Night vision goggles are not a new thing. Due to their asking price, only military and security services often use it. The idea behind PVS was to try and introduce night vision to regular consumers as well.
Like scopes, night vision goggles also compete with the same brand’s products. For example, PVS 31 vs PVS 15 has been a topic for years. After all, the price difference between the two is quite significant.
If you are in the market for a new night vision goggle or just interested in knowing what’s the better one between the two, welcome. Let’s find that out together, shall we?
If you search for PVS 31, you will find many different models from different brands. You will find Armasight PVS-31 with Pinnacle Elite White Phosphor Image Intensifier Tubes made by Elbit Systems.
On the other hand, you will also find L3Harris BNVD PVS-31. Both of them are almost the same product utilizing the same night-vision architecture.
The PVS 15 is also a Gen 3 night vision goggles. It’s available with 3-ITT Pinnacle or 3 L3 Omni VIII.
Both intensifiers are great and they will show you clear footage of what you are seeing. Due to the lower price tag, people often consider this over PVS 31. Then again, it’s a quite old model and not up to date with most features compared to 31.
PVS 15 vs PVS 13 Specs Overview
|Aspects||PVS 31||PVS 15|
|Field of view||40 degrees||40 degrees|
|Resolution||72 Ip/mm||64 Ip/mm|
|Dimensions (LxHxW)||4.3” x 4.3” x 3.4”||3.0” x 6.0” x 6.0”|
|Weight||425 g||652 g|
|Battery life||50+ hours||16 hours|
|Minimum focus distance||9.8”||9.8”|
PVS 31 vs PVS 15 – Key Differences
Now, we shall find out what truly sets them apart!
While both of them share the identical Gen 3 military-grade night vision technology, the PVS 15 is not as ergonomic as 31. It’s quite bulky and heavy compared to 31 as well. Due to this, a lot of shooters are deciding to move on to 31 to give their heads a bit of rest.
The tolerance level of the plastic on PVS 15 is not as precise as the 31. This can be an issue if you are using this device in cold weather all the time.
Magnification & Field of View
The magnification on both devices is fixed. You will not find any sort of optical or digital zoom like night vision scopes/binoculars. In my opinion, it’s not a bad thing. Rather, it’s quite good actually.
Let me explain, Due to the fixed 1x magnification, these devices have a better and larger FOV compared to a 3x magnified night vision binocular. FOV matters a lot when it comes to shooting precise targets at any time.
In terms of sheer resolution scaling, the PVS 31 outright beats PVS 15, no contest whatsoever. The PVS 15 features 64 Ip/mm whereas the PVS 31 has 72 Ip/mm. In simple terms, it will show you more clear footage of a target.
Don’t get me wrong, the PVS 15 still is an extremely clean and high-resolution goggle, but the PVS 31 is the better choice in terms of resolution.
Dimension and Weight
When it comes to goggles, it’s always a good idea to keep the weight in mind. Earlier I mentioned that the PVS 15 is a bit heavier than the PVS 31. Just how heavy is it exactly? Well, the PVS 15 weighs around 650 grams. Whereas the PVS 31 is a mere 425 grams!
See! 200 grams difference! It might not seem like a lot on paper, but it does make a big difference when you wear it.
As for the size, PVS 31 is 4.3” L x 4.3” H x 3.4” W. Where the PVS-15 is at 3.0 L” x 6.0 H” x 6.0 W”. As you can see, it’s slightly bigger and bulkier. That shows in the weight difference as well.
In terms of battery capacity and battery health, PVS 31 is also the better choice. PVS 15 has only one battery compartment that accepts a single 1.5v battery. The battery offers a continuous usage of 15 to 17 hours.
Whereas the PVS 31 has a compartment that accepts four 1.5v batteries! And yes, the battery life is also expected to be around 50 hours!
If you want to use the goggles for a longer time, the choice here is obvious.
PVS 31 Vs PVS 15 – Similarities
Unfortunately, besides the same architecture, they have no other similarities. They look nothing alike nor do they perform alike.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the differences between the PVS-31 and PVS-15 night vision goggles?
The main differences between the two are in their optics, size, weight, and battery life. The PVS-31 has a larger objective lens than the PVS-15, which allows for a wider field of view and better light-gathering capabilities. The PVS-31 also has a higher resolution than the PVS-15, which provides a clearer image.
Can night vision goggles be used during the day?
Yes, you can. But the image will be shown in infrared and the clarity won’t be good under bright sunlight.
What’s the difference between binoculars and night goggles?
The main difference is the FOV and the ability to magnify. Binoculars tend to be equipped with prism architecture that can optically magnify a lot. That does include night vision binoculars as well.
Goggles are a good choice if you don’t need the magnification and want a bigger FOV.
As you can see, both of them are top-of-the-line products. There are quite a few takes on them. Going as far as to “clone” them and sell them at a fraction of the original ones’ price. But don’t fall for those clones. They are no good and will break down soon enough.
The PVS 31 is the obvious winner here. There are no way of showing you that the 15 is “better”. I mean, it isn’t. PVS 15 is the older model that is still relevant due to being part of the 3rd generation.
And that’s about it for now. Hopefully, you now know the difference between PVS 31 vs PVS 15. I know the PVS 15 is still a decent choice, but if you can spend the extra cash, the 31 is technically the better choice.
See you on the next one. Take care and have fun.