Top 7 Best Night Vision Scope On The Market In 2021 Reviews

Any hunter worth his or her weight in tags knows that some of the best hunting happens after the sun dips below the horizon. Animals that are rarely seen during the daylight hours come out, giving hunters the opportunity to bag certain targets that are simply impossible to find in the daytime.

However, homo sapiens have one major disadvantage when it comes to night hunts…

Our night vision sucks, especially when compared to the animals we want to hunt in the dark. Luckily we have high quality night vision scopes at our disposal, and the market has exploded with great options.

In recent years night vision tech has not only advanced in leaps and bounds but also dropped in price considerably. So I thought it was about time I grabbed a selection of the best night vision scopes currently available on the market, put them through their paces to find out which scope rules them all.

I’ve also included a handy buyers guide near the end of this roundup, so if you are new to the night vision scene or just want to improve your knowledge base, stick around!

So, let’s get straight to it with the…

best night vision scope

Top 7 Best Night Vision Scope In 2021 Reviews


1 ATN X-Sight 4K Pro Edition 5-20x Smart HD Day/Night Riflescope – Most Versatile Night Vision Scope

The ATN X-Sight 4K Pro Edition 5-20x Smart HD Day/Night Riflescope is, by far, the highest-rated night vision scope currently available on most weapon accessory websites. It offers a fantastic array of features, 4K sensor resolution, smart capabilities, and a bunch more, all at a pretty reasonable price.

Specs

  • Night Vision Generation: Digital
  • Magnification: 5-20 x
  • Objective Lens Size: 70 mm
  • Reticle Options: Multiple
  • Illumination Type: LED
  • IR illuminator: IR850 infrared illuminator
  • Refresh Rate: 50 Hz
  • Sensor Resolution: 4K 3864 x 2218 Pixels
  • Battery Type: Rechargeable Lithium-Ion
  • Battery Life: 18+ Hours
  • Eye Relief: 3 in
  • Operating Temperature: -20 to 120 Fahrenheit
  • Field of View: 240 ft at 1000 yds
  • Weight: 2.2 lb
  • Length: 14.9 in

The list of features is impressive, to say the least. There are multiple reticles to choose from in four different colors, dual-stream and record HD video, recoil-activated video record, a ballistic calculator, ATN radar connectivity, one-shot zero, super low power consumption, and recoil resistance up to .50 cal caliber. What a list, hey.

How about the night vision capabilities?

The 4K digital sensor is also super impressive. Sight vision is crystal clear, and that’s true of daytime usage also. The ballistic calculator does a great job of displaying ranges almost instantly, and the IR illuminator is bang on as well.

Are there any discernible downsides to this scope, then?

Not really, as long as you are good with tech. The learning curve can be a little steep at times, especially for a boomer like me. I’m not going to straight out admit that it was probably mostly my fault, though…

The build quality is absolutely top-notch, with quality materials used throughout the entire build. There is the option of adding 64GB of internal memory, and the 2-year unlimited warranty (while not being the best) is good enough for the price.

The battery life is something else…

That’s right, the lithium-ion setup is fully rechargeable, offers over 18 hours of continuous runtime, and can take external power for a USB input that increases the runtime to almost 35 hours!

Seriously, this is a hard package to beat (that’s what she said). Super versatile, priced to please, excellent in both day and night conditions, and just a great overall scope.


Pros

  • Feature-packed.
  • 4K digital sensor.
  • HD dual-stream.
  • Ultra-Low Power Consumption
  • Mid-priced.
  • 18-hour battery life.
  • Recoil Activated Video.

Cons

  • Steep learning curve.

2 Night Owl Optics NightShot 3x NV Riflescope NIGHTSHOT – Best Budget Night Vision Scope

Next in my review of the Best Night Vision Scope, are you looking for a night vision scope that won’t break the bank? Well, say hello to the NightShot by Night Owl Optics. This little beast of a scope offers 3x magnification, decent sensor resolution, 100 to 200 yards range depending on ambient light conditions, a decent IR illuminator, and good build quality.

