Best Infrared Binoculars Reviews and Tested

Every pro hunter requires a sharp pair of best infrared binoculars. A perfect pair of night vision binoculars not only helps you gain the edge on your prey after the sun goes down, but they also make a great companion in your hunting expeditions. It gives you a real advantage over your target allowing you to see them through the blackened forest. Sometimes, even the moonlight isn’t enough to guide your way out in the forest. Since many hogs and varmints appear at night, the technology of night vision binoculars could be a helpful accessory at desperate times.

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New Type Binoculars
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Jielin Binoculars
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Firefield Binoculars
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Infrared binoculars also make a great addition to a birdwatcher’s collection of field gear to view nocturnal birds in addition to a wide variety of recreational uses such as astronomy, wildlife observation, camping and exploring, hiking and diving, search, and rescue, security and surveillance, etc. Doesn’t matter whether you’re camping with your kids or observing the amazing wildlife, or hunting in the evenings, night vision binoculars are versatile and fun to use.

Tips to Buy Night Vision Binoculars

best infrared binoculars

Once you decide what you need your infrared binoculars for, you’re all set to make the right choice. But you need to be very careful when buying your first pair of night vision binoculars.

Assess your needs – Most of the buyers purchase a pair of night vision binoculars for a specific trip or purpose, while some want a pair of night vision binoculars for night time bird-watching. So you need to consider all the places you could benefit from a night vision. A good pair of NVDs can be utilized for anything from bird watching and observing wildlife to stargazing and exploring.

Be careful on the budget – The higher the price doesn’t always mean that it’s better. Yes, it’s a general assumption that quality is never cheap. However, this isn’t always the case. You can always find cheap alternatives to night vision binoculars. There are several infrared binoculars that use low-light sensors to provide good quality images on a decent budget, and you can also see the difference too.

Know what are buyingMake sure you don’t accidentally purchase regular binoculars. Read carefully about what the product offers and the necessary features you’re going to need in your night vision binoculars. Some binoculars are misleading with statements like “low-light visibility”, even though they are not actually night vision binoculars. Many times, the night vision binoculars look no different than the regular binoculars. So make sure you choose the binoculars that they say are created specifically for night vision.

Go for the best deal – First, choose a trustworthy and reliable seller so that you don’t have to worry about the quality of your purchase. Secondly, you want the best product for your hard-earned money. Shopping is all about finding the right bargain and walk away with what you need without breaking the bank.

Now that you know what exactly you need in your binoculars, you can go to the next step understanding the generations on your night vision binoculars.

Night Vision Generations

While shopping for your very first pair of night vision binoculars, it’s always good to have a better understanding of the generations of night vision binoculars. Depending on their features and specifications, night vision binoculars have been classified into various generations. These determine the power and strength of your binoculars. Technically, the higher the generation you go, the higher the price tag. They range from 1st Generation through 4th Generation with varying levels of each in between

Generation 1

They are the simplest and currently the most popular of all generations of night vision in the world. It’s the most inexpensive and also the slowest when it comes to advancement. A Gen 1 unit simply amplifies the existing light several thousand times allowing you to see clearly in low light environments. It relied on using natural light from the environment rather than using an infrared light source. They provide a much better, brighter image, especially when you’re boating, or observing wildlife.

Generation 2

Generation 2 is the improved version of the Gen 1 and comes with better convenience and sharper technology. It has the ability to function in a passive way without actually needing infrared illumination. They are also better in terms of resolution, brightness, and image clarity. However, it’s always more expensive than its Gen 1 counterpart since it has more advanced technologies. The main difference between a 1st Gen and a 2nd Gen unit is the addition of a micro-channel plate, commonly referred to as a MCP, which works as an amplifier and is placed directly behind the photocathode.

best infrared binoculars

Generation 3

Generation 3 is obviously the most advanced and reliable of all the three generations of night vision technology. This is something one would call a real deal, maintaining the micro-channel plate of the Gen 2, but used a photocathode made of gallium arsenide instead, to amplify the resolution. Every serious hunter and law enforcement officer prefer the Gen 3 if it fits the budget. Yes, the Gen 3 night vision technology is not cheap, in fact, there are a few night vision Gen 3 binoculars that are worth thousands of dollars. If the budget allows, the Gen 3 is worth every penny.

