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It’s obvious that you are looking for best night vision goggles, that’s why you are here. Maybe you are quite familiar with night vision goggles or just interested to have one. Whatever be the case, you are in the right place.
Night vision goggles can be classified according to generation, price and your need. So there are so many types that you will find it overwhelming to choose the best affordable night vision goggles. But nothing to worry about! Since you are reading this article you will have enough information to find out perfect night vision goggles finally. We are here to help you out.
We will walk you through a detailed night vision goggles reviews. You will also get familiar with the most important factors such as generation, resolution, image intensification, battery life, power supply and so on. These factors are must to know before buying any NV device. So without further delay let’s jump into it!
Table of Contents
Best Night Vision Goggles Reviews
ATN PVS7-3 Night Vision Goggle (Best Night Vision Goggles for The Money)
Our top pick as the best goggle is the standard military issue ATN PVS7-3. This lightweight goggle can be used handheld, head-mounted and helmet-mounted. So you can use this one according to your requirement and very few goggles in the market can be used like this. Since ATN PVS7 comes from generation 3 and is used by the US army, you will get almost all the features that you can imagine for, with it. Actually, you will get, what you are paying for.
According to military personnel, this goggle is powerful enough to help you out in pitch black darkness or during a dust storm in the dark night. This testimonial is itself enough for this robust, dependable and high-performance night vision goggle. Whether there is a moon or not, little ambient light or not, you will get your way out or find your prey if you are using this goggle.
Resolution and Battery Life
This combat-proven waterproof goggle is far better in resolution (64 Lines/mm) and light sensitivity than generation 1 and generation 2. This amazing device comes with an infrared illuminator with a momentary and continuous on switching function. That means you will be able to use the infrared function with great freedom. Its automatic brightness control option will ease your night job greatly. And you don’t have to manually check IR indicator and battery status since you will have their status in the field of view.
It has a battery life of 60 hours. You can use 2 1.5 V AA batteries or 1 3V BA-5567/U battery for power supply. This device has a bright light cut-off option and an automatic shut off system, that means battery life is utilized efficiently. It also ensures that you are not glowing when you are not using the goggles. The PVS-7 comes in a complete package and incorporates a lightweight, fully adjustable military head strap to ensure long-term comfortable use. ATN PVS-7 has hardly any match compared to its price and comes with goggle assembly, soft carrying case, demist shield, sacrificial filter for objective lenses.
Other Important Features
ATN PVS-7 has an excellent head mount assembly with 3 brow pads and also has a shoulder strap, lens tissue, neck cord, and front lens cap. In short, the best device is surrounded by great supportive accessories. This device provides a 40-degree field of view and uses the 27mm F1.2 lens system. It has a pro-shield lens coating and a focus range starting from 0.2m to infinity. The diopter adjustment is up to you. You can adjust between -6 to +2. It weighs 1.50lbs and has a dimension of 6.375″ x 6″ x 3″.
After knowing all those features you may still wonder why you should buy a military standard issue night vision goggle. Isn’t something regular enough? Well, it’s obvious that military issue devices are the best and come with the best possible features on earth. Besides, a good device will accompany you for a long time. If anybody is willing to have a great night vision goggle, he should consider this one.
- 1x magnification
- 64 Lines/mm resolution
- 40 Degree field of view
- Standard Military Issue
- Momentary or continuous IR switch
- Internal low battery and IR indicators
- Water and fog resistant
- Automatic brightness control
- Automatic shut off system
- IR and low battery indicator in the field of view
- -60 Degree to 120 Degree operating temperature
- -60F to 185 Degree storage temperature
- A bit pricey
Pulsar Edge GS Super 1+ 1×20 Night Vision Goggle (Best NV Goggles Under 1000)
If you are in need of a night vision goggle but planning to avoid generation 2 or generation 3 then Pulsar Edge GS Super 1+ 1×20 night vision goggle can be the best shot for you. In general, generation 1 devices lack in image quality greatly in comparison with higher generations. But this device is built on focusing image clarity.
Resolution and IR
It has improved resolution over Gen 1 technology, has a resolution of 42 lines/mm and is equipped with CF-super technology. That’s why it is named Generation 1+ goggle.
