Tactical sunglasses are an indispensable gear to carry in your tactical backpack.
Whether you are a weekend warrior or an everyday shooter, a pair of tactical glasses should be in your tactical backpack to accolade every aspect of the adventure.
Preparedness is the name of the game when it comes to tactical outdoor sprees.
Therefore, whenever you are out hiking, fishing or hunting it is important to ensure that you can clearly see and perceive every variable of nature so that all your plans and techniques can fall into place seamlessly.
This guide was created to help you choose the best tactical sunglasses for your needs and budget.
Certainly, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the volume of information on tactical gear.
Furthermore, it seems like everyone has a different opinion.
We’ve simplified it for you.
Let’s take a look at some of the major features and why they might influence your choice...
But first you might be wondering...
What Are Tactical Sunglasses
Tactical sunglasses do not only protect your eyes against UV rays, but also provide ballistic protection. They are impact-resistant and block small projectiles and fragments.
Why Are Tactical Sunglasses Important
Whether you’re a weekend warrior or everyday shooter, tactical sunglasses belong in your repertoire.
It’s easy to see after the fact that they would have helped a situation but preparedness is the name of the game here.
Therefore, we’re going to take a look at some of the best tactical sunglasses on the market and their respective manufacturers.
This should help you decide what belongs in your tactical backpack and what can stay on the store shelves.
But first what are the main features to look for in tactical sunglasses?
How To Choose Tactical Sunglasses
Even though tactical sunglasses are crucial players in virtually all of your outdoor adventures, getting a perfect fit can be a daunting task.
I mean, it is not uncommon for shoppers like you to be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of the brands available on the market.
Fortunately, we have simplified the entire shopping journey for you by sampling the best of the best.
But before you can get there, let’s have a look at some of the factors you need to take into consideration before making a purchase.
When you’re looking for tactical sunglasses, you’re going to want to make sure they’re certified to meet and exceed impact protection certifications.
At a minimum, you’ll be looking for glasses with ANSI Z87.1 certification for high velocity impact protection. If your needs are more stringent then you’ll be looking for a MIL PRF-31013 certification for ballistic impact protection.
While you may find certifications exceeding those discussed here, they’re usually reserved for face shields and goggles and rarely found on sunglasses.
According to the Vision Conservation and Readiness Division through the Army Public Health Center, in addition to impact safety requirements, the Armed Forces also want eyewear to be…
- Reasonably comfortable
- Free from bright colors & distracting designs
- Able to be disinfected
PEO Soldier says MCEP…
“…helps ensure Soldiers are visually able to carry out their mission. Eye hazards exist in a variety of forms in both combat and training environments. They range from fragmenting munitions and other airborne debris, to invisible hazards such as ultraviolet (UV) radiation. If unprotected, the Soldier is susceptible to short- or long-term effects on their vision. This can compromise current and future mission effectiveness. MCEP helps preserve performance in both combat and training by reducing the risks associated with exposure to such hazards.”
Many tactical sunglasses feature thick frames with wraparound protection.
This is meant to help minimize glare from obstructions at side-angles and block any incoming debris. So, why does this matter? Because, in high pressure situations, fragmentation or debris can come from anywhere.
Therefore, having even the smallest intrusion can be mean fatal interruption.
With a polarized lens, you get more visual acuity and clearly see targets underwater or behind glass.
For instance, car drivers can get distracted by glare resulting from the windscreen but polarized lenses keep this in check. Moreover, they significantly reduce eye fatigue.
Military sunglasses should have interchangeable lenses so that you can easily switch the lenses when the light conditions change.
You would for example use clear lenses in cloudy weather while sunny weather requires lenses that block out most of the visible light.
Interchangeable lenses also come in handy in the long run; when the lenses get scratched you don’t have to buy a pair of new sunglasses because you can simply replace the lenses.
Nevertheless, you still have to buy new lenses.
Tactical sunglasses typically feature lenses with a scratch-resistant coating and a frame made of composite materials.
The frame is usually flexible to some extent in order to provide good resistance to impact, so that it will bend instead of breaking.
High Contrast Lenses
Such lenses come in lighter colors such as orange and yellow. It comes in handy to lighten the world around you making it easier to see targets clearly.
