Night Vision Scope vs Goggles vs Monocular vs Clip-On – A Detailed Comparison

If you are an enthusiastic shooter or hunter, the night vision devices are a must for your hunting that helps to improve your hunting experiences.  

Nowadays, night vision devices are commonly used in many fields, such as hunting, target shooting, hog hunting, home security, law enforcement, and military. 

You can not identify or detect or view your target and surroundings at night with naked eyes. At the time, night vision devices help you to find the target easily and quickly at night. 

Although night vision device operating principles are equivalent, their features and field of application are different. 

Don’t worry! We are here to help you choose the right one. Here, we will briefly discuss the basics of a night vision scope, goggles, clip-on, green light, and monocular, followed by a comparative discussion. 

Night Vision Scope Vs Night Vision Goggles

Night vision Scope

Night Vision scope is one of the fantastic equipment, which improves the vision in complete darkness. If you are a hunter or shooter, then the night vision scope is perfect for you. 

Night vision is also called light amplification. It zooms the image from very dim light to bright light, and two different technologies are used for this. Night vision scope takes infrared light and shows the image in complete darkness. 

Night vision is complicated technology and quite expensive. It works by using a photoreceptor, which converts light into electrons; they are shot at the screen with a cathode. 

It creates a bright, green image. The night vision scopes are more durable, and they use less energy to work. Night vision scope is easy to use and handle as all surfaces reflect light to some extent.


Night vision technologies are classified into four generations, but the Gen 3 and Gen 4 night vision scopes are the most popular in the market. 

Most hunters and snipers prefer Gen 3 and Gen 4 night vision scopes for hunting and target shooting. It is also used for watching animals in the dark.

Nowadays, most companies produce night vision scopes. There is a lot of competition and innovation in the market, which makes advanced technology available at affordable prices.

Night Vision Goggles

The night vision goggles are known as a NOD(night optical device or night observation device) or NVD(night vision Device). It is an optoelectronic device, which enables to create images of light levels in total darkness. 

This allows images to be created at different brightness or light levels as they move towards darkness. This device turns photos into nearby infrared (IR) and combines visible light.

NVG(night vision goggles) is mostly used in military and law enforcement agencies to navigate, locate people in dark places, or surveillance. It is also used in hunting, shooting, and hog hunting at night.


Some of the night vision goggles do thermal imaging or thermal infrared detection, which detects the target’s heat energy. It produces monochrome (green color) images. 

NVG(Night Vision Goggles) is designed as a waterproof housing system, mounted image-viewer intensification tube, and other optical features like telescopic and mirrors lenses.

Night vision goggles were introduced during World War II and were widely used in the Vietnam War. The use of this NVG is not restricted to military applications. It can also be used to hunt wild animals; Most drivers and aviation also use NVG devices.

There are two kinds of technologies used in NVG (night vision goggles), such as thermal imaging and image enhancement.

Image Enhancement

It helps to increase the existing light, so it easily views the target images, even in complete darkness. The night vision goggles detect the infrared light, but the human can’t see the infrared light with naked eyes.

Night vision goggles collect all infrared and available light using image enhancement technology. Then, they multiply it, and you can clearly view what is going on in the darkness. Today, most night vision goggles use image enhancement technology.

Thermal imaging

Human bodies, animals, and hot objects emit some heat in the infrared light form. It depends on the amount of heat generated by the objects.

The thermal imaging technology provides excellent work because people use it to view objects in complete darkness. Night vision goggles perfectly suit dark situations.

Differences between Night vision Scope and Goggles

The night vision scope and goggles are different in shapes, specifications, features, models, and prices. Both devices work in the same technology, and both devices have some advantages and disadvantages.


The night vision scopes provide high clarity images so that you can get crisper and crystal images of your target. Night vision goggles amplified the light that enables you to view the object with high clarity at night.

Resolution Quality

Night vision scopes vary from optical scopes. The night vision scopes come with high resolution, so you can have the capability to detect your target easily. 

The resolution is measured from lines per millimeter; if the resolution value is high, you can clearly view the target. The night vision goggles provide minimal resolution compared to night vision scopes.

Waterproof & Weather Resistance

The critical thing to consider is whether the night vision scopes and goggles that you purchase have resistances in all weather conditions. 

The night vision scopes and goggles come with water, dust, fog resistances. Therefore, these night vision devices are withstanding all weather conditions.


The magnification range of night vision scope is 3x to 20x, so you can easily adjust the magnification based on your needs. 

1x magnification provides low images, and if you increase your magnification level, they provide high-quality photos.

Night vision goggles’ magnification range is 1x that provides low-quality images compared to night vision scopes.

Easy to Handle

Night vision scopes are easily mounted in riflescopes, and it provides hand-free operation. The night vision goggles are mounted in the head or helmet, and it also provides a hand-free process, but sometimes it produces head pain because it is mounted in the head. 

Field of View

The field of view depends on the optical elements such as lens thickness, magnification, resolution, and eyepiece. The Night vision goggles provide a wide FOV (field of view) of 40° to 80°. The FOV of Night vision scope is 50 yards to 200 Yards based on the scope.

Night Vision Scope vs Monocular

Night vision Monocular

Night vision Monocular is the best versatile night vision device. Monocular is one of the optical devices, and it acts as a single pipe system. It is a hand-held device and highly similar to binoculars, and it quickly mounted on heads and helmets. 

It is also used to mount your rifles, firearms, and other hunting devices. The use of monoculars can significantly benefit many activities done at night. 

It can be used for various operations, including hunting, rescue operation, surveillance, search, military applications, and security purposes. 

