Best Night Vision Devices in the UK

Review & Comparison, Last Update November 1, 2017
Are you a fan of outdoor activities but have trouble maintaining your hobby during the night? If that's the case, you might want to look at this set of 5night vision devices that we have compiled for you. Just choose the one you like and have some fun conquering the night. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2017
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Design and Construction
Detection
Protection
Battery Life
Portability
 
PROS

The device is capable of 5x magnification with 50mm objective lens diameter providing you with a field of view of 26.5 meters at a distance of 100 meters making sure you won't miss a thing regardless of the range between you and the objects.

CONS

With a price tag of over £700, this device is certainly not the cheapest option on the market.

OUR VERDICT

The Night Owl NOB5X employs a high-quality intensifier tube technology thus making it a great choice for anyone looking to create a good image where the ambient light is insufficient.

detailed parameters
Design and Construction

Night Vision Binoculars

Detection

up to 100 meters

Protection

Resistant against water, fog, knocks, drops

Battery Life

up to 72 hours

Portability

1.1 kilograms, compact design, tripod mount

PROS

The Yukon's Super Gen 1+ tube is capable of increasing the image quality through the entire field of view and is responsible for providing an exceptional quality to the night vision unit. The model boasts an IPX4 resistance against water and fog.

CONS

The IR torch is located in such a place that if you hold the scope in the right hand and use the left one for focusing the main lens, the left hand gets in the way of the torch.

OUR VERDICT

The device is capable of detecting objects at a distance of up to 500 meters and recognizing them within a 230-270 meter range. That, along with the wide field of view, perfectly describes the EXELON 3x50 as a monocular ideally suited for observing moving objects during the night.

detailed parameters
Design and Construction

Night Vision Monocular

Detection

up to 250 meters

Protection

IPX4 grade of water and fog resistance

Battery Life

up to 50 hours

Portability

500 grams, compact design, head mount

PROS

The screen is capable of displaying colour images during the day and black and white ones when the night vision is activated. The built-in infrared illuminator comes with three adjustable intensity levels providing an effective night vision range of up to 300 meters.

CONS

The distance between the buttons on top is a bit short. The battery life is rather low as well.

OUR VERDICT

A multifunctional night vision monocular that combines an excellent visibility with the ability to save videos as well as images on a memory card. Great choice for anyone that's looking for a device that could be used during both day and nighttime.

detailed parameters
Design and Construction

Night Vision Monocular

Detection

up to 300 meters

Protection

Water resistance

Battery Life
up to 10 hours
Portability

750 grams, tripod mount, USB

PROS

The compact size of the product makes it a great choice for kids and teenagers. The device comes with a choice of colours including green, red or black and white. The quality of what you're able to see with any of the colours is exceptional given the price.

CONS

The plastic casing of this model could use some improvements in terms of quality.

OUR VERDICT

This model is a great choice for kids looking to engage in some nighttime shenanigans as well as adults interested in playing some recreational airsoft or a similar game.

detailed parameters
Design and Construction

Night Vision Goggles

Detection

up to 15 meters

Protection

Water resistance

Battery Life

up to 8 hours

Portability

800 grams, lightweight, head strap

PROS

The device allows you to vary the amount of infrared illumination by 7 levels and obtain a proper brightness of the image in the process. Even without its IR illuminator on, this night vision monocular can deliver a usable image in very dim conditions.

CONS

Works off 4 AA batteries that aren't included in the package.

OUR VERDICT

If you're looking for a perfect combination of quality, functionality, and price, the Solomark NV100 is easily one of the best options on the market.

detailed parameters
Design and Construction

Night Vision Monocular

Detection

up to 100 meters

Protection

Resistant against knocks and drops

Battery Life

up to 5 hours

Portability

320 grams, compact, tripod mount

What Is a Night Vision Device?

People are the kind of creatures that are heavily dependant and reliant on the sun. Looking at what the eyes of cats and owls are capable of during the nighttime, our sight's effectiveness during that particular part of the day pales in comparison, to say the least. Which is certainly one of the major reasons that human society has always recognised the kind of darkness that every night brings alongside it as a source of chaos and calamity. But with the advancements in the world of technology, people have managed to gradually overcome this particular fear and conquer the night, metaphorically speaking. A great example of that kind of advancement would be a night vision device.

