When you think of military sunglasses, the design that comes to mind is probably Aviator sunglasses. Although some soldiers do use Aviators, they don’t tend to be very practical for their uses. So now we look to some of the sunglasses that are more common on the battlefield.
There are several companies that make sunglasses used by the U.S. military. The most well-known of these companies is Oakley. Oakley’s SI (Standard Issue) line of sunglasses offer great protection for your eyes, as well as style. This line of sunglasses is made to certain specifications to provide maximum benefit to soldiers.
Another great pair of military sunglasses are SOS Eyewear’s Survival Optics. They’re made with DuraLite polycarbonate lenses, providing UV and infrared radiation protection. The frames are made with flexible and sturdy Grilamid TR90 material, making these military sunglasses tough to break. SOS Eyewear gives these sunglasses a lifetime guarantee. Currently, these sunglasses are used by the Army Rangers, Navy SEALs, the Coast Guard, and Marines special forces.
Smith Optics also makes a great pair of tactical sunglasses. The Elite Hudson model satisfies MIL-PRF-31013 military ballistic requirements and ANSI Z87.1 safety requirements for eywear. These military sunglasses are lightweight and, like the Betrays, provide UVC, UVB, and UVA protection.
You know that we’re big fans of Stargate at BMS, and even though you can’t get the exact pair of sunglasses that Richard Dean Anderson wears as Jack O’Neill in the Stargate series, we at least wanted to mention them because they’re so unique. One of the actual pair that Anderson wore during filming just sold at an auction for $2500!
And what would a discussion on military sunglasses be without including Aviators? We mentioned them already, but we’ll go into a little more detail here. These sunglasses were designed by Ray-Ban and went into production in 1936. They originally were designed for military pilots, but became available to the public eventually. The sunglasses are made with lenses at least twice as large as eye sockets and wire frames.
The style became popular in the 1960s, and even more so in the 1980s when celebrities such as Michael Jackson and Tom Cruise wore them. General Douglas MacArthur was also instrumental in spreading their fame when he arrived in the Philippines during WWII. Aviators can be purchased with several different lens and frame colors, and in a variety of sizes. Lens options include mirror gold, mirror silver, and gray, while frames can be gold, silver, or black. You can get the Aviator style you want by choosing from complete Aviator selection.
Written by Craig Kent, member of the Best Military Surplus team.