A Detailed Comparison Of The Best Night Vision Goggles 2019

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  Night Vision technology has a myriad of uses that can range from the military, the law enforcement agencies, night time photography and even for hunting and general surveillance. Because of this, there is undoubtedly quite a large market for Night Vision goggles and it is imperative for you to be able to distinguish between different types of models and find one that is best suited for your needs. 

There are many factors to take into consideration so that you may make an informed decision about your purchase, these factors include image quality, weight, durability, and battery life. In addition to this, other features such as the type of generation or the coating on the lens should also be looked into. This guide aims to give you a detailed comparison of some of the top goggles currently in the market so that you may be well equipped with the knowledge you need to make your decision.

 

The Best Night Vision Goggles we have selected for the year 2019:

01.Armasight PVS-7 3P Night Vision Goggle Gen 3

Armasight PVS-7 3P Night Vision Goggle Gen 3 is one of the most well recognized by the United States military night vision goggle system. It is highly rugged and ergonomically designed which is proved by AN/PVS-7B/D system. It is equipped with automatic Brightness IR illuminator, which gets automatically adjusts the image tube’s brightness to capture the best possible resolution under all lighting conditions.

This goggle comes to an auto high intensive light cutoff feature that protects the image tube. Moreover, it also comes with additional auto fillip up and off feature comes with helmet mount assembly. It is integrated with 2 led indicators the yellow one is for low battery and the red is for IR illuminator.

Lastly, this goggle comes with the long-range viewer and optional magnifier lenses. High-performance 3rd Gen Alpha imaging tube provides a clear image of 64-72lp/mm resolution.

Pros

Cons

02.ATN PS15-4 Gen 4 Night Vision Goggle System

ATN PS15-4 Gen 4 Night Vision Goggle System is a lightweight, compact and comes with dual night vision feature. It is equipped with high-performance intensive image tubes that provide superb clear and crisp images with a high depth of perception in the darkest conditions. the smart inbuilt IR systems effectively monitor and function based on the darkness. In addition, it is integrated with a wide variety of image intensifier tube which allows the user to handle every budget and mission needs. It is recommended for professional and law enforcement uses, as it waterproof and comes with a comfortable headgear with a flip-up mechanism. Most interestingly it comes with 64-72lp/mm resolution with Proshield lens coating. It comes with a high field of view of 40 degrees with auto-brightness adjustments with a battery indicator and gives 40 hours of life. The whole system comes with 2 years of hassle-free warranty.

Pros

Cons

03.YUKON NV 1×24 Goggles

YUKON NV 1×24 Goggle is a night vision binocular that provides best-detailed observation quality under darkest conditions with added head flip-up gear, with the adjustable and hands-free unit. It comes with high quality IR illuminator that provides clear viewing experience. The IR illuminator is kind of special in these goggles as it emits pulsating frequencies in order to save battery life. The best part of these goggles is its body which is best ergonomically designed with high-quality rubberized texture, surprisingly it is quite lightweight. Being light weighted it can be used for a prolonged period. It is integrated with an advanced Eclipse Lens Cover System which easily flips back with the cover of the binoculars. The binocular comes with pinholes in its lens caps which allow it to be used in the daytime when the caps are closed. A dual diopter adjustment with central focus knob with high coated optics. YUKON NV 1×24 Goggles comes with limited lifetime warranty.

Pros

Cons

04.Superior Tactical PVS-7 Night Vision Goggle Gen 3

Superior Tactical PVS-7 Night Vision Goggle Gen 3 is a tactical, robust, high performance and dependable night vision system. this goggle is manufactured by highly expertise engineers with keeping in mind the U.S Army ground troop’s standards, it was designed so well that it can perform its best in unfavorable conditions. It is very light, waterproof and comes with multiple gears like head mount, helmet mount, and handheld. Let’s find out some best specs: it has a magnification power of 1xFOV:40o, auto bright light cut off,50 hours of IR indicator battery life. it also comes with low battery indicators and can be operated from -40o to +50o C temperature. Finally, the best in class 3rd generation tube is used with lens coating Prosheild features. It is fully waterproof and weather resistance tubes to provide the best clarity at night.

Pros

Cons

05.Ocean City Tracker Night Vision Goggle Binoculars

Ocean City Tracker Night Vision Goggle Binoculars enables you to observe the target in full dark night. It is the best and ideal variety of uses such as surveillance, night hunting, observations and exploring places and caves at night. In can help you to see up to 100 meters in the dark.

