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ESS Displays New Ballistic Shades


LAS VEGAS -- ESS, the Sun Valley, Idaho-based subsidiary of sunglasses giant Oakley Inc., is marketing its new pair of protective shades for military and law enforcement personnel.

A version of the product, Rollbar Tactical, was on display for the first time this week at the SHOT Show in Las Vegas, according to Rebecca Kinman, the company's marketing manager. The company unveiled the sunglasses last summer, as Kit Up previously reported, but is only now poised to start selling them.

Lenses are changed out by rolling back the arm of the frame, hence the name. Each lens is made with high-grade, extra-thick Polycarbonate that can withstand ballistic forces, such as a blast from a Remington 12-gauge shotgun firing a No. 6 shot from 10 meters, according to a brochure. (Indeed, a shot-up lens was also on display, with dimples but no holes penetrating the material.)

"Every product we carry is mil-spec, except polarized lenses," Kinman said.

A version that includes three interchangeable lenses in mirrored copper, smoke gray and clear, as well as a retention strap, cleaning pouch and hard case, retails for $140, while a two-lens version sells for $125. The ESS logo on the side also comes in silver or subdued. The latter is for any operator who needs stealthier specs (see video below).

The product, which includes a five-year warranty, will be listed on the company's website,, beginning next week and will soon be available at retail stores, including the Army and Air Force Exchange Service and Marine Corps Exchange.

Here's a video featuring Lindy Stark, the company's key accounts manager, who was nice enough to give us a demonstration of the eyewear:


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