Best Military Sunglasses Reviewed and Rated
Anytime you are out hunting, there are many variables which come into play concerning setting yourself up for the perfect shot. Between the type of weapon you are using, the weather outside, how far away you are from your target and the prevailing wind, you have a lot of things to consider when aiming your shot. One thing which you may not think of until it happens is making sure there is nothing which obstructs your eyes, which would derail all of the preparation you have made to ensure you have the perfect shot at the perfect time. To help avoid the idea of something bothering your eyes, you can invest in a pair of best military sunglasses for hunting, which have been forged specifically for hunting.
Our Top 3 Picks
- Sports LVX548
- UV400 Lenses
- American Optical
- 52MM Frame
- Oakley 12-856
These military glasses help provide the protection your eyes need, in order to ensure your eyes stay completely focused during any shot. The glasses will help protect your eyes from any random debris coming into them from the wind, including leaves and dust. The glasses you pick can also help protect your eyes from glare, depending upon the type of lens you have in the glasses.
Within this guide, we are going to cover the components of military glasses, and help you know what makes up a great pair of these glasses. We’ll then give you a review of the Top 10 best options currently out within the marketplace. After this, we’ll help you determine some features which will help narrow down the type of glasses which are best for you.
Let’s get started!
What makes a Great pair of Military Glasses?
When attempting to determine what features you should focus on the most, there are some which are more important than others. Listed below are those features which you should focus on, and what makes them the most important aspects of any pair of military glasses.
Types of Lenses
The quality of the lens on a pair of glasses is the most important feature among any glasses. The poorer the quality of the lens, the worse the pair of glasses will be overall, and the less satisfied you will be with your glasses. Not only do you need a higher quality of lens, but they need to be durable in order to help ensure when something hits them, they don’t crack easily.
Not only do you want them to be durable, but you need to decide what color you want the lens to be in. There are many options when it comes to this, including clear, black, blue and yellow, to name a few. Each of the colors represents a different attribute which will either help you, or hurt you, depending upon your own eyes, and how they adjust to different circumstances. If your eyes do not tend to squint while out in the sun, then you can go with a clear or yellow lens choice. If your eyes do tend to squint when faced with the sun, then the ones which are navy or blue would be the better choice. There are some glasses out in the market which do allow you to have a clip-on to where your glasses are typically clear. This helps give you the best of both worlds, so you can change your glasses as needed depending on the circumstances of the weather.
Even if you have lenses which are either navy or black, there are different levels of UV coatings available within the marketplace. The more of a coating you have on the glasses, the less of a chance there will be any glare from the sun going into your eyes. Most glasses have at least 100% UV protection; however, more recent glasses can also have protection from UV-A, UV-B and UV-C rays, which help cover the entire gamut of harmful rays from the sun.
The less glare you have in your eyes, the better your chances of lining up the perfect shot you need. Although it is never a bad idea to have as much protection as possible, there is a small chance the glasses will fog up more often with the extra amount of protection which is coated upon the glasses. You need to find the right amount of coating which is acceptable for you, which also then doesn’t cause the glasses to fog up on you during any normal conditions.
When it comes to your Military Glasses, there are different levels of impact protection. Some glasses come with the standard ANSI Z87.1 protection, which you can find on any safety glasses which is the standard for any safety requirements. However, there are other glasses which also have US Military grade safety, including MIL-PRF-31013. When it comes to seeing the prey out in the field, there are no more important things than your eyes, so if you feel you want to take the extra precaution and have the highest grade of safety possible, you have that option available to you.
Side Protection and Comfort
There are certain military glasses on the marketplace which offer you protection along the side of your glasses as well, to ensure nothing sneaks in from the side. Some glasses attempt to intrinsically do this by making the side arms wider, where as other glasses actually take the lens out further on the sides. This kind of look comes down to what you are comfortable with when wearing the glasses.
Not only this, but the way the nose guard fits upon your nose is also an important aspect – unfortunately, there is no way to know how this feels until you actually put the glasses on your face. Most nose guards are made of a soft or hard rubber, or out the same material the frames are made from. This almost always comes down to the brand you are wearing, as most brands tend to stay with one kind of design for the nose guard.
When looking at the brands of the military glasses available within the marketplace, there are a wide variety of options available to you. Whether you go with brands which are more well-known, like Oakley, or focus upon brands which are more specific to this category, like Smith Optics or Wiley, each brand has a few different models of glasses to choose from, all with a range of protection and price. Once you find a brand you like, there is no doubt they will have an option for you which will meet your needs while you are out on your hunting trip.
