DISCLAIMER: Eyewear is an area of airsoft I personal DON’T buy inexpensive! These goggles where donated to me and I was instructed to test and evaluate them to the best of my abilities! The purpose of this disclaimer is for your benefit! If you are genuinely concerned about your eyes (like myself) spend the money and buy Military Grade ballistic eyewear. If you’re of lesser thought and decide to run shop glasses, sky goggles, or anything NOT Rated Z87 or Z87+ for airsoft use, you should revaluate your decision to play airsoft. You can’t replace your sight so do yourself a favor and don’t be that “eye for an eye” individual.
Welcome back to a New Year of airsoft! its 2018 folks and it’s it to dust off the gear for all you fair weather players and get ready because spring is coming. For those of you NEW to airsoft time to head out and get that gear for the new season!
This is going to be something of a simpler overview on a pair of goggles with a stress test. To be blunt, airsoft goggles are there for one basic purpose. To protect your eyes, nothing else. Over the years I’ve been playing, I’ve witnessed a use of a wide variety of airsoft goggles used. Ranging from Military grade protective eyewear to paintball eyewear being the dominate contender at the time. These days the tables have turned as airsoft is slowly starting to overtake paintball. This means more affordable means of ballistic eyewear have come to market. Mainly airsoft eye protection (eye-pro for short). The real issue for me in this regard is wether the eyewear is up to the duty of keeping your vision in one piece.
Now to the test!
As you can see my fellow teammate “Anvil” here displaying the goggles on his head quite nicely, note the black tactical look. I myself like the design of these goggles simple for the open breathable lens compared to other and the crystal clear view through them. The Repro is based on the real Bolle X-800 goggles one of the first real tactical military grade goggles produced for troops. these goggles fit comfortably on a helmet and can easily be adjusted for use on your head. The lenses are easily swapped out for a tinted lens or yellow enhanced lens (most tactical eyewear comes with this feature). On a side note I noticed the lenses and goggles lacked a proper marking for ballistic rated (pro tip, look for a ballistic rating on the product to verify).
Myself and teammates (Merlin & Anvil) set up the goggles on a torso target and began to shoot on semi auto with our rifles from 40ft away and average engagement where its easy to catch a round in the goggles. Both our rifles where running an average fps of 380-390 (.20) shooting .30g bbs (the weight of bbs our team runs). After the two of us shot the goggle a few times (in semi auto) each with a few misses the lenses developed a crack on the up right and two stress fractures in the centre. This came as a surprise to me as these goggles are commonly found on the field and raised concern in us both. Continuing forward we fired two 3-4 round bursts into the goggle from 40ft away and the crack continued to merge across the up right-side of the lens. This is something I myself have yet to see in an airsoft game prior. Not only did the clear lenses start to crack and fracture but a single bb strike on the left side of the goggles resulted in a catastrophic failure. The frame could no longer safely hold the lens in place correctly. This test took less than 20 minutes before the goggles failed under stress. Unfortunately we were unable to test the other two lens included in the package in a controlled manner. This abruptly cut the test short so did my plans to blast them with a 203 round or a rocket round and potentially for the two of us to drop anvil on them to break them entirely.
To get a better-controlled test I was able to get another set of goggles donated. Again with a similar set of the goggles being braced on foam display head. We started the test with a fresh bag of .30gs bbs and shot at the lens at point blank on semi with a gun shoot 400fps (similar conditions). To my surprise, the lens actually had a ballistic coating on the outside (still no rating to verify this on the goggles anywhere). The lens didn’t crack under multiple hits, unlike my first test, however, the goggles frame failed in the same fashion almost immediately after being struck multiple times. This brings up a more deep-rooted concern because the goggle lenses are potentially ballistic rated and safe, or just a simple plastic lens that has the potential to break. This depends on the set purchased. This poses a problem for both the player and the retailer. For the player, the concern comes down to whether the eyewear is safe for bb strikes without fracturing and if the frame will hold up to the abuse. For the retailer the lack of an actual ballistic rating on the goggles anywhere can be a point of contention for a lawsuit if a player who purchased the goggles from a store can sue due an injury occurs.
To be blunt this is why you should strongly consider buying proper eye protection rated (Z87 or Z87+). Though the BBs didn’t pass through the lenses in both tests this still runs a risk to the player because of the frame failure. For a good piece of mind do yourself the duty and buy proper eye protection. Military rated or paintball Z87, or Z87+ . Though the first test is arguably biased and unrealistic in the nature of how we shot at the goggles, its important to note the unpredictable nature of airsoft during a game or the other players and the variation in FPS in other peoples guns. The second test is conclusive that the ballistic nature of the lens is a hit or miss. So this being a brand NEW set of goggles this raises concerns for me personally as I wouldn’t trust it for the protection of my own eyes at this point.
Lastly, eyeballs are not something your can replace of repair, if you loose them you loose your ability to see, period; No amount of money saved is worth the potential of loosing your sight. I cannot endorse this product for obvious reasons, but the primary reason is because the goggles have NO ballistic rating labeled clearly on them (insurance reasons), and the lenses may or may not have a ballistic coating. The last bit being the frame breaking leaving the lens unsupported. Though I would like to for the price point, the safety matter is no joke. The question you now need to ask is $30 dollars or less worth the possibility of permanent eye damage. So keep yourself and our fields safe and buy proper eye protection.
– Schoolboy out