1. Anurag
    September 15, 2015 @ 10:19

    Hello Tony,
    After going through your informative article and applying your principals to a website you must be aware of OpticsPlanet(dot)com.

    I have narrowed my search to 3 Digital NVGs after using the filters “Digital” and then “Ratings 4 and up”. They are:

    1. Night Owl Optics X-Gen
    2. ATN DNVM-2
    3. ATN DNVM-4

    Kindly tell your opinion as I guess these are the 3 best one can buy in the digital NVGs series for an extremely affordable price. I want to buy 1 of these due to a tight budget. Which 1 do you suggest?


    • Tony
      September 16, 2015 @ 09:50

      Hi Anurag. Thanks for contacting me.

      My preference of the 3 is the first listed, Night Owl Optics X-Gen (Pro Version).

      For a little more cost, you should also consider the Bushnell Equinox Z. This would be my first choice at this price range of under $200.

      Finally, check Amazon to compare prices. They almost always have the cheapest…with a fabulous return policy.


      • Anurag
        September 16, 2015 @ 16:33

        Thanks for the prompt reply. I am going with Bushnell Equinox Z. Very impressed with its reviews and yes…Amazon is giving the best deals.
        Thanks again ! :)


        • Tony
          September 17, 2015 @ 08:38

          You’re welcomed…


          • Anurag
            November 11, 2015 @ 13:23

            As suggested I bought the Bushnell Equinox Z 4.5×40 and am very impressed with the picture quality and the device overall. However, disregarding the short battery life, the only other but significant flaw I found in the device is its narrow field of view which is much better when statistics are compared with other NVDs. I would like to know if there is any way to increase the very limited field of view by adding an appropriate size wide-anlge lens in front of the factory lens already installed?

          • Tony
            November 14, 2015 @ 10:39

            Hi Anurag,

            Unfortunately there is no easy way to mount an additional lens onto the objective lens of your Equinox Z. As with other more expensive devices, there is no M42 screw mount feature.

  2. Dena
    June 28, 2015 @ 14:57

    Hi Tony
    I am going to the beach for 2 weeks and I am looking for a night vision monocular to be able to watch sea turtles as they nest. I saw the Night Owl one you really recommend and the Equinox. Is there something less expensive you could recommend. They will only be used once a year.


    • Tony Valentino
      June 29, 2015 @ 15:40

      Hi Dena. Thanks for contacting me.

      For around $100, look into the Night Owl Xgen 3x Digital Night Vision Viewer.
      It is made by a great company, it is digital technology, and it is really compact which makes travelling (to find turtles) easy!
      Please let me know what you think of it.


  3. Brad
    January 10, 2015 @ 19:40

    Hi great article and lots of information! Thank you so much for being very informative and easy to understand.

    What is a great way to see as many stars as you can using one of these tools maybe under $500?


    • Tony Valentino
      January 11, 2015 @ 12:42

      Hi Brad. Thanks for contacting me, and for the kind comments.

      I have great success at looking at stars with my Night Owl iGen 20/20.

      I set it up on a photographers tripod. I find it very helpful to steady the image. And I also find that the darkest nights (without a moon,) are best.


  4. Tom
    November 29, 2014 @ 09:39

    I am looking for very good night vision binoculars that I can use for hunting coyotes (you hunt them at night).
    Range could be 100 to 150+ yards. Would heat sensor also work?
    Price is not as important as quality.


    • Tony Valentino
      November 30, 2014 @ 12:11

      Hi Tom. Thanks for contacting me.

      OK…since you are most concerned about quality, I would suggest the Pulsar N750 Digisight Riflescope, with a side-mounted Pulsar PL79076 940 IR Flashlight Accessory.
      In my opinion, this particular setup is the ultimate night hunting tool. The Flashlight Accessory penetrates much further than the internal IR-emitter of the rifle scope while being undetectable by your target. And since you can turn off the rifle scope’s emitter, you reduce battery consumption for what really counts. Being a “digital” night vision device, you can utilize the rifle scope also during the day. Not so with “Generation-type” devices.