Specs

  • Night Vision Generation: Digital
  • Magnification: 3x
  • Objective Lens Size: 40 mm
  • Reticle Options: 3 each in black and white
  • Illumination Type: LED
  • IR illuminator: Built-in 850nm
  • Refresh Rate: 30 Hz
  • Sensor Resolution: 640 x 480 pixels
  • Battery Type: AA
  • Battery Life: 3 – 4 hours
  • Eye Relief: 2.7 in
  • Adjustment Click Value: ½ MOA
  • Field of View, Angle: 5.6 degrees
  • Weight: 1.3 lb
  • Length: 13.2 in

Any obvious downsides?

This is basically the cheapest night vision scope currently on the market, so you can’t expect all the bells and whistles top-end units offer. The NightShot is designed and engineered in the United States, and the build quality is pretty good, but again it can’t compete in terms of toughness or robustness with the higher-priced options.

That’s not to say it’s badly made, though. The thermoplastic design is surprisingly strong while being quite lightweight. The battery assembly could be better, but AA batteries are relatively cheap and easy to find.

I wouldn’t strap this one on a .50 cal, but it handled my Barrett MRAD Rifle .338 with no worries at all. The 2.7 inches of eye relief is a little lower than I’m used to, but it was still just about comfortable enough.

How about the digital sensor?

This is where the NightShot really shines. The 640 x 480 sensor is a more than capable unit and offers NV out to 200 yards on a clear full moon night. The 850nm IR illuminator is also pretty high quality and makes a big difference on cloudy, low-light evenings.

There’s a total of six reticle options available, with three each in both black and white. On offer are a regular crosshair, a simple but effective dot, and a bullet drop compensator with hash marks for both elevation and wind.

OK warranty for the price…

The NightShot is covered by a one-year limited warranty, not the most generous but not too bad either. The company will repair any defaults or replace the entire unit at no extra cost to the owner.

Overall the Night Owl Optics NightShot 3x NV Riflescope NIGHTSHOT is a fantastic deal and a great starting point for anyone looking to pick up their first NV scope. And I’m pretty sure seasoned hunters will be just as pleased with this best low cost night vision scope.


Pros

  • Ultra budget-friendly.
  • Decent weatherproofing.
  • Lightweight.
  • Pretty good digital sensor, especially for the price.

Cons

  • Battery life could be better.

3 Pulsar Digex N455 4-16×40 Digital Night Vision Riflescope – Best Long Range Night Vision Scope

The Pulsar Digex N455 4-16×40 Digital Night Vision Riflescope is not the cheapest option out there, but it is the very first to market digital, full-featured day/night scope in the classic scope shape.

The big selling point?

Well, it’s the 500 meters (546 yards) NV detection range. This scope is a pure juggernaut for night hunts and a great day-use scope to boot.

Specs

  • Night Vision Generation: Digital
  • Magnification: 4-16 x
  • Objective Lens Size: 40 mm
  • Reticle Options: 10 different reticle types in various color options
  • Illumination Color: Orange, Yellow, Green, Gold, White, Red
  • IR illuminator: Detachable 850 nm illuminator
  • Refresh Rate: 50 Hz
  • Sensor Resolution: 1024 x 768 pixels
  • Battery Type: Lithium, B-Pack Mini 18650 Li-Ion
  • Battery Life: 5 – 6 hours
  • Eye Relief: 50 mm
  • Adjustment Click Value: 1 MOA
  • Field of View, Angle:6.2 degrees
  • Weight: 33.5 oz
  • Length: 15.3 in

On top of the traditional design appeal, the Pulsar Digex N455 4-16×40 offers traditional ease of use. This best NV smart scope interfaces seamlessly with the user-friendly Stream Vision app. This controls the ballistic calculator, videos and audio recording optionality, and the absolute best feature…

The inbuilt motion sensor feature will take your hunting to the next level, no doubt about it. Just set your rifle and scope up, pointing at the hunting area, and whenever something moves, the app will alert you and display a red box around the target. The alert can be set to silent vibration to ensure a successful hunt.

