Spice up your next evening safari with a night-vision monocular. Adam Baer tests three competing models.
ATN NIGHT LEOPARD
Magnification 3x Battery life About 11 hours Weight 1 lb. The Bright Side Has the look and feel of a midsized camcorder. Its "first-generation" night-vision technology illuminates critters in military-style Kermit-green. Perfect for campers. The Dark Side Somewhat blurry images and a sensitive lens that can be damaged when exposed to daylight. 800/910-2862; www.atncorp.com; $249.
Magnification 2x Battery life Two hours Weight 12.3 oz. The Bright Side A light, affordable digicam look-alike with video-out and USB connections for TV and computer viewing. A 1.8-inch black-and-white LCD screen allows you to see great detail without the eye strain that accompanies red and green filters, and a 180-degree swivel lens makes night-watching a group activity.The Dark Side Requires frequent charges. 800/423-3537; www.bushnell.com; $199.
Magnification 1.5x or 3x, with various lenses included Battery life Three hours Weight 9.3 oz. The Bright Side Superlight; can be comfortably held in one hand. Meade's night-eye uses a Sony-built digicam "charge-coupled device." Crisp images, a video-out port for TV or camcorder, and three color filters (green, red, gray-scale) round out its assets. The Dark Side An AC adapter is necessary because of its short battery life. 800/626-3233; www.meade.com; $300.