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Best Dual Tube Night Vision Goggles: Top Picks, Reviews & Buying Guide

Searching for the best dual tube NV goggles?

Look no further!

Whether you need gear for a hunting trip, tactical equipment for a shooting competition, or just want to feel like you’re a part of SEAL Team Six, a night vision goggle is an extremely valuable piece of equipment to have in your arsenal.

However, with so many different types available in the market, choosing the right model can be a bit difficult.

To ensure you don’t end up wasting your money, we’ve reviewed some of the best dual tube night vision goggles available today and included a comprehensive buying guide as well.

Let’s dive in!

Should You Buy a Dual Tube NV Goggle?

Dual tube night vision goggles work by amplifying the light that’s invisible to the naked eye. These optic devices usually don’t have magnification, so the visible image distance is similar to what you would be able to see with your unaided eyes.

Since dual tube models cover both eyes, they give you better depth perception than a camera or a unit with only a single eyepiece.

To put it simply, NVGs artificially improve your own natural night vision. Dual tube devices provide information to both your eyes, making them more suitable for use in 3D environments, and they also make it easier to use reflex sights.

It’s universally agreed that the best option is to shoot with both eyes open, and the same rule is applied to shooting with dual tubes.

When you’re using a pair of single-tube night vision goggles to look through a red dot, it can be a bit difficult to locate the reticle. The light reaching the red dot is reduced, making it hard for you to find your target through the optic.

However, in dual-tube models, both of your eyes are covered, providing you with more accurate information and allowing you to identify the target with the red dot floating over it.


What’s In This Buying Guide

Dual tube night vision goggles are a hefty investment.

To help you make the right decision, we’ve included detailed reviews of some of the best models available today, along with factors you should consider before finalizing your decision.

We’ve also explained the difference between single tube and dual tube devices and how they work.

However, if you still want to go for the usual NV goggles or want to stick with a thermal monocular, make sure you go through their reviews before making a purchase.


Best Dual Tube Night Vision Goggles

Dual Tube Night Vision Goggle
  • AGM NVG-40 3AL2

  • Best for Tactical Applications
  • Field of view
    40 degrees

  • Battery life
    20 hours

  • Generation
    Gen 3

  • IR Illuminator
    Yes

  • Weight
    1.42 lbs.

Dual Tube Night Vision Goggle
  • Armasight Nyx-15 Pro HDI

  • Best for the Money
  • Field of view
    40 degrees

  • Battery life
    40 hours

  • Generation
    Gen 2+

  • IR Illuminator
    Yes

  • Weight
    1.57 lbs.

Dual Tube Night Vision Goggle
  • AGM NVG-40 NL2

  • Most Versatile
  • Field of view
    40 degrees

  • Battery life
    20 hours

  • Generation
    Gen 2

  • IR Illuminator
    Yes

  • Weight
    1.42 lbs.


1. Best for Tactical Applications: AGM NVG-40 3AL2

night vision binoculars gen

The AGM NVG-40 boasts dual Gen 3 autogated image intensifier tubes that deliver exceptional performance and outstanding clarity compared to earlier generations.

With a 64-72 lp/mm resolution, autogated intensifiers try to constantly enhance image contrast and clarity in dynamic lighting conditions, so your views remain sharp and crisp in all circumstances.

The model’s tube condition is classified as Level 2, so you might see some spots in your peripheral view, but the center will remain clear.

It also features a convenient design that allows you to disable and move either eyepiece up and out of the way, according to your preference. This enables you to use the NVG-40 3AL2 as a monocular and maintain optimum situational awareness.

This unit is further designed with sensors that activate the unit when you flip the eyepieces down to your eyes and turn it off when you flip them up. It is powered by a CR123A lithium battery or an AA alkaline one, and it comes with an optional battery pack for longer use.

The included goggle kit further allows you to easily adjust the position of the eyepiece up, down, forward, or back, so you can get the perfect fit according to the style of your helmet.

Its wide 75mm interpupillary adjustment distance also accommodates most face shapes and sizes, so you don’t have to worry about finding the right fit.

Moreover, its -6 to +2 dioptric correction allows you to compensate for focus, even if you don’t have the best eyesight, while its 25mm of eye relief ensures maximum comfort.

An integrated IR illuminator further allows you to set up an LZ, pack gear, and perform weapon checks, first aid, and triage without revealing your position.

Lastly, the night vision goggles come with protective sacrificial windows and demist shields to prevent fogging and protect the lenses from debris and sand.

Best Features

  • Dual Gen 3 autogated intensifier tubes
  • Multi-coated optics for maximum IR transmission
  • Works as a monocular and binocular

The AGM NVG-40 3AL2 boasts a comfortable, versatile, and compact design, making it perfect for a wide range of tactical and stealth applications.

