Tactical Reviews

Best Gen 3 Night Vision Goggles

Armasight BNVD-40 Bravo Gen 3 IIT

Looking for the best Gen 3 night vision googles?  In this article, we’ll explore some of the best Gen 3 night vision goggles available on the market.

Gen 3 night vision goggles stand out as one of the most advanced and sought-after tools for enhancing visibility in low-light conditions. With advancements in optics and image intensifier tubes, Gen 3 night vision goggles provide users with unparalleled performance and clarity in the darkest of environments. 

Whether used by military personnel, law enforcement, or outdoor enthusiasts, these goggles have become essential for those who need reliable night vision capabilities.

What Are Gen 3 Night Vision Goggles?

Gen 3 night vision goggles are advanced optical devices designed to enhance human vision in low-light or nighttime conditions. They belong to the third generation of night vision technology and represent a significant improvement over earlier generations. 

Key Features And Advancements Of Gen 3 Night Vision Goggles:

  • Image Intensifier Tube – The core component of Gen 3 night vision goggles is the image intensifier tube. This tube takes the available ambient light, including moonlight and starlight, and amplifies it significantly. The image intensifier works by converting photons (particles of light) into electrons and then accelerating these electrons to create a visible image on a phosphor screen.
  • Sensitivity – Gen 3 night vision goggles offer higher sensitivity compared to earlier generations. This means they can provide a clearer image in extremely low-light conditions, allowing users to see more details and improve their situational awareness.
  • Resolution – One of the most significant improvements of Gen 3 night vision technology is its increased resolution. The images produced by Gen 3 night vision goggles are notably sharper and clearer, enabling users to identify targets or objects more easily.
  • Signal-to-Noise Ratio – Gen 3 night vision goggles have an improved signal-to-noise ratio, reducing the amount of visual noise or graininess in the image. This results in a higher-quality picture and a more comfortable viewing experience.
  • Autogated Technology – Many Gen 3 night vision goggles come equipped with autogated technology. This feature automatically adjusts the brightness of the image based on the surrounding light conditions, preventing image distortion caused by sudden changes in light levels.

It is essential to note that Gen 3 night vision goggles can be relatively expensive compared to lower generations due to their advanced technology and performance. However, for those who require top-tier night vision capabilities, the investment is often justified by the unparalleled clarity and visibility they provide in low-light conditions.
Let us look at the best options.

Best Gen 3 Night Vision Goggles

1) Armasight BNVD-40 Bravo Gen 3 IIT, Dual Channel Night Vision Binoculars

When you’re in the market for a high-performing pair of Gen 3 night vision goggles, the Armasight BNVD-40 Bravo Gen 3 IIT stands out from the competition. This dual-channel night vision gear is designed for the ultimate low-light experiences, boasting an impressive 40-degree field of view and an inbuilt IR illuminator.

The Armasight BNVD-40 isn’t just for surveillance. It’s a reliable tool to navigate, detect, observe, and track dynamic objects and vehicles in low-visibility conditions. Its solid and compact design is resistant to fog and water, ensuring it will endure even the toughest weather conditions.

One of the standout features of these goggles is the manual gain control, enhancing image clarity as per your requirements. Its auto shut-off feature and low battery indicator ensure prolonged battery life and seamless operation. The convenience of powering the unit with either one CR123A or one AA battery provides flexibility for users in different scenarios.

This night vision gear comes packed with features tailored to meet your demands. We recommend it because it is equipped with manual gain control, an auto shut-off mechanism, and a low battery indicator to ensure optimal usage. 


  • Enhanced visibility
  • 40-degree field of view
  • Rugged construction
  • The goggles can be used handheld, head-mounted, or helmet-mounted
  • Powered by either one CR123A or one AA battery
  • Long battery life
  • Three-year warranty


  • Heavy


2) TRYBE Optics NVG-50 Dual 1x Tube Night Vision Goggles

TRYBE Optics NVG-50 Dual 1x Tube Night Vision Goggles

The TRYBE Optics NVG-50 Dual 1x Tube Night Vision Goggles is another excellent option. The most striking aspect is their third-generation Elbit Systems of America intensifier tubes. They make it easy to see moving objects at night. 

The NVG-50 model is versatile and user-friendly, boasting a generous 50-degree field of view at 1x magnification. This wide field of view facilitates better situational awareness in low-light conditions. The resolution of 64-72 lp/mm, while slightly lower than the maximum Mil-Spec, still ensures crisp and clear images.

These goggles are enclosed in rugged black housing, resistant to water. They are powered by a single CR123A battery and offer a diopter adjustment range of -6 to +2 dpt, making them adaptable to individual vision needs.

