Best Tactical Sunglasses: An Essential Survival Upgrade

By "Just In Case" Jack | Updated: 02/20/2024

Tactical Sunglasses - Older military vet with ballistic sunglasses onToday I’ve got something critical to share…

A Complete Guide To Finding The Best Tactical Sunglasses

Because let’s be honest; sunglasses are NOT created equal.

Sure, trendy Ray-Bans or Oakley sunglasses “look cool.”

But you’re not here for fashion advice.

You NEED something better than convenience store shades.

You need a pair of high-quality ballistic sunglasses.

TOPICS IN THIS GUIDE…    ↓(click to jump)
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Best Tactical Sunglasses On The Market Today

Now it’s time to check out the best ones on the market today.

We’ve done all the research here at Skilled Survival, so YOU don’t have to.

If you need ballistic eyewear, start with the following:

1. Top Recommendation
Milspec Tactical Eyeware Glasses

If you are looking for a comprehensive tactical glass kit, then stop.

It's all right here.

Milspec has an incredible bundle that includes the following:

  • High-quality frame
  • Four different lenses
  • Headwrap band
  • Hard case and soft case

Digging deeper, we start with a hi-flex, polycarbonate frame that can take heavy wear and tear.

Meaning it will go back to its original shape even when bent!

It also has a fast clip lens system to change your lenses quickly.

They also provide an ultra-wide frameless, curved wrap design.

This gives you coverage and unobstructed vision from every angle.

Plus, you get four different lenses with this pack:

  1. Transparent Lens - For general eye protection from foreign objects and UV rays.
  2. Gray Lens - Gives you enhanced color perception and reduces light intensity.
  3. Polarized Lens - These reduce glare, transforming intense light into a soft and flat light.
  4. Yellow Lens - This lens enhances and brightens the scenery - ideal for hunting in foggy and rainy weather.

You also get a robust hard case for all the gear and a soft case with a microfibre cloth.

An expandable head brace keeps these on your head even in the harshest conditions.

It's hard to pass up on these at this price point.

  • 4 Swappable Lenses
  • Hi-Flex Frame
  • Comes With Hard & Soft Case
  • Very Reasonable Price Point
  • 60-Day Money Back Guarantee
  • Carrying Extra Frames May Be A Hassle For Some
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Oakley Men's Ballistic Shocktube Rectangular Sunglasses

Oakley's superior military-grade ballistic sunglasses are MIL PRF 32432 compliant.

So they're aligned with all the best military specs.

This means you know you're protected against pretty much everything.

Their lenses give 100% protection from UVA, UVB, UVC sunlight, and blue light up to 400nm.

They also have a high-definition optics patent for optical clarity and vision.

You can swap out lenses easily with a hex key, and the arms have three-way adjustments for the perfect fit.

The frame is also stress-resistant to take the beating of a harsh environment.

It also has a well-designed nosepiece, and thin arms allow users a comfortable fit.

You get all-day comfort and protection wearing these.

And achieve an industrial style, military look in terrain tan/grey.

  • Protects from UVA, UVB, & UVC
  • MIL PRF 32432 compliant
  • Comfortable Fit
  • Cool Look From a Trusted Brand
  • More Expensive Than Other Options On This List
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↓ Oakley SI Ballistic Shocktube Review

Smith Elite Aegis Echo II Compact Eyeshield Sunglasses

Smith Elite works with special operators to produce innovative solutions to real-world problems.

This real-life pipeline helps Smith Elite create top-quality protective eyewear.

It meets all military specs with these high-grade tactical sunglasses, including:

  • US MIL-PRF-31013 standard clause and
  • ANSI Z87.1, EN 166 compliant

They're constructed with a super-thin moldable alloy – allowing you to maintain a complete seal and an adjustable nose piece for an ideal fit.

The lenses are anti-fog and scratch-resistant while providing total UV protection.

They are also fast changing when you need a different lens with their PivLock technology.

They strike the perfect balance of eyewear essentials:

  • optics
  • ballistics
  • anti-fog
  • rugged design

Hence, making them the go-to choice for military, hunting, shooting, and war games.

