Best Night Vision Monocular Buyers Guide 2018

Are you looking for a night vision monocular for observing objects in low light or darkness? A monocular is light-weight, portable and easy to use. It’s a great choice for hunting and camping or security and surveillance. Here are our top five picks for buying the best night vision monocular for all of your outdoor expeditions.

   
Firefield 5x50 Nightfall 2 Night Vision Monocular
Bushnell Equinox Z Digital Night Vision Monocular
Solomark Night Vision Monocular
Bestguarder WG-50 HD Digital Night Vision Monocular
Night Owl iGEN 20/20 Day/Night Vision Monocular

Benefits of a Night Vision Monocular

Half the size of binoculars, a monocular is lightweight, compact and easy to carry. They also tend to be less expensive than night vision binoculars. If you have poor vision in one eye it can be hard to focus binoculars. A monocular solves that issue.

One drawback of a monocular is that it produces a two-dimensional image since only one eye is used.

Are Night Vision Monoculars Good for Stealth Situations?

Most affordable consumer night vision devices are not designed to make you invisible. Instead, they are created to allow the user to see other objects in low light or dark environments.

Generation 1, iGEN and digital night vision devices use ambient light to produce a visible image. For situations with little or no ambient light, they use infrared illuminators. This provides light that can’t be seen by humans but can be picked up and used by the night vision device.

When using an infrared illuminator, someone else with a night vision device will be able to see the light from your device. If there is sufficient ambient light, you can turn off the infrared illuminator. This will decrease your visibility.

But there is one more thing to keep in mind. Many of these devices have indicator lights showing that the device is operating. At close range, others may be able to see the small red indicator light.

Our Top Picks for the Best Night Vision Monocular

From the popular Generation 1 to iGEN and digital night vision, here are our top 5 picks for the best night vision monocular.


Firefield 5×50 Nightfall 2 Night Vision Monocular

The Firefield 5×50 Nightfall 2 Night Vision Monocular is a Generation 1 night vision device. It features one of the largest objective lens available and 5x magnification for a clearer, more detailed image. It picks up ambient light very well but also includes the built-in PULSE IR Illuminator for increased viewing capabilities.

Lightweight and compact, the Firefield 5×50 Nightfall 2 is weather-resistant with a durable, easy grip design. It uses regular AA batteries. While not intended for day use, it has a cap with a pinhole to allow you to look through it in daylight. Just be sure to remove the cap before using at night or in low-light situations.

It has two focus adjustments, the eyepiece or diopter adjustment and the objective focus adjustment. When new, these adjustments may be a bit stiff or tight. To focus, adjust the objective focus (the side away from your eye) to focus on the area you wish to view. Then adjust the eyepiece focus to make the image sharper.

There is not a helmet or head mount kit available for this monocular. Some customers said the IR light was weak and they could see better with a stronger IR light. Others said it had a small field of view.

Pros

  • Generation 1 night vision
  • Large Objective Lens and 5x Magnification
  • Built-in infrared illumination
  • Weather-resistant, durable, easy-grip design
  • 2 focus adjustments
  • Cap with pinhole to let you look through it in daylight (remove cap for night use)
  • Uses regular AA batteries (not included)

Cons

  • No helmet or head mount kit available
  • IR light weak – can see better with a stronger IR light
  • Small field of view


Bushnell Equinox Z Digital Night Vision Monocular

The Bushnell Equinox Z Digital Night Vision Monocular uses digital night vision technology. It can be used both day and night with day images appearing in color (with the IR Illuminator turned off) and night vision images appearing in black and white.

The Bushnell Equinox Z is available in 3 sizes:  3x30mm, 4.5x40mm, and 6x50mm and has a built in infrared illuminator. With a micro SD card (not included) you can capture still images or use the video out cable for video recording.

The extra durable housing is rugged and water-resistant. It can be mounted on a tripod and uses 4 AA batteries.

It has two focus adjustments, the rear ocular closest to your eye and the front objective focus. To focus, adjust the rear ocular first to the LCD screen. Then adjust the front objective focus to bring the image you are viewing into focus.

There is not a helmet or head mount kit available for this monocular. Customers said it drains batteries quickly. However, it does have a mini-USB port to connect a portable battery. Some customers found the image too bright on the LCD screen.  Bushnell has created a software update that allows the user to lower the brightness by 50%. Access the software update at the Busnell website at: https://www.bushnell.com/Support/Customer-Service/Equinox-Z-Software-Updates

Pros

  • Digital night vision
  • Available in 3 sizes: 3x30mm, 4.5x40mm, and 6x50mm
  • Day or night use
  • Color images in day (with IR off), black and white night vision
  • Built-in Infrared Illuminator
  • Video recording and image capture, (memory card not included)
  • Rugged, water-resistant
  • Can be mounted on a tripod
  • Uses 4 AA batteries
  • 2 focus adjustments

Cons

  • No helmet or head mount kit available
  • Quickly drains batteries –has a mini-USB port to connect a portable battery
  • Image too bright on the LCD screen


Solomark Night Vision Monocular

The Solomark Night Vision Monocular is a Generation 1 night vision device. With the included 1G micro-SD car, you can take photos and videos and share them, too. The AV and USB ports (and included cables) allow you to transfer files to your computer or display them on the television.

