Model #: Crossbow Suppressor Kit
ESS Crossbow Shooters
Eye protection means a lot to us here at TGL, not only when playing airsoft, but also on the range. Most fields require full seal protection (and we wear it even when they don’t!), but sometimes you don’t feel perfectly safe in the ‘safe’ zone. Shooters glasses work well in this area, though they really shine on the range. With this crossover in mind, I tried out the ESS Crossbow Eyeshields. In fact, we got to try 2 versions as the pack they sent us included the Original and Suppressor models.
As you would expect from an ESS product targeted to the military and law enforcement, these glasses meet all mil spec standards for open eye pro. They have a variety of lenses and we were able to try the smoke, the high def copper, and clear. This is something I’ve come to seek in range glasses as I’m never sure what I’ll need till I get there. Is it a sunny day when I want a bit more tint, or overcast? The targets can also cause me to chose high-def if I’m not getting the crisp definition I’d like.
With 2 frames and 3 lenses, the configuration possibilities are great. Swapping them out is very simple, though like so many of these things it is tough to do without getting prints on the lenses. Keeping a microfiber cloth around for this is a good idea, so tuck one in your bag.
As you can see, the frames are dramatically different, with the Suppressor being designed to fit under over-ear protection. This provides for a range of training opportunities with the same lens set up, a great boon in my opinion. I found the originals to be light but secure when worn with in-ear protection, or just as sunglasses. I’ve actually worn them a lot this way while driving or going about my daily business. I’ve found sunglasses can give me a headache after an hour or less if they don’t sit right or weigh too much; these don’t! The weight is so small I barely notice them and, for a generic fit arm, they are quite comfy. I do find that if I move my head a lot, mostly up and down, they can come loose, but that’ under extreme action. There’s the ability to put a lanyard on the arms if you worry about it.
The Suppressors, on the other hand, don’t stay too well on their own. However, they, aren’t really designed with this in mind, rather they should be put under over-the-ear protection. The thin frames are hardly noticeable, despite pressure from even cheap muffs, and I did over an hour with them down while barely noticing the arms of the frames. What a huge relief this is! Honestly, they’re the only lenses I want to take to the range now, and I’m recommending them to my friends who use OTE protection.
Since we didn’t approach these as true airsoft safety goggles, I didn’t do my usual close range abuse of them. I suspect they would fair well, but having no way to prevent a BB from getting past the sides or bottom, we really DO NOT RECOMMEND these glasses for airsoft. ESS has a number of great offerings in that regard, please check them out.
Of course, the best lenses and frames won’t help if you can’t see through fog. I find it much tougher to fog up lenses with open sides, though sometimes this is possible with heavy exertion on humid day. With that in mind, I wore the original frames on a run one day with good results. The design allows airflow from below, and ESS’ “ClearZone” technology seems to be working as I didn’t get even the slight blurring at the upper corners I sometimes see. Even an hour of heavy yard work on a hot day left no fogging, which is rare for me. I’ll continue to try it in other situations and see what happens.
Real steel practice and competition presents you with a variety of situations as for ear and eye pro. Having the ability to swap quickly and easily between lenses that provide good wrap and sight lines is a serious benefit. I’ve used a variety of protective lenses, from really cheap to pricey, and while the ESS Crossbows fall into the pricey area, there’s a good reason for that; they’re worth it!