Generation 4

Generation 4 night vision is the most advanced night vision technology in the world, surpassing all others in overall visibility and target detection. The technology used in the 4th Generation night vision put them under the category of best of the best night vision, especially in the military with elite soldiers only using the latest night vision devices from the top brands such as Bushnell, ATN, and Yukon.

Choosing the Best Infrared Binoculars – Factors to Consider

best infrared binoculars

Night vision devices can have more than on use. Depending on what you need them for, a night vision device can make all the difference. Doing so will help you better choose the model and type of device that best suits your needs. Below are a few factors you need to consider before making the purchase:

Design and Construction

The type of use you put your infrared binoculars to will greatly influence your decision to choose the right night vision binoculars. You might want to have one with headgear apparatus if you need to use your hands while using the binoculars, or one with a neck strap. Another area you should consider before making the purchase is the shape of the binoculars bridge – the H-shaped bridge tends to be static and can be hard to adjust to fit a user, while the M-shaped bridges flex to fit just perfectly.

Image Quality

One of the very first things you would want to consider when buying your first pair of night vision binoculars is the image quality. It has to crisp, clear without distortion, and with excellent resolution and also high-definition. A great pair of night vision binoculars will provide with a green monochrome picture of the scene in front of you with a little blur towards the edges but clear at the center. Plus, the night vision contrasts will allow you to see dark objects set against dark environments. The high-resolution image quality will let you notice even the slightest details in much clearer form.

best infrared binoculars

Gain

The darker it gets, the more difficult it would be to get a clear image of a picture even with night vision. If the light is constantly low and dropping or if the range is getting longer, you might have to adjust the gain of the binocular. And at the same time, if the lenses are the long type used for viewing long distances, you will need to bump up your binocular gain. The reason for that is that because a longer lens lacks the ability to transfer the light the way shorter lenses do. Also remember, increasing the gain of your binocular won’t necessarily improve the range or quality of the image.

Range of Detection

Your night vision technology needs to be able to magnify a potential image and the light available when you want to see an object which is at a farther distance from you. The strength of magnification, the size of the lens, resolution, visual field, and focus range are some of the most important features to consider in a night vision binocular. It is also prudent to understand the specifications used to describe the range of detection of the binoculars. Usually, binoculars have two numbers on them to describe their focus range capability. For example, 2 x 24 – here the first number tells you how many times a scene is magnified while the second number defines the diameter of the objective lens in your night vision binoculars.

Top 10 Best Infrared Binoculars Reviewed in 2017

Finding the best infrared  binoculars can be a daunting task considering there is an insane range of binoculars available in the market today. Besides, there are different manufacturers who assert to false claims pertaining to day and night visibility when in fact most of the binoculars do not work best in low light conditions, especially in complete darkness. Night vision binoculars basically work even in near-total darkness environment and it has an IR illuminator that does the job pretty well so that you can see your target at night. Whether you’re an expert or a beginner, we are here to help you narrow down the choices in the realm of infrared binoculars. We’ve put together a list of our top picks for best infrared binoculars to help you in your quest for the best night vision binoculars.

1. The New Type High Magnification HD Vision Infrared 1000 times Binoculars

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A great value-for-money product that provides good image viewing capability in distance, the New Type High Magnification is ideal for bird watching, traveling, watching concert performances, sightseeing, and hunting.
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Multi coated optics guarantee superior light transmission and brightness, and the center focus system makes it easy to sharpen your view, plus the quality optics with stunning HD clarity. If you want clear optics for improved viewing and a very wide field of view at a great price, look no further as this is our number 1 on our best infrared binoculars list!

Specs & Features:

  • Great image viewing in distance

  • HD high-powered telescope

  • Attractive design and durability

  • Deep aperture is perfect for soft and bright light conditions

  • Exit Pupil Diameter: 7.1mm

  • Exit Pupil Diameter Range: >7mm

  • Magnification: 8x

  • Objective Lens: 21mm

  • Field of View: 1000m/6000m

  • Prism Type: BAK4

  • Focus: Central Focusing

  • Optical System: Roof

Pros
  • Good viewing distance
  • HD high-powered telescope
  • Great design
Cons
  • Materials are not high quality
  • Not sturdy enough

2. Jielin 8x40 HD BAK4 Infrared Night vision Binoculars

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Specialized engineering materials, compact ergonomic design and multi-coated optics – the Jielin 8x40 HD Infrared Night vision Binoculars is designed to perform in any extreme environment. The premium BAK4 prisms and all-optical glass lenses offer clear crisp images with improved light transmission.
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Good light transmittance, no color difference, a low refractive index which can effectively reduce the eye fatigue. Thanks to the all-optical glass lens, the image is more clear and bright, even in weak light settings, images can be pretty clear and fairly visible.

