Best Night Vision Goggles Reviewed & Rated For Quality
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Heavy night vision goggles were forced towards the bottom of the list since prolonged wear can cause soreness. They start out comfortable but wear on your neck a lot faster than the lighter choices. Light goggles are great, but we didn’t just choose the ones with the lowest weight. They had to be comfortable to wear for long periods of time while having a lot of anti-shake measures built-in.
Being able to move around fast while wearing the goggles is great, so the ones that were the most secure on your head while moving was paired with the lightest. This created the bulk of the list and showed a bit of favoritism to newer technology that had expanded on older models. There are still some generation 1 models that barely missed the list, but that was based on them either being too heavy or not being secure on your head when moving around a lot.
Buyers that have a lot of equipment to carry will appreciate goggles that aren’t a one-note affair. Little things like being able to flip them up to have it rest on your head are preferable, and one of the little touches that are neglected by some of the better brands in the industry. In this list, we favored little features like this, as it works better for the wearer than having to take the goggles completely off when they’re not in use.
This is a natural move when you have on goggles, and should be the standard. That doesn’t mean that the ones that don’t provide this feature are obsolete, but it does mean that they are further down the list than they should be. Lacking basic comfort features is what put a lot of the better choices on the list at the bottom half, even when their included technology was superior.
It was impossible to get away from the pros and cons list of thermal vs light-gathering night vision when compiling this list. We instead focused on the light-gathering versions since they are consumer-friendly, and have a much higher residential sell rate than thermal. Thermal is considered more of a professional product, and in some cases are not allowed to use in places where regular night vision is fully allowable.
That cut down the list by a lot and allowed products with the best-infrared light-gathering technologies to be placed high on the list. Any generation on the list is judged by how well they gather light. The more light they gather, the clearer the image will be on your end. Think of it as the most important technological advanced in night vision when moving from one generation to the next. There are significant changes in the way night vision works in each generation, with majors improvements being made with each iteration.
A bonus point to leaving off thermal night vision is that the prices dropped a lot, automatically balancing out the price tiers that some of the products were grouped in. There is less of a disparity from the lowest to the highest, and it shows when you compare the #1 product to the #10 product on the list.
As optical wear, there are the usual dangers of damaging it while in use. That is where the included straps come into play, as the product needs to be secure and not move while your head is in full motion. There is also less chance of damaging the goggles if they flip up on your head when not in use. Night vision models that have to be taken completely off when, not in use are in danger of unintended damage by the user or a third party.
Their durability is heavily dependent on how secure the straps are to your head while moving. On the list, comfort knocked a couple of products down a peg, even if they had a good strap in protection. Being secure shouldn’t come at the cost of comfort, and that is reflected in the list multiple times with some choices.
Also, safety measures have been built into the goggles since generation one that protects your eyes if a bright light shines. There are some urban legends around that claim a bright light can damage the goggles along with your eyes, which is simply not true. The technology is advanced enough to where it shuts down when the light reaches a certain level, so at most there will be discomfort, but not enough to damage your eyes. And that same bright light won’t degrade the performance of your night vision goggles.
Ease of Use
The last bit of choices that made up our list was how easy the controls could be used while wearing the goggles. There are times where you will need to adjust magnification and brightness in a matter of seconds, and messing with the controls should be second nature. Button placement was important and played a solid role in how the top three products were ordered.
Goggles that had confusing controls were left off of the list unless they provided a competent manual out of the box. It should only take a few uses of the product before you are wary of the features that are the most useful. And if the button placement was a bit off, it could really mess with the experience of using it in the dark.
Best Night Vision Goggles
1. Armasight PVS-7 3P
Seeing any type of pray at night is difficult, especially when you’re hunting and want to be as incognito as possible. If you are looking for military-grade vision goggles, look no further than The Armasight PVS-7 3P. Offering military-grade quality paired with exceptional features, the brand is known for creating optical products that get the job done easily and effectively. They come prepared to help you see beyond the capacity of just your eyes alone.
One of the very first things anyone focuses on is the exterior and how durable it is. Highlighting a rugged exterior, the Armasight PVS-7 3P brings forth durability to its max capacity. Furthermore, not only are you getting a durable product but its also waterproof. This is perfect for nights that you are on the hunt hiding somewhere and need a product that will offer you more than crystal clear images regardless if it rains, or it falls. The exterior is so durable you will be amazed at how much it can withstand.
Manual Gain Control
While the exterior is already impressive, Armasight takes it up another notch by offering a manual gain control. A system that allows you to adjust the brightness of the image tube to achieve the brightest, clearest images possible during any light condition. What this means is you could be in a pitch-black space and still see everything around you with clarity. It’s all about bringing the most out of your product without compromising the quality.
Cost and Value
As expected, when we first mentioned that it is used by military offices, this is a pricey product. Its cost is quite high due to all that you are getting and how sturdy and durable the exterior is. However, if hunting is more to you than just a hobby and you will be doing it multiple times a year during the night then you might want to look into investing into something like this. Not only is the quality better but the product itself is quite impressive. It’s the perfect form of getting those clear images even in pitch-black areas.
