Night Vision Monocular vs Binoculars: Which One to Buy?

Night Vision Monocular vs Binoculars

Night Vision Monocular vs Binoculars

Being able to see far distances and objects clearly is a luxury that monoculars and binoculars buy you. And its night vision counterpart steps up the game by allowing you to see in the dark. But should you buy a night vision monocular or NV binoculars? Let us help you weigh in through our night vision monocular vs binoculars article.

The military, police, night hunters, naturalists, hikers, and even regular Joes who stay in their house at night drinking beer or watching movies may find good use of night vision devices. Such tools help you zero in on targets and preys, map out your terrain, and gain visual of oncoming danger.

For whatever purpose you intend to use them, it’s important to know that besides quality, merely making the right choice between night vision monoculars and NV binos can further enhance your experience.

So, which one should you get and why? Here’s what we found out:

Night Vision Monocular vs Binoculars


Before we get on this particular point, there’s a simple experiment I’d like you to try. First, extend your arms in front of you and form a triangle by joining your thumbs and index fingers. With both of your eyes open, frame an object inside the triangle. This can be anything—a vase, signage, etc.

Next, close your right eye and see how well the triangle frames the object. Then, close your left and, again, take note how well the triangle centers the target. If you’d notice, one eye can frame the object better than the other.

So, what are we trying to drive at here? This means that binocular vision or seeing with both eyes is superior to a monocular sighting. With two eyes open, you have an increased field of view!

Additionally, it also increases your ability to judge spatial distance. Try this second experiment! This time, reach for or touch an object that’s at least a foot away from your extended arms. Do it with both eyes opened as well as just one eye opened. Notice how quickly you execute the task with binocular vision? That’s because binocular vision increases your depth perception.

So, it’s basically the same with night vision monoculars and binoculars. Because NV binoculars afford you the overlapping of two vision fields, you can get a wider field of view and more accurate depth perception than with NV monoculars.


Next thing you’d want to look at is the comfort. Looking through binoculars for extended periods, in particular, can be taxing on your eyes—so much more if it’s nighttime, and you see through unnatural filters! If you add to that the unnatural way of seeing through one eye only, then you can almost predict some eye fatigue and headache coming your way.

Thus, if you’re going to use these tools for long periods such as a stakeout or when you are observing wildlife in their natural habitat, night vision binoculars make for a more comfortable choice. If you’re going to employ these tools sporadically, then either is fine.


Just by the looks of it, you can already tell that a night vision monocular is smaller than a pair of binoculars, and it is expectedly lighter, too. This volume and weight advantages make them easier to carry around. They are even compact enough to fit in your pocket and takes up less space than a pair of binoculars would in your backpack.

Conversely, with night vision binoculars, your arms can tire faster just from holding them up. For this reason, some users pair their binos with a tripod. And if you hang your night vision binoculars around your neck for extended periods, then you might soon find yourself complaining of neck or back strains or even both.

So, if size and weight are an issue for you and being able to travel light is a priority, then you’d find yourself happier with a night vision monocular. In general, hikers and explorers will enjoy the portability of a monocular.


Because of the portability of night vision monoculars, they can be used for a range of situations. In that respect, that makes them a more versatile choice.

On top of that, some high-quality night vision monoculars can be head-mounted, attached to rifle and spotting scopes, or mounted directly on weapons. It is this feature that makes them perfect for some police and military operations as well as for night hunting. Also, when used with a camera adapter, monoculars can be nifty photography tools.

For the many things you can do with a monocular, it’s a clear winner in this department.


A pair of night vision binoculars will always have two of almost everything that a monocular has, from the tube to the optics or glass elements. Because of that, you can expect a pair of binoculars to sell higher than a monocular of the same brand and features. However, it’s important to note that there are high-end monoculars that can cost you thousands of dollars.

As it is, you can find good night vision monoculars and binoculars at different price points.


So, which side should you take in the night vision monocular vs binoculars battle? It all depends on what activity you intend to use them. If you’re going to stay in one place like in a stakeout, then you’ll appreciate the more accurate depth perception, wider field of view, and the overall viewing comfort that a pair of night vision binoculars can offer you.

But, if you’re looking for one that you can use sporadically or utilize in various ways like mounting it on a weapon or with a camera, then the lighter and more compact night vision monocular is best for you. Bottom line, the question you need to answer is what criterion is the most important to you.

As for the price, with night vision devices sold at different price points, you’re sure to find one that fits your budget. But, if there’s one consideration that you shouldn’t overlook, then it’s the quality. So, whether you’re choosing a monocular over a pair of binoculars or vice-versa, make sure you find one that gets the job done.

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