There is a misconception about night vision technology. People believe this expensive equipment is made for professionals only (usually for military and science use). This hasn’t really been the case for a while now. Night vision goggles have become commonplace in many professions and inexpensive ones can be found easily. Naturally, the less you’re willing to pay, the more drawbacks the gadget will have. But, nonetheless – you can find a perfectly useful night vision monocular to fit into your budget.
Here are some that you can get for less than 200$.
Solomark Night Vision Monocular
This little gadget will enable you to observe targets in the complete dark (so it can be used for hunting or surveillance). It can take photos or record videos and it comes with a 1GB SD card (but you can easily replace it with a bigger one). The great thing about it is that it’s made for outdoors use –it’s covered with rubber- so you can just throw it in your backpack and there is no reason to worry about it, until you need it. Naturally, don’t expect too much for such a low price – the images get pretty grainy when you use the zoom. It’s 142.99 $ and comes with free shipping.
Firefield 5×50 Nightfall 2 Night Vision Monocular
When it comes to night vision monoculars, size apparently doesn’t matter. This is a rather small gadget, but it has great features. Even though it has a wide lens in the front, it isn’t heavy at all and fits in the hand quite easily. The rubber surrounding it can withstand any kind of weather and a few bumps. The Nightfall 2 offers 5X magnification and a field of view of about 15 degrees. This means you can easily identify objects 75 feet away in the complete dark. Keep in mind – infrared light can be spotted by the observer from the right angle and you’ll have to buy batteries separately. It’s 149$ and the shipping is also free.
Sightmark Ghost Hunter 2×24 Night Vision Monocular
Ghost Hunter allows you to see in the complete dark for a range of about 80 yards. It comes with a head mount, so it can be used hands-free. 1x magnification gives you depth perception and clear view when you’re navigating in the dark. An IR illuminator gives it extra range in darker situations and it has an auto turn-off feature that is activated when you’re suddenly exposed to bright light. The handiest thing about it is that it works with regular AA batteries you probably have lying around the house somewhere. Pro tip: the head mount can get slippery so be careful. The price is 166$, shipping included.
Read our full review here
Night Owl Optics 5-Power NOXM50 Night Vision Monocular
Night Owl prides itself in its optics specs. It uses all glass optics and it makes all the difference. It magnifies light up to 500 times and the image remains clean and clear. You can also zoom with it, up to 5 times, without losing much quality. A built-in infrared illuminator allows you to see objects in motion. With all this power, it’s still quiet lightweight and the rubber around the lens keeps it safe from impact. The downside is that the use of this kind of equipment is pretty regulated – so you need to check your state gun laws to see if you can legally own one. It costs 192$.
Redfield Rampage 20-60x60mm Spotting Scope Kit
This monocular can magnify images between 20 and 60 times without losing much brightness and contrast. Field of view is about 114 feet from a 100 yards with the lowest zoom. It comes with a BaK 4 prisms which gives it excellent light gathering capability. It can also be modified to be used during the day, so you don’t have to switch gear a lot. It can be mounted on a tripod or used by hand with the same ease. The only downside is that the image gets a bit grainy on maximum zoom. It costs 199$.