Our eyes are one of our most valued senses, and for those Military, Police and Fire/EMS personnel, that sense must be protected. We depend on our sight to do our job, so having a good set of eye protection is a must. Although I had heard of Eye Safety Systems, Inc. (ESS), I had never worn a pair. For review, I received the ESS Crossbow 2X™ Dual-Eyeshield Kit, which included the following: Crossbow Standard frame, Crossbow Suppressor™ frame, Clear Lens, Copper Lens, zippered hard case, Micro-fiber pouch, Snap-on elastic retention strap, ESS sticker and instruction booklet. Along with this, I also received the ESS Universal Rx System (URx), more on that later.
Upon opening the packaging, I found the zippered hard case that I would describe as being semi-hard. What I mean by that is, it is hard but has some flex and give to it. On the front of the case is the ESS logo and on the back is a MOLLE compatible strap for easy attachment to you range bag, back pack or whatever. When I unzipped the case, I found that the zipper was smooth and didn’t bind up, and still is that way after over a month of use. Upon opening the case, I found the above listed items. I pulled out the set of standard frames that already had a set of lenses installed and immediately put them on. Let me tell you, they were comfortable right out of the case with no adjusting of the nose piece. I then pulled out the Suppressor™ frame and put them on. At first I didn’t know what the difference was between the standard frame and Suppressor™ frame. I quickly found out.
On the Suppressor™ frame the temple arms are much thinner and a little shorter, but didn’t know what the purpose of this was, so I pulled out the included instruction booklet. What I found out was they are designed for wearing with Ear-Cup Hearing Protection. Brilliant idea, how many of us have been on the firing line with our standard sunglasses, put on hearing protection only to have it pushing the temple arms into our head making it uncomfortable and not making a good seal around our ears, which in turn didn’t provide optimal hearing protection. I also found the Suppressor™ frame to be very comfortable to wear and the temple arms hug the side of your head quite well. That being said, because the temple arms on the Suppressor™ frame are shorter, I would recommend using the included Snap-on elastic retention strap with them. The Snap-on elastic retention strap does exactly that, it snaps on and off very easy on either set of frames via a small hole at the end of each temple arm and a small tab at the end of the retention strap that get snapped into the hole. The retention strap as mentioned is elastic, but is also adjustable to fit your head properly and comfortably.
Before we go any further, I’ll give you the key features and specifications as described on the ESS website.
- Ballistic 2.4mm high-impact polycarbonate lenses
- Tri-Tech™ Fit technology achieves a universal fit with max comfort and zero pressure points
- Advanced ClearZone™ FlowCoat lens treatments eliminate fog inside and prevent scratches outside
- DedBolt™ Lens Lock System keeps lenses secure under impact yet easy to swap
- ESSOPTICS™ deliver distortion-free optical precision throughout the entire field of view
- Interchangeable lenses
- 100% UVA/UVB protection
- Rx Inserts available
- Ballistic Protection Standards
- Compliant with: US Federal OSHA, ANSI Z87.1+, CE EN 166 and US MIL-PRF-31013
As previously mentioned the Crossbow™ is very comfortable. I have worn them for hours on end, for entire shifts on-duty and not once did they feel uncomfortable. The lenses are easy to see through and don’t give any kind of eye strain. One of the issues that everyone tends to deal with, whether it being eye protection, sunglasses or prescription glasses is fogging, especially in the winter months. I have not had an issue with that what so ever. Just this morning I was out in mid 20 degree weather and returned inside to my warm house and had no fogging. I’ve worn them with balaclavas, which almost always causes your eyewear to fog, and they still didn’t. That impressed me.