A night vision device (NVD), also known as night optical/observation device (NOD), is an optoelectronic night observation device that allows you to obtain a much clear vision in near or absolute darkness. The image produced is generally monochrome and more often than not has the shades of green and gray. The device is best suited for wildlife observation, hunting, law enforcement or military applications.


What Features to Compare

Application Type

The first thing you're going to have to figure out is what kind of application you are looking for and what kind of location is going to be your literal or figurative hunting grounds. Your potential item's design should be one of the first things you ought to think about. Would you rather get a headgear or a wrist strap? Do you prefer a bigger or a smaller lens? These are the kind of things you should consider before getting one.

Lens Protection

Speaking of lenses, what kind of protection said part of the device features is a really significant factor in choosing a proper night vision gear. The things you really have to focus on is whether the manufacturer installed sufficient protection against kicks, drops, and frost.

Detection Capabilities

Of course, one of the most important characteristics of a night vision device is its detection capabilities. A decent NVD intended for hunting and hiking use should provide a focus range of at least 45 meters and offer a decent visual field.

Battery Life

Given that a night vision device is, obviously, a wireless type of gear, what kind of battery life it is equipped with plays an important part in it. You don't want to have to deal with the inconvenience of calling it an early night just because you have to recharge your batteries.

Portability

The last but not least is the portability of your device. What you should take into consideration is not just the weight of your gear but also the kind of design that could allow you to carry it comfortably in your pocket or a small bag.

...Read more ...Read less

Night Owl NOB5X

A Night Owl Indeed

Have you ever gone to an overnight camp where once again your handy binocular failed when you needed it the most? Don't you think it's time to stop the bad habit of taking a daytime binocular to those night trips? Well, we may have a perfect solution to this problem. Night Owl Optics presents the industry's best Night Owl NOB5X that offers high magnification, the best ergonomic design and precision engineering made specifically for you to see clearly after the evening is long gone. Its attractive ergonomic design allows the adjustments to your viewing comfort and your personal fit. The device offers an extraordinary night vision technology that relies on the powerful built-in infrared illuminator and is capable of providing a clear and bright image even in complete darkness. The model additionally boasts two electronic intensifier tubes that are incorporated in the unique Steel Stringer system and are responsible for giving the night vision device precision and control of the viewing experience. Not unlike the majority of night vision devices, the image will appear in a monochrome green colour.

Review of Night Owl NOB5X

Magnify Your Experience

Just as you would expect from a Night Owl, this model is also no slouch when it comes to enlarging the appearance of every object in its line of sight. What you get when you purchase the Night Owl NOB5X is a device capable of 5x magnification with 50mm objective lens diameter providing you with a field of view of 26.5 meters at a distance of 100 meters. The high quality of both objective and ocular lenses guarantee the hassle-free night viewing experience. The device also offers a low battery indicator and an extended infrared operation at low battery voltage. Last but not least, the Night Owl's NOB5X weight of no more than 2 kilograms (4 pounds) makes it a perfect device for nighttime hiking. The binoculars are powered by a single lithium battery. In case you ever face any issues with it, the manufacturer provides you with a 2-year warranty. If you're the kind that always puts comfort ahead of the looks, this model with its rubber coating will not disappoint you in that regard. The Night Owl NOB5X is a bit pricey, but if you're looking for a quality pair of binoculars, this item is more than worth its price.

Night Owl NOB5X in the use

Night Owl NOB5X
Night Owl NOB5X
 

Yukon NV Exelon

The Company You Ought to Trust

Whenever you're looking for a new item or a piece of equipment that you never really used before, one of the first questions that always arises is what company do you put your trust in? Sometimes, you can find that item under the kind of brand that has always inspired confidence in you whether its thanks to your experience with it or to their reputation. Of course, generally speaking, these kinds of brands guarantee a certain level of quality, but you can't really be a master of all trades, can you? This is exactly why a lot of people prefer to put their trust into smaller companies that may not have accrued that level of overall reputation yet, but whose expertise in that particular field is too considerable to be ignored. if you aren't particularly invested in the world of outdoor optics, you probably haven't heard of Yukon Advanced Optics. But despite the fact that their company is relatively new, they have already managed to make quite a name for themselves in the aforementioned industry. If you're looking to engage in some nighttime hunting activities or wish to partake in a few late night hikes, the Yukon NV Exelon 3x50 Night Vision is the kind of device you wouldn't want to miss.