It comes with multicoated glasses for a scratchproof clear view. It is integrated with a super-sensitive sensor and an LCD display and IR LED illuminator, which extends your view to 300 meters if used with a flashlight. It is embedded with a rechargeable extended battery of 6 hours lifetime; it can operate continuously for about 1.5 hours.

Lastly, with its design point of view, it is small compact in design with super lightweight and best ergonomically designed night vision binocular. You can choose two modes of operation first one is surveillance mode and the other is the stealth mode.

Pros

Cons

06.Pulsar Edge GS Super 1

Pulsar PL75095 Edge Gs Super Night Vision, 1+ 1x20 Goggles

Pulsar Edge GS Super 1+1×20 night vision Goggles are basically designed to use at night surveillance purposes it comes with a head mount included in the box itself. It is equipped with an energy-saving IR illuminator with adjustable power settings. The IR power adjustment made it more efficient seeks a position on the top of the list.

In addition, it comes with a dual-tube vision for higher depth perception. Over the 1st generation it got equipped with an improved high-resolution lens with CF-Super technology. The overall build quality is rugged and ultra-durable and posses ergonomic looks. The Pulsar Edge GS Super 1+1×20 come integrated with IR illuminator and 50 hours of long battery life. it is IP65 certified compliance so worries from dust and water.

Finally, in the box, we will find a carrying case, head mount, cleaning cloth, neck strap, warranty card, and user manual. However, you need to buy 2xAAA batteries of your own.

Pros

Cons

07.g. Sight mark SM15070 Ghost Hunter 1×24 Night Vision Goggle

Sightmark SM15070 Ghost Hunter 1x24 Night Vision Goggle Binocular Kit

The Sight mark Ghost Hunter 1×24 Night Vision comes with a dual tube vision system that offers a wide viewing experience. The user can use it in two ways firstly handheld position while searching for the prey and the other is the head-mounted, moreover it is a very comfortable, long-lasting quality and hands-free operation.

In addition, it installed with a high power infrared illuminator with 1x magnification power. It provides a super bright clear and sharp image for short-range in total darkness. If you hold it in your hands you will get shocked by its weight it is superbly designed with light polymers to get best look with rigidity, which ensures for lifetime performing asset for you.

At last, it adds best feature of auto shut off when bright light sources pass through the lens and hence it saves a lot of battery life. it gives a 70 hours continuous operating time with 20 IR hours.

Pros

Cons

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How does Night Vision work?

HOW DOES NIGHT VISION WORK?

The technology in Night Vision goggles function as optio electronic tools that make use of the available light to amplify it and produce a clear image for your view, they do this in a number of steps explained below:

First dim light from the environment (moonlight, starlight etc)  enters the objective lens, this light contains all the colours and is made of photons.They then target the gallium arsenide photocathode that converts all the photons to electrons (light energy is converted into electrical energy. This electrical energy then gets amplified by a photomultiplier via multiple electrical and chemical process, here the existing electrons strike the walls of tiny channels and release thousands of more electrons. These electrons will then hit a phosphor screen that works to convert them back into photons, which then travel into your eyepiece allowing you to view an amplified image of your surroundings.

What uses do Night Vision goggles have?

   Night vision can be used for plenty of activities such as wildlife What-uses-do-Night-Vision-goggles-haveobservation (covert observation can be very useful when studying animals and natural behaviours) .Other common uses include camping, hunting, home monitoring, night fishing, night birding, night photography, caving, surveillance and many more. One of the most overlooked uses of higher performance devices is night sky viewing/astronomy. Particularly Gen 3 technology is ideal to use when observing ‘sky objects.’ It’s no wonder with the many uses that this technology could have that the market can be so competitive!

 

What features should you pay special attention to?

Night Vision Googles

As with most purchases and investments, it is important to start by asking yourself a few questions to help you decide the type of Night Vision goggles you may need. Some important features to look out for include;

Weight and Comfort: This is especially important if you will be using your goggles over extended periods of time, if your goggles are not a comfortable fit or too heavy you may start getting sore or too tired from using them. It is best to go for lightweight models that include padding on the headmount or on the straps to increase comfort levels.

Type of generation: We will talk about this in further detail in a related question. But to summarise, although first generation is the most common it has some obsolete technologies now, which is why you would be better off with a second generation model. However, whichever generation you choose, you should check whether the specs meet your own personal needs first.

Image quality: The resolution you will get, look for edge graphics to see if they are as sharp as the center, this way you ensure a superior quality.