These glasses should be in your survival bag at all times.

  • Meets All Military Ballistic Specs
  • Rugged Design
  • Lightweight Super Thin Frames
  • Clear Glass (unless you buy other lenses)
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↓ SMITH ELITE Aegis Echo II Field Military Ballistic Shooting Glasses

BOLLE - SWAT Military Sunglasses

Bolle has solid tactical SWAT glasses.

They're ballistic-rated for shooting firearms and providing protection from flying debris.

The LCD in your car can cause problems with typical sunglasses.

But these polarized lenses don't give you an issue.

Instead, you get optimal clarity from edge to edge.

This feature is essential for both law enforcement and military personnel.

So if you need to read a screen while on duty, these glasses have you covered.

Users have rated these polarized lenses as among the best they have ever come across.

Another great feature is the rubber pads to help keep the glasses anchored to your face.

They will stay on your face even if you are sweating profusely.

These sunglasses come with a nice nylon case with a velcro opening for easy in and out.

The microfibre bag inside protects them and lets you clean them quickly when on the go.

It comes with a belt loop and plastic hook.

This setup gives you several stowing options.

For example, you can hook them to your backpack, pants, or plate carrier, so you'll always be hands-free.

  • Edge To Edge Clarity
  • Polarized Lenses
  • One Of The Lowest Price Options On The List
  • Very Few User Reviews
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↓ Bolle Tactical SWAT Polarized Sunglasses

Magpul Sunglasses Radius Eyewear, Polarized-Black Frame

Who says tactical glasses can't look cool? Not us!

The Magpul Radius sunglasses are the solution.

This stylish ballistic-rated eyewear is something you'll want to wear all the time.

And that's important.

If your sunglasses are uncomfortable and look stupid, they'll never make it onto your face.

These sunglasses from Magpul are very rugged and versatile.

They use lightweight materials, so you have strength and flexibility.

Their ballistic-rated glasses have Z87+ and MIL PRF 32432 lenses.

These ratings will keep your eyes safe from flying debris and high-velocity impact.

Plus, they come in polarized and non-polarized options.

The Oleophobic lenses also protect from the following:

  • Chemicals
  • Oil
  • Sweat
  • Sunscreen
  • And repel water

The design is low profile, so wearing them won't disturb hearing protection or headgear.

Anti-slip rubber nose and temple pads round these out.

They have a stylish, modern profile while giving complete military-grade protection.

You should hang them off your rearview mirror, ready to go when needed.

  • Stylish and Ballistic Rated
  • Strong & Flexible Frames
  • Oleophobic Lenses
  • Low Profile - So Plays Well With Hearing Protection
  • Not Adjustable, So Won't Fit Everyone's Face
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↓ Magpul Eyewear – Radius Review

Gatorz Eyewear, Magnum Model, Aluminum Frame Sunglasses

Gatorz is in the ballistics game with their hand-crafted, US-made military sunglasses.

The Magnum is their no.1 selling item for a good reason.

They look great and give excellent protection.

They're constructed from 7075 billet aircraft aluminum.

And comes with a Cerakote finish and polycarbonate, polarized lenses.

These give you a wrap-around fit and are adjustable to hug your eyes.

You are good to go for many hours wearing them.

And with their slim fit, you won't break your ear seal.

They're simply a great fit with fashionable styling.

Let's face it; you want the best protection in a life-threatening crisis.

You also don't want to look like a dork.

So get the best of both worlds with Gators Magnum sunglasses.

  • U.S.-Made Military Sunglasses
  • Won't Break Ear Pro Seal
  • Adjustable To Hug Your Eyes
  • Expensive Compared To Other Options On This List
  • Not Very Many Ratings To Review
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↓ Gatorz Magnum Sunglasses Overview

Smith Optics Hudson Sunglasses

These glasses are part of Smith's elite line.

The Smith Hudson glasses are heavy hitters in the tactical category.

They're built with composite frames that work in all settings because you don't want anything too bulky.

And these are comfortable with hydrophilic metal temple pads and soft nose pads.

They come with non-polarized photochromatic lenses with an impact-resistant coating.

