Kit Up!

Revision's Newest Tactical Eyewear


Revision sent Kit Up! a couple of pairs of its newest into-the-fray fashion wear -- the Vipertail. After sliding them on and looking in the mirror, all I wanted to say was "I'll be back."

They may not be an exact match of the shades Schwarzenegger sported in the original "Terminator," but they're kinda big like that. Not that there's anything wrong with big. Larger lenses means better coverage, right?

But that's not really the first thing we look for in a pair of ballistic sunglasses. If you want to be the coolest cat in combat -- and all of us do -- you gotta wear B** A** shades.

Revision designed the Vipertail in a "civilian style" for all-day comfort and protection. Here's what Revision says you get:

•PREMIUM COMFORT: lightweight with superior fit and retention for all-day performance •HIGH-IMPACT PROTECTION: exceeds ANSI Z87.1-2010 and U.S. military standard MIL-PRF-31013, clause •RUGGED DURABILITY: high-impact frame with reinforced hinges to outlast and outperform •FLAWLESS OPTICS: lenses precision manufactured for distortion-free vision •TOUGH-COAT LENSES: prevent scratching in the harshest environments •100% UV PROTECTION: from harmful UV A-B-C rays

I do like the dull, matte-black finish and the way they lock into place when opened or closed. They seem to fit my extra-large cranium well enough. They're comfortable, and they provide pretty good sun protection.

I can't speak for how well they perform in a hostile environment, but they don't seem to block too much of my peripheral vision.

And the price: $89.99. Really??? At least you get a decent zippered case and microfiber cleaning cloth.

I'm not sure Jack Bauer would wear them, but I don't think they are any worse-looking than MANY of the tacticool shades I have seen outside the wire. They are a little big though, compared to similarly-styled shades like the ESS CDI.

You be the judge.

(Christian adds....) I will.

I also got a promo pair of the Vipertails from our good friends at Revision and had much the same first impression as Matt. They just look clunky and sort of cut short -- like the designers had a time limit to produce the things and the whistle sounded before they could add some refinements. I was really looking forward to a no-joke wear around the the FOB/Town and go-out-on-a-mission pair of shades and from the initial look, the Vipertails just aren't it.

That is until I put my helmet on while I was wearing them.

See, I like the Sawfly ballistic glasses, but because of the shape of my head and how I wear my ACH, the rim of the helmet always rests on the top bar of the Sawflys. That causes a headache inducing nose pressure that starts to really get irritating after a few hours. But the Vipertails are cut just low enough to give me some room below the helmet rim and keep that leaning off my nose.

So, the jury's out for me on this...I'm a big fan of streamlining gear so if I can cut the pairs of glasses I'm toting along, I'd like to. Where the Vipertails fall down on style, they make up for it in functionality while kitted up. They might turn into my sole pair of embed glasses yet...

I'll be doing a week of hardcore training with a Navy unit in early June and I'll put these things through their paces and post another "field" review then.

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