All the tech help you could ever need…

Through the app, you can also save up to 5 profiles, with a total of 50 zeroing distances available. This option allows you to set up your rifle for multiple different distances before the hunt even starts and have them available at the drop of a hat. Hunting is an unpredictable sport, so any extra bit of prep can make a huge difference.

The battery assembly is pretty clever…

There is a dual battery system that incorporates one removable and one internal battery. Battery power is first sourced from the 5+ hour capacity removable battery. When this runs out of juice, the power source is then diverted to the internal battery, which gives you time to recharge the external battery.

As long as you carry a power bank with you on hunts, you have almost unlimited battery power.

How about downsides?

The only feature that could be improved is night vision options. The only color palette offered is black and white, which actually is fine by me, but some may disagree.

Generally, this scope is an absolute banger and one that will compliment any hunter looking for more nighttime versatility.


Pros

  • Traditional aesthetics.
  • Great functionality.
  • Easy to use.
  • Dual battery assembly.
  • Motion sensing capabilities.
  • Rugged and tough.

Cons

  • Only one NV color palette.

4 Sightmark Wraith 4K Max 3-24×50 Digital Riflescope w/IR LED Illuminator – Best Premium Night Vision Scope

The Sightmark Wraith 4K Max 3-24×50 Digital Riflescope was born out of Texas with long-range night hunting as its number one deciding factor for design and function. With 4K resolution, 50mm objective lens, and huge magnification range, this scope is no joke.

Specs

  • Night Vision Generation: Digital
  • Magnification: 3-24 x
  • Objective Lens Size: 50 mm
  • Reticle Options: 10 different reticle types in 9 colors
  • IR illuminator: 850 nm illuminator
  • Refresh Rate: 60 Hz
  • Sensor Resolution: 4K 4000×3000 pixels
  • Battery Type: Rechargeable Li-Ion battery
  • Battery Life: 8 – 9 hours
  • Eye Relief: 2.7 inches
  • Adjustment Click Value: 0.333 MOA
  • Field of View: 31.5 ft at 100 yards
  • Weight: 34.6 oz
  • Length: 12 in

What really makes this one stand out is the 500 plus yard night vision range coupled with multiple color palettes and a variety of reticles. The reticle options cover every base imaginable and also come in a range of color options.

Day or night use…

Out of all the units I tested for this review, this scope outperformed the rest in terms of daylight usage. The optics used offer crystal clear vision throughout the entire magnification range, with zero aberrations or issues to report.

The 4K thermal sensor allows for ranges of 500 yards plus when the full moon is shining, or about 300 yards on less ideal nights. This is about as good as it gets when it comes to digital night vision.

Hardy, rugged, and built to last

The build quality is next to none. A full aluminum chassis and housing is backed up by an IPX5 water-resistance rating. The Sightmark Wraith 4K Max 3-24×50 Digital Riflescope is sturdy enough to be fitted to any caliber hunting rifle up to .308 currently sold in the continental United States.

There is a slot for any sized micro SD card up to 256GB, which allows for over 900 mins of continuous full HD recording. The field of view and eye relief are both more than acceptable, as is the eight hour battery life.

As good as it gets if you fire at longer ranges…

There really isn’t much more you could ask for from this best high-end night vision scope, and very few downsides to speak of whatsoever!


Pros

  • Top-of-the-line 4K digital imaging.
  • 500 yard detection range.
  • Top-class build quality.
  • Large magnification range.
  • Crisp full HD color display.
  • Great app.

Cons

  • Pricey.

5 ATN X-Sight 4K Pro Edition 3-14x Smart HD Day/Night Riflescope – Best Value for Money Night Vision Scope

This is the second scope from ATN’s Pro Edition line to be featured in my Best Night Vision Scope review, and for good reason. This scope is a close second to its bigger sibling in terms of positive reviews on most major websites that stock thermal scopes.

However, there are a few major differences between the two other than the magnification range, so let’s quickly run through the ATN X-Sight 4K Pro Edition 3-14x.