This Edge GS Super 1+ is indeed one of the best members of Pulsar night vision family. With this device, in a moonlit night you will get great visibility without IR and in pitch black night the IR will help you out. Its dual tube binoculars will always give you a better depth perception with 1x magnification.
Within the budget, you will get much-improved service from Pulsar Edge GS Super 1+. You can use this device hand held or head mounted. You don’t need to buy any extra head mount because its box includes one. The Edge GS Super 1+ incorporates energy conserving IR illuminator with adjustable power and has multicoated lenses. The IR power adjustment wheel and other control elements are easily accessible on top of the device.
Other Important Features
This outstanding night vision goggle is light-weight (23 oz.), has a 27 mm lens focus and 36 Degree field of view.
Best night vision goggles come with great battery life, our second best pick is no exception. Its battery life extends to 50 hours when you are not switching the IR on. With IR on, you can use the batteries 20 hours at a stretch. The power supply is a piece of cake. Just use 2xAAA batteries to turn it on. You can use this device in dust and rain without any hesitation. It is environmentally protected and has an IP65 rating.
Now, light is greatly needed for night vision goggles to give a better quality image. At the same time, too much light is harmful to NV devices that use image tubes. It will damage the tubes of the devices. But you don’t have to worry about this with Edge GS Super 1+. This amazing device has an automatic bright light exposure, which protects the valuable tubes from burnouts. So no harm with too much light.
Though this device is cheaper than most of the members of our list, yet this isn’t a cheap shit. You will get carrying case, head mount, user manual, cleaning cloth, warranty card, and neck strap. With not a high requirement and a handsome budget, you can try this awesome device.
- CF-Super technology
- 42 lines/mm resolution
- 36 Degree field of view
- Improved resolution over Gen 1
- Ultra-durable, ergonomic housing
- Multicoated lenses
- Automatic bright light protection
- Built-in IR illuminator with adjustable power
- Rain and dust proof, IP65
- Headgear seems tight for large noggins
- Takes little time to cool down after power off
Yukon – NV 1×24 Goggles
Yukon NV 1×24 Goggles or Tracker 1×24 Goggles are not only goggles but also binoculars. It is one of the best goggles of Gen 1. You should not underestimate this device just because of the generation. Yukon NV 1×24 is famous for its usability and great comfort. This device provides satisfactory clear viewing in pitch black darkness with its 36 lines/mm resolution and by using its built-in infrared illuminator. While in use, the IR illuminator emits energy efficient pulse, therefore it is very much battery saving.
Other Important Features
Tracker 1×24 comes with a head gear accessory for a flip-up, adjustable and hands-free unit. Its rubberized body is surprisingly light-weight (0.6 kg) and designed ergonomically for maximum comfort. That means you can wear this device for a long time without having any neck strain and pain. And you don’t have to bother with power supply either. Just use a CR123A battery.
This device uses a 24 mm multicoated lens, 1x magnification and provides 30 Degree field of view. You will get a great depth of perception from this device. The tracker utilizes its awesome Eclipse lens cover system that uses flip-up covers. For this mechanism, this can be easily clipped back against the body of the device and rotated out of your viewing area. You can access the dual diopter adjustment system with a central focusing knob and configure between -5 to +5.
If you are on a budget and looking for an advanced night vision goggle from GEN 1, you should not hesitate to try Yukon NV 1×24. This device is durable, usable and most importantly very much affordable. You will receive NVB tracker, neck strap, cleaning cloth, user manual and warranty card with the device.
- 1x magnification
- 36 lines/mm resolution
- Multicoated lens
- Built-in powerful PULSE IR
- Water and fog resistant
- Rubber armor protection
- Batteries are a little expensive
- A narrow field of view
Sightmark SM15070 Ghost Hunter 1×24 Night Vision Goggle Binocular Kit
The Ghost Hunter 1×24 Night Vision Goggle Binocular Kit is a proud member of Gen 1 manufactured by Sightmark. Field tested and approved by the North American Hunting club, this device is very much affordable and great for them who are planning to experience night vision adventure. The Sightmark Ghost Hunter 1×24 features a dual tube system which enables a more clear image and comfortable viewing than a single tube system used by most of the Gen 1 night vision goggles.
