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Best Handheld Thermal Imager For Hunting

FLIR Systems Scout II 320 Thermal Night Vision Monocular

Searching for the best handheld thermal imager for hunting? By the end of this post, we are sure you’ll select the best option to deliver value for the money you spend. In addition, we will delve into the important factors you need to consider to ensure you make a well-informed purchase.

A handheld thermal imager is invaluable for hunters, especially those into nighttime or low-visibility hunting. These devices are designed to help you detect and observe heat signatures emitted by animals. This makes it easier to track and locate them in various conditions. 

However, if you quickly search the internet, you’ll find many thermal imagers, making it challenging to narrow down your search. This is why we created this post to help you.

Let us get right into it.

8 Best Handheld Thermal Imagers For Hunting

1) FLIR Systems Scout II 320 Thermal Night Vision Monocular

FLIR Systems Scout II 320 Thermal Night Vision Monocular




If you’re an avid hunter seeking a reliable thermal imaging solution for your nocturnal adventures, look no further than the FLIR Systems Scout II 320 Thermal Night Vision Monocular. This cutting-edge device flawlessly integrates efficiency, durability, and ease of use, providing a field experience like no other.

The exceptional feature of this thermal imager is the impressive detection range. The device can effortlessly spot the heat signatures of animals and humans from up to 600 yards away.

With a resolution of 320×240 pixels, the Scout II 320 ensures you get a crisp and clear view of your surroundings. The 19 mm objective lens further broadens your situational awareness, letting you observe an expansive field of view with a 17-degree angle.

This monocular is built to withstand the rigors of the great outdoors because it is housed in a weather-tight, ergonomic shell. It’s lightweight, at just 12 ounces, and fits comfortably in the palm of your hand.

We recommend this thermal imager because its built-in Li-Ion battery assures up to 5 hours of continuous operation. This gives you peace of mind during extended hunting trips.


  • Detects heat signatures up to 600 yards 
  • 320×240 pixel resolution
  • User-friendly interface
  • White Hot, Black Hot, and InstAlert™ palettes
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Built-in Li-Ion battery provides up to 5 hours of continuous use


  • Low refresh rate

2) Steiner eOptics 2-16x35mm Nighthunter H35 Handheld Thermal

Steiner eOptics 2-16x35mm Nighthunter H35 Handheld Thermal



The Steiner eOptics 2-16x35mm is another excellent thermal imager loaded with many impressive features. It is built to withstand anything the great outdoors can throw at it.

The Nighthunter H35 comes equipped with a manual objective focus, allowing users to fine-tune the clarity of their view. Its interface is incredibly user-friendly, ensuring that even first-time users can easily operate it.

Most avid hunters recommend it because of its long-lasting battery life. You can also charge the battery.

The optional mobile app provides additional control and recording features, offering an enhanced user experience. In addition, the imager lets you record what you see, making it easier to revisit those unforgettable moments.

We recommend this thermal imager because it has a high frame rate.


  • Quantum vision technology
  • Built to withstand varying environmental conditions
  • User-friendly interface makes it accessible for both beginners and experienced hunters
  • Rechargeable internal battery
  • Easily capture and revisit your hunting moments


  • Pricey

3) Burris BTH 35 2.3-9.2x35mm Thermal Hand-held Monocular

Burris BTH 35 2.3-9.2x35mm Thermal Hand-held Monocular



The Burris BTH 35 2.3-9.2x35mm Thermal Hand-held Monocular is worth checking out because it has a variable magnification of 2.3-9.2x. This means you can identify heat signatures from an impressive distance—up to 750 yards.

One of the standout features of this monocular is its customizable options. With five different color palettes and multiple reticle choices, you can fine-tune the device to match your specific needs and preferences. 

With a resolution of 400×300 and an objective lens diameter of 35mm, the BTH 35 delivers high-quality thermal images that make it easier to spot game. The manual focus allows you to adjust the image sharpness according to your requirements, ensuring you won’t miss any critical details.