Specs & Features:

  • High-quality engineering materials

  • Compact ergonomic design

  • Multi coated optics make it ideal for any environment

  • High light transmittance

  • No color difference

  • Premium BAK4 Prisms offer clear crisp images

  • Eyepiece with eye protective soft glue

  • Truly infinite smooth varying zoom

  • Precision focusing system

  • Magnification: 20x

  • Objective Lens: 50mm

  • Eye Lens: 23mm

  • View Angle: 9 degree

  • Field of View: 50m/100m

Pros
  • Compact 
  • Ergonomic
  • Reduces eye fatigue
Cons
  • Somewhat expensive 

3. Firefield Tracker 1x24 Night Vision Goggle Binoculars

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The Firefield Tracker 1x24 Night Vision Goggle Binoculars allow for incredibly detailed, crisp observation ability under low light conditions that includes a head gear for a flip-up, adjustable, and hands-free unit.
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The IR illuminator allows for clear viewing in total darkness; the illuminator emits an energy-efficient pulsing frequency for prolonged battery life, which means improved performance and durability. It’s extremely lightweight and compact, thanks to its ergonomically designed rubberized body. Unless you’re willing to spend a hefty sum for a Gen II device, you can’t beat the quality and price for this piece of accessory.

Specs & Features:

  • Handheld and head mountable operation

  • Dual-tube design for accurate depth perception

  • High-quality Gen 1 image and resolution

  • Compact, ergonomic design

  • Lightweight and durable

  • Extra long battery life

  • Visual Magnification: 1x

  • Lens Diameter: 24mm

  • Field of View: 30 degree

  • Eye Relief: 12mm

  • Equivalent IR Power: 30 mW

  • IR Wavelength: 805nm

Pros
  • High quality image
  • Great battery life
  • Sturdy construction
Cons
  • Battery type
  • Head gear not easily adjustable

4. Candora 30x60 Infrared Night Vision Binoculars

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Ideal for campers and hunters, the Candora Portable Night Vision Binoculars provides sharp, crisp optical performance at an unbelievable value, plus it is extremely lightweight and compact making it easy to carry around.
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It offers a rugged yet easy-to-carry build with high-quality optics and a comfortable grip for great wildlife watching. It’s great for low-level night vision, but it’s hard to see in complete darkness. Compact and easy to carry, you’ll have no problem carry them around in your bag or strapped around your neck. Additionally, the comfortable design means you can use them all day.

Specs & Features:

  • Compact and lightweight design

  • Convenient and easy to carry

  • Low-level night vision

  • Built-in wide angle view mirror

  • Fully coated optics for increased brightness

  • Magnification: 10x

  • Line Field: 126m/1000m

  • Exit Pupil Diameter: 3mm

  • Exit Pupil Distance: 11mm

  • Ideal for camping, hunting, bird watching, sightseeing, capturing sporting activities and concerts, etc.

Pros
  • Can be folded
  • Magnification: 30x
  • Can be used during night and day
Cons
  • Viewing angles are not too clear
  • Not sturdy enough

5. YISHU 20x50 Professional Wide Angle Vision Binoculars

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The YISHU 20x50 Professional Wide Angle Vision is produced with scrupulous attention and unbiased enthusiasm. Thanks to its unique design and unmatched personality along with a ton of other features, it can be very well used in extreme environment plus the let in a lot of light for easy viewing in low light environments.
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It’s really a very powerful telescope with a wide-angle vision, very crisp and sharp focusing so that you can watch the birds from a distance and it looks like they are right in front of you.

