The 5 Best Night Vision Scopes That Won’t Break the Bank

best night vision scopes

The best night vision scopes have always been essential equipment for both night hunts and military operations. A quality night scope differs from the average one in numerous ways, from manufacturing material, effective range, illumination, and blur.

To help you choose the optimal scope, in this article, we will go through the best five scopes you can obtain this year. Not only that, we will explain the most prominent features of the best night vision scopes to look out for.

Benefits of the Best Night Vision Rifle Scopes

There are many benefits to night vision rifle scopes. They offer an advantage on areas that have little to no visibility. Night vision rifle scopes provide you with accuracy every time. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or an accomplished shooter, you’ll hit your target with greater accuracy.

This device also provides an expanded rifle range as part of your shooting area. When you’re out in the field, you don’t want the creature to come charging at you. Night vision rifle scopes allow you to hit your target at a greater distance. This can help you enjoy the activity without putting yourself in danger.

The best night vision scopes can make you a better shooter. It’ll improve your physical and mental well-being. As you improve, you’ll gain confidence as a shooter. It’s a great way to increase someone’s self-esteem.

How the Best Night Vision Scopes Work

Night vision rifle scopes are just another name for enhanced optical devices that allow you to see in all forms of weather, including total darkness. Even if it’s a cloudy night or a dark interior, you’ll see everything within your range. That’s the beauty of night vision, as it instantly improves one’s vision.

Night vision rifle scopes work by using optical-electronic devices that assist you in near-darkness or complete darkness by increasing the light. Some night vision riflescopes have a built-in infrared illuminator that acts like an additional night vision flashlight that provides additional light. It makes it possible for you to see in complete darkness. The red dot appears on the front of your device whenever the infrared illuminator is turned on and ready for use.

Why Night Vision Rifle Scopes Are Better

Night vision rifle scopes have several advantages to thermal imaging cameras and night vision goggles. For one, night vision rifles don’t require the magnification of remote or moving objects to increase one’s visibility. Night vision requires some form of light for detecting objects in great distances where light is limited.

When the best night vision scopes are used, the light energy bounces off the target and the hunter will get an image of the creature. Night vision rifle scopes are very durable and can withstand a 30 caliber weapon. Night vision is also more durable and affordable than thermal imaging and has been made widely available since World War II. Night vision is the best if you want to spot and identify your target.

Frequently Asked Questions About Night Vision Scopes

How far can I see with night vision? 

It all depends on the object, person, or creature you’re trying to look at it. If you’re trying to detect a human being, then you’ll be away to see that person 300 yards away. You may not recognize who that person is though. It depends if you purchase night vision scopes with detection range or recognition range.

Another factor is the amount of light that’s available during that night. The bright your light is, the better the recognition range and detection range will be.

What is an infrared illuminator and do I need one?

An infrared illuminator projects additional light that works like a flashlight. Infrared light is visible to the naked eye, but can be even more visible with night vision equipment. You may want to use an infrared illuminator for close range, indoor night vision, and interior use such as dark buildings and wooden environments. This additional feature can greatly improve one’s vision and provide infrared light beam distances of up to 500 yards.

How durable are the best night vision scopes?

Night vision scopes are much more durable than thermal imaging cameras. However, there might be a time when you drop it and break it. It depends on how you drop it and the impact of that drop. It’s highly recommended that you take good care of your night vision rifle scopes and invest in a 5-year or 10-year warranty plan.

What else can I do with night vision?

Night vision rifle scopes are used for many activities such as hunting, wildlife observation, camping, home security, night photography, and other nighttime activities. There are so many things that you can do with night vision rifle scopes. You can even use them to go ghost hunting or stargazing if you’re more interested in astronomy. There are plenty of things you can do with this equipment.

1. ATN X-Sight LTV Day/Night Hunting Rifle Scope

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The ATN X-Sight LTV introduced HD into the world of night vision scopes. It is smart scope, allowing to you make multiple profiles for different conditions. The scope offers a magnification optimal for day and night use. It has a built-in range calculator, ballistic calculator, and e-zoom feature.

ATN X-Sight LTV can efficiently switch from day and night options, both in HD resolution. It is definitely one of the best optics when it comes to image and resolution quality.


  • Ballistic calculator
  • Long-range IR illuminator
  • 3-14 X magnifiers.
  • Rechargeable 22h attery.
  • HD recording and streaming options.

2. Sightmark Wraith HD Digital Riflescope

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The Sightmark Wraith HD Digital Riflescope 16x magnification max emphasizes crystal clear image with its classic nighttime green illumination. 

The full color viewing lens provides a higher light spectrum registering and the 8x digital zoom is perfect for medium-range targets. The scope is made of aluminum, weighing only 2 pounds without additional attachments.


