Best Night Vision Scopes in 2022: Top Picks for Everyone

It wasn’t long ago that people considered night vision a fragile, costly, difficult to use, and cutting-edge technology. The night vision technology was mostly used for military purposes. Civilians didn’t even have access to the best night vision scopes.

Nowadays, night vision scopes are available in a wide range of sizes and different features. They are easier to use, better in quality, cheaper, and widely available compared to the scopes available a few years ago. We can find many different kinds of night vision scopes nowadays in the market due to advancements in night vision technology.

The use of night vision scopes isn’t limited to the battlefields now. People are now using the night vision technology for sportsmen, hunters, and other nighttime activities. Moreover, tactical and recreational shooters also use night vision scopes.

If you are not familiar with night vision technology, choosing the best night vision scope can be confusing. But this isn’t something to worry about! We are here to guide you through the complete process of choosing the right night vision scope. We have also reviewed some of the best-rated night vision scopes that you can buy.

Basics Of The Best Night Vision Scope

Before we move on to choosing the best night vision scope, let’s discuss some basics:

Reticle

Mostly they come with a red dot sight or some other targeting reticles. A reticle makes it easier for you to aim onto your target.

Magnification

This is one of the most common terms that you’ll come across. Scopes can have different ranges of magnification, like 4x or 15x. It means that the image you see through a 4x scope appears four times larger than it would appear to a naked human eye. This feature is for scopes with variable ranges as fixed scopes do not have magnification settings.

Objective lens

A larger objective lens is needed for a high magnification range because a larger lens can transmit more light. 40mm to 42mm lenses are enough for most shooters.

There can be other features depending upon the brand you are choosing.

Best Night Vision Scope to Buy

EDITOR’S CHOICE

ATN X-Sight-4k Pro Edition

ATN X-Sight-4k Pro Edition

9.7

  • Ballistic Calculator
  • Long Battery Life
  • Video Recording Available
  • Ultra HD Sensor
PREMIUM PICK

ATN Thor 4

ATN Thor 4

9.3

  • Long Battery Life
  • Recoil Activation Recorder
  • Rangefinder And Ballistic Calculator
  • Gen 4 Super Sensitive Sensor
BUDGET PICK

Night Owl Optics NightShot

Night Owl Optics NightShot

8.5

  • Lightweight Body
  • In-built Illuminator
  • Adjustable Brightness
  • Good Price

1. ATN X-Sight-4k Pro Edition Smart Hunting Rifle Scope: Best For Battery

ATN X-Sight is a high-quality optic that comes with a dual-core processor. We were really happy to see that the image quality is very clear, even in complete darkness. Moreover, it has an ultra HD sensor that is helpful to make images clear. Best Night Vision Scope - ATN X-Sight-4k Pro Edition Smart Hunting Rifle Scope

If you love nighttime hunting, then this scope is a great choice. During our testing, we noticed that it is very happy to see the targets because of the night vision mode. Also, the ballistic calculator is very accurate if you want to detect the exact range of the target.

It took a short time to assemble and disassemble the scope. The best thing about this scope is its long battery life that lasts more than 18 hours.

Pros
  • Ballistic Calculator
  • Enhanced brightness with Dual-Core Processor
  • Video recording available
  • Ultra HD Sensor
  • Long Battery Life
Cons
  • Blurred Videos

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2. Sightmark Wraith HD 4-32×50 Digital Riflescope: Best Lightweight Scope

If you want a night vision scope that is good in quality and can be used during the daytime, and you are also on a budget, then SightMark Wraith is the best choice. This scope comes with all of the newest technologies, and you can get everything you need in SightMark Wraith. Sightmark Wraith HD 4-32x50 Digital Riflescope

We were impressed to see its amazing feature, an invisible infrared illuminator; this surely is a blessing for every hunter and me as the target cannot see you in dark conditions.

Moreover, we were very happy to see the liberty of choice as this scope comes with six different reticles and four different colors. You can change the settings digitally too. As we mentioned in the beginning, this scope can also be used during the daytime because of the CMOS array.

