A combination of a pair of binoculars and a telescope is what makes a night vision monocular such a useful viewing device. The best night vision monocular is lightweight, self-contained, and capable of being hand-held or mounted on a weapon or helmet. Different brands have been used in nightly operations by the United States forces to gain a tactical advantage on the battlefield. So, a monocular is a convenient substitute to standard binoculars.
How to Choose the Best Night Vision Monocular
This refers to how larger a monocular makes an image appear. Your choice of magnification (higher or lower) does entirely depend on what you will be using the monocular for. The ratio of the size of an image to the size of the target is indicated as 1X or 2X and so on. Product specs will display two figures (3x30mm). The second figure refers to the objective lens diameter of the monocular.
Low magnification is convenient for viewing a wider area instead of a single target. A monocular with a low optical power produces a very large field of vision, but with a smaller image zoom. A higher magnification has a small field of vision but presents remarkable details of an image. A higher magnification is suitable for picking a single target at a distance.
Different monocular brands have different lens coating. This includes simply coated lens to fully multicoated lens, which is definitely costly. Brightness and clarity of the image captured by your monocular are very important attributes, which are significantly affected by the type of lens coating. Fully multicoated lens reduce glare while improving brightness and clarity compared to the simply coated lens.
There are four categories of monocular lens coating including the aforementioned ones: coated, fully coated, multicoated, and fully multicoated. If you are after quality (better brightness and clarity), the fully multicoated lens is the best choice even though pricey. However, you can go for the coated lens to save money; it will still capture an image but with a few hitches.
The optical design is determined by the monocular prism. The kind of prism used by every monocular depends on the optical power of the device. There are three major optical designs you can choose from. They include roof prism, Porro prism, and Galilean.
Roof prisms designs are suitable for a greater focal length, and they exist in higher magnification brands. Porro prisms are the most popular optical designs in the market. They display an erect image instead of an inverted one. On the other hand, Galilean designs also display an erect image; however, they have a small field of vision.
The size and weight of a monocular are very important. The best model should not only be lightweight but also compact. You should also know that a smaller and compact design does not offer excellent performance. For instance, a 10×25 model is compact and cheaper, but will not offer you the ideal image details. To avoid the poor display of a smaller monocular, you should go for something slighter larger, such as 3×30.
The larger objective lens offers you a large view. You will not have to identify your target; you can just go ahead and use the monocular to zoom in your target. Apart from the clear image, a monocular with a larger objective lens is easier to use. Therefore, you can enjoy a brighter, sharper, and wider image if you settle for an objective lens diameter of thirty to forty-two millimeters.
Top 5 Best Best Night Vision Monocular to Buy in 2018 – Reviews and Comparison
- Weight: 1.1 lbs.
- Product Specifications: 5×50; 180m range of detection; 36 lines per mm resolution; 15-degree field of view; and 20 hours battery life with IR & 72 hours battery life without IR.
- Description: The Firefield Nightfall II is the best night vision monocular for late night outdoor adventures, such as hunting, military, or security. The exceptionality of this particular Generation 1 monocular is seen in its easy-grip design. It will only take you a few seconds to configure and pick an image of your target. It is installed with one of the largest objective lens diameters, making it the best selection for an array of nighttime activities.
- Weight: 2 lbs.
- Product Specifications: 3x30mm; 656 / 200 ft. /m viewing range; AA (batteries); installed with infrared illuminator; 30 ft. @ 1000 yards field of view; and has a tripod mount.
- Description: Bushnell Equinox Z is the best digital night vision monocular for daytime or nighttime use. It has a sizeable objective lens of 30mm, along with a digital optical power of 1-3X and a maximum magnification power of 3X. It has a rugged weatherproof design that is not only tripod mountable, but also runs on 4 AA batteries (not included you have to buy separately). The design also features multicoated glass objectives that deliverer remarkable optical clarity.
- Weight: 2 lbs.
- Product Specifications: 6×50; infrared illuminator; aperture F=1.3; field of view @ 100 yards; powerful infrared spotlight; 1150 ft. / 350M viewing range; adjustable eyepiece; in-view 1.5” TFT display; wide field of view; and high optical clarity.
- Description: The Bestguarder HD is the best night vision monocular for a wide range of activities, including hunting, scouting game, surveillance, security, search & rescue, wildlife observation, night fishing & boating, nighttime navigation, camping, and exploring caves. This is another big lens monocular for the money. With this device, you do not have to identify your target in advance. The large objective lens diameter offers you the desired field of view for a wider, sharper, and brighter image of your target.
- Weight: 1.2 lbs.
- Product Specifications: 2.6X magnification; 16 to infinity range of view; 30 lp/mm resolution; 12-degree angle of view; 3 infrared intelligence modes; 2 to 30 FPS variable frame rate; 300X to 10000X light amplification; and 4 AA batteries.
- Description: Night Owl iGEN is the best night vision monocular for both day and nighttime use. Forget about the Generation 2 and 3 techs, the Proprietary iGEN is the new technology worth paying for. Its price is affordable because it has no intensifier. The monocular is highly versatile as far as light amplification is concerned. You can actually adjust light amplification from 300X to 10000X. A feature unique to the Night Owl iGEN is the auto adjustment of wattage with respect to the varying darkness levels.
- Weight: 12 oz.
- Product Specifications: Low light sensitivity; compact design; handy and safe; variable zooming; flexible illumination; AV & USB function; integrated color LCD screen; quality video & image functions; 320×240 screen resolution; 14-degrree field of view; 640×480 image and video resolution; and 5 hours battery life.
- Description: Solomark is a high performance modular, handheld night vision monocular for the money. It uses seven-level IR LED illuminator, integrated LCD colored screen, high sensitivity sensor, and multicoated objectives to provide crisp, clear images under the darkest conditions. This device does more than just provide you with a clear image of your target. You can truly record eye-catching video and take amazing photos of your target.
The best night vision monocular is one that can be used in low light, complete darkness, and daytime. However, not all models have daytime functionality. Consider purchasing a highly resourceful model that can allow you to take photos and capture videos of your target. The design should also be rugged and weatherproof with a strong grip, especially if you are planning to use it in harsh surroundings.