Today we review the BAK 2×30 night vision monocular. While night vision is maybe considered a luxury by most preppers, in truth it can be a vital tool.
Buying night vision equipment isn’t the first thing on anyone’s list, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider them either.
Night vision googles, binoculars, and monoculars are worth considering because of the advantages they give you in low light or complete darkness.
Lets say you’re on a hunt and it’s before dawn or getting dark, you could use them to discern prey from the bushes that you couldn’t otherwise see. Since many also offer magnification or zoom you would also have that advantage.
But hunting is not the only use for night vision equipment. In fact, their true usefulness for the prepper really stands out during real world SHTF applications, including scouting and patrols. In an urban environment they should be a must for anyone’s SHTF plans.
Quality At A Discount
If you decide to make night vision equipment part of your preps, be careful of the sticker shock. Some sets can easily run $2,500, or more.
If you’re like me and would rather save that cash for other preps, you still have options. A lot of options actually. Like most tech gear, night vision has dramatically dropped in price over the past few years and some nice sets can be found that won’t break the budget.
Be warned however, there is also a lot of junk and scams out there too. One favorite tactic of scammy sellers is to sell green tinted binoculars and monoculars as “night vision”.
Sometimes they call this “passive night vision”, but this is an incorrect use of the term. In reality it’s just a green coating on the lenses, there is no night vision. You have to read the descriptions and reviews carefully or you’ll get scammed.
For high quality night vision equipment, look for something waterproof, preferably with glass that’s coated to improve the clarity and resists scratching and fogging, and get the proper amount of zoom in the smallest package (more on that below).
Our Best Pick
If you do want some night vision on the cheap, look no further than the very nice BAK 2×30 night vision monoculars. They stand out above the rest for their picture quality and versatility, and the price is quite low for the quality.
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It’s best feature? With its high quality glass and 6.4 degrees of view, the BAK 2×30 night vision monoculars has a large rectangular field of view instead of the standard round view. As you can see in the example below it’s a real game changer. It does this by projecting the amplified image on to a monitor inside the housing. It resembles high definition thermal vision in looks and detail.
This simulates your natural vision and lets you see much more at once, even in the darkest of nights. It also comes with a rail mount that will attach to standard gun rail systems or helmet mount points.
Why We Picked It Over The Competition
The first point I’d like to highlight is that the BAK 2×30 night vision monoculars are real night vision. Just pointing that out because like I said above many of these cheaper sets are simply coated glass.
It can be used day and night, in the day it makes a nice 2x magnified and enhanced image. The glass (lenses) inside are also coated to improve the clarity and resists scratching and fogging.
Looking through this thing gives an uncanny high definition image that is ultra sharp thanks to the internal monitor.
The durable metal body and rail system are also a big plus. The rails give you a lot of mounting options. You can mount this to a gun, helmet, or just about anything. You can also quickly remove the rail system with a single thumb screw.
And the BAK 2×30 night vision monocular is waterproof. This substantially lengthens their durability, whereas a cheap, non-waterproof alternative will fog up inside, and if it ever got wet obviously it would probably be ruined.
The internal lens area is sealed, and the battery compartment is waterproof.
Also, this product is very easy to carry and pack since it is so small. It is about as big as a soda can.
In fact, it’s so small and lightweight you can mount it on a helmet and hardly notice. It fits nicely in a pocket or a bug out bag too.
What We Wish Was Better
The range at night could be better compared to high end (and more costly) versions, but at this price point it’s honestly pretty standard. You can see about 200 yards at night (about 1/8th of a mile – the length of about two football fields). That’s still a lot, but you should know that high end $$$$ sets can see further.
The second downside, which really is a part of any powered night vision system, is that it is battery powered. Day to day that’s not much of a problem, but if you’re prepping for SHTF you’ll need rechargeables and a solar panel for sure.
And while they are still on the low end of the price scale, night vision equipment as a whole is still quite expensive compared to regular binoculars or monoculars. It’s not for everyone, it’s a chunk of change to put on a single piece of gear.
A Neutral Point Worth Mentioning
The magnification is only 2x, and at first you may ask for more, 4x or 8x maybe, but you have to think about how night vision is used. First off, usually any kind of magnification distorts night vision (but somehow the BAK 2×30 night vision monoculars pulls it off with no distortion).
And it’s really not needed that much. Most of the time you’re going to be looking at things up close and personal with night vision. Having something 15-20ft away appear 8x bigger is going to distort like crazy.
It’s not like you can see without them like a pair of regular binoculars, it will be dark and your eyes will not be adjusted. You don’t want to fumble around with them because someone or some thing coming at you is just a big blur.
Yet, contradictory at the same time you want some magnification for things at hundred+ yards away.
All things considered, 2x magnification is a decent trade off for your average user in most situations. If you’re planning to point sheep 1/4 mile away on a mountain side in the middle of the night you should consider a higher magnification. Otherwise this is what you need.
Overall Review – 4.6 / 5.0
Given the positives (i.e. not getting shot, extending your working time so you can move around, check traps, get firewood, etc) I call night vision equipment as a whole worth buying.
For the gear in question, the BAK 2×30 night vision monoculars are a high quality monocular paired with an enhanced night vision system. Overall it’s a winner. The high definition greyscale imagery makes details really pop, and the rectangular field of view is a real game changer.
I wish the view distance at night was more than 200 yards, but you would have to pay double for anything more.
The price might be a little high for some, but that’s essentially the price you’ll have to pay for the advantages of night vision. There’s really not a whole lot of markup going on here, night vision costs.
I would suggest to those that want to buy it, first consider the price and then look at the features. Compare them to other night vision monoculars and you’ll see where the real value is. It’s hard to find this high quality of a set for anything near this price.
Personally, I would say that the positives of having night vision (i.e. not getting shot, extending your daylight time) far outweigh the negatives. And for this set in particular the negatives are hard to find.
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