Tactical sunglasses are important for any job or mission, no matter how high or low the stakes. You can’t do your job properly if you can’t see. If you’re like me, the slightest light outside is blinding due to sensitive eyes and that’s a no-go for important tasks.
Tactical sunglasses give your eyes extra protection from harsh conditions such as bright sunlight, smoke, dust, flying debris and other harmful particles that could find their way into your eyes. The human eye is the most sensitive part of the body and also one of the most important when it comes to completing a job or mission.
Tactical sunglasses serve another function besides protecting your eyes. They block anyone from looking directly into your eyes. While this may seem a trivial benefit, it’s easier to keep eyes on an untrusted ally when they can’t make direct eye contact with you. This is the reason security teams and bodyguards wear dark sunglasses, they don’t want anyone tracking their eye movements.
We’ve tested and reviewed a handful of the top tactical sunglasses so you don’t have to go through the trouble of field testing each and every one. This list captures the best tactical military sunglasses that will help with any mission, job or just a day outside.
Here are the Best Tactical Military Sunglasses on the Market.
Gatorz Magnum Tactical Military Sunglasses
Gatorz Magnum Tactical Sunglasses are top-of-the-line eyewear and are used by military, police officers, Navy SEALs, fitness athletes and even skydivers. They’re designed with superior optics lens that maximizes visuals and gives you glare free vision no matter what. The aluminum frame is tough and made from 7075 Billet Aircraft Aluminum. The lens is one of the best on the market and features anti-fog coating, AR coating, anti-scratch coating and 100% UV protection for even the brightest days or early morning adventures. The lenses are impact resistant polycarbonate lenses that will outlast your mission. You can wear these tactical military sunglasses while riding your motorcycle, skydiving and more because there is no interference with your helmet. The last thing you want is for your sunglasses to get in the way of your helmet while performing intricate work or enjoying a nice ride on your bike. The Gatorz Magnum tactical sunglasses also feature an adjustable custom fit and a lifetime promise from the company that you will love these sunglasses.
Outlaw Fugitive Tactical Sunglasses
Outlaw Eyewear makes sunglasses for people who expect a little more from their eyewear. Tactical sunglasses go a few steps beyond ordinary sunglasses and provide maximum eye protection without stopping, no matter what. These glasses can take a hit and still protect your vision. Designed tough like your other tactical gear, the Outlaw Fugitive TAC Sunglasses are perfect for any situation. If you need military grade protective eye wear, these are for you. They’re also perfect for sports, riding your motorcycle, skydiving, shooting guns and any activity where eye protection is a concern. They’re customizable to fit how you need them and can fit any size face. You can tune the sunglasses frame and nose piece to fit your face and they won’t interfere with a helmet or ear protection. The polarized lenses protect from blinding glare and eliminate glare from water, mirrors, ice and other environmental factors. The Outlaw Fugitive Tactical Sunglasses are a fan favorite and will get you through many missions or adventures.
Oakley Ballistic M Frame 2.0 Tactical Sunglasses
You’ve probably owned a pair of Oakley’s before. They’ve been around forever. The Oakley Ballistic M Frame 2.0 TAC Sunglasses are a step beyond anything you find in stores. These tactical sunglasses are designed for adventurous individuals who need a little extra eye protection for their daily activities. The Oakley Plutonite lenses not only are extremely comfortable, but they give you maximum protection against ultraviolet radiation and hard impacts. These military grade sunglasses can take a hit and keep working for you. They filter all UVA, UVB and UVC plus harmful blue light to protect your vision as much as possible. These Oakleys are equipped with High-Definition Optics which gives you maximum vision and clarity at every single possible angle. If that wasn’t enough, the sunglasses frame is stress-resistant, durable and super-lightweight. You can easily wear these sunglasses all day long with no issues. These safety glasses meet or exceed high mass and high velocity requirements, as well as ballistic fragmentation impact standards. Oakley has you covered.
STNGR Ridge Unbreakable Tactical Sunglasses
STNGR makes a great pair of unbreakable sunglasses. Designed with your needs in mind, the STNGR Tac Sunglasses are ultra-durable, shatterproof and scratch resistant. If you’re searching for a tough pair of sunglasses that won’t get scratched to pieces, the STNGR is a great place to start. These sunglasses have nearly indestructible frames made with memory flex nylon that has an adjustable nose pad and anti-slip rubber. You can even change the lenses if needed. Not only are they indestructible, but they also amplify color, maximize your depth perception and gives you the best possible view of what’s going on around you. These high-impact shatterproof sunglasses are perfect for the gun range, heavy-duty work, tactical applications, military and police officers and hitting a few golf balls at the range. The STNGR Ridge Unbreakable Tactical Sunglasses are also perfect for skydiving and riding your motorcycle.
