5 Best Night Vision Binoculars in 2021 (incl. Gen 4)

Tori Rhodes
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For many people, night vision binoculars are also scary. You will not believe how many incredible things you can discover only if you are a little brave and courageous enough to take things slow and easy. These devices are great for exploring the wilderness, observing birds from afar, or scanning the city skyline at night in a way that’s rarely presented in the media.

The greatest thing about night binoculars is that their technology is getting better and better every day.

Before you know it, you will be able to buy a handheld monocular with a resolution as good as most full-sized night vision binoculars used by hunters and outdoorsmen.

In this article you will get an overview of some of the best next-generation night vision binoculars you can buy today, and you will also learn everything you need to know about the technology behind these devices.

NameCategoryProduct
CREATIVE XP Digital Night Vision BinocularsBest OverallCREATIVE XP Digital Night Vision Binoculars
Night Owl Pro Nexgen Night Vision BinocularBudget PickNight Owl Pro Nexgen Night Vision Binocular
ATN BinoX-HD 4-16x/65mm Smart Day & Night Smart HD Binocular w/1080p VideoUpgrade PickATN BinoX-HD 4-16x/65mm Smart Day & Night Smart HD Binocular w/1080p Video

1. CREATIVE XP Digital Night Vision Binoculars

Our rating: 9 / 10

CREATIVE XP Digital Night Vision Binoculars

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Pros:

  • Image intensifier tube
  • Weighs less than 2 lbs
  • Provides 3 times more light than conventional binoculars
  • 7 x 50 night binoculars

Cons:

  • Image is very fuzzy especially in low light conditions
  • An extremely high magnification binocular

If you’re on a budget, then the XP Digital Night Vision Binoculars would be a fantastic choice. It's a great deal for an entry-level night vision binocular.

Built for surveillance, hunting and for law enforcement, the XP Digital Night Vision Binoculars features an image intensifier tube, weighs approximately 1.5 lbs, which is just a quarter of the weight of the older model.

With these binoculars, you can see objects up to 1,000 yards away in complete darkness, thanks to the moon and stars that give off enough light for them to work.

2. ATN BinoX-HD 4-16x/65mm Smart Day & Night Smart HD Binocular w/1080p Video

Our rating: 7 / 10

ATN BinoX-HD 4-16x/65mm Smart Day & Night Smart HD Binocular w/1080p Video

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Pros:

  • Very lightweight and compact
  • Amazing battery life at nearly 12 hours
  • Great price point

Cons:

  • The Magnesium casing scratches easily
  • LCD screen can wash out in bright sunlight
  • Switching between modes can be slow and fiddly

This is my pick for the best night binocular. The audio options and 6X zoom capability make this the best binocular for hunting game at night.

3. Night Owl Pro Nexgen Night Vision Binocular

Our rating: 6 / 10

Night Owl Pro Nexgen Night Vision Binocular

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Pros:

  • Infrared illuminator
  • Works for up to 50m in complete darkness
  • Lightweight for its size
  • Flip-up lens caps

The Night Owl Pro line of night vision binoculars are quite affordable and run the complete gamut from 4X to 8X and 3X to 6X depending on which model you choose.

The 3X model is the smallest of the pack, but don’t let the size fool you. This tiny unit is just as powerful as its older sibling the Pro Plus.

This binocular’s glass-etched image intensifier allows for it to achieve a resolution of 6-12,000 lines (depending on ambient light) to provide a sharp image of whatever you’re looking at. The idea behind the resolution is to allow it to capture enough of the image so that when you zoom in on the image it doesn’t appear fuzzy.

4. Sightmark SM15070 Ghost Hunter 1×24 Night Vision Goggle Binocular Kit

Our rating: 5 / 10

Sightmark SM15070 Ghost Hunter 1x24 Night Vision Goggle Binocular Kit

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Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Affordable
  • Convenience store the batteries inside
  • Decent quality optics

Sightmark is one of the leading providers of high quality night vision goggles and binoculars.

The SM15070 Ghost Hunter Night Vision Goggle Binocular Kit is the ultimate night vision viewing system.

It’ll let you take in the night like never before. Finding wildlife is easier than ever and identifying objects never seemed easier. Additionally, you can see over 1200 feet in complete darkness.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Which night vision binoculars are the best?

Based on your specific needs, your best option will vary, but here are some recommendations to help you get started:

For any general nighttime activity from hiking to hunting to stargazing to detecting raccoons in the attic, you simply can’t go wrong with the Bushnell Falcon series. Especially if you don’t need extreme range, these binoculars will give you great quality without breaking the bank.

For the stargazer who wants massive range and brilliant clarity, the Athlon Optics Astro binoculars are the best night vision binoculars for the money.

For the professional security guard or hunter who must have extreme range, sensitivity, and duty-cycle, you want the Setina Mule HD model.

Can night vision binoculars be used in daylight?

Night vision binoculars are exclusively used for viewing in low-light conditions. In order to perform any other activity with these binoculars, you need to cover up the infrared illuminators. Doing this can lead to a considerable decrease in brightness and clarity and is not recommended for normal daytime use.

Some of these binoculars have built-in filters that block out visible light to prevent this. You can also attach a filter to the binoculars with a piece of tape if you like.

Check out this article for a detailed review of the 5 best night vision binoculars for night hunting.

Another use for night vision binoculars is to use the high intensity red light illumination for pre-dawn game drives. You can then use the binoculars for the rest of the light period when the illumination is switched off.

What is the highest generation night vision?

The generation number is a single digit number directly attached to the word night vision. The higher the number, the better and more expensive the binoculars are likely to be. The generation number ratings do not relate to the quality of a binocular, but rather to its technology.

Generation 1 is really low quality and does not perform well in low-light environments.

Generation 3 is considered the top of the line and the best night vision binoculars.

Generation 4 combines infrared (IR) technology for better performance in scenes with no ambient light.

If you are not interested in infrared technology, generation 3 will be good enough for most purposes.

What night vision goggles does the US military use?

The US military started using night vision equipment during the Vietnam War. They’ve played a major role in every war after that.

The military has been using four generations of night vision goggles: 1st Generation, 2nd Generation, 3rd Generation, and the newest generation currently being used ‪ the 4th Generation.

1st Generation devices were small and used heavy battery packs. The technology was developed in secret during World War II. But, these devices weren’t used during the Vietnam War mostly because of their size and weight.

2nd Generation devices were developed in the 70s and 80s, following the introduction of 2nd Generation technology in the 60s. The technology was much more advanced, resulting in a high-performance device that could also fit on a soldier’s head.

Conclusion

There are many different things to consider when choosing which night binoculars are best for you. There are even more features you should keep an eye out for when it comes to some of the higher-end options. In this article, I will address the main advantages each night binocular has, provide you with honest reviews of each model, and end with my ultimate picks for the best night vision binoculars you can buy.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
CREATIVE XP Digital Night Vision BinocularsBest OverallCREATIVE XP Digital Night Vision Binoculars
Night Owl Pro Nexgen Night Vision BinocularBudget PickNight Owl Pro Nexgen Night Vision Binocular
ATN BinoX-HD 4-16x/65mm Smart Day & Night Smart HD Binocular w/1080p VideoUpgrade PickATN BinoX-HD 4-16x/65mm Smart Day & Night Smart HD Binocular w/1080p Video