The Best Night Vision Scope You Can Find In 2021 (Buyer’s Guide & Reviews)

Clever Hunters is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

Are you planning to do night huntingDo you want your rifle to perform the best? Do you want your night shots to be spot on?

And, do you think the best night vision scope is a solution to your problems?

If YES, then you definitely need a night vision scope. This little device will enable you to make the best shots when it’s dark outside and there is zero visibility.

best night vision scope

We would like to jump straight onto the best night vision scope list that we have put together for you guys. You will get to know the features and reviews about the 14 most amazing night vision products for the year 2021.


Editor's Picks

Best Night Vision Scope On The Market: Our 14 Recommendations

Best Feature

Product Name


The Scope With the Best Features

ATN X-Sight 4K Day/Night Rifle Scope

The Best Quality-Made Scope

Pulsar Trail XP50 Thermal Riflescope

The Best Thermal Imaging Scope

ATN ThOR-HD 2-8x 25 mm Rifle Scope

The Best for Stealth

SightMark Photon RT 6-12x50 Digital Night Vision Riflescope

The Budget-Friendly Scope

Bushnell 4.5X40 Equinox Z Digital Night Vision

Lightweight Entry Level Scope

Night Owl Optics Night Vision Riflescope

The Best in Versatility

Pulsar Digex N455 Digital Night Vision Riflescope

The Largest Scope

BESTSIGHT DIY Digital Night Vision Scope

Gen 1 Scope for the Money

Firefield 3x42 Gen 1 Night Vision Riflescope

The Best Compact Scope

ATN X-Sight II HD 3-14 Smart Day/Night Rifle Scope

The Best for Accuracy

Armasight Nemesis Quick Silver Riflescope

The Best Size

ATN X-Sight II HD 5-20 Smart Day/Night Rifle Scope

The Most Reliable Brand

ATN Night Spirit-2 Gen 2+ Multi-Purpose System

The Quickest Scope

Yukon Sightline N470S Digital Night Vision

ATN X-Sight 4K Day/Night Rifle Scope - The Scope With the Best Features

This product has a lot of outstanding features since it is the latest innovation from the ATN Company. You can expect more than an average digital night vision because of the great combination of advanced technology and a traditional scope.

Among all low-weight scopes, ATN X-Sight 4K Rifle Scope is one of the best choices when we talk about range and power.

If you don't want to add weight on your weapon, this digital scope suits standard rings for small calibers.

The blend of ultra HD 4K sensor and obsidian 4 dual-core processor provides your images with fast optics, high resolution, and millions of vivid colors. Moreover, the non-pixelating digital zoom gives you wonderful images at any distance.

Meanwhile, the Ballistic Calculator helps you determine accurate ballistics, whether it is short or long-range shot.

You can both stream videos on your cell phone and record to your SD card at the same time. The battery of this scope is up to 18 hours, so you can use it continuously throughout the day.

The only disadvantage is that the power button of this unit requires you to push on the center.

  • Excellent eye relief
  • Great performance
  • Not good service and guaranty

Verdict: At a reasonable price, the ATN X-Sight 4K Rifle Scope is really a worthy investment. The scope has a few smart features to help you use it easily.

Pulsar Trail XP50 Thermal Riflescope - The Best Quality-Made Scope

Whichever way you put it, this riflescope will give you everything you'll ever need as a hunter, aside from the gun, of course. Let's dig into the Pulsar Trail XP50 Thermal Riflescope review.

Here's the thing - most thermal scopes will detect traces of heat in a 1000-1500-yard vicinity. But even when you spot your prey, you'll still have difficulty shooting it from that distance without a reliable rangefinder that can calculate the exact location.

What's even more troublesome is that the environmental factors would often get in the way, especially if it's a windy night. So, how does all this separate this product from the rest?

Well, firstly, its thermal imaging software can spot living beings that radiate heat from up to 2000 yards, even with obstacles in the way. When you mix that in with the efficient rangefinder that pings the exact location within an 1100-yard radius, you get a deadly scope.

What's even more intriguing is that the pack comes with a lot of handy equipment, starting from cleaning supplies and a carrying case to the rails, batteries, and chargers.

It is a bit pricey, but considering that this Pulsar Trail XP50 Thermal Riflescope is praised by many ambitious hunters around the world, you won't cry over the spent money.

