HUNTING

Best Night Vision Binoculars: 7 Items That Render Day Vision Overrated

Compact binocular review
Shawn Harrison
Written by Shawn Harrison

How can you get the best night vision without the best night vision binoculars? They have a higher optical performance than monoculars, and they’re more comfortable because you’re using both eyes at the same time.

That’s why we’re going to help you out with making the right choice. Navigating the sea of night binoculars isn’t easy, so you need some guidance understanding the factors that impact your choice.

Our plan is to tell you what you need to consider before making your actual purchase. We’ll help you learn how to read the official specs to make sure you’re getting the right deal. You should also avoid bargains, or bite into cool extras if your binocular doesn’t perform well, and that’s why we’ll end up with a list of our favorite products.

Product NameComplete Night VisionAbility to Record Images/VideosOptical DimensionsPrice
Bushnell LYNXYesNo2.5 x 40 mmCheck price on Amazon
Night Owl Explorer ProYesNo5xCheck price on Amazon
XIKEZAN 16GBYesYes4 x 50 mmCheck price on Amazon
Bestguarder WG-80YesYes4 x 50 mmCheck price on Amazon
Lowmany BF6060NoNo8 x 35 mmCheck price on Amazon
Firefield FF25023 TrackerYesNo2 x 24 mmCheck price on Amazon
DAXGDNoNo8 x 50 mmCheck price on Amazon

Things To Consider Before Buying

Choosing the best isn’t easy, so take into account these characteristics:

Magnification

This is the first number you’ll see in the official specifications. Take for instance 2.5×40, like for our first product. This means the binoculars will magnify your image 2.5 times, which isn’t very much, but it’s still a good deal for night vision.

Other, better night binoculars, will render an enhanced image of 8 to even 10 times. However, their field of vision will be decreased considerably. Check for a quality zoom too, if you want to see more minute details.

Diameter

This is the second number in the official specs. So for our previous example, we’re talking about the 40mm for the lens diameter.

binocular lens

A bigger diameter accounts for more light transmission, and therefore better vision in dim light. Consequently, look for a bigger diameter particularly when you’re purchasing binoculars for better night vision.

Coating

The coating is responsible for image clarity. So the better the coating, the clearer and brighter your image. That’s why you should look for fully multi-coated items, even multi-coated ones. At the opposing end, the fully coated or coated gadgets are cheaper but don’t convey a bright image.

Versatility

We like it when binoculars can be used for multiple purposes. For instance, we especially like it when a night vision binoculars can be used during the day too, so you don’t have to buy too many gadgets.

man using binoculars

Also, some items can be used for surveillance or even have an SD card included to record high-resolution images and videos. A time-lapse function is always a plus too, seeing as you can use it to capture images at exact intervals.

Performance

Check if your binoculars use infrared illumination or not. If the answer is yes, then you’ll be able to use them in complete darkness.

If not, these binoculars only work in faint light conditions. But that can still be great for you, if you have a smaller budget, or if you simply don’t want to use them in pitch dark. For instance, if you’re bird watching, hiking or sightseeing, you won’t need an expensive infrared binocular.

Durability

We love it when these binoculars are able to withstand various shocks, extreme temperatures, and bad weather. So check if your choice is waterproof, shockproof, dustproof, and fog proof. That entails a price increase, but it’s better to make a sound investment, rather than buy multiple binoculars in a short timespan.

binoculars on table next to a book

With that being said, we’ll review below some very different night vision binoculars. The characteristics we’ve talked about here make their appearance in these products but in different proportions. That will give you the chance to choose the best product, according to your specific needs.

Best Products On Today’s Market

The market is filled with night vision binoculars, but you have to make your selection. Here are our top choices.

Bushnell LYNX

Bushnell LYNX Gen 1 

Price: Approximately $420

Weight: 1.1 pounds

Dimensions: 6.5 x 6.3 x 3 inches

Specific features: HD image; 2.5x magnification; 40 mm diameter; infrared illuminator; AR coated lenses; weather-resistant; 2 AAA batteries needed

Best use: Camping

The Bushnell LYNX is a well-built binocular. Its optics are qualitative enough to render an HD image. That’s probably courtesy of the grade A materials used, as well as its extensive testing. The design isn’t just durable, though, it also looks good.

