fallkniven review

The Best Night Vision Monoculars

A night vision monocular allows you to see clearly in the dark, making it a great option for hunting and wildlife observing. But just like any other scope, some models are better and have a clearer picture than others.

To help you find the best night vision monocular for your needs, we're going to share our top five picks.

Top 5 Night Vision Monocular Reviews

1. Solomark Night Vision Monocular

Versatile and easy to use, the Solomark monocular is great for night hunting, surveillance, exploring caves and wildlife observation.

The monocular features multi-coated objectives featuring glass material, a built-in color LCD screen, high sensitivity sensor and a seven-level IR LED illuminator. The IR illumination levels allow you to adjust the brightness of the image, so you can see everything clearly.

In complete darkness, this monocular allows you to see up to 328 feet in front of you. There's also a zoom feature that allows for 2X, 1.6X, 1.3X and 1X zooming.

To make the Solomark even more versatile, it allows you to take videos and photos with ease. The monocular even comes with a 1GB micro-SD card, which gives you plenty of storage space for your recordings and images. You can also display your images on the television and upload your imagery to a computer for easy sharing.

This monocular can be mounted to a tripod, linked up to a binocular harness or placed in a bag. The exterior also features a rubber surface to prevent slipping.

With a compact size of 5.8" x 4" x 1.85" and a weight of 11.5 ounces, this monocular is lightweight and small enough to take on any hunt or hike.

Technical Specs:

  • 6.8V/Lux
  • 320 x 240 screen resolution
  • 640 x 480 video and image resolution
  • 14-degree field of view
  • 5-hour battery life
  • Takes 4, AA batteries (included)

Pros

  • ​Allows you to see up to 328 feet in front of you
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Versitile
  • Easily portable and can be mounted to a tripod
  • Comes with an SD card for video and image storage
  • Zooming feature
  • Multiple IR illumination levels allow you to adjust the image's brightness

Cons

  • Grainy videos

The only complaint with this monocular is that the video can be grainy at times. But this is common with night vision monoculars that have a video recording function. Considering Solomark's affordable price range, it's easy to overlook the slightly grainy video issue.

Click here to purchase the Solomark Night Vision Monocular from Amazon

2. Bestguarder 6x50mm Digital Night Vision Monocular

The Bestguarder monocular features night vision and 6X magnification, so you focus in on your target even in complete darkness. Great for surveillance and wildlife watching, this monocular can be mounted to a tripod and features a water-resistant housing.

Equipped with a 50mm objective lens, this Bestguarder monocular has 1-5X digital zoom and an infrared illuminator that allows you to see up to 1150 feet in the dark. You can even use this monocular in the daytime with the IR off.

The nice thing about this monocular is that it allows you to include a date and time stamp on your video or photo. Multiple resolutions are also available for photos and videos.

  • Videos: 1280x720 at 30 fps; 640x480 at 30 fps
  • Photos: 2592x1944; 1600x1200; 640x480

The Bestguarder can also be used as a live infrared surveillance camera and easily connects to a computer via USB or a TV via a TV cable.

Technical Specs

  • 5 MP CMOS
  • Adjustable eyepiece
  • Supports micro-SD cards up to 32GB
  • Aperture F=1.3
  • 850 NM infrared illuminator
  • 4 x AA batteries
  • 1.5" TFT screen

Pros

  • Can be used at night or during the day
  • Allows for up to 5X digital zoom
  • Multiple image and video resolutions available
  • Can be used as an infrared surveillance camera

Cons

  • Battery life is limited

The main complaint with this monocular is that the battery life is very limited (about 30 minutes). The battery life can be extended by switching to a rechargeable NiMH battery.

Aside from this minor issue, the Bestguarder is a great monocular for surveillance and wildlife viewing.

Click here to see the Bestguarder night vision monocular on Amazon 

3. MeeQee 10x42 Dual Focus Monocular Telescope

The MeeQee monocular features 10x42 high-power magnification and dual focus for clearer, brighter images. This monocular differs from the others on our list in that it doesn't record images or video. But it's a great option for hunting, concert-watching, golfing, hiking and wildlife watching.

The MeeQee comes equipped with a fully multi-coated lens and a Bak-4 prism. The one-hand focus wheel also makes it easy to adjust the focal length, making this a user-friendly option.