But one thing that we didn’t like is its short battery life that only lasts 4.5 hours. Moreover, the image quality isn’t good for objects that are 200 yards or more away.

Pros
  • Easy to Carry
  • Compact
  • Invisible Infrared Illuminator for Camouflage
  • Numerous Reticle Choice
Cons
  • Low-Resolution Display

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3. Night Owl Optics NightShot Digital Night Vision Scope: Best Scope For Money

NVRS is an excellent addition to the range of affordable and Gen 1 series of night vision scopes. The scope works well during nighttime, but it doesn’t work efficiently during the daytime in bright sun. We managed to detect the target during the daytime, too, although it wasn’t totally visible. Night Owl Optics NightShot Digital Night Vision Riflescope with IR illuminator

The best things that we noticed while using this scope are that it has a lightweight titanium body, a design that helps in a quick power-up, and weaver-style mounts. You will find the illuminator as a built-in unit, and it is also possible to adjust the brightness.

This scope is really good in this price budget. You will surely find other products too, but they are not as good as this scope.

Pros
  • Lightweight Body
  • In-built Illuminator
  • Adjustable Brightness
  • Good Price
Cons
  • Not Good For Daytime Hunting

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4. ATN X-Sight-4k Pro Smart Day/Night Scope: Best For Recording 

The majority of the night vision scopes offer accuracy only during nighttime. But we have found that ATN X-Sight optic is best for both daytime and nighttime hunting. theOpticGuru ATN X-Sight-4k Pro

This scope is good to fulfill all of your hunting needs, and it also has some extra features that will surely appeal to every hunter. You can adjust the magnification zoom between 5x to 20x, a built-in HD screen for 4K recording, and you will not miss any of your hunt moments because of recoil activated recording system.

Moreover, we were very happy to see that this scope also comes with a barometer, Wi-Fi streaming, ballistic calculator, and range finder. So, if you want a high technology scope for all your hunting needs, then this scope is the best choice. All you need to do is to mount this onto your rifle.

Pros
  • 5x-20x Zoom
  • 4K Recording
  • Recoil Activated Recording
  • Smart Rangefinder and Ballistic Calculator
Cons
  • Locks Up
  • Poor Image Quality

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5. Sightmark Photon Digital Night Vision Riflescope: Easy To Mount

Are you looking for the best night vision scope under $1000 and also offers good quality? Well, this Sightmark Digital Night Vision Scope is the best choice available on the market. Photon RT has a built-in IR illuminator, is lightweight, easy to mount, and compact. We were amazed to see that this scope has an option to choose from 6 different reticles and also features a one-shot zero function. Sightmark Photon Digital Night Vision Riflescope

One more thing that we liked about this scope is its image quality. This night vision scope is a great choice because of its amazing cool features. It has a sound recording and video system. So, you can share or live-stream your videos using Stream Vision App to any smartphone or YouTube.

Pros
  • Built-in IR Illuminator
  • Easy To Mount
  • Lightweight
  • Good Image Quality
Cons
  • No Scope Rings

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6. ATN ThOR-HD 384 2-8x Thermal Rifle Scope: Best Thermal Scope

This scope is a great choice if you want a thermal rifle scope. This is a high-tech scope that you can use for hunting in all kinds of conditions. We mounted this scope on an AR-15, and it was very easy to mount it. Moreover, it has so many options that you can use to improve your hunting experience. Best Night Vision Scope - ATN ThOR-HD 384 2-8x

The ATN ThOR-HD works very well on long ranges too. It comes with a range finder, Wi-Fi, and a ballistic calculator that makes it a good choice. Moreover, you can also use its high-resolution video recorder.

Pros
  • Easy To Mount
  • Ballistic Calculator And Rangefinder
  • High-Resolution Recorder
  • Good For Long Ranges
Cons
  • Loses Focus

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7. Pulsar Digex N455 Digital Night Vision Riflescope: Best Digital Scope

We liked the design and maneuverability of Pulsar Digex. This makes this scope good for a wide range of guns. Moreover, it is also to position this scope due to its flexibility. Pulsar Digex N455 Digital Night Vision Riflescope

We were very happy with the rangefinder technology used in this scope as it is good for detecting targets even at 2000 yards. We used this scope during daytime and nighttime, the performance of the scope was great. You will get a 546 yards sight even if you are hunting on the darkest night.