Despite minor deviations from Mil-Spec standards, these units offer an excellent price-performance ratio, providing top-notch night vision technology at a significantly lower cost.


  • Equipped with Elbit Systems’ Gen 3 night vision intensifier tubes
  • Generous 50-degree field of view
  • Durable construction
  • Good price to performance ratio
  • Waterproof construction
  • Helmet compatibility


  • Legal restrictions


3) Armasight PVS-31 1x27mm Pinnacle Elite Gen 3 IIT, Dual-Channel Night Vision Binoculars

The Armasight PVS-31 1x27mm is another excellent choice that will deliver value for the money you spend. Whether you’re a professional in the special forces or an avid outdoor enthusiast, the PVS-31 offers unmatched performance, advanced features, and the reliability required for critical missions.

The exceptional feature of these night vision goggles is the Gen 3 Pinnacle Elite White Phosphor IIT. They elevate the night vision experience to new heights.

With a sturdy build and battle-tested design, the Armasight PVS-31 night vision goggles are trusted by some of the world’s most experienced special operation fighting forces. Their durability is evident in the minimum 10,000 hours of operation you can count on. Regardless of the challenging conditions, these goggles are engineered to endure and provide unwavering performance when needed.

Weighing just 500 grams and equipped with the Wilcox Industries G24 Breakaway Mount, the Armasight PVS-31 goggles are exceptionally versatile. Compatible with various accessories and designed for seamless integration with tactical helmets, they ensure ease of use during tactical operations or outdoor adventures.


  • Superior image quality, high resolution (72 – 84 lp/mm), and low-light performance
  • Minimum of 10,000 hours of operation
  • Comfortable and easy to use
  • Built-in IR illuminator brightens zero-light areas
  • Lightweight design
  • Waterproof up to 20 meters
  • Rugged construction


  • Pricey


4) ATN PVS7-3 1x27mm Night Vision Goggles

If you are on a budget, consider the ATN PVS7-3 1x27mm Night Vision Goggles. This powerful night vision tool is not only robust and trustworthy, but it also guarantees an outstanding performance even under the harshest conditions. 

The ATN PVS7-3 stands out with its Autogated, Thin Filmed Image Intensifier Tube. This technology amplifies low light for excellent night viewing, augmented by the device’s white phosphor image intensifier color, which offers crisp and clear images.

Despite offering an extensive range of features, the ATN PVS7-3 maintains a lightweight design, tipping the scales at just 1.1 lb. Its compact design, combined with a 1x magnification and a 27mm objective lens diameter. 

In addition, it provides an impressive 40-degree field of view. This enables broad viewing coverage in low-light environments.

The versatility of this night vision device is highlighted by its multi-purpose functionality. Whether handheld, head-mounted, or helmet-mounted, it ensures reliable, consistent performance. Its one-knob operation simplifies use, providing easy handling even in demanding tactical situations.

The ATN PVS7-3 uses two AA batteries for those concerned about power, ensuring efficient energy use.


  • Equipped with an Autogated, Thin Filmed Image Intensifier Tube that amplifies low light
  • Robust, waterproof construction
  • Lightweight and compact design
  • Multi-purpose design that allows for handheld, head-mounted, or helmet-mounted use to suit various operational contexts
  • Powered by two AA batteries
  • Enhances visibility in complete darkness


  • Limited magnification


Best Alternative (Gen 4 Night Vision Goggles)

ATN PS15-4 Night Vision Goggles

ATN PS15-4 Night Vision Goggles

The last product on our list is the ATN PS15-4 Night Vision Goggles. This compact and lightweight device has high-grade technology that’s typically reserved for professional use by military and law enforcement personnel.

What sets the ATN PS15-4 apart is its dual image intensifier tube technology. As the backbone of the goggles, these Gen 4 tubes ensure a supremely clear and vivid image, even in the most challenging, low-light conditions. This dual-tube design heightens the device’s depth perception capabilities, creating an unmatched clarity that enhances your nighttime experience.

The ATN PS15-4 Night Vision Goggles are well-equipped to deliver top-tier performance without compromising user comfort. Weighing just 1.5 lbs (0.7 kg), these goggles include a comfortable head mount assembly for hands-free use, enhancing their practicality in various scenarios.

The goggles offer a 1x magnification and an impressive 40-degree field of view. The focus range spans from 0.25 meters to infinity, assuring sharp images at any distance. With a system/lens resolution of 64 – 72 lp/mm, they outshine many competitors in terms of visual precision.

Durability is another area where the ATN PS15-4 Goggles excel. The hard plastic armoring protects the device against drops and harsh conditions, while its fog-resistant and water-resistant properties ensure it performs in adverse weather.

These goggles come with accessories, including a soft carrying case, lithium battery, lens tissue, goggle kit, and manual. 