      If you really meant a hand-held night vision device Tom, then I would suggest you consider the Night Owl iGen 20/20.
      This is my personal favorite device that I take everywhere. It is a very robust device that performs extremely well in many conditions, albeit less suited to hunting than a rifle scope.

      “Heat-Sensor” (thermal imaging night vision) would definitely prove itself valuable for hunting. It is a matter of budget. I personally have not used a thermal device hunting, but I asked a friend who is a professional hunter for his opinion, and he recommends the Armasight Zeus 160 4-8×42 (30 Hz) Thermal Imaging Weapon Sight.


      • Tim Kirby
        March 20, 2015 @ 13:03

        I noticed that you did not recommend any binoculars for this application. Do you know of any that would be suitable for the same application?


        • Tony Valentino
          March 22, 2015 @ 19:25

          Hi Tim. Thanks for contacting me.

          Truthfully, I am still searching for a good digital night vision binocular…that I can recommend. There are several Generation 1 (intensifier tubes) binoculars available, but I find the image quality and technology-inherent disadvantages too distasteful.
          I will let you know when I find something remarkable.


  5. Carolyn Leiker
    November 25, 2014 @ 13:06

    My 8 yr old grandson wants better night vision goggles than the toy ones he has. Most I’ve seen are huge. I would like a recommendation on night vision goggles that are not so huge.


    • Tony Valentino
      November 25, 2014 @ 16:37

      Hi Carolyn. Thanks for contacting me.

      At an entry level to decent night vision equipment that won’t break the bank and yet has the ability to last a life-time, is the Bushnell Equinox Z Monocular.

      It is a digital device. It will render far superior versatility and durability when compared with optical devices. (Optical devices are sometimes referred to as “Generation” type, or “intensifier-tube” type devices.)

      And it is a monocular, allowing full operation with 1 hand.


  6. Bonie
    November 16, 2014 @ 13:46

    I’m looking for night goggles/binoculars for my husband when he goes fishing. Nothing fancy or expensive. So he can watch his floats and when on the bank, where he is going. What do you recommend?


    • Tony Valentino
      November 17, 2014 @ 09:28

      Hi Bonie. Thanks for contacting me.

      That’s an easy question to answer. And with Christmas coming I’m announcing this as what will surely be that special gift. So ladies listen up.

      The best night vision device available now, based on performance and list of useful features is still the Night Owl iGEN 20/20 Monocular.
      I’ve written about this particular device extensively. It is my absolute “go-to” night vision device among many. Need more convincing? Take a look at the on-line customer reviews.

      If your budget is limited, my next recommendation which boasts impressive performance though the useful list of features is not as strong…is the Bushnell Equinox Z Monocular.

      Oh…it’s going to be a merry Christmas for some folks!
      Happy holidays everyone.


    • Bonnie
      November 30, 2014 @ 11:24

      These are nice but really looking for something hands free. When fishing it takes two hands to reel in the big one!


      • Tony Valentino
        November 30, 2014 @ 12:43

        Bonnie…I get it. I don’t want to be responsible for the one that got away.

        In that case, take a look at the Armasight Vega Night Vision Goggle.
        It is a light-weight device that is built by the best manufacturer of “wearable” night vision equipment. And this particular model comes with the head-strap which I found to be quite comfortable and sturdy to wear.


  7. JPA
    October 24, 2014 @ 07:18

    Hey Tony, I work mainly in the field and sometimes at night and needed something to help me along, I was looking at the igen and the viper x-1 but I can’t find enough reviews on the x-1!

    I like the all-weather x1 magnification and simplicity of the x-1 and don’t really feel the need for all the igen extras like the multi color display or the image recording capabilities but I’m a bit worried regarding image quality and technology sensitivity to damage…

    Any insight will be greatly appreciated!


    • Tony Valentino
      October 25, 2014 @ 12:39

      Hi Jose. Thanks for contacting me.

      The Viper X-1 is a Generation 1 (intensifier tube) night vision device. You will find modern digital devices are far superior.