This device also has a neat battery life, but what it lacks is a stable and high-definition video resolution. However, most thermal imaging devices have low-res records due to the requirements of the scope, so it's not that surprising, but it still falls under an overall flaw.

  • 2000-yard thermal-imaging software
  • 1100-yard rangefinder
  • Packed with accessories
  • No high-definition
  • Price

Verdict: In sum, this is a helpful hunting unit. In particular, it's good for wildlife management about hunting or controlling vermin in the dark.

ATN THOR-HD ATN ThOR-HD 2-8x 25 mm Rifle Scope - The Best Thermal Imaging Scope

All the best hunters know that focus and patience are the key factors in catching easy prey. However, if you don't have all the data on your surroundings, you probably won't be that patient. All of that changes with the ATN ThOR-HD 2-8x 25 mm Rifle Scope.

The reason we had to include this device was that it's one of the best thermal imaging scopes on the market right now. Losing your prey in the dark won't affect your efficiency since thermal imaging technology will do everything for you.

The powerful ATN ballistic calculator will make sure that you stay on track with your prey, no matter the environmental factors. It'll integrate all the data concerning the angles, wind, and the overall range to your target.

But what happens when you make an epic shot and no one's there to see it? Well, thanks to the Recoil Activated Video (RAV) settings, you won't have to worry whether you've toggled on the record button at the right time - it does it for you.

When we put all the impressive specs together and add the digital night vision generation to it, as well as the incredible 8+ lifespan to it, we get the ingredients for a well-crafted riflescope.

The only thing bugging us about it is the relatively low resolution of the final video output. It's not bad, but if you play your videos on an HD device with a 1080p resolution, they won't be fully HD since the overall video record resolution is 1280x960.

All the flaws aside, ATN ThOR-HD 2-8x 25 mm is a perfect riflescope for all ambitious hunters out there!

  • Thermal imaging
  • Recoil Activated Video (RAV)
  • Quality battery life
  • 1280×960 video resolution

SightMark Photon RT 6-12x50 Digital Night Vision Riflescope - The Best for Stealth

If you're looking for a reliable and compact product that won't get in the way during the hunt, here's the scope for you. Let's see what the SightMark Photon RT 6-12x50 Digital Night Vision Scope has in store for us.

As we said, this is quite a crafty, little device. It does not impress with its features that much, but it will do the job efficiently for sure. It features digital night vision rendering, which is an upgrade from earlier devices with outdated technologies.

The best thing about this SightMark Photon RT 6-12x50 riflescope is that it features an invisible infrared illuminator, which makes you a hunter on a stealthy mission. The lack of infrared light will not fear wild animals if they happen to see you in the dark.

Also, there are six different reticles with four different colors, so you'll be able to choose the one you're most comfortable with and even change your preferences.

Since this is a lower-quality SightMark scope, you will suffer when it comes to video quality. Both display and video record resolution are set to 640x480 pixel resolution, so you won't have the highest quality video, but it'll still be clear enough to watch on a phone or a tablet.

The benefits of owning this scope are obvious - you won't spend that much, and you'll be treated well with a product from a verified manufacturer. All in all, if you're short on cash but still need a quality scope, this is the one to get.

  • Invisible infrared illuminator
  • Different reticle options
  • Verified manufacturer
  • Compact and easy to carry
  • No impressive features
  • Low-res display

Bushnell 4.5X40 Equinox Z Digital Night Vision - The Budget-Friendly Scope

The Bushnell manufacturer is famous for making the high-quality precision rifle scopes used by law enforcement and elite military at a reasonable price. You may be surprised by what this scope features.

This generation 2 night vision scope allows you to shoot fast at moderate distances thanks to 4.5 power magnification and 40mm objective lens.

Depending on the specific light condition, you can adjust the suitable infrared brightness level for a clear image. And the daytime color allows you to use this scope during the day.

It has Image Capture and Video Recording features, which allows you to save your wonderful hunting moments.

It also has an integrated mount, so you can detach your scope from the rifle and mount it on a tripod for scouting or varmint control. When moving this scope from place to place, yours will be safe without scratches, thanks to a carrying case from the manufacturer.

The long battery life allows you to hunt during the day continuously. Although you can adjust the lighting of this scope, the LCD screen is still too bright.

  • Suitable for hog hunting at night
  • Image capturing
  • Video recording
  • Sturdy
  • Heavy

Verdict: Looking for a high-quality scope at a reasonable price? Then Bushnell 4.5X40 Equinox Z Digital Night Vision is a perfect investment. There are many great features, for example, hog hunting at night.