  • 8x zoom
  • Aluminum lightweight body
  • Powerful black and white or green night vision
  • Rapidly detachable mount

3. Sightmark Photon RT 4.5-9x42S

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When looking for best night vision scope for a reasonable price, Sightmark brand is always a valuable option. The fifth on our list is the Sightmark Photon RT 4.5-9x42S, a 2x short-medium range scope.

It uses upgraded high res CMOS sensor, offering a high and clear resolution, clean display, vision app with built-in wifi technology. The LED IR illuminator will help you spot a target at 220 yards, with the help of 6 different reticle type indicator.


  • 2X digital zoom
  • Six reticle types
  • 42 mm lens diameter
  • CMOS sensor
  • LED IR illuminator

4. Bushnell 4.5X40 Equinox

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The Bushnell Equinox uses 4X magnifier, objective lens paired with high-performance glass objectives (40 mm). Scope features extreme durability and battery longevity, is made of quality material, and provides excellent zoom capabilities.

For best performance, pair with long-range Super TAC IR illuminator for maximum comfort and optimal vision. Furthermore, consider attaching LED flashlight for secondary vision.


  • 3X zoom
  • 40 mm objective glass lens
  • High-quality image and video capture
  • Super TAC IR illuminator
  • Tripod mount

5. Bushnell Night Vision_Equinox Z Monocular

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Last on our list of best night vision scope for a reasonable price is the Bushnell Night Vision_Equinox Z Monocular is 4.5X night vision scope. This scope utilizes infrared illuminator technology to light the way up to 750 feet of viewing distance.

Aside from choosing colors, you can also change the reticle brightness according to your needs. The scope is suitable for heavy caliber weapons and will fit regular mounts, together with additional weapon attachments.


  • 4.5X magnifier
  • Reticle brightness control
  • Fast target recognition
  • Picatinny style rail

Best Night Vision Scopes: The Bottom Line

Selecting any of the scopes mentioned in this list of the best night vision scopes will ensure that you have a tactical advantage over your environment. When choosing the scope, first determine the budget.

After you set it, go through the article and seek the night vision scope that will meet your requirements. Think about the material, range, elevation control, reticle type and color, and other technical details as well as tactical details.

Top 5 Best Night Vision Scope

night vision scope

If you’re someone who hunts or shoots at night, having the best night vision scope you can afford is a key element to being an excellent shot. Here are our top picks for every skill level and budget.

Night vision technology has evolved significantly over the last 30 years. Originally, the technology that was available to civilians was not much more than a gimmick that turned your surroundings green but did little to enhance your ability to see a target in the dark.

Today, anyone can purchase professional grade equipment that gives you a clear view in less than optimal conditions, including foggy days, or complete darkness.

Although there are hundreds of options to choose from, it’s difficult to narrow down the plethora of brands and models to the best of the bunch. Since buying the best night vision scope can be expensive, it’s important to invest in the right one for your needs and your budget.

Here, we’ve listed our top picks for marksmen (and women) and broken them down by price and capabilities. We’ve deciphered the specs for you, and made recommendations that will let you hunt at night with ease. We’ve also included a helpful buyers guide following our list to give you some tips for selecting which of the best night vision scopes we’ve listed is the right fit for you.

Best Night Vision Scope :
Comparison Table




Our Rating


ATN Night Arrow Gen 2+ 4-2 

ATN Night Arrow Gen 2+ 4-2

​​Built-in automatic brightness control feature

Sightmark Photon XT 4.6x42S Rifle Scope

Sightmark Photon XT 4.6x42S Rifle Scope

​This is a popular choice for medium-range shooting

Firefield FF26014T Tactical Night Vision Rifle Scope with Internal Focusing, 2.5 x 50

Firefield FF26014T Tactical Night Vision Rifle Scope with Internal Focusing, 2.5 x 50

​This model features a built-in Pulse Infrared Illuminator that uses a push-button activation

Armasight Vampire 

Armasight Vampire

​The most notable feature of this model is their proprietary CORE technology

ATN X-Sight II 5-20 Smart Riflescope

ATN X-Sight II 5-20 Smart Riflescope

​This scope is wi-fi compatible and enables you to watch any video recordings if you have an internet connection.

Top 5 Best Night Vision Scope 

ATN Night Arrow Gen 2+ 4-2 

ATN Night Arrow Gen 2+ 4-2

If you’re looking for a mid-range option that is affordable, the Night Arrow 4-2 is an excellent choice. It falls between a Gen 2 and Gen 3, and is made from non-reflective surface metal which allows you to blend in and eliminates glare.

Here is a breakdown of the important specs:

The 2X lens can reach around 200 yards with exceptional clarity. It includes a powerful 4x magnification lens that doubles that distance, giving you more than enough reach for most night hunting and property patrolling objectives.

