Going out for hunting or planning on joining a law enforcement agency? Looking for a tool that’s going to help you out while you are in the field at night? If yes, then you have arrived at the right place. A night vision monocular is what you need. This night vision device is going to be your best friend when looking out in the dark. So let’s start off by reviewing the best night vision monocular generation wise for the year 2018.
Best Night Vision Monocular 2018
Best gen 1 night vision monocular reviews
Armasight Spark Multi-Purpose Night Vision Monocular CORE IIT 60-70 lp/mm
Armasight by FLIR is a brand that produces only the best night vision devices and thermal imaging products that enable you to look in the dark.
Spark uses Armasight’s famous CORE (Ceramic Optical Ruggedized Engine) image intensifier tube. This technology doubles the resolution, enhances photo-sensitivity and minimizes edge distortion.
As the tube does not use a micro channel plate, it falls under Gen 1 category. Spark comes with an in built infrared illuminator. This monocular can be used for any of your left or right eye.
It can be mounted to multiple equipment including weapons, helmets and even cameras.
The magnification on this monocular is 1x. The resolution you get is 60-70 lines per mm. You get a wide field of view of 35 degrees and the minimum focusing range is 0.25m.
Spark has led infrared indicator and it requires a single lithium CR123 battery. You can also use the rechargeable version of CR123 that has a voltage of 3.2 volts. You can get a battery life of up to 40 hours.
It is a very lightweight and compact monocular suitable for outdoorsman. It can be exported outside US but there are some restrictions. You might want to check with Armasight before exporting it.
Pros – Versatile in terms of mounting options, Durable and Lightweight
Night Owl Lightweight Night Vision Monocular (3x)
Night Owl is a brand that believes in seeing in complete darkness. Their light weight night vision monocular is what you need.
It is a Gen 1 night vision monocular that contains a better quality image intensifier tube. It has a built-in infrared illuminator which enables you to see in complete darkness.
With a 3x magnification power and a wide field of view (68-foot field of view at 200 feet), this monocular is perfect for hunting, wildlife viewing and for security purpose as well.
The resolution on Night owl is 35 lines per mm. The minimum focus range is 1.5m. The exclusive steel stringer system helps you in getting more precise images.
Keep in mind that this device has a manual focus so that you need to zoom in at an object manually.
It has a strong body with soft touch rubberized exterior and machined aluminum lens housing. The lens has a diameter of 42mm and is made up of high-quality all-glass material.
Night Owl requires 1 Type-123 lithium battery. This battery offers a battery life of 45 to 100 hours depending upon how much infrared you use.
Unfortunately you cannot export night owl out of US.
Pros – Amazing battery life, Lightweight and durable
Sightmark 4×50 Gen 1 Eclipse Night Vision Monocular
Sightmark’s Eclipse series monocular is made for military personnel and law enforcement agents who want precision and crisp vision.
Eclipse has Gen 1 technology and it comes with a built-in infrared illuminator which allows you to see when it is pitch dark outside.
It has an impressive magnification power of 4x. This enables you to see far fetch objects that human eye cannot see on its own. It has a wide angle field of view of 15 degrees. The minimum focusing distance you get is 1 meter.
It can be mounted to a tripod. It has a solid plastic ABS body and rubber armored housing that will not disappoint you. It features a 50mm objective lens made up of multi-coated glass.
Eclipse is weatherproof night vision monocular which can be used in water as well. As it is not nitrogen purged, it is not resistant to fog. It has an operating temperature between -20 to 40 degree Celsius.
It has an impressive battery life of up to 20 hours with infrared and 72 hours without infrared. You need 2 AAA batteries to run your night vision monocular.
Like other Sightmark devices, you cannot export Eclipse outside US.
Pros – Well-built monocular that offers awesome precision
Firefield FF24127 Spartan Night Vision Monocular, 4 x 50
Firefield is a brand that is known for its top quality night vision devices throughout the world. Spartan is one of their high-powered monocular made for the fearless shooters out there.
Spartan is a Gen 1 night vision monocular that offers high quality images thanks to its high power built-in infrared illuminator.
It has a 50mm glass objective lens. This lens offers a field of view of 15 degrees and a high magnification power of 4x.
It is a very user-friendly monocular. It comes with ¼ inches socket for tripod mounting, a head mount, a carrying case and a strap as well. It can easily fit in the palm of your hand.
Unfortunately, this night vision monocular is not water proof or fog proof. So be careful, you don’t want to take this in water or outside when there is fog. This device can operate between -22 to 104 Fahrenheit.
In order to operate your Spartan night vision monocular you need 1 CR123 lithium battery. This battery will last you 20 hours with infrared and 40 hours without infrared. Like others, it cannot be shipped outside US.
