Info Bleg: Specs

Needed: Sufficiently-tough (won’t stop a bullet; will stop case frags, etc., along w other low-KE eye killers) glasses with side protection w both shaded and clear (night) lenses.

Not afraid to spend money, but no need to overpay.

Maker, vendor, model number w links strongly preferred.

Most preferred: Recs based on what you wear to stop blindness and why you chose that piece of gear.

Comment away.

NB: In last month, have encountered 2 shooters who, when asked, knew their eyes were crappy but had not yet taken reasonable measures to fix.

Don’t be that guy; get your peepers checked and equipped.

24 responses to “Info Bleg: Specs

  1. You want ESS/Oakley, Wiley-X, etc.
    Anything that passes ANSI Z87+, and MIL-PRF-31013 will fit that bill.
    From Wikipedia:
    The U.S. military standard (MIL-PRF-31013), requires (at a minimum) that ballistic eyewear can always withstand a 0.15 caliber, 5.8 grain, T37 shaped projectile at a velocity of 640 to 660 feet per second (approximately 3.8 mm 0.376 g at a velocity of 195 – 201 m/s).

    ESS Crossbow specs vs. 12 ga #6 birdshot:

    No lens penetration
    Page, including video of the tests:

    Spend what you spend. It’s only your eyes.

  2. Sounds like you want impact protection mostly. Why not consider industrial safety wear with a antifog coating? Here are samples on Amazon. Honeywell Uvex line, pretty tuff stuff —

  3. I use safety glasses with cheater lenses so I can read or work. I have used many different vendors online. Uvex have good strong frames and lenses don’t scratch all that easy. Clear, Yellow, smoke, rose, brown any lense color you want I’ve seen.

    • UVEX .. also makes one if the cheapest / inexpensive prescription inserts around.

      So if you have a prescription need .. you just go to your Doc & tell’em to put your Rx in a set of Uvex safety glasses holder (don’t recall correct term) and you now have a universial set of glasses that fit any Uvex glasses.

      Pretty slick way to have many different Rx glasses for a cheap price .. especially if you are supplied Uvex at work.

      • Just looked up the Bolle insert cost .. fits the combat kit above.

        15ish bucks plus th Rx .. not bad.

      • Have had the uvex fail before.

        • I’ve broken the most & least expensive set(s) over the years.

          EyePro is something I let the Company I work for supply. Unless I just can’t stand how they fit.

          Now .. EarPro is something different .. I buy my EarPro because I need comm’s with them in .. and what is provided requires it be removed to have effective comm’s. (I use SureFire sonic earpro so I can flip tab and use a phone without removing the earpro.)

  4. Aesop is correct we are issued one set of eyes. So protect them. When I walk out side I have safety glasses on. Been that way for a very long time. Keep extras all around and give them away to kids all the time( without the corrective lenses).
    You will have them on now in the Army. Just normal equipment now. Just hearing protection.

  5. Any of the crews line of safety glasses available from Fastenal. The resist finish nails from a air powered nail gun in direct contact with the lens. No shit. Best out there.

  6. ESS model Ice has worked for me for 8+ years. Three tints available. Replacement lenses are cheap if needed. They take/use USGI protective mask prescription inserts (current issue as of ’08.)

  7. not cheap but what I wear is Rudys .
    with their clip in corrective lenses that go behind the protective ones .
    Not included in that set .. but the photogrey transition lenses are what I wear most of the time .

  8. Radians Cobalt safety squints have been my go-to for maybe a decade. Like Cavguy, I keep a bunch of spares around.

    They are ANSI-rated and last I knew you could get them in clear, lightly tinted smoke and dark gray and I think they were offered in one of the commercial camo patterns for a while, and possibly still do. Good value too, as I recall.

  9. I will not skimp on PPE, especially boots, gloves, and eyewear. I’ve had many, and in spite of my reluctance for tacticool stuff, have recently settled on Gatorz. They’ve survived several low KE encounters, BBP splashes, and one thermal insult. I don’t walk with a cane now, nor do I have hep-cl.

  10. Oregon Hobo

    I’m quite fond of the Smith Optics Aegis system for the following reasons:

    1) They’re MIL-PRF-31013 and ANSI Z87.1-2015 compliant. IIRC the MIL-PRF-31013 is the tougher standard by far, rendering the ANSI standard moot in this case.

    2) They beat the hell out of all comers in a head-to-head by Lucky Gunner that included the ESS Profile and several Oakleys. One of the tests included eating a .22 Short (well beyond the requirements of even MIL-PRF-31013), which only the Smith Optics were able to do without penetration, fragmentation, or excessive deformation. Wiley-X was unfortunately not included in the comparison.

    3) They use interchangeable wraparound lenses that provide plenty of coverage, and include clear and a few different flavors of shaded/polarized.

    4) Each comes with a semi-hard case, retaining strap, lens bag for the spare(s), and cleaning cloth. Quality custom-sized protective containers win big points for me, especially if I need to carry spare parts/accessories, and the Aegis cases do a fine job of scratching that itch.

