I see in a lot of survival kits that people have constructed leave out a very important key item. The importance of eye protection in the desert it probably right up there with shelter. In a sense this should be looked at as shelter for your eyes. We want to protect ourselves from the heat, and the suns rays IE sunburn. With this we should also take precautions to protect our eyes from reflections (glare) off the water and snow as well as blowing wind and dust. I myself have been victim to my hiking buddy letting a branch go and having a stick nearly take out my eye. Having the proper eye protection can prevent issues from all of these. There is no faster way to end a trip than to have a serious ocular injury while in the field. In a survival situation this could be a serious problem causing loss of vision in the eye, loss of depth perception, or worse.
I came across the company ESS through a good friend. So far with the use in the desert and driving from place to place I have found these do have better protection than those of a cheaper less expensive bracket. The cost comes from the outstanding quality and protection that goes into every piece of eye-wear produced. I found that ESS is a company that stands behind their product. The ballistic impact resistance, UVA, and UVB protection in my opinion is worth the price of the insurance you will get with these glasses. I have used sunglasses from many different makers from cheap to expensive and so far I am finding these to be the best to date.
When I am filming I usually do not wear sunglasses while the camera is rolling. With my cheap Sony Handycam the sun reflects off the lenses and causes a lot of distortion. This has nothing to do with the eye wear at all, this is simply the digital sensor inside the camera. For this reason I will normally put them up on my hat for safe keeping. Testing the glasses while out I found that a lot of the brown and dead vegetation as well as the sand, dirt, and rocks seem to really reflect light and cause a head ache after a while. With these glasses this was completely eliminated. While fishing these also cut down on the surface glare and allow me to look into the water. Even while driving; the glare from the windows and windshields of the other drivers was lessened to the point where driving is not a serious pain anymore.
In my truck the ac does not work. This means I will drive with my windows down. For this reason I like the way the ESS completely covers and protects my eyes. I have driven through big dust devils, swarms of bees, and been out in dust storms. So far these have protected my eyes better than any other sun glasses I have ever owned. When looking at a pair of protective eyewear; keep the environment you plan to be in mind. Make a choice based on the hazards you can encounter. I see this as an insurance policy for your eyes.
The 5B glasses- These are very lightweight eye protection. These have a great fit and keep out debris and keep it from entering from all sides. They are very comfortable on the nose and the ears. The high-impact polycarbonate lenses are tinted for the best possible UVA and UVB protection. These come with a zip closure carrying case, warranty information, a sticker, and awesome construction and performance. These are the eye protection I use the most out of the three ESS glasses I have tested. These can be seen on my hat in the photo.
The Crossbow and Silencers- These are made with the same UVA and UVB protection as the 5B glasses. High-impact polycarbonate lenses can be interchanged to suit your needs. These I have found to be very comfortable in the field. These too have great fit and prevent debris from entering from all sides. The silencers are made to be worn with helmets or ear protection. I find them great for shooting. The crossbows work great for everyday wear in the field. These come as a kit with a zippered case that can mount on a MOLLIE vest. Each pair comes with a microfiber bag that can also be used to clean the lenses.
Ok so you’ve read on and heard me do nothing but praise these glasses. So what did I not like about them. At first the crossbows felt a little large behind the ears and the nose pieces of the crossbows and the silencers felt like they were trying to ride a little too low on my nose. Now that I have worn them and gotten used to them, these issues have gone away. The feel is just as comfortable as the 5Bs at this time. I find it was a different style than I was used to wearing. This can be in the initial fit and comfort of eye protection. If this is the case with you just give it a little while and they will begin to grow on you. Now I can hardly tell I have them on.
At this point if you watch my videos…or the segment I did for Discovery Canada these are the brand of eye wear I was wearing. At this point these will be the glasses I will continue to wear. I was getting some very bad headaches while in the field. I even got them while I was wearing sunglasses. Come to find out the glasses I was wearing did not have proper UVA and UVB protection as it was stated on the lenses when I got them. This is not something you have to worry about with ESS. If they say it they mean it!