That's gonna keep your vulnerable eyeballs safe from flying debris.

You also have 100% UVA/B/C protection from those harmful rays, so it's safe to wear them outside all day.

They also meet all the critical ratings with MIL-PRF-31013 clause 3511 and ANSI Z871.

They're available in matte black or camo, so this is where safety meets superior style.

Get a pair of these elite eye protection, and never look back!

  • Composite Lightweight Frames
  • The lense Has Impact Resistant Coating
  • Different Color Options To Choose From
  • Fits Larger Head Sizes Best
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↓ Smith Hudson Sunglasses Review

Venture Gear Overwatch Shooting Safety Sunglasses

Having the best survival gear for protection is vital.

And the Venture Gear tactical sunglasses are up for the challenge.

They start with full coverage around the sides.

And are metal-hinged with high impact resistance.

That means you can't break them without deliberate effort.

With that much strength, you'd think they weren't that comfortable but think again.

These glasses have a soft nosepiece and added rubber pads at the temple for easy all-day wearing.

You are also getting incredible UVA/B/C protection here too.

And the lenses include anti-fog coating, so you're good to go if you're out on the range all day or on patrol.

They're made in the US and meet all MIL-PRF 32432 High-Velocity Impact Standards.

These glasses are perfect for the most demanding environments.

They'll protect you on all fronts when called upon.

  • Soft Noise Piece & Temple Pads
  • Meet All Tactical Standards
  • UBA/B/C Protection
  • Super Low Price Point
  • Some Durability Issues
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↓ Venturegear Overwatch Long-Term Review

Revision Military Stingerhawk Safety Glasses

Revision is a company dedicated to providing top-quality, cutting-edge protective eyewear.

They have been in the balletic glasses field for 20 years and are an industry leader.

The Revision Military Stingerhawk safety glasses are what you have been waiting for.

Militaries around the world widely use them.

They combine lightweight, low-profile, modernized design with unparalleled fragmentation protection.

How do they do it?

They built them to exceed all US and international ballistic impact requirements.

That covers all those fancy letters and numbers that correspond to safety ratings.

And they include robust, extendable arms for a stable fit while being comfortable.

And there is no worry about the rest of your head and ear pro fitting either.

The lenses are single or dual-band laser protective lenses with Ocumax anti-fog.

This provides you with distortion-free vision.

The carry bag has MOLLE straps to attach to your plate carrier or other tactical gear.

This gives you hands-free transport.

Inside the bag, there are several pouches for extra lenses and accessories.

Lenses are easy to swap out with the frame too.

You are fully covered with these ballistic sunglasses, that's for sure.

  • Exceeds All US And International Ballistic Requirements
  • Robust Extendable Arms
  • Ocumax Anti-Fog Lenses
  • It comes With A Nice Carry Bag With MOLLE
  • Not Enough Reviews To Instill Extreme Confidence
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↓ Review – Revision Military Stingerhawk

Military Grade Sunglasses

What Are “Tactical” Sunglasses Anyway?

Eye protection is essential during an emergency or military campaign.

Why? Because eyesight is the most vital survival resource you have.

That goes triple for survival situations!

In combat, protecting your eyes from dangerous debris and UV rays is a mandatory tactic.

They provide superior eye protection for dynamic situations.

That’s why they come with levels of certification, depending on the environmental severity.

Tactical Glasses

The term is used to distinguish them from regular shades.

They enhance and protect your eyes against flying debris.

They also offer protection from the sun and dust.

These military-grade sunglasses are a bare minimum for any survivalist.

Ballistic Glasses

The term ballistics refers to free-moving objects and projectile impacts.

So if there’s a chance of encountering high-velocity debris, go with ballistic.

These glasses are shatterproof to protect your eyeballs.

Polarized Glasses

Polarized sunglasses have specifically designed filters to reflect intense light conditions and reduce glare.

This feature enhances your visual clarity and augments color.

That way, you can focus on ALL critical objects within your field of vision.

They also provide 100% UVA and UVB protection from the sun.

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Best Tactical Glasses

Best Reasons To Invest In A Pair

Nearly everyone enjoys spending time in the great outdoors.

