Night Vision monocular

Scenario: guy in dark hoodie & backpack walks our road, rural WV. At night he was spotted once running up a hill away from headlights. He’s been seen sitting on hillsides. Neighbor is having a house built, put up trail cams around the area, we’ve had a bear come through and have coyotes - which I already knew from hearing them at night and of course many deer which I usually feed through the winter. Here’s where it gets tense, someone found the trail cams and removed the Memory Cards. Nothing has been stolen yet, our homes are anywhere from 1-3 acres apart and few dusk to dawn lights.
I need an affordable monocular so I can look out around my 2 acres at night, leaves are dropping so his cover is disappearing but one can sit anywhere in the dark and not be seen by passing cars, I want to spot him & contact the state police, we have 1 town cop during the day, this new revelation has finally convinced my daughter to keep her car locked. About 8 yrs ago someone went through her glove box and made a mess in her car. I’ve found used syringes along the shoulder of our road while walking the dog but it stopped 4 yrs ago bc we got a 2nd dog & I can’t walk 2 physically bc of my health. I guess the needle dropper died, went through rehab or moved. Our dogs are inside dogs. I’m going to learn how to wire motion detector lights up but I really want to see this person (s) in the dark… anyone recommend a night vision monocular under $200? Yes I did search here before asking, this is needed for home defense I’m not a hunter. Apologies for the novel, TY


I have also been in the market for something quality but also something that is as affordable as possible in terms of night vision or thermal. Most quality night vision seems to start between $2,500-$3,000 it seems unfortunately. While definitely still not cheep, this is one of the more affordable thermal options from FLIR which is a brand with a good reputation. I am interested to hear what input others have on this as well. Here is a link to the FLIR Monocular at Optics Planet for $599.00.


Just saw the cheapest thermal ever on Brownells site. Pretty crude, but workable on sizeable objects out to a few hundred yards. It was over $200…
Edit…FR6 will get you $85 off, so $315

Heading to W VA next week in my motorhome, take a look around. May be moving there next year if things look okay…by day and night :thinking:
I made the mistake of looking through my kids pvs14…dang, night into day, and suburban TN sky became Montana’s…


I’ve tried using cheap night vision monoculars in the past for wildlife research. They were just about worthless for seeing anything 75’ or more away. A good set of binoculars worked better if you have some moonlight.

Think the FLIR is the way to go if you don’t want to spend a fortune on decent night vision. But I don’t have any experience with it.

Hopefully it is just a homeless hermit who wants to keep to himself. But listen to the Lost Hills podcast about the Malibu camp ground shootings if you want to hear how badly your scenario could turn out.


I have had the inexpensive Leopold Thermal ($800) , as well as a $2500 ATN Thermal.
The Leopold was first generation “consumer grade” at the time and whereas it worked, it was super pixelated and you had a hard time trying to distinguish between a bunny or armadillo and a rock. They have a Gen II version of it out now which is supposed to be better.

The ATN I have you can see birds in trees day or night as well as a lizard on the ground. Hogs and armadillos have no chance at 100 yards! I have not hunted deer as, you hunt deer during the day and can see them.

If you are wanting to use it as a security thing, based on the scenario above, I would highly recommend a GOOD thermal. A possible threat would have virtually no chance of evading your eye (they’d be a giant glowing blob!)

I went hog hunting with a former Army Recon guy. He used his NV with NVL and could NOT see the 2 150lb hogs I saw in the brush until they had closed on us to within about 50 yards.

The only mistake I made is I thought it would be stupid and a waste of money to be able to send a live feed to my phone for viewing, recording, sharing… I really wish I had spent the extra 100bucks for that now.


My dream is one eye thermal, one pvs 14. Nothing would escape, except my sanity.


I would also love to get a pvs 14 as well for sure!
I don’t know much at all about them but have been trying to research Sionyx more. I do know they are having a pretty decent sale right now that ends either today or tomorrow. Anyone have experience with them or FLIR?


From another thread on here somewhere, I ended up picking up on of these night vision monocular “Carson MiniAura Digital Night Vision Monocular (NV-200)”. At around $100 its definitely priced right. It uses AAA batteries.

I’m not sure the technology in it, whether it amplifies light or is thermal. The price implies it is not thermal, but comments/questions on amazon and the description implies it is thermal. It does have a built-in IR “illuminator” (i use that term loosely) so I suppose you could also use an external IR light to get extended range.

If you need “real” IR capability, the FLIR or Sionyx brands are you best bet but those are well above your stated price point. As @Brandon_USCCA mentioned, Sionyx has a sale going on through today.

Plus, you’ll receive a FREE Illuminator Kit when you purchase the Aurora or Aurora PRO models.
STANDARD150 (for Aurora)
PRO200 (for Aurora Pro)

@Brandon_USCCA Nutnfancy has a pretty good review on Sionyx