Top 12 Best Night Vision Goggles

Night Vision Goggles

As we’ve evolved through the eons, humans have not developed a strong ability to see in darkness. For us to see something in the darkness, that object either has to emit light or reflect light. In the darkness, our pupils are unable to use the small amount of light available to recognize those images.

Many species, such as owls, felines, opossums, and the alien in Predator have evolved to the point where they have extremely large pupils in their eyes, which enables them to process what little light is available, and gives them extraordinary night vision.

Our Personal Best Choice

Below is a summarization of our choices:

Best Value Model

Sightmark SM14070

Best Overall Model

Yukon NVMT

Honorable Mention Model

Sightmark SM15070

Best Overall Professional Model

ATN PVS7-3 NVG

For better or worse, humans have to rely on technology to duplicate this ability to see in total or near-darkness. In this article, we’ll be talking about using night vision goggles to improve the ability to see in the dark.

Comparison Table

We’ve selected twelve different examples of night vision goggles from Amazon.com. In this article, we’ll give you an overview of each unit, including the cost, customer rating, and a number of reviews.

Learn more on how we came up with the table

Two quick points before we move on to the comparison table:

  • 1) The price range on these units runs from just under $250 to almost $9000. Obviously, comparisons within that framework would not be valid or even relevant, so we have divided the list into two segments – those items under $1000, and those over $1000. Even though there is still some significant variation within those two sub-sections, we should be able to give you a good feel for the relative value of each of the night vision goggles.

  • 2) Second, while we would normally use customer reviews as a basis for sorting in the comparison table, where we will sort based on price, from low to high. The reason behind this is the relative scarcity of review on these items. Only two have more than fifty reviews, and the vast majority have less than twenty reviews.

So, here is the first comparison table for the budget night vision goggles priced under $1000:

ProductBest FeaturesRating (Number of reviews)Price RangeView on Amazon

Sightmark SM14070 night vision goggles

Sightmark SM14070

  • 1X magnification to maintain depth perception,
  • 24mm objective lens,
  • built-in IR illuminator.

3.6 out of 5
(58)

$

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Pulsar Challenger GS night vision goggles

Pulsar Challenger GS

  • 1×20 optics,
  • IR illuminator,
  • tripod socket for freestanding use,
  • lightweight at 10.6 ounces

3.3 out of 5
(5)

$

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Yukon NVMT night vision goggles

Yukon NVMT

  • 1×24 optics,
  • IR illuminator,
  • Gen 1 capability,
  • 30o field of view,
  • detection distance up to 160 yards

3.6 out of 5
(71)

$

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Sightmark SM15070 night vision goggles

Sightmark SM15070

  • 1×24 optics,
  • 30o FOV,
  • 70 hour battery life without IR,
  • 20 hours with illuminator

3.6 out of 5
(38)

$

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Wanny Tracker night vision goggles

Wanney Tracker NVG

  • LCD screen,
  • built-in illuminator,
  • 80 – meter range,
  • expandable with flashlight,
  • maximum surveillance and stealth operating modes.

3.5 out of 5
(13)

$

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Yukon NV 1x24 night vision goggles

Yukon NV 1×24

  • 1X24 optics,
  • Gen 1,
  • operating temperature -30…+40 °C,
  • 30o FOV.

3.5 out of 5
(99)

$$

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Firefield Tracker 1X24 night vision goggles

Firefield Tracker 1X24

  • Gen 1 technology,
  • 1×24 optics,
  • built-in illuminator,
  • flip-up head gear,
  • also usable in daylight

3.4 out of 5
(41)

$$

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Pulsar PL75095 Edge GS night vision goggles

Pulsar PL75095 Edge GS

  • 1×20 optics,
  • 50-hour battery life without IR,
  • built-in IR illuminator,
  • AAA battery powered,
  • 36o field of view.