But not everyone requires an investment in such high-tech gear.

How do you know if you need them?

Here are 4 reasons you should invest:

1. Ocular Trauma

Injuries are a forgone conclusion if you’re in combat or outdoors.

And a good IFAK kit can successfully patch scrapes, cuts, and other wounds.

But it’s a different story with your eyes.

If a projectile punctures your eye, you’re immediately out of commission.

And likely in need of medical attention.

So prevention is better.

That’s why owning a pair of military-grade sunglasses to shield your eyes is wise.

Even dust and dirt can slow you down in a crisis.

That’s why keeping your sight 100% intact is the name of the survival game.

2. Ultimate Polarized Protection

The sun doesn’t care if you’re in a life-threatening survival situation.

It’s an equal opportunity blinder.

And vision is the most important of your five senses.

It’s estimated to create around 70% of your sensory awareness.

Sure, even standard sunglasses can “sort of” protect you from some rays.

But for serious survival, you need 100% guaranteed coverage.

And that’s just a starting point.

What about glare?

You need to see what’s in front of you, even when the sunbeams are flaring.

Having a tool to filter out those reflective glares is more than just necessary – it’s essential.

You don’t want depth perception or color issues when you’re mid-bug out.

3. Paintball and Airsoft

If you love the thrill of combat training and simulation games, you need gear to support that.

Your eyewear should match your lifestyle.

Tactical eyewear is essential if you play military sports like paintball and airsoft.

Get some ballistic glasses or goggles to suit your needs.

That way, you’ll be more competitive even after taking a direct hit to the face.

Heck, they could even save your vision.

4. Hunting And Camping

Some people think getting out in the wild is a passive pastime but think again.

If you’re on a hunting trip or camping, you better protect your precious optical nerves.

Because tracking prey takes time, but then all at once, you have to sprint through the bush.

Pokey branches and foliage can quickly turn into stabbing knives.

Passive spears are just waiting to penetrate your unprotected eyes.

And this type of freak accident can take you down in an instant.

Best Tactical Sunglasses Features To Look For

There are several styles on the market.

But ensure you get the features you need for the situation you’ll be wearing them in.

Military Ballistic Protection Rating

In the military, there is a list of approved goggles and sunglasses.

Look for the APEL rating, which stands for Approved Protective Eyewear List.


MCEP (Military Combat Eye Program) is a program that selects and approves eyewear for the US Army.

The top ballistic sunglasses will have letters marked on the glasses.

It indicates they’ve met a comprehensive ballistic standard for ultimate eye protection.

Comprehensive UV Shielding

When you are out in the elements for an extended period, your eyes need protection from the sun.

You need 100% protection from the harmful UVA/UVB/UVC rays with a comfortable grip and wide coverage.

You can opt for the standard shaded lenses.

OR the amber-tinted option.

Some glasses allow you to swap between the two depending on the situation.

A Proper Fit

There are many different shapes and styles to choose from.

But everyone has a unique face shape.

So make sure your new ballistic sunglasses fit right.

For example, some glasses include a brow on the top that rests against your forehead.

But this design allows sweating to build up.

So make sure the frame is thin and sleek so they fit over your ears comfortably.

Enhanced Visibility

They should give you optimal situational awareness.

They help reduce the brightness and glare that the sun pumps out.

That way, you always have a clear line of sight regardless of where the sun is.

Polarization also enhances colors and is scratch and fog-resistant.

These features all add to a distraction-free vision environment.

Finally, if you need eye correction, you can wear contacts.

Or you can look into replacing the lenses with prescription lenses.

Chemical Resistance

While ballistics is the first concern to such a sensitive organ as your eyes.

But what about chemical agents melting your eyes?

That might be worse.

So having a pair of chemical-resistant eyeglasses is a MUST in any combat or SAR operations.

Final Thoughts

Protection against injury is your best defense when outdoors.

Your eyes are vital for keeping moving and protecting yourself when needed.

Be prepared for everything that comes at you with ballistic tactical sunglasses.

They are more than necessary to live a resilient lifestyle.

And will protect you when the world goes sideways!

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