The 10 Best Tactical Sunglasses

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This wiki has been updated 19 times since it was first published in March of 2018. The eyes are as sensitive as they are important, especially during activities like hunting, extreme sports, and military exercises. So when hot brass, powerful lasers, debris, and harmful UV rays bombard you, it pays to have reliable protection. A pair of these tactical sunglasses will go far in preventing injuries on bike rides, the battlefield, and construction sites. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Oakley SI Ballistic M Frame 3.0

2. Wiley X Valor

3. Roka AT-1x

Editor's Notes

November 09, 2020:

We removed the Gatorz Magnum Z due to availability concerns and replaced them with the versatile Roka AT-1x. They are lightweight and sit comfortably on your face, and they have a titanium core for durability and structure. Their lenses are suitable for many environments and activities, from mountain biking to fishing.

Although there are budget-friendly options available, we wanted to make sure we had a selection of high-end picks. We kept the Oakley SI Ballistic M Frame 3.0 at the top because Oakley continues to make some of the highest-quality sunglasses on the market. Most lenses distort light, thus slightly shifting images. Oakley lenses offer premium anti-distortion technology for accurate vision, and some models even have different tints to make certain colors pop, depending on your chosen activity.

September 17, 2019:

Whether you need a pair of shades for hunting, military use, construction, or any other rugged activity, tactical sunglasses are going to be your best option. Not only are they designed with a focus on durability and comfort, but they will also be ANSI Z87+ certified, which means they have been tested and are capable of standing up to projectiles moving at 150 feet per second without shattering. For many people, ANSI Z87+-certified glasses should be more than enough for their needs, however, when it comes to safety, we feel there can never be too much precaution. Because of that, every single pair of sunglasses on our list, with the exception of the Gatorz Magnum Z, have also passed military-grade ballistics tests. These tests dictate that the lenses must be able to stand up to projectiles traveling at 650 feet per second without shattering.

It is worth mentioning that just because a pair of sunglasses meets MIL-PRF-31013 or MIL-PRF 32432 standards doesn't mean they are actually approved for battlefield use. Of the models on our list, only the Oakley SI Ballistic M Frame 3.0, Wiley X Valor, Smith Optics Elite Aegis Arc, Revision Military Sawfly, and ESS Eyewear Crossbow Suppressor One are on the Authorized Protective Eyewear List for wear during combat or training.

What may be immediately apparent to anybody who has spent time looking for tactical sunglasses is that most just don't look that fashionable. While that may not be an issue for somebody who plans on using them while hunting or during military training, those who need a pair for motorcycle riding or construction work may want something that has a bit more style. For those users, we have found the Wiley X Valor, Gatorz Magnum Z, Mapgul Explorer XL, Wiley X AirRage, and Skullerz Odin, all of which offer sufficient protection but look just like a normal pair of shades.

Special Honors

Heatwave Visual Vise Z87 The Vise Z87 may not be battle ready, but they meet ANSI standards and have a stylish appearance that doesn't scream to onlookers that you are wearing safety glasses. They come in your choice of five lens colors, though they cannot be swapped out if you ever want a change, and have a lightweight polycarbonate frame.

4. Mapgul Explorer XL

5. Smith Optics Elite Aegis Arc

6. Wiley X AirRage

7. Revision Military Sawfly

8. ESS Eyewear Crossbow Suppressor One

9. ESS Eyewear Ice 3LS

10. Skullerz Odin

Brett Dvoretz
Last updated by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as in front of a laptop screen, Brett can either be found hacking away furiously at the keyboard or, perhaps, enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He has been a professional chef, a dog trainer, and a travel correspondent for a well-known Southeast Asian guidebook. He also holds a business degree and has spent more time than he cares to admit in boring office jobs. He has an odd obsession for playing with the latest gadgets and working on motorcycles and old Jeeps. His expertise, honed over years of experience, is in the areas of computers, electronics, travel gear, pet products, and kitchen, office and automotive equipment.

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