Best Night Vision Scopes: 5 Top Picks Reviewed

Hunters, especially mint hunters, for many years largely restricted their hunting to daylight hours.  In most states, big game is regulated and may only be shot during the day, but pests are generally not covered by these restrictions.  Only in recent years has night vision technology become affordable and accessible to civilian hunters.

As the feral hog population continues to increase in many states, so has the popularity of night hunting.  I have a lot of questions about night vision goggles, especially night vision goggles.  Hunters wonder what the best night vision device is, what type of night vision device they should buy, and how the most popular night vision devices work.

In this article, I will review some of the best night vision devices on the market.  We hope that after reading this article you will have a better understanding of the technology behind different night vision optics.  By discussing my choices for this list of night vision goggles, you should be able to decide which night vision goggle best suits your situation and needs.

What isnight vision?

Almost everyone knows the term night vision.  Movies and television shows often feature actors who supposedly use night vision devices to see in the dark.  There is some truth to the image we see on the screen, but the truth part is a little different.  Before buying night vision equipment, you need to understand the night vision technology and how it works.

Technically, the term night vision encompasses different types of technologies currently used by civilians, law enforcement and the military.  The US military has often been the driving force behind the development of night vision technology, and the latest versions of this technology are limited to military use.

In short, night vision devices use various methods to provide the user’s eyes with a usable image in the dark.  Night vision equipment fulfills this task in different ways.

  • Amplification of available light
  • Digital enhancement of existing light
  • Thermal imaging

Available light intensifier – StarlightApplications

Night vision goggles come from World War II and the German army.  The technology was based on collecting infrared light and converting it into visible light.  The devices were large, heavy and required infrared lighting.  Generally, this type of technology is considered Generation 0 and is no longer used or produced.

Generation 1 in current versions of light amplification zones collects available ambient light (hence the name stellar light zones) and amplifies or intensifies this light before passing the image to the viewer.

A common factor in these areas is the green melt emitted by the image intensifiers.  This kind of green scene is familiar to anyone who watches movies or television shows.  Some of these night vision devices still use small infrared emitters to enhance their performance in very low light conditions.

The latest technology available to civilian customers is the third generation filmless image intensifier.  In some cases, this technology can be called Generation 4.  However, the term generation 4 is a misnomer.

Digital night vision

As digital camera technology has evolved, application manufacturers have become aware of its widespread use in digital cameras, mobile phones and night vision camcorders.  The technology behind the digital camera extends into the near-infrared spectrum.  The development of digital night vision devices soon followed.

These digital night scopes have a number of advantages over older night scopes.

  • The digital sensors are immune to damage caused by bright light.  Older night vision devices are easily damaged if the sensors are accidentally exposed to bright light.
  • The sensors used in digital night vision have an almost unlimited lifetime.
  • Digital sensors are much more robust and durable than star type devices.
  • Images captured with digital night vision devices can easily be converted into other types of images that can be stored.

Not surprisingly, the production costs of digital night vision equipment are significantly lower than those of traditional light amplification equipment.

Thermal imaging

The latest entrant in the field of night vision for civilian purposes is thermal imaging.  The operation of thermal imaging equipment is not affected by ambient light.  This type of equipment detects longwave infrared radiation and converts these wavelengths into images that the human eye can perceive.

By reading the temperature of the object and the background temperature, these devices create an image on the electronic display based on the temperature difference.  The hotter the object, the more saturated the color will be.

Thermal imaging telescopes have both advantages and disadvantages over other types of night vision devices.

  • Thermal cameras can see without lighting in total darkness, creating a reflected image.
  •  In most cases, thermal imaging is not affected by fog, smoke, foliage or dust.
  • Thermal imaging cameras are expensive to produce, which makes the final cost higher.
  • The glass blocks heat radiation and prevents the use of thermal imaging through the windows.

Best night vision zones for civilian use My selection

In recent years, more and more companies have entered the civilian night vision market.  Competition in the market is good for consumers.  Prices have come down and technology has become more durable and reliable.  It is my choice for the best night vision goggles.

Improved third generation night vision range – ATN NVM 14-2 Overview

ATN is undoubtedly the brand name for night vision equipment.  When comparing night vision systems, the ATN is the standard against which other devices are compared. When it comes to Gen 3 night vision goggles, ATN is a well-known and respected brand that produces devices of the highest quality.

The ATN-NVM 14-2 is a versatile night vision system.  The NVM can be used as a portable monocular, worn on the head with a special strap, attached to a standard or tactical helmet, or mounted on a firearm.  This versatility makes the ATH-NVM 14-2 popular with athletes and police officers.

Considering the characteristics of MTA-NMV 14-d, the total price does not seem too high.