This scope also records HD videos that you can watch to improve your hunting. After testing this scope, we can say that this scope is highly durable. Moreover, it is waterproof and resilient at extreme temperatures because of its IP67 ratings.

Pros
  • Durable and Waterproof
  • Rangefinder
  • Excellent Quality
Cons
  • Highly Priced

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8. ATN Thor 4, Thermal Rifle Scope: Best For Professionals

This ATN model is a thermal night vision scope, and it detects all heat signals from living things. This scope processes the information quickly with its Obsidian IV Dual Core processor. ATN Thor 4, Thermal Rifle Scope

We found this night vision scope very easy to aim and maneuver. Moreover, the range finder and ballistic calculator helps to hit targets every time.

The scopes offer a 1.5x to 15x magnification and have a 30mm diameter. We were happy to see that the targets are visible even in completely dark conditions. If you love recording your hunts, you will love this scope. Because it has a recoil-activated recorder that will record every hunt, and you don’t even start the recording.

Pros
  • Long Battery Life
  • Gen 4 Super Sensitive Sensor
  • Rangefinder and Ballistic Calculator
  • Recoil Activation Recorder
Cons
  • High Price

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9. ATN ThOR-HD 384 4.5-18x: Best For Streaming

A thermal night vision scope can be really helpful in certain conditions. This thermal scope detects heat from the living objects around you and helps you hunt perfectly. We liked that this scope comes with features like a laser rangefinder, high-resolution recording, and a ballistic calculator. ATN ThOR-HD 384 4.5-18x

Moreover, we tested its recording system, and it is great. The scope will start recording on its own because of the recoil-activated video system. You can share the recording or stream it online with the Wi-Fi feature.

Pros
  • Laser Rangefinder
  • High-Resolution Recorder
  • Wi-Fi Streaming
Cons
  • Sometimes Issues When Starting Up

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10. Vortex Optics Crossfire II 3-12×56: Best Night Vision Scope for Hunting

This best hog hunting night vision scope by vortex has been tested using modified AR-15, and we can assure you that it works conspicuously well.

This scope uses modern technology in its low-light setting, which allows you to target a hog up to 50 yards away from you! Using this feature of this hunting scope, we were also able to shoot a deer at 200 yards. It is also easy to discover the target due to its reticle. This wide-ranging lens power offers a huge shooting range. Vortex Crossfire

Even though this night vision scope shows outstanding qualities, we didn’t quite like some things. This scope does have an average performance during snow or rainfall. Even though this scope is known to be water-resistant, its quality still distorts under certain weather conditions.

Although the Vortex Optics Crossfire II’s picture quality distorts and drops, we still recommend this scope as one of the best scopes for hunting.

This scope has a great formula for hunting hogs, beneficial to hunters, as it is packed with a bright, reliable scope for night vision.

Pros
  • Bright illuminated reticle affecting the target
  • Low light performance
  • Strong lens power
  • Light in mass & well built
  • Quick focus eyepiece
Cons
  • Performance drops during harsh weather conditions

Night Vision Scope Buying Guide

It is really important to make sure that you buy the best night vision scope as it will cost a lot of money to get another one. You will need to consider your use of the scope, hunting style, and the features that you want in your scope.

Below are some features that you may need to consider:

Construction and Durability

The reliability of a night scope depends upon both the construction and durability. It is always recommended to get a scope that’s at least IPX4 Weatherproof.

Moreover, it is better to buy a scope that is fog-proof and nitrogen charged. If you hunt with a high-recoil or high-caliber rifle, you should look for a scope that is shockproof.

Aircraft-grade aluminum is the best choice when it comes to the durability of the scope.