3.2 out of 5
(19)

$$

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And here is the professional models, priced over $1000:

ATN NVG-7 Gen 2 night vision goggles

ATN NVG-7 Gen 2

  • Gen 2+ technology,
  • 40o field of view,
  • waterproof rating,
  • flip-up headgear.

2.8 out of 5
(3)

$$$

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ATN PVS7-3 night vision goggles

ATN PVS7-3 NVG

  • identical to standard military issue,
  • 1×27 optics,
  • waterproof,
  • momentary or continuous IR illumination.

3.1 out of 5
(25)

$$$

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ATN PVS7-3P night vision goggles

ATN PVS7-3P NVG

  • identical to standard military issue,
  • 40o FOV,
  • lightweight at 22 oz.

No reviews

$$$

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ATN PS15-4 Gen 4 night vision goggles

ATN PS15-4 Gen 4

  • Gen 4 technology,
  • flip-up headgear,
  • 1×27 optics,
  • 40o FOV,
  • brightness control and auto-off function.

3.3 out of 5
(7)

$$$$

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How Night Vision Goggles Work?

There are two different technologies currently in use – thermal imaging, and light amplification imaging. We’ll spend a few minutes reviewing thermal technology, but our primary focus will be on light amplification imaging.

The history of night vision devices (NVDs) goes back to World War I, when a Hungarian scientist, Kalman Tihanyi, developed an infrared sensing camera to aid the British in the identification of incoming enemy aircraft at night. Germany began experimenting with this technology in the 1930s and installed NVDs on their tank fleet in the 1940s. The Americans equipped their snipers with NVDs in the 1940s, and also in the Korean Conflict in the 1950s (Wikipedia.com).

Night vision devices generally fall into one of three categories:

Goggles are binocular or using both eyes. They differ from true binoculars in that binoculars are typically hand-held, where goggles have some type of mounting system to the head or a helmet, so they can be used hands-free.

Scopes are monocular or designed for use with one eye. Night vision scopes can be either hand-held, for uses where you want to see something far away and then return to normal vision, or mounted, typically to a rifle barrel.

Cameras are a cross between the two, using the technology of night vision to not only see but to capture images of items. Cameras are typically used in security applications, where they can be permanently attached to a building, and transmit their images back to recorders or live monitors.

Thermal imaging also has a military-driven history. The US Military and Texas Instruments worked together in 1947 to develop infrared line scanners, which have military applications even today (Wikipedia.com).

Thermal devices detect and capture infrared light images, which are exuded from heat, and come from a different end of the light spectrum. See below for an example of how a thermal image might be displayed:

As noted earlier, the other technology in common use in night vision devices is light amplification. Each of the twelve devices we will review here uses this technology. Let’s take a short look at how it works.

How night vision works

The light we can see — called visible — is only a part of the overall electromagnetic spectrum (all types of light). There are other types of light, such as infrared and ultraviolet light, that can’t be seen by the naked eye.

If you want to see in the dark, there are a couple of ways you can go about it. The first way requires a type of technology called image enhancement. This basically means that equipment takes what is there and makes the most of it.

Even in the darkest of conditions, there are tiny bits of light present. Some of this light may be infrared light that isn’t visible to the naked eye. Night vision goggles using image enhancement technology collect all the available light through the objective lens (#1), including infrared light, and amplify it in the cathode (#2) and multiplier (#3) so that you can easily see what’s going on in the dark.

So, whether we talk about night vision monoculars, goggles, binoculars, cameras, or scopes, the concept is the same – gather and amplify what light there is to increase visibility at night. An example of a video captured with light amplification technology is shown below:


Buying Guide

To make a well-informed purchasing decision when you are ready to buy your night vision goggles, it’s important to recognize and understand some of the key terminology, features, performance, and specifications of the units. In this section, we’ll highlight a couple of dozen points, and give you a brief explanation about why they are important. Having said that, the next step is determining whether or not they are important to you. We recommend going through this section, then making a list of goggle characteristics, and rating them as either mandatory (I would not buy this unit without this feature), nice to have (not completely necessary, but I would probably use this), or “bells and whistles” (pretty cool stuff, but I don’t see how I would ever need or use it).