Night Owl Optics Night Vision Riflescope - The Runner Up

Night Owl Optics Digital Night Vision Riflescope is the lightweight entry level scope for hunting at night.

It's straightforward to use, and it’s a portable scope. In an open area, this unit can still provide you with a large clear field of view even when your target is over 150 yards.

Depending on each specific shooting environment, you can choose and adjust a suitable reticle type among 3 different ones with white or black color. This feature allows you to use it in any light condition.

You even can adjust windage and elevation as well. This thing plays an important role in helping a beginner shoot exactly if the barrel doesn't have a rail.

The engineered thermoplastic material makes this scope durable and lightweight.
Our favorite thing is its mount. This accessory allows your scope to sit lower on the bore axis so that you can balance it better. This is so great for first-time users.

The flip-up lens cover is also a highlight of this product since it can protect the objective lens and the infrared illuminator from the bad conditions, thus, you don't have to worry about rain, snow, or frog.

This model doesn't come with an Image Intensifier Tube, so bright light can burn your image.

  • Possible to use at day time
  • Well made
  • Easy to focus
  • Perfect service
  • Not heavy
  • Short battery life

Verdict: We strongly recommend this model for people who want to hunt in under a 200-yard range.

Pulsar Digex N455 Digital Night Vision Riflescope - The Best in Versatility

You cannot go through this list without checking the fantastic Pulsar Digex N455 Riflescope and the features it has to offer.

Why is this riflescope special? Well, there are a couple of reasons.

Firstly, the overall design and maneuverability of this scope make it compatible with a wide range of guns on the market, and its flexibility results in crafty positioning.

Also, it's equipped with the latest rangefinder technology that lets you detect targets at a 2000-yard distance. Whether you're hunting at day or night time, you'll be set. Even the darkest nights won't pose a problem since the IR illuminator can give you a 546-yard sight.

The digital night vision software with enhanced sensitivity makes this one of the best night vision riflescopes out there. Once your hunt is finished and you're coming home for a chill day, you can go over your triumph by watching the HD recorded video on your TV.

We shouldn't forget to mention that it's incredibly durable, which makes it a great piece of equipment for every hunter. The IP67 rating proves that it's waterproof and resilient at extreme temperatures.

Why does it land in this place?

Well, even though it has some impressive specs, the amount of money you'll spend on this scope would have landed you a better one. Nevertheless, this fact says nothing about the particular quality of this one.

  • Quality purchase
  • IP67 – waterproof and durable
  • Flexibility
  • Rangefinder
  • Quality to price ratio

BESTSIGHT DIY Digital Night Vision Scope - The Largest Scope

Some people don't like the bulky design of this scope, but the big external apparatus and the digital viewing screen can create unparalleled optics.

The setup process is a little complicated because of the large size. But, depending on each specific rifle, the setup time can be just a few minutes or a little longer. If you are a first-time user, you don't have to worry because there is a detailed instruction from the manufacturer.

The camera of this scope can produce 3-megapixel quality images with a lot of details and colors. Therefore, you can use it in both daytime and nighttime. You can even see clearly your target in completely dark conditions thanks to the high power infrared illuminator.

Please take a look at another highlight:

Its 5-inch clear display screen will capture whatever the camera picks up and will display it all. Plus, you can adjust the screen through zoom and crosshair function, and a day or nighttime settings.

The disadvantage is that this model requires you to buy three batteries separately: one for the infrared flashlight and two for the monitor. Therefore, you need to spend an extra amount of money.

  • Affordable
  • 18-month warranty
  • Available two eyepiece tubes in the package
  • Inexpensive
  • Doesn’t work well for weapons with a lot of recoils

Verdict: We strongly recommend this option for people who shoot in a fixed position as well as a stable rifle. It isn't suitable for regularly moving hunts.

Firefield 3x42 Gen 1 Night Vision Riflescope

This product is one of the best night vision scope for the money. Firefield makes night vision products for those who strive to live a life of honor. Firefield 3x42 Gen 1 is their very famous night vision riflescope.

Firefield 3x42 Gen 1 is a 1st Generation night vision riflescope that features a built-in infrared illuminator. It has a weaver mounting system that allows you to maintain return-to-zero reliability. This mount is easily and quickly detachable.

It has a 3x magnification power with a resolution of 30 lines per mm. You enjoy a wide field of view of 14 degrees and a fixed focusing distance.