If you find a scope with anodized coating, then you should get it as it is rust-resistant and best for humid conditions. These scopes can also be helpful during daylight conditions to camouflage your location by decreasing glare.

Magnification

The first and foremost thing is to decide the zoom magnification. The budget scopes usually are available with a 3x-5x magnification, while professional scopes come with a 6x to 20x magnification in rare cases.

A 50 to 200-yards range is supported by most of the night vision scopes. If you want a range wider than this, you need to consider the image quality of the scope you are buying.

Optics & Resolution

To identify your target accurately, you need to get a scope with better image resolution.

The resolution of the night vision scopes is usually described in LP/MM or lines per millimeter. The higher the value of resolution, the easier it is to identify the target.

Most of the night vision scopes mention their resolution in pixels. Usually, a night vision scope will produce a 384*200p or 640*480p resolution image. But some professional models can also create up to 4K resolution, but they cost high too.

Battery Life

A night vision scope works on the battery power. So, if you do not have a scope with good battery timing, you might fail to complete your hunt because of the battery.

It is recommended to get a night vision scope that has eight or more hours of battery life. This will help you hunt all night without worrying about the battery life.

A scope with a good battery life will certainly cost more than a normal scope, but you should never compromise on this feature.

One more thing that you can do is get extra batteries with your scope; this way, you can change the batteries for a long hunting night.

Size and Type of Reticles

When choosing a reticle, a Bullet Drop Compensation or commonly known as BDC is the best choice for most because of its unique reticle pattern, which helps in reducing the guesswork. A BDC has special aiming points underneath the central dot that help the users.

The user doesn’t need to adjust the elevation manually because of the BDC reticle, and it surely makes it a good choice for long-range scopes.

A maximum number of scopes offer a wide range of choices when it comes to the color, reticle, or type, and these options affect the accuracy of the scope. Choosing these options depends upon the users and what they like.

Conclusion

Buying a night vision scope isn’t an easy decision and you need to consider all of the above-mentioned factors before you buy a scope. Moreover, you can get help from the reviewed products to make sure that you get the best night vision scope for yourself.

Frequently Asked Questions

Thermal Vs Night Vision: Which One Is Better?

A lot of people often ask if thermal is night vision or not. This is a common discussion when we discuss day/night digital gadgets. In simple words, both technologies have their advantages and disadvantages, and it is better to judge both on the users’ needs. For example, night vision gadgets are usually very costly, but they also offer good battery life and powerful results.

But the question remains the same, which technology is better? Every user will have a different view depending upon the use. If someone is looking for great quality and clear images at night, choosing thermal gadgets is wise. However, a night vision gadget might be best if you are just looking for some extra light during the day.

One more thing that can change the user’s choice of the product is the gadget’s price. Both thermal and night vision gadgets have varied prices. Therefore, choosing a device under your budget can be the right choice.

Lastly, thermal technology also has some advantages and disadvantages. So, it is better to know everything about both types of technology. You should never hurry because both technologies are expensive and you do not want to make the wrong decision.

What Else Can I Do With Night Vision?

If you are planning to buy a night vision, you might also be thinking about what else you can do with the night vision scopes. Well, there can be more than one uses of night vision technology. Many people who participate in adventure sports prefer using night vision gadgets to ensure their safety when hiking, camping, or trying some other sports. If you get night vision goggles, you will notice that some of these goggles come with a red dot sight that comes in handy to see other things at nighttime.

Apart from this, there are numerous other uses too. Military personnel has been using night vision gadgets for many years in combat and battles. Moreover, rescue teams also use these gadgets to make it easier to see objects that other people might not notice without the night vision scopes. So, you can use this technology to hunt and save lives too. NVG can save people from a lot of different types of disasters.

So, are you ready to increase your visibility using night-vision technology? These gadgets can make your next hunt or adventure sports interesting for you. You can use night vision scopes or binoculars in numerous outdoor activities. So, explore different places or hunt different animals with night vision gear.

What Are Types Of Night Vision Scopes?