You can mount it on aviation or tactical helmets, hold it in hand, or wear it on the head, while its innovative design allows you to disable one intensifier tube and use it as a monocular for specialized purposes.

Pros

  • Binocular design enhances comfort for more prolonged use.
  • Intensifier tube allows you to see in incredibly low-light conditions.
  • Built-in IR illuminator increases visibility at close range without giving away your position.
  • Long eye relief helps reduce eye strain for comfortable use.
  • It automatically turns on when you flip it down and powers down when you flip it up.
  • Durable and lightweight aluminum housing.

Cons

  • Some spots are visible on the peripheral of the view.

2. Best for the Money: Armasight Nyx-15 Pro HDI 

nvg binoculars

The Armasight Nyx-15 boasts optics that are better or equal to current military night vision devices. With a compact, ergonomic, and tough composite housing, the unit can withstand temperature extremes, high humidity, salt water, and rain and still offer unparalleled performance.

The Nyx-15 Pro features a built-in IR illuminator and a Class 1 covert infrared laser pointer that boasts a push-button control, allowing you to communicate targets to your team members conveniently and easily.

You can wear this model with the included flip-up head mount or an optional universal mount for hands-free use. It also features a built-in mechanism that automatically powers off the unit when it’s flipped up.

Meanwhile, its bright light shut-off circuitry and automatic brightness control further enhance convenience and ease of use.

Moreover, the device is designed with LED indicators that notify when the IR illuminator is on or alert you of a low battery by displaying the message on the screen of the eyepiece. You can also use the dismounted goggle as a long-range viewer with the optional 3x afocal lens.

The dual-tube design of this optic offers outstanding clarity and increased depth perception, making it perfect for hunting, security, law enforcement, sky watching, hiking, and several other day-to-day applications.

It comes with several accessories as well, including a soft carrying case, a lens tissue, and an instruction manual.

All in all, the Armasight Nyx-15 Pro is a high-end night vision unit that can meet the needs and requirements of even the most demanding military professionals and law enforcement officers.

Some Other Notable Features Include:

  • Automatic bright light cut-off system.
  • Built-in IR illuminator and pivotal lens.
  • Automatic turn-off and turn-on.

The Armasight Nyx-15 Pro is compact, waterproof, and highly durable and can deliver outstanding performance in the harshest and most demanding conditions.

If you’re looking for a high-quality night vision device for low-light operations, then this model is certainly worth considering.

Pros

  • The bright light cut-off system protects the intensifier tubes.
  • Lightweight, robust, and compact design.
  • Incredibly easy to use.
  • Helmet or head-mountable for hands-free use.
  • Waterproof for increased durability and longevity.
  • Generation technology is a bit old.

Cons

  • Generation technology is a bit old.

3. Most Versatile: AGM NVG-40 NL2

night vision binoculars gen

A huge leap from Gen 1, the Gen 2 image intensifier tubes in the NVG-40 provide longer useful ranges, brighter and clearer images, better resolution, and lower susceptibility to distortion and blooming.

Since the tube condition is classified as Level 2, you might see some spots in your peripheral view, but the center will be crisp and clear.

The unit features manual gain control, allowing you to accurately control and adjust the brightness of the image intensifier tube according to the lighting conditions.

This feature further helps eliminate or reduce night blindness brought about by brightness differences between the view you see through a monocular and the one you see with your naked eye.

The AGM NVG-40 NL2 is also designed with a sensor that deactivates both the IR illuminator and intensifier tube when you flip the optic up and out of your line of sight.

Weighing less than 23 ounces and measuring only 4.5” long, this device is compact and lightweight, making it easy to pack and carry without causing neck pain or fatigue.

An incredibly long 25mm eye relief further lets you mount it on several different helmet styles and still experience the 40o field of view without straining your eyes.

This pair of night vision goggles has winged eyecups that conform to the shape and contours of your face to prevent outside light from affecting your view and ability to see. This design also blocks the light from the display, allowing you to use the goggles without worrying about giving away your position.

Moreover, the model boasts an aluminum housing and a non-reflective and scratch-resistant anodized finish. It comes with several accessories as well, including a protective sacrificial window and a demist shield.

Adding even more, convenience and versatility to its design, its battery holder features a two-sided adapter, enabling you to easily and quickly change battery sizes out in the field.

A Few Other Notable Features Include:

  • Built-in flood lens and infrared illuminator.
  • Wide 40o field of view.
  • f/1.3 lens system.