This device comes with great versatility for use. You can use it either handheld while searching for prey or observing the desired wildlife view, or equipped with a head mount. Don’t worry, you don’t have to bear the additional expense for the head mount. You will get one with the goggle as soon as you buy one. Head mounts are tiring in most cases and uncomfortable. But Sightmark has put great effort into this fact and you can use the head mount for a long period of time with great comfort.
Resolution and FOV
Sightmark Ghost Hunter 1×24 night vision goggle is neither too bulky nor too heavy. They weigh only 13.8 ounces resulting in hardly any tiredness while using handheld or via head mount. It incorporates the facility of a crisp image with 1x magnification and 30 lines/mm resolution. On a moonlit night or with little ambient light on a moonless night, this device will cover your surroundings satisfactorily. And don’t worry about a really dark night. With built-in high-power infrared illuminator and 30 Degree field of view, the Ghost Hunter 1×24 provides a bright and clear view for short range targets.
Battery Life and Lens Specification
Its lightweight and long-lasting polymer structure ensure increased resilience for lifetime use. This device comes with an automatic shut off feature which turns down the device completely whenever the goggles are exposed to bright light sources. With this feature, battery life is enlarged greatly. With IR on, the battery will run for 20 hours and without IR it will do for 72 hours.
The Sightmark Ghost Hunter 1×24 night vision goggles use a 24 mm objective lens accompanied with Gen 1 intensifier tubes. It is weatherproof with an IPX3 rating. You can adjust the diopter according to your requirement ranging from -5 to +5. And, you will receive a head mount, carrying case and lens cloth with the goggles.
Dual tube system, optimized battery life, auto shut-off feature, and many other facilities come with this amazing device. Yet this device has some lacking since it’s from Gen 1. If one buys this device, he will get so many advantages at a reasonable price.
- 1x magnification
- S25 multi-alkaline photocathode
- Built-in high-power IR
- Auto shut-off feature
- Durable plastic construction
- IPX3 weatherproof
- Comparatively low resolution
- A narrow field of view
There is another version of this Ghost Hunter night vision goggles which come with 2x magnification, little low resolution, and cheaper price. Check Sightmark Ghost Hunter 2×24 Night Vision Binocular.back to menu ↑
Superior Tactical PVS-7 Night Vision Goggle Gen 3 Blem Spec
Superior Tactical PVS-7 Gen 3 can be a great choice for those who are looking for a night vision goggle from the latest generation at a reasonable price. You will get almost all the latest features by spending less money than most of the Gen 3 devices. Besides, this device is a standard military issue and committed to provide the best viewing even in most unfavorable conditions. This lightweight night vision goggle can be used handheld, head mounted and helmet mounted. But you will not receive any head mount with the goggle, like most other devices. Rather, you have to buy one.
FOV and Lens Specification
Standard military issued devices are built to face the toughest environment with ease and success. Superior Tactical PVS-7 is no exception. It is made from the most durable material yet very lightweight so that users can wear this for a long time without any fatigue. This amazing device is waterproof and rough weatherproof. It can operate in temperature ranging from -40 to +50 Degree C and the storage temperature is -50 to +70 Degree C.
In regards to performance, you will get whatever is exactly expected from a Gen 3 device. With 1x magnification, generation 3 tubes and 40 Degree field of view you will get an awesome clear and crisp image. Its range of focus is .25m to infinity and you can adjust the pro-shield F1.2 lens system from -6 to +2 by its 26mm Diopter.
Battery Life and Weight
The Superior Tactical PVS-7 has a MIL-STD-810 rating. It comes with 50 hours expected battery life and you can see the infrared illuminator status and low battery alert in the field of view. All these are identical features of the Gen 3 devices. And you don’t have to worry about the durability of the device. Its bright light cut off feature shuts down the device whenever it is exposed to bright light. So the device is secured and the battery life is maximized in all situations. You can easily carry, use and wear this 1.5 lbs night vision goggle.
In terms of feature and durability, military standard devices are best. They cost much more than other devices, yet they will serve in the best way possible with a longer life, no doubt. Within a reasonable range, this Superior Tactical PVS-7 can be a perfect choice.
