March 3, 2021

Spotter Up

In Depth Tactical Solutions

Sightmark Wraith – The Next Step in Affordable Digital Night Vision

4 min read

The new Sightmark Wraith Digital Day/Night Optic

Over the past year, I have tried out several digital night vision units from fairly expensive clip-on units to less expensive weapon-mounted sights. One new unit just hitting the market is the Sightmark Wraith.  This is a weapon-mounted unit that offers upgraded clarity and performance, while eliminating some less useful features.  The Wraith offers 4-power magnification on the low end, with an 8X digital magnification factor, for a top end of 32 power.


The Wraith is compact and includes a Picatinny-rail compatible mount.  The mount is a bit low for use on an A3 (flat-top) AR15/M4, but it is usable.  A riser would be helpful in this application.  On most bolt action firearms, the mount height should be adequate.  The rear focus ring sharpens the reticle and the front is used to set target focus.


The controls are easily accessible on top of the unit, and are fairly intuitive.  The Wraith can still take photo and video, but has eliminated some of the extra capabilities like Wi-Fi.


The 850nm LED illuminator is detachable and can run separate from the unit, which is a useful change from previous units; it doesn’t need to be mounted on the Wraith to be functional, it can be mounted on a forward rail.  It has three power settings and is quite bright as LED illuminators go, but it does have significant visible glow.  The illuminator mount is clever and allows minor adjustments to alignment of the beam.


The thing that strikes me most about the Wraith is its daytime capability.  Boasting a resolution of 1920X1080 pixels, it really offers great color and detail for daytime shooting.


Stump at 100 yards on 2X digital zoom (total of 8X). The Wraith offers a selection of 10 reticle patterns in 9 colors to contrast with the background.  Adjusting the reticle keeps it centered in the field of view, as opposed to having a fixed field of view and a reticle off-center.


Same stump at 3x digital zoom (total zoom of 12X). Resolution starts getting a little grainy beyond this magnification.


Hillside just over 4000 yards away at 1X digital (4x total magnification).


Same hillside at 8x zoom (32X magnification). The view pixelates significantly at high magnifications.   I think a little less total zoom, maybe 1X or 2X optical and 4X digital would have offered better clarity and still have been very functional.  I find that the lowest power setting is the most useful.


The advertised detection range of the Wraith is 200 yards. With the illuminator on, this is about right.  This model needs good IR illumination to work in the dark, even on a clear night with a bright, full moon.

These elk at the lowest magnification setting are approximately 60 yards away with the illuminator at full power. On nighttime targets like hogs and nocturnal pests, this is more than enough resolution to positively ID and engage a target – where lawful.

The Wraith not only offers improved clarity and range in the dark (with suitable IR illumination), but boasts impressive daylight performance, at a price point below some first-generation conventional night vision units.


Daytime Performance: 4.5 out of 5  – Daytime performance is impressive, but the digital zoom results in a pixelated image.

Nighttime Performance: 4 out of 5 – It performs as advertised but IR illumination is a must in low light.

Value: 5 out of 5 – For the price, this unit is hard to beat

User Friendliness: 4 out of 5 – The Wraith only has 5 control buttons and it’s easy to press the wrong button at first. The front focus ring is also a little out of the way to access.

Durability: 4.5 out of 5 – No question, this unit is built heavy-duty but that comes at the expense of a little extra weight


Despite some limitations, this unit works well and is an excellent alternative to first generation night vision units of similar price.  With a unit of this type, one must have realistic expectations,  it is digital night vision and significantly less expensive than more sophisticated Gen 2 and Gen 3 devices, with the benefit of not being damaged by daytime use and actually having very good daylight performance.

*I received this product as a courtesy from the manufacturer via Spotter Up so I could test it and give my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give this product a good review. All opinions are my own and are based off my personal experience with the product.

*The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the original authors and contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Spotter Up Magazine, the administrative staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

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