The information on the specifications and features presented here is primarily drawn from the Amazon site, but occasionally it will come from the manufacturer’s or other supplier’s sites. Not all models will have the same specifications presented, so further research on the part of the buyer is recommended.

Maximum range of view

Maximum range of view

The maximum range of view is determined for the most part by how much light is available. This light may be from ambient sources, such as starlight or moonlight, or may be generated from the goggles themselves through a built-in or add-on infrared illuminator. The yards are typically expressed in yards or meters, and usually presented as a maximum under optimal conditions; your results may vary. As you would expect, the greater the range, the lower the clarity of the image.

This reduced clarity leads to a further discussion, as, within the range of view are three sub-sets – detection, recognition, and identification.

Generation

Generation

Within the specifications and descriptions, you will see some of these models classified as Generation 1, 2, 3 or 4.

  • Generation 1 basically uses the same technology that goes back to the 1960s. It’s affordable, has a range of about 75 yards, and an expected useful life of about 1500 hours.

  • Generation 2 is a big step up in performance, with a range of about 200 yards, depending on the model. You’ll get better resolution and a life expectancy of about 5000 hours.

  • Generation 3 is the current gold standard; it’s standard issue in the military. You should get about 10000 hours of life from the device, with a range of 300 yards or more, and the best low light performance.

  • Generation 4 is a bit of an anomaly. The Gen 4 tag was initially granted by the military based on some lens and filter changes but subsequently revoked after further testing and trials. While some companies will market their goggles as Gen 4, the official descriptor does not really exist; it’s basically upper-end Gen 3.

You can get more information on the primary features and performance of each generation of goggles here.

Objective lens

Objective lens

How night vision works

If you look at the diagram, you’ll see the objective lens illustrated by #1. The objective lens is located at the front of the goggles, and collects all the available light, and focuses it back to the image intensifier. It also can provide image magnification. You’ll also see it referred to as the objective aperture. The larger the objective lens, the greater its ability to collect light for amplification.
Optics

Optics

You will see optics expressed as a combination of the magnification, expressed as a multiplier, and the objective lens size, expressed in millimeters. So, optics of 2X24 would represent a magnification power of 2X, and an objective lens size of 24mm.

Image/screen resolution

Image/screen resolution

Screen or image resolution is a measure of the detail you will be able to see on the screen. Resolution is usually expressed as pixels, and the higher the pixels, the greater the detail you will see on your screen. You will see this expressed as, for example, 320 x 240 pixels, resulting in a total count of 7,680 pixels.

Image refresh rate

Image refresh rate

The refresh rate is measured in Hertz. It represents the number of images that are displayed in a second. If the refresh rate is higher than 30 Hz, the brain perceives the change in the images as a movement. Everything below 30 Hz looks unnatural and the gaps are clearly visible.

Day/night use

Day/night use

While these goggles are primarily designed for night use, some also have the capability for daytime use, typically by using special filters. It should be noted that many of these units should not be exposed to bright or daytime light, as it can damage the interior optics.

Check the manufacturer’s information carefully to determine the impact of daytime use.
Field of view

Field of view

As you look through the goggles, without moving your head, you will get a very specific field of view (FOV). This is the visible area you can see, normally expressed as a range of degrees from the centerline; so, a FOV of 12o means you can see 6o off the centerline, peripherally, on either side of it.

Weight

Weight

Given that you will be using these night vision goggles in a mounted position, either on your head or in conjunction with a helmet, the overall weight of the unit is an important consideration. Also consider that while supplemental battery packs can increase usage time, they will also increase the weight.