Weather resistance: Waterproof goggles are preferred for rainy conditions in the outdoors, other weather resistant models may also be useful when it comes to fogging to increase visibility in order to get superior functionality.

Infrared Illuminators: The infrared illuminator plays a significant role when it comes to visibility. The light from the illuminator is meant to improve visibility in cases where there is little to no light. The best part is that the light emitted is not visible so you can have an easy time concealing your position. If the model lacks one, it should then have a provision for installing the illuminator as an add-on.

Range: Vary this according to your needs, this is how far you can see with your goggles. Most models have elementary range, whereas some may cover excellent long range.

Battery life: Type-123 lithium batteries can last upto 40-60 hours at a time, where AAA battery powered goggles are not the best for long lasting stakeouts. You are likely to be far away from electricity of charging sockets when using this technology so you should look into devices that promise both long battery lives and easily available battery packs.

Durability: You want to look for something that is durable and long lasting as these models can get very pricey more often than not, consider the substance used in the construction. You may also want to look into any models that may offer warranties, some may even go upto 10 years.

What are the different generations of the technology?

Gen 1: Is the original technology dating back to the early 60’s (and it shows). It is most susceptible to ‘blooming’ which is  image distortion caused by bright light, much shorter battery life, lower resolution, images not as bright, prone to static and ‘noise’, total max range is less than 80 yards and a must smaller field of view. However it is the cheapest of all models and can be utilized for elementary tasks.

Gen 2: Much better resolution, range goes upto 200 yards, longer battery life, better field of view, and much better durability and image quality. It is more expensive than Gen 1 but if you can afford it, it will be well worth the upgrade.

Gen 3: The best standard when it comes to Night Vision tech, most models are outstanding and this is the tech used by most military and information agencies around the world. Has a range covering 300 yards, also offers the best resolution, battery life, severe reduction in ‘blooming’ and produces some of the cleanest and brightest images even when operating in incredibly low light environments. You can never go wrong with this tech however it is very pricey, but worth the investment as its life usually lasts upto 10,000+ hours and has the best durability.

 

 

What are multicoated lens?

You may have read this in the pros section of this review and thought to yourself what it means. Simply ut, multicoated lens are special lens coated with an extra layer to increase effective absorption of light to improve with functionality. Even with low light conditions, it will be most effective in drawing in the little existing light from your surroundings in order to produce a brighter and higher quality image, therefore it has large stakes in image quality and is particular useful for use in much darker environments eg far away from habitation or light pollution.

 

Tips

More often than not people tend to make the fatal mistake of not comparing the specifications and features of the different Gens before their purchase and end up making their decision based solely on price. One thing to remember is there is actually a huge difference in performance and device life between the generations. The difference from Gen 1 to Gen 3 is stark, and being well versed in their individual pros and cons is beneficial for you. The overall performance is much better, with longer range and clearer/brighter picture in Gen 3, it also has better warranty. 

You may also want to look into additional accessories when purchasing such as a long range IR illuminator or magnification lense depending on what you want, these can really make things a lot more efficient for you and can greatly improve the quality of your excursions. Also look into whether the accessories you are looking to purchase will be compatible with your device.

 

Additional Questions

Most frequent questions and answers

Gen 1 equipment is mostly built around image intensifier tubes with simple mechanisms. The Gen 1 image tube is vacuum-sealed, it has a  lower light amplification (gain) and image quality (resolution) when compared with Gen 2 and 3, especially on the edges of the screen. Nevertheless, Gen 1 night vision is the most popular and demanded product line of night vision units on the consumer market, due to satisfying the needs for most recreational users. 

Gen 2 equipment is superior by utilizing a micro-channel plate (MCP). This MCP, serves to have a large number of channels for electrons to enter. For each accelerated electron emitted by the photocathode it strikes the channels of the MCP, about 1000 electrons come out on the other end. MCP boosts light gain of an image tube by about 1000 times. As a result the output image is brighter and clearer. Gen 2 equipment is costly and fits the needs of more advanced users. It is widely used for tactical and professional surveillance purposes.

The distance you can see with Night Vision goggles is affected by numerous different variables. Larger objects are much easier to see compared to smaller ones. There exist two kinds of ‘ranges’, the first is the recognition range which is used to view specific details on objects, the second of these is the detection range which is used to simply spot objects. These ranges vary from model to model and it is important to be able to distinguish between them. Other variables include lighting conditions. Ambient light ( moonlight, starlight etc) aids in Night Vision and the more of it that is naturally available the better and further you will be able to see using it. Keep in mind that they allow you to see in darkness, they are NOT magnifiers.