Specs

  • Night Vision Generation: Digital
  • Magnification: 3-14 x
  • Objective Lens Size: 50 mm
  • Reticle Options: Multiple
  • Illumination Type: LED
  • IR illuminator: IR850 infrared illuminator
  • Refresh Rate: 50 Hz
  • Sensor Resolution: 4K 3864×2218 Pixels
  • Battery Type: Rechargeable Lithium-Ion
  • Battery Life: 18+ Hours
  • Eye Relief: 90 mm
  • Operating Temperature: -20 to 120 Fahrenheit
  • Field of View: 2460 ft at 1000 yds
  • Weight: 2.1 lb
  • Length: 13.8 in

So, what differs from the 5 – 20 x ATN Pro Edition?

Well, as I mentioned earlier, the magnification range is less and tops out at 14x. But, this shouldn’t necessarily be seen as a disadvantage because 14 x is enough for most hunting circumstances.

The 3 – 14 x is also slightly lighter and shorter lengthwise, which I see as a plus. The objective lens is smaller, at 50 mm compared to 70 mm, but 50mm is still on the larger side. Other than that, they are pretty much the same scope.

Except for one vital difference…

The field of view is much wider on the 3-14 x (almost double actually), which is definitely a huge advantage in most situations. As is the price, which is a little more budget friendly. And there are still all the awesome features that I ran through in the review for the 5 – 20 x ATN Pro Edition, so head back up to the top if you need a refresher on those.

To be honest, I would probably choose this scope over the 5 – 20 x if I was to buy a new one today!


Pros

  • Huge field of view.
  • Amazing features.
  • Generous eye relief.
  • 4K sensor.
  • Super versatile.
  • Great build quality.
  • Budget friendly.

Cons

  • Cant compete in the range category with the Sightmark Wraith or the Pulsar Digex.

6 SightMark Wraith HD 2-16×28 Digital Night Vision Riflescope – Best Affordable SightMark Night Vision Scope

If you are a fan of Sightmark optics but don’t want to shell out for the Wraith 4K, then you will probably want to take a look at the SightMark Wraith HD 2-16×28 Digital Night Vision Riflescope. It includes most of the same awesome features, but in place of the 4K sensor, Sightmark has used a more than capable 1920 x 1080 CMOS sensor.

Specs

  • Night Vision Generation: Digital
  • Magnification: 2-16 x
  • Objective Lens Size: 28 mm
  • Reticle Options: 10 different reticle types in 9 colors
  • IR illuminator: 850 nm illuminator
  • Refresh Rate: 50 Hz
  • Range of Detection: 200 yds
  • Sensor Resolution: 1920 x 1080 CMOS sensor
  • Battery Type: 2 x CR123A
  • Battery Life: 2 – 3 hours
  • Eye Relief: 2.4 inches
  • Adjustment Click Value: 1 MOA
  • Field of View: 31.5 ft at 100 yards
  • Water Resistance Level: IP55
  • Weight: 33 oz
  • Length: 10 in

How does this scope fair against its more expensive counterpart?

Not particularly well, actually. I mean, the sensor itself is absolutely fine, and the scope vision range is not bad. But with a couple of key specs, this scope is definitely inferior.

First up, the battery assembly, two CR123A’s, is never going to be enough power for an energy hungry scope, and that’s proven with the two to three hour run time. CR123A batteries are easy enough to find online, with rechargeable options such as the 4 Pack CR123A Lithium Batteries and the 123A Rechargeable Arlo Batteries, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good alternative to a proper rechargeable Li-Ion setup.

Less money equals lower specifications…

The detection range is lower, the field of view is smaller, the eye relief is less generous, and the adjustment click value is questionable.

There are a few upsides to the SightMark Wraith HD 2-16×28 Digital Night Vision Riflescope, but most of these are overshadowed by other more capable scopes in the same price range. So, do yourself a favor and give this one a skip.


Pros

  • 1920 x 1080 digital CMOS sensor.
  • Clear and crisp 1280 x 720 display.
  • Feature heavy.
  • Well built.
  • Easy to operate.

Cons

  • Better options at the same price point.

