The Best Night Vision Scopes - Top 5 in 2020


The human eye is not designed for great vision during the night. But this does not limit hunters luck to pursue their interest when darkness covers the earth.


Thanks to night vision scopes with its illuminators that beam light to an environment that is hard for the natural eye to see appropriately. The night scopes show images in black and white and, at times green-yellow, this happens after collecting light and projecting it into an image.


The night vision scopes project detailed images making it easier to target and shoot than using naked eyes. Are you looking for an ideal night vision scope? Worry no more, this guide will give you tips for the best night vision scope that will work for you correctly.

green night vision scope image

Consideration When Buying Night Vision Scopes


best night vision scope image

The market has mediocre counterparts for night vision scopes. Therefore, to know the ideal ones, consider the following qualities.

Magnification

It is a great deal when choosing a night vision scope. The best scopes have higher magnification settings, making this scopes beneficial than those with lower magnification. When the range is short, the night vision scope generates better images that have clear lines. Besides, the picture becomes even better in the scope can collect more light. Some scopes magnification are as low as 3x, while others range at 20x, my advice is you go for the higher magnification for exceptional accuracy

Resolution

The best night vision scope should provide a decent resolution. Night vision scopes operate differently from regular optical scopes, therefore go for 640x480p or even higher for you to get accuracy and ability to identify the target. The addition of video footage is an advantage you should also consider.


At times, the resolution is described by lines per millimeter, choose the higher values for that will make your target clearer.

Generation

The generations are divided into three categories, Gen 1, Gen 2, and Gen 3.

Gen 1 is where the scope uses infrared and available light from the surrounding for it to generate a picture. Usually, the user can see up to 100 yards, but if the model is of high quality, then the yards are pushed past 100.

Gen 2 has better-infrared illuminators and electronics than Gen 1. Therefore it can see around 200 yards.

Gen 3 is known to have the highest resolution. The advanced technology in it converts more photon to electrons than Gen 1 and 2. The high conversion rate gives better images to the eye.

Ability to Video Record

It is vital to record your hunting activities so that you can have evidence in case of legal troubles. For this reason, look for a night vision scope that has a high-quality glass. Better glass gives better light transmission, therefore, capturing more available light in the surrounding.


When the scope collects more light, it provides a higher and brighter contrast for your videos, making them explicit. Another advantage of high-quality glass is that they have a coating to protect it from scratches and shock damages.

Reticle Size and Type

A bullet drop compensation reticle is rated high for its accuracy in estimating bullet drops. Therefore, you can hit a target that is 300 yards away if the reticle aiming points are 100 yards apart, and the rifle is zeroed for 100yards.


To achieve maximum accuracy, pick scopes that can change the color type and adjust brightness. Since hunters have different tastes, it better to go for what suits you more or consider what you are going to hunt.

Battery Life

The best night vision scope needs to have longer battery life. This is because you need the light even when the surrounding does not give enough illumination. Therefore, your consistency relies on how long it takes before a battery replacement.


Of course, some scopes have longer battery life spans that you need not worry about them fizzling out when you are out hunting. But, it is advisable always to choose a scope that can have spare batteries just in case they fail you can replace and continue with your hunting.

Daytime Use

Choose a night vision scope that can also be used during the day. Of course, not all of them have this unique feature, so keep it in mind. With such a night scope, it is like having two scopes in one.


Yeah, all night scope can operate during the daytime, but remember the normal ones will work as a regular scope during the day. This means it will collect light from the environment and convert it into an image instead of using infrared to generate light

Durability

Waterproof scopes are considered the best. You wonder why? As a hunter, you know there are times you have to go hunting even when the weather is not favorable. For instance, you can continue hunting even when there is a massive raindrop.


