There is a multitude of applications for thermal imaging goggles, ranging from surveillance through to an accompaniment for riflemen.
When hunting, one common purpose for these goggles is to spot varmints at night. They arguably work better than flashlights, because they won’t startle a target. Then, of course, they are used extensively in tactical combat for nighttime operations.
Whatever reasons you may have for wanting thermal imaging, it’s important to choose your hardware carefully. This is because there is a lot of thermal imaging tech out there that won’t be able to withstand rugged use – and therefore could let you down in the field.
So we’ve chosen some of the best thermal imaging goggles we could find on the market to date. Each product will be reviewed carefully with a summary of the key features, as well as the pros and cons. And, we’ve ensured to include great value for the money options for anyone on a budget.
We should also mention that we’ve included other similar thermal imaging technology that could be of interest.
Top-Rated Thermal Imaging Goggles
Rather than being a permanent over the eyes thermal imaging interface, the Pulsar Quantum HD19A 1-2x16mm Monocular is instead meant to be used for surveying areas where your targets could be positioned in darkness.
- Choice of heat signatures
- 30-hertz refresh rate
- 640×480 LCD display
- 2x digital zoom
- 3 operating modes
- Quick calibration
- Weaver rail/tripod mountable
- Video output
It has the benefit of either “white hot” or “black hot” heat signatures which you can use to observe areas in the dark. There are also three operating modes which are aptly named “City”, “Forest” and “Identification” for their assigned purposes. As well, you have the choice of automatic, manual, or semi-automatic calibration modes.
- Lightweight design
- Easily mounted
- Video output for recording
- Crisp 640×480 LCD display resolution
- Easy view of fast-moving objects
- Quick calibration
- Extremely durable design
- Price tag
- Not thermal imaging goggles
Why it’s recommended: It is an ideal accessory for searching out targets in darkness, and it’s more compact and easier to carry than some goggle options.
2 used from $189.99
- LARGE DYNAMIC WIDE SCREEN: Night Vision goggles with 2.31” TFT view screen, convert to 3″ large viewing screen by the convex lens. The night vision combines an excellent fully multi-coated all-optical system with a video camera, allows quickly capture the perfect photo or high definition video.
- HIGH PERFORMANCE NIGHT VISION: Day and night used with 3X magnification, 4 digital zoom and a 25mm objective lens, 850NM Infrared Illuminator takes image 1280x960pixel and 1280×960@30FPS video in dark. The 320*240 resolution color wide LCD screen display provide you easy to watch, you can use the USB to connect the computer to transmit data to prevent data loss.
- LONG VIEWING DISTANCE RANGE: Outstanding optical clarity, high performance digital night vision binoculars,enable you to observe the target in complete darkness and the range up to 984ft/ 300m. 7 gears infrared adjustment, according to dark environment. The higher the infrared light gear is adjusted, the farther and clearer the observation is.
- LONG CONTINUOUS RUNTIME: Up to 6 hour continuous runtime with IR illuminator on or 17 runtime without IR. Operates on 6 AA batteries (not included), no worry the battery drain out for the long time monitoring. Great for night hunting, reconnaissance, security and surveillance, camping, night navigation, night fishing, wildlife observation, search and rescue, bird watching, landscape photos.
- USER FRIENDLY WITH 32G MEMORY: Storage capacity: 4GB to 32GB (include 32GB card), Don’t worry about lacking of buffer space. Replay function,easy to view on night vision scopes directly;IP56 Water resistance; Tripod mountable(1 tripod Jack) and neck strapped. If you are not satisfied with our night vision goggles, please rest assured of a 100% refund.
JStoon delivers with these night vision enabled digital infrared binoculars that can take HD Images and 960p Video up to a range of 984 feet in the dark.
- Fully multi-coated optics.
- 31-inch TFT display.
- Captures photos and videos.
- 3x magnification.
- 4x digital zoom.
- 25mm objective lens.
- 7 gears of infrared adjustment.
- 6 hours of continuous runtime.
- 32gb memory.
If you require HD thermal imaging which can be captured in both photo and video formats, this JStoon design does this for a reasonable price. There are numerous adjustments you can make and it has long-range viewing capabilities. As well, the 6 hours continuous runtime is impressive for all the functionality you get in this package.
