Last updated: 17/10/2022

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Night vision goggles offer you better vision at night. This helps you especially when driving, but also during sporting activities in nature. The special lenses mean that you are less dazzled by oncoming cars and can see contours better in the dark.

To help you find the right glasses for the night, we have tested the different night vision goggles. In the following big night vision goggles test 2022 we have compared the most commonly used goggles as well as the illuminated models. To make the purchase decision as easy as possible, we went in search of all the advantages and disadvantages. You can find them in this article.




The Best Night Vision Goggles: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying night vision goggles

What are night vision goggles?

Night vision goggles generally improve night vision. When driving, the glare of oncoming cars can then be reduced. In addition, the contrast is increased in the dark.

On the other hand, there are glasses with electric light that illuminate the darkness. These have been developed for outdoor activities.

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Night vision goggles can improve visibility at night and in fog. They usually have yellow lenses, but otherwise look like sunglasses.
(Image source: unsplash.com / Adolfo Félix)

For which activities can you need night vision goggles?

For driving a car or motorbike

In the car or on the motorbike, you are often blinded by oncoming cars at night on dark, unlit roads. The glasses help you to feel less dazzled and more relaxed when driving. By improving contrast, visibility is generally increased. Road signs and place-name signs can also be recognised much earlier. For motorcycling, there are goggles that are closed and thus protect you from rain, mosquitoes and dust.

For outdoor activities

There are several activities that are fun at night that benefit from night vision goggles:

  • jogging
  • camping
  • hiking
  • Playing detective
  • Nature observation
  • hunting
  • Activities in the security sector/occupation

You probably know many of the following situations and have experienced them yourself. But you probably weren’t actively aware at the time that they could have been done much more comfortably and with better vision with night vision goggles.

  • What jogger doesn’t know about the early darkness in winter? Instead of shutting down the hobby in winter, night vision goggles can show you the way and shine up to 7.5 m into the distance. This allows you to see stones that would otherwise trip you up. So you can jog safely even in winter.
  • Have you already done a night hike? That is an impressive experience. If only it weren’t so dark. Night vision goggles can remedy this and improve visibility. This guarantees a positive experience.
  • Does your child want to play detective? At the latest since the “three question marks”, children love detective games. So there are special children’s detective glasses that can be used to inspect the objects they are looking for. This is very exciting.
  • Do you know about animal observations at night? Some animals are active at night and can only be observed then. If we could see them with our human eyes … this is where the night vision goggles come in handy and you get more out of it or see the animals better.
  • Are you a hunter and need to see the animals? Then night vision goggles are your indispensable tool.
  • Do you work outside at night? Then night vision goggles are one of your work tools that offer you more safety and efficiency. There are even night goggles for explosive areas.
  • When camping, who doesn’t know the situation of having to go to the toilet at night? With night vision goggles, that’s no longer a problem. You can see the tent cords and obstacles better and are therefore not exposed to any risk of tripping. Or if you arrive late at the campsite, you can still pitch your tent easily.

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Night vision goggles are very helpful for various outdoor activities.
(Image source: unsplash.com)

Who are night vision goggles suitable for?

In principle, night vision goggles are suitable for everyone. Everyone can benefit from better vision at night.

That is why night vision goggles can help older people in particular to make driving more comfortable.

Since the eyes’ ability to adapt to dark and light decreases with age, the glare of the headlights at night is felt more strongly. You drive on an unlit road at night and are suddenly blinded by oncoming cars and their headlights. Do you know this? It’s very unpleasant, suddenly you can see almost nothing and have trouble seeing the road. These are dangerous situations that you don’t want to experience when driving at night. That’s why night vision goggles can help make driving more comfortable, especially for older people.

And otherwise, night vision goggles help everyone who wants to improve their vision in sports, hobbies or at work.

People who wear glasses or contact lenses are more dazzled. That is why night vision goggles offer an advantage for this group as well.

How do night vision goggles work?

Night vision goggles are usually polarised and have a blue light filter. Sometimes they also have UV protection. The yellow lenses make it look like nice weather during the day.

How does the polarisation of lenses work?

