Sunday, August 1, 2010

ESS Crossbow Protective Glasses

We have just completed the review of the Crossbow glasses from Eye Safety Systems. Anyone who spends any amount of time in the urban outdoors knows that a good set of sunglasses makes life much easier. In the urban landscape we have manufactured a good many objects that focus and enhance the sun's power. This is usually uncomfortable to unprotected eyes. Without the greens, browns and soft textures of nature to soak up the harsh light it just bounces around and annoys us. This is also true if you happen to be stuck in the desert or high mountains.

If you work with firearms safety glasses are a fact of life. Many of us resort to cheap disposable safety glasses. This is less than ideal. Those glasses while cheap, rarely provide the same optical clarity found in today's rifle scopes. Why someone would drop over a thousand dollars on optics, then look at them through two dollar pieces of plastic is beyond me.

No matter if you are a cop on the beat, a shooter on the range or a warrior in the desert, the ESS Crossbow offers something for you. The Crossbow comes as a "2x" kit. This includes two frames, one smoke lens, one clear lens, one cleaning bag and a hard case. The lenses can be quickly interchanged by way of the ESS DedBolt™ Lens Lock System. However with the 2x kit this is unnecessary since each lens has it's own frame. As an added bonus the hard case is MOLLE compatible. It will attach to most MOLLE packs and vests. This allows you to wear one set and keep the other at hand. Alternately you can store one complete set and one spare lens in the case. For the duration of the evaluation I kept the hard case attached to my pack in the front seat of my patrol car. When necessary I swapped the smoke lens for the clear one. As I mentioned earlier, this is not necessary for the 2x kit, but I did it anyway to get a feel for how durable the DedBolt™ Lens Lock System was. I did not see any wear related issues for the couple months that I used them.

I did some unscientific fogging tests. The results are posted on the full review at After spending some quality time with these glasses I am impressed. They are not the perfect fit for my face, but the frame geometry allows them to stay secure on many different head shapes. The lens size and shape is perfect for ballistic protection. Since the glasses are ANSI Z87 rated they are suitable for most applications where ballistic eye protection is required.

As an added bonus for those of you who wear ACU to work, the Crossbow is now on the Army's APEL (Approved Protective Eyewear List). The Crossbow is our first look at the products from ESS. Based on the quality of these glasses we are excited to take a look at some of the other models they offer.

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