Night Vision Devices (NVDs) have a long history to tell. But most importantly, it provides us with an advantage to see things after dark. This ability is essential for many modern applications such as hunting, searching and rescuing, and also law enforcement.
NVDs include binoculars, rifle scopes, and monoculars. In this article, I will walk you through the list of the best night vision monocular that I’ve used. Hope you’ll find useful information to help you to buy the very right one.
Here are the best night vision monoculars you can buy in 2020:
- Best Overall: Bushnell Equinox Z Digital Night Vision Monocular
- Best Entry-Level: ESSLNB Night Vision Monocular 5X40
- Best For Target Shooting: BNISE 8x40 Infrared Night Vision Monocular HD Digital Camera
- Best For Close Objects: Solomark Night Vision Monocular
- Best For Long Range: Bestguarder 6x50mm HD Digital Night Vision Monocular
- Best For Camping: BOBLOV Digital Night Vision Monocular 5x32
|Top 6 Best Night Vision Monoculars|
|Bushnell Equinox Z Digital Night Vision Monocular||Read Our Review|
|ESSLNB Night Vision Monocular 5X40||Read Our Review|
Best For Target Shooting
|BNISE 8x40 Infrared Night Vision Monocular HD Digital Camera||Read Our Review|
Best For Close Objects
|Solomark Night Vision Monocular||Read Our Review|
Best For Long Range
|Bestguarder 6x50mm HD Digital Night Vision Monocular||Read Our Review|
Best For Camping
|BOBLOV Digital Night Vision Monocular 5x32||Read Our Review|
Best Overall: Bushnell Equinox Z Digital Night Vision Monocular
- Built-in infrared
- Multicoated glass objectives
- Fast shutter speed for photo
- Tough design
- Eat batteries fast
- Low-resolution digital camera
It took me a while to decide this Bushnell Equinox be the best of them all.
It’s a fairly simplistic unit using 4 AA batteries to function. The control is simple, with buttons placed right at where fingers can easily find them. You can record whatever you see with the recording function. With the built-in IR, it enables night vision with 4 modes.
The whole unit feels solid in hand. It’s got a water-resistant housing lets you feel no worry using the scope under the downpour.
A rubber piece protects ports on the side. There is a button that allows you to switch between video and photo mode. This monocular supports SD micro cards up to 32GB.
Now, with the 40mm objective lens, I was hoping it’d draw in a lot of light. But this thing records footage at the resolution of 640x480, which is the quality of DVD, hence the photos.
You can use this monocular as a scope because it’s compatible with Picatinny rails as well as standard tripods. However, it has no sighting system. So, you may want to use it alongside with scope for more accuracy.
|Bushnell Equinox Z Digital Night Vision Monocular Specifications|
Objective Lens Diameter (mm)
Solid build with integrated IR and Multicoated glass objectives
Capable of shooting video and taking pictures
This monocular is not of the highest quality, but it has the essential features you need for a decent night vision device.
Best Entry-Level: ESSLNB Night Vision Monocular 5X40
- Super easy to get familiar with
- Long-range night vision
- Can be used with an external power bank
- Lots of freebies
- Secure wristband
- The manual is not instructional
- Difficult to see time and date on the screen
When you first break in a night vision monocular, it’s important to stay simple and less confuse. This ESSLNB will make a great companion from the very start.
It features a large 40mm objective lens to collect as much light as you need. With the focus handwheel and diopter wheel, you can easily adjust for clarity. Below the lens is the infrared auxiliary light for quick access to the night vision mode.
This scope has a compact footprint that fits snugly in hand. It comes with a wristband for secure holding while the buttons are right at your fingers.
During the daytime, this monocular with 5x optical magnification will render excellent images. The digital power can zoom up to 8x that allows wider view when you zoom out.
The price of this monocular is also attractive. Around 150 bucks, you have the device with abundant accessories including one 16GB TF card, battery, cleaning cloth, pouch, AV video cable and more.
|ESSLNB Night Vision Monocular 5X40 Specifications|
Objective Lens Diameter (mm)
2.5m – infinity
Large objective lens for clearer images
The infrared illuminator allows viewing up to 218 yards in the dark
Lots of accessories
Using this monocular will be a friendly intro to beginners so that they can be more familiar with more advanced night vision devices.