    4) Their Echo and Echo II frames include the thinnest arms I’ve ever seen on ballistic glasses, eliminating the irritation and poor seal problems normally experienced when combining eye and ear protection.

    5) At $90 retail, they’re half the price or less of Oakleys.

    6) Before I ever even saw that test at Lucky Gunner I was already heavily biased toward the Aegis after my very first solo range outing with my own guns and gear. I had picked up a set of older Aegis glasses just by random as my first pair. While I was lugging my gear across the parking lot, the glasses dropped unnoticed from where I’d hung them on my shirt collar. I noticed their absence and finally located them just in time to watch them get rolled over face down in the fresh-crushed gravel by both passenger-side tires of an F350 crew cab.

    With no pro shop on site I sank into a bout of self-loathing as I reflected on how I’d already managed to scrub my first range day, plucked the tangled filthy mess from the parking lot, and untangled the arms. After a quick rinse from the water bottle though, I saw that the frame had straightened right back out, the hinges and quick-release latches still worked perfectly, and the damage to the lenses consisted of a single 1mm divot toward the edge of my field of vision. I wore them the rest of that afternoon and many more without even swapping lenses. Years later I handed them off to a grateful cousin after upgrading to a pair of Aegis Echo II’s.

    There are a bunch of different models depending on frame style and color, but be aware that there are also compact and Asian fit versions floating around out there, the lenses for which are not interchangeable with the standard size. Many online shopping websites do a terrible job of differentiating clearly between these different styles, so tread cautiously. Good deals can sometimes be found on eBay if you’re not picky about color.

    Happy trails,


  11. Wiley X All the way!!! I run prescription WileyX and love them. They’re ANSI spec safety sunglasses. Get them with a brown lens so you don’t screw up depth perception. You also don’t look like a dork wearing them in public. They just look like regular sunglasses.

    Just look on your favorite search engine at images of people that saved their eyes from an IED blast in the sandbox.

  12. Jesse James

    I have had/lost Rudy’s, Wiley-X and Oakleys. 1-10, a ten being damn near impervious they ranked in my totally unscientific opinion a 6, 9, and 8 respectively. The optical clarity of the Rudy’s is markedly better than the Wiley-Xs, and the Oakleys are pretty close to the Rudy’s but not quite as good. To some it might not be a big deal but I’ve noticed eye strain if there’s a little bit of distortion in the lenses (20/10 youngster eyes bitchez) hence why I don’t buy cheap glasses. The Rudy’s would be my pic if money isn’t an option but be prepared to fork over some shekels for spare lenses when the inevitable scratches come. Oakleys seem to be the middle ground between the two, with good clarity and durability but not the best I’ve had at either. I do love the way several of the Wiley-X models have the foam inserts to keep blowing sand/grit out from around your eyes, and I didn’t really have any problems with fogging in the heat and nothing too crazy in the cold. Wiley has some really tough lenses though, and are reasonably priced. The only complaint I have is that they seem to slightly magnify things. I can get the model #s but I know all of them were ANSI ect. ect. tested as I’m a big fan of not being nicknamed one eyed Jack or blind man Tom. I’d keep the Wiley’s as a spare and wear the Rudy’s daily, but that’s just because I have to maintain my patrician air when among the proletariat. YMMV

  13. flighterdoc

    I have the Revision Sawfly, with Rx insert…interchangeable lens blades, available in a bigger frame for my bigger head, on the US Military QPL for protective eyewear. The folks at Revision are good to deal with IMHO, and the cost is reasonable.

    • Grenadier1

      Got some Revisions as well. But alot of time my day to day sun shades are 3M safety made for guys working outside.

  14. singlestack

    I have both clear and shaded Z87 safety glasses for work. (commercial/industrial construction) The shades are my sunglasses that I wear generally, driving, at the range, etc. I also wear them and the clear ones as needed doing stuff outside of work. I buy them at the local welding supply; I don’t recall the brand (it varies over time). They’re cheap enough ($20 – $30) that I keep several pairs in my truck so if I lose them or something happens to them I have spares. Over the years they’ve been very effective at keeping stuff like grinding particles, welding slag, and concrete chips out of my eyes.

  15. Prescription motorcycle googles with three lense pack. Clear,tint and yellow. Outstanding!

  16. ESS Eye pro with optic inserts worked for me for years as an Infantrymen.

  17. I work outside in construction and live in safety glasses. I have no less than a dozen pairs floating around in and around my service van at all times. I buy em cheap and stack em deep. I buy em by the box 3M, Uvex, whatever they are peddling at home depot or lowes.. I have my favorites, like Ice blue, but ill take whatever I can get. I wear em till they get so fucked up with scratches, caulk, liquid nails, paint.. that I cant see out of them anymore, then toss em on the dash and grab another pair…I start sporting the racoon look around the end of may.