Firefield 3x42 Gen 1 features multi-coated glass optics with a 42mm objective lens. It has an incremental red duplex reticle with adjustable brightness. This lens has a focus of 70mm and gives an eye relief of 45mm. The lens has a flip-up protective cover.

This is a weatherproof night vision riflescope that has a strong titanium body. Thanks to its sturdy exterior, it is a shockproof device. It is not nitrogen purged and therefore is not a fog-proof device.

It operates on 2 AA batteries which can last up to 20 hours with infrared. You don’t get a remote control with your night vision riflescope.

Unfortunately, Firefield 3x42 Gen 1 cannot be shipped outside US.

Pros: Durable, easy to use and it is also cheap night scope.

ATN X-Sight II HD 3-14 Smart Day/Night Rifle Scope - The Best Compact Scope

Next up is a product that won’t get in the way during your nightly hunting sessions. If you want compactness, make sure to check out the ATN X-Sight II HD 3-14.

Even though the salient feature that makes this product excellent is compactness, that’s not all there is to it. A quality riflescope should enable you to focus solely on the hunt and ignore everything else, and that’s where this fantastic product comes into play.

Thanks to its ballistic calculator, you’ll be able to get all the data you require without having to spend some extra minutes studying the field. Why? Well, the ballistic calculator will do everything for you - you enter the data and all the calculations will be automatically integrated into the device.

Moreover, owning this ATN X-Sight II HD 3-1 riflescope will give you the opportunity to cast away the outdated range equipment that you have lying around. Firstly, your one hand will be free from holding a rangefinder, and secondly, you’ll have all the data right in front of you.

Of course, we don’t need to tell you that it’s equipped with the newest generation night vision system and recording software. After a successful hunt, you’ll relax on the sofa and watch your 1080p day as if it were a documentary.

Batteries do seem to give out relatively fast due to the high requirements of this scope, but it’s the price of having a quality product. Nevertheless, it shouldn’t be a reason that you don’t buy it.

  • Durable and efficient
  • ATN ballistic calculator
  • New-gen night vision system
  • Quality videos
  • Low lifespan due to high requirements

Armasight Nemesis Quick Silver Riflescope - The Best for Accuracy

Next up is a product from a manufacturer that we haven't mentioned so far, but its qualities are undoubtedly in the specter of greatness. Let's dig into the Armasight Nemesis Quick Silver Riflescope review.

Night-time conditions can make hunting extremely hard, even with the best equipment possible. However, night vision scopes are designed to eliminate the obstacles by having some crafty features, such as the illuminated reticle that this one has.

Even though all scopes possess quality reticles, this one differs in prioritizing accuracy with finely designed crosshairs that help you focus on the prey. It's thin, well-lit, and has improved stability for those with shaky hands.

Moreover, the mounting gear further establishes stability with advanced rail positioning. It possesses three different mounting rails that not only stabilize your aim but relieve some of the discomforts that come from having integrated scopes in firearms.

The Nemesis Quick Silver night vision display features true colors, and it's quality-made. However, the biggest flaw is the lack of a recording system that helps track the progress of your hunt. The price it goes for is certainly over the top, considering that the best riflescopes have at least some recording devices.

Still, its salient use is unmatched in quality, which is why you should definitely consider getting this device.

  • Durable equipment
  • Thin crosshair
  • Mounting gear with rail positioning
  • Quality night vision gear
  • No recording options

ATN X-Sight II Rifle Scope - The Best Size

With a small size, ATN X-Sight II HD 5-20 Rifle Scope is an ideal choice for air rifle hunters as well as people who are on a tight budget.

Small size doesn't mean bad performance here. This model allows you to reach a maximum of 20x. Furthermore, you can easily adjust from the lowest caliber up to the highest caliber.

Depending on each specific caliber and load, the ATN X-Sight II HD 5-20 Rifle Scope has specific ranging and ballistic calculations. In general, everything is integrated very well for an accurate shot.

With this scope, you will not need the support of equipment to range your target or a handheld rangefinder. In place of charts and complex reticles, you only need to enter the environmental data, the unit can automatically calculate the accurate distance to shoot perfectly.

When it comes to drawbacks, it is a 1080p optic, not a 4K option. 1080p is enough to see the image clearly, however, if you want to display footage on a 4K TV, you should choose another product on this list.

