1. Avatar David
    December 16, 2017 @ 03:37

    Hi, I’m looking for a helmet or or head mounted monocular/ binocular that is under $400, but preferably as inexpensive as possible. I’m on a budget.
    I intend to use it for airsoft and night time adventures. Most importantly, I’m looking for fun.
    I’m very new to the realm of night vision, so any nudges into the right direction would be be greatly appreciated.

    (This comment was inadvertently sent to the Spam folder.)


  2. Avatar Tim
    December 15, 2017 @ 10:54

    Hi Tony:
    Do you have any data on the comparative durability / life of digital .vs. “optical” NV (commercial, not LE or military).
    Conventional NV seems to use intensifier tubes (“tubes” to me screams very breakable), while the digital NV mentions a CCD array (just like cameras).
    Do digital devices also contain tubes?
    I’m looking for the longest life device possible (in the commercial realm), for general fun use. I’m worried about how long an “optical” NV device would last compared to a digital device.

    (This comment was inadvertently sent to the Spam folder.)


    • Avatar Tony
      December 15, 2017 @ 14:38

      Hi Tim. Thanks for contacting me.

      I don’t have any statistical data to share with you, but I can state that digital night vision devices are immune to the qualities that make intensifier tube devices delicate.
      These would include:
      a. Hollow glass-tube construction.
      b. Thin chemical-powder (usually Phosphor,) coated surfaces.
      c. Sensitivity to daylight can destroy chemical coatings.
      d. Prone to multiple dead-pixels.


  3. Avatar Fenton Harcourt
    December 11, 2017 @ 18:01

    Is digital going to be more rugged and dependable than tube / gen technology? I would like to mount either the Night Owl iGen 20/20 Monocular, or the Bestguarder 6x50mm HD Digital Night Vision Monocular using a Vortex Picatinny Rail Tripod Adapter Mount. Which model would stand up better to the shock / abuse of living on a firearm?

    (This comment was inadvertently sent to the Spam folder.)


    • Avatar Tony
      December 12, 2017 @ 14:01

      Hi Fenton. Thanks for contacting me.

      A digital device is going to stand up the the recoil and shock of a firearm, much better than a glass-tube device.
      And, I believe the Bestguarder 6x50mm HD Digital Night Vision Monocular will facilitate “sighting” along a barrel best.


  4. Avatar easily_confused
    October 31, 2017 @ 02:23

    I have yet to see an honest appraisal or side by side comparison of a digital and a gen1 device. Say, side by side pictures of the same scene at .005 lux. (a little bit of moonlight) or better yet, no moon. Nobody seems willing to compare true light sensitivity without IR illumination. Is that because digital does poorly compared to a gen 1 photomultiplier tube? My impression is that digital is simply an IR sensitive sensor that needs an illuminator and is very limited as a true night vision device.


  5. Avatar Gary
    June 19, 2017 @ 12:24

    Thanks for the digital night vision info. I also appreciate the many comments and replies.


  6. Avatar James Choat
    March 12, 2017 @ 12:40

    We have property in the country about 25 acres. We have lots of animals that move around on our land. From deer to hogs and all the little animals. I spent 16 years in the military and have used military grade nightvision. I am not looking to spend thousands of dollars but I want something that I can use to see things on our property at night. I want something that will give me some similar quality to the equipment I used in the Army. What would you recommend?


    • Avatar Tony
      March 13, 2017 @ 17:46

      Hi James. Thanks for contacting me.

      For a few hundred dollars, I’m certain you will be impressed with the performance and durability of the Night Owl iGen 20/20.
      The link will take you to my personal review.

      Be sure to let me know your opinion.


  7. Avatar Dean
    January 31, 2017 @ 04:43

    Hi Tony, I’ve been looking through the comments and you seem to know your stuff, I have a question for you, I’m on a tight budget but would love to own something like this to go sky watching, I’ve no idea what to buy, could you point me in the right direction for looking up with the best possible view on a budget.
    Much appreciated buddy


    • Avatar Tony
      February 3, 2017 @ 06:11

      Hi Dean. Thanks for contacting me.