10 Best Military Sunglasses
1. Sports Sunglasses LVX548
- Polarized lens
- Five Functions
- Plastic frame
2. American Optical 30186OP55BBATC0
- Metal frame
- Perfect for medium size faces
- Not suitable for every face type
3. Oakley 12-856
- Plutonite polycarbonate lens
- 100% UVA protection
- Lenghty warranty
- Plastic frame
4. Elemart Tactical
- Flexible polycarbonate frame
- Sratch resistant
- Perfect for cycling
- Dark lenses are not too dark
- Best for a narrow nose
5. MOTELAN Tr90
- Great for protecting your eyes
- Scratch resistant
- Realistic perception
- Plastic frame
6. Wiley ACSLA04
- Quality polarized lenses
- 100% UVA protection
- Shatterproof lenses
- Lenses are not that dark
- A heavier feel
7. Under Armour Igniter P MR
- Titanium infused grilamid frame
- Polycarbonate lens
- Plastic frame
8. 5.11 5-52035-920
- Comes with 3 types of lenses
- Impact resistant
- Scratch resistant
- Plastic frame
9. Revision 4-0491-0016-P
- Ample eye protection
- 100%UVA protection
- Lenses are not as dark
10. Edge SG61-G15
- Flexible Nylon Frame
- Polycarbonate Lens
- Scratch resistant
- Fragile lenses
Checklist for Picking the Best Option
After checking out our top picjs, you may want to start narrowing down the choices which are available to you. But, what factors should you take into consideration? Here is a quick guide to help you eliminate some choices, so you can find the right pair for you.
1st off, you need to think about the type of lens you need, and what kind of safety material that lens is made out of. The idea behind having a pair of military glasses is to protect your eyes from all of the elements you will encounter while out in nature; if the lenses on the glasses break easily, then there is no good reason to wear glasses. You could just as easily go with a pair of sunglasses, compared to glasses which are specifically designed for hunting. Because you are taking these glasses out with you hunting, they need to be durable and long-lasting, to offer your eyes the best protection possible.
There are different grades of safety lenses out in the marketplace, so make sure you get the ones which will make you feel the most comfortable. Losing an eye permanently while out on a hunting trip is not worth any kill you would have had; so, make sure your eyes are protected at all costs.
Once you determine the grade of safety you will have in your lenses, you then need to determine what color do you want the lenses. You typically have four different colors to choose from, which are clear, yellow, navy and black. If your eyes are not typically affected by the sun very much, then going with a clear and yellow option are a good bet. If you go with one of these two colors, there are some models of glasses which allow you to have a clip-on over the lenses; this clip-on is a darker color, so you can have a pair of glasses which are flexible. However, if your eyes are always squinting when out in the sun, then you will need to go with glasses which have a navy or black base in the lens. Not only should these military glasses help keep your eyes safe, but they can also help you set up a better shot out in the field.
Lastly, you need to ensure you have the proper amount of protection along the side of your eyes, as well as ensuring the glasses are comfortable. If you are wearing glasses which are uncomfortable, then it is possible they will distract you, causing you to miss a shot while in the field. This will cause you to become frustrated, and instead of having a fulfilling hunting trip, you will leave irritated and distraught. Not only do they need to be comfortable, but you need to ensure they offer protection along the peripheral vision of your eye sight, and ensure nothing gets to your eyes from the side. Different models offer different protection, so ensure you find a pair that fits your face well, both from a safety and a comfort standpoint.
Criteria For Evaluation
Military sunglasses have their own standards to live by, which in turn makes it quite easy when ranking the best. Our criteria was based on durability, branding, extra features, long term satisfaction, compatibility with prescription eyewear, accessories, clarity and comfort. Any of the military glasses on the list will make a great choice, so even the bottom choice on the list is considered high grade. At the very least, all of the choices picked on the list pass the military grade needed to be considered viable as a top ten candidate.
The entire point of military sunglasses is to have them so hardened that they can withstand impact from foreign objects. With this ranking we looked at how well they held up in individual ballistic tests. All of the listed glasses had eyewear protection tests to pull information from, and it was thorough enough that there was no dispute how to reorder for this criteria. Good glasses are also high performance in strong weather conditions with strong winds, where dirt and other small particles need to be blocked from the eyes. Any of the models that literally cracked under a small amount of pressure were knocked off of the list immediately.
Branding wasn’t as important but did play a role in how some products lived up to expectations. The top picks were Oakley, American Optical and Sports Sunglasses. We measured branding differently this time around for military sunglasses by putting the focus on how clear the language was for the customer. Brands that had clear and concise features were put to the top of the list since they would help out customers that weren’t familiar with product. It’s important for customers to be able to find what they want without needing to reference alternate materials. Bloated and confusing products were left off of the list, but in some cases they just lost a couple of spots in the top ten.