Review of Yukon NV Exelon

Better Way to Spend Your Night

People in charge of manufacturing at Yukon Advanced Optics have produced quite an array of impressive night vision devices, so you would think that coming up with another impressive piece of technology could prove to be quite an obstacle. Well, after taking a look at their new product, it would seem like this company isn't the one to run from a challenge. The Yukon Exelon 3x50 Night Vision Monocular is one of the most remarkable night vision devices in Yukon's arsenal of products. Their Super Gen 1+ tube is capable of increasing the image quality through the entire field of view thus providing an exceptional quality to the night vision unit. The unique optical arrangement of the aforementioned super tube, along with the objective, multicoated internal lenses, is responsible for the device's high resolution and lack of distortion in the viewing area. The device comes with 2 J inch sockets that are there to help you attach the model to a head mount. In case the weather couldn't be described as your most reliable ally, the device offers an IPX4 grade of water and fog resistance and the built-in infrared illuminator will augment your viewing ability even in what could only be described as total darkness. So instead of spending every night in your bed like a boring person, grab the Yukon Exelon 3x50 Night Vision Monocular and start enjoying your nights to the fullest.

Yukon NV Exelon in the use

Yukon NV Exelon
Yukon NV Exelon
 

Bushnell Equinox Z

Darkness Is Your Ally

Although the night and the darkness that comes with it may seem frightening enough to avoid it by sleeping it off at home, one cannot deny the certain kind of mystery that it entails. Like many things and ideas that are forbidden from doing or dissuaded from following, the idea of conquering the night has been on the minds of many brilliant people throughout history. From the invention of fire to various breakthroughs on the subject of electricity, people have been able to inhabit the kingdom of darkness inch by inch and make it their own. Of course, due to an immense multitude of lamps, lanterns and similar sources of light placed throughout your average city, the night can often be almost as bright as your average foggy day. But once you step out of the comforts of a modern city and go back into the wilderness, all of these sources of light generally aren't present there. Which is why if you wish to engage in some kind of a night activity outside, more often than not you're going to need a night vision device to help you out. Now, whether this is your first rodeo or you've had your share of experience with these kinds of devices, the Bushnell 6x50 Equinox Z is going to prove a great choice regardless of your experience and particular preferences.

Review of Bushnell Equinox Z

A Different Kind of Approach

The Bushnell 6x50 Equinox Z Night Vision Monocular is equipped with a different kind of technology than your average night vision device. Instead of a regular intensifier tube, this model employs an infrared-sensitive CMOS sensor with a tiny LCD screen for its night vision capabilities. Thanks to the built-in infrared illuminator with three adjustable intensity levels, the device is capable of providing an effective night vision range of up to 300 meters. The screen displays colour images during the day, and black and white when the night vision is activated. The device provides a 6x optical magnification through a 50mm objective lens with a digital zoom that is capable of tripling that number offering a magnification of up 18x.

Thanks to this type of technology, the device allows you to capture video and still images in 640x480 resolution, and save them to a micro-SD card in the built-in card slot. If you're worried about it being too fragile, the device offers an IPX4 rated protection with water resistance. If you're looking for something that will provide a little extra on top of your regular night vision device's features, the Bushnell 6x50 Equinox Z is exactly the kind of model you ought to invest into.

Bushnell Equinox Z in the use

VIDEO
Bushnell Equinox Z Digital Night Vision Monocular - OpticsPlanet.com Product in Focus
Bushnell Equinox Z
Bushnell Equinox Z
 

Smart Bargains Spy Net

Great Pick for Airsoft

When you think about night vision devices, some sort of a military-oriented application would probably be the first thing to come to your mind. Of course, that's not particularly surprising given that these pieces of equipment were created and designed solely with that idea in mind. But not unlike some others items that were devised for the military purposes, people have managed to turn them into handy tools helpful in your everyday life and slightly more peaceful hobbies and activities. One of the more popular ways to utilize these kinds of devices would certainly be nighttime hiking. People have always loved to enjoy the beauty of nature in person and thanks to these useful devices they are able to do so even after the dusk is long upon us and our own vision is sorely lacking. Competitive team sports like airsoft, where the players have to eliminate each other by shooting spherical plastic pellets, would probably be one of the last things to come to mind to the majority of the uninitiated. And that's a shame since these games are a lot of fun and can engage any kind of audience regardless of their age and hobbies. If you're looking to participate in one of them yourself, you're going to need to grab a night vision device for airsoft is often played at night. The Spy Net Night Vision Goggles from Smart Bargains should serve as a great starting point in your journey.