      My favorite digital night vision devices (there are 2) will do nicely for what you want.

      Look at:
      1. Night Owl iGen 20/20. This is my “go to” night vision device.
      2. Bushnell Equinox Z (6x magnification.)


      • Avatar Terry Nazworth
        December 14, 2017 @ 13:56

        How does the Bestguarder 6x50mm HD Digital Night Vision Monocular with Camera Camcorder compare to:
        1. Night Owl iGen 20/20. This is my “go to” night vision device.
        2. Bushnell Equinox Z (6x magnification.).


        (This comment was inadvertently sent to the Spam folder.)


        • Avatar Tony
          December 14, 2017 @ 14:18

          Hello Terry. Thanks for contacting me.

          While all the devices you mentioned are ranked among the best digital night vision equipment for under $500.00, the Bestguarder 6x50mm HD Digital Night Vision Monocular packs the latest and greatest features.

          It is the only device that boasts HD (720p) video display, and an impressive (x5) digital zoom.
          This translates to greater functionality, especially if distant targets are important to you.


  8. Avatar Casey K
    September 6, 2016 @ 23:51

    Hi Tony,
    Just wondering about the eyes reaction to Optical vs Digital. That’s the only big con I could think of for digital night vision is that, since it is a digital image it expels light to your eye so you can see it. This means your iris will contract when viewing. This makes is harder to see out of that eye when you are done using the device.
    Do you see this happening with these digital devices? I am very interested in getting some form of NV device in the near future. My big thing is battery life, the ability to use an external battery pack to charge or power the device, and resolution of the screen you are viewing (though this really only comes into play with variable powered digital devices such as ATNs Binox or HD scopes).

    Thanks for the great info!


    • Avatar Tony
      September 8, 2016 @ 16:18

      Hi Casey. Thanks for contacting me, and the kind words.

      Two very useful [user adjustable] features of the Night Owl iGen 20/20 , is changing the color of the LCD image to red which does not affect our eyes’ night vision, (other colors include green, blue and whites)…and the ability to dim the LCD display.

      For batteries, I use rechargeable and have a pair of regular AA-batteries in my kit…”just in case”.
      And as for resolution, the LCD screen provides distortion-free edge to edge images in a rectangular format, that targets more real-estate than circular objectives.
      (Strangely, this last fact is seldom exploited in advertisements.)


  9. Avatar Will Watson
    September 1, 2016 @ 21:26

    What do you think of the canis latrans pvs-14?


    • Avatar Will Watson
      August 29, 2016 @ 21:29

      What I’m mainly looking for is some digital night vision under $300 that does not have any zoom (1X).
      I’m planning to DIY mount it to a helmet. Any advice is welcome.


      • Avatar Tony
        August 30, 2016 @ 10:44

        Hi Will. Thanks for contacting me.

        I understand why you would want no magnification since you indicate you intend to helmet-mount the device…what is your budget?
        Some military manufacturers can supply such devices, at an expense.


    • Avatar Tony
      September 4, 2016 @ 10:50

      I am not impressed with the performance or reviews of the Canis Latrans PVS-14.
      Although it does come mount-ready.

      I feel the Night Owl iGen 20/20 is still the best device on the market for budget-limited users.


      • Avatar ERICK
        September 7, 2016 @ 11:01

        Hi Tony, is the “Night Owl iGen 20/20” way better than the Bushnell Equinox Z Digital Night Vision 6x?

        I like the possibility of the micro-sd card slot and maybe waterproof.

        I really hope you can enlight me…


        • Avatar Tony
          September 8, 2016 @ 17:43

          Hi Erick. Thanks for contacting me.

          I am referring to the Night Owl iGen 20/20 with picture capture. Both devices are very impressive in performance. Let me list some differences.

