Night vision monoculars are extremely popular and lend themselves to a host of applications. These best night vision hand-held devices work by amplifying light to allow users to see in the dark.
They range from Generation 1 models first introduced in the 1960s right up to the latest hi-tech Generation 4 versions. While prices vary wildly depending upon the generation selected and build specifications, there are cost-effective night vision monoculars available to all.
With this in mind, here are six of the best budget night vision monoculars under $200 currently on the market, so let’s find out which will be the perfect one for you…
- 1 Top 6 Best Budget Night Vision Monoculars under $200 in 2023 Reviews
- 1.1 1 Firefield Nightfall Night Vision Monocular – Best Image Quality Budget Night Vision Monocular
- 1.2 2 Vortex Solo Tactical RT 8×36 Tactical Monocular w/ Ranging Reticle – Model No: SOL-3608-RT – Best Premium Budget Night Vision Monocular
- 1.3 3 VABSCE Digital Night Vision Monocular w/1080p Full HD Video – Best Low Cost Night Vision Monocular
- 1.4 4 Bushnell Equinox X650 Night Vision Monocular – Most Durable Budget Night Vision Monocular
- 1.5 5 Night Owl Optics 5-Power NOXM50 Night Vision Monocular – Best Value for Money Budget Night Vision Monocular
- 1.6 6 Gosky 12×55 High Definition Waterproof Monocular Telescope and Quick Phone Holder-2020 – Best Budget Recording Night Vision Monocular
- 2 Open Up a New World for a Low Price
- 3 Looking for More Superb Night Vision Products?
- 4 So, Which of These Best Budget Night Vision Monoculars under $200 Should You Buy?
Top 6 Best Budget Night Vision Monoculars under $200 in 2023 Reviews
1 Firefield Nightfall Night Vision Monocular – Best Image Quality Budget Night Vision Monocular
Firefield is based in Mansfield, Texas, and has been in business for well over a decade (founded in 2009). They offer a good selection of quality night vision products, and this includes their popular Nightfall Night Vision Monocular model.
Bright and Clear night views…
Although this monocular comes right at the top end of the $200 mark, it does offer good specs. One thing is for sure, bright and clear night viewing is yours. Dimension-wise it comes in at 8.4 x 4.4 x 3-inches and weighs just 15.2 ounces. An ergonomic look and feel, along with the quick power-up feature, is complemented by a 50 mm objective lens and 5x magnification.
You can then add to this the high-power built-in infrared illumination feature. This also includes a battery saver feature to give you greater run time. The infrared illumination is highly effective at boosting focus when distant objects are viewed. All this adds up to it being one of the best beginners budget night vision monoculars you can buy.
Image quality is above average and provides detailed imaging across the magnification range. As it is classed as a passive starlight device, no artificial light source is required for operation.
The design includes an electro-optical intensifying tube that is protected by a rubber-armored, water-resistant housing. That means it is up to use in a variety of weather conditions as well as rugged terrain.
Resolution comes in at 36 mm, and without IR illumination, you can expect image clarity out to 75 feet. However, with the illuminator on, the maximum viewing range is stated as 197 yards.
- From a respected manufacturer.
- Good for beginners and the more experienced.
- Robust build with water resistance.
- Large 50 mm objective lens.
- Built-in IR illuminator.
- Lens is very sensitive to light damage.
- Right at the top of the given budget.
2 Vortex Solo Tactical RT 8×36 Tactical Monocular w/ Ranging Reticle – Model No: SOL-3608-RT – Best Premium Budget Night Vision Monocular
Vortex is renowned for quality optics that come in at very keen prices. This Solo Tactical RT model is a prime example.
Designed to perform in all-weathers….
Vortex has built this monocular to perform in the vast majority of environments and weather conditions. The easy to hold rubber armor outer is waterproof, fog proof, and sufficiently robust. It contains fully multi-coated lenses to give excellent light transmission along with an anti-reflective performance.
There is also a flared eyecup that easily folds up/down to effectively block out any stray light. The design also caters for comfortable viewing whether you wear glasses or not. As for the MRAD reticle, this gives sharp images across the fixed 8x magnification range and includes a silhouette feature for fast ranging.
Sitting very comfortably as one of the best budget night vision monoculars under $200, it comes with a 36 mm objective lens. Weight, length, and width come in respectively at just 10.2 ounces, 5.4-inches, and 2.3-inches. The included carry case allows for ease of storage in a coat pocket or backpack.
As for other specs, Linear FOV (Field Of View) at 1000 yards is 393 ft. with a FOV angle of 7.5 degrees. Close focus is 16.4 ft, the exit pupil is 4.5 mm, and eye relief runs at 18 mm (0.7-inches). Along with the mentioned soft carry case, you get a neck lanyard and utility clip.
To finish on a real selling point, just take a look at the cover offered. This comes in the form of the company’s VIP (Very Important Promise) lifetime warranty. Should this quality monocular become damaged or defective, it will either be repaired or replaced at no cost. Do read the small print, but this fully transferable warranty is one of the industry’s best.
- Vortex quality build.