Wiley X Slay Tactical Sunglasses
The Wiley X Slay Tactical Sunglasses are made for hard work and hard play. Designed with half rubber templates to give you maximum flexibility and insane comfort, the Wiley’s are perfect for active individuals. You may have noticed peripheral light coming through on cheap sunglasses, but the Wiley X Slay has a high-wrap frame that prevents peripheral light from slipping in. These are some of the best plastic tactical sunglasses you will find. They’re non-polarized and have a UV protection coating. They meet or exceed the ANSI Z87.1 safety standards. If you want to maximize optical clarity and still have a pair of sunglasses that can handle high velocity impacts, the Wiley X Slays are a great pair of tactical sunglasses to check out.
Oakley Oo9208 Radar Ev Path Rectangular Sunglasses
The Oakley Radar Ev Path Shield Sunglasses are used by military, police officers and some of the world’s best athletes. They have a taller lens that gives you an extended range of view, especially in the upper peripheral range. This is an important feature to anyone who wants to maximize their vision without sacrificing quality. The Oakley Radar Ev Sunglasses are lightweight and fit great to your face. They have features that increase your comfort and allow for paramount performance. You have the option to buy these with Prizm lenses that will not only enhance color, but also will enhance contract and fine-tune detail to give you the best sunglasses possible. The Oakley Radar Ev Sunglasses have three-point fit that gives you a comfortable fit while on the move and the unobtanium earsocks and nose pads get grippier when wet so they will stay on your face even while sweating profusely. These are the type of sunglasses you want if you play hard. You can also get these Oakley’s with prescription lenses and the hard case is included to protect your sunglasses. There are dozens of colors and styles to choose from.
Gatorz Delta Tactical Sunglasses
The Gatorz Delta Tactical Sunglasses may cost a pretty penny, but you get what you pay for when it comes to the best tactical sunglasses. The Gatorz Delta are military-grade sunglasses that are designed to work as hard as you do. Any product that’s trusted by the US Navy Seals is fine in my book. The Gatorz Delta Sunglasses are used by police officers, motorcycle enthusiasts, US Navy Seals, skydivers and elite military. The frames are designed from military-grade aluminum frames and the lenses are polycarbonate which gives you a strong pair of tactical sunglasses that are durable and can handle impacts. Gatorz Delta sunglasses utilize Tru-Ray optics technology which assists in adjusting wavelengths as they enter your eyes. Gatorz Delta sunglasses are made with a Hydrophobic coating that’s scratch-resistant which is extremely important because a few small scratches can block your view. The Gatorz Delta TAC sunglasses are definitely a pair that you need to check out.
Smith Elite Pivlock Echo Max Tactical Sunglasses
Smith Optics Elite hit a home run with the Pivlock Echo Max Sunglasses. They have exceptional ballistic impact protection while giving you insane coverage at the same time. It has anti-fog and scratch resistant coatings for maximum support while giving you 100% UV protection. The FreeFloat lens technology corrects distortion that is common in many sunglasses. The Smith Elite Pivlock Echo Max also has adjustable nose pads and temple pads for comfort. This is by far one of the best pairs of tactical sunglasses on the market and has a high rating for ballistic protection which is exactly what you would expect from a top-of-the-line pair of sunglasses.
Oakley Mercenary Rectangular Sunglasses
The Oakley Mercenary Rectangular Sunglasses are designed to give you a larger field of view by using a larger lens shape. They’re impact resistant and gives you a high level of comfort. The three-point fit system that Oakley sunglasses employs gets rid of pressure points on your nose and surrounding area. Most of us wear sunglasses all day and they need to be as comfortable as possible. They’re also equipped with no-slip Unobtanium nose pads that keep them in place. There’s nothing worse than your sunglasses sliding down your face while you’re trying to work or in the middle of an important task. The Plutonite lenses block 100% of UVA/B/C and blue light up to 400mm to provide the best eyewear protection possible. The Prizm Lens Technology was designed to strengthen color and detail so you know exactly what’s happening in front of you without having to remove your sunglasses.