You must use both your eyes to view the target in the binocular, while you can use a single eye to easily view the target in the monocular. 

Night vision monocular is perfectly suited for hunting and rare bird watching for both day and night. It comes with a lightweight design, so you can easily carry it for hiking, camping, and backpacking.


Differences between Night vision Scope and Monocular

Design and Construction

First, you need to check the construction design of the night vision scope and monocular. Most of the night vision monocular is designed with rubber armor and aluminum housing, and it has unquestionable durability due to the aluminum. 

The night vision scopes come with a matte finish because they combine well with nature and do not attract much concentration from animals.


Night vision scope begins with fixed and variable magnification power but night vision monocular has only a fixed magnification power. 

So the user cannot change the magnification power in the monocular devices. The fixed magnification monocular has some movable parts.


The Night vision monocular has long-range compared to the night vision scope. The maximum range of Night vision monocular is 300 – 500 yards, but the night vision scope has a limited range of 100 – 200 yards.

Battery Life

Night vision scope works by AA rechargeable batteries, and the battery runtime is 8 – 12 hours. The night vision monocular is also operated by rechargeable batteries. 

The night vision scope has more runtime than night vision monocular. Moreover, both devices have more durability and long-lasting.

Night vision scope vs Night vision Clip on

Night vision Clip On

Today, Night vision devices are widely used by many shooters and hunters. The night vision devices allow them to hunt and shoot in low light conditions and even at night. 

Most of the hunters and shooters prepared to use night vision clip-on systems with their scopes. The problem with the night vision scope is that they totally change the scope of the rifle. 

Therefore, night vision scope cannot be used during the day; so you change the scope during the day and night time hunting. Also, the night vision scope or daytime scope should be zero every time when you mount your rifle. 

This cannot be very comfortable for most rifle users. The clip-on is one of the night vision attachments; this attachment sits near or in front of a rifle’s standard night vision scope

When using a firearm, you do not have to remove the typical firearm scope while loading on a night vision scope. It offers two apparent benefits. 

The first advantage is the sheer convenience it provides, compared to the usual hassle of full night vision scope.

Another critical advantage of using the Night Vision scope clip-on is that it does not change the zero of your scope. This means the scope does not have to be zero every time you decide to use it

The notable advantage of the night scope is sheer convenience, so the user can easily adjust the scope. Another significant benefit of using the Night Vision scope attachment is that it does not affect the zero of your scope. 

So you do not change the scope zero every time. The clip-on system is widely used for hunting trips in low-light conditions and at night. 

The Clip-on system plays an essential role in the military and law enforcement departments; the military officers use this system in a 24-hour shooting since it works with compatible daylight.

Differences between Night Vision Scope and Clip-on System

The night vision scopes and night vision clip-on is important for every nighttime hunter. These devices enhance your hunting experience, and it also improves the rifle scope accuracy

These night vision devices operate using the night vision technology, but it has some differences in features, size, models, price, and Specifications.


Magnification is one of the essential features for all the night vision devices, but when comparing the clip-on system and night vision scope, the NV scopes have a higher magnification range. 

The Clip-on system has a magnification range of 1.7x to 7x, and the NV scope has a magnification range of 3x to 20x.


We recommended the minimum resolution of the clip-on system is 384×288. Due to this resolution, it provides an excellent image quality, and you can identify animals up to 500 yards. 

The 640×480 clip-on resolution allows you to view up to 1,000 yards. The right vision scope offers an excellent resolution up to 200 yards using an infrared illuminator. 

The night vision scope contains a resolution of 640×480. When compared to the night vision scope, the clip-on system provides a higher resolution.

Objective lens size

The Night vision copes with a minimum 60mm objective lens collects more light than a 50mm objective lens and provides more transparent and brighter images. 

The clip-on system comes with a minimum of 50mm objective lens, which is perfect for mid-range hunting. The night vision scope has a higher objective lens than the night vision clip-on system.

Refresh Rate

Both the night vision scope and the clip-on system has a 60 Hz refresh rate. It eliminates regression when you track or move a moving animal.

Battery Life

When compared to the clip-on system, the night vision scope has a higher lifespan. The clip-on system uses a pair of CR123 batteries, which offer 3 to 5 hours of battery life, But the night vision scope uses AA rechargeable batteries, which provides 8 to 12 hours of battery life.

Night Vision Scope vs Goggles vs Monocular vs Clip-on

Features Night Vision Scope Goggles Monocular Clip-on
Product ATN X-Sight II HD 3-14 Smart Day Night Rifle Scope
Magnification 3-14x - 4x 1x
Resolution 3864x2218 - 35 lp/mm on center 640x480
Field of View 460 ft 97° 14 degrees 14.8
Focus Distance - 45 cm to infinity 6.6 feet 3m to infinity
Objective Lens 50mm - 50mm -
Battery Type 4 AA type batteries, 1.5 V 4 DL123 or 4 AA 3-volt Type-123 lithium battery (4) AA lithium
Battery Life 22+ hours 8 hours 45 to 100 hours 10 hours

Final Verdict

Are you looking for the best night vision devices for hunting or shooting? The night vision monoculars, clip-on, goggles and scopes are the best tools for hunting, and it is widely used in military and law enforcement departments to view the places in low light or complete darkness. It is also used for bird watching, target shooting, and wildlife hunting. These night vision devices work in the same technology, but it differs from some features and specifications. We have reviewed the night vision scope, monocular, goggles, and clip-on to compare its features and functionality. We have given a comparison to make sure you can get the right one for your needs. We hope our review helps you to select the best night vision device for your individual needs.

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