Monday, June 15, 2009

The Range Reviews: Sawfly TX by Revision Eyewear

© 2009 Albert A Rasch

"The Revision Sawfly-TX: Proven to be the top performing impact eyewear system available. Designed for fit, function, and comfort, this unmatched level of protection is specifically designed for the military. The curved lens provides an unrestricted field-of-view and maximum ventilation, while the adjustable arms and head strap ensure a perfect fit, every time."

That comes straight from the Revision marketing department. But how close to the truth is it? As it turns out, pretty darned close.

Your eyes and vision are probably the most important sense you have, and likely the least defended. Revision Mission Critical Eyewear have redesigned their very popular Sawfly to improve the already impressive optics with better ergonomics and superior equipment compatibility.

Sawfly-TX Shooter's Kit by Revision Eyewear with Solar, Clear, and Vermilion lenses.

With my oldest son (The Bear) now in the United States Army, and with the distinct possibly of heading off to Afghanistan, I want him to have quality eye protection. He is young and quick, but that won't save him from the effects of shrapnel, spall, blast, and all the other flying debris that he might be subjected to from the cowardly use of IEDs by the slimeball, Al-Queida and Taliban terrorists. So this is now an issue of utmost importance to me.

Here are the technical specifics for the eyewear:
  • High-impact protection certified to ANSI Z87.1 and Military Requirements (MIL-V-43511C clause 3.5.10 and MIL-PRF-31013 clause
  • Optically correct curved lens for unrestricted field-of-view.
  • Interchangeable lenses for various light conditions and specialty lenses available.
  • Polycarbonate lenses offer 100% protection from UV-A, UV-B and UV-C rays.
  • Two sizes with adjustable arms ensure perfect fit.
    • Regular: fits most head sizes
    • Large: hat sizes 7.5+
  • Retention head strap provides security.
  • Optional Prescription (Rx) Carrier available (also compatible with Desert Locust and Bullet Ant goggles). Click here for more.
  • U.S. Army Authorized Protective Eyewear List. (Solar and Clear lenses only are approved for use.)
I tried them out first for a few days. Though I am nowhere near as rough on things as the boys are, I wanted to make sure that the basic needs were addressed, and that fit and comfort were sufficiently good so that there would be no desire to remove them. While working as a Safety Professional, discomfort was the primary reason why guys would not wear their safety glasses. I wanted to make sure I wouldn't hear that as an excuse.

I'll say this much, the frames weigh next to nothing. Even with the lens on the weight is negligible (1.25 ounces). The thin arms at 2.75mm, fit nicely behind the ear, and are adjustable. I used them in conjunction with the TriSquare eXRS TSX 300 two way radios, and found that both fit comfortably behind and above my earlobe without causing discomfort. The soft rubber overmolding ensures that the Sawfly-TX remains in place during any activity including the most extreme operations.

Frames with removable head strap.

This is top of the line optical polycarbonate lens material, and I saw no distortion in any direction I looked. Distortion will fatigue your eyes, potentially give you a headache, as well as disorient your coordination. It is most obvious in clear lenses and less so in dark ones. I found no discernible distortion on any of the lenses from Revision. This is an important detail to remember.

The Sawfly-TX Shooter's kit comes with clear, vermilion, and solar (dark).
Replacement lens are $19.99

Jordan has has them for a couple of weeks now, and think that they are the cat's meow. He says that the clarity is excellent, they don't fog up, and he doesn't even realize he has them on.

Unfortunately, these glasses will not work for me. As you may have noticed I have an aquiline profile. That's a fancy way for saying that you have a hawk's nose. Mine got that way from sticking it in places I thought it belonged and having someone else, and at least on one occasion several, vehemently disagree, not just once, but three times. Anyway the bridge of my nose sticks out, and is rather wide so glasses tend to stick out well away from my face. This abrogates two things, light off the ground reflection protection and spall protection. This is something very important to consider when fitting glasses to your face. The nose piece needs to sit up on the bridge of your nose so you can breath, and the lens need to clear your cheeks enough for air circulation but no more than necessary. My tough luck.

I actually use a Z87 rated all polycarbonate set of safety glasses. If I told you how cheap they were you would laugh at me. But they have the rating and that's what matters with respect to protection. These also have very good optics quality, but nowhere near as good as the Revision's.

Overall I like the quality and thought put into these glasses. The price is well within bounds and the availability of replacement parts makes it even more reasonable. When you are talking about your eyes, it is after all, pretty cheap insurance.

In case you are wondering about the claims of eye protection from shotgun blasts, Borelli Consulting put three rounds of 12 gauge #8 shot from 45 to 21 feet into the glasses. No penetration. See the results here. Let's just say you'll have more to worry about than your eyes!

Revision Eyewear
7 Corporate Dr
Essex Junction, VT 05452

Sawfly-TX Shooter's Kit

MSRP: $119.99
Street: $99.99


Michael Spinelli said...

I wonder if my Oakley's can take a shotgun blast?

I don't thinks so...

Mike S

Stephen Olner said...

My wife got issued some Oakley's, there ok but i feel like I’m wearing safety goggles and part of my field of view is blocked with the nose peace

jes said...

Just pass me the Walmart specials for $2.50 and I'm geared...Yeah, they work well, and I'm not laughing...

Anonymous said...

Glasses, cheapest insurance for the most expensive part!

Beware of