- 3-inch display option.
- Quick capture technology.
- Day and night use.
- Wide range of infrared adjustments.
- Great clarity.
- 32gb SD card included.
- 17 hour run time without illumination.
- Need 6 AA batteries to function.
Why they’re recommended: For the money, these are a high-quality pair of heat vision goggles that can be used for a multitude of purposes. They’re simple to use and let you capture your nighttime adventures with ease.
$205.99 in stock
2 used from $189.51
- HD Night Vision Goggles used in complete darkness—This Owl Night Vision Binoculars is equipped with infrared illuminator, which allows you to view animals or other objects for hours without external light.
- Don’t let your adventure be blocked by the dark night: GTHUNDER designed this efficient and useful digital night vision binoculars for you. Imagine how cool it is to capture HD photos & videos (without sound) in total darkness. All those files will be saved on 32g memory card included. You can also transfer them to your computer later.
- Easy to use for beginners: Thanks to the rugged & durable rubber housing, the Owl Night Vision Scanner has been developed to withstand any harsh environment. Also, it is comfortable to hold and use.
- A perfect gift with 3-inch TFT screen: It is easy to view photos instantly on the 3-inch TFT screen. And you can even track targets 986 feet away by using the 4X digital zoom. Besides, you can get the clear viewing via its fully multi-coated 24mm objective.
- Free 32GB Card and Package: Not only provide free memory cards, but also a sturdy case. It is suitable for storing night vision goggles and taking it out. Package include: 1 x Night Vision Scope, 1 x Case, 1 x Neck Strap, 1 x 32G CARD, 1 x Data Cable, 1 x User Manual, 1 x Cleaning Cloth.
Made to function in total darkness, these GThunder Goggles utilize infrared technology and come with a large viewing screen.
- Infrared illuminator
- 32gb memory card included
- HD video and photo capture
- 3-inch TFT screen
- 4x digital zoom
- Multi-coated 24mm objective lenses
- 986 feet tracking distance
GThunder has made thermal imaging goggles that are both comfortable and for rugged use in harsh environments. They allow you to track targets for hours without any external light. Plus, with a wide field of view and excellent zoom capability, the overall functionality of these goggles is very impressive.
- Intuitive functionality
- Record viewing
- Large video storage
- Hours of thermal imaging
- Can handle rugged use
- Protective case included
- Large viewing screen
- Sound is not recorded in video footage
Why they’re recommended: For anyone that requires a simple to use and durable pair of thermal imaging goggles, GThunder offers a great value choice.
- ★★★Large Dynamic Wide Screen Brings You Full View And Eyes’ Comfort: 2″ TFT display Screen, convert to 4″ large viewing screen by the convex lens. built in excellent ALL-OPTICAL BINOCULAR SYSTEM with a video camera. The 320*240 resolution color wide LCD screen Display provide you easy to watch, quick capture the perfect photo or high definition video.
- ★★★HIGH PERFORMANCE NIGHT VISION: Night Vision Binocular with 1300feet/400M night vision range, bulit in 2″ TFT LCD screen. 5mp photo & 640p Video Recorder Camcorder.
- ★Patented filter makes OUTSTANDING OPTICAL CLARITY: with 7X magnification, 2 digital zoom and a 31mm objective lens, takes picture in darken night (640*480pixel) and 640*480@30FPS video. Built in 850NM Infrared Illuminator for up to 1300 ft/400m viewing distance in full darkness; Day and night used; Date/time can be stampted on photo or video.
- ★For: hunting&scouting game / security and surveillance / search and rescue / camping fun&exploring caves / nighttime navigation / night fishing and boating / wildlife observation, etc.
- ★DATA STORAGE AND VIDEO PUTOUT Capability: Rechargeable Battery(not included): 8 *AA, lithium, alkaline or NI-MH Battery; provides SD card slot and the maximum capacity is 32G(no included, include a 4G Micro SD Card). Can be used as a live Infrared surveillance camera connecting TV with TV cable.
Ideal for hunters, these night vision binoculars feature a 2-inch TFT LCD HD Infrared IR Camera & Camcorder and a 1300 feet viewing range in complete darkness.