 Aircraft-grade aluminum is the best material for a scope, and this is because they are rust-resistance hence ensuring a longer life for your night vision scope

Quick 5 Scope List Selection


Scope Image

Scope

Price

ATN X-Sight II HD 5-20 Smart Day-Night Rifle Scope

ATN X-sight II HD 5-20

Sightmark Photon XT 6.5x50L Digital Night Vision Riflescope

Sightmark SM18008 Photon XT

ATN X-Sight 4K Pro Smart Day-Night Rifle Scope - Ultra HD 4K

ATN X-Sight 5-20 4K Pro

Firefield NVRS 3x42 Gen 1 Night Vision Riflescope

Firefield FF16001

Night Owl Optics NightShot Digital Night Vision Riflescope with IR illuminator

Night Owl Optics Night-Shot

Now let’s get down to business with the

TOP 5  Night Vision Scopes


1. ATN X-sight II HD 5-20

ATN X-Sight II HD 5-20 Smart Day-Night Rifle Scope

This scope has several distinctive features like ballistic calculator, WiFi, E-Compass, rangefinder, GPS, barometer/1080p video, android apps, and IOS. ATN X-sight II also operates day and night. Any hunter would love to have this scope for the crystal-clear images it gives which is more than hundred feet.


With a magnification of between 5x and 20x, it means it can target lots of ranges. The best part is that, this scope has an automatic video recorder with a resolution of 1080p. It is a nice feature when you want to keep the video for memories, and streaming is done via WiFi.

The ballistic calculator helps to calculate quick trajectories needed while taking shots. Also, during practice, it helps to improve a short-range. The range finder in this night vision scope can identify your target by two clicks of a button.


The rangefinder is also very accurate, for it determines the weather your ammunition is ideal for shooting. The navigation of terrain is made more accessible when using this scope because of the installed E-compass and GPS.


This night vision scope has a battery that can last for twenty-two hours, and it is easily rechargeable. The infrared used in this device can be used by any other night vision scope. Even though the price of this scope is high, its value makes it worth it.

Features:

  • E-Barometer – Precise accurate data so you can make sure everything is dialed in!
  • Gyroscope – Steady your view
  • E-Compass -Track the precise direction you are looking at 
  • Battery Life (Li-ion) – 8 - 12 hours
  • Battery Pack (16000 mAh) Optional – 22+ hours

PROS

  • Digitally upgraded with superb features
  • Daytime vision very clear
  • High-quality video with automatic recording

CONS

  • Not waterproof

2. Sightmark SM18008 Photon XT

Sightmark Photon XT 6.5x50L Digital Night Vision Riflescope
Sightmark Photon XT 6.5x50L Digital Night Vision Riflescope-Reticle View

Reticle Views

This is a versatile night vision scope that magnifies vision at 4.6x. The scope has three reticle colors red, green, and white you just have to choose the one you prefer.


The scope has a button which, when you click changes reticle from Mil-Dot, German-style, or Duplex reticles.


Targets that are up to 120 yards away are seen clearly using this scope since it uses a resolution of 640x480.

Sightmark has a recording function that is hand activated. Another useful feature is that its battery lasts 33% longer than many of its counterparts. In addition to the device, the scope comes with a video cable, carrying case, and a lens cloth.

Specs:

  • Magnification – 4.6x
  • Resolution – 656 x 492 pixels
  • Eye Relief -2.36in 
  • Battery Type – AA x 2
  • Battery Life - 4-5hrs

PROS

  • Light weight and very compact
  • Durable
  • Good resolution range

CONS

  • Eyepiece is a little shorter

3. ATN X-Sight 5-20 4K Pro

ATN X-Sight 4K Pro Smart Day-Night Rifle Scope - Ultra HD 4K

Do not be worried about its price, trust me, it is worth the cost. This night vision scope a magnification function between 5x and 20x and can smoothly zoom the image.


The advanced extra feature like ultra HD sensor and an Obsidian four dual-core processor captures the images when the light conditions are low. Believe me, when I say, you will experience fantastic target outlines since the colors depicted in your eye are the best.


What about daytime shooting? Of course, this scope also works incredibly well in the daytime.

The ballistic calculator installed will help you identify the best shot every time. The advanced technology can calculate range and wind that will affect the next shot placement.


In addition, the temperatures, humidity, and target angles are also calculated by this scope. 


