Best Night Vision Scopes for 2018 – Rated #1 Optic Buyer’s Guide

You’ve landed on this page for a reason: maybe you’re on the prowl for a scope that’ll allow you to do some night hunting, whether it be for wild boar or those pesky vermin who love to cause trouble around your property in the middle of the night. Or maybe you’re an avid shooter who wants a scope that’ll allow you to do a little nighttime target practice with the buddies. Either way, you’ve come to the right place! Below, we’ve compiled a list and reviewed just for you, some of the best night vision scopes for 2018.

Best Night Vision Scope Reviews (Updated January 2018)

Top Night Vision Scope Review Buying Guide

On a smaller budget and need the top night vision scope for under $500? No problem, we’ve got you covered.  Rockin’ something special and lookin’ for a night vision scope for AR-15? We’ve got ya’ there, too! Look, don’t drop any money down on an NV scope until you’ve read these reviews and our buying guide. Once you’ve found what you’re looking for, then get out there and pull the trigger (no pun intended) on a night vision scope that’s gonna’ knock your socks off!

Well, what are ya’ waiting for? See our list below and then get reading!

NameZoomWeightBody Material 
ATN X-Sight II

Sightmark Photon XT
(Our Favorite)
Firefield FF16001

Armasight Vampire

3x3lbsAluminum Alloy

ATN X-Sight II – Digital Night Vision Scope with SMART Features

We’ve got smart phones, smart thermostats, and a little bit of “smart” everything in-between. This is a SMART world, am I right? Well, now you’ve got a night vision riflescope to add to your list ofour review of the atn x-sight ii 3-14x night vision rifle scopesmart enabled devices. That’s right, from being fully WiFi capable and offering 1080p video recording functionality, to a built-in automatic rangefinder and the ability to have 3 to 14x magnification, this ATN X-Sight II is a gem of a workhorse. Get ready to be the talk of all your friends when you whip out this digital night vision scope that’ll work for all your nighttime and daytime shooting needs.

A Rangefinder That’s Easier Than Ever

You’ve got the shot lined up and you “think” it’s going to be a dead-on hit. But wait, you forgot to calculate and adjust for the range of your target. Now you’ve got to do something: pull out the downloaded phone app, or worse yet, do it the old-fashioned way by having to remember those complicated charts and calculations. Let’s be real, nobody likes sitting and having to calculate range, no matter how good you are. After all, you’re probably using this scope as a recreational accessory to your rifle and not in the deserts of Afghanistan, so you want something that’ll calculate range quick, easy and efficient. Well, you’re in luck! The X-Sight II has a built in smart rangefinder that takes all the hard work out of getting a perfectly calculated range for that long or short distance shot. We found the scope’s two-click feature made it easy as pie to range a target. But, it gets better: once your target is ranged and you’re ready to fire, the reticle does all the work for you by automatically compensating and adjusting for the impact point. Talk about ez-pz lemon squeezy. Throw all your other methods out of calculating range, because if you snag this smart scope you can kiss them all goodbye!

Shots At 1080p Never Looked So Good

Remember the “good ol’ days” when you were hunting out in the field and grabbed that perfect shot, but nobody was around to see it? You know the one that became a legend around the campfire and nobody seemed to ever believe it? Those days are long behind you with X-Sight II’s ability to capture all your shots in stunning, full HD 1080p video and photo quality! So, you may be sitting there thinking, “That’s cool and all, but what if I forget to hit record in the first place?” Well, ATN has solved this problem by incorporating their RAV (recoil activated technology) which will only record video clips before and after you pull the trigger. We’ve found not only does this eliminate long and wasted video which can take a while to get to the action but it keeps your audience’s attention by getting right to the point. If you’re the type that wants to get a bit of video leading up to your shot, then the RAV functionality is fully customizable and will allow you specify any amount of time to start recording before and after the shot. The video was crisp and clear, but looked better and allowed for more of the full HD resolution at the lower magnification levels. Trust us when we say that friends and family are going to enjoy watching your next hunt or day at the range when they can feel like they’re right there with you, seeing what you see!

Magnification Domination

You want to reach out and touch whatever you are aiming at, and with the ATN X-Sight II, you’re gonna be able to do just that. With a 3x-14x variable range, we found that it was nice for those short range shots, but absolutely fantastic at the max ranges like 14x power. We did experience some slight blurring around the edges of the scope when zoomed into full power, and quite a few other reviews have experienced the same problem, but it’s not much of an issue unless you’re really looking for it and is to be expected of a digital zoom scope. With that said, you’re going to dominate with this scope’s digital image quality and superior night vision performance. Put it to the test and watch it exceed your expectations in every way imaginable!