7 Pulsar Digisight Ultra LRF N450 Digital Night Vision Riflescope – Most Accurate Night Vision Scope

If having a pinpoint accurate laser rangefinder built into your night vision scope is up your alley, then take a long hard look at the Pulsar Digisight Ultra LRF N450 Digital Night Vision Riflescope. This is a banger of a scope, but the feature that really makes it stand above the pack is the LRF that is one of the best I have ever tested.

Specs:

  • Night Vision Generation: Digital
  • Magnification: 4.5-18 x
  • Objective Lens Size: 40 mm
  • Reticle Options: M58i, X51Fi-300, M56Fi, T54i, H50i, X50i, C50i, X54i, M57Fi, D50i
  • Refresh Rate: 50 Hz
  • Sensor Resolution: 1024 x 768 pixels
  • Battery Type: Li-Ion Battery Pack
  • Battery Life: 6 hours
  • Eye Relief: 50mm
  • Adjustment Click Value: 1 MOA
  • Field of View: 32.7 ft at 100 yards
  • Water Resistance Level: IPX7
  • Weight: 1.42 lb
  • Length: 14.5 in

I know that the majority of the sights I have already looked at incorporated at least some form of a ballistic calculator. But this LRF right here, this is different. It’s a true, totally operational laser range finder that comes with all the benefits this bit of tech offers.

That includes line of sight, scan, and angle compensation measuring modes that makes it functional and practical in various environmental situations, and offers accurate meter measurements delivered instantly time after time. This system is accurate out to almost 1km, not that you would ever be trying to hit a target at that range with this scope.

Built for the hunt, regardless of the caliber…

Build quality is some of the best I have seen recently, making this suitable to be paired with most if not all high-powered rifles and shotguns. The optical quality is also pretty impressive for the sensor, which is certainly no slouch. I found the usable range on a clear, bright night to be about 550m.

That’s not to mention the huge list of features that I ran through with the last Pulsar unit. Digisight shares the majority of these, and they work just as well here.

The only real downside to this scope is….

…the steep learning curve needed when you first start using it, unless you have previous experience with similar scope setups. But then again, learning new ways to shoot more accurately never hurt.


Pros

  • Fully functional LRF.
  • Great sight vision.
  • Top-quality build.
  • A bunch of great features.
  • Priced well.
  • Works just as well in daylight hours.
  • 550m NV range.

Cons

  • Steep learning curve.

Best Night Vision Scope Buyers Guide

How do NV scopes operate?

Traditional night vision scopes use optoelectronic image enhancement to amplify the small amounts of infrared light that everything reflects. Once the light has been captured, it is amplified and displayed in the well-known green glowing image. Therefore, they cannot be used in daylight conditions or in brightly lit areas.

Digital NV scopes, on the other hand, can be used in both the day and night and are capable of displaying multiple reticle options, along with other handy features. Most NV devices that are produced these days are digital in nature as they offer smaller, lighter, and more versatile night vision devices when compared to their traditional counterparts.

Which brands produce the best quality NV scopes?

There are more than a handful of NV scope manufacturers out there, but that does not mean that they should all be trusted equally. Unfortunately, there is some real rubbish on the market these days, so make sure to do your research before dropping your cash on a product.

If you stick with ATN, Bushnell, Sightmark, Pulsar Trail, Sightmark, Night Owl, or Armasight, then you should have zero issues. All of these companies have proven track records and solid reputations.

night vision scope reviews

Why purchase an NV scope?

Other than the obvious reason – being able to hunt in darkness – there are some other great advantages to owning a night vision scope.

They can boost your ability to protect your loved ones and belongings, help improve accuracy, help locate prey and targets, and with the new generation of dual usage day/night scopes, they are a great addition to any arsenal.

Factors to Consider When Purchasing an NV Scope

Optical Quality and Sensor Resolution

As with any scope, the first thing to consider is the optical quality that the scope offers. You want to look for glass that has full multi-coating and one that uses top-quality glass in general.

It’s also a good idea to keep in mind the sensor resolution. If you are looking for the best budget-friendly NV scope, then you should aim for 384x200p or 640x480p, although there are some 4K options available. Just make sure that the number you are referring to is actually the sensor resolution and not the digital display.