The device offers Wi-Fi connectivity, enabling you to pair it with your smartphone through its dedicated mobile app. This feature allows for easy monocular control and enables recording images and videos, providing mementos of your successful hunts.

Whether you’re scouting in broad daylight or pitch darkness, this monocular adapts to optimize your viewing experience.


  • Stadiametric rangefinder
  • Adjustable brightness and contrast
  • Refresh Rate of 50 Hz
  • Resolution of 400×300
  • Wi-Fi-enabled features allow for easy device control 
  • 5-hour runtime with a rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery 


  • Learning curve

4) FLIR Systems Scout III 320 Thermal Night Vision Monocular

FLIR Systems Scout II 320 Thermal Night Vision Monocular



The FLIR Systems Scout III 320 Thermal Night Vision Monocular stands out because of its unmatched visibility and precision. It will elevate your hunting game and enhance your ability to explore the wilderness and manage your land efficiently.

The most outstanding feature of this thermal imager is its extraordinary range. With the capability to detect heat signatures of humans and animals up to 601 yards away and small varmints at a staggering 1,695 yards, you’ll never miss a beat on your hunting expeditions. 

Thanks to its high-speed 60Hz frame rate and enhanced processing system, the device delivers lifelike thermal video to its crisp, clear 640 x 480 LCD screen. 

The FLIR Scout III 320 is designed with ease of use in mind. Its intuitive controls make it a breeze to adjust power. Select from four color palettes, use the 2x zoom, and even modulate the screen brightness.

The monocular comes with an internal Li-Ion battery that boasts an extended life of over 5 hours. The fast startup feature further conserves the battery by eliminating the need for a standby mode. 

We recommend this handheld thermal imager because of its compact and lightweight design. In addition, it offers a fixed magnification of 2x and a field of view angle of 17 degrees.


  • Detect heat signatures up to 601 yards
  • 60Hz frame rate ensures smooth and lifelike thermal video
  • Easy-to-use buttons and a fast startup feature
  • Internal Li-Ion battery offers over 5 hours of operation time
  • IP67 water resistance 
  • 640 x 480 LCD screen


  • 2x fixed magnification

5) AGM Global Vision Asp-Micro 160×120 Short Range Thermal Imaging Monoculars

AGM Global Vision Asp-Micro 160x120 Short Range Thermal Imaging Monoculars



The AGM Global Vision Asp-Micro 160×120 made it on this list because it has many features to assist hunters, search and rescue teams, and law enforcement professionals. The high-resolution 160×120 or 384×288 pixel detector captures even the minutest details, giving you an unmatched viewing experience.

Unlike other thermal imagers, the Asp-Micro 160×120 incorporates distance measurement functionality. Simply mark the top and bottom of your target, input the target’s height, and the device will calculate the distance for you.

The other exceptional feature is the built-in recording capabilities. This allows you to record videos or take screenshots during your hunting expeditions. 

The Asp-Micro offers an exceptional battery life of up to 7 hours. This is enough for nighttime hunting expeditions.

Connectivity is a breeze with the in-built Wi-Fi hotspot feature. You can easily link your device with a smartphone or tablet. Plus, the Type-C interface ensures fast and hassle-free data transfer.

We recommend this thermal imager because of its durable design. It also has a compact and lightweight design.


  • 7-hour battery life
  • High-resolution imaging
  • Asp-Micro offers distance measurement capabilities
  • Built-in recording capabilities
  • User-friendly interface
  • Limited 3-year warranty


  • Expensive 

6) ATN OTS-XLT 2.5-10x Thermal Viewer

ATN OTS-XLT 2.5-10x Thermal Viewer



The ATN OTS-XLT 2.5-10x Thermal Viewer is another excellent thermal imaging device worth buying. It is designed for modern hunters who demand precision and versatility.

The most outstanding feature of this thermal imaging device is its use of quantum refracting technology to enhance light transmission. This makes it possible to spot human-sized targets from a significant distance, even in total darkness. In addition, it is equipped with a resolution of 160×120 pixels and a fast 50Hz refresh rate.