Your view is through a wide objective lens, which not only gives you a wide field of vision but also increases your background contrast levels in low light and full dark situations.

The built-in automatic brightness control feature is regulated by the imaging unit which eliminates the need to make adjustments if you’re on surfaces like sand or snow. Typically, these would lead to oversaturated projections that require manual changes.

  • The lens cap is a well-designed feature that will ensure that your imaging tube doesn’t wear out quickly and need to be replaced.
  • It fits perfectly but has a tiny pinhole at its center which will allow you to sight when the cap is in place if required.
  • Users rave about the efficacy and clarity of this scope, but also mention just a few potential drawbacks. If you are sighting a close target at less than 25 yards, it might be difficult to focus as there isn’t a low power setting or parallax adjustment option.

The reticle control system on this model sets it apart from others in the category. It uses a two-tone color display to give you better visibility. You’ll see the grid markings in green, and the center target point is displayed as a red dot. The system itself uses push-button operation rather than a series of complicated manual adjustments like many competitors.

Your windage and elevation adjustments knobs both operate on a traditional 1/6 MOA turn system. They are easy to control and produce distinctive clicks on each setting. This allows for precise adjustments and accurate shooting.

Our Rating

Another convenient factor in the ATN is the location of the battery compartment. It’s at the base of the scope in a separate compartment which makes it simple to change out the battery without needing to remove your scope from your rifle rail.

This scope comes with a 2-year limited warranty from the manufacturer, and they have a 30-day return policy if you’re unhappy with the product.

Additionally, the scope is a bit weighty. At 3.1 pounds, it’s significantly heavier than some of the other models we review here. Finally, if you need a scope with intense magnification, this won’t be the best option for you. While 200+ yards is adequate for most marksmen, if your niche is long-distance targets, you’ll want to continue your search.

Sightmark Photon XT 4.6x42S Rifle Scope

Sightmark Photon XT 4.6x42S Rifle Scope

This model from Sightmark is a versatile fan favourite that doesn’t break the bank. It’s a lightweight model that offers excellent performance and durability and boasts a long battery life too.

Here are the important details:

This is a popular choice for medium-range shooting, as that is the distance at which it is most effective. You can use it for daytime shooting as well, which makes it a versatile investment.

The model includes six different digital reticle options in either green, white, or red which allows you to operate within many different ranges.

Not only is this model versatile when it comes to conditions and distance, but it’s also useful for a variety of weapons. It includes two crossbow reticles and two rifle reticles which allow you to hunt small or mid-sized game with your weapon of choice.

  • One notable feature of the Sightmark Photon is their digital interface. It gives you real-time information on the elevation height, wind speed, and direction and recommendations on the adjustments you’ll need to get an accurate shot at your target.

A customer noted that the crossbow reticles can be improved. He finds that putting two different crossbow speeds on each reticle is distracting. 

The scope is also equated with mil-dot opticals which give you a leg up on estimating holdover and rangefinding. It also has German-style reticles and is configurable to both your hunting situation and personal preference.

Our Rating

Regarding magnification, the scope accommodates a 4.6x and a 42 mm lens. This means you’ll have a clear sight and sharp details at a range of up to 120 yards.

Another way that this model is a stand out is regarding its battery life. It operates on two AA’s and lasts around 33% longer than most other scopes in the same class.

It weighs in at under 2 pounds, which makes it an excellent choice if you’re looking for a lightweight option that’s easy to handle over long time periods.

Firefield FF26014T Tactical Night Vision Rifle Scope with Internal Focusing, 2.5 x 50

Firefield FF26014T Tactical Night Vision Rifle Scope with Internal Focusing, 2.5 x 50

Another popular model on our list is the Firefield FF26014T. This budget-friendly option has many of the bells and whistles you expect on higher-end options and boasts exceptional toughness and durability.

Here are the details:

Made from titanium alloy, it boasts a lightweight, sleek construction that’s easy to use and difficult to destroy.

It includes a 2.5x50 magnification which means the optics give you perfect clarity at a range of one meter up to 150 meters or more.

The Fairfield is designed to be shockproof, and it won’t get jolted out of place when mounted on bolt action rifles.

  • If you are shooting in damp or wet environments, you won’t need to worry about your scope. This option meets the IPX5 rating for water resistance.
  • This scope is specific for night time use only with maximum effective distance is 200 yards.

The Gen 1 image and resolution are high quality, and the 50mm lens enhances the light gathering capabilities to give you a clear shot in extremely low light situations.

It features an easy to use flip-up lens cover, so you’ll never need to worry about misplacing the accessory.

