The Best Military Grade Thermal Binoculars

Written by ian sandusky
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The Best Military Grade Thermal Binoculars
Thermal binoculars are optimal for lowlight conditions. (Luna sul mare image by Andrea Todeschini from

Thermal imaging scopes and binoculars are becoming less expensive, and are thus more available as the technology behind the systems is more easily manufactured. However, choosing a high-quality military-grade set of thermal binoculars requires more effort than simply picking up the first box on the shelf.

ATN ThermoVision RS170A

Arguably the highest-grade single-hand thermal imaging scope on the market, the ATN is perfect for either in-hand or weapon-mounted operation. While the zoom features are slightly lower than in other models, the ability to see perfectly through smoke, darkness, and other obscurants well outweighs the detriment.

ATN PhantomIR Thermal Vision Binocular

Also manufactured by ATN, the PhantomIR offers a true binocular feel and operation for those preferring two-eye configurations. While the system cannot be weapon- or vehicle-mounted, the small package has a thermal zoom feature; allowing long-distance views from the safety of cover.

ELCAN TIBNPHAN1 Thermal Binocular

Essentially the "big brother" to the smaller PhantomIR, this ELCAN configuration provides a binocular-style thermal imaging set-up, but with a broad range of features not included in other models. This model includes a digital compass, user-selectable reticules, and a high-intensity viewing mode--one that allows subtle variations in temperature to be detected, even at long ranges.

FIITS14 with 4th Gen. IIT Thermal Imaging

The FIITS14 system is unique in that while it incorporates many of the functions of the previously mentioned items, it also features a video-out function. This allows a user to record the contents of the viewfinder for later viewing, which may prove an asset for evidence-gathering situations.

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