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ShadowStrike Ballistic Spectacles ~ From Revision

In January Revision Military, makers of the SawFly eye protection issued to UK troops as part of the VIRTUS system, announced the release of a new design of ballistic sunglasses called ShadowStrike, writes Bob Morrison.

First exhibited at the International Armoured Vehicles conference and exhibition held in London in late January, where I was able to examine them but not take them away as at that time they were the only pair in the country, the ShadowStrike has two individual changeable lenses, rather than being a one-piece wraparound design like SawFly. By Eurosatory in Paris earlier this month, when I next bumped into the Revision team, they had a pair set aside for us to review and I have been testing them since my return in the bright Devon sunshine.

ShadowStrike is also available with black frames, as here, or tan frames [© BM]

The ShadowStrike Tactical Ballistic Sunglasses, to use their full designation, feature Revision’s premium OcuMax Plus coating, for superior anti-fog and scratch resistance, along with a novel nosepiece mechanism to easily swap the lenses. Basically the nosepiece, which is malleable and can be adjusted to suit the wearer’s bridge width, doubles as a retaining clip meaning one does not need to struggle to swap lenses as one does on some other designs.

Sunglasses have a removable adjustable retaining strap [© BM]

Quoting from the publicity literature, ShadowStrike Sunglasses have a sharp, geometrical wraparound design that provides unobstructed field-of-vision and ballistic protection for fast-paced tactical, Special Ops, and military operations. Angular frames and a tighter curvature give this line a distinctive look while maximising protection – fitting squarely, securely, and comfortably at all times, for any mission.

Atop the substantial size microbibre cleaning cloth with retaing strap alongside [© BM]

ShadowStrike uses optical-grade, polycarbonate lenses to provide impact resistance exceeding US military eyewear ballistic requirements and from inception they were designed and optimised to exceed the rigorous standards of the US Army Authorized Protective Eyewear List (APEL). The manufacturer is submitting these spectacles for inclusion in the 2019 APEL programme; Revision has six models on the current (APEL 2017) list, but these are either goggles or wraparound eyeshield designs so the ShadowStrike is something totally new from them.

Spectacles inside their soft drawstring pouch [© BM]

The new sunglasses provide 100% UV-A-B-C ultraviolet protection and feature Revision’s OcuMax Plus anti-fog and anti-scratch coating, “preventing the close-fit eyepro from fogging and ensuring clear, unimpeded vision”. I have worn them on long beach strolls with the thermometer nudging 25C with the high humidity levels one would expect in such conditions and experienced no fogging.

The full two-lens military kit [© Revision]

One personal issue I have with the ShadowStrike is that because it is a close-fitting spectacle design, and unlike wraparound styles it needs to fit really close to provide full ballistic eye protection, it is not possible to use Rx inserts to correct for my injury-related astigmatism. This means I cannot wear these, or any other make of close-fitting ballistic lens spectacles, for driving or cycling but I found them to be perfectly adequate for trekking in very bright sunlight.

A zipped clamshell case with PALS tape is included [© BM]

These spectacle come with a kidney-shaped clamshell semi-rigid carrying case, including alternative clear lenses, retaining strap, soft bag, decent sized lens cloth, cleaning wipe sachet and instruction sheet as standard. The black zipped case has a single press stud PALS tape on the back meaning it is MOLLE-compatible and so can be carried on rucksack / daysack or load carriage vest etc. My only, and very minor, grumble with this set is that in my opinion the zip is the wrong way round for truly safe carry and the closure should be at the top to prevent the spectacles dropping out if the zip tag is accidentally snagged and therefore partially opens.

Initially ShadowStrike were only manufactured with black frames, accepting a variety of lens colour options for various light conditions, but both tan and grey frames have now been added as promised and a three lens Shooter kit plus more specialist Photochromic and Polarised lens kits are also now available. A standard two lens military kit (including solar and clear lenses) retailing for $115.00US (additional tax and duty may be payable by some purchasers) is available for online purchase through the shop at revisionmilitary.com

{ images © Bob Morrison unless noted }

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