- Widescreen TFT display
- 1300 feet night vision range
- 850NM Infrared Illuminator
- Patented filter and 7x magnification
- 32gb recording capacity
- Can be used as a surveillance camera
- 31mm objective lenses
It must also be said that these night vision binoculars can be used for security, surveillance, search, and rescue, as well as a variety of nighttime activities.
They provide exceptional optical clarity and can capture high-quality images and video recordings. Batteries can be recharged and an SD card with a maximum of 32gb can be utilized.
- Provides exceptional visuals
- Easy viewing
- 7x magnification
- Work very well for hunters
- Plenty of storage
- Reasonably priced
- Rechargeable batteries not included
- 32gb SD card not included
Why they’re recommended: As a very versatile thermal imaging solution, you can even set this up to record as a stand-alone video camera for night time security purposes. It should also be great for spotting varmints at night in a hunting context.
ATN PS15-4 GEN 4
- Dual goggle/binocular
- Hands-Free Use
- Comfortable Flip-up Headgear
Now we have some proper hands free night vision goggles that provide thermal imaging with a comfortable flip-over design.
- Image intensifying technology
- Built-in infrared illuminator
- Fully waterproof
- 1x magnification
- Proshield lens coating
- 40 degrees field of view
- 40 hours of battery life
- Lightweight at 1.54 pounds
If you need your hands free for tactical night time shooting or hunting, the ATN PS15-4 GEN 4 Goggles will serve you well. They’re extremely lightweight, durable, waterproof, and have batteries that last a solid 40 hours of continuous use.
- Clear and crisp imagery
- Hands-free viewing
- Excellent depth perception
- Visuals in total darkness
- Automatic brightness control
- Low battery indicator in the visuals
- Waterproof and durable
- No SMART technology built-in
- Not a multi-purpose system
- No recording
Why they’re recommended: For any tactical rifleman, these night vision goggles should keep your mobility and maneuverability to maximum effect. They comply with MIL-STD-810 requirements and a two-year warranty is included in the package.
FLIR Scout II
- Notice: By purchasing the FLIR Scout II the buyer acknowledges the product is subject to Export Administration Regulations (EAR)
- Product cannot be exported, re-exported, resold, transferred or otherwise disposed of to any country without approval from the US. Dept. of Commerce, Bureau of Industry & Security in accordance with EAR, Title 15, Code of Federal Regulations part 730
- Diversion contrary to U. S. law is prohibited
- Reliable 24/7 Vision – Thermal imaging reveals humans and animals in complete darkness or glaring light, offering reliable detection at any time of day.
- Compact & Rugged – Scout II’s rugged, weather-tight shell can withstand hard drops and shallow water.
The FLIR Scout II is a handheld and compact thermal imaging monocular and camera that is especially suited for tactical work out in the field.
- Day and night suitability
- In-built camera for photo/video
- USB powered with adapter/charger
- Weather sealed
- Durable construction
- 640×480 LCD display
- Uses VOx Microbolometer detection
- Lightweight at 12 ounces
Created for outdoor enthusiasts and hunters, this is a very simplistic design that allows you to gain your bearings in low light or complete darkness.
It’s perfect for anyone that doesn’t want an overcomplicated way of seeing their surroundings. Plus, you can take snapshots and even videos out on a trail or in the wild.
- Simple to use
- Tough and resilient construction
- Can be dropped into shallow water
- No training needed
- Wrist strap operation
- Easy USB charging
- Molle bag included
- Not a hands-free design
- Limited in some functionality
Why it’s recommended: This has to be considered a reliable and useful tool for hunters, outdoor enthusiasts, and for anyone that knows they will need to navigate through low visibility conditions in harsh environments.
- Standard Military issue
- Multi-purpose: handheld, head-mounted, helmet-mounted
As a standard military issue product, the ATN PVS7-3 gives you hands-free tactical awareness in complete darkness.
- Multi-purpose for flexibility
- Lightweight design
- Infrared illumination
- Continuous/momentary IR switch
- Fully adjustable head strap
- Low battery indicator displays internally.
- Combat proven design
Used as standard issue equipment by US troops, this option can be helmet-mounted, head-mounted, or used as a handheld device.