- Compact and lightweight.
- MRAD ranging reticle.
- Silhouette feature for rapid ranging.
- 8x magnification.
- Flared eyecup.
- Lifetime warranty.
- No photo/record function.
3 VABSCE Digital Night Vision Monocular w/1080p Full HD Video – Best Low Cost Night Vision Monocular
VABSCE is certainly not the best-known monocular brand. However, this digital night vision model offers a lot for the very low cost it comes in at.
Long range viewing is yours…
This compact monocular measures (LxWxH): 6.49 x 3.34 x 2.95-inches and weighs in at a light 10.2 ounces. It is easy to carry and has a padded strap for secure one-handed use.
The fully-coated objective lens is 24 mm, while fixed magnification of 3x and 5x digital zoom are manually adjustable. The ease of adjustment allows users to get the best focal length dependent upon viewing distance. In this respect, the field of view reaches out to 984 ft (328 yards).
Daytime use is possible, but it also comes with a seven level adjustable IR brightness 850nm “no glow” infrared illuminator. This is coupled with the optical system to give clarity of view in dim ambient light or complete darkness.
Users will find that the higher the IR level adjustment is, the clearer the image. It also needs noting that the longer and higher the IR function is used, the faster batteries will be drained. With that in mind, it is recommended to use high-quality rechargeable batteries as opposed to standard AA batteries.
Quality recording features…
As well as viewing images, there is a 3-mode operation. This allows still photos to be taken, video to be recorded (no audio), and playback of what has been captured. The CMOS sensor has high sensitivity to give 4032 x 2520 pixel full HD images and 1920×1080 pixels at 30FPS video.
It comes with a 32GB micro SD card but does support cards up to 128GB. This means sufficient storage space can be yours while out and about. Once your trek is completed, these images and videos can be transferred to your pc/laptop with ease. To assist with these transfers, there is an included USB cable. The alternative would be to use a micro SD card reader.
- Compact – ease of one-handed operation.
- Seven IR brightness settings.
- Good distance viewing range.
- Still image and video recording (no audio).
- 32GB SD micro card included (capacity up to 128GB).
- Low price.
- IR rather than true night vision.
- Lots of back-light.
- Burns batteries on highest setting.
4 Bushnell Equinox X650 Night Vision Monocular – Most Durable Budget Night Vision Monocular
When it comes to optic production, Bushnell knows a thing or two. They were founded as far back as 1948 and continue to produce an excellent line of optical products. It is little wonder that many hunting enthusiasts consider them as their go-to brand. The Equinox X650 monocular is not a top-of-the-line model but offers good quality and comes well within budget.
Detailed distance viewing…
Built to Bushnells’ robust specs, this monocular has an IPX4 water resistance rating. Its ergonomic design has a four-button interface and allows for ease of one-handed operation, but tripod mounting is another option. Users will also benefit from the included small Picatinny rail for any additional accessory attachments. Good examples here would be an extra infrared illuminator or laser.
The 32 mm objective lens is made from good quality glass and offers a 7.3 degree angle of view. As for magnification, this comes in two forms: Optical magnification is 5x, digital magnification is 4x, meaning users can take advantage of 9x magnification. This makes it possible to view distant subjects up to 216 yards away.
Brighten up your day…
The X650 has a built-in infrared light that assists the CMOS sensor in displaying images on the LCD screen. There are also three image brightness levels to ensure the best picture, dependent upon the light conditions you are in.
During daylight, you will receive color images; at night, they come in crisp black and white. It is also possible to save photos and video (with audio). The choice here is either via a micro SD card up to 64GB or any device with a USB connection. If using the USB port and cable to download, this can be completed without having to remove the memory card.
A lens cap, cables, SD card, carry case, and three AA batteries are included in the purchase. Buyers are also covered by a limited lifetime warranty.
- Reliable Bushnell build.
- Can be tripod mounted.
- Small Picatinny rail.
- 9x optical/digital combined capability.
- Day = Color images/Night = Black and White.
- View subjects out to 216 yards.
- Photo/Video capability.
- Download via included 64kb micro SD card or USB cable.
- Controls are not intuitive.
- Limited field of view.
5 Night Owl Optics 5-Power NOXM50 Night Vision Monocular – Best Value for Money Budget Night Vision Monocular
Night Owl Optics are one of the leaders in night vision technology. They offer several models of the best low cost night vision monoculars under $200. The one chosen here comes in just under budget but must be seen as good value for what is offered.
Rugged, dependable build…
Night Owl states that their NOXM50 model is the most rugged in their line. It features an extended body with a protective finish and robust molded plastic focus ring. This means reliable use in a variety of weather conditions and in tough environments is yours. As for operation, it comes with a hand strap to ensure safe and secure one-handed use.
Measuring in at (LxWxH): 7.45 x 2.5 x 4.25-inches, it weighs 14 ounces (without batteries). Power comes from a single 3-volt lithium battery (not included). As for battery life, this runs between 45 and 100 hours, depending on the amount of infrared usage.