These binoculars offer a 2.5x magnification, which isn’t really high. That means you’ll have a bigger field of vision, so don’t put too many hopes in the distance level either. The infrared illuminator will allow you to view objects as far as 90 yards during the night, and that’s about it.

The 40mm diameter lenses mean a generous amount of light can pass through them, making this binocular effective in low light conditions. The glass lenses are AR coated, so you’ll get a clear image during the night. On the other hand, this image is particularly blurry during the day.

In regards to user experience, we like the grip and the fact that this is a weather resistant gadget. We don’t like that the 2 AAA batteries needed aren’t included, nor the fact that it’s pretty hard to use seeing as it needs constant refocusing to work.

PROS:

  • Quality optics.
  • Durable.
  • Weather-resistant.

CONS:

  • Blurry day vision.
  • Flawed distance level.
  • Requires constant refocusing.

Related: The Gerber Bear Grylls Fire Starter is one of the items that’s frequently bought with these binoculars. And it makes sense if you’re going to be outdoors during the night; what better friend to have than a campfire? This fire starter is compact, secure and waterproof, and it’ll help you start your own campfire fast.

Check the price on Amazon

Night Owl Explorer Pro

Night Owl Explorer Pro 

Price: Approximately $600

Weight: 3.4 pounds

Dimensions: 8 x 10.5 x 5.5 inches

Specific features: 5x magnification; 700 feet field of view; 575 feet range of view; infrared illuminators; steel stringer system; low battery indicator

Best use: Star gazing

The Night Owl Explorer Pro  is a heavier and more expensive product than the Bushnell binoculars, but it gets more positive reviews. That’s probably because it has a bigger magnification of 5x, allowing you to see at a bigger distance. The field of view is pretty impressive too at 700 feet, as is the 575 feet range of view.

This product has infrared illuminators too, so you can use it in pitch dark, but unlike the harder to use Bushnell, it has a steel stringer system that allows you to control it easier and with more precision. So even if these are a generation 1 model, they work great. Just remember not to take off the lens covers when it’s light out.

We also like that it has an indicator for low battery. And even if you get there, the infrared will still work. On the other hand, the 3-V 123 lithium battery needed for its use isn’t included in the package.

PROS:

  • Generous field of view.
  • Quality optics.
  • Precise and easy use.

CONS:

  • Heavy.
  • Don’t work during the day.

Related:  We recommend the Night Owl Pro Nexgen Night Vision Binocular if you want a less expensive pair of binoculars from the same brand. These have the same 5x magnification, so they can be used for the same long distance night vision. Conversely, they have a smaller field of view, of just 53 feet at 200 feet.

Check the price on Amazon

XIKEZAN 16GB

XIKEZAN 16GB Digital 

Price: Approximately $400

Weight: 1.72 pounds

Dimensions: 8 ⅹ 6.65 ⅹ 3.46 inches

Specific features: SD card; adjustable eyepiece; 4x magnification; 50 mm diameter; 980 feet viewing range; 5MP CMOS sensor; LCD screen; 4 AA batteries needed

Best use: Bird watching

The XIKEZAN 16GB is a type of binoculars that uses a micro SD card, of up to 32GB. The good news is that it already comes with a 16Gb card included. We also love the adjustable eyepiece that focuses on user experience, particularly for people who wear eyeglasses.

The infrared spotlight is another plus, as is the time lapse function for more accuracy and noticing slow movements. The viewing range is 980 feet, the biggest one until now. The magnification, however, is just 4x, so you won’t be able to see extremely far.

50mm diameter means more light’s going to pass through the lenses, for a brighter image in dark conditions. The clarity and high resolution of these binoculars can be attributed to the CMOS sensor that allows capturing colored images during the day, and black-and-white ones during the night. The resolution for these is 5 megapixels, while the video has a 720 pixels HD resolution.

So while the daytime pictures and videos are really amazing, the night ones are just mediocre. But for the price, it’s a worthy investment, particularly because it’s so easy to use thanks to its 1.5 inches color LCD screen. And they can also work as an infrared surveillance camera.

These generation 1 binoculars are water resistant and are generally used for bird watching. They’re sturdy and can be mounted on a tripod too, which is amazing for this activity. The 4 AA batteries needed for it to work, are not included, though.

PROS:

  • Can record images and videos.
  • Tripod mountable.
  • User-friendly.
  • Can be used as a surveillance camera.

CONS:

  • Mediocre nighttime pictures.