          The Bushnell can easily be operated with one hand…not so easy with the Night Owl.
          The powerful magnification of the Bushnell (x6) can be a double-edged sword, as it also amplifies hand-shake to the extent of almost necessitating a tripod-stand.
          The Bushnell (x6) has a very “tight” field of view which is great for star-gazing…but you will see a much wider area through the Night Owl. I like to describe the Bushnell (x6) as “definition” of a target, whereas the Night Owl offers more “detection”.
          The Bushnell has a picatinny-style rail for accessory mounting, but the Night Owl has the ability to attach standard 40mm adapter-lenses.
          The Bushnell has fewer user-adjustable features than the Night Owl.

          The above can be considered a list of features, and open to subjective opinion. I think performance is the real test.
          Erick, I have used both. If you were to ask me personally, I’d say the Night Owl’s performance is notably superior to light sensitivity, worthy of the extra expense, in actual field use. That’s what matters most.


        • Avatar Will Watson
          September 27, 2016 @ 22:06

          Thank you for getting back to me,
          For me 1x zoom and a helmet mount is a must have since I would be using this for military simulation (possibly with close quarter combat) up to 12 hours at a time. I was thinking about dropping some extra cash ($500 total) on a used, like new gen 2+ Armasight Nyx7-ID. I am really looking for some good quality night vision as cheap as possible, my budget is fairly small seeing I’m a student. If there was a way to modify the night owl igen 20/20 to make it 1x zoom I could probably make a helmet mount for myself as I am pretty good at making things like that. If not, if you could recommend anything $500 or under, new or used, that’s 1x zoom I would really appreciate it.

          Thanks for your help,


          • Avatar Tony
            October 1, 2016 @ 17:51

            Hi Will.

            The Bestguarder 6x50mm HD Digital Night Vision Monocular with 1.5 inch TFT LCD Camera & Camcorder Function is a very good device. It takes 5mp Photos and 720p Video!

            The only problem I foresee is the manual focus feature, for different distances in your field of view, even though you can control the zoom to 1x.

  10. Avatar Don
    April 19, 2016 @ 11:20

    Something not mentioned in any of this is the visibility of the person using the device. In many situations, especially combat or defensive ones, you are trying to see without being seen. IF you use any device with IR illumination to brighten your view, that light output is immediately visible in most cases. If your IR is the conventional 850nm wavelength such as used in CCTV, it will produce a red glow. While 850 nm is not visible to the eye, the source produces the IR on a bell-curve of wavelengths which centers at 850 but has a lower end in the visible range. If you add a filter to remove all light within the visible range (say a 720nm) your light source is invisible to the naked eye, but still is a beacon to any other IR viewing device (CCTV camera or someone else’s night vision device). In combat, that is a target. There is virtually no way to be invisible if you are up against sophisticated equipment. For example, a FLIR device (thermal imaging) produces no light, but sees your body heat- even behind walls in some cases. Night vision and invisibility have many limitations and trade-offs; you have to know what your objective is, and what the product you are looking is and is not capable of.


    • Avatar Tony
      April 20, 2016 @ 17:06

      Hi Don. Thanks for contacting me.

      Great info here folks!


    • Avatar Will Watson
      October 4, 2016 @ 20:21

      I might be wrong here but I do believe that because of the fixed zoom, it can’t go less than 6x zoom, and 1 to 5 times 6x zoom. So up too 30x zoom? I know next to nothing about these things so I really appreciate your help.


  11. Avatar Justin
    November 17, 2015 @ 16:28

    Hi, Tony,
    I was checking out the Bushnell Equinox monocular you recommended and noticed that it comes in three varieties: 3x30mm, 4.5x40mm, and 6x50mm. Can you comment on how the different models will affect the experience for someone who wants to look at wildlife in the backyard?


    • Avatar Tony
      November 29, 2015 @ 10:32

      Hi Justin. Thanks for contacting me, and great question.

      The first thing to know is that the first number of the specs (eg. 6 X 50mm) represents the magnification power of the optics. This is pretty easy to understand…things are going to look “6” times bigger when you look through the view finder. I really like this for looking at stars.

      Next, in our example, the number “50mm” represents the diameter of the objective lens in millimeters. That’s the lens that is opposite to the one you look through. Here is what you need to know about this…the larger the diameter means the more light gathering capacity through to the internal sensor. So a 50mm objective lens will appear noticeably more efficient than a 30mm lens.

