When it comes to eye and ear protection, I don’t think that anyone can own enough. I personally keep both in my vehicle and in each of my gear bags. Not to mention, my desk and locker. Basically everywhere. Here are my top picks for the best ballistic eye protection for 2023.
The Best Ballistic Eye Protection for 2023
In today’s article, I researched eyewear from six different brands. From what I can tell, these are some of the best companies currently making glasses for shooting sports. All six companies utilize the best materials and provide the best range of competitive pricing. Likewise, my goal was to compile a list of quality ballistic shades that also look good, on or off the range.
Below are options that encompass budget-minded and high-end users alike. We have you covered even if you are in the market for sub $50 eye protection.
1. GATORZ Eyewear
I’m not going to lie, a lot of eyeglasses look the same to me. With that said, I like the styles that GATORZ brings to the table. All of the company’s models tend to be bold and full of American Made Rock and Roll. Keep in mind, that American-made can also mean eyewear that is at the high end of an EDC budget.
GATORZ starts out by making its frames from a lightweight, durable, aircraft-grade billet of 7075-T6 aluminum. Both the frame and nosepiece adjust to the wearer and are designed to provide exceptional coverage. The company is constantly updating its catalog with styles for every face, and you can’t go wrong with any. Check them out to find the pair that best suits you.
MSRP: Starting at $180.
For more information, please visit GATORZ.com.
2. Outlaw Eyewear Fugitive TAC Version 2.5
The Outlaw Eyewear Fugitive TAC is full of bad-ass attitude. Consequently, the glasses got their start as high-performance Aluminum framed motorcycle sunglass. The Aluminum frame wraps around the shatter-resistant 2.0mm 100% UV blocking polycarbonate lenses. As a result, they ensure solid protection during range time, or on the road.
You are guaranteed to look like Arnold in the Terminator wearing the squarish-shaped lenses. They are meant to be modern, yet also extremely protective of wind, dust, and the sun.
The Fugitive boasts dual hinges to hold its overall package together. The dual surface mount spring hinges add comfort and reliability, and I think your face and ears will like them.
- Achieved ANSI Z87.1-2015 for Impact protection compliance
- Polarized Gray lenses cut out the glare for increased visual comfort
- Wind Protection: High
- Size: Fits small, medium and large men. The entire frame is adjustable for a precision tuned fit
- Ability to see eyes through lenses: None
- Warranty: 2 years on the frame
- Includes soft cleaning cloth/bag and hard case
- Dual-spring reliable and replaceable hinges
- Frame width: 70mm.
- Frame height: 36mm
For more information, please visit OutlawEyewear.com.
3. Magpul Radius Eyewear
Magpul has successfully blended a mix of optimal ballistic protection, wearer comfort, substance, and style with their Radius glasses. The Radius’s frames offer full Z87+ ballistic protection, durability, and flexibility in a lightweight design thanks to the injected-molded TR90NZZ construction.
The Radius glasses showcase padded low profile temples which integrate seamlessly under helmets, communication headsets and over-the-ear hearing protection without sacrificing comfort. Meanwhile, the rugged 8-base wrap and high-coverage temples ensure protection from weather, dust and debris.
The scratch-resistant lenses possess a unique shape to provide improved peripheral vision as well as an oleophobic treatment to repel liquids and chemicals. Inside, the lenses boast an anti-reflective coating to reduce reflections.
For more information, please visit Magpul.com.
4. Skullerz Odin Polarized Safety Sunglasses
The Skullerz Odin Safety Glasses offer a great combination of both good looks and outstanding value. Even though the name is taken from the king of the Norse Gods, they are pretty much a straightforward brand. Nothing super fancy, but quality enough to find in most big box stores like Home Depot.
These full-frame, protective work safety glasses feature tough scratch-resistant lenses. In addition, they filter 99.9 percent of harmful UVA, UVB, and UVC rays to keep your eyes safe from the sun. The durable frames bend and flex without breaking, and a non-slip rubber nose piece resists sweat and keeps them in place.