Best For Target Shooting: BNISE 8x40 Infrared Night Vision Monocular HD Digital Camera
- Clear picture
- Powerful magnification
- HD Objective Lens
- Slow USB 2.0
If you need to aim with the utmost accuracy, an 8x magnification is an optimal choice. Better than most, in full darkness, this thing functions like a charm.
I’ll tell you how.
First, in a distance of 200 meters, the adjustable IR can reach its beam, enabling you to shoot within such range. You can record your victories with the record function. The 8x power does render its high performance like a top-notch surveillance camera.
Second is the large capacity rechargeable battery allows up to 2.5 hours of runtime when the IR is off, and one hour with the IR on. You can use the USB cable to supply power directly for an overnight hunting section. It can be used with a standard mobile charging source.
Better than, you don’t need to turn the device to see the result. Just plug-in the AV cable and connect to your computer. Images will be stream to the PC screen automatically.
|BNISE 8x40 Infrared Night Vision Monocular HD Digital Camera Specifications|
Objective Lens Diameter (mm)
Multi-coated lens and adjustable handwheel in the diopter
Love this monocular when I need to target objects with accuracy. And I could not happier with the price.
Best For Close Objects: Solomark Night Vision Monocular
- Solid construction
- Lots of sensitivity
- Illuminator works well in 100m
- Super affordable
- Not very useful camera mode
- Sensor cap is not secure
These scopes are a lot about performance. It is optical performance-wise with 3x optical zoom, enhanced 2x digital zoom giving you a total of 6x. That allows you to have the crispest pictures in observing close range.
The angle of view is quoted at 14 degrees, and the viewing distance is 100 meters. It gives me an impression on the screen size of 35 inches at 2 meters. Also, built-in is its own light source of 3-watt LED. This unit takes 4 AA batteries to run from 3 to 5 hours, depends on how often you use that infrared scope.
The scope’s construction feels quite nice on the surface. It has a sort of rubberized grip coating which should be helpful if you use it with gloves.
On the front is the view eyepiece adjustable for eye relief, suitable for people who wear glasses.
|Solomark Night Vision Monocular Specifications|
Objective Lens Diameter (mm)
Multi-coated glass objectives
High sensitivity sensor
Integrated color LCD-Screen and 3level IR LED
It’s a great monocular to see things close within 100 meters, capable of recording videos and taking photos in more true-to-life details.
Best For Long Range: Bestguarder 6x50mm HD Digital Night Vision Monocular
- Super friendly to new users
- Outstanding optical clarity
- Long viewing distance
- Easy to hold
- Batteries drain fast
- Uncomfortable eyecup
Shooting long range, what you need is a monocular with a powerful sensor and large objective lens. This Bestguarder features an outstanding 5Mega high-performance CMOS sensor with 6x magnification and a 50mm objective lens.
Not only that, built-in 850Nm infrared illuminator allows you to view up to 1150 ft distance. This is an impressive number.
One fact that this monocular is kinda bulky. I’m not sure if I want to mount it on a gun.
You can actually do multiple things with this scope, from night hunting, scouting game, to day-fishing and boating, sight-seeing, you name it. It’s got a 5” TFT screen on this unit, making it super easy on the eye.
One thing I love is the battery compartment that holds 4 double-A batteries. That, I don’t need to worry about batteries with the awkward size that are hard to find in a random convenient store.
|Bestguarder 6x50mm HD Digital Night Vision Monocular Specifications|
Objective Lens Diameter (mm)
Infrared sensitive CMOS sensor for sharper image resolution. View subjects in a far distance
If you need a decent monocular that works both day and night, here, you got one. It surprised me by how clear it was when looking at full darkness.
Best For Camping: BOBLOV Digital Night Vision Monocular 5x32
- Compact and lightweight
- SD card included
- Clear images both day and night
- Not useful manual
- Drain batteries
It doesn’t require many cutting-edge features for a monocular to bring on a camping trip. But this BOBLOV has beyond my expectations.
You can use this monocular in both day and night. However, during the day time, you have to keep the lens cap on so that extreme light won’t damage the optical tube. Actually, the cap acts as a filter for a better image in day shooting.