Pros – Ergonomic design, Compact, Offers clear view
Best gen 2 night vision monocular reviews
Armasight PVS-14 SD Gen 2+ Multi Purpose Night Vision Monocular
Armasight’s PVS series night vision monocular is considered the first of its kind. Since its inception, it is being one of the most used night vision devices by NATO army.
This device has a high quality Gen 2+ image intensifier tube with built-in infrared illuminator.
It has 1x magnification power and a resolution of 45-51 lines per mm. It also has a wide field of view of 40 degrees. It comes with a focusing range of 0.25 meter to infinity.
Keep in mind that it is a water proof monocular so that you can take this in water or when it is raining outside. The operating temperature on this device is from -51 degree Celsius to 49 degrees.
It requires 1 1.5 Volts AA battery which lasts up to 50 hours. There is also a low battery indicator in the field of view screen.
PVS-14 is known for its versatility. It can be used on its own or it can be mounted to multiple objects. From cameras to weapons, you can easily mount this device to any object.
Good news is that it comes with batteries. Bad news is that it cannot be exported outside US.
Pros – Great image quality, Versatile, Compact and Lightweight.
ATN Night Spirit-2 Gen 2+ Night Vision Multi Purpose System
Used by military personnel and law enforcement agents, Spirit-2 is made for the professional out there. It is a 2nd generation devices that features an additional micro-channel plate.
This plate allows you to amplify light even more and is therefore even better than Gen 1 technology. MCP is placed directly behind photocathode and it comprises of a large number of glass tubes.
Spirit-2 has a built-in infrared illuminator with automatic brightness control and bright light cutoff.
You get a high magnification power of 3x and a field of view of 18 degrees. The objective lens has a diameter of 50mm and a minimum range of focus of 3 meters.
It is a weather resistant design that can be operated in temperatures between -40 to 50 degree Celsius. With its water resistance, you can take your Spirit-2 night vision monocular outdoors without any fear.
The power is supplied by either a single AA battery or one CR123A type battery. Spirit-2 lasts up to 15 hours with infrared and up to 30 hours without infrared. It comes with both a low battery as well as an IR indicator.
It has a single knob operation and it can be mounted to multiple devices.
Pros – Reliable, offers clear images
Best gen 3 night vision monocular reviews
ATN MO4-3 Gen 3, 5x Night Vision Monocular
ATN MO4 series night vision monocular is an amazing tool for all the hunters, campers and boaters out there. It is a compact device packed with awesome features.
To start off, MO4-3 is a 3rd Generation night vision monocular which means it comes with a 3rd generation image intensifier tube. It comes with a built-in infrared illuminator and an orange colored IR indicator as well.
This device features ATN’s famous SMART technology. Using this technology user can have better control of their night vision monocular.
It has an auto on/off features. You simply turn on the proximity sensor which senses when you are using the scope and when you are not. To operate this feature you have a 3-button digital control panel.
It has a 5x magnification power and a 14 degree field of view. Its minimum focusing range is 5 meters. It has a manual focus with an adjustable eye-piece.
It is a water proof as well as a dust resistant monocular. You can easily use it outdoors. It operates in temperatures as low as -40 degree Celsius and as high as 50 degrees.
For power supply you will need 2 CR123A lithium batteries which will last up to 50 hours. This device has a low battery indicator as well. You cannot export it outside US.
Pros – Versatile, Crisp view
Armasight PVS14-3 Alpha Gen Night Vision Monocular
PVS14-3 Alpha is a night vision monocular that military officers swear by. It is made using a high performance Gen 3 image intensifier tube. The photocathode on this tube is a thin film of Gallium Arsenide.
It has a built-in infrared illuminator and an IR indicator that can be viewed in the field of view. It comes with a bright light cut off and an auto shut-off system.
This is a very versatile and multi-purpose monocular which can be used on its own or it can be mounted to a helmet/head gear or a camera.
It has a magnification power of 1x and a high quality resolution of 64-72 lines per mm. You get a minimum focus ranging 0.25 meter. It has a wide field of view of 40 degrees.
It is a waterproof night vision monocular that can be used outdoors. Its operating temperature ranges from -51 degree Celsius to 49 degrees.
Alpha operates on 1 1.5V AA battery. The battery time you get with this device is up to 50 hours. There is also a low battery indicator located on the device. It has export restrictions as well.
Pros – Ergonomic design, sturdy and easy to use
Best gen 4 night vision monocular reviews
ATN 6015-4 Gen 4 Night Vision Multi-Purpose Monocular
ATN Corporation is one of the top competing brands in the market when it comes to night vision devices. Their PVS14 night vision monocular is designed for military purposes and is therefore made light weight and rugged.
