Whether you need glasses for your next deployment, your next shift on patrol, or just another day at the range, these military and tactical sunglasses are for you.
The sunglasses listed below are popular with special ops forces like Navy SEALs, Army Rangers, Delta Force, etc., as well as local and federal law enforcement agencies.
Not only do they provide protection from the sun, but they’ll also protect you from foreign object debris.
Jump to our top 3 choices below:
Before we move on to the list, let’s take a quick look at what you should be looking for when choosing tactical sunglasses.
4 Things to Consider When Shopping For Military Tactical Sunglasses
Yellow vs. Standard lenses
Standard lenses will have much more protection against bright daylight conditions, but they hamper low light or overcast vision.
Yellow lenses are great for cloudy days, but aren’t always necessary.
They help to clarify vision in low light and overcast conditions, but do little to protect against a sunny day.
Often times you will see amber lenses on nighttime driving glasses or glasses meant for the shooting range.
The purpose behind this is it helps the wearer to acquire targets quicker and easier.
Polarized are better because they reduce glare, and help to increase contrast and minimize color distortion.
These lenses are great for use in direct sun and urban environments, where there tends to be a lot of reflection and metallic surfaces.
Since they reduce or eliminate glare, polarized lenses are also great for being able to see into water from above the surface.
Lastly, polarized lenses help to reduce eyestrain, which is paramount for those conducting long-term reconnaissance missions.
See the differences between polarized and non-polarized lenses in the YouTube video below:
Shatter resistance is obviously important when choosing tactical sunglasses.
We’ve all been dinged in the arm or shoulder at the range by a stray bullet casing.
In some cases, that casing could end up heading straight for your eyes.
In this scenario, the last thing you’ll want to be wearing is non-shatter resistance military sunglasses.
In short, make sure that any lenses you will be wearing for protective reasons should have the ANSI Z87.1 impact rating qualification.
If you will need these for military service or law enforcement, they will absolutely need to be Z87 rated.
Just so you know, all of the tactical sunglasses in our list are ANSI Z87.1 rated.
Cost vs Quality
No matter how well you are for your sunglasses, they will show wear and tear at some point.
In addition, the lenses will inevitably start to show scratches on them after long term usage.
Some military sunglasses manufacturers allow for replaceable lenses, so you keep your frames if they are in good shape.
Other sunglasses are priced at a point where, if you need to replace them every 2-5 years, it won’t be a significant blow to your wallet if you have to throw them away eventually.
And now, onto the list…
10 Best Military Grade Tactical Sunglasses & Glasses [Polarized & Non-Polarized]
#1 – Oakley OO9188 Flak™ 2.0 XL
The Oakley OO9188 Flak™ 2.0 X combines next-level performance, with innovative style. Flak 2.0 utilizes a standard size frame and ultimate lens coverage.
The lenses use High Definition Optics in a rugged and durable lightweight frame. The XYZ optics provide a sharp and clear picture.
The Flak 2.0 features non-glass blue lenses and are prizm polarized.
The Oakley OO9188 Flak can be bought for just under $180 from Sunglass Hut, here’s a link to the listing: www.DicksSportingGoods.com
#2 – Oakley Half Jacket 2.0
The Oakley Half Jacket 2.0 sunglasses are another Oakley entry that utilizes Oakley’s High Definition Optics, or HDO, lenses.
They come in a classic black iridium color, and the lens base color is gray.
The specially engineered Half Jacket 2.0 features lenses can be swapped out in moments with ease.
This is perfect since they can be used with Oakley Authentic Prescription Lenses.
The lens options include possible Polarizing, Iridium, or Photochromic choices.
The frame is made from Oakley’s signature lightweight O Matter composite and features nose pads and ear pads of Unobtanium for optimal comfort.
The Oakley Half Jacket 2.0 can be bought for just under $140 from the official Oakley official website here: www.DicksSportingGoods.com
#3 – Under Armour UA Battlewrap
The newly redesigned Under Armour UA Battlewrap sunglasses still retain their ballistic performance that exceeds ANSI Z87.1 but has made some other key improvements.