Review of Smart Bargains Spy Net

Kids and Adults Alike

Although airsoft is a popular hobby of many adults and this particular device could serve them quite well too, manufacturer's target audience is more towards the people below the legal age. Thanks to the overall dimensions of 29.2 x 10.2 x 30.5 cm and the weight of less than three-quarters of a kilogram, the device is a perfect choice for children ranging from the age of 8 up to around 15. The model operates via two infrared lights being shone out of the front and a lens with a removable protective cap. It works through a screen that is capable of providing you with at least 15 meters of solid range. On top of the goggles, you will find a few buttons, one that allows you to change the intensity of the beam, another one gives you a couple of different colours that you can flick through and an On and Off button with a fairly obvious application. The device requires four AA batteries in order to function. Although the model could satisfy both adults and kids, some of them come with a strap that isn't adjustable so you may face some issues with it if your head is of an above average size. Other than that, the Smart Bargains Spy Net Night Vision Goggles is a great choice for anyone looking to take up a new nighttime hobby.

Smart Bargains Spy Net in the use

Smart Bargains Spy Net
Smart Bargains Spy Net
 

Solomark NV100

It's Time to Get Into It

There's this idea that night vision devices are a kind of product that only interests people who have a need for it in their professional life or hardcore enthusiasts that are willing to pay any kind of money in order to indulge in their favourite hobby. And, of course, these devices aren't necessarily in the same space that some of the more commonly used pieces of technology like mobile phones or television sets occupy, but their popularity is on the rise and nowadays it is easier than ever to find a decent night vision device for a modest price that will provide a sufficient level of quality. If you felt like getting into some nighttime activities, be it fishing, boating, hiking or hunting, but always seemed to find some kind of excuse to postpone that idea, this is as good a time as any to put your money where your mouth is and invest in a night vision device. Obviously, as it is usually the case, finding the right one can seem tricky, which is why we did that job for you and wholeheartedly recommend the Solomark NV100, one of the best bangs for your buck on the night vision market.

Review of Solomark NV100

Your New Domain

The Solomark NV100 is generation 1 night vision monocular whose compact and lightweight design, along with a plethora of cool features, allows for an array of different applications. The device boasts a low light sensitivity so you get a perfectly adequate image in very dim conditions even with your infrared illuminator being turned off. It works using an integrated colour LCD screen, through which you're capable of seeing images and videos clearly inside the monocular. Speaking of the infrared illuminator, that particular feature comes with the option of adjusting the illumination up to 7 different levels so you will always be able to achieve an appropriate brightness of the image. The device can be mounted on a tripod, put into a cloth bag, or attached to a binocular harness. The model is also capable of decent zoom control and allows you to amplify the image up to 2 times. Despite this seemingly modest number, it offers you a detection distance of up to 100 meters. If you're looking for a perfect combination of quality, functionality, and price, the Solomark NV100 is easily one of the best options on the market.

Solomark NV100 in the use

Solomark NV100
Solomark NV100
 

Infographics

Comparison of Night Vision Devices

Did you know?

