Night paddling with night vision?

Hey guys, with personal night vision getting cheaper and cheaper, has anyone tried getting any of these for a night paddle?

Figured since some of these can be either handheld or helmet-mounted, they could be a way to see your surroundings more clearly without ruining your natural night vision or of those around you, and you could still keep a white light handy to make yourselves known to other boaters. Has anyone gone out with personal night vision devices?

I have paddled lakes in moonlight in favorable conditions. Otherwise I don’t think it is a good idea. Stay off rivers.

In general, if it was so dark that I needed a night vision camera, I probably wouldn’t be out there. I can enjoy moonlight paddles, but I like to see things unaided when paddling. $600 is not exactly cheap.

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Looks like something WaterTribe competitors might be interested in.

I have a night vision monocular. It is not as fancy as the one you posted a link for. Using it and walking is next to impossible. I can’t imagine trying to paddle with it. Not to mention your field of view is limited and any light causes flare that makes seeing anything difficult. I am sure the ones used by the military work much better but for $600 you are getting a toy.

that is what a light is for LOL
$600 for night vision
$20-$40 for a head light ?

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Some of my favorite paddling time is on the first few wide open larger lakes of the Adirondack “Cannonball-90 mile” route that I like to begin paddling at the stroke of midnight, to be finished before the next nightfall. We are paddling the larger lakes on the route until sunrise and daylight encroaches. With adequately dark adapted eyes on a calm clear sky night, as many stars are visible on the surface of the water as are in the sky. Navigating is not of any issue. During Yukon River races in June and July, it never gets dark at “night” anyway. Don’t need no stinkin’ artificial electronics to enjoy the views within an already enhanced dark night time experience. Legally, I need to have a rarely used visible light available anyway to alert any others of our presence when necessary.

gee, just joined, first post an advertisement for a product with pretty crappy reviews…your name’s not Justin by any chance, is it? Being a sailor for 50 years, I’ve never needed night vision, finding a decent 50mm pair of binoculars or a flashlight has worked well. I use IR binocs on land, good for 200 yards and pretty reasonable, not $600 with lousy reviews. Welcome to Pnet lol

Another expensive gadget that most paddlers don’t need.

I don’t paddle at night unless absolutely necessary. The one time that I did paddle at night, I wore a Petzl headlamp, and mounted a mini Mag Light on the bow of my canoe. They served me quite well.
Cost of both was at least 525 dollars less than cost of the light in the “sneaky” advertisement. Want to advertise? Buy an ad.


Well first off, being seen is far more important than seeing at the speeds we move so you will need lights and often those lights mess with the night vision. I didn’t see if this uses the old starlight system, IR or what but lights tend to be bad with night vision.
Then there’s the fact that this is a camera and you either need to be looking into it, or have it displayed on a separate tablet or something.
That coupled with the fact that there is no peripheral vision would make me uncomfortable. Only seeing what’s directly in front of me would leave me feeling vulnerable.

Thanks for everyone’s input. To set the record straight, I’m a student and am not employed by these optics companies (or any company for that matter). I have yet to try night-paddling and am curious about whether or not some of the tech that I hear about in my other circles can be useful on the river. As I’m away at school, I can’t exactly test gear myself, hence I’m asking if anyone else has prior experience before I blow $600. Not sure if this board has a bad history of advertising spam here, but in the future I’ll refrain from asking about specific products.

If I wanted to see that great I would just wait for morning.
But there’s nothing like paddling on a clear full moon night without lights.

Please don’t hesitate to ask about specific products or any questions relating to paddling. That’s the purpose of this forum and you asked a valid question whether paddlers used night vision devices.

BTW, welcome to the community,

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dcowell65 made a good point that I intended to mention, but didn’t.

With night vision goggles on peripheral vision is non existent; it was like having tunnel vision.
Maybe they’ve been improved, but since I don’t paddle at night it doesn’t matter to me.


Daylight and polarized glasses are best so you can see hazards just below the surface.

Paddling at night is great, but it’s a different experience entirely. Best to know the area well in the daylight first then take your time paddling it on a moonlit night. Group rule: NO HEADLAMPS on unless there’s a safety issue that requires it.


We use to do a monthly club full moon paddle weather permitting here in the Keys. The club would paddle out to the ocean to raft up and watch the sunset then wait for the moon to rise and bring the tide in. We would then ride the tide back through the mangroves. It would be an awesome paddle on a clear night…

I can see the usefulness of such a product on a power boat on a moonless night where you might be looking for an unlit channel marker or obstruction beyond the reach of your searchlight. On a kayak, not so much.

Peripheral vision is not an issue with this product as it is a handheld monocular, not night vision goggles.

Agree about headlamps. As you instinctively turn to talk to someone, you end up blinding them.

I often find on club paddles , especially night paddles, that lights and gadgets often indicate a lack of experience and skills of the paddlers.

Led a bioluminescence paddle once when one woman hung a lit Luci light on her back. She couldn’t see any glow from the water. Neither could anybody else around her.

There’s a point where too many to things become counter productive.

nothing to do with experience it is to do with being seen by others for your safty… that is why boats have the red and green lights, and a white light for search purposes…
and with head torch only turn on when needed.
i have red strip and white strip of reflecitve tape on the shaft of my paddle…

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Some truth in that. But if you need gadgets and spot lights to see you need maybe skill and judgement need tweeking. Water can be much brighter than the sky. And/or contrast with the shore. The lights in your town give landmarks and you see farther in natural light. In spot lights you see only to the pool of light not the thing beyond.

If you have to be well lit to be seen you may be in the wrong water . Going out in busy traffic lanes always has problems. You may be in the wrong water.

If to be seen you think it necessary to blind your companions with excessive lights that cancel out the bioluminescence in the water you are on the wrong paddle.

If you only paddle in the populated areas where being seen is more important than the night paddle experience you are in the wrong water. You need to get out and away to secluded areas where people aren’t. You are missing a good thing.

PS…don’t run strange white water at night.