The ArmourSight lens technology helps provide up to 20% of clear peripheral vision while being nearly 10x stronger than the usual polycarbonate lenses.
The wider temple area means a higher degree of protection from the sides, and the ability to quickly check your peripherals.
The ArmorFusion frames are designed for maximum strength and long-term durability.
These lenses block 100% or UV A, B, and C rays.
The Under Armour UA Battlewrap can be bought for just under $100 from the official Under Armour website here: www.UnderArmour.com
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#4 – Oakley Fuel Cell Polarized Sunglasses
With the leading blend of technology and design, the Oakley Fuel Cell Polarized Sunglasses have a classic look that sports the latest in features.
Oakley has been innovating personal protective optics for many years and these sunglasses are all the proof you need.
The Three-Point-Fit holds your lenses perfectly.
The two polarized lenses are cut from a single sheet of pure Plutonite and then given an Iridium coating for attunement to any lighting conditions.
They are shaped with a Polaric Ellipsoid geometry give the gray lenses optimal clarity at all angles of view.
The lenses block 100% of all UV rays, A, B, and C.
The Oakley Fuel Cell Polarized Sunglasses can be bought for just under $170 from their website here: www.DicksSportingGoods.com
#5 – Oakley SI Ballistic M Frame 3.0
The Oakley SI Ballistic M Frame 3.0 is the culmination of years of innovation and refinement from Oakley.
They also happen to be one of the most popular (if not the most popular) military sunglasses used.
The changes of the 3.0 over the 2.0 retains all f the best features but makes certain improvements over the last version for military or tactical users.
The frame was updated to provide easier integration with tactical peripherals like night vision equipment and communication devices.
The stems were thinned out to work better with over-ear communication systems, both in and out of a helmet.
The lens was angled closer to the face, and an advanced anti-fog coating system mitigates the fogging from reduced airflow.
Not only do they offer increased peripheral coverage and clearer vision, but the ballistic rating exceeds both the ballistic fragmentation impact standards of MIL PRF-31013, but also the high mass and high-velocity impact requirements of ANSI Z87.1-2010.
The Oakley SI Ballistic M Frame 3.0 also works seamlessly with most major helmet manufacturers.
The Oakley SI Ballistic M Frame 3.0 can be bought for just under $140 from Amazon, here’s a link to the listing: www.Oakley.com
#6 – Under Armour Igniter 2.0 Storm Polarized WWP Edition Sunglasses
Hitting the outdoors with adequate eye protection looks extra good when you show support while doing it.
Now you can support the Wounded Warrior Project while getting your daily training or patrol in.
With the WWP logo on the temple, people will know where you stand.
The frame is the exclusive ArmourFushion and is durable yet flexible enough to make through any dangerous scenarios or extreme conditions.
The polarized UA Storm lens enhances color and reduces glare.
This same lens technology makes them extremely easy to clean, as well, by repelling water, dirt, and oil.
Z87+ designation guarantees that the lenses provide protection as per the impact safety requirements of ANSI/ISEA Z87.1-2015.
This ballistic protection is accompanied by 100% protection against UV A, B, and C.
The polarization eliminates glare for high-performance operation in the brightest conditions.
The Under Armour Igniter 2.0 Storm Polarized WWP Edition Sunglasses can be bought for just under $150 from Dick’s Sporting Goods, here’s a link to it: www.DicksSportingGoods.com
#7 – Oakley M2 Frame XL
Professional daily solar eye protection is as simple as the Oakley M2 Frame XL.
The XL means hey provide enhanced lens coverage, and are specially curved to help protect the entire eye area against sun, wind, and ballistic damage.
The Plutonite lenses offer Oakley’s High Definition Optics increased clarity, and are interchangeable for optimal protection in any type of environment.
The O Matter frame provides strength and flexibility, and the Unobtainium earsocks and nose pads actually increase their grip when you start to sweat.