Battery Type and Capacity

Night vision scopes rely on batteries to operate. The batteries that are used vary widely, but in general, I always like to go for a scope that uses a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, as they tend to offer the longest running times.

Six or more hours of continuous run time is the benchmark for me, but some scopes offer even longer run times. Most scopes also offer the option of adding an external power supply which will vastly improve the life of the batteries.

Weight

Even the best NV scopes will be heavier than most traditional optics. One of your hunting buddies may use a scope that is perfect for him but might be too heavy for you. Having a scope that is too heavy can result in a significant loss in accuracy, so make sure you keep a close eye on this spec.

If you cannot comfortably hold a night vision scope that has been attached to your rifle for more than 30 mins, then it is too heavy for you.

night vision scope

Magnification and Range

This may be a bit of a no-brainer, but the higher the magnification, the better your range will be. Night vision scopes do not offer the same magnification range as some traditional scopes, but most will offer at least 100 yards or so of usable range, with some reaching closer to 200 yards.

If a night vision scope that isn’t from one of the reputable manufacturers is offering more than 250 yards of usable range, it is most likely no more than a marketing ploy.

If you are looking for a long-range scope that will work in low light conditions, it may be best to consider purchasing a thermal imaging optic.

Reticle Options

Picking out the best reticle is probably the most personal choice out of this whole list. It really depends on what you are going to be using the scope for, and even then, you will probably have your own preferences.

Luckily, most of the best digital night vision scopes offer the choice of multiple reticles at the push of a button. I love trying out new reticle options, and I’m guessing you will too!

Build Quality

Scopes are precision instruments, and as such, they should be well made from tough, rugged, and robust materials.

Always look for an NV scope that offers a good level of water, shock, and fog proofing. The chassis and tube should be made of aircraft-grade aluminum, with high-quality O-rings sealing the whole thing up, and fully nitrogen or argon purged.

Check the scope you are wanting is rated for the caliber rifle you intend to attach it to. There is nothing worse than spending money on a scope to then find out that it is not compatible with your prized .308

Budget

Money plays a huge role in deciding which night vision scope is best for you. That’s the reason I included a wide range of scopes in the review, from the best budget scope options all the way up to the absolute top-of-the-line scopes currently available.

Looking for More Fantastic Scope Options?

Then, take a look at our in-depth reviews of the Best Night Vision Scope for AR-15, the Best Scope for Hog Hunting, Best Mini 14 Ranch Rifle Scopes, the Best Simmons Rifle Scopes, the Best Scout Scopes, the Best Ruger AR 556 Scope, as well as the Best Vortex Scopes that you can buy in 2021.

You might also be interested in our reviews of the Best Handgun Scopes & Optics, the Best Scope for 6.5 Creedmoor, the Best Scopes for AR15 under 100 Dollars, the Best Scope for AK-47, the Best ATN Rifle Scope, the Best Air Rifle Scopes, and the Best Rimfire Scopes currently on the market.

So, Which of These Best Night Vision Scopes Should You Buy?

I hope that you now have all the information you need to decide on the best scope for night vision for your needs. The thing is, no scope is going to be perfect for everyone, but I have to recommend one scope over the rest, so without any more fanfare, the best scope with night vision is the….

ATN X-Sight 4K Pro Edition 3-14x Smart HD Day/Night Riflescope

It is well priced, powerful in both day and night situations, and is versatile enough to cover most bases.

Happy and safe shooting.

Home » Gun Scopes » Top 7 Best Night Vision Scope On The Market In 2021 Reviews
About William Taylor

William is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who served two tours in Afghanistan and one in Iraq. His duties included Security Advisor/Shift Sergeant, 0341/ Mortar Man- 0369 Infantry Unit Leader, Platoon Sergeant/ Personal Security Detachment, as well as being a Senior Mortar Advisor/Instructor.

He now spends most of his time at home in Michigan with his wife Nicola and their two bull terriers, Iggy and Joey. He fills up his time by writing as well as doing a lot of volunteering work for local charities.

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