  • Effective in both day and night
  • Possible to record HD video
  • Available weaver mounts
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Heavy
  • Bad customer service

Verdict: Although this item is not the best of the best, it is a worthy investment thanks to the excellent quality, compact size, and low cost.

ATN Night Spirit-2 Gen 2+ Multi-Purpose System - The Most Reliable Brand

ATN CORPORATION is known for a long time as one of the most famous manufacturers of night vision models. They are also a massive supplier of weapons for the FBI and the US military.

This fact shows that you can expect many outstanding features from this product, such as multi-function, weather-resistant, and automatic light control.

The biggest advantage is that it can be used as both a monocular and a scope. However, using the scope function requires an adapter or a mounting kit to fit in your gun or rifle.

Although it's multi-purpose, this device doesn't come with a reticle or crosshair.

It's better to use it as a monocular because you just need to grip the item in your hands and see with your eyes. You can also count on a head mount to let your hands-free.

Another fantastic feature is as follows: The batteries last for 12-30 hours. The exact runtime depends on whether you use it under regular use or whether you turn on the illuminator.

The customer service of the company is bad because they can’t explain to their customers about the product problems clearly.

  • Infrared illuminator
  • Multi-coated optics
  • Quick to adjust into focus
  • Very well packaged
  • Useful in a limited distance of about 100 yards

Verdict: ATN Night Spirit-2 Gen 2+ Night Vision Multi-Purpose System works well for short-range viewing in a dim light area, even in a completely dark area.

Yukon Yukon Sightline 6-24x70mm N470S Digital Night Vision - The Quickest Scope

We have one more product to review before we move on to the buyer's guide, and you should definitely consider it, even though it takes the last place on our list. Let's take a look at the Yukon Sightline N470S Digital Night Vision.

When you're on the hunt, your primary goal should be to focus on your prey without having to worry about your equipment and setting it up. That's why Yukon's scope's main features are ease of use and quickness.

The user-friendly interface lets you control everything from dedicated buttons, so there's no messing with a menu that only confuses you. Furthermore, it features a fast-release battery pack that takes only seconds to remove and set up. The battery will last you up to four hours, depending on how much you use it in the field.

In terms of quickness, there's no mistaking it - this is one of the fastest scopes on the market. It takes around 3 seconds to start it up after pushing the dedicated button. With a scope like this, you'll never worry about losing valuable seconds out in the field.

Also, the display resolution is set to 1024x768, which is decent in comparison to previous riflescopes. However, the problem is the same as with the previous product - it has no recording options, which is a must-have in 2021.

Still, its main purpose is to give you the ease of mind during the hunt, and that's what it accomplishes.

  • User-friendly interface
  • Quickness
  • Ease of use
  • Range of detection
  • No recording abilities

Top Night Vision Scope Brands

  • 1. ATN
  • 2. Armasight
  • 3. Firefield
  • 4. Sightmark

ATN is a brief form of "American Technologies Network." ATN has been producing some of the best night vision scopes for more than two decades. The company is globally recognized for its high-quality NV scopes. Another notable feature of ATN NV scopes is that they come in a huge range.

The company markets NV scopes that are inexpensive and come with basic features as well as highly advanced and expensive scopes. For this reason, ATN products have an appeal across a vast segment of the NV market.

The company also manufactures high-quality thermal imaging scope technology. The main office of ATN is based in San Francisco and the all ATN products are manufactured in the United States, making the brand a thoroughly made-in-America brand.

A testimony to the quality of ATN NV scopes is that these are routinely used by the law enforcement agencies as well as the military. At the same time, ATN scopes are also used by hunters.

The company is known for continuously innovating its NV scope products and keeps adding new features to them which explains why they are a hot favorite with many NV scope enthusiasts.

Night Vision Generation

If you are new to the night vision scope world then this frequently used word “Generation” must be confusing you a lot. It’s okay! We are here to help you out.

So scope are basically characterized according to the Generation they belong to. For starters, Generation refers to the level of technology that is used for night vision.

It corresponds to how much a certain binocular intensifies the light in order to see in dark. These levels or designations are provided by the US military.

Generally you will come across 4 types of Generations with Generation 1 being the most popular and Generation 4 being the least popular.

These Generations are evaluated on three common aspects – the amount of light amplification they offer, their system resolution and how sharp and clear the image is.

best night vision scope 2021
  • Generation 1
  • Generation 2
  • Generation 3
  • Generation 4

Devices with Generation 1 night vision are the most basic, commonly used and inexpensive. They have an intensifier tube for amplifying light. Generally, the image intensifier amplifies light is less than 1000 times with Gen 1 night vision devices.