The Odin safety glasses have been tested to ANSI Z87.1+ High-Velocity Impact Protection and optical requirements. Also tested to MIL-PRF-32432 Ballistic Fragmentation, Class 1, which is the US Military Combat Eye Protection System Performance Specification for eyewear. I would say, these are probably the best bang for the buck on this list.
For more information, please visit Ergodyne.com.
5. Bolle Combat Kit
This one is a little different, as it is a “kit” and not just a single pair of eye protection.
Unlike some of the other brands on this list, this is a set of true ballistic glasses, made for range and combat. Likewise, they are designed to protect your eyes from the dangers that come along with the game.
Certified to Ballistic Resistance Standard GL-PD 10-12, MIL-PRF-31013, STANAG 4296, and ANSI Z87.1-2010, these ballistic protection sunglasses ensure maximum protection against any event. Thanks to its non-slip bridge, flexible temples, and its ultra-enveloping design, you can achieve a perfect fit every time.
Complete with three different sets of lenses, the Bolle Combat kit will provide you with several options for comfort and protection.
- Ergonomic temples compatible with communications systems and ballistics helmets
- Adjustable Strap
- Panoramic Field of Vision
- Ballistic Polycarbonate Lens
- Anti-Scratch, Anti-Fog Coatings
- Non-Slip Nose Bridge
- Black Frame
- Clear Lens with Platinum Anti-Fog/Anti-Scratch
- Smoke Lens with Platinum Anti-Fog/Anti-Scratch
- ESP Lens with Anti-Fog/Anti-Scratch
- Adjustable Strap
- Black Molle Case
The Combat Kit features an exclusive Anti-Fog and Anti-Scratch PLATINUM coating. This permanent coating on both sides of the lens gives them a high resistance to scratching and significantly delays the onset of fogging, assuring greater safety, reliability, and comfort. The new PLATINUM lens coating guarantees improved protection in all conditions.
For more information, please visit Bolle-Safety.com.
6. Oakley Standard Issue Ballistic M Frame® 3.0 Strike
Ok, I decided to keep the largest eyeglass brand for last, rounding out our list of the best ballistic eye protection for 2023. Oakley is an industry leader that needs zero introduction. They have been making top-tier gear for decades. Seriously, I used to rock Oakley’s in the 80s.
A lot of Oakley’s eyewear surpasses industry standards, and the Oakley SI Ballistic M Frame 3.0 is no different. These glasses are rated for high-mass and high-velocity impact protection.
The M Frame 3.0 additionally meets MIL-SPEC MIL-PRF 31013. All lenses are made of pure Plutonite®, a proprietary material that offers the highest level of optical clarity available in eyewear. It also features a clip that holds the lens and frame together, providing more secure support.
Specs and Features
- Lenses feature Oakley’s HDO Optics with Polaric Ellipsoid Technology
- Lenses feature a permanent anti-fog coating on the back surface
- UV protection of Plutonite® lens material that filters out all of UVA / UVB & harmful blue light up to 400 nm wavelength
- Meets or exceeds high mass and high-velocity impact requirements per ANSI Z87.1-2003/2010
- Meets or exceeds ballistic fragmentation impact standards per MIL PRF-31013, Clause 220.127.116.11.
- Secure fit even under wet conditions via Hydrophilic Unobtainium® nose pad
- The clear lens features 89% visible light transmittance, suitable for use in low light to no light conditions
- Persimmon lens features 69% visible light transmittance, suitable for use in low light to no light conditions
- Grey lens features 15% visible light transmittance suitable for bright light, meets MCEPS neutrality and chromaticity requirement
- Thin stem technology enables compatibility with over-ear hearing protection and communication systems
- The system features quick, tool-free lens change
- Ultra-lightweight design (1.05-ounce total weight)
- Full compatibility with helmet-mounted night vision devices
- Full compatibility with MICH, ACH, CVD, PASGT, and Crye™ Helmets
- Impact and chemical resistant O-Matter® frame
I honestly think that Oakley sets the bar when it comes to quality shades. You can’t go wrong with a pair of these.
For more information, please visit OakleySI.com.