Watch the specification sheets carefully; many times, weights are expressed without batteries.
Power source/life

Power source/life

Each of these units must have a power source to operate, typically batteries. These batteries may be standard alkaline, lithium-ion, or nickel-cadmium, and can be rechargeable on one-time use. Separate power packs for extended use of the goggles may also be available. You will often see battery life expressed in two terms – without using the (if available) IR illuminator, and with use of the IR illuminator.

IR illuminator

IR illuminator

Since we just mentioned it, this would be a good time to define it. As we now, this technology captures infrared waves to provide night vision imagery. The level of infrared waves available can be increased through the use of an IR illuminator. These illuminators will emit additional IR waves, which are then reflected back by the objects, and amplified within the goggles.

This technology gives you additional distance capabilities and provides sharper, clearer images than just using ambient IR waves.
Photo/video capability

Photo/video capability

Some of these night vision goggles have the ability to capture the images in the form of photos or videos. This capture can be done through on-board memory storage, often in the form of an SD card. Some advanced units will have wi-fi capability, and the ability to stream these images to a smartphone or tablet.

Water resistance

Water resistance

There is an International Protection code which measures water resistance in various devices. Since night vision binoculars could very well be exposed to the elements, this is an important specification. Ratings are expressed as IPX-5, for example. IPX-4 and -5 would indicate water resistance on the device; the higher the number, the more resistance. IPX-7, for example, means the device can survive total immersion in water up to one meter deep. Some units will note water resistance or waterproof in their specifications, but not reference a specific IPX rating.

Operating temperature range

Operating temperature range

Because of their military applications, these goggles may be used in extreme temperature ranges. This is a standard specification for most of them, typically expressed in a range of degrees Celsius. Conversion to the Fahrenheit scale can be accomplished through any number of on-line apps.

Durability

Durability

As with operating temperature, these goggles may need to stand up to extreme operating conditions, including heat, smoke, bumps, and even falls from height. Materials of construction are therefore key to the continued, effective operation of these goggles. You will typically see materials of construction ranging from engineered thermoplastics to aluminum or even titanium alloys.

Color palette

Color palette

Thermal imaging devices display their images by showing the heat contrast between an object and its surroundings. Many of these devices will offer multiple color palettes to choose from so that the contrasts can be displayed differently based on the surroundings and vision requirements. An example of different color palettes is shown below:

Warranty/tech support

Warranty/tech support

This is a pretty straight forward appraisal. Each of these units will carry some level of warranty from the manufacturer. It may be on the entire unit, or there may be separate warranties on the electronics, lens, and body of the binocular.

Supplemental warranties may also be available for separate purchase. In many cases, you will have to refer to the manufacturer’s web site to get full warranty details. Technical support ideally will be domestic, so you don’t have to deal with language or time zone issues in getting one on one help.

Price

Price

As with just about anything we buy, there is a budget involved. That budget may very well change what we want into what we can afford. In the end, however, the value can be more important than price. It might be better to wait than to purchase a unit you know will not meet your expectations. Prices here range from $250 to $700 for the budget models, and into the thousands of dollars for the professional models. Features will vary with the prices, and the best value will be the combination of features, specifications, and price that comes closest to your wants and needs.

Best Night Vision Goggles Review (Budget Models)

Sightmark SM14070 – Best Value Budget Model

This is one of the highest-rated units in the budget category and brings a 1×24 optics package to the table. It comes with a head mount for hands-free operation and flips up when not in use. The 1X magnification allows the user to maintain depth perception while still viewing images clearly. Even though a Gen 1 unit, if offers decent functionality and performance.

Sightmark SM14070

Features and specifications:

- works mounted or in hand-held operation

- built-in IR illuminator for viewing at longer distances

- 30o field of view, with a maximum range of 185 yards

- weight is 13.4 ounces

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Pros

Pros
  • Automatic shut-off feature to prevent optics damage if exposed to bright lights
  • Lowest price in the budget category, tied for the highest rating
  • Operates on 2xAA batteries

Cons

Cons
  • Comments from several users on the difficulty to (manually) focus
  • Head mount could not be properly secured while walking

Pulsar Challenger GS

Also designed for hand-held or mounted usage, this goggle also has a connection for tripod mounting. Lightweight at 10.6 ounces, it has a hermetically sealed body to prevent intrusion by sand, fog, rain, or dust. This goggle is also suitable for daytime operations.