Lightweight, compact, and highly versatile, the AGM NVG-40 NL2 enables you to navigate and maneuver in total darkness with its exceptional depth perception and true stereoscopic vision.

If you’re working in variable lighting conditions, you can simply flip one optical tube out of the way and use the unit as a monocular.

Pros

  • Functions as a head-mounted or helmet binocular, a monocular, or a handheld binocular.
  • 40o field of view ensures you maintain situational awareness.
  • Crisper images, lower distortion, and better resolution.
  • Long eye relief ensures proper placement on a wide range of helmet styles.
  • Pull-turn power switch prevents accidental activation.
  • The dioptric correction makes the unit easier to use for people who need corrective eyewear.

Cons

  • The tube might have some peripheral spots.

Dual Tube Night Vision Goggles Buying Guide

nvg binoculars

What are Double Tube Night Vision Goggles – and how do they work?

Dual tube night vision goggles are simply devices that have two image intensifier tubes. They don’t have any magnification and can be head-mounted. The best thing about these optics is that they are extremely easy to use and feel incredibly natural when you’re wearing them.

These units are designed with a photocathode, a light-sensitive surface that converts photons from light into electrons. A photomultiplier (a type of photoelectric cell) then multiplies the electrons and pushes them to a phosphor screen. As the electrons hit the screen, they transform into tiny flashes of light.

Since this increases the number of photons, the screen creates a much brighter and clearer rendition of the original scene.

Dual tube night vision goggles provide ‘stereo vision,’ meaning that each eye perceives its own slightly different picture instead of both eyes sharing the same image.

Like monoculars, these units are great navigation devices that allow you to walk and hunt in the dark. Stereo vision also provides you with better depth perception and improves your navigation ability.

Different Types of Phosphorus Tubes and which one is better

There are two types of phosphorus tubes available today: the traditional green and the newer white phosphor technology. This color difference is because of the phosphor used in the image intensifier tube.

P45 phosphor screens create a black and white image, while P43 results in a green-based picture. Both phosphorus tubes enhance the light that reaches the screen, allowing users to see in low-light conditions.

Traditional models use a P-43 screen output, creating a yellow-green image that has become the trademark view of most Gen 3 night vision devices.

You can also see more shades of green with your naked eye than any other color, and some users have stated that they’re better able to adjust to the dark with green phosphorus tubes.

On the other hand, a P-45 phosphor screen yields an image with a black and white coloration. Some users state that this color enhances overall object recognition and provides a contrast sensitivity equal to the green phosphor.

They also state that it shows a brighter image than green phosphor and reduces eye fatigue, allowing comfortable and continuous use.

Despite the claimed technical advancements, some users still prefer green phosphorus tubes instead of white ones. However, there is no scientific evidence that proves that one phosphor color is better than the other.

If there is a difference in the clarity and resolution, it might be because of the night vision technology itself and not the phosphor color. Since every person’s eyesight is different, your decision ultimately comes down to your preference.

How is Dual Tube Different From Single Tube Night Vision Goggles?

night vision goggles gen

Dual tube units have better depth perception than single tube models because each eye perceives a slightly different picture, allowing for a more precise judgment of distances. This helps you with navigation, whether you’re maneuvering your boat around rocks or hunting in dense undergrowth.

One of the most significant differences between single tube and dual tube night vision is their cost. Dual tube models are almost twice as expensive as single tube ones. They’re also heavier and less versatile, as both your eyes are covered with the night vision device.

One of your eyes is uncovered in single tube goggles, so it’s easier for you to read lighting conditions. However, since both of your eyes are behind the night vision in dual-tube models, it’s difficult to see colors while using them.

For instance, if you’re driving with dual-tube night vision, you won’t be able to identify the color of the lights, but you can see them with a naked eye.

Some models are incredibly rigid, so you have to flip the entire device up and out of the way if you want unaided vision. However, the latest dual tube night vision goggles, like PVS-31s, come with the flexibility of rotating one or both tubes out of the way.

What to look for in Dual Tube Night Vision Goggles

Dual tube night vision goggles usually cost a lot of money. To ensure you find a model that best suits your needs, we’ve listed some of the features you should consider before finalizing your decision:

Generation

Night vision goggles are a generational system and are divided into Gen 1, Gen 2, and Gen 3.

Gen 1 units are the most inexpensive, with a 75-yard viewing range and low resolution.

Gen 2 devices are neither too costly nor too cheap. With a 200-yard visual range, longer battery life, and light amplification, these enhanced optics are ideal for shooting, driving, and hunting.

Gen 3 models are the costliest but are similar to tactical night vision optics used by the US military special forces. They offer a 300-yard viewing range and have the best battery life.