      For the same price, I can recommend the Bushnell Equinox Z Digital Night Vision Monocular that will out-live and out-perform any Generation 1 device.


  8. Alex SDU
    September 29, 2014 @ 15:31

    I play airsoft, and sometimes we play at night.
    I was thinking about getting a NVG, but some of the cheap NVG out there use infrared LED light to ‘shine’ the area ahead, which unfortunately means that another NVG wearer could see.
    Is there a NVG that doesn’t use infrared light to illuminate the area, and not too costly?
    I’m thinking of somewhere around USD$300.

    Thanks in advance.


    • Tony Valentino
      September 30, 2014 @ 12:32

      Hi Alex. Thanks for contacting me.

      The Night Owl iGen 20/20 is perfect for night-games as the in-built infrared illuminator can be turned off…and still give you plenty of ability to see in the dark.


      • Alex SDU
        October 2, 2014 @ 11:40

        Thanks. But that one is somewhat out of my budget range.
        Thanks for replying to my question.


  9. Martha
    August 29, 2014 @ 18:20

    Do you have any recommendations for night vision security cameras?


    • Tony Valentino
      August 30, 2014 @ 16:44


      After countless hours of research for an upcoming product review on security systems, I decided on personally evaluating a system I found to have the most benefits and cost effectiveness. I chose Insteon wireless security products as they have an evolving range of wireless products that can be incorporated into a system over time and as the need arises. My experience so far has been very favorable.


  10. Gareth Sweeney
    May 27, 2014 @ 18:32

    I’m also looking for a pair of Night Vision Binoculars around $500. I know you recommended the Night Owl Pro NexGen Night Vision Binocular (x5). These are old fashioned intensifier tube technology…Is there any good Digital ones on the market as I would prefer digital?


    • Tony Valentino
      May 28, 2014 @ 08:32

      Hi Garth. Thanks for contacting me.

      You are correct in stating intensifier tube technology is old. Newly available digital night vision is my absolute favorite and go-to device.

      See my review on the Night Owl iGen 20/20.


    • Jerry Johnson
      August 8, 2014 @ 09:59

      Hi Tony,
      You discounted infrared based on cost. If cost was not a factor, say up to $12K, which infrared scope would you want. I am thinking clip-on scope with hand held capability as well.



      • Tony Valentino
        August 11, 2014 @ 17:21

        Hi Jerry.

        I am only qualified to give you an opinion up to around $2,000 budget…this is the area which I research. Within this budget, “digital” night vision equipment is the most impressive.


  11. Jim Kirk
    May 27, 2014 @ 14:33

    I’m looking for military style star light night vision goggles, and I hear your recommendation is really affordable, please contact me as soon as possible, thank you Sincerely Jim K.


    • Tony Valentino
      May 28, 2014 @ 08:21

      Hi Jim…I have sent you an email.


  12. Jahni
    May 4, 2014 @ 00:14

    Hi Tony,

    I’m trying to decide between the Night owl 20/20 and the armasight spark core..
    Please let me know your experience and /or suggestion



    • Tony Valentino
      May 6, 2014 @ 20:18

      Hi Jahni. Thanks for contacting me.

      I think its really a matter of your intended use…

      The Armasight Spark Core is very versatile since you can mount it on a weapon or incorporate it into head gear. But it still is Generation 1 quality “intensifier-tube” technology.

      The Night Owl iGEN 20/20 Monocular is not easily mountable, but does offer superior quality night vision capability.


      • JOHN
        September 11, 2014 @ 16:01

        HI TONY




        • Tony Valentino
          September 15, 2014 @ 17:34

          Hi John. Thanks for contacting me.

          The biggest difference is that the Night Owl iGEN 20/20 is a digital device, while the Armasight Avenger is an optical device. (See this article for details on these types of technology.)

          If you are planning to “wear” the device, then the Avenger is the better choice. And Armasight definitely leads in “wearable” hardware-technology. Otherwise, the iGEN is easily a more superior device.


      • JOHN
        September 15, 2014 @ 17:17

        HI TONY.