Under Armour Force Sunglasses
Under Armour makes great military-style sunglasses and the Under Armour Force is one to check out. Made with UA Storm polarized lenses which works to eliminate glare, you get clearer vision and all-around better color retention. A big issue with many sunglasses is peripheral vision. The ArmourSight lens technology that comes with the Under Armour Force Sunglasses actually gives you roughly a 20% increase in undistorted peripheral vision. They also have a coating that’s resistant to salt water, bug spray, oils and other substances that makes these sunglasses perfect for outdoor excursions. The last thing you want is for your sunglasses to fail when you’re knee deep in an adventure. A good pair of military-grade sunglasses can do wonders for your trip. These sunglasses also have a coating that protects against scratches while lowering light transmission. Sunglasses of this caliber are designed to be tougher than your average pair of gas station sunglasses and will last through a tough outing or job. These sunglasses can compare to Oakley sunglasses as far as quality and reliability.
Magpul Helix Tactical Sunglasses
The Magpul Helix Tactical Sunglasses were designed to provide the best clarity and impact protection you can get from a pair of sunglasses. We believe they did a great job at accomplishing their goal. These tactical sunglasses feature a rimless design which gives you a better field of view without blind spots and the eye protection covers you no matter what you decide to get yourself into. The Magpul Helix Sunglasses are the perfect choice for humid or wet climates because they’re designed to shed sweat and moisture which can cause regular sunglasses to fog up. You can take these into the harshest climates and they will still outperform most sunglasses in the field. The interchangeable lens system comes in handy when you need to change to low-light operations or just need to replace damaged lens.
Revision Military Sawfly Sunglasses
Revision Sawfly Sunglasses may look basic at first glance, but they are high-quality and provide tons of ocular protection. The lenses themselves are made from nearly indestructible, polycarbonate that you can easily swap out depending on environmental conditions. They also protect you from harmful UVA/B/C rays that can damage your eyes. If you play hard, you know how important it is to have scratch-resistant lenses. These lenses are made from optical grade polycarbonate that’s sturdy and has scratch-resistant coating on both sides to ensure you get the best protection possible. The special coating also helps your sunglasses resist chemicals that you may encounter in the outdoors such as DEET or other potentially harmful chemicals. The Revision Military Sawfly sunglasses can resist impact and have anti-fog properties that allow you to perform to the best of your abilities no matter the environmental conditions. The Revision Sawfly kit comes with a lot of essential gear such:
- Sunglasses frame with adjustable arms
- Head strap
- Case with belt clip
- Clear lenses
- Smoke lenses
- Microfiber pouch
- Reusable anti-fog cloth
As you can see, you get quite a bit with this kit. These elite sunglasses were specifically designed for military use, but civilians can use them as well.
Re Ranger Phantom Interchangeable 3-Lens Shooting Sunglasses
The Re Ranger Shooting Lens gives you something most kits don’t – multiple lenses for different situations. Since you never know what you will encounter throughout your day, it’s best to be prepared for as many scenarios as possible. The Re Ranger comes with a phantom frame, a UV sun shield and 2 shooting shields. You get a dark purple shooing shield and an HD medium lens tint. The Ranger Red UV Sun Shield is perfect for bright sunlight that can affect your vision, especially if you’re prone to headaches from increased exposure. It’s also great for working outdoors or enjoying a few rounds of golf. The Dark Purple Lens is best for medium light environments or in the woods or field. It’s also ideal for shooting targets. The HD Medium Lens is designed for medium light conditions such as wooded areas when you need precise vision. You really get a lot of bang for your buck with the Re Ranger Interchangeable Shooting Glasses. The lenses are easy to snap in or snap out and are ballistic-tested shields that can handle heavy-duty work. Designed with lightweight flexible frames that can bend and adjust to any face shape, even larger faces. Here’s a quick recap of what you get:
- Phantom frame
- 2 shooting ready shields
- 1 sun shield
- Protective storage case
- Gun decal
- Microfiber pouch
These also come equipped with a matte frame coating which helps eliminate glare and protects your glasses from cracking or fading in the sun. They also provide 100% UVA/B protection. The no-slip temple tips provide a more comfortable fit even if you tend to sweat more than normal. These may very well be the best shooting glasses you will own.