Users who wear glasses will appreciate the adjustable eye cups. The cups can be quickly adjusted by twisting up or down to optimize your viewing experience with or without your glasses.

Technical Specs

  • 10X magnification
  • 7-degree field angle
  • 18mm eye lens diameter
  • Fully multi-coated lens
  • 55mm objective lens diameter
  • 150x60mm monocular size
  • 260g weight

Pros

  • High magnification for long-distance viewing
  • Adjustable eye cups allow you to see comfortably even with glasses
  • Built-in, fully multi-coated lens

Cons

  • Cannot record video and photos

The MeeQee, unlike other monoculars on our list, cannot record photos or videos. While this may be disappointing for surveillance and wildlife viewing purposes, it does make this monocular a great option for hunting and concert viewing.

Click here to see the MeeQee dual focus monocular on Amazon

4. Firefield 5x50 Nightfall 2

Designed for superior night vision, the Firefield Nightfall 2 5x50 monocular offers high quality resolution and image as well as high-power infrared illumination.

The 5X magnification and large lens give you a clear view of your target.

Ergonomically designed, the Nightfall is comfortable to hold, even for long periods of time. Plus, it comes equipped with a large objective lens and offers high magnification.

The PULSE IR illuminator also helps save on power, so you can extend your viewing sessions.

This monocular comes equipped with rubber housing for enhanced weather resistance and high durability. Its lightweight and compact design also make it a great option for hunting, surveillance and hiking.

Technical Specs

  • Runs on 2, AA batteries (included)
  • Weighs 15.2 ounces
  • 0.5" eye relief
  • 5mm exit pupil
  • 6" long
  • 50mm objective lens diameter

Pros

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Large lens and magnification gives you a clear view of your target
  • Infrared feature allows you to see in the dark
  • PULSE IR illuminator saves on power
  • Batteries are included
  • Weather resistant
  • Great for hunting and wildlife viewing

Cons

  • Small field of view

The only issue with this monocular is that the field of view is small. A smaller FOV is to be expected with a budget-friendly scope. Still, this monocular is built to last and gives you a clear picture of your subject even in the dark.

Click here to see the Firefield Nightfall 2 monoculars on Amazon

5. Bushnell Equinox Z Digital Monocular

The Bushnell Equinox Z is a high-end monocular with digital night vision and high durability. With video-out capability and water resistance, this monocular is great for hunting, surveillance and even wildlife watching.

The Equinox Z 3x 30mm has 3X magnification with a 30mm objective lens and 3X digital zoom. But there are other lens options available. The multi-coated glass lens provides a crystal-clear picture whether it's day or night.

With the IR feature off, you can use the Equinox X in the daytime. When the IR is in use, you can see up to 500 feet away in the dark.

The Equinox Z can be mounted to a tripod, but it also comes with a picatinny-style rail that allows for accessory mounting.

Battery-powered, this monocular has rugged housing for maximum durability. You also have the option of choosing between three lenses.

Technical Specs

  • Viewing Distance: 3x 500 feet; 4.5x 750; 6x 1,000 feet
  • Image Capture: 4.5X and 6X models can capture images on an SD card
  • Weight: 15 oz. (3x 30mm); 22 oz (4.5x 40mm); 27 oz (6x 50mm)
  • USB charging and battery operation

Pros

  • Superior image quality
  • Magnification allows you to see your target clearly
  • Multiple lens options

Cons

  • Larger than expected

The Equinox Z is a bit larger and heavier than expected, which may come as a surprise to some users. But it's still lightweight and compact enough for use while hiking and hunting.

Click here to purchase the Bushnell Equinox from Amazon

fallkniven review

Snugpak Sleeka Elite: A Review of the Best Jacket for -10 C Weather

The Snugpak Sleeka Elite is the jacket you need in your bug out bag, or in a survival kit. While your nice leather jacket may look great when going out to dinner, it will never be able to protect you from the elements in the long-term.

This is why so many people are choosing the Snugpak Sleeka Elite jacket as their favorite survival jacket.

If you’re sitting there wondering if your jacket will keep you warm in -10 C, the answer is no. You’ll be freezing, and if it rains, you’ll likely succumb to the elements as your jacket has no way to dry quickly and remain warm.

This is what the Snugpak jacket was designed to do – excel where others fail.