Weight

Most people use night vision goggles for long periods, so it’s important that you consider the weight. This is particularly true for models that can be mounted on a helmet or worn on your head.

Heavier units can result in neck strain, so it’s better to look for night vision goggles that weigh less than 20 pounds. Tactical units usually have more lenses, so they have a higher weight by default.

Size

If you’re going to use your night vision goggles for hunting or want a clear line of sight, you need to consider the size.

It’s better to avoid very large models, as they’ll prevent you from properly using sights on rifles. Also, make sure you consider units that you can retract and move up and out of the way when not in use, so you can use other objects easily and safely.

Gain

If you’re planning on using dual tube night vision goggles in extremely dark places, the gain is a key feature.

Gain basically refers to the ability of a pair of goggles to compensate for the varying light levels at night optically. A unit with better gain offers a better viewing experience and a crisper, clearer, and more detailed picture, even in low light conditions.

This feature is particularly useful in areas where the light conditions change constantly.

Durability

Dual tube night vision goggles are generally designed for active or outdoor use. But it’s important to remember that cheaper units usually perform poorly.

It’s better to go for a model with a durable aluminum body instead of a plastic one, as it will last a long time. Similarly, opt for glass lenses instead of other cheaper lens alternatives.

Integral Illuminator

If you’re worried about the weight of your dual tube night vision goggles, select a unit with an integral illuminator. Since this is a separate light source, you’ll be able to read the text in dark areas, even when you’re not using the goggles.

Weather Resistance

Whether you’re planning a hunt in the marshlands or camping in wet and muddy areas, it’s crucial to consider the weatherproof rating of your night vision goggles. If you’re going to work in places with frequent bad weather, it’s better to upgrade to a costlier water-resistant model.

Pros and Cons of the Dual Tube Night Vision Goggles

night vision goggles gen

To help you decide whether you should really go for a dual tube night vision model, we’ve discussed a few of its pros and cons. Make sure you compare the two before making a decision.

Pros

  • Better vision in the dark: The most obvious advantage of dual tube night vision goggles is having improved vision in the dark or in lighting conditions where you can’t see clearly with your naked eye. These units enhance your vision either through thermal technology or infrared imaging.
  • Improved precision: Dual tube night vision goggles are primarily used for tactical military missions. However, you can use them for your nighttime hunting trips as well, where little to no natural light makes it challenging to target prey safely.
  • Enhanced safety: Dual tube night vision goggles can save your life if you’re planning nighttime outdoor activities. A hike in the dark can be dangerous if you’re unable to clearly see where you’re stepping. These devices will give you peace of mind and allow you to navigate through the dense undergrowth easily.
  • Compact: Traditional night vision goggles are positioned away from the helmet when not in use, crushing the helmet to your forehead. However, some newer dual tube models have rotating eye pods that allow you to fold the eyepieces outward and store them closer to your helmet. This might seem like a small thing, but it makes the goggles extremely comfortable to wear for long periods.

Cons

  • Might cause headaches: While you can make your own dual tube night vision with a bridge and two PVS-14s, it can cause headaches. This is because each eye has to look through a different tube with different specifications. This setup is also incredibly heavy and can weigh around 30 ounces.
  • Expensive: Dual tube night vision goggles are costlier than single tube models. The price of a typical, brand-new PVS-14 can range from $2500 to $3000, while used ones cost as low as $1200. Dual tube units generally cost around $5000 to $9000, depending on the tubes and the housing.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does Autogated night vision mean?

Auto gating is an essential technology used in the latest night vision devices. This feature ensures that the device gives clearer and crisper visuals, even when the light conditions change frequently and suddenly.

Located inside the image intensifier tube, it automatically switches the tube on and off so that brighter lights don’t damage the optic.

Auto gating also helps maintain complete situational awareness and protects you from temporary blindness.

Does a white phosphorus tube offer a clearer view than a green one?

Some users claim that white phosphor tubes offer more visual acuity and better contrast than their green counterparts.

However, there’s no scientific evidence that proves that one color is better than the other. The decision ultimately depends on what’s more comfortable for your eyes and what better suits your purpose.

Should I invest in dual tube night vision goggles?

If you can afford the upgrade, you should undoubtedly get the best dual tube night vision goggles that fit your budget. There are several aftermarket accessories for dual tube night vision devices available today as well, so you can easily get something that suits your needs.


Final Verdict: What are the Best Dual Tube NV Goggles?

If you’re looking for a full-featured model suitable for hunting or tactical applications, buy the AGM NVG-40 3AL2.

If you need to save money, then the Armasight Nyx-15 Pro is the better option.

About the Author Rob Carson

I work in commercial construction, in Dallas, TX.

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