How I Got on a Watch-List Without Even Trying: Night-Vision Goggles Reviewed

Thursday, October 25, 2012 | 2 Comment(s)

So a number of you have asked about the night-vision goggles.  Thus, a brief review of the positives and negatives of my new toy which just arrived yesterday.

Let's get the important stuff out of the way.  These suckers work.  In a completely dark house I can safely walk down the stairs, find the light-switch, and not trip over dog toys on the way to the bathroom.  It is insane to me that these 35 dollar goggles let me see in the dark like the night ops fighters that i never pretended to be as a child (i was more into transformers then GI Joe).  If you've always secretly wanted night vision but were afraid to be ripped off, these are the real deal.

BUT, before you go snatching the remaining inventory of the online shelves, let me quickly go over the negatives.  The major negative here is that there is no head band connected to the goggles.  There is a strap, which allows the unit to hang from your neck for quick use, but it seems strange to me that you have to continually hold these suckers up to your face like binoculars in order to use them.  I mean, if you are in complete darkness, whats the chances that you only want to use your "sight device" for a few seconds here and there.  It's annoying that they don't attach some sort of device for keeping the unit on your head.

Negative number two.  And this one is much much smaller (literally and figuratively).  The window of sight amounts to a small screen you view inside the goggles.  This mini-screen takes some time to adjust to considering there is no peripheral vision and a limited sight range.  This problem is accentuated by the fact that the goggles don't affix to your head.  I believe that with a night of running around in these silly bad boys and your eyes would adjust to its new dimensional limitations, however, that process is elongated by the sporadic up and down of putting the goggles up to your face, and then taking them off again.

And that's really it.  For negatives.  If you are at all a "do-it-yourselfer" (which i am not), I'm sure you could find a way to rig a helmet like system that would make this toy into even more hilarious fun.  And even if you can't, it will help you find your dogs in the complete darkness of the woods at night.  Which is key for me.

Thankfully there are a few unexpected UPSIDES which were both surprising and a bit alarming as i discovered my purchases flexible functionality.

This thing records!!!!!  Annnnnnnnnd, now they're sketchy.   I didn't know this when i bought them, but this sucker has a friggin USB port and comes with a thumb drive!!!  "WHY?," you ask?  Well, how else are you going to document the footage you record when you press PLAY on the night vision goggles.  Yup, they record in the dark.  they are a stalking tool.  I don't know any way around it.  To not say that upfront would make it worse.  But i simply have yet to come up with any reason for night-vision recording that doesn't give me the heeby-jeeby shivers.  I mean, they also come with a USB to USB connector so that you can download the recordings straight to your computer or HD TV.  gulp.
These goggles are simultaneously one of my coolest and creepiest purchases ever.

My most recent cool idea is that once all of my friends read that these suckers work and purchase their own, I will go online again and purchase a whole crap-load of old laser tag gear.  Take said purchases and said friends to a pitch black field (which we have a 2 min drive away), add the reality alterer of your choice, and stir vigorously.  That sounds like a night out that i would like to be a part of.  To they have laser tag sniper rifles?  (Oy, i think i need to take a break from the shooting video games).

Have any amazing night film ideas?  I'm open to suggestions.