The Sightmark Ghosthunter

Is it possible to purchase reliable night vision on a budget?

This question gets asked a lot! Is it possible to purchase reliable, effective night vision on a budget? The short answer is, no. I know that this is probably not the answer you wanted to see on this post, but there it is. Well post over! Thanks for coming out!

What? Still here. Ok.

I recently purchased the Sightmark Ghosthunter 2x Gen 1+ Night vision monocular purposely for this post and topic. After careful research it appeared that at roughly $370 CAD this unit was a fair representation of what is out there in the “budget” night vision market.

The unit arrived and with fear and trepidation I opened it. The unit ships with a nice weapon mounting arm for turning the Ghost Hunter into a night vision magnifier, not too bad. A decent nylon (not cordura) belt mounted carrying case was included and a durable lens cap. So far, so good.

Darkness falls (I always wanted to write that somewhere.)

I fire up the Ghost Hunter, and to my surprise the Canadian woodlands leaped out at me, in fairly decent resolution. There is of course some breakdown from the less than mil-spec tube, but for the most part…not too bad. The eye relief was pretty awful but that is to be expected.

Being a Gen1+ product the Ghosthunter requires an IR illuminator to function correctly. For the average hiker or hunter the dim red glow of the IR illuminator is probably not a big deal. However, if you are planning to use the Ghosthunter for say Milsim Airsoft? Probably not a good idea. The IR illuminator will go off like a beacon, to anyone using night vision.

To conclude, the Ghosthunter 2x is a worthy addition to your backpacking, hiking, or hunting gear bag. However, if you are looking to use this in any situation where two legged individuals are involved I would suggest purchasing a high quality tactical flashlight with momentary on, and save the remainder for some Gen2+ NVGs.



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2 replies

  1. For MILSIM use, I wouldn’t even bother with Gen 2, I’ve used them at work and they’re far from good, most I’ve used suffer from issues with depth perception.

    • Hi Gato,

      Sadly most Night Vision systems have a depth perception issue. I can’t speak for the latest quad tube systems, but for most that I’ve used depth perception is only marginally improved in the later generations. This is why training, IR lasers and other tools most be used when using night vision. For Milsim players the availability and lack of legal ambiguity surrounding Gen2 and Gen2+ makes it the best option.

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