5 Best Clip-on Thermal Scopes 2020

Although natural skill and determination are prerequisites to hunting, the right equipment too plays a very crucial role. With the rapid technological advancements, the face of hunting has completely changed, especially with the inception of special hunting equipment like thermal imaging and night vision scopes.


If you are a day and night hunter, the best clip-on thermal scope will be an excellent additional tool you can bring with you on your hunting expedition. Since hunting is increasingly becoming a popular sport, more and more night vision and thermal sights equipment are flooding the market to enhance the whole hunting experience.


What is a Clip-on Thermal Scope?


A thermal scope is a device that comes with certain advanced features like thermal imaging technology to enable a shooter execute a shot, not only quickly but precisely too. They function by detecting differences in temperatures in the environment to detect a target in the line of sight.


On the other hand, a clip-on thermal scope is a type of versatile thermal scope that packs advanced features to produce accurate outputs when you clip it on to your rifle. Once a clip-on thermal scope is clipped on a rifle, you can identify the targets in your field of view whether during the day or at night with no restrictions.


Since the night vision scopes niche is growing rapidly, there are plenty of clip-on thermal scopes in the market right now. To find the best clip-on thermal scope, you have to do some background checks and put in some effort to find the best clip-on thermal scope for you. This post is aimed at making your search for the best scope within your budget range a lot easier.

Can a thermal riflescope work during the day?

These thermal scopes products essentially function by detecting thermal infrared light that animals emit. Even if a target is not in range or potentially hidden, these products will pick up on them using their heat signatures. Therefore, the best night vision thermal scopes will detect the amount of heat a target produces regardless of the time of day or the lighting conditions. They are the best scopes if you are looking to go on 24-hour hunting adventures.

The best clip-on thermal scopes reviewed in this post are:

  1. Pulsar Core FXQ38 Thermal Monocular Scope
  2. ATN ThOR 4, 384×288, Thermal Rifle Scope
  3. Trijicon Teo Snipe-IR Thermal CL Teo IRCO-35 Snipe-IR Thermal CL Scope
  4. Armasight by FLIR Apollo 336 50mm Thermal Imaging Clip-On System
  5. Pulsar Helion XP Thermal Monocular

Best Clip-On Thermal Scope Review


1. Pulsar Core FXQ38 Thermal Monocular Scope

Pulsar Core Thermal Monocular - Front Attachment

Pulsar Core manufactures some of the best clip-on thermal scopes in the market. Their thermal scopes are not only reliable but also the top-tier quality and the Pulsar Core FXQ38 is no different. It is one of the top-rated clip-on scopes in the market based on its features and quality.


It is compact and lightweight in nature, offering a simple night hunting solution by using the night vision feature that is enhanced by thermal imaging technology. Its high sensor resolution of 384×288 and display resolution of 640×480. This makes the scope capable of making targets as far as 1400 yards away very clear, which is quite impressive.


If you want to produce better quality images, you can use the three operating modes to make sure that you have precise viewing. The modes are Forest, identification, and Rocks. There are also three calibration modes; Semi-Automatic (H), Automatic (A), Silent manual (M).


Taking its versatility into consideration and the price attached to it, it is ultimately the product to beat. Furthermore, the monocular and thermal scope double functionality make it a great tool for scanning your surroundings for possible targets. You can also interchange the high-quality eye-piece for a more professional hunting experience while easily and quickly identifying and locking on your targets.


It has a 50Hz refresh rate, night vision capability, and a battery life of 4 hours. The external battery is rechargeable using a USB adapter that it comes with. You can either use a power bank or a wall socket. Moreover, the battery plus the body ware weather and water-proof, meaning you can go out hunting even when it’s raining.


  • Water-proof body and battery.
  • High-resolution display.
  • Very versatile.
  • Very affordable.
  • Perfect compact and lightweight design.


  • The lenses are fixed.

2. ATN ThOR 4, 384×288, Thermal Rifle Scope

ATN ThOR 4, 384x288, Thermal Rifle Scope w/Ultra Sensitive Next Gen Sensor

The ATN Thor 4 is incredibly affordable and comes with amazing features. To begin with, it features an ultra-sensitive next-generation sensor with higher sensitivity and improved resolution to make sure that you capture images with clarity even if they are very far away in complete darkness.


It also features a ballistic calculator that functions to make all the target calculations for you. All you need to do is feed all the data to the ballistic calculator on the clip-on scope and let it focus on long-range targets for you. The feature takes into account the humidity, angle, weapon profiles, and temperature to make sure that you perform accurate shots always. The HD 1280×720 resolution is why you will enjoy hunting with crystal clear images.


ATN Thor 4 also comes with video recording and dual-stream features to give you the chance to record your hunting adventures and stream the video to your smartphone. Furthermore, the 64GB SD card will give you enough storage space to store your recorded images and videos if you want to use them later either for fun or critiquing. You will also enjoy up to 18 hours of battery life with a 60Hz refresh rate. This is by all means impressive.


One of the most outstanding features is the Obsidian App that you can easily set and access. You can use this app to adjust your thermal riflescope’s settings straight from your smartphone. The support is based on both Android and iOS products, making it very versatile.


