Inexpensive eye protection

#1
These aren't really dark enough for a bright day nearer the equator if you are looking to be totally comfortable, but then again the lack of a dark tint means that you can see properly and they have a funny UV coating which filter out the blue light that knackers your eyes. The other interesting feature is that they actually have some measure of ballistic protection - they are workwear not just shades, so they might stop a little fragment. No edges either, wraparound, so you can see out the sides. For £7 I was quite impressed. I included the link below for the picture but if you use google loads of places sell them. You can buy them over the counter from Screwfix. If you buy a pair make sure they include the little microfibre bag to avoid scratches, and make sure you buy the ESP version because it has the coating. Some of the websites rip you off on postage - £7.50 all in, including postage and bag, is about right.

http://www.fwb.co.uk/mall/productpage.cfm?store=FWBGroup&productid=813MWLB
 
#2
I was happy to use mil issue ones and later to pay $40 for my Wiley X's. When it comes to keeping my eyes in my head twenty notes is a tiny amount. For everything else I use the lab standed ones from the science department.

Got any other things you would like to try and sell.
 

The_Duke

LE
Moderator
#3
gobbyidiot said:
These aren't really dark enough for a bright day nearer the equator if you are looking to be totally comfortable, but then again the lack of a dark tint means that you can see properly and they have a funny UV coating which filter out the blue light that knackers your eyes. The other interesting feature is that they actually have some measure of ballistic protection - they are workwear not just shades, so they might stop a little fragment. No edges either, wraparound, so you can see out the sides. For £7 I was quite impressed. I included the link below for the picture but if you use google loads of places sell them. You can buy them over the counter from Screwfix. If you buy a pair make sure they include the little microfibre bag to avoid scratches, and make sure you buy the ESP version because it has the coating. Some of the websites rip you off on postage - £7.50 all in, including postage and bag, is about right.

http://www.fwb.co.uk/mall/productpage.cfm?store=FWBGroup&productid=813MWLB
Or use the issued ones, and have no problems with "contributory negligence" if the worst case scenario happens.

£ 7.50 wasted
 
#4
Yep - The issue ones are good and allegedly do protect your eyes. Having said that so do Bolle Skiing goggles
 
#5
The_Duke said:
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Or use the issued ones, and have no problems with "contributory negligence" if the worst case scenario happens.

£ 7.50 wasted

Interesting. There seems to be a massive range being worn, and you rarely see a unit where i) everyone is wearing, or ii) nobody is wearing, which is what you would have thought would happen if SOPs were in operation.
 
#6
Its the British Army way. Despite all being given the same kit, equipment and uniform we all manage to look different.
 
Z

Zarathustra

Guest
#7
Issued tissue all the way, i know several people who's eyes were saved because they were wearing issued goggles/glasses
 
#9
the ESS issue ones do the job ok

tend to snap in the nosepiece though and the lenses scratch easy

but you can just exchange them when they get fcuked
 
#10
Footage from Iraq and Afghanistan seems to show that US troops always wear protection and Brits rarely do - huge numbers of soldiers squinting into blinding light. The few who wear something seem to wear civvy shades.

I think there is an issue. As much as anything else, that light gives you cataracts and macular degeneration when you are old - doesn't seem an issue now, but it will in forty years.
 

maguire

LE
Book Reviewer
#11
Closet_Jibber said:
Yep - The issue ones are good and allegedly do protect your eyes. Having said that so do Bolle Skiing goggles
skiing goggles are *not* impact rated as standard, they are only to protect you from glare. if you're expecting them to take *any* kind of impact, even stones from passing traffic, you'd be sadly disappointed. the issue ESS ones are rated to EN 166 impact resistance standards - and as the testimonies on the website say, they'll stop a lot more than that.

http://www.esseyepro.com/testimonials.html?category=military
 
#12
If feel some preaching is in order...

I'm away for a week but when I get back I will try to get some sanitised pictures of what the issued kit can do for you. I normally take the view that if your on ops and not wearing the issued kit then that's a chance you take and we are all big boys and girls. However I see the results of what happens when people do, and unfortunately do not, wear the ballistic eyewear and I can tell you that if you wear civvy shades (including what's being sold in some of the PXs and NAAFIs as 'protective') you are either uneducated (OPTAG?) or just plain stupid.

A competitive tender, which included all the main big commercial brands, down selected to three versions. These were tested using the UK fragments and the ESS performed the best.

That was 2 and half years ago and the market is still being searched for something better; others have caught up but nobody is streets in front. The ESS glasses offer significant protection to the eyes over and above normal shatter resistant glasses. To get above the frag protection provided by the medium weight ballistic eye wear (ESS goggles) you need to go for a visor on the helmet (which is being worked on, as is facial protection)

There is a piece of work going on at the moment which MAY see the yellow lens replaced by a 'coral' lens (that's normally called rose but we can't have soldiers looking out of rose tinted glasses can we!) and laser protection is being investigated.

