Thales Angenieux has been developing for almost two decades, compact and flexible light intensifier goggles that are in service through numerous countries. More recently, a new product line, called Elvir, has been launched which is based upon uncooled sensitive arrays: as a consequence, Thales Angenieux has now at command a full set of night vision equipment's, answering most of the operational purposes. A 'blocks' policy has been used to cut the non-recurring expenses: the thermal camera re-uses some upgraded sub-assemblies of the previous IL goggles. This paper reviews the main trades off, showing how we relied on earlier and successful designs to meet the best compromises between performances, costs and compactness. Some issues, such as the front infrared optics set up, will be emphasized later on. The choices that have ruled the visualization unit design will be outlined. Future prospects backing the latest technologies breakthroughs wil be sketched out: topics such as new infrared materials and hybrid lenses made of subwavelength features are addressed.