One problem we couldn’t get over is the amount of power this thing draws! Batteries were getting burned through like nobody’s business and we found that the scope lasted on full power for about 2 hours with the batteries we were using. Even though this may seem game breaking, we have read that getting the optional external battery supply or some very high mAH rechargeable batteries will fix this minor problem.

Final Say

If you’re looking for one of the top digital night vision scopes that have a ton of smart features and will offer you an unparalleled amount of quality that only the ATN brand can offer, then the ATN X-Sight II needs to be on your list. You won’t be disappointed and we guarantee your hunting and range buddies are gonna’ be trying to pick one up after they see you rocking it.
The Good
  • Epic 1080p quality video
  • A perfect magnification range of 3-14x
  • WiFi features that’ll allow you to quickly share with friends and family
The Bad
  • Battery life drained very fast (approx. 2 hours)

Sightmark Photon XT – Best Night Vision Scope for AR-15 (Our Favorite Night Vision Scope for 2018)

You’re searching high and low, but you can’t seem to find a perfect night vision scope for your AR-15 setup? Your search has hopefully come to an end, as the Sightmark Photon XT 4.6x42S is night vision scope review of the Sightmark Photon XT 4.6x42Sabout to be the perfect fit for you. And for those of you out there who are looking to mount this scope on a hunting rifle, do not worry as this is actually our favorite night vision scope for 2018 (and not just because it is killer on an AR, but any gun that decides to add her on).

Need different specifications? You can check out the three different versions of this scope on Amazon below:

Sightmark Photon XT (4.6x42S) with LED IR

Sightmark Photon (6.5x50L) with Laser IR

Sightmark Photon (6.5x50S) with LED IR

From its light weight build to customizable digital reticle with 6 different styles to choose from, and built in IR illuminator, you’ll be hard-pressed to find another scope in this price range that’ll leave you with a warm and fuzzy feeling every time you take it out.

As Light As A Feather

I’m sure you’ll agree that having a scope that weighs almost as much as a newborn baby isn’t the business, especially when it is something you take out regularly or is your go-to scope to night hunt with. The Photon XT has to be one of the lightest scopes we’ve reviewed, coming in at only 1lb. 7.6oz. That means you’re going to have an NV scope that is almost as light as a feather, we’ll bet ya’ forget it’s even there! Sightmark even claims these models are 33% lighter in weight than any other digital night vision rifle scopes that are currently on the market. But don’t take our word for it, pick one up and see for yourself!

More Reticle Styles Than You’ll Ever Need

Who owns a scope with one, set reticle style? If you do, you’re behind on the curve (but that’s okay – different strokes for different folks, right?). In this day and age, everything is about customization and having the flexibility to change options on a whim to best fit your ever-changing needs. That being said, it’s no surprise one of our favorite features was the 6 different included reticle styles that came equipped with this night vision scope. First, choose your favorite reticle color from green, red or white and then, choose a reticle style that is going to help you achieve your goals:

Have a crossbow that shoots at 320, 350, 370 or 400 feet-per-second? The Sightmark Photon XT includes two specialized reticle styles designed specifically for these crossbows. Or maybe you’re more into hunting hogs and varmint? Sightmark has your reticle needs covered by including two Duplex reticles that are perfect for hunting those types of game. Last, but definitely not least, they’ve added in a Mil-Dot reticle for range finding and a German style reticle for those of you who are wanting something a little special. You’ll quickly find that the night vision scope comes equipped with almost too many reticle styles if that’s possible?

Like An Owl In The Night

Shooting during the day is one thing, but nighttime shooting provides its own set of challenges. This is where a night vision scope like the Photon XT comes in to save the day. So, let’s get down to business and tell you exactly how the scope performs under the cover of darkness. For starters, it offers a 640×480 resolution that offers good amounts of detail on objects up to around 150 yards and with its versatile 4.6x magnification and 42mm lens, you’ll have a riflescope that’ll outperform your expectations for medium range distances. As soon as you lock this thing on your AR (or any other favorite rifle) and fire it up, you’re going to be impressed, to say the least. With a quick start up time of about 5-6 seconds, you’re not going to be waiting around while this thing gets going. It also includes built IR that’ll allow you to see objects in the dark to around 80 yards away, but add on an additional IR flashlight and you can easily double that distance. The image quality through this scope has to be seen and can rival some night vision scopes double its price.

