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Reviews : Police Product Test

Police Product Test: Oakley Det Cord and Tombstone Eyewear

Between them, these glasses meet your eyes' ballistic and shooting range needs.

February 26, 2015  |  by A.J. George - Also by this author

Oakley Det Cord Ballistic eyewear. Photo: Oakley SI
Oakley Det Cord Ballistic eyewear. Photo: Oakley SI

Oakley recently took a giant leap into the future with the debut of its Prizm lens technology. These lenses, made from a patented formula of lens tints, are designed from the ground up to make the absolute best shooting and tactical glasses to date. The lenses are a reddish-pink color and do a fantastic job of filtering out all of the light that hinders vision while enhancing all of the good light spectrum and enhancing colors.

I received the Det Cord with Prizm lenses just prior to leaving for the SHOT Show and the Tombstones were unveiled during the show. I had a chance to wear them both in low light on duty and in broad daylight on the range. The results were impressive.

I'll start with the Det Cord, a full-framed pair of glasses with a large profile to fit the biggest of faces. The lenses are cut big to allow for maximum field of view while providing all the ballistic protection of MIL PRF32432 and ANSI Z87.1 (2010). Yeah, that's a mouthful, but it basically means these guys are bomb-proof and will keep you safe from serious frag.

In low light the Prizm lenses, although tinted, actually did a great job of enhancing my night vision. The differences in color and shade popped and glare from street lights and flashlights was minimized. The smooth, flat-black polymer frames were light and comfortable and I had no problem wearing them for several hours on the road.

Fast forward to the SHOT Show Industry Day at the Range and my Prizm experience was taken to the next level with the unveiling of the new Tombstone shooter's glasses. Designed around Oakley's homerun Prizm lens technology, the Tombstones are cut and fit with the tactical operator and competition shooter in mind.

Oakley Tombstone eyeshield. Photo: Oakley SI
Oakley Tombstone eyeshield. Photo: Oakley SI

Oakley spent years researching what the best of the best need to perform, tracking their eye movements, and logging countless hours behind a gun. The result was an incredibly light, full faced pair of glasses that minimizes blind spots while enhancing everything else. I spent about 10 minutes with these on the demo range and felt like I was seeing color for the first time. Although the tint isn't dark, my eyes were completely relaxed even in bright daylight and the targets and colors were enhanced like never before.

The Prizm lenses are interchangeable between light and dark tints, as well as a clear shield via a new frame system. The side stems detach by depressing a small lever on each side and re-attach with a click. Each lens has a portion of the frame built in so there is no more wrestling a single lens into a solid frame. Even with gloves the swap-out took just seconds.

Oakley is definitely onto something with its new Prizm lenses so if you find yourself wondering just how good optical clarity can be I'd suggest you pick up a pair. Through the SI program the Det Cord is $90 and the Tombstone array, with three lenses, zippered case, cleaning cloth, and solution is rumored to be about $285 when they're released to the public in April.

OAKLEY DET CORD BALLISTIC EYEWEAR SPECS:

  • Balanced for aggressive environments and covert capabilities
  • Anti-fog coating
  • Comms-compatible ear stems
  • Rubberized Unobtanium nosepiece
  • Lenses: Oakley SI Prizm technology uses formulated dye compounding technology producing a color-tuned lens specifically for shooting
  • Compliance: Fully compliant with the ballistic and optical standards of MIL-PRF-32432 and ANSI Z87.1-2010
  • Price: $90

OAKLEY SI TOMBSTONE EYESHIELD SPECS:

  • Expanded field of view
  • Easy-release lens exchange system
  • Lenses: Traditional clear, smoke grey, new Prizm lens technology (Prizm TR22 for bright light and TR44 for low light)
  • Sizes: Reap for larger faces, Spoil for smaller faces
  • Price: $180 for a set with a single lens, $285 for a multi-lens array (both sets include protective hard case)

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