In the case of all port covers being in place and adequately fitted/ tightened, they should be water resistant.

In the case of low ambient (naturally occuring) light, or in total darkness, IR’s are built in on some models to throw out beams of infra-red light for your Night Vision Goggles to pick up.  Many devices may come with a built in infrared illuminator, most of these are short range flood light style that are good for indoor night vision or close range use – usually about 30 yards max distance. This light is not visible to you and should not be able to give away your location, still allowing you to be stealthy. Sometimes even the best Gen 3 devices need the help of an IR Illuminator for example  inside dark buildings or when moonlight and starlight isn’t getting to the viewing area like in wooded environments and in areas of shadows created by buildings, trees or other obstructions. Medium and long IR Illuminators tend to be quite different from the built in illuminators and these immensely powerful external illuminators are capable of sending an almost spotlight-like-beam of infrared light out to distances of up to 500 yards! These valuable accessories can increase the efficiency of an optic significantly and are no doubt a handy feature for those serious about Night Vision. However the down side to any infrared illumination is that if you are at a stark disadvantage if you are trying to operate covertly as anyone with even a Gen 1 device will be able to spot you. 

All Gen 1 equipment has built in IR illumination that is always in use, the reason for this is that you would otherwise be able to only see very little without it’s aid.

 Built in IR illumination is not necessary for Gen 2 or Gen 3 as both have a 1000 times more light amplification as compared to Gen 1, equipment with built in illuminators that are Generation 2 or better have on/off switches for their illuminators, but with Gen 1 there is no switch as the illuminator is always on. 

In summary with superior quality equipment you won’t always need an infrared illuminator however in many circumstances it can enhance the capability of your device and allow you to see things that would be impossible to see without a long range illuminator. This is why a long range IR illuminator is often recommended as your number one accessory.

Brightness/luminance gain is the number of times a night vision device amplifies the light input. There are two distinct variations: Tube gain and system gain. Tube gain is measured as the light output upon the light input. On the other hand, system gain is measured as the light output upon the light input and is what the user actually sees. In night vision devices, the tube gain is affected by the system’s lenses and by the quality of the optics or any filters. Which is why system gain is a more important measurement to the user.

 

 A regular scope has an objective lens and an eyepiece adjustment. You should opt to adjust the objective lens first to perfect the image, and then make further adjustments to the eyepiece according to your eyesight. For goggles each eyepiece must be adjusted separately. To accomplish this you must close your left eye and adjust the right eyepiece and then open your left eye and adjust the left eyepiece to achieve a full contrast image. 

 

These are very common blemishes either picked up in the image intensifier of a Night Vision Device or dirt or debris between its lens. Black spots that are in the image intensifier do not affect the performance or reliability of a night vision device and are often inherent in the manufacturing processes. Maintenance is required to rid your lens of dirt however, this process is fairly simple.

 

Bright spots are small, non-uniform, bright areas that may flicker or appear constant. These can be defects in the image area produced by the device, usually cause by a flaw in the film or microchannel plate. They go away when the light is blocked out.

 

The Night Vision Device should not be turned on/used in broad daylight. It should not be aimed at bright light (even in the dark). You should not attempt to disassemble it without professional assistance. Try not to drop or shake it as it can be very fragile.

 Furthermore avoid touching the objective lens or touch it only with soft non-abrasive cloth. And it is recommended to keep the device in a case when not in use, in order not to damage it. 

 

 You will most probably break it. Keep in mind that these devices contain fairly delicate equipment, the internal parts in particular are constructed using precision electronics not meant or designed to survive the impact of dropping.

 However durability is largely impacted by other qualities and features in models, some products are Mil-Spec quality and are designed specifically to be more durable such as PVS-7 Goggles and PVS-14 Monoculars.

It is recommended that you invest in models that offer long warranties, some may even go up to 10 years! Take good care of your night optic and treat it like the expensive electronic device that it is. 

Thermal optics do not require visible light to provide you with an image. It is important to note that thermal optics operate on the basis of radiation detection. The higher the temperature, the more radiation something gives off. Thermal Optics detect this heat given off and since the object’s temperature is higher than its surroundings, the optics give you an image.
Night Vision however operates by picking up on ambient light or using IR light to amplify an image of your surroundings. It gives you a detailed image.

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