      But there is a trade off that you should be aware of…and that is “field of view”.
      This is a number (sometimes measured in feet, other-times expressed as an angle) which represents how wide a space you actually see at a given distance away from you, when you look through the view finder. In our example (6 X 50mm), the field of view is 20 feet wide, at a distance of 1,000 yards from you. The 4.5 X 40mm is 28 feet wide at 1,000 yards, while the 3 X 30mm is 30 feet wide at the same 1,000 yards away.
      The simple explanation for this is that the principle of optics (angles and formulas) makes this happen. All you need to know is this characteristic and what to expect from your device.
      I actually prefer a “tighter” field of view as it enhances definition of the subject, sacrificing some detection capacity to the sides.


  12. Avatar 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?


    • Avatar 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.


      • Avatar 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 ! 🙂


        • Avatar Tony
          September 17, 2015 @ 08:38

          You’re welcomed…


          • Avatar 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?

          • Avatar 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.

  13. Avatar 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.


    • Avatar 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.


  14. Avatar 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?


    • Avatar 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.


  15. Avatar 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.


    • Avatar 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.


      • Avatar 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?


        • Avatar 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.


          • Avatar Tightwad
            December 23, 2017 @ 12:55


            I’m trying to find the perfect, lowest cost nv binoculars!

            I’ve got a pair of Yukon 2×24 gen1’s which are pretty good, although there is a degree of fish eye. I’m thinking about Nightstar’s 4×42 digital nv binoculars, but I can’t find any info or ratings on them… do you know anything about them?


          • Avatar Tony
            December 27, 2017 @ 09:10

            Hello Tightwad (I love that!). Thanks for contacting me.

            I cannot say I know any more than what is described on their website. Sorry.
            If you decide to go ahead with this particular device…would you kindly let us know your opinion on how they compare with the Generation 1 Yukon you presently have.

  16. Avatar 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.


    • Avatar 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.


  17. Avatar 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?


    • Avatar 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.


    • Avatar 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!


      • Avatar 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.


  18. Avatar 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!


    • Avatar 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.


  19. Avatar 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.


    • Avatar 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.


      • Avatar Alex SDU
        October 2, 2014 @ 11:40

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


  20. Avatar Martha
    August 29, 2014 @ 18:20

    Do you have any recommendations for night vision security cameras?


    • Avatar 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.


  21. Avatar 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?


    • Avatar 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.


    • Avatar 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.



      • Avatar 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.


  22. Avatar 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.


    • Avatar Tony Valentino
      May 28, 2014 @ 08:21

      Hi Jim…I have sent you an email.


  23. Avatar 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



    • Avatar 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.


      • Avatar JOHN
        September 11, 2014 @ 16:01

        HI TONY




        • Avatar 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.


      • Avatar JOHN
        September 15, 2014 @ 17:17

        HI TONY.

        THANK YOU.


        • Avatar 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.


          • Avatar JOHN
            September 16, 2014 @ 08:16

            GOOD MORNING TONY.

  24. Avatar Chia Ryba
    November 30, -0001 @ 00:00

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


    • Avatar Tony Valentino
      May 6, 2014 @ 20:28

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


  25. Avatar 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.


    • Avatar 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.


  26. Avatar 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?


    • Avatar 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…


  27. Avatar 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.


    • Avatar 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.


  28. Avatar 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.


    • Avatar 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.


      • Avatar 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.


        • Avatar 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.


          • Avatar 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.

          • Avatar 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.

          • Avatar 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.

  29. Avatar Zero
    October 2, 2013 @ 00:04

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


    • Avatar 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.


  30. Avatar ishu
    September 29, 2013 @ 00:10

    very nice information. thanks


    • Avatar Tony Valentino
      October 1, 2013 @ 14:34

      Hi Ishu…thanks for your comment.


  31. Avatar 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.


    • Avatar Tony Valentino
      April 8, 2013 @ 04:34

      Hi Venta…thanks for your comments.


      • Avatar 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?


        • Avatar 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.


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