Related: If you want a bigger SD card, get this 32G Micro SD Card. It allows for a fast transfer of the data, and it’s immune to magnets, shocks, X-rays, as well as extreme temperatures.

Check the price on Amazon

Bestguarder WG-80

Bestguarder WG-80

Price: Approximately $400

Weight: 1.72 pounds

Dimensions: 27.76 x 6.65 x 3.46 inches

Specific features: 4X magnification; 1-5X digital zoom; 50 mm diameter; records video and pictures; 850NM infrared illuminator; 980 feet viewing range; IPX4 water resistance; tripod mountable; requires 4 AA batteries

Best use: Exploring

The Bestguarder WG-80  is a great product when it comes to clarity and performance. Its magnification is 4x, which is not amazing, but pretty good for nighttime use. The good news is you can use these binoculars during the day too.

The 1-5x digital zoom works well and fast, and the 50mm lens diameter renders bright images in low light conditions too. Plus, you can capture these images and even record videos with sound with an HD resolution. And you can even work in poor weather, as this is an IPX4 water resistant product.

The infrared illuminator helps with the 980 feet viewing distance when it’s completely dark, which is great. It also has a GPS, and you can use these binoculars as a surveillance camera too. Just like the XIKEZAN binoculars, these ones have a time-lapse function too and they can be mounted on a tripod.

They even need the same 4 AA batteries to work properly, but they have a friendlier interface, with a menu that’s available in 9 languages. Apart from that, there’s the available replay function, and the 1-year warranty to guarantee you get your money’s worth.

The downside of this product is that the instructions aren’t all that detailed. Plus, it’s not a piece of equipment for professional use, it’s mostly for fun. That’s because you won’t get a powerful binocular vision, since one lens is for the monocular, while the other is for the infrared illuminator and batteries.

PROS:

  • Daytime use.
  • Resistant.
  • User-friendly.

CONS:

  • Not a powerful binocular vision.
  • Curt instructions.

Related: For a lower price, you can get the Carson 3D Series High Definition Binoculars, which is definitely a more powerful product. With 10x50mm dimensions and a waterproof badge, this item is above the Bestguarder WG-80 in these regards. However, you can’t record anything with it.

Check the price on Amazon

Lowmany BF6060

Lowmany BF6060

Price: Approximately $30

Weight: 1 pounds (shipping)

Dimensions: 11 x 10 x 4 inches

Specific features: 8x magnification; 35 mm diameter; 60 x 60 zoom; 25.00 relative brightness; 5 to 3000m distance; K9 Porro prism; rubber armor construction

Best use: Kids and beginners

The Lowmany BF6060 is the least expensive product in our night vision binocular reviews. It has an 8x magnification, which is pretty good, but the 35mm diameter is a bit small for proficient nighttime vision. That means your images will be pretty blurred.

However, the 60×60 zoom is amazing, and the relative brightness is 25.00. On the other hand, it allows the formation of water fog, which isn’t so great. The distance you can use it for is between 5 to 3000 meters, which again a plus.

For the meek $30 price, you also get an included backpack, a strap, a lens and eyepiece cap, a cleaning cloth and packaging boxes. The rubber armor material used in shock-absorbent and the design is multi-coated for increased brightness.

The K9 Porro prism construction compliments the higher magnification, and we like that there’s extended viewing thanks to the precision aligned optics. The ruby lens is qualitative and reduces UV glare, but the telescope can only work when the light is dim, not during nighttime.

PROS:

  • Good magnification.
  • Inexpensive.
  • Lots of extras.

CONS:

  • Not so good during the night.
  • Blurred image.
  • Allows water fog.

Related: We recommend getting the Aurosports Folding Binoculars Telescope, seeing as the telescope function of the Lowmany BF6060 doesn’t work during the night. In fact, the Aurosports telescope doesn’t work when it’s pitch black either, but it’s definitely an improvement. And it’s an inexpensive purchase, so it could be fun, especially for bird watching and hunting.

Check the price on Amazon

Firefield FF25023 Tracker

Firefield FF25023 Tracker

Price: Approximately $300

Weight: 1.6 pounds

Dimensions: 9.2 x 7 x 4 inches

Specific features: Generation 1; infrared illumination; 150 meters viewing range; dual tube construction; rubber construction; 72 hours battery life; 2 x 24 mm; 12 mm eye relief

Best use: Hunting

The Firefield FF25023 Tracker  is another generation 1 binoculars, but it renders high-quality images at a good resolution. Just like the other night vision binoculars reviewed here, except the Lowmany BF6060, this includes infrared illumination too with a viewing range of 150 meters.