You shouldn’t expect crystal clear images from these binoculars. Images are usually distorted and blurry! Addition of Infrared Illuminators to Gen 1 scope make a lot of difference and are usually preferred.

With Gen 1 night vision devices, the resolution you get in the center is 25-30 lines per mm and on the edge is 15-20 lines per mm.

This Generation can get a useful range of about 75 yards. Even within this useful range the images are subject to noise and a smaller field of view.

Gen 1 scope are generally less advanced and are prone to have a shorter battery life.

Night Vision Scope vs Monocular

Both night vision scope and monocular can be mounted on a rifle or any other weapon in order to hunt or shoot at night.

But both these devices have their pros and cons. For instance, the long range performance you get from night vision scope is not the same with night vision monocular.

On the other hand, the versatility you get on a night vision monocular is unmatchable. You can simply unmount your monocular and use it on its own. Same cannot be done with a night vision scope.

A good quality dedicated long-range night vision scope is amazing for hunting purposes.

For a multi-tasker, a night vision monocular is perfect. You might want to ask an expert for the right decision.

Night Vision Scope vs Monocular

Night Vision Scope Vs Goggles

Night vision scope is usually an additional piece of night vision equipment that can be added to a rifle or another firearm. Night vision scopes can be easily attached and mounted to a wide range of firearms and can be detached equally easily.

They offer a very high quality of night vision but they are also significantly expensive. Another notable aspect of night vision scopes is that you may require the permission of the local authorities to use them, especially if you are going to use them on hunting firearms. This restriction may vary depending on the local regulations.

Night vision goggles, in comparison, are either handheld and standalone or they come with head-mounted gear, allowing you to easily wear them in helmet-style. Night-vision goggles offer quality night vision in dark areas but they can’t be securely attached or mounted to other equipment such as firearms.

In contrast to night vision scope, night vision goggles require no permission from local authorities and can be freely used. In addition, night vision goggles are quite inexpensive compared to night vision scopes.

What Is the Difference Between Night Vision Scope Vs Goggles?

Things That You Should Consider While Choosing a Night Vision Scope

1. Main Uses

To start off, you need to consider your primary purpose of buying a night vision scope. It can be bought for hunting or for crossbow or for your air rifle.

a. For Hunting

If you wish to purchase a night vision riflescope for hunting at night, then we recommend you to buy any riflescope that has Generation 2 or Digital Generation technology. Anything less than this will not help you in identifying your target when it’s pitch dark outside. Gen 2+ riflescope also helps you in identifying the variety of animals that you might see at night.

These riflescopes have clarity and precision to them. You might want to take a look at Pulsar Trail XP50 Thermal Riflescope. This riflescope is actually designed for hunting purposes.

b. For Crossbow

Are you planning on doing hunting with a crossbow? Are you looking for a night vision scope that fits perfectly to your crossbow?

If yes, then you need to buy a night vision scope that is specifically created for mounting on crossbows.

Keep in mind that mounting crossbows is very different from that on riflescopes.

You need to have a night scope that is light in weight, has a magnification power of less than 6x and a wider vision.

We suggest the amazing SightMark Photon RT 6-12x50 Digital Night Vision Scope that can be mounted on both rifles and crossbows.

It is a light weight device with lower magnification and greater precision.

c. For Air Rifle

With an air rifle you will be hitting targets and will be requiring a night vision scope that gives you speed and precision. This cannot be achieved with Gen 1 or Gen 2 devices. You need Gen 3 or greater night vision riflescopes for shooting and security purposes.

Go check out ATN Night Spirit-2 Gen 2+ Night Vision Multi Purpose System which is a great device for air rifles.

best night vision scope under $2000

2. Durable

Durability is very important especially when it comes to a night vision scope. These are quite expensive and you don’t want your newly bought scope to be broken or damaged in just a few days.

Depending upon your usage, you might want to go for the most durable option available in the market. If you are a military personnel or someone who works for law enforcement agencies, then for you durability is of utmost importance.

But for someone who wants a night vision scope for hunting or cross bowing, it isn’t necessary to look for the sturdiest scope available in the market.

For durability, we suggest you to go for Night Owl Optics NightShot Digital Night Vision Riflescope with IR illuminator. This sturdy riflescope will not disappoint you!