The 2.5-10x magnification range allows you to zoom in for a closer look or zoom out for a broader view of the field. This feature proves especially useful when tracking fast-moving game or surveying wide-open spaces.

This thermal imager also has multiple color modes: White Hot, Black Hot, Red Hot, and Full Color. They help you adjust the view according to the situation at hand. 

When it comes to outdoor gear, durability is a must. This device is built to withstand harsh conditions, evidenced by its IP67 water resistance rating. It operates reliably in temperatures ranging from -4 to 131 Fahrenheit. 

We recommend it because it is compact and portable.


  • High-quality imaging
  • Human detection range of up to 850 meters
  • Magnification range of 2.5-10x
  • Extended battery life of 10 hours
  • Powered by ATN’s Obsidian Core LT operating system
  • IP67 water resistance rating and a rugged design


  • Resolution limitation

7) FLIR Systems LS-XR Compact Thermal Nightvision Monocular

FLIR Systems LS-XR Compact Thermal Nightvision Monocular



The FLIR Systems LS-XR Compact Thermal Nightvision Monocular is another rugged thermal imager with durable construction. Its ergonomic design is meant for single-handed operation, allowing hunters to maintain a secure grip on their weapons. 

Its lightweight and compact design ensures it fits easily in your pocket. It also comes with a  Molle bag, making it highly portable and easy to carry during hunting expeditions.

This scope is popular among avid hunters because of its intuitive controls that help you adapt to swiftly changing scenarios. In addition, its ergonomic eyepiece ensures comfortable and extended surveillance periods.

The device comes with a fixed 8x magnification, allowing you to spot your targets from a distance. With a field of view ranging from 14 to 18 degrees, you’ll cover more ground and never lose sight of your objectives.


  • 640×320 pixel resolution
  • Powers up within seconds
  • Long battery life
  • Designed for one-handed use
  • Comes packed with extras like a red laser pointer
  • The controls are intuitive
  • Easily fits in packs, pockets, or the included Molle bag


  • Learning curve

8) AGM Global Vision Taipan TM15-384 Thermal Imaging Monocular

AGM Global Vision Taipan TM15-384 Thermal Imaging Monocular



Last on our list is the AGM Global Vision Taipan TM15-384 Thermal Imaging Monocular. It offers a range of features to ensure you have the best hunting experience. 

The exceptional feature of this thermal imaging device is the 384×288 infrared detector, coupled with a high-resolution 1280×960 LCOS display. This powerful combination delivers exceptional image clarity, making spotting your target in complete darkness easier. 

The device has an intuitive distance measurement function for those keen on precise shots. By marking the top and bottom of your target and entering its height, you get an accurate distance reading, which is essential for a successful hunting expedition.

The other exceptional feature is its built-in Wi-Fi hotspot. This functionality lets users capture snapshots, record videos, and adjust settings through a dedicated mobile app.

We recommend this thermal imaging device because it has an IP67 water resistance level and operates smoothly between -1 and 131 Fahrenheit. It also comes with a limited 3-year warranty.


  • 384×288 infrared detector
  • Hot spot marking and distance measurement
  • Built-in stand-alone Lithium battery
  • Portable and durable
  • Built-in Wi-Fi hotspot allows for seamless connectivity
  • Operates in a wide range of temperatures
  • limited 3-year warranty


  • Learning curve


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How Do I Maintain My Thermal Imager?

1) Regular Cleaning

  • Lens – Use a lens cleaning kit specifically designed for thermal optics. Avoid using abrasive materials or chemicals that might damage the lens.
  • Exterior – Wipe down the exterior casing with a slightly damp cloth to remove dirt and grime. Ensure the device is off and the battery is removed before doing this.

2) Battery Maintenance

  • Type – Always use the type of battery recommended by the manufacturer. Using an incompatible battery could damage the device or void your warranty.
  • Charging – If your thermal imager uses rechargeable batteries, follow the manufacturer’s charging times and cycles guidelines.
  • Storage – Remove the batteries if you’re storing the device for an extended period. This will prevent potential battery leaks that could corrode and damage the device.