Pulsar Challenger GS

Features and specifications:

- Gen 1 technology, with an edge to edge feature to reduce “blossoming” of images at the edges of the field of view

- 1x20 optics

- built-in IR illuminator

- metal/thermoplastic body and housing

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Pros

Pros
  • 36o field of view, or 65 meters at 100 meters distance
  • Manufacturer claims 20% better resolution than other Gen 1 goggles
  • Can be used as a night attachment for a daytime optical rifle scope

Cons

Cons
  • Complaints about fit/comfort of the head mount system
  • Only five user reviews

Yukon NVMT 1×24 – Best Overall Budget Model

A lightweight, 13.4-ounce Gen 1 unit, suitable for head or helmet mount or hand-held usage. Options include an IR flashlight, rifle scope conversion kit, and camera adapter. 1×24 magnification provides a clear view without distortion. Limited lifetime warranty.

Yukon NVMT

Features and specifications:

- 24mm lens provides a 30 o field of view

- operates on CR123A battery, with up to 30 hours life (without IR)

- operating temperatures -22oF to +104 oF

- detection distance up to 160 yards with IR illumination; suitable for daylight operations

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Pros

Pros
  • Solid 3.6 rating, tied for highest in the budget grouping
  • Adaptable for use with photo or video equipment (optional equipment needed)
  • Built-in tripod mounts for fixed site usage

Cons

Cons
  • Concerns about comfort/support of head mount
  • Upper end operating temperature might be low for some climates

Sightmark SM15070 – Honorable Mention Budget Model

This is the next model up to the ladder from the Sightmark SM14070 we reviewed first. It has an identical 3.6 rating but comes in priced about $140 more than the 14070. You get the same optics package, same Gen 1 technology. The primary difference is the ability to focus on the IR illuminator for a clearer, more concise image.

Sightmark SM15070


Features and specifications:

- 1x24 optics

- 30o FOV

- etection distance up to 160 yards

- 2xAA batteries, with the life of 70 hours without IR, 20 hours with


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Pros

Pros
  • Increased viewing clarity with the ability to focus IR illuminator
  • Increased battery life

Cons

Cons
  • Costs more, with not a lot of extra bang for the extra bucks
  • Complaints about the comfort of head mounting gear

Wanney Tracker NVG

A high-sensitivity sensor feeds a liquid crystal display (LCD) screen, giving a range of view of 80-meters, expandable to 300 meters with an optional infrared flashlight. It operates on rechargeable batteries, but they have a minimal life of only 6 hours, or 1.5 hours if continually used. Hand-held or head mount capability. Limited information is available on these night vision goggles.

WaNney Tracker NVG

Features and specifications:

- very little information available on formal specifications; no data on optics, battery, range, etc.

- chinese made

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Pros

Pros
  • 5 rating, based on 13 reviews
  • Some reviews describe image quality as good, but limited range

Cons

Cons
  • Price for value
  • Limited field of view, viewing range
  • Poor battery life

Yukon NV 1×24

These night vision goggles have a 1×24 optical system, giving up to a 450-foot viewing range. While still Gen 1 technology, they do offer some advantages to other Gen 1 models. They offer a wide field of view and higher quality intensifier tubes.

Yukon NV 1x24

Features and specifications:

- field of view is 30o, or 116 feet at a 200-foot viewing distance

- bright light shut-off functionality

- built-in IR illuminator

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Pros

Pros
  • Head mount, flip-up, or handheld operation
  • Built-in powerful IR

Cons

Cons
  • Limited one-year warranty

Firefield Tracker 1×24

Standard 1X magnification for improved depth perception and environmental awareness, these Gen 1 goggles feature high-quality resolution, and a built-in, high-power IR illuminator designed to reduce battery consumption. Headgear allows for flip-up of goggles when not in use, and is fully adjustable.