        THANK YOU.


        • Tony Valentino
          September 15, 2014 @ 18:02

          John, the only instance the Armasight Avenger would be better than the Night Owl iGEN 20/20 as a night vision device, would be if you were intending to “wear” the device, like on a helmet-mount.

          The iGEN 20/20 is far more forgiving to physical and environmental abuse. It gives you a very impressive “user-adjustable interface”. And it produces a better picture. Additionally, the “image capture” version you refer to is capable of recording pictures.


          • JOHN
            September 16, 2014 @ 08:16

            GOOD MORNING TONY.

  13. Chia Ryba
    November 28, 2015 @ 04:27

    Really good blog, thank you very much for your effort writing the posts.


    • Tony Valentino
      May 6, 2014 @ 20:28

      Thank you Chia. I am glad you feel that way.


  14. David B
    January 14, 2014 @ 23:40

    Tony Hi.

    We have had an opportunity to develop a high quality 880nm range strobe that triggers on a rf sensor signal. This is mostly for border patrol, poaching and so on…

    Night vision is not typically my thing as I am more into micro cameras and traditional IR flood lights used in security.
    My question is that on these beacons we have tested them well at close range using basic modified camera gear, but for point to point surveillance at a range of 1-1.5 miles I’m wondering what’s best. Given the strobes emit a huge pulse from 8 LEDs, I’m wondering what should do the trick to simply be able to wear or use that would easy pick up on these when they trigger in a valley floor scenario with watchers up top?

    Once I understand the logic of whether assisted night vision is needed or not will help me further I guess.

    Any suggestions would be great. As you know law enforcement has minimal budget so there is not thousands to spend..

    Thanks in advance.


    • Tony Valentino
      January 16, 2014 @ 14:46

      Hi David. Thanks for contacting me.

      This is pretty easy to answer since you will need a device that is very “user adjustable” in order to utilize effectively over the different conditions as mentioned. Only a digital device can give you this.

      For versatility, look at a Night Owl iGEN 20/20.

      I think you will find useful:
      – scope and range of programmable features.
      – video out signal in NTSC or PAL.
      – objective lens takes a standard 42mm lens mount for magnifiers and filters.
      – image capture to SD-card version is also available.


  15. Carlos
    December 4, 2013 @ 23:03

    Great article. Helped me understand night vision!


    I am prepared to spend anywhere from $1000-$2000 on a nice set of head mounted goggles. Could you recommend?


    • Tony Valentino
      December 9, 2013 @ 13:10

      Hi Carlos.

      Thanks for contacting me.

      Your question is very easy to answer…as I have a “commando” friend who is an expert in this area, and I have spent a lot of time trying out different devices with him.

      First, I would say to consider Armasight as the best manufacturer of “wearable” night vision. They are the innovators and suppliers to the military and set the standard for specifications.

      Then specifically, I would suggest you take a good look at Armasight Nyx7-ID Gen 2+ Night Vision Goggles Improved Definition

      What I really like about them:
      – true military specs, like water proof, etc.
      – flip-up with auto-off
      – bright light auto-off protection
      – auto IR illumination
      – chin-strap on head-mount really helps to keep the device stable and in place
      – many add-on options for future use

      I was really impressed with this device…


  16. bearforce1
    October 22, 2013 @ 23:14

    Hi there,

    I am taking a round the world motorcycle adventure. I will be in Africa for a couple of years. It would be advantageous to see what is coming to eat me.

    I need to pack reasonably light and I am prepared to spend 500 to 1000 dollars on nightvision.

    Your advice would be greatly appreciated.


    • Tony Valentino
      October 23, 2013 @ 16:35

      Hi Bearforce1. Thanks for contacting me.

      Without hesitation, I believe the best Night Vision device under $1000 is the digitally driven Night Owl iGen 20/20 Monocular.

      It is very robust and light-weight making it a perfect travel companion. And most importantly, it has the best night-effective features that are user adjustable and unique to this unit. It is my personal favorite.

      Happy trails on your motorcycle adventure.


