Wiley X Vapor Shooting Glasses
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- Last updated: 26/04/2019
Wiley X is an American company who have been in the eyewear business for over 30 years. They produce a huge range of glasses, aimed very much at the military market but with many applications in the outdoor recreational sports. Their Vapor glasses come as a kit, which includes interchangeable lenses and a few extras. This model is available with several different combinations of lenses and both with and without a secondary frame to carry prescription lenses (not included).
The frame is pretty minimal, with a top bar curved to fit the profile of the face and very simple temple pieces each side. This makes them extremely lightweight and the lack of earpieces is not noticeable, as the glasses are held firmly in place by the flexible frame griping your head; this is all you need for a very light and comfortable fit. The nose bridge clips into a cutaway in the lenses and incorporates large nose pads and, due to the bridge being so large, it is somewhat noticeable in your vision when you first put the glasses on, but you soon forget they are there. The design is intended to avoid sweating and the shape of the glasses permits a completely unrestricted field of view.
There are three different lenses, which can be easily clipped in and out of the frame and they all meet several impact and ballistic standards, including resistance to “high speed particles at temperature extremes”, which are listed on Military 1sts website. The lenses are also shatterproof and scratch resistant. All in all, they seem to have all the qualities that a good pair of shooting glasses needs.
The clear lenses provide simple eye protection and are intended for use where excessive brightness is not an issue. Light transmission is stated at 90% but in use it is difficult to detect any loss of light at all.
The smoke grey lenses look a lot darker from the outside than they do from the wearers’ side, light transmission is stated at only 15% but it really doesn’t feel that dark wearing them. There is, however, masses of glare reduction and, even on the very brightest days, they provide superb protection and allow you to carry on shooting unhindered by excessive sunlight.
The ‘light rust’ (yellow) lenses provide excellent contrast enhancement, making them perfect for shooting clays or birds against a bright sky, or in low light conditions where contrast can also be lost. Light transmission is 53%.
There are few other very useful items included in the box; an excellent, zipped carry case with attachment points for securing to a backpack etc., pockets to hold the other accessories and a microfibre cleaning cloth and an anti-fog cloth; there is also an elasticated head strap and both the glasses and the spare lenses are well protected.
The glasses were very comfortable and easy to wear and are very light. Your eyes quickly acclimatise and you are fully protected; they took a few knocks during testing and the occasional squashing, but they bounced back every time. The Wiley X range of ballistic glasses is impressive; they are not cheap but, if you value your eyesight, they are a worthwhile investment.