3. Easy to Use

Once you are on the field you don’t want to get stuck in the difficult mechanism and operating systems that some night vision scopes might have.

As an amateur or someone who doesn’t have a lot of time waste, ease of use is very important. Whether you are hunting or shooting, you want your night vision scope to be usable within seconds.

You desire a scope to mount quickly and easily, operate smoothly and have features that make your task easier. Many of the above mentioned night vision riflescopes have a user-friendly design. You might want to check them out.

4. Compatibility

Compatibility refers to the ability of a certain night vision scope to get mounted to a riflescope or any other shooting device.

If you are using a crossbow then you definitely need to check if you get a night vision scope that is compatible with a crossbow.

For rifles and other weapons makes sure to get a riflescope. Compatibility falls under the mounting system of a certain night vision scope.

The scopes that we have listed in our guide all are compatible with standard weaver rail on a rifle. There are clip-on night vision scopes as well that you need to check out.

5. Quick Release Mount

A quick release mount enables you to attach or remove your scope. You need to check your scope first and then purchase a compatible quick release mount for your device.

6. Viewing Range

Viewing range basically refers to the ability of a night vision scope to view at a certain distance. You are concerned about both your minimum and maximum vision.

It is closely related to the Generation of the scope. This means that a Gen 1 device will have a lesser viewing range as compared to Gen 2 devices. On average, you get a viewing range of about 200 yard on 2nd Generation Night Vision Scopes.

7. Light Conditions

best night vision scope for ar15

We are talking about the light conditions that there are at night. Sometimes you get a lot of moonlight and it’s pretty visible outside. Somedays there is zero moonlight but you can enjoy the city lights.

But in some places there is pitch dark and there’s literally no source of light. Hunters and military personnel usually go out on these kinds of places where there is not natural light.

In order for a crisp and clear image when there is pitch black outside, you should go for a Gen 3 or a Gen 4 night vision scope. This might be a little heavy on the pocket but will be totally worth it once you go out in the field.

If you are more of a stargazer or you need the night vision scope for navigation within the city we suggest you to go for a night vision scope with Gen 1 or Gen 2 technology.

8. Power Supply

You need to decide which kind of power supply is most feasible for you when purchasing a night vision scope. All the night vision scopes that are sold in the market run on batteries and do not have any other power source.

Generally, single lithium CR123A battery or 1 AA battery are required to operate a night vision scope. Some scopes require more than one battery, usually 2 AA batteries.

Depending upon how much you can spend on batteries, you should choose the one that is most affordable and long-lasting.

A friendly advice – if a device requires a rare battery that is not widely available and is more on the expensive side, we suggest you to stay away from such a night vision scope and save yourself the hassle of finding these Unicorns!

9. Battery Life

Battery life refers to how long a certain battery survives so that it keeps your night vision scope running. Every device has its own battery life.

The maximum battery life that we have seen amongst our best night vision scopes is up to 60 hours and that too with a lithium battery. When you use AA batteries the battery life generally drops to 20-40 hours.

Another thing when considering the battery life of a night vision scope is using the scope with infrared and without infrared.

The infrared illuminator uses a lot of battery and can last only a few hours if used consistently. Your scope operates for longer time without infrared turned on.

If you are using your night vision scope for shooting purposes where you will be on the field shooting without having the time to change your batteries again and again then go for one with longer battery life.

best night vision scope for shotgun

10. Operating Temperature

Operating temperature is the temperature in which you can use as well as store your night vision scope. Each of these scopes comes with a temperature range in which you can use your scope.

For instance, Vampire from Armasight has an operating temperature between -51°C to +45°C. Any temperatures greater or less than this range will potentially damage your scope.

Photon by Sightmark, on the other hand, supports temperatures ranging from –15 to +50 degree Celsius. So if you will be taking your night vision scope out in the scorching deserts or chilling mountains, you need to consider its operating temperature.