The scope contains an SD card for recording, and at the same time, the records are streamed on a mobile device. The video is of high quality with 4k resolution. There is no need to turn on the video camera physically as it is activated with a recoil detect system.

The device has ultra-low power mode to help keep the battery a little longer when it is about to go off.


 The battery can last 18 hours when fully charged. It is hard to bruise your eye when using this night vision scope as it has a lot of eye relief.

Features:

  • Smart Range Finder – Take two easy readings of your target and the scope will not only range in on your prey but adjust your reticle’s Point of Impact instantaneously
  • Ballistic Calculator – Range, Wind, Multiple-Weapon Profiles, Angle to target, Temperature, Humidity, more.. 
  • Smart Mil Dot Reticle -This reticle is Dynamic and adjusts with magnification throughout the entire zoom range  
  • Dual Stream Video – Stream and record at the same time
  • Battery Life - 18+ hrs
  • Eye Relief - 3.5in

PROS

  • ​Camera and resolution are fantastic
  • Recording system activated by recoil
  • Has ultra-low power mode

CONS

  • Fairly expensive

4. Firefield FF16001

Firefield NVRS 3x42 Gen 1 Night Vision Riflescope

When your hunting is always between 100-200 yards, this night vision scope is the best. It has a magnification of 3x therefore suitable for short ranges.


The lens on this scope is 42mm hence allowing plenty of light to be captured and, at the same time, provide the right field of view.


The Duplex reticle is adjustable with a control on the scope, which is beneficial since the user will not strain the eyes.

The scope has a durable titanium body, but it is still light-weight. Besides, it is waterproof and, therefore, can withstand harsh weather conditions.


The optics is also multicoated to prevent it from scratches and damages so that it can transmit light correctly during night hunts.

 

The system of this scope is made in a way you can start it very fast without waiting for a lengthy boot-up time.

Specs:

  • Range – 165yds
  • Magnification – 3X
  • Eye Relief -1.75in 
  • Battery Life – 20-50hrs
  • Battery Pack (16000 mAh) Optional – 22+ hours

PROS

  • ​Adjustment of reticles is easy
  • Weaver mount is quick to detach
  • Significantly affordable

CONS

  • Not effective for a daytime hunt

5. Night Owl Optics Night-Shot

Night Owl Optics NightShot Digital Night Vision Riflescope with IR illuminator

The scope is so powerful that it can give clear targets that range up to 200 yards away. This is possible since the device uses infrared illuminators with a magnification of 3x and a resolution of 640x480. 


Depending on the background of your choice, you can choose between the three reticle types available with each configured to either black or white.


The scope is made of durable materials. These materials are also waterproof hence allowing it to withstand harsh weather conditions for a more extended period before it starts to wear and tear.


The thermoplastic engineered feature is perfect as it does not glare under light, therefore not exposing your hideout.

Night Owl night vision scope is compatible with both Picatinny and Weaver rail types. The advantage is that you can use this device with any rifle available.


The batteries used in this scope are the typical AA and lithium batteries, which means find spares is very easy. I will recommend you buy lithium batteries since they are known to last longer, and therefore it will give you more time when you are out there hunting.

Specs:

  • Range – 100yds
  • Magnification – 3X
  • Eye Relief -2.7in 
  • Battery Life (Li-ion) – Approximately 3 hours

PROS

  • ​It is easy to switch between the reticle types
  • Made of durable material
  • Can be used by multiple rail type
  • The battery used is typical and easy to find a replacemen

CONS

  • Shorter battery life than the other scopes

Conclusion

Every hunter who wishes to spend more time in the dark needs a night vision scope. The benefits of having one are seen in the article above.


Therefore it is your choice on which one to pick. Remember, every hunter has a different taste of night vision scope, so choose according to your preference and not what other hunters are using.


My hopes are that you have found one that meets your desire and soon as possible you are going for one. If you have found none, don’t feel discouraged, there are still many other models you can browse on and find your dream scope.


I wish you all the best out there as you go hunting.