  • Sleek and attractive design.
  • High accuracy.
  • Long battery life.
  • Supports dual-stream video recording.
  • Image stabilization capability.


  • Some digital features are absent.

3. Trijicon Teo Snipe-IR Thermal CL Teo IRCO-35 Snipe-IR Thermal CL Scope

 Trijicon Teo Snipe-IR Thermal CL Teo IRCO-35 Snipe-IR Thermal CL

If you are looking for a clip-on thermal scope on the premium range, this is the best option to go for. The Trijicon SNIPE-IR is a night hunter’s dream. The first thing you are bound to notice is the matte exterior construction, sleek on all levels. Even if you are a novice in night hunting, this thermal night vision scope will make you feel like a pro in the field. You just need to clip it on in front of the rifle’s daylight scope. You can use it for day and night hunting excursions.


It has a high display resolution of 640×480 and a similar thermal resolution. This means that you are likely to experience little to no image distortion. Therefore, regardless of the much, you zoom in on a target, you will still get a clear shot. The military-grade best thermal clip-scope delivers top-tier image quality. You only have to see it to believe it.


You can choose it to use it as a standalone thermal scope without clipping it in front of a daylight scope. This means that even if you choose to use it as a standalone monocular scope, it will still deliver. At 60Hz refresh rate, the battery life is 3.5 hours and 2.5hours at 30Hz.


It also comes with the No SHORT ZERO technology, which makes it very simple to and one of the most user-friendly clip-on thermal scopes out there. Even beginners can easily get a hang of it. You will love its versatility. If you are planning a 24-hour hunting expedition, this is the tool to bring with you.


  • It is weather resistant.
  • Highly versatile.
  • Impressive image quality and resolution.
  • Comes with military-grade components.
  • It can function as a thermal monocular.


  • It is a premium range product hence expensive.

4. Armasight by FLIR Apollo 336 50mm Thermal Imaging Clip-On System

Armasight by FLIR Apollo 336 50mm Thermal Imaging Clip-On System with FLIR Tau 2 336x256 17 Micron 60Hz Core

This is one of the most affordable and best night vision clip-on thermal scopes in the market right now, coming in 30Hz and 60Hz versions. If you are looking for a thermal scope on a budget price range, you will appreciate its reasonable price tag. Despite being affordable, it is still a performance device.


The FLIR Apollo 336 comes with some state-of-the-art features that contribute to making this device very suitable for a wide range of users, especially law enforcement and hunting enthusiasts. It is also one of the smallest and lightest best thermal scopes out there. Therefore, it is very easy to carry it out around feeling bothered by it.


One of the features that make this scope invaluable is its compatibility with a daylight scope. You don’t need to zero when you mount it on your daylight scope. The installation process will only take seconds because it comes with a quick-release feature. Furthermore, it has a very simple yet intuitive control, which makes the device relatively easy to use. If you are a beginner, you will appreciate this so much.


Even in extreme darkness, you will still be able to detect your target, even with the presence of atmospheric obscurants like mist, dust or fog. There will be no need of adjusting the daytime settings when the dark comes. The thermal resolution of 336×256 and display resolution of 800×600, which is why you will receive crystal clear thermal scope images. This is all thanks to the thermal imaging scope technology. The video recorder is also very handy if you want to record videos for viewing later. It has a 4-hour battery life.


  • it is user friendly.
  • Very affordable.
  • Small and lightweight.
  • Compatible with daylight scopes.
  • Produces crystal clear images.


  • You can’t change the lenses.

5. Pulsar Helion XP Thermal Monocular

Pulsar Helion XP Thermal Monocular

This is also another very impressive clip-on thermal scope. A lot of users have expressed their satisfaction with this device. It as a high resolution of 640×480 that produces high-quality images. It also features a built-in video recorder and an 8GB onboard storage capacity. You can go out on your hunting excursions and capture your amazing kill shots.


It supports Wi-Fi connectivity, which allows you to connect it to its mobile app in your smartphone. Through the app you have the chance of transferring data, perform system upgrades and stream videos. It also features an 8-color palette, consisting of black-hot and white-hot that highlight the coldest and hottest areas using different colors. It can detect an adult-size heat signature up to 2000 yards away.


It high refresh rate of 50Hz is important for enabling you have the smoothest of views even when the target moves rapidly. It also comes with a rangefinder, accelerometer and an 8x variable magnification. The stadiametric rangefinder makes it easy and fast to determine the distances, basing its metrics on the estimated heights of the objects.


This thermal image scope was designed with all types of users in mind because of its user-friendly nature. It is designed for easy and quick operation because anyone can easily figure out how to use. This is especially made easy because it comes with an icon-driven menu display and status bar that are relatively easy to read and understand.


  • It comes with 8GB internal storage.
  • The battery is highly rechargeable.
  • It is dust, fog, and waterproof.
  • It features video capture capability and Essential UI.
  • Extreme weather resistant.


  • It is a bit pricier.
  • Some users have expressed concern as to why the mobile app occasional stops.

Final Say


The market is full of different types of best clip-on thermal scopes all coming with a different range. You also have to understand that these scopes are quite an investment. Therefore, you have to make sure that you carefully consider all the available products first before settling on one. However, if you are looking for the best clip-on thermal scope, any of these mentioned thermal scopes will do the trick.