>The light rays usually hit the eyes straight on. That is easy for the eyes. But when the rays are refracted, i.e. when they hit a shiny or wet object and are reflected there, they dazzle the observer. The polarised lenses are now ground in such a way that they intercept these reflected rays. This way, fewer of them hit the retina and there is less glare. The contours also appear clearer. In this way, vision is additionally improved.

How does the blue light filter work?

The headlights of modern cars have become more powerful. That is an advantage for the driver. But for the driver of the oncoming car, it means more glare. This is because the LED lights have a high blue component. With yellow-tinted lenses, this blue light can be filtered and reduced. This reduces the glare. But you must not filter out the entire blue component, otherwise you would no longer see a pedestrian dressed in blue. Therefore, make sure that the tint is not too strong, max. 15%. The blue light filter should also protect the retina.

There are also night vision goggles with UV protection. When the goggles are worn in fog and twilight, this also protects the eyes against harmful light.

How do I use night vision goggles?

When driving, it is best to have them ready in a compartment so that you can always put them on when it gets dark or rains. Some drivers feel protected by the brightness even in bright sunlight.

Always protect your glasses with a case or cover from scratches that can affect your vision later.

When exercising, it’s best to put your glasses with your sports gear or in the exit so they’re always handy. Always use a case to protect them from breakage.

What models of night vision goggles are available?

Night vision goggles are offered in many different variations. The shapes vary from fashionable to classic. The lenses are yellow to brown.

There are light, rimless or rimless glasses. Or there are frames that are closed all around. They are a little heavier, but also more robust.

Most frames are kept in neutral black. For ladies, however, individual patterned glasses are also offered.

The illuminated LED glasses are usually green or black.

What lenses and materials are available?

The lenses of night vision goggles should be polarised and sometimes also have UV protection.

It is very important that the lenses have no correction. So if you already wear glasses with corrected lenses, night vision goggles will not replace your regular glasses. Or if your visual acuity is no longer 100% and you don’t have glasses yet, then first go to the optician for normal glasses. Night vision goggles do not improve visual acuity.

The material of the lenses and frames is usually plastic. This makes the glasses easy to wear. However, there are also some narrow, metal frames.

What is the alternative to night vision goggles?

The first thing I would do is go to an optician or ophthalmologist if I can’t see clearly. He will then check whether you need a visual aid; this could be glasses or contact lenses.

If you already have corrected glasses and over time you notice that your vision is not as good again, then we recommend that you go to the optician again. You will probably need stronger glasses.

Another way to see better when driving at night is to use a special visor for the sun visor. It works in a similar way to night vision goggles. It’s a yellow polarised lens that you can clip onto the sun visor.

Especially for hunting or for the military, there are night vision devices with infrared technology. The view is even better, but they are bigger and heavier than night vision goggles.

Alternative Description
Corrected glasses Available from an optician
Stronger lenses Available from an optician
Visor for the sunvisor Accessories for the car
Night vision device with infrared technology For hunting or for the military

Decision: What types of night vision goggles are there and which is right for you?

If you want to get night vision goggles, there are two types to choose from:

  • Night vision goggles for driving a car or motorbike
  • illuminated night vision goggles for sports, hobby, playing detective

The handling, care and use of the two different night vision goggles each have advantages and disadvantages. Depending on what you prefer and what you need your glasses for, a different type is suitable for you. The following section is designed to help you decide.

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With night vision goggles you can protect yourself against the new, powerful car headlights.
(Image source: unsplash.com / Julian Klumpers)

What are the features of night vision goggles for driving/motorcycling and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

Night vision goggles can improve visibility at night. Users of night vision goggles report that driving at night becomes more comfortable and the eyes tire less quickly.

Owners of night vision goggles feel safer when driving at night. This mental safety then automatically makes you feel better and more comfortable driving in the dark.

Advantages
  • glare is reduced
  • contours/contrasts are enhanced
  • eyes tire less quickly
  • mental safety is increased
Disadvantages
  • the lenses absorb light
  • yellow colour is unfamiliar
  • somewhat complicated for spectacle wearers

Since the lenses filter part of the blue light, the eyes do not have the full spectrum available with night vision goggles. It is possible that this could impair vision.