- 1x magnification
- Gen 3 tubes for best clarity
- Bright light cut off feature
- 40 Degree field of view
- IR and low battery indicator in the field of view
- 50 hours of battery life
- Mil-STD-810 rated
- Proshield lens
- Water and weatherproof
- No headgear is included
Buying Guide for Best Night Vision Goggles
Our list of best goggles is not the ultimate at all, you will definitely find lots of other goggles out there. To decide whether you should buy one from our list or do your own research on the other remaining products in the market at your own risk, you must get familiar with the fundamental parts aka the buying guide of the night vision goggles.
In this section of the ultimate night vision goggles reviews, we will walk you through the most important aspects in a compact detail so that you have to never hesitate to decide whether you should purchase a night vision goggle or not and which version of the device is perfect for you. We want you to utilize your valuable money in the best possible way.
How does Night Vision work by the way?
It’s always better to start from the zero. Let’s renew our basics on how night vision actually works. And if you are a beginner or just thinking to experience night vision, this short video is a must for you.
This video is just to share with you the main mechanism of NV devices. To know the procedure in detail, you must check our article on how night vision works.
Night Vision Goggles Generation
Generation is perhaps the most important factors to be kept in mind while buying night vision goggles. Because between primary generation and second generation, there is a significant difference. Without knowing the main features of the generations you will probably have a great loss of money.
Hungarian physicist Kalman Tihanyi invented the infrared-sensitive (night vision) electronic television camera in 1929 for defense purpose in the UK. And the German Army introduced the first military NV devices in 1939 that were used in World War 2. These generation devices used a large infrared light source to illuminate targets and their image intensifier tubes used and anode and S-1 photocathode.
From then, continuous research and field test carried on to improve the technology to implement better devices. After World War 2 development of commercial night vision devices started.
Every next generation of technology is an adaption of the previous one. Gen 1 devices were introduced during the Vietnam War. They are very much affordable and quite popular for this. They can be used without an infrared illuminator but without any ambient light, their performance drops significantly.
- Quite affordable
- Uses S-20 photocathode
- Relies on ambient light instead of an infrared light source
- 1000 times light amplification
- Edge distortion
- Not fit for tactical purposes
- Requires moonlight
Gen 2 devices are significantly improved. They are better in resolution, image clarity, portability, and weight. The major technical difference between Gen 1 and Gen 2 is the adaption of an improved image-intensifier tube utilizing a micro-channel plate (MCP). Gen 2 devices perform better even in a low light situation and have low distortion.
- S-25 photocathode
- Utilizes microchannel plate
- Bright image, even around the edges
- 20,000 times light amplification
- Performs better in low light
- Eligible for tactical use
- Can be improve
- Price can be optimized
Later improved devices in Gen 2 are known as Gen 2+ devices. They are equipped with better optics, SUPERGEN tubes, improved resolution and better signal to noise ratios.
At present, Generation 3 devices are the best and considered ideal for all types of rough and complicated appliance. Actually, they are the standard military issue and use a photocathode made with gallium arsenide resulting in further improved image resolution.
- MCP has an ion barrier coating
- Standard Military Issue
- 30,000-50,000 times light amplification
- Improved technology
- Best for tactical use
- High price
- High power consumption
Generation 3+ (GEN III OMNI IV-VII)
GEN-III OMNI-V – VII devices, an automatic gated power supply system is implemented. This system regulates the photocathode voltage and thus allows the devices to instantly adopt the changing light conditions. Besides, the ion barrier of MCP is significantly thinned or completely taken away. This effect reduces image noise and presents a more clear image than the Gen 3 devices. But the drawback is, due to the absence of ion barrier tube life is short and therefore not eligible for military use. Moreover, they are very much pricy and not available to common people.
Resolution aka Clarity
The resolution is another key factor for night vision goggles. The more is the resolution, the better quality image you will get. And the resolution gets higher with the Gen and the Gen goes higher with the price. So the simple rule is, with the higher price you will get a better image. The resolution or clarity is measured in line per millimeter. The high-resolution devices render more lines per millimeter than low-resolution devices. Clarity is a key factor of any NV device. With less clarity, it becomes tough to observe something at night. In the case of wildlife observation, your desire may not be fulfilled. And, for tactical operation, higher clarity is a must.