2. ATN PVS7-3
If you want a high-grade option for your night vision goggles, this one is certainly up there on the better end of our list. It’s military grade material and quality of the night vision mounts on the head very sturdy and offers hands-free use. This is designed for some intense outdoor use at night so if that sounds like you, then this is the headset you’ll want to go with.
Military Grade Quality
These are lightweight but also standard military use, so you’re getting the best of both worlds. They’re combat-proven, waterproof, and incredibly durable. While you might not have too many tussles while out trekking at night, you may find you need something incredibly rugged to get you through some of the brush out there, and this is the way to go. These can withstand wind, rain, and snow for any season and climate for hunting.
These aren’t just military-grade for the physical build, they also offer military-grade vision capabilities. There’s an infrared illuminator with momentary and continuous on switch function. They’re designed for high-intensity weather at night to continue to generate excellent vision capability. This is the same style and standard used by the US Army out in the field, so it’ll for sure work for you on any nighttime hunt.
Cost and Value
These are in the middle range of the more expensive goggles. And it’s no surprise since they’re the same kind utilized by the US military. The ratio here is great for the value and everything you get with them. They can be utilized in virtually any situation so you can’t go wrong.
3. AGM Spy
Alright, we’ve dropped pretty drastically in price when it comes to these goggles so keep in mind what you need and want when considering these goggles. For some they might work great, for others, you might want something more high powered. Keep in mind what your night treks are going to be like. These aren’t incredibly high powered, but they offer a lot of eye protection in the dark. It’s total eye coverage with an easy to attach plastic band around the head for a secure fit.
One of the great features on these goggles is how they protect the eyes. They offer total coverage over your eyes and secure with an elastic band around the head. This would make them a great option for any teenager or younger hunter going out for the first time at night.
These offer pop-out lights that beam a blue light into the dark. This makes the lighting option for sight pretty impressive without you having to rely entirely on the function of the infrared in the dark. It allows you to see up to 25 feet ahead in the dark and graphics on the eye panel glow when lights are on.
Cost and Value
These are super low cost and the function of them reflects that. They offer very little outside of their light beam function and safety feature, so you won’t be sacrificing much in the way of your wallet but you won’t get very good vision on them.
4. Yukon 1x24
Yukon is known for creating optical products with innovative abilities, this one takes us to a lane where quality and ease is at the top of the list. For this model, the brand went on the user-friendly side without compromising any of the bells and whistles you would want from a set of goggles. Featuring more flexibility paired with exceptional performance the Yukon 1x24 gets the job done effortlessly.
Everyone knows one of the biggest and more important specs to look for when seeking vision goggles is the quality of the optics. You want and need high-quality optics with exceptional abilities. The Yukon 1x24 provides just that by having multi-coated optics. Featuring multi-coated optics means you get way more light transmitted where it matters most allowing you always have crisp images even in low lighting. Keep in mind, these are night goggles so the images will be crisper at night.
One of the features not many vision goggles possess is being lightweight. In fact, many of our favorite goggles can be a bit heavy. Weighing at only 1.8 pounds this goggle works great when you want to carry a lightweight item with you. Not only is it lightweight allowing you to carry it around easily and quickly but it also comes with an eclipse lens cover system which enables you to protect your lens without adding any weight to the goggles.
Cost and Value
The beauty of the Yukon 1x24 night goggle is you are getting quality without the hefty price tag. Its all about getting what you need most, without having to break the bank. Although, it is still an expense you will not be losing too much money along the way.
5. Armasight Nyx7-ID
If you want the most rugged of the rugged and the techiest of the tech when it comes to night vision goggles, the Armasight Nyx7-ID is the choice to go with. They feature a subcompact design with a waterproof body. They have both a helmet and head as mountable components with an ergonomic design for full control. It’s easy to operate and sticks to you pretty well and pretty comfy.
Unlike the others on this list, these have the ability to mount both on the head and via a chin strap. This means they stay on, even in the most rugged of conditions and the vision beam is easy to control with optimum user-friendliness and ergonomic design.
These goggles feature wide-angle infrared illuminators for the maximum site in all directions. There’s also auto-brightness control and an auto-off feature when the light levels reach a certain brightness, to prevent injury to the eye or discomfort.
Cost and Value
This is on the lower end of the expensive side of the spectrum, but these goggles really pack a punch for how cheap they are in comparison. While they may not be army grade, they will certainly get the job done in the most hands-free way possible for you. The value here far outreaches the price, which is good news for you.
6. Sightmark Ghost Hunter
These are really nice night vision binoculars. We added them to our list because we like some of the bells and whistles Sightmark puts on their products. It's lightweight, shockproof, small and easy to use. The price point is quite reasonable as well.
This'll keep that image sharp as a knife. Whatever's out there, this baby will find it. And for the price, you can't beat it.
Automatic Shut off
When someone shines a light at you the Sightmark automatically shuts down. And that simple feature can sometimes make the difference in the success or failure in whatever you're tracking. Especially if you're working with partners who may have simple headlamps to illuminate the workspace.
Cost and Value
Highly affordable. This is a simple set of binocs that'll let you see in the dark and won't break the bank with just enough extras to make you feel like you got a good deal.
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