By David Crane
defrev (at) gmail (dot) com
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February 27, 2013
A company called Edge Tactical Eyewear (ETE) has developed an anti-fog ballistic lens technology that, assuming it lives up to the hype, is potentially the most important development in ballistic eyepro/tactical eyepro in a very long time. The technology is called "Vapor Shield", and "anti-fog" doesn't really do it justice. Based on the demonstration the company rep performed at SHOT Show 2013, the Vapor Shield lenses appear to actually be fogproof, not just fog-resistant. They just don't fog up–AT ALL.
The demo DefenseReview (DR) was pretty impressive. Actually, DR witnessed several product demos while we were at the company's booth, and they all went the same way. The demonstrator put the lenses over a fogger (fog machine), and then quickly showed us the lens, which was totally fog free. The lenses seem to completely repel water vapor. The vapor just rolls right past without sticking to the surface.
When it comes to dynamic close quarters battle/close quarters combat (CQB/CQC) gunfighting and medium-range engagements, lens fogging can turn into a major problem very quickly. It's an absolute menace. DR has experienced lens fogging on many an occasion, particularly while participating in force-on-force gunfighting training with Ultimate Training Munitions (UTM) marking cartridges. While embedded with military personnel in one of these courses last year, we and the military operators had to rub the inside of the lenses on our protective masks and goggles with dishwashing liquid until the lens surface appeared dry, but retained a very thin coating of liquid to repel water vapor. It worked, but it was time consuming, inconvenient and temporary. A permanent, labor-free solution like the ETE Vapor Shield lens tech is simply a superior (and permanent) solution.
Needless to say, Defense Review really hopes the new anti-fog technology works as advertised. If so, it's a potential game-changer. While DR was at the Edge Tactical Eyewear booth, we were shown a number of different models, including the ETE Overlord, ETE Hamel, ETE Acid ETE Gambit, ETE Blade Runner, ETE Falcon, ETE Sharp Edge, ETE Notch, ETE Fast Link and ETE Dragon Fire. The Overlord is the company's single-lense ballistic eyeshield-style glass. All the models looked pretty good, and current. Vapor Shield anti-fogging isn't the only attribute of these glasses. The lenses also sport a 3X anti-scratch coating, and the polymer frames are bendable/non-breakable. All models' lenses are Z87.1 + 2010 and Military Combat Eye Protection (MCEP) GL-PD 10-12 compliant/ballistic-rated–and there's no (or minimal) image shift, which is obviously also pretty important for gunfighting.
DefenseReview will try to obtain some product samples for a little range running, soon.
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