Articulating vs Fixed Binos

Articulating vs Fixed Binos

There are a lot of binocular NVG models nowadays. A tube with X specifications will essentially perform the same in different modern housings. That said, there are certain features that differentiate bino NVGs, one is ARTICULATION: whether or not the individual pods are FIXED to the bridge that joins them, or if they can be ROTATED/ARTICULATED independently.

Examples of modern Gen3 NVG Binos with fixed pods include: ANVIS9, Sentinel, MOD3 Bravo, RNVG

Examples of modern Gen3 NVG Binos with articulating pods include: PVS15, PVS31A, DTNVG, DTNVS

To some this pod articulation capability is an important value added feature, but in many cases this is at a considerable up-charge. 

When the NVG is in the stowed position, an articulating NVG whose pods can be rotated down to the helmet, imparts less force on the neck. This is because the weight of the NVG sits closer to the head’s center of mass. The DTNVG excels in this regard as it is able to fold flatter toward the helmet than any other articulating binocular NVG. The DTNVG (20.2 oz) is also lighter than any of the other (civilian) commercially available bino NVG which means it induces less neck strain (when properly balanced with a counterweight) over time than competing systems.

There are other benefits to articulating pods: when stowed & folded toward the helmet they are lower profile & pose less of a snag hazard. Makes them easier to get in & out of vehicles & structures when stowed flat to the helmet & not in use. The DTNVG also features auto-shut-off of the individual tubes when one tube is rotated up & out of eyeline. Lift one pod out of the way to do admin work while keeping the other eye on target. And if your eyes are extremely asymmetrical & sit on different vertical planes (see the 4th pic), DTNVG is more likely going to be your “go to” device.

The RNVG (fixed) & DTNVG (articulating) are equally popular among consumers & are both highly capable/exceptional for their intended end use. The RNVG is arguably more robust, though DTNVG warranty claims are very low. Whether or not individual tube articulation is important to the user is dependent on budget & need.

Note in the image on the left how much flatter the articulating pod DTNVG can fold down toward the helmet when in the stowed position compared to the fixed pod RNVG; and the image on the right shows the range of articulation for the DTNVG:

The following image shows what the above NV binocular goggle setups look like when flipped down into their respective positions without adjustment. This is just to show that the above images are not attempts of exaggeration regarding how these setups are presented when in the up/stowed position:

For context only, this is a person that would benefit from Articulating Binos to adjust for orbital socket asymmetry. Most people have some degree of asymmetry in their facial features. Some have more than others: