The lenses are interchangeable, and unlike some manufacturers, it is very easy with the ESS Crossbow™. ESS uses what they call their DedBolt™ Lens Lock System to secure the lens to the Crossbow™ frame, even when impacted. To change out the lens, all you have to do is rotate the DedBolt™ Lock located above the nose piece, pull the lens down in the center, dislodging it from frame, then pull the lens forward away from frame. It was pretty easy, and just as easy to insert and secure another lens in the frame. In a matter of seconds you can change your lenses.
ESS is well known for having lenses that provide ballistic protection, and the ESS Crossbow™ is no exception. As stated above, the Crossbow is compliant with the following standards: US Federal OSHA, ANSI Z87.1+, CE EN 166 and US MIL-PRF-31013. One of the things I did find out when visiting the ESS website was, ESS is “Now on the U.S. Army’s Authorized Protective Eyewear List (APEL) and the only approved eye protection for U.S. Marines”. Most people know that the U.S. Military has some of the most stringent specification requirements, and for ESS to be on the U.S. Army APEL and the only approved eye protection for the U.S. Marines, that is saying a lot about ESS and what they provide to you.
At the beginning of this article, I mentioned the ESS Universal Rx System (URx). After checking this out, I wish there was something like this around years ago when I wore prescription glasses. The URx comes packaged with the following: two sets of nosepieces and goggle adapters for both ESS and Oakley products, the nylon-frame U-Rx™ insert, installation instructions and guidelines for the optical lab. Those products would be the ESS Crossbow Eyeshield, ESS Crosshair Eyeshield, ESS Suppressor Eyeshield, ESS ICE Eyeshield, ESS ICE NARO Eyeshield, ESS Profile NVG Goggle, ESS Profile TurboFan Goggle, Oakley SI Ballistic Goggle and Oakley M-Frame 2.0 Eyeshield. I pulled the nosepieces and goggle adapters out of the bag and found that those for the ESS products had the ESS logo molded in. The ones for the Oakley products had the distinctive Oakley “O” molded in. That being the case, it is kind of hard to screw up which one is for which. I popped off the nosepiece on the Crossbow™ with ease, snapped on the ESS URx nosepiece. Then I inserted the U-Rx™ frame and put them on. I was surprised at how comfortable they still were. I didn’t notice any increase in weight, although there is a minor increase. Take note though that I did not have Rx lenses in them. The only other thing that I noticed was that it spaced the ESS Crossbow™ away from my forehead a little bit in order to accommodate the URx. ESS states that the URx will accept a wide range of prescriptions to +/- 11. As stated previously, there are guidelines for the optical lab to make the lenses fit the U-Rx™ frame.
ESS Crossbow 2X™ Dual-Eyeshield Kit is priced at $105, and the ESS Universal Rx System (URx) is priced at $37.50 on the ESS website. If you order the ESS Universal Rx System (URx) from their website, you also have the option of purchasing the prescription lenses at the same time for an additional charge, just by providing all your prescription information. Not a bad additional service they provide if you ask me. Both these products are well worth the money, especially knowing the kind of protection you will be providing your eyes. As with anything, if you do some searching online, you can find these products at a lower price.