The one major issue we had with this night vision scope was the built in IR feature. While it was a nice to have, it didn’t provide as much illumination as we had hoped for. We think you’ll be better off buying a high quality, aftermarket IR flashlight and saving some of the battery life by keeping the internal IR turned off.

Final Thoughts On This NV Scope

The Sightmark Photon XT is an absolute beast and there is a good reason we’ve rated it our best night vision scope for 2018. If you’re in the market for a scope that can dominate the darkness, then look no further. While the IR issue was a little annoying, it’s nothing that would ever keep us from buying the scope, especially since you can buy and mount an aftermarket IR flashlight and easily solve the problem. Trust us, you deserve to take a look at this scope and try it out for yourself…you’ll be glad you did!
The Good
  • A light-weight scope
  • Many reticle styles to choose from
  • Great night vision clarity at night
The Bad
  • Built in IR didn’t allow for much distance

Firefield FF16001 – Best Night Vision Scope For The Money (Budget-Friendly)

Are you sitting out there and frustrated because you can’t find a budget-friendly night vision scope? Well, we’ve spent some time looking through different scopes in order to find people like you an overview of firefight ff16001 NV scopeNV scope that works well but won’t break the bank. With its’ powerful magnification, titanium body with weatherproofing, and ergonomic design, Firefield has developed a scope that is hard to rival at its current price point. Being a Gen 1, it is definitely an entry-level scope but should be just right for you if you’re looking to get into the night vision game at the least cost possible or just want something to throw on another gun.

Built With The User In Mind

There are night vision scopes out on the market that are hard to use, cumbersome and have quite the learning curve just to get the dang thing dialed in and working right. Fortunately, the Firefield FF16001 is not in that category. User-friendliness and ergonomic design is an understatement when it comes to this baby. It has a nice, small profile which makes putting it on a variety of different applications an absolute breeze. And if you’re looking for something to detach and fit easily into your range bag, then you’ll have no problem. You’ll be able to quickly mount, make adjustments, sight, and zero in with efficiency and speed, and as a hunter or shooting at the range, speed and ease of use are definitely nice qualities to have, am I right? Also, you won’t be let down by the look of the scope as it has a clean, minimalistic design that will appeal to almost anybody. After all, nobody wants to be out with an NV scope on their gun that looks like they’re out of the next Call of Duty game.

A “Do-It-All” Magnification

Anybody who says magnification isn’t one of the most critical aspects of any scope, night vision or not, is absolutely crazy. While some scopes have a versatile zoom range, the Firefield FF16001 is equipped with a 3x, fixed zoom. Having a nice 3x zoom will be more than capable of helping you reach out and touch anything that is medium to long distance ranges. We find that 3x is a great, general range of scope to get for a lot of different needs and situations. Firefield has also included a lens diameter of 42mm which will allow more light to enter the front lens and give you an advantage in those late dusk and early morning situations where you may not want to use the built in IR light right away.

Built Like A Blast-Proof Bunker

Again, for the price, this night vision scope is built like a tank! Anybody who hunts knows that varying weather can be difficult to predict, especially in the middle of darkness. The FF16001 easily solves this by giving you a fully weatherproof scope. That’s right, don’t sit and wonder if a little bit of rain is going to ruin this bad boy because internally it’ll be sitting dry and working for you through it all.

Now, we all know that we NEVER ding or scratch up any of our scopes, because they’re our babies, right? Wrong! You know as well as I do that a ding and scratch is bound to happen over time, especially if you’re an avid game hunter or like to actually use your gear, not keep it sitting pretty in a gun safe somewhere. Firefield built this budget-friendly night vision scope out of titanium which helps keep the scope’s weight down, prevents corrosion and gives a nice sturdiness and rugged feeling when you hold it in your hands.

We found the mounting system on this night vision scope was a little cheap. Unfortunately, you can’t use another mount with the scope, so you are stuck. Your experience may differ depending on what gun you are mounting this on.