Best Feature

Product Name


The Scope With the Best Features

ATN X-Sight 4K Day/Night Rifle Scope

The Best Quality-Made Scope

Pulsar Trail XP50 Thermal Riflescope

The Best Thermal Imaging Scope

ATN ThOR-HD 2-8x 25 mm Rifle Scope

The Best for Stealth

SightMark Photon RT 6-12x50 Digital Night Vision Riflescope

The Budget-Friendly Scope

Bushnell 4.5X40 Equinox Z Digital Night Vision

Lightweight Entry Level Scope

Night Owl Optics Night Vision Riflescope

The Best in Versatility

Pulsar Digex N455 Digital Night Vision Riflescope

The Largest Scope

BESTSIGHT DIY Digital Night Vision Scope

Gen 1 Scope for the Money

Firefield 3x42 Gen 1 Night Vision Riflescope

The Best Compact Scope

ATN X-Sight II HD 3-14 Smart Day/Night Rifle Scope

The Best for Accuracy

Armasight Nemesis Quick Silver Riflescope

The Best Size

ATN X-Sight II HD 5-20 Smart Day/Night Rifle Scope

The Most Reliable Brand

ATN Night Spirit-2 Gen 2+ Multi-Purpose System

The Quickest Scope

Yukon Sightline N470S Digital Night Vision


How does the night vision scope work?

best night vision scope attachment

A night vision scope works just like any other night vision device. The objective lens captures the ambient light from the surrounding and sends it to the infrared illuminator or image intensifier tube.

Once light enter this tube, it is converted into electrons thanks to the battery powered system. These electrons then pass through photo multiplier where they are multiplied hundreds and thousands of time.

These electrons are then thrown onto a phosphor screen which turns them into a green colored image. All the reactions between electrons and phosphors convert them into thousands of photons.

This results in you viewing a much brighter green colored image on your ocular lens. Your image becomes amplified and hence you are able to see in the dark.

Here as you can see, the main role is played by the image intensifier tube which uses infrared illuminators. Without this tube, there is no night vision.

How to set up the night vision scope?

The construction of a night vision scope is quite simple. There is an objective lens which gathers light. Then there is a photocathode which helps in creating photons into electrons.

In Gen 1 device there is only this photocathode. In Gen 2 devices there is an additional micro-channel plate. In Gen 3 devices you get a photocathode that is made up of gallium arsenide.

Then there is a photo multiplier which is connected to a phosphor screen. The green vision you get is because of this phosphor screen. Its mechanism is explained in the next section.

Finally there is the ocular lens which lets you see the end picture. Additionally you need to get mounts in order to mount your scope to a weapon or a crossbow.

best night vision scope for ar 10

What is the best way to zero a night vision scope?

A night vision scope is meant to be used in complete darkness. If used in daylight, a traditional night vision scope may incur damage.

More recent night vision (NV) scope models are not very sensitive to daylight and can be adjusted during the day. However, you will need to property zero a night vision scope before it can be used in the dark.

And zeroing the scope is a hard thing to do.

The traditional zeroing method most effectively works in the case of most NV scopes. This method involves securing yourself and your rifle with scope in a stable position. Ideally, the rifle should be supported by a sandbag to make sure that when you fire it, it remains stable.

  • Place a target nearly 100 meters away from your position.
  • Now turn on the NV riflescope and adjust the vision to achieve good focus and sharpness.
  • Next, match the reticle center of the riflescope with the center of the target.
  • Now, fire with live ammunition and after a few shots, examine the impact on the target. If the impact is right and as desired, the NV scope has been zeroed successfully. If the impact is amiss, use the adjustment knob to improve the aiming point.

What is the best night vision scope?

If we look at all the features that comprise the best scope, it has to be the ATN X-Sight 4K Pro. It dominates the market with demand, and it's deemed as the most quality scope out there.

What is the best night vision scope for hunting?

This is relatively hard to answer because it depends on the type of hunter you are and what your prey is. If you love shooting from a distance, you'll need a scope that can cover a lot of range, which is the Pulsar Trail XP50 Thermal Riflescope.

However, if you're more of a close-shooter, we recommend you go for the Night Owl Optics Night Vision Riflescope.

What is the best cheap night vision scope?

It's definitely the Bushnell 4.5X40 Equinox Z Digital Night Vision. Still, its price is not an indicator of its genuine worth. It has impressive specs for a budget-pick, and it's undoubtedly a great addition to your hunting set.


Finally, it comes down to your preference and the goal of owning a quality scope. However, if you need a recommendation, we strongly suggest you try our top three contenders: ATN X-Sight 4K Pro, Pulsar Trail XP50 Thermal Riflescope, and ATN ThOR-HD 2-8x 25 mm Rifle Scope.

We hope that all the information in this guide was useful and informative.

Finally, we conclude our guide by wishing you good luck in their mission of finding the best night vision scope for yourself.

Leave a Comment