  • The technology of the three. Generation
  • Expansion – 1X
  • Field of view – 40 degrees
  • IR Transmitter – integrated
  • Multi-layer coating and protected lenses
  • Fully adjustable dioptres
  • Automatic brightness control
  • Built-in bright light out
  • IR display – Battery – 1 x CR123A
  • Battery life – 60 hours
  • Weight – 1,54 pounds
  • Length – 4.7 inches
  • Including
    • An ATN NVM 14-2 night vision goggle
    • Warranty card
    • Lens dust
    • Carrying case
    • One cr123A battery


  • Well made, robust and durable.
  • Sharp and clear images
  • Easy to use over long distances
  • Useful behind some red dots and holographic landmarks


  • Dear
  • It can be confusing to focus with the front and rear settings.

Last updated January 29, 2010 at 10:22 pm / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Advertising Product API.

Overall, the ATN NVM 14-2 is a good choice if you need a Gen 3 night vision system.  It is expensive, but the ATN NVM will not disappoint you and should give you years of above average performance.

Best Digital Rifle Scope – Wraith-Seitmark 4-32×50 Digital Rifle Scope Test

Since the launch of Sightmark’s first digital riflescopes, the company has continued to grow in the riflescope market.  Sightmark has built a reputation for quality real estate complexes at an affordable price.  The Sightmark Wraith 4-32×50 digital viewfinder is no exception.

Digital night vision goggles are generally popular with hunters because of the extra features they offer.  Wraith telescopes are no exception, offering many features and capabilities that can enhance your hunting or shooting experience.

Many features are not available on other night vision platforms.

  • 1080P HD digital imaging technology
  • Tag mode in color mode
  • Night vision mode
  • Built-in HD video recording
  • 8x digital zoom
  • Ten grid options with nine different colors
  • External power consumption
  • The profile memory allows you to make different settings for different conditions.
  • Complete with removable 850 nm IR illuminator
  • Uses standard AA batteries. Up to four hours of autonomy.
  • Uses the latest CMOS sensor technology to capture the brightest and sharpest images.
  • Supports SD cards up to 64 GB
  • Interpupillary distance – 2.4 inches
  • Fully adjustable dioptres
  • waterproof
  • Length – 10.5 inch
  • Weight – 36.3 ounces with batteries
    • What’s in the package?
    • Wraith perception of a single landmark
    • IR Flash
    • Lens Cap
    • Fixed mounting on Picatinny rail
    • Quick start guide


  • Robust and durable construction
  • Second focal plane of the grid
  • Clear and sharp images
  • External power supply as accessory


  • Shouldn’t focus on large caliber rifles.
  • Low battery capacity means you need to carry extra batteries or an external power source.

Last updated January 29, 2010 at 10:22 pm / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Advertising Product API.

Digital night vision goggles are very useful for most hunters.  The technology is robust and the performance, day and night, is exceptional.  The Sightmark Wraith is at the top of the line when it comes to affordable digital night vision.  There are more expensive digital night vision devices, but why pay more for the same technology?

Best Thermal Night Vision Camera – ATN 4 384 THOR 2-8X Overview

ATN is back on my list with the ATN THOR 2-8x thermal imaging night vision scope.  If performance is an important factor in choosing a thermal night vision scope, the THOR 2-8x should be on your list.

ATN uses the latest technologies in thermal imaging in its products.  These shooting ranges also include a wide range of optional features to enhance your shooting experience.  The THOR series of riflescopes are customizable with different screen resolutions, magnification ranges and additional options to create a night scope that truly meets the needs of the shooter.

You get the features you expect from the ATN in a thermal camera of this quality.

  • Magnification – 2 to 8x
  • Screen resolution – 1280 x 720 pixels
  • Brightness settings – 5- Interpupillary distance – 90 mm
  • Viewing angle – 12 degrees
  • Fully adjustable dioptres – range up to 960 metres.
  • Uses an internal lithium-ion battery – up to 18 hours of battery life.
  • Weatherproof Construction – Length – 13.5 inches
  • Weight – 2.03 pounds
  • Recording video to an SD memory card
  • Built-in Wi-Fi streaming function
  • Different mesh and grid color options
  • Ballistic calculator
  • Hanging gyroscope
  • Electronic compass
  • GPS Features
    • Including
    • An ATN 4 384 THOR viewfinder
    • Standard L-ring of the eye cup
    • Finishing ribbon
    • USB-C cable
    • Objective dust


  • Made to be used even with large caliber rifles.
  • The brightest images there are
  • Exceptional brightness
  • The integrated ballistic calculator is invaluable.


Last updated January 29, 2010 at 10:32pm / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Advertising Product API.