Some users say that you have to get used to the yellow colour.

People who wear glasses have to clip or put the night vision goggles on their own glasses.

What distinguishes night vision goggles with LED lights and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

Illuminated goggles provide light and show the way. This is an advantage for various outdoor activities at night.

The telescope magnifies things. For example, birds can be observed better in nature. Or the hunter can see the chamois better.

The glasses also protect children’s eyes from injury when lighting fireworks.

There are also two retractable lights that you can see during a night firefight. Colourful green lenses with blue lights are on each side, allowing you to see things clearly in the dark. The adjustable strap of the rubber band is behind the head. Lightweight and soft nose pads make the glasses comfortable. The material is metal and plastic. The lenses are anti-fog and waterproof.

Advantages
  • Vision reaches up to 7.5 metres
  • glow in the dark and give off cool, blue light
  • with high-resolution, high-performance telescope
  • protect children’s eyes during fireworks and games
Disadvantages
  • needs batteries
  • closed shape
  • less comfortable to wear

It needs AAA batteries. The LED lights can be switched on and off at any time.

The all-round closed shape can possibly also be constricting and annoying.

The rubber around the head can be less comfortable to wear than regular glasses.

Buying criteria: These are the factors you can use to compare and evaluate night vision goggles

In the following, we will show you which aspects you can use to decide between the many possible night vision goggles.

The criteria you can use to distinguish between night vision goggles are as follows:

In the following paragraphs, we will explain what is important in each of these criteria.

Lens quality

The lens colour of night vision goggles is yellow to brown. The yellow colour bathes the landscape in yellow light during the day. At dusk or at night, it also appears brighter.

Night vision goggles typically have a blue light filter. It darkens the glaring headlights somewhat.

Make sure your night vision goggles have polarised lenses. They are important for anti-reflecting light and enhancing contrast.

Features Description
Lenscolour yellow to brown Makes vision brighter.
Blue light filter Darkens bright headlights slightly.
Polarised lenses Weaken the reflection of light.
UV protection Protects during the day.
Impact- and break-resistant lenses Protection for eyes and glasses.
Good quality Glasses are better and last longer.

There are also glasses with UV protection. This is an advantage if you use them during the day. Users say they appreciate their night vision goggles even during the day when the sun is out. It softens the glare of summer light and is more comfortable for the eyes. The eyes get less tired on long car journeys.

Impact- and break-resistant lenses protect your eyes in the event of an accident or fall. And the glasses don’t break right away.

There are basically different qualities of lenses. We recommend that you look for good quality and therefore perhaps a slightly higher price. You will enjoy your glasses more and for longer.

Material

Most night vision goggles are made of plastic. This is because plastic such as polycarbonate is particularly light. This means that the glasses are not too heavy on your nose and they are comfortable to wear. Glasses made of metal could bend in a fall, while those made of plastic usually stay whole or, in the worst case, break. Nevertheless, there are also glasses with metal frames. Careful handling is recommended there.

Robustness

Robustness is mainly determined by the shape of the frame. There are

  • frameless frames
  • full rimmed frames
  • half rimmed frames

A fully rimmed frame encloses the lens completely. This means that it is well protected from all sides and less likely to break. This makes for a robust and stable pair of glasses. On the other hand, these glasses do not seem so light.

Weight

Frameless or half-rimmed frames are lighter because there is less material on them. The material itself can also vary in weight.

The total weight of the glasses is usually stated for the different models.

Size

The sizes are usually indicated in M or L. Size M is more for women, while L is for taller men. Furthermore, the lens width and height are often indicated. Compare this with your glasses or sunglasses. Then you have a clue as to whether the glasses fit your face.

Accessories

Often a case or glasses case is included with the purchase. Or perhaps a lens cleaning cloth.

Shape/Design

Night vision goggles come in many different fashionable designs. The choice is wide. The shapes range from round to square or even aviator. For ladies, there are typical women’s shapes, e.g. the diva style or printed patterns.

The full-rimmed glasses look a little harder, the half-rimmed or completely rimless ones look softer.

Image source: Microgen/ 123rf.com

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