Product Review: ESS Eyewear

by Scott on January 18, 2010

Editor’s Note: This article was written by Dan. Dan will be at the Shotshow this week. If you are interested in any new guns or gear that will be exhibited there, send me an email and I will have him report back to us about it next week.

During the past few months I have had the opportunity to test and evaluate 3 types of ESS eyewear. They were the ESS Profile Turbofan goggles, the ICE-2X, and the ICE Tactical kit. I saw a demo at the ESS booth at the SHOT Show that was very impressive, and ever since have been a big fan of ESS. Vince Baertschi took a set of ICE lenses and bent them in half. They did not break and he put them on a set of frames. Since then, I have used ESS eyewear whenever possible. All of these ESS products provide 100% UVA/UVB protection. They also and exceed ANSI Z87.1-2003+ and the U.S Military .15 caliber ballistic impact test MIL-PRF-31013.

ESS Profile TurboFan Googles

ess turbofan googles 300x191 Product Review: ESS Eyewear
The first set of eyewear I tested was the Profile Turbofan Goggles. Powered by a single AA battery, the patented TurboFan™ system draws fresh airflow in through the lower edge of the goggle frame and forces humid air out the top at around 13,000 rpm. Even when perspiration or temperatures are extreme, this two-speed system will exhaust humidity and dramatically reduce lens fogging for over 150 hours of continuous operation (low speed). I have to say that I was a little skeptical when I first saw this and called Scott Leightner, the senior law enforcement associate, and asked if they really did work. He told me that if you turned the fan on low as soon as you put them on, they would work.

I immediately put them to the test. I used them on several warrants and training exercises. When I wore them as instructed, I had no fogging. They were very comfortable and provided excellent protection during “break and rakes” and other breaching operations. The fan is very quiet as well and my teammates were not able to hear it.


ess ice 2x sunglasses 300x191 Product Review: ESS Eyewear
The next set of eyewear I tested was the ICE-2X. I got these in the retail configuration which includes two fully-assembled ICE™ eyeshields with Clear & Smoke Gray lenses, an elastic retention strap, an anti-fog cloth and a protective hard case. The neat thing about this set was you didn’t have to worry about changing lenses. You could just change out your glasses. Although the ability to change lenses is nice, it is easier to just switch out glasses. The hard case provides excellent protection for the extra set, and is compact enough to carry in your pocket. It also comes with a clip to allow you to attach it to your vest or belt. This kit will work well for those operations that start in the day and end at night. I was able to use mine on just such an operation and it was a lot easier to just switch glasses and not worry about the other set getting squashed.

ESS ICE Tactical Kit

ess ice tactical kit 300x191 Product Review: ESS Eyewear
The third set of eyewear tested was the ICE Tactical Kit. This is similar to the ICE-2X, but this one comes with an extra lens in addition to the two sets of glasses. This kit includes a Rose Copper Lens with Foliage Green Frames, a Clear Lens with Black Frames, a Hi-Def Yellow Lens with a Black Nose Piece, Op-Drops™ Anti-fog Solution, a Microfiber Storage Pouch/Cleaning Cloth, an Elastic Head Strap & a Protective Hard Case. This kit is perfect for SWAT operations or the range. The only thing about this package is that I think it would be better if a grey lens was included instead of a yellow one. I have been told that others have come up with the same idea and a change is in the works.

I and another SWAT team member have been using this kit and are extremely pleased. I have used it on the range in various lighting conditions. The rose copper lenses work great when it is overcast and the clear ones of course work great at night. I can’t tell you enough how much more convenient it is to switch glasses instead of trying to change out lenses. The protection afforded is outstanding and actually wraps around to the corner of your eye where those pesky bits of target splatter try to get in your eye.

Overall Thoughts

Whether you prefer goggles or glasses, ESS is the way to go. These kits are inexpensive and in many cases you get 2 full sets of glasses and a case for what one pair of lenses may cost you. Scott and Vince are great guys to deal with and are big TTPOA supporters.

Discount Code for Spartan Cops Readers

Spartan Cops readers can get 30%-40% off items purchased at the ESS website. Send an e-mail to Matt at to receive the discount code.

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Frame Blog
January 9, 2014 at 9:33 am

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Mike January 22, 2010 at 7:23 pm

I just wanted to attest to the quality of the ESS systems. I am a Marine, and ESS is what we are issued, and have been issued for at least the last 3 years. Both goggles and glasses have accompanied me to Iraq and performed very well. I have also seen proof of them saving eyes from fragmentation. Great stuff.

Vic Nico October 20, 2011 at 4:05 pm

Hey Matt,
I am retired from the NYPD and now live here in Charleston SC where I am a Detective assigned to the cold case homicide squad. I just came across your website and it is great…keep up the good work! I was looking to get a pair of ESS sunglasses with their Rx lenses. Can you help me out with a 30-40 off discount code?
Thx and stay safe my friend.
Vic Nico

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