device or not. It will be challenging to carry the large binocular by your hand and use the illuminator simultaneously.

Besides, you should make sure that it will be convenient to attach a sling system to your unit.

With a sling or chest harness, you can move comfortably with the heavy binoculars.Also, you should consider if the device can be slapped on the tripod so that it will help you in long-term viewing. This is one of the best ways to reduce weight from your hand, and you will get a stable platform for extended viewing.

Price

Before making your purchase, you should keep in mind that night vision binoculars are costlier than other night vision devices.

If you want to have better image quality, you will need to spend more. You will find some models available in the market that have larger images tube instead of two, but it can feed into both eyes.

This is how you can get better design and more clarity within a reasonable price range.

A standard first-generation night vision binocular without additional features can cost at least 500 bucks. On the other hand, digital models come within a range of 150 to 300 bucks.

Second-generation models which have a durable and professional-grade construction will run up to 2000 dollars.

Gen 3 models are well-built, and thus they cost higher. They have a price of more than 5000 dollars. Nevertheless, Gen 3 models are appropriate for excellent sight pictures.

Lens and Image Quality

  1. Image Quality

Higher image quality does not mean you will detect and observe your target without any extra effort. It will be better to select the lower magnification for your night-time binoculars to get clearer and sharper images.

But, you should remember that more clarity of images comes at a higher price.

  1. Lens Quality

The lens of your night vision binocular should be well-built. You will find some models designed with multi-coated lenses that are extremely resistant to scratch and water.

The anti-reflective lens can also enhance light transmission to make sure you will get a better image quality significantly.

Range of Detection

Another essential feature that you must consider while searching for the night vision binoculars. It depends on your needs, whether you want the device for long-distance or short-distance viewing, and you should select the range of detection accordingly.

Gain

Gain helps you to know about how much light is emitted from the lens of the binoculars. It means a higher gain implies that you will have better images. The gain will reduce when the magnification increases, so you should choose a night vision binocular with manual gain control features. It will be easier to adjust the gain according to the brightness of the environment.

Resolution

The clarity and sharpness of an image are determined by resolution. So, it is needless to say that a higher resolution of a night vision binocular will produce a better picture. Having a higher resolution means you are allowed to observe the smallest details and locate your target quickly.

Eye Relief

The distance between the eyepieces and your eyes is measured by eye relief. It is recommended to look for a long eye relief which is not less than 11 mm to hold the device comfortably away from the face.

FAQs

  1. Can I use the product during the day time?

No, most models are not fit to use in the daytime. The optics in the product are quite sensitive to the light. Also, the light-capturing technology can be permanently damaged due to massive exposure. Some models are there in the market that can be used during the day but always be careful.

  1. Is the product durable?

Yes, good quality binoculars are very durable. They have a high threshold against rusting, weather elements, and regular wear and tear. But at last, the durability depends on how you maintain it. As the optics are sensitive, you should never drop the product and clear it properly for its long life.

  1. What is the maximum range of the night vision binoculars?

With top-quality binoculars, you can have a clear view of up to 500 yards or more. The maximum range depends on the amount of light that is available and the maximum detection range of the product. The product enhances the ambient light present at night.

  1. Is the product worth its value and performance?

Yes, you can easily identify different things at night time, and you get a good view. The product has high portability and is easy to use. Whether you are using it for sightseeing or professional use, the binoculars will cater to your needs.

Final Verdict

With all this information under your possession, what are you waiting for? All you need is to select an elite product for your expedition.

Here in this guide, we have corner-stoned all the prime features that will aid you in selecting a particular product. Examine all the points and get yourself a top-notch product.



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