This model features a built-in Pulse Infrared Illuminator that uses a push-button activation. It instantly brightens images and lengthens your range in a variety of less than optimum light situations.

Our Rating

Armasight Vampire 

Armasight Vampire

Another mid-priced night vision scope, the Armasight Vampire packs a whole lot of features into this Gen 1+ model.

Here’s what you need to know about this option:

The most notable feature of this model is their proprietary CORE technology. An acronym for Ceramic Optical Ruggedized Engine, this image tube produces a resolution that doubles a traditional Gen 1 device.

  • The Armasight Vampire has won “best in class” awards for their image quality, and many users report that it rivals what you see in the significantly more expensive Gen 2 image tubes regardless of light conditions.

A customer review stated that it is bigger and heavier than other brands of night vision scopes that he used. 

Our Rating

Crafted from solid aluminum and protected with a rubber coating, this model is resistant to the elements including sand, dust, and water.

Also, it mounts to a standard 7/8-inch Weaver or Picatinny rail. The lenses are all glass and feature a fine reticle with manual adjustment capabilities.

ATN X-Sight II 5-20 Smart Riflescope

ATN X-Sight II 5-20 Smart Riflescope

If you’re a technology junky, the ATN X-Sight II might prove to be irresistible. It incorporates many modern technological features that some marksmen love.

Here’s a rundown of the capabilities:

This scope is wi-fi compatible and enables you to watch any video recordings if you have an internet connection. You could use your phone as a remote hotspot at any time to access the feature.

It’s also equipped with a GPS, which keeps you safe even when hunting in backwoods locations where you might be unfamiliar with the terrain.

  • Despite having several features that set it apart from other scopes on the market, it’s worth noting that users report that the clarity in extremely low or no light situations isn’t as good as some of the competition.
  • This option is an excellent fit if you’re someone who loves technological bells and whistles, but may not meet the high standards of a seasoned marksman regarding the visual capabilities.

You can use the scope to record, take photos, and stream media in 1080p HD. This is a unique capability that allows you to capture incredible memories on every trip, and replay them on your phone or tablet.

This model works in both daylight and night and provides full-color optics in both. The ballistic calculator assists with targeting by shifting your point of impact in real time, giving you accuracy in difficult shooting situations.

Our Rating

An inherent Smart Range Finder uses a two-click process to identify your target range and automatically adjust to your point of impact. The 5-20 magnification allows you to see clearly at long distances and tune your adjustments to line up your shot accurately.

How We Chose Our Ratings

Picking the best night vision scope for your needs can be confusing. Especially if you’re a beginner, the tendency is to want the highest levels available in every component. However, experts agree that more isn’t always better.

We chose our ratings based on several important factors. First, we scoured the internet to analyze the top-rated products from the best manufacturers in the business.

We investigated the specs to pick the most well-rounded models that offer the perfect amount of magnification to let you get a clear view both close and far targets. Our picks have lots of versatility and adjustments to adapt to a variety of shooting conditions.

If price is a primary consideration, you might want to check out our review of the best night vision scopes under $1000 .

Next, we dug into the details to get a good feel for the quality of the scope as it relates to the price. We recognize that everyone is shopping with a budget in mind, so we’ve made recommendations that can fit every price point.

Finally, we picked options that have only excellent user reviews. These scopes are accurate, effective, and work well in a variety of shooting situations. Companies with exceptional customer service records make all of the models and stand by the quality and durability of their products.

Buyer’s Guide

If you’re still struggling to narrow down which is the best night vision scope for your individual needs, these criteria might help you decide.

Scope Clarity

If you need superior clarity in low light situations to sight and hit your target, you’ll want to look for an option that has high lines per millimeter. This is how the resolution is measured, and it’s abbreviated as LP/MM. The greater the number, the more clarity the scope will deliver.

How Much Range?

Night scopes work by gathering ambient light to illuminate your target in low or no light situations. Check your scope specifications to find out how much light is required to operate. Most are labeled with categories like “overcast,” “starlight,” “quarter moon,” or “full moon” which will help you determine how much light is required to see with clarity at range.

Design Implications

In general, larger and heavier scopes provide better magnification and higher quality optics. That said, they aren’t ideal for every hunting situation. You’ll want to weigh the benefits of an ergonomic, lightweight design versus a bulkier option based on the type of hunting you do most often.

Environmental Considerations

Will you be using your scope in damp, wet, or sandy conditions? Will it be at risk of exposure to insects? Remember, your scope contains electronic parts that aren’t always resistant to the environment or the elements, and replacing the components can be expensive.

Consider the type of situations in which you’ll be using the scope, and choose one that’s rugged enough for the task.

Vortex Optics StrikeFire 2 Red/Green Dot Sight Review (Free Vortex Hat)

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