  17. Amrita
    October 20, 2013 @ 21:05

    Hi Tony,

    Looking for a night vision binocular around $500. Which one would you advise. My dad is not interested in a monocular actually.


    • Tony Valentino
      October 22, 2013 @ 14:08

      Hi Amrita. Thanks for contacting me.

      Here is the unit which I personally like. Night Owl Pro Nexgen Night Vision Binocular (x5)

      Even though it utilizes old-fashioned intensifier tube technology, it performs very well. Most reviews give this device a 5-star rating. Be sure to keep the lens caps on during the day as bright light can damage the sensitive components internally.

      Let me know if you have any more questions.


      • Dustin
        December 7, 2013 @ 23:15

        I’m interested in a binocular set of night vision goggles for under $1000. I like the look of this Night Owl Pro Nexgen Night Vision Binocular (x5) that you recommended, but I need a headset mount. Is there a similar set of goggles I could buy that would have this? Or perhaps one that would be even smaller in size? Thanks.


        • Tony Valentino
          December 9, 2013 @ 13:56

          Hi Dustin. Thanks for contacting me.

          Since you mentioned binocular and head-mount as criteria, I would say you consider a device from Armasight

          Things to keep in mind:
          – weight is important when it comes to head-mount because of neck-strain, and gravity forcing the equipment down in front of your face. Armasight’s head-mount kit addresses the gravity problem by including a chin-strap that anchors the whole system in place.
          – binocular devices have 2 sets of optics which makes them more expensive than monoculars. Consider a monocular device if your budget is restricting.


          • Dustin
            December 11, 2013 @ 17:34

            Thanks for the rapid response–also, do you know of any dealers where I may be able to try the product before I buy? Thanks so much for your help.

          • Dustin
            December 11, 2013 @ 18:19

            One more quick question–do you know anything about Night Owl Tactical Goggles BG1 NOBG1? I’m interested in these, but I’m having trouble finding sufficient product reviews on them. Thanks so much for your help.

          • Tony Valentino
            December 12, 2013 @ 08:07

            Dustin, it’s not easy finding a dealer that stocks a really good range of Night Vision equipment. You can try comparing something similar to what you want in stores such as Outdoor World, Bass Pro, hunting and camping stores. If you have a police/security supply store near you, you will usually find a range of Night Vision devices there.

            I am familiar with Night Owl’s wearable goggles. Although a great company, I prefer Armasight in this instance for the list of useful features.

  18. Zero
    October 2, 2013 @ 00:04

    Hi, good topic, but can you recommend any NV rifle scope under $1000?


    • Tony Valentino
      October 3, 2013 @ 19:52

      Hi Zero. Thanks for contacting me and for the compliment.

      It’s uncanny you should ask…I recently recruited the help of a good friend that is an expert hunter (professional actually,) to draft up a “true-review” of what he considers the best bang-for-the-buck night vision rifle scope.

      He considers the Yukon NVRS Titanium 1.5×42 Night Vision Rifle Scope to be among the top 5 items of must-have for hunters.

      Until the review is published, I can steer you to some recent customer reviews found online.


  19. ishu
    September 29, 2013 @ 00:10

    very nice information. thanks


    • Tony Valentino
      October 1, 2013 @ 14:34

      Hi Ishu…thanks for your comment.


  20. venta
    April 7, 2013 @ 10:30

    I’m not positive where you are getting your information, but good topic. I must spend some time learning much more or understanding more. Thanks for wonderful info. I was searching for this information for my mission.


    • Tony Valentino
      April 8, 2013 @ 04:34

      Hi Venta…thanks for your comments.


      • Martha
        August 29, 2014 @ 18:17

        Do you have any business interest, partnership, or relationship with any company associated with any of the products you are commenting on?


        • Tony Valentino
          August 30, 2014 @ 16:29

          Hi Martha. Thanks for contacting me.

          At the bottom of every page of my website you will find my FTC Disclosure. I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com I do not receive any form of compensation from any of the manufacturers of items found on this website.


Leave a Reply