Around this time was perfect for looking at the extra features that the premium set of military sunglasses provided. These features were sometimes brand specific, but were explained clearly enough so that it was easy to understand. Removable lens is something that gained a lot of favor on the list, since not all of the products on the list have it. The select few that did were considered to be in a special class and were ranked accordingly. With only a few that offered this out of the package, there was less shift here than there was with any other criteria listed. It was still significant as it showed off some of the unique military sunglasses on the list.
Long Term Satisfaction
The hardest thing to measure was long term satisfaction with the glasses on the list, so was measured through a combination of verified reviews on durability and company history with that specific model. It was a thorough search that yielded interesting results, with some in particular leading to previous top choices being dropped off of the list. This criteria shifted a lot of the power from the previously strong military sunglasses that had a high durability rating. Their short term strength was not worth their long term shortcomings in the same department.
Compatibility with Prescription Lenses
Although this next criteria won’t affect everyone, it’s still one that needed to get its own space. Some wearers of military sunglasses are also prescription eyeglass wearers. If they’re lucky enough, they can use contacts in place of their glasses when needed. When this isn’t an option, the lens on military sunglasses have to be replaced with prescription ordered parts. Not all choices on the list are supported, so this criteria focused on brands that had the most widely spread frame use by prescription wearers. Their compatibility was key in getting an optimal experience, and especially useful when a user’s eyesight was below average.
Accessories was also another limited criteria with only lanyards, replacement lens and carrying cases being available for the majority of military sunglasses. Because of this, we gave points to models that had higher availability of accessories. Products that made their extras easier to find than the competition were considered better choices for all levels of users. The accessories also had to pass a quality check that was consistent with the military glasses they were associated with. Once prices were confirmed, it was only a matter of reorganizing no more than 3-4 military sunglasses on the list.
Clarity is important, and there is nothing better than putting on a pair of military sunglasses that place priority on the visuals. Whether it is through the lens type or the materials used, good clarity in the glasses can make or break a purchase. When we finished the top three products, they scored highly in this area, with the bulk of the remaining seven having similar standards.
The last thing that we used to shape the list was the comfort level of each pair of military sunglasses on the list. All ten choices were built for all day wear, while a select few showed comfort levels that reached that of prescription glasses. Tests proved that some customers preferred the shape and size of the top tier models on the list. They stayed in one position, even with a lot of movement from the user. It showed a good weight balance in the construction of the glasses and an understanding of how a bad design can ruin a good pair of military glasses.
What Is The Difference Between Military Sunglasses and Regular Ones?
Military sunglasses are reinforced and made to be stronger than regular sunglasses. They still maintain all of the great benefits like UV protection and styling, but add in a layer of protection that keeps the eyes away from projectile harm. They are specialty glasses that are ballistic rated, and can withstand a considerable amount of damage. Military sunglasses pass a very strict standard, far surpassing the required ANSI Z87.1 for civilian sunglasses. With military standard 662, the importance on protection is great, and defines what makes the two glasses so different. This is also reflected in prices, with military sunglasses coming in at a little higher in the price department.
Which Brands Make The Most Use Of Their Features?
Tying military sunglasses to branding isn’t the way to really go when deciding on the best pair. The first and most important thing is protection, and that is something that all brands do well. Taking it a step further, the standard UV protection is also something that they all have. Branding is only interesting if customers look at unique features being offered with military sunglasses. Some enhance images, while others are more comfortable to wear for long periods of time. With brand specific features, there will always be something dynamic about military sunglasses that separates them from the rest of the pack.
Are Generic Military Sunglasses A Good Buy?
It would be a good idea to stay away from cheap and generic military sunglasses. They do provide a level of protection that is above regular sunglasses, but often fall short of the military grade standard. It’s important to recognize how important adequate ballistic protection is for military sunglasses. Cheap versions are prone to breakage, have low image quality and are often uncomfortable to wear for long periods. Customers will also lose out on a lot of the great perks of getting brand name glasses such as customer support, iron clad warranties and special brand specific features. A little money might get saved upfront by purchasing generic glasses, but they won’t provide nearly enough protection.
What Standard Is Necessary For All Brands To Follow?
All sunglasses in this category should meet or exceed the guidelines set forth by U.S. Military Ballistic Standard MIL-PRF-31013. At its best, when compared to the consumer grade sunglass standard of ANSI Z87.1, the military grade comes out as the more durable option. Buyers will find that the strict guidelines eliminates all but a few generic versions of military sunglasses, making it even more important to purchase the correct pair for protection. Consumers are granted a great sense of relief knowing that they have a pair of approved sunglasses guarding their eyes, and are granted access to premium features outside of protection that can’t be found in regular sunglasses.
Can The Glasses Take A Sudden Impact?
These are considered some of the beefiest glasses you can get for ballistics protection. Heavy impacts and hazards will be nullified as much as possible while wearing a pair. At the current standard it is set to protect in battlefield conditions, so everyday use for a normal user will more than cover its range of protective abilities. The big test for most users is measured with long term durability. How well the glasses hold up over daily impact is almost as important as their general impact rating. Buyers should be able to depend on their military sunglasses like the rest of their heavy duty equipment.
