I’ll admit up front that overlanding was not the primary reason for purchasing tactical sunglasses. The primary reason is yard work. Yes, that’s right, I said yard work.
Tactical Sunglasses for Yard Work?
I’m going to tell you a very short story to give you the background on this decision. One weekend, a friend of mine (Dan), is mowing his backyard lawn. Dan loves to use a side discharge setup. He drives back and forth over the fresh clippings to mulch them into the lawn.
His wife walks out of the side and into the backyard. She is approaching him, waving her arms and trying to get his attention. To this day, I have no idea what she needed. Dan is coming to the end of his yard and preparing to swing 180 degrees to make his return pass. On the pivot, he picks up the front of the mower slightly to pivot better on the rear wheels. In the process of making this pivot, Dan’s wife is coming closer and closer to his location. As Dan is finishing his pivot, there is a loud bang! Just a second after the bang, there is an even louder squeak! A stone, a little smaller than a golf ball, hit Dan’s wife right in the side of her head! Thankfully, the damage was minimal. Other than a nice cut and splitting headache, Dan’s wife was okay.
Skeptical? Ok, good! I was a bit skeptical of the story myself. Naturally, I did some investigation. I was terrified after watching this video!
What Does This Mean for Overlanding?
The next obvious question is, what does all this have to do with overlanding? The first thing that comes to mind is all that dirt and debris kicking up on the trail. There is a high chance that if you’re spotting someone on a trail and they accelerate hard, you will be the recipient of a mud bath! Then the “Dan hit his wife with a lawnmower and rock story” comes back to my mind.
The other thought I have is about recovery or repair situations. I know some overland teams when they head out on a ride strictly forbid the use of chains during the trip. The reason being that if a chain snaps it could send shrapnel flying through the air. Flying mud and flying metal are both excellent reasons to be concerned about your eyes and the potential for permanent damage.
Well, after being scared of flying debris, I started to do my research on a few topics.
- Safety glasses, obviously
- Safety sunglasses, because I didn’t want to look like an idiot
- Military sunglasses, I remembered during basic training that certain recruits had these special prescription “battle glasses” or what the rest of us called “birth control”
Tactical Sunglasses; The Results
Here is the problem with doing your research, all the results! So, there happens to be a fair amount of manufacturers that make tactical sunglasses. After weeding through all the websites and reading tons of articles, white papers and reviews, I narrowed my choice down to one specific brand, Revision.
Here are a couple of reasons why I like Revision. First, they are a U.S. company in New England! Secondly, being headquartered in Vermont, the company mission in part, states the following, “…Revision is a solutions provider specializing in protective equipment—primarily protective eye wear…” To me, that is music to my ears…and eyes! A “military” company that focuses on eye wear is exactly what I am looking for in my choice.
Each of their tactical sunglasses meets and exceeds the standards listed below.
- Exceeds ANSI Z87.1-2010
- Meets US military ballistic requirements (MIL-PRF-32432, CLAUSE 18.104.22.168.4)
- Exceeds EN 166 ballistic requirements
Hellfly Tactical Sunglasses
The video above is a demonstration using the Sawfly model. Personally, I am a huge fan of the Hellfly model. Check out this link to bring you directly to the Amazon listing if your interested in looking at them now. If you want to see the prettiest man alive modeling these spectacles, then click here.
All kidding aside, these tactical sunglasses are excellent. The Hellfly comes in a variety of frame and lens combinations. Even better, I was able to get my prescription filled. So, now I have prescription eye wear that I can use for every occasion. Best of all, I was able to use my flexible spending account to pay for prescription so I got to use my pretax dollars to pay for them!
Hard Case, Soft Case and Sunglasses
Hard Case, Soft Case and Sunglasses
Right Temple View
Left Temple View
My Final Thought
Overland trips present a variety of situations where people are exposed to hazardous situations. Whether it is flying mud and rocks or a broken recovery line, the dangers are all around you. I know it sounds a bit over the top. However, your eyesight is so precious and one small investment can make the difference between vision and blindness. Stay safe out there, I hope this was helpful!