This is a Gen 4 device which has a built-in infrared illuminator. This means that the photocathode on this device is filmless and is made up of Gallium Arsenide.
It automatically adjusts to bright light and has a bright light cut-off as well. It comes with an IR indicator too. It also has a low battery indicator.
The magnification power you get is 1x and the resolution achieved by PVS14 ranges from 64 to 72 lines per mm. The field of view is 40 degrees.
The lens has a diameter of 27mm and it is covered with proshield lens coating. The lens has a minimum focusing range of 0.25m.
You can enjoy a battery life of up to 50 hours on your PVS14 night vision monocular. You will require a single AA battery for operating this device.
It is a water resistant design which operates in temperatures as low as -51 degree Celsius and as high as 49 degree Celsius.
Pros – Lightweight, Durable and Ergonomic
Best digital night vision monocular Reviews
Bushnell Equinox Z Digital Night Vision Monocular
Bushnell is a brand that believes in manufacturing innovative products for its customers. It caters to the hunters, military personnel and anyone who is looking for great optics.
Equinox Z is a Digital Generation night vision monocular which has the ability to work in daytime as well as night time. With its digital technology, you are able to see crisp images at any time of the day.
It has a zooming ability of 1 to 3x which means that you can zoom in or zoom out on an object with the help of a dial, level or a setting. With this feature you get up to 500 feet of viewing distance.
It comes with a built-in infrared illuminator with adjustable IR brightness. The multi-coated glass objective lens on this device has a diameter of 30mm.
Equinox has a rugged housing. It can be mounted to a tripod or a picatinny style rail and it comes with a carrying case.
Thanks to its digital technology, it has a capability to record videos.
Finally, Equinox runs on 4 AA batteries.
Pros – Extremely versatile and handy
What is the night vision monocular?
A night vision monocular as the name suggests is a night vision device that lets you see in complete darkness. It is designed to be used with one eye.
It contains a single eye-piece and an infrared illuminator that enables you to see at night. Such a device amplifies light and translates it into brighter and clearer night images.
A night vision monocular is preferred over many other night vision devices because of its compact design and its versatility.
This is capable of performing as good as high-end binoculars that are extremely expensive and bulky. A night vision monocular is affordable as well.
Another advantage associated with night vision monocular is that it enables your eyes to quickly shift between natural night vision and monocular vision. This is fairly difficult when it comes to binoculars. You cannot quickly shift between natural and night vision.
Like other night vision devices, a night vision monocular is categorized according to Generation technology. You will commonly see Gen 1, Gen 2, Gen 3 and Digital Gen night vision monocular.
Things to consider when choosing night vision monocular
Before purchasing a night vision monocular, there are a few things that you should consider in order to make the right decision.
To start off you need to decide why you even need this device. Where and when are you going to use it? If you want your night vision monocular for hunting purposes, then you should go for a device that has higher magnification and a greater field of view.
For a stargazer or wildlife observer, smaller magnification and a normal field of view will work too.
If you are a part of a law enforcement agency or military personnel, then you should definitely check out Armasight PVS14-3 Alpha Gen Night Vision Monocular.
An important feature that you should decide on before choosing your night vision monocular is the Generation technology you are looking for.
Gen 1 devices, for instance, don’t provide crystal clear images or the kind of images a military person wants. For military purposes go for Gen 2 and above monocular. The higher the generation, the better the image quality
When it comes to magnification, you need to consider a few things. In order to get more precise and stable view, you should not go for very high magnification power. Magnification above 10x becomes extremely difficult to handle. So the standard rule of the higher the better does not fit here.
If you have to take your night vision monocular outdoors then you should consider its environmental rating as well. Go for waterproof as well as fog proof monocular.
Another thing to consider is the operating temperature – the temperature at which you can use your monocular. If you are going to use your night vision monocular in extreme temperatures, then you might want to keep this factor in mind.
For someone who will be on the go a more lightweight and compact night vision monocular is preferable as such a device will be easy to travel with.
For a security agent, preference should be given to a more sturdy and shock-resistant device as it will be used in extreme situations.
Finally, we come to the battery life. It is also an important factor that you should keep in mind. If you will stay outdoors for longer period of time then you should definitely go for a device that has a long battery life.
Now we have reached the final part of our guide to the best night vision monocular 2018. We started off by reviewing the night vision monocular in each category that is Gen 1, Gen 2, Gen 3, Gen 4 and digital Gen.
From there we moved onto explaining what night monocular actually is. The finally we put together a guide to the things that you should consider while choosing a night vision monocular. We covered all the important aspects that you must keep in your mind before making such a big investment.
We hope that our guide was useful and that it helped you in finding and selecting the best night vision monocular!