Can Prescription Glasses Be Worn With Military Sunglasses?
Which Professions Use Military Sunglasses?
Any profession that practices ballistics safety can be added to the list of military sunglass users. That includes the armed forces, police, instructors and an entire list of professionals. For the average user, hunters, competitive shooters and more fall into similar categories of users that need the protection of military sunglasses. Some of these professions don’t even have a requirement for the glasses, yet they are still recommended as a top accessory. They are less invasive than goggle and provide a level of image clarity that only top tier sunglasses can match. It is this best of both worlds scenario that turns military sunglasses into a valuable purchase.
How Crisp Are The Visuals?
A lot of the features like UV protection and anti-glare are a big part of the experience with military sunglasses. When looking at objects up close or at a distance, there are great enhancements in quality. A lot of this will be brand dependent, but for the most part users will have access to rich colors and great visuals with military sunglasses. Some products allows the lenses to be changed according to what the user feels is best at the time. The resulting change can lead to improved images, better long distance recognition and even better low light handling. Its effectiveness is tied closely to how well the company worked on visual bells and whistles.
Are Colors Great or Average?
If comparing to sunglasses, the colors and styles for military sunglass are quite good. It’s probably the most attractive self-protection available on the market that isn’t too restricting to the user. Many users will be able to find a style that matches the one from a regular pair of sunglasses. And even if there aren’t any military sunglasses that meet specific styles, new ones continue to come out that challenge the norm. They are as stylish as regular sunglasses, yet are backed by the military standard that protects on impact when needed. Companies provide a lot of variation in their colors so that the customers get a good choice of what they want.
Has The Industry Created Modern Military Sunglasses?
Modern sunglasses can be defined by their up to date characteristics like detachable wireless earbuds, being able to take pictures and videos, multiple software settings and even social media integration. This level of modern technology hasn’t found its way over to military sunglasses, and probably never will. Most of the features found in modern sunglasses wouldn’t fit well with the theme that military sunglasses puts forth. The closest customers will get to modern versions is with the select few models that can replace their lenses with ones that change the viewing experience dramatically. There aren’t a lot of military sunglasses with this feature, and the ones that do have it aren’t widely used.
What Are The Benefits Of HD Variants?
High definition military sunglasses, or those with high definition optics are great for customers that need unmatched visual clarity. The image that is shown on the other side of the lens is accurate, colorful and sharp. Usually when military sunglasses are HD optimized, they also have enhanced core features like upgraded glare protection. Interested buyers should pay close attention to these special features as they aren’t gimmicks and really bring out the best in the sunglasses. Not all military sunglasses carry these features, and may concentrate more on protection than HD clarity. There is a small price bump for brands that use this, one that is almost unnoticeable from the rest on the market.
How Does It Help During Hunting?
Users of military sunglasses will notice that they stay put even when there is a lot of movement. And since they are built tough, drops or any type of harmful material is warded off with the superior protection of the glasses. When firing multiple rounds during the day, it is the most foolproof protection to have for eye protection that doesn’t get in the way. And when using the HD models, it enhances the image and may improve accuracy when firing at longer distances. Regular sunglasses that break while hunting can change the entire day if there are no replacements brought along. This is where military sunglasses shine while keeping your accessory sizes to a minimum.
Is UV Protection Real Or Just A Selling Point?
Ultraviolet protection is a must for all sunglasses, even if they aren’t military grade. The UV radiation that comes from the sun is one of the most damaging things to the human skin and eyelid. And when the eyes are unprotected, it can even cause long term vision damage. UV damage is responsible for severe degeneration in the eyes on multiple fronts, and that led to the original consumer grade sunglasses having UV protection in by default. Good military sunglasses with UV protection will have lenses that are free of imperfections and distortions while providing adequate durability for real world situations. Glasses that fit correctly is just as important, since every angle needs to be covered when necessary. The importance of UV protection is so great that some contact lenses offer them and can be safely worn with military sunglasses. With the UV blocking of contacts and sunglasses, users will maximize the dangers of the sun’s rays when they’re out for long periods of time. It’s more than marketing, and is a must have feature on any recommended pair of military sunglasses.
When looking at best military sunglasses, whether you have used glasses like this before or not, you need to keep in mind that these are meant to protect you as much as possible first and foremost. There are many different models out in the marketplace, so you are not bound to only picking a random pair you might find at a local store. Taking the time to do your research and finding the right pair of glasses will pay dividends long-term for you, which will provide security and success during your hunting trips.
Good luck to you on finding the best military sunglasses for your needs, and we hope you have unbridled success on your next hunting expedition!