  • The term Night Vision Device usually refers to a complete unit, which includes an image intensifier tube, a protective housing, and some type of mounting system.
  • Although people have been looking for ways to improve their ability to see during the night in complete darkness since the dawn of human civilization, a night vision device is a relatively new invention. Not unlike a large variety of inventions in the history of our civilization, we owe the creation of this one due to necessary advancements in the world of warfare. In 1929, a Hungarian physicist Kalman Tihanyi invented the infrared-sensitive (night vision) electronic television camera for anti-aircraft defence in the United Kingdom. The first version of a proper military night vision device was introduced by the German Army in the late 1930s and was put into use during the Second World War. Somewhere around 1943, the German Army began their first tests with infrared night-vision devices and telescopic rangefinders mounted on Panther tanks.
  • After World War II, it became evident that this kind of device shouldn't be strictly limited to military use and could have a variety of civilian applications providing it was devised in the correct manner. The very first practical commercial night vision device intended for civilian use was developed by Vladimir K. Zworykin at Radio Corporation of America. Zworykin's drew his inspiration from a radio guided-missile. At that time the infrared technology was generally referred to as black light, a term later assigned strictly to ultraviolet. Although in hindsight it was a great idea, the device didn't achieve commercial success due to the size and the cost.
  • Nowadays, even though the device is still heavily employed by the law enforcement agencies and military institutions, different areas of civilian applications are seemingly just as prevalent. The device generally proves an invaluable addition to the hunter's collection thanks to the ability of multiple magnifications during the day and that same feature on top of a proper night vision long after the sunset. Of course, if killing often innocent animals isn't the kind of activity you generally tend to participate in and you would rather spend your time in nature by simply hiking or observing the beauty of it from a safe distance, this piece of equipment is something that would rather have in your arsenal. Last but not least, there's a variety of competitive team sports like airsoft or paintball that are played in the night and thus require a proper night vision device in order to be fully enjoyed.


FAQ:

Q: Why should I purchase a night vision device?
A: A night vision device has a variety of applications and you're likely to find some kind of use for it regardless of your hobbies and pastime activities. That kind of device is a great choice for hunters not only because it allows them to extend their hunting hours well into the middle of the night and beyond, but it can also provide a magnification of the image that is going to prove helpful in stalking your prey. If you're a fan of hiking and observing the wildlife but your own ability to see during the night limits the amount of time you can spend on said hobby, a night vision device is capable of providing you with enough light to see during those hours.

Q: What kind of a night vision device should I get?
A: It all depends on what you're looking to do with it. If you purchase it with a purpose of hiking and observing the wildlife, a pair of binoculars with a tripod mount should do the trick. If you're looking into engaging in some nighttime hunting or finishing, a monocular could prove more useful, depending on the size and the design of it. If you would like to participate in a competitive team shooting game, you might want to look into buying a pair of night vision goggles with a reliable head strap.

Q: How does Night Vision work?
A: Night vision devices harvest the already existing ambient light (be it starlight, moonlight or infrared light) through their front lens. After that, the light that consists of entirely of photons, goes into a photocathode tube that turns those photons into electrons. The electrons are then amplified to a much greater number through an electrical and chemical process. Following that, the aforementioned electrons are then thrown towards a phosphorus screen that changes the amplified electrons back into visible light that you see through the eyepiece. The image will now be a clear green-hued amplified re-creation of the scene you were observing.

Q: What are some of the precautions to using a night vision device?
A: The NVD should not be turned on in daylight if the said device operates via an infrared illuminator. The manufacturers do not recommend disassembling a night vision device without sufficient expertise on the subject or professional assistance. The NVD should not be aimed at the bright light even if the said light is shining in the dark. Unless the said device has a specified resistance against these kinds of things, you should refrain from shaking or dropping it. Whenever you are done using the device, it is recommended to put it in a case in order to avoid damaging the model.


Sources:

1. Best Binoculars Under 100 ($/£/€) 2017, BestBinocularsReviews.

2. High Powered, Long Distance Viewing Binoculars, BestBinocularsReviews.

3. HOW DOES NIGHT VISION WORK, ATNCorp.

4. HOW THERMAL IMAGING WORKS, ATNCorp.

5. WAYS TO CHOOSE NIGHT VISION BINOCULARS OR MONOCULARS, BestNightVisionBinocular. July 2017.

6. EXACTLY WHAT'S SO GREAT ABOUT NIGHT VISION BINOCULARS? BestNightVisionBinocular. January 2015.

7. Before You Buy Night Vision Goggles, Night Vision Report.

8. How To Buy A Night Vision Device, OpticsPlanet. July 13, 2016.

9. Night Vision buyer’s guide, Night Gadget. May 27, 2016.

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Publish Date: 2017-11-01 13:02:17