You cannot read and compare the various claims on the box because all the nations use different standards. So a fragment travelling at 120m\s in UK is different to that travelling in the US. Why because the Fragmentation Simulated Projectile (FSP) used is different so it acts differently when it hits the lens. Also the UK testing regime is far in excess of the standard tests as many of these were designed for law enforcement not military applications.

And of course the best thing about the issued ones is they are free and replaceable when they get broken.

End of sermon, I apologise but for those few soldiers reading this before going on ops it might save their sight.
 
#13
gobbyidiot said:
Footage from Iraq and Afghanistan seems to show that US troops always wear protection and Brits rarely do - huge numbers of soldiers squinting into blinding light. The few who wear something seem to wear civvy shades.

I think there is an issue. As much as anything else, that light gives you cataracts and macular degeneration when you are old - doesn't seem an issue now, but it will in forty years.
I suspect that stems from training culture. For instance, on the range recently, I was the only one wearing sunglasses (as it was a rare sunny day). Granted, they were ESS issued eyewear with corrective inserts, but everyone else was content to squint through their SUSATs whilst I shot in comfort.
Throughout my military career I have seen plenty of instances where common sense says wear sunglasses, but instead we are left squinting away.
 

maguire

LE
Book Reviewer
#14
kitmonster said:
and laser protection is being investigated.
ESS offer a laser protective lens for the ICE glasses system at the moment. bit pricey individually mind.
 
#15
I've been wondering whether the eyewear means that people can't get a full picture comfortably through the sight, so given that the sight is used constantly to get a better look nobody wears the protection.

Incidentally, the little Bolle's that I mentioned at the start of this are (it seems) EN 166 (and 170, 172), so a lot better than shades, although I accept the smart thing to do is to wear the issue stuff and then there is no argument.
 
#16
gobbyidiot said:
I've been wondering whether the eyewear means that people can't get a full picture comfortably through the sight, so given that the sight is used constantly to get a better look nobody wears the protection.
Incidentally, the little Bolle's that I mentioned at the start of this are (it seems) EN 166 (and 170, 172), so a lot better than shades, although I accept the smart thing to do is to wear the issue stuff and then there is no argument.
I've never had an issue looking through issued sights whilst wearing the issued ESS eyewear. My previous OC was involved in the trials and procurement of the ESS eyewear and having seen some images of what they stopped and been given a good brief, I wore them on all patrols for the duration of my tour and made sure my lads did too. OK, it may not look cool, but protecting eyesight is a touch more important than looking good.
 
#17
If I wore shades, even issue ones, on the range in Blightly I would get my head ripped off by the range staff, DS and my own seniors. That is the reason we have a culture of not wearing them.

Having said that I wore Wile-X's during my tour when on patrol because my ESS ones got lost and the REMFy chopper and the Window of No told me I couldn't replace them as they were one-for-one.

As long as you remember to remove them when talking to the locals then yes you should wear something. Trying to calm a irrate bloke down is very hard when you can't make eye contact though.
 
#18
I know an a Scots Guards NCO who, as a boy soldier, had an SLR vent hot gas into his face. He was left with a burn in the centre of his right eye which meant that he had to look slightly to the side of something if we wanted to see it in detail. I don't know if other weapons have the same potential, but I think it's wise to wear something, even on a range.
 
#19
Not unless you tried to fire the L85 left handed. If the breech goes then your snookered no matter what fancy glasses you've got on.
 
#20
bobath_lost_his_account said:
If I wore shades, even issue ones, on the range in Blightly I would get my head ripped off by the range staff, DS and my own seniors. That is the reason we have a culture of not wearing them.
Having said that I wore Wile-X's during my tour when on patrol because my ESS ones got lost and the REMFy chopper and the Window of No told me I couldn't replace them as they were one-for-one.

As long as you remember to remove them when talking to the locals then yes you should wear something. Trying to calm a irrate bloke down is very hard when you can't make eye contact though.
I would say that it is the culture in the Army which makes those people want to rip you a new one.
Personally I find that to be the completely wrong attitude. If I'm running a range and guys have the issue eyewear from an op tour then they are free to wear it. I'm talking about using issue eye protection whilst on the firing point - I don't see why there should be a problem. If people are mincing around, then fair enough.
Eye protection is there to protect. I had a lad who was left with a face peppered with tiny scars after a round cooked off in the breech of a LMG. He was extremely lucky that he didn't loose his eyesight as his eyes took some damage too. If he'd been wearing the issued eyewear, then he wouldn't have had a problem, apart from the rest of his face...
 
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