The optional 3x A focal lenses are a bonus, which can transform your goggles into a potent binocular, offering versatility to suit different use cases.


  • High-performance image quality
  • Improved depth perception
  • Built-in IR illuminator
  • Lightweight and compact design
  • Comfortable flip-up headgear allows for hands-free operation
  • Durable and weather resistant
  • Optional 3x focal lenses
  • Two year warranty


  • High price point


Factors To Consider When Buying The Best Gen 3 Night Vision Goggles

When buying the best Gen 3 night vision goggles, several crucial factors should be considered to ensure you make the right choice for your specific needs and preferences. Here are some key factors to keep in mind:

Generation and Tube Quality

Confirm that the night vision goggles are indeed Gen 3 and not mislabeled as a different generation.

Check the quality of the image intensifier tube, as this directly affects the performance and clarity of the night vision device. Look for reputable brands and models with high-quality tubes.

Image Resolution and Sensitivity

Look for night vision goggles with higher image resolution for clearer and more detailed visuals.

Consider the sensitivity of the goggles, as better sensitivity ensures enhanced performance in extremely low-light conditions.

Signal-to-Noise Ratio and Autogating

A higher signal-to-noise ratio results in a clearer image with less visual noise or graininess.

Autogating technology adjusts the brightness automatically, preventing image distortion in varying light conditions.

Magnification and Field of View

Choose the appropriate magnification level based on your intended use. Higher magnification may be suitable for long-range observation, but it may narrow the field of view.

Consider a wider field of view if you need to monitor a larger area or if you expect fast-moving targets.

Ergonomics and Design

Check for a comfortable and ergonomic design, especially if you plan to use the goggles for extended periods.

Look for features like adjustable headbands, eyecups, and interpupillary distance settings to ensure a customized fit.

Durability and Waterproofing

Opt for night vision goggles with rugged construction that can withstand harsh conditions and impacts.

Ensure the goggles are waterproof or at least water-resistant to protect against moisture damage.

Mounting Options and Versatility

Consider the mounting options available, such as head-mount, helmet-mount, or handheld configurations.

Evaluate the versatility of the goggles for different applications, as some models may be suitable for both handheld use and weapon mounting.

Battery Life and Power Source

Check the estimated battery life and the type of batteries used. Consider models with long-lasting batteries or rechargeable options to avoid frequent replacements.

Additional Features

Look for extra features like built-in infrared illuminators for improved performance in complete darkness.

Some models may have video recording capabilities, which can be useful for documenting observations or activities.

Budget and Brand Reputation

Set a budget range and compare different models within that range.

Choose night vision goggles from reputable brands known for producing high-quality optics and reliable night vision devices.

FAQs On The Best Gen 3 Night Vision Goggles

1) What are Gen 3 Night Vision Goggles?

Generation 3, or Gen 3, Night Vision Goggles are a type of night vision device that amplifies the available light to provide clear vision in the dark. Gen 3 devices utilize a photocathode combined with a microchannel plate (MCP) and phosphor screen to produce a high-quality image. They are commonly used in military, law enforcement, and hunting applications.

2) What makes Gen 3 Night Vision Goggles better than previous generations?

Gen 3 Night Vision Goggles offer superior light amplification and image clarity compared to their Gen 1 and Gen 2 counterparts. This is due to the addition of a gallium arsenide photocathode, which improves the sensitivity of the goggles to light, and an ion barrier film on the MCP that significantly increases the life of the tube.

3) How far can I see with Gen 3 Night Vision Goggles?

The range of vision with Gen 3 Night Vision Goggles can vary greatly depending on the specific model and the ambient light conditions. Generally, you can expect to clearly see between 200-400 yards under average moonlight conditions. However, some high-end models might offer even longer range vision capabilities.

4) Can Gen 3 Night Vision Goggles be used in daylight?

While Gen 3 Night Vision Goggles are primarily designed for use in low light or nighttime conditions, many models come with a feature that protects the device from bright light exposure. However, using these goggles in daylight conditions for prolonged periods can potentially shorten the device’s lifespan and is generally not recommended.


Generation 3 Night Vision Goggles offer superior performance in terms of light amplification, image resolution, and range. We recommend them for military and law enforcement or hunting and wildlife observation.

While the cost of these devices can be high, the investment is justified by their enhanced capabilities and durability, particularly for professional users. Brands like ATN, Armasight, Pulsar, and Night Optics are at the forefront of this technology, offering a range of models that cater to different needs and budgets.

However, before purchasing, it’s important to understand and respect the legal considerations surrounding using and exporting these devices in your specific location. Also, given the sensitive nature of the technology, proper handling and maintenance are essential to ensure the longevity of your Gen 3 Night Vision Goggles.

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