Specs & Features:

  • High-definition optical lens with LLL night vision

  • High-quality multi-coated glass and BAK4 Porro Prism design

  • Precision aligned optics for extended viewing

  • Magnification: 60x

  • Objective Diameter: 60mm

  • Angle: 14 degree

  • Exit Pupil Diameter: 5.0mm

  • Relative Brightness: 42.00

  • Suitable for sports car racing, horse racing, diving, mountain climbing, exploration, outdoor sports, etc.

Pros
  • HD optincal lens
  • Suitable for sports and other activities
  • 10 times magnified
Cons
  • Fragile build

6. Feihe 20x50 HD Wide-angle Central Zoom Folding Binoculars

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The Feihe Wide-angle Central Zoom Binoculars is a nice, high power all around binoculars with broad vision range, easy to focus, sturdy body, good viewing at night, and with the powerful 20x magnification, the views within 1000m could be seen easily and sharply. It’s a great tool for hunting expeditions, searching or detecting, bird watching, etc.
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The high-quality multi-coated glass and BAK4 Porro Prism design completed with precision aligned optics make for extended viewing and delicate appearance. They come with a carrying case with a shoulder strap and a neck strap for the binoculars. And the rubber-protected caps are attached on the large end so that the caps on the small end can be easily attached to the neck strap.

Specs & Features:

  • Easy to use, point and focus

  • High definition optical lens with powerful LLL night vision

  • Precision aligned optics for extended viewing

  • Rubber eye cups and non-slip rubber armor absorbs shock

  • Prism Type: BAK4

  • Magnification: 20x

  • Field of View: 1000m

  • Material: Rubber non-slip surface

  • Suitable for traveling, hiking, hunting, etc.



Pros
  • Great for bird watching
  • Amazing design
  • HD optics
Cons
  • Heavy
  • Too large

7. Night Owl Explorer Pro 5X Night Vision Binoculars

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The high-resolution Night Owl Explorer Pro 5X Night Vision Binoculars feature Russian optics and two matched image intensifier tubes (IIT) with an infrared illuminator. The Night Owl Explorer Pro 5X combines optical excellence and mechanical precision with compact dimensions.
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The intensifier tubes are nestled inside the steel stringer system for added precision and control. Multi-element glass optics are coated with layers of metal oxides and fluorides to provide you with an unmatched view. Image sharpness is excellent in the center of the field of view and much less so at the edges, like any other IIT night vision devices. Plus it delivers portability and premium performance from the attractive body encased in a rubberized finish for robust, extra-comfortable handling.

Specs & Features:

  • Powerful integrated IR illuminator

  • Two intensifier tubes

  • Portable and attractive design

  • Steel Stringer System for added precision and control

  • High quality, All-glass optics

  • Low battery indicator

  • Magnification: 5x

  • Range of View: 700ft (217m)

  • Spectral Sensitivity: 400-900nm

  • Material: Glass


Pros
  • Built-in infrared illuminators
  • Low batter indicator
  • Great precision and control
Cons
  • High Price

8. Firefield FF25023 Tracker Night Vision Binocular

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The Firefield Tracker FF25023 Night Vision Binocular allows for incredibly detailed observation ability under low light conditions. The built-in IR illuminator allows for clear viewing in total darkness; the illuminator emits a pulsing frequency that is so energy efficient it uses less battery and prolongs battery life.
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The ergonomically designed rubberized body is surprisingly lightweight and can be taken on long expeditions easily and comfortably. The Trackers utilizes the revolutionary Eclipse Lens Cover System which uses flip-up covers that can be easily clipped back against the body of the binoculars. The housing has a special non-slip coating, rubberized knurled thumb pads, and comfortable eye shade.

Specs & Features:

  • High power built-in infrared illumination

  • Compact and ergonomic design

  • 72-hour battery life

  • Lightweight and durable

  • Main Unit Magnification: 2x

  • Objective Lens Diameter: 24mm

  • Field of View: 30 degree

Pros
  • High quality image
  • Built-in infrared illumination
  • 72 hour batter life
  • Compact
Cons
  • Somewhat expensive
  • Battery life

9. Bushnell 260501 Equinox Z Night Vision Binoculars

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Now lights up your nights with the very handy and versatile Bushnell 260501 Equinox Z Digital Night Vision Binoculars. With its outstanding optical clarity, high-performance glass objectives, ultimate illumination, extra long battery life, and an unmatched field of view, nothing reveals the unknowns of the darkness like the Equinox Z line of night vision binoculars. It boasts of image stability, video recording and daytime color team with its supercharged digital NV technology.
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The IR binoculars feature an extra-durable waterproof housing, plus it has tripod mounting capabilities and glass objectives.