We like the dual tube construction most because you’ll get an accurate depth perception. That’s particularly important for hunting when you want to know exactly how far your game is. The rubber construction is really nice, both compact and ergonomic, so it’s easy to hold for prolonged periods of time, which is another plus for hunting.

The battery life is 72 hours straight when you’re not using the infrared option. But even when you use this, its pulsing frequency makes it energy efficient, so the battery doesn’t deplete quickly.

Its dimensions are 2×24, so the magnification isn’t incredible. The 24mm diameter doesn’t let a lot of light pass through the lenses, so it’s not the best for image clarity in pitch black conditions. On the other hand, it’s fully multicoated for reduced glare. The 12 mm eye relief is amazing too when it comes to comfortable viewing.

PROS:

  • Allows daytime use.
  • Depth perception.
  • Ergonomic design.

CONS:

  • Small magnification.
  • Doesn’t really work without the infrared.

Related: These binoculars needs 3 lithium-ion batteries to work. That’s why we recommend getting this Streamlight 85177 CR123A Lithium Batteries, 12-Pack. Its shelf life is about 10 years, so you don’t need to worry about using them immediately. Plus, it’s always good to have spare batteries, just in case, considering the Firefield FF25023 doesn’t have a low-battery indicator.

Check the price on Amazon

DAXGD Night Vision Binoculars

DAXGD Night Vision Binoculars

Price: Approximately $30

Weight: 1.8 pounds

Dimensions: 7.8 x 3.9 x 7.8 inches

Specific features: HD LLL vision; 50 mm diameter; 8x magnification; 9800 feet visual range; auto focusing feature

Best use: Hiking

The DAXGD Night Vision Binoculars is another very inexpensive product, that can be used during the day too. The night vision mode isn’t courtesy of an infrared illuminator, so it can’t be used when it’s completely dark. However, the Hd LLL vision makes it good enough for very dim light and the 50mm diameter accounts for enough light transmission to make that happen.

Apart from that, we like the 8x magnification, which is one of the biggest among all these night vision binoculars reviews. So, you’ll get a pretty detailed image, up til a maximum visual range of 9800 feet.

The auto focusing feature is another plus, just like the wide angle optics system for an increased field of view. Unfortunately, this item allows water fog formation.

You also get a lot of useful extras in the package, like the backpack and neckstrap, the lens and eyepiece caps, the cleaning cloth and the packaging boxes. However, the neck strap doesn’t have instructions and it’s pretty difficult to attach.

PROS:

  • Inexpensive.
  • Lots of extras.
  • Good magnification.

CONS:

  • Water fog formation.
  • Difficult to attach the neck strap.
  • Doesn’t work in complete darkness.

Related: A similar product is the Bushnell Falcon 133410 Binoculars. These binoculars cost around $30 too, and they have a 7x magnification, with a 35mm lens diameter, so they’re great for star gazing. You’ll be able to differentiate various star clusters, as well as individual craters on the moon, which is good for a beginner astronomer.

Check the price on Amazon

What’s Your Choice?

We’ve reviewed some various night vision binoculars in this article. Some are more expensive but have more features, including an ability to double as a surveillance camera like the XIKEZAN and the Bestguarder WG-80 binoculars.

night vision binoculars1

Some offer a small magnification and a wide field of view like the Firefield FF25023, but you can also get an 8x magnification with binoculars like the Lowmany BF6060.

Plus, most of these binoculars use infrared illumination for night vision in complete darkness, which makes them more expensive.  At the opposite end of the price spectrum, there are the faint light binoculars, that can’t be used without any light source, but still, work for birding or hunting at dusk and dawn.

That being said, tell us which product you like and why. What are you going to use your binoculars for? The comments are right below.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Shawn Harrison
Shawn Harrison

Shawn Harrison is our expert in hunting. He was born in Alaska, so hunting was his hobby since high school. Later, Shawn took a Hunter Training at Alaska Department of Fish and Game to structure his knowledge and now he is open to share his knowledge with our readers. Shawn is taking ‘Safety First’ approach on all of his trips, especially is some people are going hunting for the first time.

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