Firefield Tracker 1x24

Features and specifications:

- special lens cover allows for daytime use

- 24mm objective lens, with multi-coated optics for increased resolution and clarity

- three-year warranty

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Pros

Pros
  • Users give a high rating for overall clarity of images
  • Range up to 100 meters
  • Longer battery life due to adjustable power illuminator

Cons

Cons
  • Head mount comfort
  • 22% of ratings are 1-star, 3.4 stars overall

Pulsar PL75095 Edge GS

Featuring specially designed optics and a high-quality intensifier tube, these Gen 1 night vision goggles give superior visual clarity. A sealed housing allows them to be used in harsh field conditions. Operates on two x AA batteries, with a minimum operating time of 50/20 hours for IR off/on. Lightweight 15.8 ounces.

Pulsar PL75095 Edge GS

Features and specifications:

- 1x20 optics, with higher-end intensifier for vision improvement

- 90-meter range of detection

- energy conserving adjustable power IR illuminator

- 36o field of view

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Pros

Pros
  • Clarity of images is highly recommended in customer reviews
  • Can substitute rechargeable batteries
  • Operating range -20oC – +40oC

Cons

Cons
  • Highest priced night vision goggles in the budget category, with the lowest overall rating
  • Difficult to focus per customer reviews

Best Night Vision Goggles Review (Professional Models)

ATN NVG-7 Gen 2

This is also Gen 2 technology, the second one on our list from ATN. The primary difference between this one and the NVX-7 model is that this one is expandable by purchasing different lenses to add magnification, has a larger base objective lens, and IR capabilities. It has a comfortable, flip-up headgear setup, and can be used in hand-held operations. It’s a lightweight system at 1.1 pounds and carries water and fog-resistant rating. Seems to carry a love-hate relationship with reviewers.

ATN NVG-7 Gen 2

Features and specifications:

- standard system has 1X26 optics, with magnifying lenses available for purchase separately

- wide-angle IR illuminator covers up to a 40o field of view

- high-quality Gen 2 image intensifier tube, specially coated lenses

- auto shut-off in bright light estimated 5000-hour equipment life

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Pros

Pros
  • All the device safety protection systems – auto shut-off, bright light detector, hidden IR, brightness control
  • Detection range 100 yards, recognition range 150 yards
  • 4.7 rating (3 reviews) on opticsplanet.com

Cons

Cons
  • 2.8 rating (3 reviews) on Amazon – draw your own conclusions
  • Users recommend buying additional IR intensifier to improve range

ATN PVS7-3 NVG – Honorable Mention Professional Model

These Gen 3 night vision goggles are pretty much identical to the model used by the US military. They feature an illuminator which works in both continuous and pulse mode for battery conservation. It comes with full headgear, shoulder strap, carrying case, and neck strap for a hand-held, head mount, or helmet mount operation.

ATN PVS7-3 NVG

Features and specifications:

- optics are 1X27, with a special coating on the lens for added protection against grit and scratching

- full military spec body, water, and fog-resistant

- 40o FOV estimated 60-hour battery life

- internal IR indicator and low battery indicator for full stealth mode

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Pros

Pros
  • Proven technology based on military applications and use
  • Operating temperature -60oF – + 120oF for use in virtually any climate
  • Reviews claim superior night time vision, distance, and image clarity

Cons

Cons
  • Users complained of discomfort due to weight (1.5 pounds)
  • One reviewer reported premature tube failure

ATN PVS7-3P NVG

This unit is almost identical to the one above but has the latest technology Pinnacle image intensifier tubes. These tubes provide superior performance in lighted areas where other night vision goggles would lose clarity. A waterproof housing makes it suitable for almost any weather conditions and has a 60-hour battery life without IR. Given the high-tech, military nature of this goggle, please check your state and local regulations before ordering.

