|Best Overall||Oakley Det Cord||
These premium ballistic glasses have you covered with protection that meets civilian and military standards. Take your pick from several frame and lens colors.
|Best Value||ESS Eyewear Ice||
This standard-issue replacement will satisfy safety officers and get you off the supply clerk’s naughty list if you lose your issued pair.
|Honorable Mention||Smith Optics Elite||
If the tactical look isn’t your thing, class up your shooting with a pair of ballistic glasses designed for the street rather than the firing range.
Protecting your vision should be one of your top priorities. It doesn’t matter if you’re in combat, riding a motorcycle, or trimming the weeds in your yard — one piece of debris hitting your eye with enough force can cause lifelong vision impairment. Traditional sunglasses don’t do enough to protect your eyes, and at their worst they can actually break and turn into shrapnel on impact. You can protect your eyes with a pair of ballistics glasses, and there are plenty of options available for everyday use. These days, you can find reputable manufacturers that offer ballistic glasses designed to be tactical, stylish, or a close enough match to replace the eye-pro that was destroyed in a firefight and now some civilian contractor at supply wants you to reimburse them out of pocket (not that we’re bitter or anything).
This list has something for everyone, so find a pair of ballistics glasses that fits your style and offers the protection your eyes deserve.
Everybody loves Oakley sunglasses, and the Det Cord is no exception. These advanced lenses meet military ballistic standards, filter out all harmful ultraviolet light, and significantly reduce blue light. The high-quality lenses are designed to provide the undistorted and extremely crisp view you need. Anti-fog coating adds an extra layer of protection so you don’t have to choose between eye protection and clear vision. The comfortable frame is designed to contact your face only at the bridge of the nose and behind each ear so you’ll forget you’re even wearing them. Choose from four frame colors and either clear or gray lenses. A protective drawstring bag is included. These lenses are not polarized, but the other features make the Det Cord a solid choice.
Chances are, these ESS Eyewear Ice ballistic glasses are what you were issued from supply. Remember, those are the glasses you lost or broke somewhere along the line and now you have to replace them or fill out a missing gear statement. The included hard case contains one pair with clear lenses, one with gray lenses, and an elastic strap. Both are single-lens designs with minimalist frames like you’d see on cycling glasses. Naturally, these glasses meet military standards for shrapnel protection. They sit snug on the face and shouldn’t be worn on top of normal glasses. Getting two at this price is a deal, but these certainly aren’t as advanced as some of the other options on our list. Still, if you’re looking for standard-issue eye protection, this is it.
Smith Optics Elite ballistic glasses stray from the tactical trend to give you advanced eye protection with enough style to satisfy James Bond. The thin, composite frame can come with matte black or matte gunmetal finishes. Tinted polymer lenses meet military standards but are not polarized. They do protect against all ultraviolet rays, though. The nose pads adjust to your face for a comfortable fit, and they shed sweat for a secure fit all day. Although the frame is durable, these lenses are permanently mounted and cannot be replaced or switched out for another color. You’ll pay a premium for these stylish ballistic glasses, but they’re comfortable and look just as great around town as they do on the range.
Wiley X has been a major player in the ballistic glasses market for years, and they continue to build on their success with the Saber. These minimalist glasses are designed to be lightweight and provide a wide angle of view unimpeded by bulky frames. Get a perfect fit with the flexible nose piece and removable foam padding for the lenses. One-piece lenses meet military ballistic standards, are coated to block ultraviolet light, resist scratches, and are shaped to offer maximum optical clarity. You can even fit prescription lenses to these frames. Each pair comes with gray, orange, and clear lens options that can be switched out in seconds. These glasses come with a cleaning cloth, retention strap, and hard clamshell case.
Get PPE to match all those rifle accessories with a pair of Magpul Radius ballistic glasses. Non-polarized options are available with clear and gray lenses, but we recommend the polarized gray lenses for the best clarity if you need to look through glass or across water — both of which can wreak havoc on your vision with glare. These glasses use advanced materials to be noticeably light without sacrificing any strength or protection from shrapnel. The lenses are coated to repel water and oily residues that can fog and impede your vision. Little details like stainless steel screws, soft nose pads, and a low profile that fits under your cover or kevlar make these a great fit for anyone. At this price, these premium ballistic glasses are a tremendous value, too.
Those of you hunting for a pair of ladies’ ballistic glasses on a budget should take a hard look at the Under Armour Battlewrap sunglasses. This option cuts costs by not using polarized lenses, but you’ll still get excellent ultraviolet protection. These glasses are also designed to improve peripheral vision with lenses that don’t distort your view. The durable frame is lightweight and provides a snug fit for all-day comfort. An adjustable nose pad is a pleasant surprise at this price. These glasses do sit close to the face, so don’t plan on wearing them over corrective lenses. Four lens and frame color combinations are available; all meet military ballistic standards. Throw in a lifetime warranty and these are a real bargain.
Types of ballistic glasses
Ballistic glasses must meet certain standards for how they respond to impacts. Civilian standards, as defined by the American National Standards Institute, require…