The night vision technology is present since the WWII and the Korean War, and its use was for the warfare in the beginning and was quite hard to obtain it. Today, the cheap night vision goggles can be found on the market, and you don’t have to be a soldier to acquire them.
The night vision goggles are useful because you don’t have to use your hands while navigating and observing, so if you have plans to take them in hunting and you already carry your weapon in your hands, the wearable night vision goggles are exactly what you need.
They usually don’t feature the level of magnification as powerful as binoculars, and you’re looking for that particular trait, we also reviewed some of the cheap night vision binoculars. Before we start with product reviews, you should know that affordable night vision goggles are mainly from the Generation 1 technology, so let’s see what’s on the market in 2017.
The Armasight Vega is the cheap night vision goggles for sale, and although the price is rather affordable, it offers plenty of features, and that’s why it is one of the most popular Gen 1+ night goggles at the moment. These goggles weigh only 0.54 pounds and also includes a flip-up headgear, so it’s not hard to carry on your head when maneuvering because it is a fully adjustable, allowing you to use them hands-free.
Although it has a lens cap that protects the optics, the Armasight Vega doesn’t have an automatic protection which can prevent the unexpected bright light to damage user’s eyesight, so our recommendation is not to use them in daylight. In addition to the night vision amplifier, these goggles also offer an infrared light, which appears as a red dot. This can be quite useful for everyday purposes, but does not work well if you are in stealth mode because the red dot can reveal your position.
It comes with short-range and an optional long-range illuminator that allows the Vega to perform flawlessly even in the deepest dark, but does drain the battery faster than when you use only one illuminator. These goggles are quite durable and work good in both foggy and wet conditions. The multi coated heavy glass gives a 35-degree field of view, and although delivers solid image quality, it doesn’t magnify. It is a downside; however, for the price, you can’t find a better option on the market in 2017.
Another affordable night vision goggles, the ATN ViperX is an excellent choice for the beginners and outdoor enthusiasts. They weigh 0.55 pounds and can be used both as a head-mounted monocular and a handheld night vision device. The rubber mount makes these goggles weatherproof and quite durable while using it is very simple as it has only two buttons on it. The experts will find it difficult to adjust, but the first-time users will be delighted with the simplicity of this product.
It comes with a flip-up headgear kit that can be both good and bad as some users complained that the monocular on the head is difficult to use and uncomfortable to wear, while on the other hand, it’s quite handy because it will free your hands. The Viper has a maximum range of 150 yards, but the objects are not easy to recognize on 100+ yards. Thanks to the optional accessories, the included magnification of 1x can be successfully upgraded to 4x or 8x, depending on your needs.
The intensifier tube of these goggles is not bulky, and it is improved comparing in with other intensifiers of its generation, and that’s why it belongs to the Gen 1+. Also, it minimizes the geometric distortion that is usual with Gen 1 intensifiers, while the built-in infrared emitter expands the quality of view thanks to the great illumination.
The EyeClops is a product of a toy company Jakks Pacific and these goggles are excellent for children and are also one of the most affordable night vision sets you can find on the market. Although being considered as a toy, these goggles have some hi-tech features and are designed as a similar model that the U.S. Military special forces use. Still, the EyeClops is much easier to operate with, and they are made of plastic, but doesn’t mean only the kids should use them. They are also a great fit for adults, so if your budget is not quite big, you can opt for them for in the beginning.
These goggles have three eyepieces, but only one actually provides night vision – the Cyclops eye that is located on the forehead. The right eye has a digital camera like LCD, while the left eye is covered with a plastic cover and it is quite useless, to be honest. Only one eye receives night vision, and that makes it hard to judge distances accurately.
This gadget works on a five AA batteries, and they add to the overall weight, so it can be uncomfortable to use the goggles for prolonged periods. Note that the EyeClops don’t have an automatic shutdown option, so it will keep running in case you forget to push the OFF button. It comes with two sensitivity and two viewing modes. The Stealth and Surveillance sensitivity modes allow you to focus on nearby objects thanks to the infrared illuminator and also provide a vision up to 50 feet, which is its maximum range.
The EyeClops is a rather inexpensive night vision option, but it’s not recommended for professionals; however, this gadget will be an excellent choice for your children or you as a beginner.
Going through the night vision goggles amazon reviews, we found the Night Owl Pro, the product that is quite affordable and has basic, straightforward features, making it easy to use. These cheap night vision binoculars have 50mm lenses and 5x magnification, while the infrared illuminators will help you to gain vision even in total darkness.