Moonlight or ambient light is a must for night vision goggles. Without a light source from the surroundings, the performance of your night vision goggle will drop down considerably depending on its generation. In pitch black darkness or low light condition, infrared illuminators come into play. They emit light to improve the visibility in the field of view of the device.
Before buying any night vision goggle check and double check, if your desired model has a built-in IR illuminator. If there is no built IR with the device, at least the device must permit to attach one. A night vision goggle with built-in IR illuminator will serve your purpose greatly. Without it, you may find your device useless in the darkness.
The efficiency of night vision goggles largely depends on how long they can cover clearly. Only a long area is never enough. Your device must be able to show you least area with clarity. But the range of goggles is not so objective than that of the top quality scopes. Because the range of night vision goggles mainly relies on ambient light. Therefore, you will have varying range on the quarter moon, full moon, starlight etc. Night vision scopes can have 1000+ yards while night vision goggles from Generation 3 can cover at best 300+ yards depending on the ambient light.
In our listed models, most of them have multicoated lenses. Multicoated lenses are very handy and comfortable for your eyes. Here is why. Lenses are covered with a special coating to protect your eyes as well as to increase the visibility. Well coated lenses can absorb as much light as possible. Therefore, you will get a great crisp view. Additionally, it will protect your eyes from strain. For example, the anti-reflective coating aka AR coating significantly eliminates reflection from lenses.
Field of View (FOV)
Field of view or FOV is defined as the visible area that a person can see through eyes or any optical devices. The more is the FOV, the more you can cover with your eyes. In tactical operations, the broad field of view is a must. In night observation, a larger field of view is much more enjoyable. So before jumping into any decision, try to consider this aspect also. In daytime hunting like squirrel hunting, FOV is also very important.
Our reviewed devices mostly use 1x magnification which is perfect for shooting, driving, walking and observing. Viewing through 2x magnification may be problematic and uncomfortable at night. It may result in insecurity. You will face difficulty to move efficiently and safely. But if you are preparing for target shooting, you may require more magnification than 2x. During hiking or backpacking with monocular, it can be a real benefit.
Power Supply and Battery Life
Power supply and battery life is another vital factor. There are various types of batteries like AA, AAA, CR123 A etc. The longevity of the battery depends on battery type and usage. Battery life will be long if you hardly use IR and vice versa. You should always buy a device which uses the most common types of batteries as well as has a decent amount of battery life.
Bright Light Protection
A high amount of bright light is harmful to night vision goggles. It damages the inner tube system and decreases tube life. To protect the effect due to bright light, some smart devices come with an auto shut-off feature. This feature turns down the device whenever it is exposed to bright light. Thus the device is saved from harm. Try to avail those devices with auto shut-off feature.
Weight and Ergonomics
A device should be user-friendly in all aspects. Therefore, it should be ergonomic. Whether you use a handheld, head mount or helmet mount, your NV device should offer high usability all along. Lightweight device contributes to the ergonometric greatly. If the device is lightweight you can use via head mount for a long period without any tiredness.
Gen 3 devices are built for maximum usability. Therefore, they are comparatively lightweight so that soldiers can wear them without any difficulty.
Weatherproof and Durability
You should choose a night vision goggle that is waterproof and fog proof. Otherwise, you will not get the best out of your device. In the fog, you will face a visibility problem if you google is not fog proof. And, your device will be destroyed in the rain, if it is not waterproof. Luckily, you will get weatherproof and fog proof night vision goggles within affordable price.
Freedom of Use
Before purchasing your device, check which additional things come with the package. Some devices come with a head mount, carrying case, lens cleaner and some come without a head mount. A wise decision will result in the optimum benefit for you.
Join the best forums on night vision to have a good grip on any topic.back to menu ↑
It is really challenging to choose a perfect one from the best night vision goggles. We believe you will find your desired device from our hand-picked ones. If not, our detailed guide will help you to detect one from the market. In either case, we want your valuable money and precious time utilized. Cheers!
Kalman is a hunting expert who has a vast experience with wild game hunting. Though night time hunting is his favorite, he masters the art of daytime hunting and shooting. Being a nature lover and outdoor enthusiast, he wants to pass the knowledge acquired over time to the next generation.