It’s therefore extremely adaptable and is built to mil-spec standards for high performance in tough conditions.
- Automatic brightness adjustment
- Automatic shut-off system in place
- Water and fog-resistant
- Made for harsh climates
- Proshield Lens Coating
- 60-hour battery life
- No photo or video capabilities
Why it’s recommended: If the US-military has adopted this hardware for use with their infantrymen, then it must have passed some very rigorous tests and requirements. The goggle is made for tactical shooters that need reliability, first and foremost.
- Revolutionary widescreen viewing monitor – comfortable viewing with both eyes, even useable with glasses
- Viewing range of up to and over 110 yards at night, 3x fixed magnification with a 2x digital zoom button (6x magnification total)
- Straightforward and instantaneous operation
- 6hrs battery life on eight AA batteries
- 18 month warranty and Nightfox product support
Selecting heat vision goggles on a budget can be quite tricky. But, the Nightfox 100V won’t disappoint.
- Impressive widescreen monitor
- 110-yard viewing range in darkness
- 3x fixed magnification
- 2x digital zoom
- Quick response operation
- 6 hours of battery life
- Ergonomic focus wheel
Expect clear and crisp 2-eye viewing with this binocular design, which can easily be used when wearing glasses.
With all zoom functions added up, there’s the benefit of a 6x total magnification. It does require eight AA batteries, which provide you with the 6 hours of battery life.
- Easy viewing
- Widescreen visuals
- Work with eyeglasses
- 7 infrared levels
- 3 simple buttons operate
- Fluid focus wheel
- 18-month warranty
- Eight AA batteries needed
Why it’s recommended: Users that are in search of a widescreen handheld thermal imaging device that can be used with eyeglasses have a strong option here. Although it needs quite a few batteries, it makes up for this with simple functionality and great night time visuals.
- ★The built-in 3W infrared LED with 850nm infrared illumination allows viewing up to 400m away in total darkness. Ultra-large display prevents the eyes from being overworked even after a long observation.
- ★Excellent optical clarity, powerful digital night vision binoculars, up to 7x magnification in the dark,3.5x digital zoom, and 31mm lens aperture; Use the supplied AV cable to view your pictures on a TV, or transfer the files to your computer with the supplied USB cable.
- ★Fully multi-coated optics increase light transmission and reduce glare. The digital night vision binocular camera is perfect for hunting, reconnaissance, security, surveillance, camping, exploring caves, nighttime navigation, night fishing and boating, wildlife watching, search and rescue.
- ★In the dark, the digital night vision device works up to 6 hours. Storage capacity up to 32G TF card(not clude);You can use the Micro USB2.0 cable to connect the computer and transfer data to avoid data loss.
- ★Language: English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese and Arabic; It requires 6 x AA lithium, alkaline or Ni-MH batteries (not included).
The T-Eagle offer both day and night visuals to a high level and allow viewing up to 400 meters away.
- Ultra-large display
- 3W infrared LED
- 850nm infrared illumination
- 7x magnification in darkness
- 2x digital zoom
- 31mm lens aperture
- Fully multi-coated optics
- 6 hour run time
This is a serious thermal imaging set-up for hunters, security surveyors, and night time navigators – to name a few. It gives you a massive 400 meters of clear viewing distance and there’s an 8G TF card included in this package. It’s also tripod mountable and can be utilized as a live infrared surveillance camera, connected to a TV, with a cable provided.
- Excellent long-range performance
- Strong day and night visuals
- Impressive magnification and zoom
- Easy to view display
- Multi-purpose design
- High spec infrared technology
- Great value for the money
- Battery life could be better
- THE MOST ADVANCED COLOR NIGHT VISION CAMERA: The SiOnyx Aurora uses ultra low-light IR sensor technology to provide peerless night vision hunting performance. Use Aurora IR monocular before or after rifle scope, or as a trail camera for remote viewing.
- ACCESSORIES: Custom Aurora Picatinny rail mount, a 940nm IR illuminator with Picatinny rail mount, rechargeable batteries & external battery charger, 2 Aurora batteries, a carry case, external battery charger, 1 microSD card (32GB), a lanyard & USB cable.