It has a built-in infrared light emitter that allows seeing 150 yards when it’s out of light. If it’s a full-moon day, you’ll be able to see details within 250 yards.
This monocular is compact and lightweight, very suitable for a backpacking trip to the wild. Once you install full batteries, the monocular can operate up to 5 hours in the day time.
The device supports SD card up to 16GB for lots of footage and pictures. What’s great is you don’t have to pay extra for the card.
|BOBLOV Digital Night Vision Monocular 5x32 Specifications|
Objective Lens Diameter (mm)
Powerful magnification for clear pictures
Wide viewing angle. Can use both day and night
It’s a great monocular for camping and budget. The wide-angle and distant view are just perfect for wildlife observation and night surveillance.
How To Choose The Best Night Vision Monoculars?
There must be the most appropriate monocular for you out there. But how can you tell which is that one?
First, you need to think of the generation, I already explain the generation’s pros and cons in the binoculars article. Besides, consider a few factors for monocular below:
- Ask yourself, why do you need a night vision monocular?
- If it’s for tactical and hunting use, you should consider buying the gadget with a helmet or a mounting system. Those gear will free your hands for the weapon.
- For observation and surveillance, a tripod should be more useful than anything. A stable standing point will get you to target with better accuracy.
- Many monoculars source power from AA or AAA batteries. But many of them munch energy faster than you think. So, if using a battery-powered monocular, you should prepare a set of rechargeable batteries to replace.
- A direct power source is even better. You can plug in the cable and see the device works without worrying it’s going to miss any moment.
- Night visions nowadays are not expensive anymore. But it certainly costs a bunch if you’re going for significant features. Generations also matter the price tiers. For less than 200 bucks, you can afford a hobbyist’s monocular that sees through 100 yards.
- From Gen 2 and up, you are expected to pay above $1,000 to own a decent night vision monocular with enhanced technology and a massive amount of high-end features.
- Many assume that freebies don’t matter.
- But think about it.
- Imagine you just pay for the monocular; there are one thousand things to buy, such as mounting rings, eyepieces, cleaning cloth, lens cap, you name it. That’s why you should check the box to see what comes in it.
- I always like monocular that comes with batteries, SD card, and all kinds of cables needed. Those things cost more than you think.
Which Brands Make The Best Night Vision Monoculars?
- It’s no need to state the reputation of Bushnell in producing the best of the line shooting gear and accessories. You can find a range of products crafted with innovation and passion in mind. The collection of night vision of Bushnell may not be as abundant as others’, but each of the items comes with the highest standards of each particular price range.
- Products from BOBLOV have served the outdoor industry with design and high-end quality. Price is a worth-mentioning pros when talking about BOBLOV along with top-notch technology. Based in Shenzhen, BOBLOV aims to deliver monoculars and night vision devices of the international standards in order to gain a good reputation in the near future.
What is a night vision monocular?
Monoculars are devices used by putting up one eyeball and look through. It’s different from binoculars which you can see with two eyes. The benefit of using one eye is that you will have one free hand, and the other can have full control over the unit. When the night vision technology is applied, the monocular can actually see things when there is no sunlight, using the artificial light source from a built-in IR.
Are night vision monoculars any good?
Night vision monoculars add advantages to your sight when it’s dark. It allows you to see objects in low light conditions, thus making targeting, detecting, and moving are more viable.
Can you use night vision monoculars during the day?
Night vision monoculars require ambient light to generate images. During the daytime, the brightness is night; thus, there is not enough shadow for the monocular to work. So, it’s a NO for using a night vision monocular during the day.
How far can you see with night vision monoculars?
There is a lot of dependent criteria to determine the range you can actually see through a monocular. It is the whole gadget to look at considering the magnification power, the generation, the viewing distance, navigation ability, and more.
Does night vision work in total darkness?
A night vision requires a light source to operate. If it’s not the light from the moon, stars, it should come from the illuminator. But that doesn’t apply to thermal devices. Those devices detect heat energy thus require no light to work.
I have to admit one thing that picking the best night vision monocular and NVD, in general, was a real challenge. However, I had so much fun learning a bunch of things to tell you. But I bet there are more you want to know. Let me hear from you in the comment box.
Thank you for reading. See you in the next article.