Let’s take a look at what really makes the Sleeka jacket special:

Snugpak is Designed for Rugged Use

Just like the Snugpak Elite sleeping bag, Snugpak really wanted to redesign the way that jackets performed. After all, a lot of the jackets on the market look great, but they don’t perform well outside – not for long. The Elite version was designed with reinforced patches in those weak areas that always seem to need added support:

  • Shoulders
  • Elbows
  • Cuffs
  • Stress points

And if you’re walking through thick brush, hiking up rugged terrain or even out camping, this is the design quality that you should be after. Think of all those times your jacket’s elbows or shoulder area has become worn or even ripped – it happens a lot.

The reinforced design corrects these common design failures for you.

Lightweight and Breathable

You don’t want to be outside wearing a jacket that’s heavier than a 10-year old to keep warm. No, you want something that is lightweight and won't make you sweat. The Elite weighs just 880 grams, and it’s breathable.

Featuring exceptional wicking properties, this jacket has a high-moisture transmission rate that keeps you dry when you’re active.

You won’t be drenched in sweat, and you won’t be cold either.

Designed for Extreme Weather Conditions

A jacket that is designed for extreme weather conditions must fit well, keep warm air in and cold air out, and adjust to fit you perfectly. The Snugpak Elite does this and more.

When the temperatures dip to -10 C, this jacket will keep you warm – that’s what it’s designed to do. And the neck adjuster allows for an overall better fit and aids in the insulation process of the jacket.

Keep in mind that this jacket is made with Paratex material. The goal of this material is to be able to be compressed to fit in your pack. Yet it’s also lightweight, dries quickly and fits just right. Did I mention that it’s actually insulated, too?

That’s right, the Snugpak Softie jacket is filled with Softie insulation.

I don’t want to get too technical here, but what really makes this insulation so special is that it can be compressed and unpacked without losing its thermal properties. Many survivalists will compress their jacket and place it in their survival pack so that it takes up less space until needed.

When you’re out in the wilderness and can only bring a small pack with you, this compression will be a welcomed addition, I promise you that.

Paratex Properties

The properties of a jacket’s material are really what matters most. The wrong properties can cause you to be cold, hot, wet or dry. And a lot of people don’t know what the Paratex material has to offer.

This material is built into the inner and outer fabric, and offers:

  • Highly windproof comfort
  • Water repellent
  • Wick moisture away from the source
  • Breathability

Paratex is a kind of Nylon.

Softie Insulation

An exclusive synthetic material is used to fill each Sleeka Elite. The softie material is 100% polyester, and small yarns are bound together with special resins to make the material feel like down.

Staple yarns are used so that the jacket’s insulation has a natural composition to insulate your jacket perfectly.

Size Options

There are six overall size options available:

  • XS
  • S
  • M
  • L
  • XL
  • XXL

The weight of the jackets ranges from 820g – 1140g. For anyone trying to do the math, this is 1.8 – 2.5 pounds in total.

And while the jacket comes in olive, it is reversible to show either a black or tan exterior. This allows you to blend in with the environment or stand out for added safety.

Snugpak Sleeka Elite is what survivalists rely on when they’re out in the wild. Perfect for cold winter nights, this jacket does one thing your normal jacket doesn’t: keep you warm at night. Even when temperatures dip to -10 C, you’ll be warm and toasty.

The ability to breakdown nicely and be compressed allows you to bring this jacket with you even when space is tight.

If there is one jacket every survivalist recommends when out in the wilderness, the Snugpak Sleek is the clear choice.

Click here to stay warm when it’s blistering cold at night.

Snugpak Softie Elite 3

Finding the right sleeping bag is a tough task – especially if you enjoy cold weather camping. You want something that will keep you warm without weighing you down. That’s exactly what the Snugpak Softie Elite 3 offers: comfort and warmth in a compact package. But does this sleeping bag really live up to the hype? We took it for a test run to find out.

Pros:​

  • Lightweight and compact – perfect for motorcycle camping and backpacking.
  • Expander panel system gives you more room for added comfort.
  • Zippered chest pocket lets you store essential items within close reach.
  • Rated to 14F – ideal for cold weather camping.

    Cons:

    • Not waterproof

    We had just one minor complaint about this bag – it’s not waterproof. If your tent is waterproof or you’re sleeping in a hammock, this probably won’t be an issue. But it’s something we felt we should point out.