The Solomark has a color LCD screen and comes equipped with a high sensitivity sensor. The IR LED Illuminator can be adjusted by 7 levels to get the brightness you need when you need it. It uses 4 AA batteries (not included) and can be mounted on a tripod.

It has two focus adjustments, the eye adjustment closest to your eye and the focus wheel which is below the front lens element. To focus, adjust the eye adjustment first. Then adjust the focus wheel to sharpen the image.

It has a bit of a learning curve when first learning to use the settings. Some customers said it was difficult to turn the unit on. To turn it on, slide the power button forward and hold it until the light comes on.

Make sure to take the lens cover off before using. The night vision monocular will not display properly with the lens cover on. There is no input port for an external battery pack. Customers said it has a narrow field of view.

Pros

  • Generation 1 night vision
  • Video recording and image capture, (1G micro-SD card included)
  • AV and USB ports (with cables included)
  • Color LCD screen
  • 7 level adjustable IR Illumination
  • Uses 4 AA batteries (not included)
  • Can be mounted on a tripod

Cons

  • Bit of a learning curve when using the settings
  • No input port for an external battery pack
  • Narrow field of view


Bestguarder WG-50 6x50mm HD Digital Night Vision Monocular with 1.5″ TFT LCD and Camera, Black

The Bestguarder WG-50 HD Digital Night Vision Monocular is a digital night vision devise. It works for both day and night viewing. It has a 1-5X digital zoom and 50mm objective lens, with a built-in TFT screen with settings menu.

The Bestguarder WG-50 6x50mm HD Digital Night Vision Monocular takes both HD photos and videos. If you’re looking to create videos with sound, the monocular has a built-in microphone. You can also date and time stamp your photos and videos. Color images and videos can be taken in daylight. Images and videos taken with the night vision will appear in black and white.

It has a built-in Infrared Illuminator that is adjustable with 4 IR levels and 3 brightness levels. It uses 4 AA batteries or an external battery or power bank can be used (not included). It’s rugged, water-resistant and can be mounted on a tripod.

To focus, locate the object in the LCD screen. The eyepiece only adjusts the focus on the LCD display screen. To focus on the object, rotate the front objective lens (on the other end) until the object appears sharp and clear.

There is not a helmet or head mount kit available for this monocular. Customers said it drains batteries quickly. An external battery or power bank (not included) can be used for extended use. Others said it has a small range of view.

Pros

  • Digital night vision
  • Day and night use
  • 1-5X digital zoom and 50mm objective lens
  • Take HD photos and videos with sound
  • Built-in Infrared Illuminator 4 IR levels and 3 brightness levels
  • TFT screen w setting menu
  • Uses 4 AA batteries
  • Can use external battery/power bank (not included)
  • Can mount on a tripod
  • Rugged, water-resistant

Cons

  • No helmet or head mount kit available
  • Quickly drains batteries
  • Small range of view


Night Owl iGEN 20/20 Day/Night Vision Monocular (3x)

The Night Owl iGEN 20/20 Day/Night Vision Monocular uses proprietary iGEN® technology, a new night vision technology that surpasses Generation 2 and is comparable to Gen 3. Advantages of iGen include better image quality, higher light amplification capability, and an intelligent infrared emitter that automatically adjust infrared for a better image. It can be used both day and night.

Even if you never read instruction manuals, you’ll want to read this one to get the maximum benefit from this monocular. Numerous adjustable features allow you to control your viewing experience. It has adjustable light amplification, 3 modes infrared and variable display brightness. There is also a programmable time-out feature. It uses 4 AA batteries and can be mounted on a tripod.

There are two focus adjustments. The eyepiece lens adjustment allows you to focus on the display screen. To focus, open the display menu. Adjust the eyepiece lens until the menu letters are sharp and in focus. One this focus is set, you shouldn’t need to adjust it again. Now, use the objective lens (on the other side) to focus on the desired object.

There is not a helmet or head mount kit available for this monocular. If you’re outside of the United States or planning on taking it with you on a trip outside the US, you’re out of luck. The iGEN 20/20 Day/Night Vision Monocular is not to be sold or brought outside of the US. Customers said it drains batteries quickly. It’s the most expensive on our list, but also has more features and capabilities than the others.

Pros

  • iGEN night vision technology
  • Day or night use
  • Adjustable light amplification
  • Enhanced infrared sensitivity
  • 3 modes infrared
  • Automatically adjusts infrared for changing light conditions
  • Video composite output
  • Variable display brightness
  • Uses 4 AA batteries
  • Can mount on a tripod
  • Programmable time-out feature

Cons

  • No helmet or head mount kit available
  • Not to be sold or brought outside of the US
  • Drains batteries quickly
  • Pricey


Conclusion

Our choice for the best night vision monocular is the Bestguarder WG-50 HD Digital Night Vision Monocular. Mid-range in price, it’s affordable and comes with several really nice features. As a digital night vision device, it works for both day and night viewing. It takes both HD photos and videos with sound. The adjustable infrared illuminator provides more user control. When you run out of batteries, it can be powered by an external battery or power bank (not included).

The best night vision monocular is the one that works best for you. These are our top picks and each one will provide quality night vision capabilities for your night and low light observations. Whether you’re hunting, camping, or just observing the wildlife in your own backyard, a night vision monocular can help you see what’s all around you in the dark.

 

Best night vision monoculars

 

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