The modern night vision scopes can be divided into two different technologies. The newest technologies in the digital night vision function like a security camera. Although this technology is new, it is still cheaper than the older technologies. The main cause behind this is the lack of durability of the digital night vision scopes.

The traditional night vision scopes do not rely on the IR light, but they use true amplification technology. These traditional scopes are further divided into generations depending on the technology used for light amplification. Most models available to the consumers are Gen 1 night vision scopes, while only a few are Gen 2 scopes, and they cost much higher than Gen 1 scopes.

Gen 3 scopes are also available in the market, but these scopes are used by the military and can cost thousands of dollars for a standard model. The newest Gen 4 technology can cost more than $10,000 for some models, and it is also going through some growing stages.

What Is The Difference Between Thermal And Night Vision?

People mostly confuse night vision and thermal scopes, and this can happen because there are numerous similarities between the working and use of both technologies. However, a big difference makes them into two different technologies.

A night vision scope needs light to work, whether it is IR or visual. The light doesn’t need to be brighter but enough to reflect the target off. Night vision scopes always need the reflection of light.

While on the other hand, thermal scopes use a target in the form of heat. There is no need for an external source or IR or light reflection. These scopes work fine during the day and at night because they see what the prey is giving off naturally.

How to Zero A Night Vision Scope?

Although the procedure of zeroing a night vision scope is quite similar to zeroing a regular rifle scope, your choice of targets may need to change. It is difficult to see the rings on a target due to the monochrome view of night vision.

There are a number of companies that manufacture targets to use with night vision. These targets are a good investment, but you can also make one on your own. If you want to make your target, you should use some other material than background material. You can use textured paint or duct tape.

You’ll still need to adjust your windage and elevation as you do with a normal scope. It would help if you started zeroing at a closer range in tiny steps rather than trying big ones. You can start by zeroing every 10 or 15 yards.

How To Use A Night Vision Scope?

The use of night vision scopes varies from technology to technology. A digital scope works just like a normal scope, but you need to ensure that it’s charged. Moreover, it doesn’t matter which time of the day you are using a digital scope.

Using a traditional night vision scope is a little difficult. You need to consider the amount of light a scope needs to work and tolerate; this varies between generations and scopes. It is better to avoid bright light as it can damage your scopes.

If you have the right light, a night vision scope will work just like a traditional scope. If you spend a lot of time seeing through a traditional scope, it can result in eye strain.

How To Mount Your Scope On Your Rifle?

Digital scopes are large, and they cannot be mounted with the normal hardware used to mount scopes. These scopes come with mounting hardware. Most of the scopes will use Allen screws to any Weaver rail easily and without adapters.

Traditional night vision scopes use a standard scope ring, but some use the options same as digital scopes. You need to make sure that you do not over-tighten the rings and have the right size for your scope.

What Is The Average Life Of A Night Vision Scope?

This question is very common among people because people usually think that night vision burns with time. A digital night vision scope doesn’t burn like a traditional scope. Digital scopes can last decades or a lifetime with proper care.

This issue is common in traditional night vision scopes. The life of a Gen 1 scope will vary because of the quality, but it can be used for almost 1000 hours. Using a cheap night vision scope will only get a few hundred hours of life.

The life span of the newest Gen 1 scopes has increased with the latest technologies. A good quality Gen1 scope can last the same as a Gen2 scope which is almost 5000 hours of use. A Gen 3 night vision scope can last as much as 10,000 hours.

Is It Possible To Use A Night Vision Scope During The Daytime?

Whether you can use a night vision scope during the day depends upon the technology of the scope. You can use a digital scope during the day to offer a good resolution and colors during the day. This probably makes them the best good quality rifle scopes.

Traditional night vision scopes are not made for use during the day. Some traditional scopes can get damaged if they are turned on in the sunlight. You should always read the instructions and never use them in bright light.

Does The Battery Life Of Scope An Important Factor?

Yes, the battery life matters a lot to make sure you don’t miss any shot.

How Much Does A Night Vision Scope Last?

Most of the scope lasts longer than you expect if you properly care for them.