    Snugpak Elite 3 Review

     

    The Elite 3 is one of the most popular and best-selling models in the Snugpak Softie lineup. And it’s easy to see why campers and outdoor enthusiasts of all types love this sleeping bag. It may not be a down bag so you won't want to bring it along on a camping trip in the snow, but it will probably be one of the best synthetic bags you’ll ever own.

    Let’s take a closer look at the bag’s construction and features before I share my experience with this sleeping bag.

    ​My Snugpak Elite 3 Review

    The outer fabric is made of Snugpak’s Paratex Micro, which is 100% polyester. Paratex Micro is water repellent (not waterproof) and windproof. It’s lightweight and exceptionally durable, so it can live up to even your most rugged outdoor adventure. The outer fabric is breathable, too, so you stay warm in cooler temperatures and cool in warmer temperatures.

    The inner fabric is made of Paratex Light fabric, which is incredibly lightweight, windproof and water-resistant. Its ability to wick moisture away makes it ideal for sleeping bag liners, and like the Micro outer fabric, it’s breathable, so you stay comfortable all night long.

    Reflectatherm & Softie Filling

    While the inner and outer fabric allow for breath-ability and water and wind resistance, it’s the sleeping bag’s filling that makes it so warm. Snugpak uses Reflectatherm filling, which is metallized fabric that retains warmth and reflects heat.

    The breathable fabric doesn’t add any weight to the sleeping back and adds 15% extra warmth. The nice thing about the filling is that it’s virtually undetectable by touch.

    The Elite 3’s filling also includes Softie Insulation, which is a Polyester down-like filling, for added comfort and warmth.

    Zip Baffle Expander System

    The zip baffle expander system also plays a role in the Elite 3’s ability to keep you warm or cool at night. The baffle can be zipped into the bag’s main zip to add a little extra room. This extra space is ideal for bigger users or for warm nights when you want a little more space to stay cool.

    For colder nights, you can zip the bag tighter to stay warmer while you sleep.

    Zippered Chest Pocket

    A convenient zippered chest pocket is built into the bag, so you can store essential items within easy reach, like a flashlight or a pair of glasses.

    Snugpak Elite 3 Features

    • Paratex Micro outer fabric (100% polyester)
    • Paratex Light inner fabric
    • Expanda panel system for added room
    • Filled with Softie Reflectatherm
    • Zippered chest pocket
    • Pack size: 7.5” x 8” x 86”; chest: 65”; clips can reduce length to around 68”
    • Compression stuff sack

    Personal experience

    We’ve done our fair share of cold weather camping, and time and time again, we always find ourselves having to layer socks and shirts to stay warm throughout the night. The Elite 3 was different. We stayed warm all night long – without having to stack on layers.

    While we probably wouldn’t recommend this for any weather colder than 25F (we haven’t tested it in temperatures lower than this), this is an excellent sleeping bag for just about any time of the year. It’s easy to pack, and it’s lighter than most bags.

    A down sleeping bag would probably be lighter, but you’re looking at spending a lot more (double or triple the price). And some of these are not quite as compact as the Elite 3.

    We spent the better part of a week camping in 35-degree weather, and we never had issues staying warm. The bag may be a bit snug for taller or larger users, but should be the perfect size for the average camper. If you’re a little on the short size, you can use the included clips to reduce the length. This is important if you’re trying to keep warm. Excess space on the bottom will lower the internal temperature of the bag because there is no heat to reflect.

    The zippered chest pocket is a nice feature, but if you have a habit of tossing and turning (like we do), you may find yourself moving the bag and sleeping on top of whatever you have in there (ouch!).

    While you can use the expanding panel to add room and to stay cool, this bag is probably still a little too warm for use in the spring or summer. But then again, that’s not what it’s built for.

    The comfort and warmth the Elite 3 delivers is impressive, but its compact storage size is even more impressive. It won’t take up much space in your pack, and it’s a great option for motorcycle camping where you'll be short on space. Surprisingly, even after being compressed, this sleeping bag retains loft.

    With its ability to retain heat and compress to a compact size, the Snugpak Softie Elite 3 is an excellent choice for cold-weather camping. Its baffle system gives you more room when you need it, and the bag’s fabrics work together to retain and reflect heat to keep you warm all night long. If you’re looking for a durable, warm, lightweight and compact sleeping bag for your next camping trip, the Elite 3 is a smart option.