- WATERPROOF CARRYING CASE: This durable & portable carrying case is large enough to hold all of your Aurora equipment. It includes slots for each accessory for compact, neat storage and it’s cushioned interior provides ultimate protection for your gear.
- MOUNTABLE IR ILLUMINATOR: The SiOnyx Aurora functions peerlessly in ultra low-light conditions, but when immersed in total darkness, use the 940nm infrared (IR) light illuminator to light your path to give your Aurora the boost it needs to pick up color.
- ENHANCE YOUR NIGHT HUNTING: Target prey in vivid color deep into the night. Mount quickly and easily to your weapon-of-choice with the camera’s 1/4”-20 standard mount & a Picatinny rail mount and record your shot with recoil-activated capture.
Here’s a full kit that works with AR-rifle platforms, which includes an Aurora Color Night Vision Camera, 940nm IR illuminator, Picatinny rail mounts, and a waterproof case.
- Night vision kit for hunters
- Custom Picatinny mount
- 940nm IR Illuminator
- Durable/waterproof carry case
- Rechargeable batteries included
- Battery charger
- 32gb microSD card
With such power and technology built into this device, you will be able to see color through the night vision camera in dark environments.
Conveniently, it can be simply mounted before or after a scope on a hunting rifle. As a whole, this is a very alluring all-in-one package offered by SiOnyx for hunters and tactical shooters.
- Flexible mounting options
- Color vision in the dark
- Compact and easy to carry
- Cushioned carry case interior
- Record your nighttime shooting
- Camera can be used as a handheld device
Why it’s recommended: Hunters have a strong all-in-one solution to consider with this digital night vision kit. It allows for quick mounting and for you to get out in the field in no time at all.
Thermal Vision Vs Night Vision
As you may have noticed, there seems to be a lot of mention of night vision, thermal vision, and infrared related technology throughout this article.
To clarify things, night vision works by amplifying available light that bounces from objects. If goggles are used with only night vision in place, they may not gain enough light in very dark environments.
However, with an IR illuminator built-in to a night vision based set-up, things change. The IR illuminator works as a flashlight to illuminate the night vision to work more effectively.
If a purely infrared thermal scope is being used, no light is required at all because this technology relies on the natural infrared light emitted by objects, which can be traced in the dark.
How to Choose Thermal Imaging Goggles
This article deals with a wide range of thermal imaging hardware to suit various needs.
Anyone wishing to carry out general surveillance will be generally happy with a handheld device. If this device is to be used in a static location, portability and weight shouldn’t be such an issue. Therefore a device with a large TFT display would be a great choice.
Monoculars are also good for surveillance and work much better as portable options for hunters, hikers, and outdoor activities where you are on the move.
Then we have the over the eyes hands-free night vision goggles which really are meant for tactical use in a professional context – such as the military. They also work well for hunters that want to carry out close-range targeting with their goggles on, in combination with iron or red dot sights.
What Are Thermal Goggles Used For?
We mentioned at the very start of the article that there are multiple applications for the use of thermal goggles. These applications commonly include:
- Varmint hunting.
- Security and Surveillance.
- Nighttime hiking.
- Bird watching.
- Tactical training.
Although, these are just a few examples of how they can be used in both a professional or personal context.
In conclusion, it’s important to find the right thermal imaging goggles, binoculars, monoculars, or cameras to fit your specific needs. We made sure to include a wide variety in this article so that you may find the right solution, for the right price too.
Things that should always be checked out are what’s actually included in the package. Do you need to buy extra gear such as batteries, a case, and mounts for example? Also, you should question whether you want your system to work both in the day and nighttime environments.
Lastly, it’s a good idea to consider the goggles, or similar hardware that you purchase as a way of finding the general location of your targets – if you are hunting. This is because you’ll most likely have a very wide field of view. Then you’ll be able to position your rifle accordingly and make use of a good thermal imaging scope to acquire a target.
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10 Best Thermal Imaging Goggles
Choosing the best night vision goggles for your needs is easy with our detailed reviews and ratings.
- Pulsar Quantum
- Best Guarder
- ATN PS15-4 GEN 4
- FLIR Scout II
- ATN PVS7-3
- Nightfox 100V
- SiOnyx Aurora