Clarity of view comes via the high-quality, all-glass optics on the objective and ocular lenses. While it is a Gen 1 night vision device, it also includes updated technology. Magnification comes in at 5x, and the lens diameter is a generous 50 mm. As for FOV (Field Of View), it offers a 12.5 degree angular FOV and a 44 ft FOV at 200 ft.
The minimum focus range is 5.7 feet, and this monocular has a built-in columnated infrared illuminator. This allows for use in complete darkness as well as improving target recognition in all environments. Light amplification is 500x, and resolution is 35 lp/mm on center.
- From a leader in night vision technology.
- High-quality Gen-1 image intensifier tube.
- Built-in columnated infrared illuminator.
- All-glass objective and ocular lenses.
- 5x magnification and large 50 mm lens.
- 500x light amplification.
- Images are not so sharp in rain, cloud, or fog.
- No eyecup.
6 Gosky 12×55 High Definition Waterproof Monocular Telescope and Quick Phone Holder-2020 – Best Budget Recording Night Vision Monocular
To finish off the 6 best budget night vision monoculars under $200, here’s a Gosky model very worthy of attention.
Ideal for outdoor enthusiasts…
Whatever your outdoor activities are, the Gorsky Skyhawk monocular has them covered. It comes with 12x magnification and a generous, light-gathering 55 mm fully multi-coated objective wide lens.
Add to this an upgraded 20 mm multi-layer eyepiece and large crystal BAK4 prism. This combination allows for bright, clear images to be viewed. As for the 18 mm eye relief, this couples with adjustable eyecups for ease of viewing with or without glasses.
Built to last…
Regardless of the weather conditions you find yourself in, use is yours. It has a durable non-slip armor covering to absorb shock and provide a firm grip. The Skyhawk has also been argon-purged to give 100% waterproof, dustproof, shockproof, and fog proof abilities.
This quality module measures in at (LxWxH): 2.19 x 3.25 x 5.45-inches and weighs 15.85 ounces. Field of view is 325 ft at 1000 yards, while the field of view angle is 6.5 degrees. Exit pupil is 4.2 mm, and the minimum focus distance is just 2.5 mm.
Capture and record using the smartphone adapter….
High-resolution images with good color reproduction will be viewed, but the experience does not stop there. Thanks to the included smartphone adapter, users can capture and record all of the action to share with friends and family.
For those who would rather remain static for long periods while recording events, there is also a tripod mount feature. This is positioned on the base of the monocular and has been designed to fit all standard tripods.
Along with this quality monocular, purchase includes a digiscoping adapter, hand strap, eyepiece and lens covers, non-abrasive cleaning cloth, soft nylon carrying bag, and instruction manual. All-in-all, this has to be seen as value for what is on offer.
- Quality viewing.
- 12x magnification.
- 55 mm objective lens.
- 100% water, dust, shock, and fog proof.
- Effective smartphone adapter.
- Capture and record all of the action.
- Can be tripod mounted.
- Excellent customer service.
- Smartphone weight may cause blurred images.
- Don’t over tighten the smartphone connector.
Open Up a New World for a Low Price
Outdoor enthusiasts have made night vision monoculars one of the most popular accessories sold. They really are suitable for a wide variety of activities and perfect for anyone who loves the great outdoors. This is little wonder due to the new world they open up.
Manufacturers have certainly risen to the challenge of this demand and provide options galore. These range from Generation 1 models right up to the latest Generation 4 night vision technology. Although the latest best hi-tech monoculars can cost in excess of $6,000, the positive news is that low-cost models are readily available.
Looking for More Superb Night Vision Products?
If so, check out our comprehensive comparisons of the Best Night Vision Scopes, the Best ATN Rifle Scope, or the Best Night Vision Scope for AR-15 you can buy in 2023,
Or check out our in-depth review of the ATN S-Sight LTV 5-15x Night Vision Scope.
You might also be interested in our reviews of the Best Scope for Hog Hunting, the Best Scope for 6.5 Creedmoor, Best Mini 14 Ranch Rifle Scopes, the Best Rimfire Scopes, the Best Simmons Rifle Scopes, the Best Ruger AR 556 Scope, the Best Scope for AK-47, as well as the Best Vortex Scopes currently on the market.
So, Which of These Best Budget Night Vision Monoculars under $200 Should You Buy?
The reviewed 6 best night vision monoculars under $200 all offer value. However, a recommendation needs to be made. While this is a close call, the one that tops the list is the…
Vortex Solo Tactical RT 8×36 Tactical Monocular with ranging reticle (Model No. SOL-3608-RT)
This quality device is compact and lightweight yet built to perform in any weather conditions and the roughest terrain. The 8x magnification is complemented by an MRAD reticle that gives sharp imaging. It also includes a silhouette feature for fast ranging. As for the quality fully multi-coated lenses, these provide excellent light transmission and anti-reflective performance.
The flared eyecup works to block out stray light and offers comfortable use with or without glasses. What really tops things off is the company’s fully transferable VIP lifetime warranty. If the monocular has a problem, it will be repaired or replaced free of charge. That fact alone has to be seen as sound purchase protection!
It’s time to see in the dark!