It works on a single 3-volt 123-type lithium battery that can last from 40 to 80 hours depends on the usage, of course. The difficulty to focus may occur, and the tripod mount is not included, but in general, the Night Owl Pro is a perfect match for first-time users and is ideal for monitoring animals or landscape, but is not suitable for something more serious than that.
The Yukon is a Gen 1 head-mounted night vision device that comes with headgear, works on a single 3-volt lithium battery, and weighs 13.4 ounces. This compact monocular is made of durable rubber armor, which is weatherproof but not waterproof. Still, the lens cap provides optics protection from the dust, dirt, and moisture. The hands-free use is allowed thanks to the head strap and mounting gear, but the headgear is not very easy to adjust so that potential problems may occur.
In addition to the ambient light amplification, which is common for the Gen 1 night vision goggles, the Yukon also has a separate infrared light, while the integrated 25-milliwatt allow you to see up to 100 yards. Although the infrared itself works fine, it can be tricky when it comes to stealth mode because of a discernible glow that it produces. However, the users who struggle with that can opt for the Sea Wolf infrared flashlight, and that should solve their problems.
The lens provides a 30-degree field of view but doesn’t offer magnification. While it is not good if you want to magnify the object or a potential game, these inexpensive night vision optics produce a clear image without distortion. One useful feature is surely the protector of the intensifier tube that keeps your vision safe from the sudden rays of bright light.
Whether you are hunting in the dark or camping in the outdoors at night, the night vision will come handy to observe the environment. The night vision optics operates in two ways: heat vision and light amplification. Heat vision or thermal imaging provides an infrared light and locates the objects, people, and animals thanks to their heat, something similar to snakes uses when hunting. Light amplification, on the other hand, enhances starlight, moonlight, and infrared light.
With four generations of the night goggles equipment and price that can go from a couple of hundreds to a few thousands of dollars, you must know the following things before choosing the best night vision for the money that will provide enough quality for your overall satisfaction.
• Image quality and gain
As it gets darker, you’d expect to have enhanced images and solid vision quality, but while the distances increase, the clarity will be lower. Although some night goggles use infrared light and strong lenses to compensate with that, the fact is that if you increase the gain, the clarity is going to be reduced. So, when you look at the affordable night vision set, make sure you select the one which can improve the gain, while the focus remains of a higher quality.
Normally, when observing a certain object, animal, or landscape, you would like to get a closer image as you can and the magnification greater than 1x. In order to achieve that, you will have to look for powerful and longer lenses, but the problem is, the long lenses don’t perform very well in low light. The best way to pick an adequate night vision goggles is to take the combination of the moderate magnification and a high-speed lens.
• Image quality
Human eyes are able to perceive the contrast in green color better than in any other, and that’s why the night goggles produce monochromatic green images, but the best night vision image is when it is sharp on the edges and at the center. When picking the best goggles for the price, keep in mind to choose high-definition ones with high-resolution images.
• Mounting gear
The night vision goggles are generally designed to go over the head and free your hands for maneuvering, so they must be comfortable and lightweight, so you don’t have problems with your head and eyes after prolonged use. You must remember to keep your eye sockets undamaged, while the straps should not scratch your skin.
So, that’s why you need to be well-informed about the night vision optics, and you must read every night vision goggles review thoroughly before making a decision. Don’t worry about how much are night vision goggles and don’t try to save money if you intend to use them in serious purpose like hunting because, at the time of complete darkness, the quality night goggles set can be your best friend.
However, if you don’t have a big budget and still you would like to purchase the set of night gear, a good research will help you to find the ones best suitable to your lifestyle, while your budget will not suffer. In case you are a hobbyist or only the night goggles enthusiast, you don’t have to spend a fortune, and you can satisfy with the affordable night vision set that offers a good quality for the price.
No matter if you plan to use the night vision goggles for hunting or observing, it is crucial to find the proper combination of comfort, quality, and price, so don’t make a mistake and buying the ones only because of their cool looks. The performance is what counts, and in the case, your life is hanging by a thread, the quality can turn out to be a lifesaver instead of attractive appearance that will be insignificant if you end up injured or even dead during big game hunting.
We hope that our guidelines and product reviews helped in your decision making as we are glad to assist you in every step of the purchase.