Monday, March 7, 2011

Eye Pro for use with Electronic Ear Pro: The Problem, The Search, and VICTORY!

Oakley Flak Jacket // ESS Crossbow Suppressor // Oakley Gas Can
 One year ago, I started shooting with electronic ear muffs instead of typical foam ear plugs. Not only did it make me look so much cooler ;) , but it also allowed me to better hear range instructions and be more aware of my surroundings in general. I was also wearing communication head sets for the military and needed to wear eye pro in conjunction with them.

The Problem
The most common problem people face when using ear muffs is that any eye protection you are wearing tends to dig into the side of your head or cause "hot spots".  Not only can the eye pro cause discomfort, but many times the arms will not allow the ear muff to fully seal causing degraded performance of the ear pro.

The Search

Oakley Flak Jacket

I first bought a pair of Oakley Flak Jackets because they offered fairly low profile arms. I really like the Flak Jackets but they dug into the side of my head behind my ear. I can usually deal with a little bit of discomfort, but after three hours or more it became down right painful.

Oakley Gas Can

Second, I bought a pair of Oakley Gas Cans on a buddy's suggestion. He said they where, "some of the most comfortable eye pro I've worn with ear muffs." He claimed that since the arms are very broad, they would eliminate any hot spots I had felt with the Flak Jackets. He was right. I didn't have the pain behind my ears anymore. Now my temples hurt! The broad arms came in contact with the area that surrounds my temples and when the added pressure of the ear muffs were added it became a problem.

Then, Rob Curtis who writes for Military Times Gear Scout contacted me. He wanted to thank me for reading and asked if I wanted a pair of ESS Crossbows. I promptly replied and received a set of Crossbows with their new Suppressor arms.

VICTORY! Great Success!
ESS Crossbow Suppressor

The ESS Crossbow Suppressor™ is the first spectacle frame designed for use with ear cup hearing protection and communications devices. Featuring Z-Bend™ Geometry, the frame's ultra-thin temple arms help keep noise out by minimizing the effect on the padded seal of ear cups. The slim temples eliminate the hot spots and pressure points that commonly occur when normal eye wear is worn under ear cups.

The Suppressor frame is compatible with all Crossbow™ lenses. These 2.4mm Polycarbonate lenses feature distortion-free ESSOPTICS™ and ClearZone™ FlowCoat technology to combat fogging on the inside and scratches on the outside. The frame's DedBolt™ Lens Lock provides quick lens interchange and rock-solid retention under impact.
If you try to wear the Suppressor equipped Crossbow without ear muffs they feel a bit front heavy and want to fall off the front of your face. This is immediately remedied once you attach the provided elastic strap. Either way, once you throw on a pair of ear muffs they feel right at home. I have used them on several missions and range visits and can say with confidence:
If you are looking for a set of eye pro that will not only be comfortable while wearing ear muffs but also effective; you need the ESS Crossbow Suppressor!

Top: Oakley Gascan Middle: ESS Crossbow Bottom: Oakley Flak Jacket

-Double Aught

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