Reviews

Best Night Vision Monoculars: Improve Your Vision in the Dark

Enjoy exploring the night with these night vision monoculars

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  • Reviews

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PUBLISHED ON November 21, 2019

Not everyone is a fan of settling in for the night, especially when nature’s nocturnal activities are at their best. You can be a part of that wonder with the help of a night vision monocular. It can be used for hunting, camping, wildlife observation, or simply for security. Here are some of the best monoculars for seeing objects in the dark.

  • Best Overall
    Night Owl iGEN Night Vision Monocular
    Summary
    Summary

    A highly sensitive monocular that uses advanced technology to illuminate objects even when the night is very dark.

    Pros
    Pros

    It has a flat and curvy design that’s easy to hold. Produces clear images both day and night. Features a non-reflective matte finish. Feels comfortable on the eye. It can’t be damaged with bright light exposure. Programmable auto-shutoff feature.

    Cons
    Cons

    More expensive than most monoculars. May drain the batteries after only four hours. It only has a 350-foot field of view.

  • Best Value
    Firefield Nightfall Night Vision Monocular
    Summary
    Summary

    An affordable monocular with great image quality, viewing range, and resolution that’s great for beginners.

    Pros
    Pros

    It has a great viewing distance of 650 feet. Weather and damage proof housing. Offers five times magnification. Compact, lightweight,  and easy to use. Has a built-in power saver. Produces images with no bright spots.

    Cons
    Cons

    The clarity of the images depends on the intensity of the night lights. The IR light can be spotted by animals.

  • Honorable Mention
    Bushnell Equinox Z Night Vision Monocular
    Summary
    Summary

    A digital night vision monocular with video recording and image capturing capability.

    Pros
    Pros

    Features a rugged water-resistant housing. It has a large 750 feet viewing distance. It offers great clarity and contrast. Can support up to 32 GB SD cards. Can record videos with sound. Produces high-quality color images at day time. It can be mounted on a tripod stand.

    Cons
    Cons

    Heavier than most monoculars. The power switch is too close to the other buttons.

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Tips

  • Study the conditions of the area in which you will be camping or hunting before settling on a monocular. You need to know the temperatures and vegetation of the area because conditions like rain and tall bushes can hinder your viewing. 
  • Take care not to drop your monocular even if it has a damage-resistant housing. The lens is sensitive to scratches or scrapes, which can affect the image quality. 
  • Stay safe and don't draw too much attention to yourself during nighttime hiking or any other activity you will be engaging in. Maintain situational awareness to prevent animal attacks or tripping over and injuring yourself. 
  • Use a lint-free cloth and an alcohol-based solution to clean the lens. It will enhance the image quality. Also, avoid touching the device with dirty hands. The dirt may lodge in the corner of the lense and make a blind spot. Always wear gloves to keep it clean. 

FAQs

Q: Does a night vision monocular show clear images during the daytime?

A: It depends on the model, but most units on the market give clear night images and color day images. The viewing capabilities at daytime and low light conditions are almost infinite, and the viewing distance is reduced at nighttime when using infrared technology. 

Q: Can a night vision monocular see through the fog?

A: Some monoculars with advanced technology can see images in light fog, rain, and snow conditions. However, the viewing distance may be greatly reduced by the atmospheric conditions. The clarity of the images is also greatly reduced in heavy fog. 

Q: What’s the difference between night vision and thermal imaging?

A: A night vision monocular typically uses infrared light and another light source (moon and stars) to produce an image. Modern versions have an IR illuminator that’s like a flashlight and helps produce more detailed images at night. Thermal imagers detect radiation or heat. They produce an image based on the radiation the animal gives off without any lighting necessary. 

Final Thoughts

Our top pick is the Night Owl iGEN Night Vision Monocular. You can use it for both day and night viewing and expect high-quality images with no distortion. 

If you are on a tight budget, consider the Firefield Nightfall Night Vision Monocular. It has good image resolution and provides a comfortable grip.