XL lens shape gives a clearer, wider view, and is specially curved with the aim of increasing protection.
Perfect for active lifestyle adventures like running, cycling, and tactical training.
The Oakley M2 Frame XL can be bought for just under $150 from Dick’s Sporting Goods, here’s a link: www.DicksSportingGoods.com
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#8 – Costa Del Mar Fantail 580P Polarized Sunglasses
The sun won’t be able to keep you from having fun when you have the stylish and protective Costa Del Mar Fantail 580P Polarized Sunglasses to shield those peepers.
The lenses block 100% of all UV rays, and the lightweight composite frames provide a snug but unencumbering feeling.
The frames come with a stylish tortoise color scheme and copper-colored lenses.
The Costa C-WALL coating helps stop water, oil, dust, and even scuffs and scratches.
They are also treated to block certain wavelengths of blue and yellow light in order to clarify colors. Polarized lenses help prevent glare, fatigue, and eye strain.
The Costa Del Mar Fantail 580P Polarized Sunglasses can be bought for just under $260 from Dicks Sporting Goods, here’s a link: www.DicksSportingGoods.com
#9 – Wiley X AirRage
The Wiley X AirRage is designed with a low profile and sleek shape and is one of the smaller pairs of sunglasses in the Climate Control Series.
The frame is constructed to have a high-wrap and to be prescription lens ready.
The ANSI Z87.1 rating will keep your vision safe during circumstances with inherent risks.
The design protects against sweat, weather, even dirt, and debris, and is a favorite pair of sunglasses used by Navy SEALs, Army Rangers, Green Berets, and other Spec. Ops forces.
There are no environmental forces you will not be ready to face when you have the AirRage.
This even extends to the ANSI Z87.1 protections, which dictate the standards and minimal protective ratings against high mass and high-velocity impacts.
The Wiley X AirRage can be bought for just under $100 from Amazon, here’s a link to the listing: www.FramesDirect.com
#10 – Walker’s Game Ear Shooting Glasses
If you are looking for a cost-effective pair of tactical glasses for the range, Walker’s Game Ear Shooting Glasses are a great piece of inexpensive glasses that will have you focused on targets much quicker than before.
The high-grade polycarbonate lenses surpass the ANSI 287.1 high impact requirements, so you know your eyesight will be safe if the unexpected should happen.
The amber lenses help to highlight the difference between the environment and your orange target.
The Walker’s Game Ear Shooting Glasses can be bought for just under $10 from Dick’s Sporting Goods, here’s a link to the listing: www.DicksSportingGoods.com
There are a lot of factors that come into play when you are shopping for a new pair of military-grade sunglasses.
You might need them for service, for duty, or for leisure.
This will influence the type of glasses you get since not all of them offer the same protections or even features.
For example, if you need a pair of sunglasses for the service, you will need to make sure that they meet all the necessary specifications in order to meet your military guidelines.
For ballistic resistance and protection, unless given special permission from your commanding officer, you will need eye-wear that meets or exceeds the requirements of military specifications MIL PRF-31013, which provides a much higher degree of protection than the civilian equivalent, ANSI Z87.1.
If you need an extra pair of shades to keep in your patrol car, then you probably will not need mil-spec sunglasses, unless you have other departmental directives.
For law enforcement, anything that is rated ANSI Z87.1 or better should suffice for on-duty use and use at the range.
Make sure you pay attention to other features as well, like polarizing. Polarized lenses cut down on shines, reflections, and glares.
If you only need them for recreational or hobby use, perhaps for motorcycle eye protection or a good pair of ballistic shooting glasses to take to the range, then you also will only need ANSI Z87.1 standards.
Make sure the rest of the features that you want are there, however. Make sure you have the UV protection appropriate to your activity.
If you need additional features like anti-fog coatings or replaceable lenses, be sure to choose a model that offers them.
Once you take these things into account when browsing our list for your next pair of military sunglasses, you will be making the effort to ensure your needs are met, and that you are picking a pair of glasses that will be useful to you for years to come.
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