Specs & Features:

  • Built-in IR for digital night vision

  • Powerful infrared illumination

  • Rugged waterproof housing

  • Day and night viewing

  • Multi-coated lens coating

  • Magnification: 4x

  • Objective Lens: 50mm

  • Recommended Use: Recreational

Pros
  • Water resistant
  • For day and night
  • Sturdy 
Cons
  • Average optic resolution
  • Mostly for night vision

10. DAXGD Waterproof Night Vision Binocular

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With the 8 x magnification with an eye range up to 9800 feet with a 16.4 field of view with 50 mm lens diameter that was designed with ultra wide angle optics system, the DAXGD Binocular allows you to see well in the daylight.
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Plus the HD LLL night vision allows you to see in very low light situations. The eyepieces are soft and comfortable, and you’d definitely appreciate the rubber finger grips on both sides of the binoculars for maximum comfort, grip, and ease of use. It’s extremely lightweight weighing only 2.2 pounds so they are perfect for toting around or hand by your neck, especially when you're hiking, biking, or hunting.

Specs & Features:

  • Strong optical lenses for both day and night use

  • HD LLL night vision (not infrared) for low light environment

  • Multipurpose binoculars for traveling, hiking, hunting, etc.

  • Field of View: 1.4 feet

  • Exit Pupil Diameter: 5.0mm

  • Objective diameter: 50mm

  • Optical Zoom: 8x

  • Angle: 8.2 degree

Pros
  • Magnification 8x
  • Auto focus
  • Multipurpose binoculars
  • Cheap Price
Cons
  • Low quality build
  • Not sturdy or compact

Infrared Binoculars FAQs

How do infrared binoculars work?

Infrared binoculars simply collect and amplify the already existing light, such as moonlight, starlight, or infrared light, through the objective lens which is then focused on the image intensifier. A photocathode inside the intensifier is then excited by the light and converts the photon energy into electrons. These electrons are then amplified by a photomultiplier, a kind of a photoelectric cell. Each electron entering the photomultiplier results in many more electrons leaving it. The electrons hit a phosphor screen – similar to the screen in old-fashioned television sets – which then create tiny flashes of light for you to see in a much brighter version of the original scene.

How far will I be able to see with infrared binoculars?

That depends on how much ambient light is present. For example, on a full-moon light, you should be able to see with no problem regarding the maximum visibility of the binoculars’ range which could be somewhere around 500 yards. In complete darkness with no ambient light present, you will need to use the IR illuminator to enhance your visibility, which will typically allow you to see a maximum of 100 yards or so.

What is an IR illuminator and do I need one?

An IR illuminator is a device that projects out infrared light similar to a flashlight. However, infrared light is virtually invisible to the naked eye but it is quite visible night vision equipment. In simple terms, an IR illuminator allows you to see in total darkness. You need one when ambient light in either not present or too dim to see.

How durable is night vision equipment?

Remember they are fairly delicate equipment and the internal parts contain precision electronics and are not designed to take any forceful impact like dropping. One other variable that does make quite a difference in durability is the type of device you have. Some products are military-grade quality so they are specially designed to withstand bumps and bruises.

Is it legal to carry a Gen 3 night vision?

It’s totally legal to own a Gen 3 night vision device but it’s a federal crime to carry or ship it out of the United States, and you do need any kind of permit to own one as long you’re within the territory of the United States.

Making the Final Decision

It’s easy to get confused over the myriad of options when shopping for best infrared binoculars. However, your hunt for the best device should start with your needs and requirements, your budget, your typical observation range, the ergonomics, and the list goes on. Once you assess your needs, then you can best determine what brand and price will best suit your needs. It always makes shopping a little less daunting when you know exactly what you are searching for. At last, we hope we could be of help in providing you with an informative guide to help you in your quest to finding the right night vision binoculars. It’s been our sole intent to provide every small detail regarding your purchase. Happy Shopping!