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ESS Crossbow Photochromic Ballistic Eyeshield - ESS Eyepro
The ESS Crossbow Photochromic eyeshield is created using Transition Optics...


Protective Eyewear

Shield your eyes from dust, debris, sun, and even some projectiles with ballistic shades.

July 30, 2010  |  by - Also by this author

Rudy Project USA

There was a time not long ago when duty sunglasses were pretty much just that, shades. They may have been able to shield your eyes from sun rays and flying sand or dirt, but that was the limit of the protection they offered. They were even packaged with warnings cautioning wearers against impact.

Then sports eyewear companies started using polycarbonate materials to make their lenses. That innovation led to stylish protective shades for shooters, skateboarders, and other sports where high-velocity impact is likely. And that led the military to take interest. Today, protective eyewear is a must have for both law enforcement and military personnel, and you have a lot of makes and styles to choose from.

That's even true if you wear prescription lenses. And, man, is that a change. There was a time not long ago when the visually challenged had a choice between cheap flip-ups or clunky optometrist office frames. Now many of the companies below sell prescription inserts that fit some of their most popular and stylish models. Unfortunately, you still have to pay for a prescription, but that's life.

Let's take a look at some of the latest duty eyewear.

5.11 Tactical

Last year 5.11 Tactical teamed up with Wiley X to launch its eyewear line. The line includes two styles: the Shear and the Climb. Both sunglasses have lightweight gloss frames, distortion-free lenses crafted from Selenite polycarbonate, and meet ANZI Z87.1.

Visit 5.11 Tactical Online


Founded in 1996, Bobster made its name in the sport eyewear market. Today the company produces a broad line of glasses, convertibles, and even anti-fogging eyewear, anti-fatigue models that meet military standards for ballistic performance. Bobster's Ballistic Tactical line includes goggles, glasses, and shooting glasses.

Visit Bobster Online

Eye Safety Systems (ESS)

ESS's Crossbow comes as a two-frame, two-lens (day and night) kit in a zippered hard case, with a head strap and microfiber lens cloth. Lenses are secured to the frame by the Ded Bolt locking system, which makes them secure once in place but still easy to remove. ESS Eyepro's Tri-Tech Fit helps the Crossbow protect the operator's eyes while staying comfortable.

Visit ESS Online

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