3) Firmware Updates

Keep your device’s firmware up-to-date by regularly checking the manufacturer’s website or software platform. Updates often fix bugs and improve performance.

4) Storage

  • Climate Controlled – Store your device in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Exposure to extreme temperatures can damage the internal electronics.
  • Protective Casing – Use a padded, protective case that is ideally waterproof or water-resistant. This will shield the device from physical impacts and moisture.
  • Silica Gel – Place a silica gel pack in the case to absorb any residual moisture, especially if you’re storing it for an extended period.

5) Calibrating Your Device

Many thermal imagers have a calibration function, which should be performed periodically to maintain optimal performance. Consult your user manual for specific instructions on calibrating your particular model.

6) Professional Maintenance

For high-end models or if you notice performance issues, having your thermal imager checked by professionals might be beneficial. This could involve a detailed internal examination, cleaning, and recalibration.

7) Keep a Maintenance Log

Keep a record of all maintenance activities, firmware updates, and any issues you encounter. This can be useful for troubleshooting future problems and for warranty claims.

8) Read the User Manual

Your thermal imager will come with a user manual that contains specific maintenance recommendations from the manufacturer.


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Factors To Consider When Buying The Best Thermal Imager For Hunting

When it comes to hunting, thermal imaging can be an absolute game-changer. It allows you to visualize heat sources in complete darkness and locate and track game more efficiently than traditional night vision.

Here are some of the important factors to consider: 


Higher resolution means clearer, more detailed thermal images. Look for a thermal imager with at least a 320×240 pixel resolution for optimal results. Some lower-end models may offer 160×120 pixels, which could be adequate for close-range observations but may not provide the clarity you’d need for spotting game at greater distances.

Detection Range

The detection range tells you how far away you can spot a heat signature. Longer ranges are useful for open spaces, while shorter ranges may suffice for wooded areas. Knowing the terrain you’ll be hunting in can help you decide the optimal range for your needs.

Magnification and Zoom

For hunting purposes, the capability to zoom in on a target is crucial. Some thermal imagers come with optical zoom, while others offer digital zoom. Optical zoom tends to offer better image quality but might be costlier. Determine what zoom levels you require for your typical hunting range.

Durability and Weather Resistance

Hunting involves exposure to harsh conditions. Whether it’s rain, snow, or dirt, your thermal imager should be able to withstand the elements. Look for water-resistant models, and pay attention to the build quality, including materials and ruggedness.

User Interface and Controls

Ease of use is another important factor. Some thermal imagers come with touchscreens, while others rely on physical buttons or a combination. Ensure the controls are intuitive and easy to use, especially when wearing gloves or handling other equipment.


Battery Life

You may spend hours hunting in the field, so battery life is critical. Ensure that the thermal imager you choose has a battery life that will last for your hunting expedition. Some models also offer replaceable batteries, allowing you to carry spares for extended use.

Ergonomics and Durability

The thermal imager must be easy to handle and sturdy enough to withstand the rugged conditions of hunting. Look for a device made from durable materials like high-impact plastic or metal alloys. The design should be ergonomic and ideally include features like a rubberized grip for better handling.

Image Modes and Zoom Features

Some thermal imagers use various image modes such as black hot, white hot, and color palettes to enhance visibility. Zoom features can also be incredibly useful for getting a closer look at your target without moving closer. Be sure to understand the types of image modes and zoom capabilities a thermal imager offers.

Weight and Portability

Remember, you’ll likely be carrying the thermal imager and other gear. Opt for a lightweight and compact model without compromising on key features. Many thermal imagers come with straps or mounts for easy carrying.


By now, we are sure you’ve selected the best handheld thermal imager for hunting. These devices provide an invaluable edge, enabling hunters to see clearly in the dark, through fog, and even foliage. 

Invest wisely, and may your new handheld thermal imager make each hunting trip a more fruitful and enriching experience.

We hope this post helped you narrow your search.


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