These lenses are ideal on rainy and overcast days. The biggest advantage of having these lenses is that they are as appropriate for shooting range as they are when driving your car.
So now that you know what to look for in your next tactical sunglasses, here is our list of the best Tactical Sunglasses on the market!
Best Tactical Sunglasses
The ESS Crossbowsunglasses are highly popular among soldiers and law enforcement officers as they provide great durability and functionality.
This military sunglasses use the Tri-Tech Fit frame which ensures a good fit and comfort. The frame’s weight is evenly redistributed so that the sunglasses stay securely on your head. The lenses are coated; there is an anti-fog coating (ClearZone FlowCoat) on the inside as well as a scratch-resistant coating on the outside.
For switching the lenses, the sunglasses feature the DedBolt system which means that there is a lever at the top which releases the lens when pivoted to the right. The DedBolt system allows you to easily and quickly switch the lenses.
ESS offers no less than 13 different lenses for this type of sunglasses – including the light adapting photochromic lens which is suitable for all light conditions (the lens goes from dark grey to clear).
The Wiley X Vapor sunglasses are another good choice as they are, like the ESS Crossbow sunglasses above, very durable and functional.
The sunglasses feature shatterproof polycarbonate lenses and a well-fitting frame (made of composite materials).
The lenses are not only approved through the ANSI and MIL-PRF-31013 certification but also have the EN-166 FT certificate (European ballistic eyewear standard).
The lenses feature two coatings; the T-Shell coating is on the outside and protects the lenses against scratches while the Foil coating on the inside provides anti-fog protection. The lenses block out 100% of all UV light and provide distortion-free vision.
Most configurations of the sunglasses are also compatible with the Wiley X’s prescription lens carrier (sold separately).
The Swiss Eye Raptor sunglasses perform superbly for the price.
This military sunglasses feature impact-resistant lenses which block out 100% of all UV light.
Furthermore, the lenses are also coated in order to provide good resistance against scratches and fog. The sunglasses come with three different lenses – smoke, orange and clear.
The frame is made of composite materials and has extendable arms for good fit.
The Revision Military Sawfly is available in black, tan, or green, there is a pair of Revision Military Sawfly perfect for whatever conditions you plan on encountering.
They're treated with special coatings on both sides to prevent scratches and reduce fogging, so they should always provide clear sight.
The Oakley SI Ballistic M Frame 3.0 offer top-of-the-line clarity with essentially zero distortion to ensure you accurately see everything happening in front of you. They also feature a thin frame that is compatible with over-ear hearing protection and comms devices.
Best Tactical Sunglasses For The Price
If you're looking for a quality tactical eyeware that's tough enough for every day abuse yet that performs with the best out in the field, the Milspec might just be the right choice for you.
As mentionned before, when you’re looking for tactical sunglasses, you’re going to want to make sure they’re certified to meet and exceed impact protection certifications, and the Milspec has it all..
The Milspec Eyeware Kit includes
- Wraparound Protection: It has ultra wide frameless lens design that gives you unobstructed vision while protecting your eyes from all angles with the curved side wrap.
- Polarized Lenses: Yes, plus 3 other lenses for maximum versatility.
- Interchangeable Lenses: Includes 4 intercheable lenses (polarized, yellow, gray and transparent lenses)
- Durability: Milspec uses quality poly carbonate, hi-flex material for the frames. This means more flex and less brittle! It also allows for weight reduction which improves comfort.
- High Contrast Lenses: It includes yellow lens which enhance contrast and brighten without additional glare, making natural scenery extra clear. Perfect for design work, hunting and night time activities.
These are the perfect glasses for every day use or high intensity outdoor use.
And as I'm writing this post you can have these tactical sunglasses for 84% off.
You can't go wrong with any of the tactical sunglasses on this list. Follow your heart and pick up the one that speaks to you.
If you're interested in EDC Gear, here are some of other survival gear reviews:
- Bug out bag
- Best Survival Watch
- Best Survival flashlights
- Survival shovel
- Water containers
- Neck gaiters
- Best Survival Machetes
- Best Folding Knives
- etc., etc., etc.
Do you wear tactical sunglasses? Which one is your favorite?