It’s hard to find a bad review for the ATN 4 384 THOR 2-8X Thermal Imaging Scope.  I must admit that the price of this series is above the budget of most hunters, but it is a series that will serve you for many years to come.  If you’re looking for the best thermal night vision goggles with more features than you’ve ever used, the ATN Thor should be at the top of your list.

Low Budget Digital Night Vision – Night Owl Optics NightShot Digital Night Vision

If your budget is limited, but you still want to equip your rifle with a digital night vision device, there are many options.  Night Owl is not an easily recognizable brand, but they produce night vision goggles within the budget of most hunters that include a reasonable amount of features.

The NightShot Night Owl is a great option for newcomers to night hunting or those who want to try out night hunting for pests.  The Night Owl digital night vision goggles offer a good list of features for the price.

  •  Expansion 3x
  • Distance up to 100 meters at night
  • Integrated infrared transmitter
  • Weatherproof
  • 640×480 display
  • The Weaver and Picatinny mountains
  • Interpupillary distance – 2.7 inches
  • Three grid options
  • Two options for the grid colour
  • It weighs 1.3 pounds.
  • Length – 13.2 inches
  • Works with 4 AA batteries
  • Battery life up to 3 hours with IR illumination
  • Battery life up to 12 hours without IR illumination


  • For the money, the best night vision device on the market.
  • High resolution image
  • Good visibility
  • Light


  • Not the best range
  • Don’t put more than a.30 caliber on the rifle.

Last updated January 29, 2010 at 10:32pm / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Advertising Product API.

If you want to try the NightShot game, the NightShot digital bezel is a great option.   You won’t be out expensive, but you’ll have a pretty good digital night vision device.  Don’t expect all the bells and whistles of digital telescopes that are two to three times more expensive.

Thermal Night Vision Scope for the best budget – ATN THOR LT 3-6X Thermal Night Vision Scope

Let’s face it.  The technique of thermal imagination is expensive.  For the most advanced thermal imaging equipment, you can expect to spend thousands of dollars.  But the ATN can help you a little with your budget.  The ATN THOR LT 3-6x thermal viewfinder is one of the most affordable thermal viewfinders on the market.

The ATN THOR LT device costs just over $1,000 and has all the qualities and durability of other ATN thermal imaging devices, as well as many of the same features as much more expensive devices.  If you have a limited budget, but still want the benefits of thermal imaging for hunting, the ATN THOR LT is an excellent choice.

Think about what you can accomplish with the ATN THOR LT rifle.

  • Magnification from 3 to 6 times
  • 160×120 pixel sensor
  • 1280×720 pixel display
  • Multiple particle selection
  • 90 mm pupil
  • Battery life: more than 10 hours
  • Weatherproof
  • Length – 11.5 inch
  • It weighs 1.4 pounds.
  • One-time zero key
  • 3D Accelerometer
  • Bags with standard 30 mm rings
  • Rechargeable internal lithium-ion battery
  • External battery compartment


  • Excellent thermal coverage at entry level
  • Well built and durable
  • A disposable zero. That’s great.
  • The light weight of this rifle makes it easy to carry and handle while hunting.


  • The magnification is only 3x or 6x. There’s nothing in it.
  • Duration for the entry level

Last updated January 29, 2010 at 10:32pm / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Advertising Product API.

Given its price, the ATN THOR LT should always be considered an entry-level thermal series.  You simply won’t find a cheaper thermal night vision goggle at a lower price.  The performance of the ATN THOR LT rifle is good and the quality is as good as that of ATN.  You will not be disappointed with the THOR LT unit, but you will probably decide to modernize in the near future.

Last sentence

Of all the possible options for night vision systems, the decision for me comes down to price and performance.  My overall night vision choice is the Sightmark Wraith 4-32×50, a digital night vision oscilloscope.  The average night hunter who sneaks up on the occasional wild pig or coyote should be more than satisfied with the performance of the Sightmark Wraith riflescope.  The price won’t break your wallet and the features are as impressive as almost any other digital ball on the market.

I hope this article has helped you understand what night vision equipment is and given you a good starting point for deciding which type of night vision equipment is best for your needs.  If you have any other ideas, suggestions or experiences, please share them in the comments section below.  Good shooting and good luck.

frequently asked questions

Who makes the best night vision goggles?

Better night vision – | Top 10 reviews – 2021 Updated |.

What is the best night vision for coyote hunting?

4 Better night vision for coyote hunting in 2020: +200 metres

What is the best night vision for hunting in the UK?

The Nites Wolf RTEK is the perfect product for any hunter. It provides a high quality clear night vision field with a range of up to 300 meters (328 yards).

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