ATN PVS7-3P NVG

Features and specifications:

- goggles have a 40oFOV, with 1X27 optics and magnification lenses available separately for purchase

- -40oC - +50oC operating range

- Gen 3 technology with upgraded intensifier allows operation in semi-lighted areas with affect (e.g. street operation with street lights)

- military spec-compliant, weather-resistant

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Pros

Pros
  • Internal indicators show when IR is on and the battery is low for full stealth mode
  • Automatic brightness control, bright light cut-off, and shut-off systems
  • Momentary or continuous IR operation

Cons

Cons
  • Unable to find any customer product reviews on six sites checked

ATN PS15-4 Gen 4 NVG

Even though there is no official Gen 4 category, manufacturers do claim it in their product brochures, which is the case here. This goggle features dual-tube intensifiers for increase depth perception and clarity. These come recommended for professional and law enforcement use and comply with military specifications. They are fully waterproof and support a battery life of 40-hours.

ATN PS15-4 Gen 4 NVG

Features and specifications:

- optics are 1X27, coated lens, with a 40<sup>o</sup> field of view

- automatic brightness control, bright light cut-off, and shut-off systems

- weight is 1.5 pounds, with a two-year warranty from the manufacturer

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Pros

Pros
  • Extended detection and recognition range. Manufacture claims house can be seen at 500 yards in half-moon light
  • Internal indicators show when IR is on and the battery is low for full stealth mode
  • Arguably Gen 4 technology, with major improvements in-depth perception and clarity over Gen 3 tubes

Cons

Cons
  • Price is almost $9000, likely taking them out of the range of hunters and non-professionals
  • Issues with helmet/head mount

Conclusion

As we noted earlier, because of the wide price range, and the differences in technology, we’ve broken this review into two sets of night vision goggles. The first set we refer to as “budget”; they are priced under $700, and each of them is Gen 1 technology. Performance is obviously less than the “professional models”, but should fit the needs for hunters, cavers, gamers, etc.

The second group, the “professional” models, are Gen 2, Gen 3, and Gen 4. These also have a fairly wide range in price, from $1200 to almost $9000. Performance between generations will vary, primarily around the distance of viewing range and image clarity.

Given these conditions, let’s take a look at the models, and select some “best of” winners.

In the budget group, it was a pretty easy decision to choose the best value. When you are tied for the highest rating and have the lowest price, and comparable functionality, the Sightmark SM14070 is a winner for Best Value.

From the same group, we wanted to choose the best overall, based on performance, price, rating, quality, and specifications. This was a little bit harder to identify, but we chose the Yukon NVMT 1×24. It has a solid 3.6 rating, is reasonably priced, and has all the required features. The Pulsar unit came close, but the limited reviews and reduced optics capability held it back. The Sightmark came close also, but when compared to the 14070, you spend more money but don’t get a lot of additional functionality. We give this Sightmark model an Honorable Mention.

Moving to the professional models, the selection process became a little more difficult, as we are dealing with four different technologies and a very wide price range. To compound the difficulty, most of these night vision goggles have a limited amount of customer reviews. We do feel, however, there are some clear choices.

To choose the best overall professional model, we’ve followed much the same logic. The ATN PVS7-3 is a Gen 3 unit. It has the highest customer rating (25 reviews) but is identical in spec to standard issue military gear. Our only complaint is the lack of included headgear.

Below is a summarization of our choices:

Best Value Model

Sightmark SM14070

Best Overall Model

Yukon NVMT

Honorable Mention Model

Sightmark SM15070

Best Overall Professional Model

ATN PVS7-3 NVG

If you are near making a purchasing decision on night vision goggles, we hope this review has been helpful for you. Remember that this technology is rapidly evolving, and what you buy today as top-end equipment may be in the middle of the pack soon after. As we noted earlier, look for the best combination of value, price, and performance that suits you.

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