It is possible to buy a good low cost night vision monocular. In fact, there are many available for under $500. Hunters may find themselves in low light situations where they require the ability to enhance their sight after dark. They shouldn't have to pay a fortune for this piece of equipment and so we have put together a comparison list with reviews of some of the best night vision monoculars under $500.
Night vision monoculars are easy to carry devices that make it possible to amplify light. They have become very popular devices with hunters because they are easy to use, don’t take up a lot of room in your pocket or pack and can be operated one-handed.
The selection of night vision monoculars is extensive from the less expensive Gen 1 models to the high end mil-spec Gen 3 versions. For hunters who are operating on a tight budget, the cost of an expensive monocular possibly cannot be justified when there is so many other pieces of equipment to also buy.
Fortunately there are many good quality night vision monoculars under $500 on the market that will serve the needs of the majority of hunters. These monoculars still come from highly respected manufacturers and will enhance the vision to the point where a high level of detail will be able to be made out in dark conditions.
Browse through the selection of night vision monoculars under $500 that have been listed and compared below. Further down the page you will find more detailed reviews of each monocular to highlight their features and capabilities. We have provided a price within the table which is the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price which is usually higher than the price you can usually buy each item for.
Make / Model
Detailed Descriptions of Night Vision Monoculars Under $500
Now that we have had a chance to take a brief side-by-side look at the night vision monoculars that are among the most affordable of those that are commonly available on the market today we will get a more detailed look at each model. Below is a short review of each monocular along with product specifications and listed features. Read through the details of each to get a better understanding of what it is that differentiates each product.
Not all night vision technology is equal. As technology has gone through improvements we have seen significant changes in the quality of the thermal imaging that has made night vision products vastly superior today than they once were. These jumps in technological advancement have resulted in distinct generations that are commonly referred to when discussing the various products.
We have been almost exclusively been examining Generation 1 night vision monoculars, the technology of which we will discuss in a little more detail.
Generation 1 Technology
This is the earliest version of night vision technology and was first developed in the 1960s. A Gen 1 device is one which contains a photocathode plate and an image intensifier tube.
In order for a Gen 1 monocular to work, there either must be some source of ambient light available or it must have an IR illuminator built in that will provide some light. Because the light source that is used to provide a viewable image is not particularly powerful, the result is usually an image that is not particularly bright and the resolution is low.
When using a Gen 1 monocular it is possible to make out a human-sized object at a distance of around 100 yards away. That is, you can probably make out the shape as one which is recognisable as human but would be unlikely to make out clear features.
This is usually quite okay if you are using the night vision monocular to be able to pick up the existence and position of an animal such as a hog or smaller varmint.
Things that will affect the performance of a Gen 1 monocular include the size of the objective, the magnification level, the intensifier tube and, if used, the IR illuminator.
The Gen 1 technology is perfect for those who are more hobbyists rather than professionals. They will perform the job required of them and you won’t have to shell out large sums of money to buy them.
The examples of night vision monoculars that have been discussed on this page indicate that it is not necessary to spend thousands of dollars. These units are Generation 1 versions and the quality is not the military spec standard of the finest pieces of equipment, but they are more than adequate for a hunter who merely needs to identify objects in the dark.
Important factors such as the size and weight of each monocular are pretty similar and won’t weigh down the pack. They are all capable of being used one-handed, a factor that is necessary when loaded down with equipment and you need to get a fast bead on an object.