Final Thoughts

If you’re just starting out and getting into some night hunting and want a great night vision scope, but are on a little bit of a budget, then the Firefield 16001 needs to be looked at. Overall, it has a solid build, good magnification and is easy to use and get around. For the price, you’re not going to find another scope with the features it provides and the durability. While we wish the mounting system was designed a little bit better, (or that we could use a different mount) you may find that it works great for your application and use!
The Good
  • Solid, titanium built body
  • Weather resistant features
  • Magnification works well for many different uses
The Bad
  • Mounting system could have been designed better

Armasight Vampire – Top Night Vision Scope for Under $1000

While all of our night vision scopes on this list are under $1,000 – most are digital and considered Gen 1 scopes. With the Armasight Vampire, you are getting a scope that is considered Gen 1+ our break down of the armasight vampire 3x CORE night vision scopeand comes in just shy of $1,000…making it the most expensive NV scope on our guide, but for good reason. With a standard 3x zoom (great all-around range), their proprietary CORE system, and its’ convenient rail system, you’ll quickly realize why the Vampire is one of the best scopes out on the market today.

*Armasight was recently acquired by FLIR Systems (the leading company in perception and awareness technologies) in June of 2016.

Zoom n’ Boom!

You heard us right, zoom and boom! With a fixed 3x magnification, you’re going to find the scope works well for anything you want to throw at it: from hunting, range practice and anything in between, the Armasight Vampire by FLIR is going to accel at it all! Granted, you’re not going to be able to reach out and hit your intended targets at 400+ yards out (unless you’re a damn good shot), but having the 3x zoom should allow you to get a decent distance and still shoot a solid round at whatever you’re trying to hit.

The CORE System

The Armasight Vampire by FLIR has included their new, proprietary CORE technology (Ceramic Optical Ruggedized Engine). As soon as you get this scope on your weapon and take it out, you’re going to notice this isn’t your standard Gen 1+ night vision scope, thanks to CORE. You’re going to see better edge clarity, the photo-sensitivity of the scope is better than standard Generation 1 devices, and the most important spec of this unit is going to be the resolution, which is rated at double most Gen 1 devices out on the market today. Also, FLIR Systems advertises the Vampire night vision rifle scope at being up to 70lp/mm which is similar, if not a little better than a Gen 2 device. So, if you’re out there wondering why you should spend the extra money on this scope over any of the others, you can see that the technology they have packed into it not only updated tech that blows traditional Gen 1 scopes out of the water but rivals those Gen 2 scopes (which are double to triple the price) in a few select areas as well.

A Tactical Rail System Built for Versatility

The Armasight Vampire comes complete with a tactical, Picatinny rail system that is ideal for illuminators or lasers. Unlike some scopes, you won’t be stuck with the included infrared which may be built into the night vision scope. Also, having a Picatinny rail will give you complete control over what accessories you decide to add, and we found this tactical rail was absolutely perfect for our needs.

We recommend some of the following accessories for the Armasight Vampire:

Armasight XLR-IR850 Long Range Infrared

Ozark Armament Laser Sight System

If you’re used to using light scopes, you’ll quickly notice that the Vampire night vision scope comes in at almost 3lbs, which made it a little heavy. While noticeable at first, you quickly get used to it. Still, with scopes on the market being quite a bit lighter, we wish they could have shaved a little bit off in the weight area.

Our Final Thought

If you want a Gen 1 scope, but want to spend a little bit extra for some specs and features that you find on Gen 2 scopes, then the Armasight Vampire by FLIR is your answer. The CORE system really delivers and gives you that little bit extra “oomph” when it comes to making is a true Gen 1+ NV scope with some great, solid features. Its aluminum alloy build, 3x zoom and rail system that was designed with you in mind, you’re going to have a hard time finding a better night vision scope under $1,000.
The Good
  • Body made of aluminum alloy and coated with rubber
  • Versatile tactical rail system
  • 3x magnification for different uses
The Bad
  • A little heavy at 3lbs

 The Best Night Vision Scope Buyer’s Guide (Coming Soon)

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2 thoughts on “Best Night Vision Scopes for 2018 – Rated #1 Optic Buyer’s Guide”

  1. Thanks for the break-down! I actually just purchased the Sightmark Photon XT and absolutely love it! Great scope. A few of my friends have the Armasight (a more expensive version than you listed here) and it seems pretty solid, but I am happy with my purchase.

    Do you think it’s better to have a digital scope?

    1. Hey Brian!

      Thanks for the comment. As far as whether it’s better having a digital scope opposed to standard scopes – it’s just personal preference. A lot of the digital scopes allow for customization and some smart features, but the drawback is they burn through batteries like crazy.

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