Wiley X AirRage Tactical Sunglasses
The Wiley X AirRage are a great pair of sunglasses that gives maximum protection against the elements. They provide a unique level of protection against inclement weather, sweat, sunlight and even debris while also giving you high mass impact safety protection and pristine optical clarity. You get far more from these military-grade sunglasses than what you will find in most stores. Sure, they cost a pretty penny, but professional eyewear can be thought of as an investment. The Wiley X lineup of professional grade sunglasses all give users 100% UVA/B protection along with distortion free vision. In fact, Wiley X AirRage Sunglasses enhance natural color contrast and improve vision accuracy through top-tier design and by utilizing the best compounds on the market. You can also fill Wiley X Sunglasses with your custom prescription lens. The black frame with polarized blue mirror lenses actually looks really nice with any outfit and adds something a little extra to these elite-level tactical sunglasses by Wiley X.
Smith Optics Elite Frontman Tactical Sunglasses
The Smith Optics Frontman Tactical Sunglasses are super lightweight and give you optimal optics protection along with increased coverage that comes with the frameless eye shield design. The design is revolutionary and improves on previous designs. The 3-position adjustable nosepiece is a nice touch in a world of rigid tactical sunglasses. Fit is important when choosing the best tactical sunglasses because you need them to stay firm on your face and not slide when you inevitably sweat. We all put in hard days in the field and your sunglasses must be able to keep up with you or you’re wasting your hard-earned money. The Smith Elite Frontman TAC Sunglasses are worth every penny and even allow interchangeable lenses so you can repair if needed. The lens is made from high impact material and the frame is impact resistant, exactly what you need if you lead an active lifestyle. If you shoot, play watersports, work on a dock, ride a motorcycle or scooter, fish or just enjoy the outdoors – you need a great pair of military-grade sunglasses that will last through many excursions and won’t get scratched up. The Smith Elite TAC Sunglasses are exactly what you need.
Oakley Half Jacket 2.0 XL
Oakley does it again with the Half Jacket 2.0 Rectangle Sunglasses. The Oakley Plutonite lenses give you optimal UV protection and block out 100% of harmful UVA/B/C and some blue light that can strain your eyes with enough exposure. The Half Jacket 2.0 lenses are super lightweight and provide impact protection. They also have a security measure against ultraviolet radiation that can seep into your vision through prolonged outdoor exposure. You not only get high-level clarity, but also sharp vision at every possible angle. There is no distortion with these sunglasses as they are designed for active individuals that require perfect clarity to perform their duties to the best of their abilities. These are the perfect tactical sunglasses for military, police officers, SWAT, special forces, gun range, golf range and any outdoor activities. The Unobtanium nose pads and ear socks features with these sunglasses improve comfort and keep your sunglasses where they should stay without shifting or deforming over time.
Under Armour Ranger Rectangular Sunglasses
The Under Armor Ranger Tactical Sunglasses are a sturdy pair of eyewear that doesn’t cost a small fortune. They provide up to 20% more undistorted peripheral vision which is of utmost importance when choosing the perfect pair of tactical sunglasses. There’s nothing worse than having multiple blind spots when you’re trying to accomplish an important job or task. These Under Armour sunglasses have lenses that is up to 10X stronger than regular polycarbonate lenses. They can take more damage than your ordinary sunglasses you may pick up in a gas station corner. The special multiflection lens coating protects your sunglasses from common scratches and careless smudges that are unavoidable with every day use. You know you’re going to get dirty outside, so you need a sturdy pair of tactical sunglasses that can take the abuse and keep your vision clear from sunglight, debris and other environmental factors. The frames on these bad boys are designed from titanium and Grilamid to give you ultimate toughness and flexibility. A good pair of sunglasses needs to be rugged and flexible to fit the contours of your face. Not all of us were blessed with thin faces and a great pair of sunglasses can fit all faces, large and small. The Under Armour Ranger Rectangular Sunglasses are highly rated and will get you through the day without breaking the bank.
Tactical Military Sunglasses Buyer's Guide + FAQ
Do Tactical Sunglasses Work?
Tactical or military sunglasses are designed to do more than your regular, everyday sunglasses by far. They go by many names: tactical sunglasses, military sunglasses, shooting sunglasses, etc., but they all have the same goal – to provide the user with a superior pair of sunglasses. Tactical sunglasses are specially designed to enhance color, reduce glare, provide more undistorted peripheral vision and enhance vison clarity. They accomplish this while providing a tough and rugged frame that’s impact resistant and can take above average abuse. While the best tactical sunglasses are designed to survive the toughest military missions, they are also perfect for the average user who just wants an above average performance from their sunglasses.
Tactical sunglasses are military inspired and are designed to be tougher than average sunglasses by far. While they may appear lightweight, they’re built from materials that can withstand high-impacts and not affect their usefulness. You can wear tactical sunglasses in harsh climates doing heavy-duty work and they will still serve you well. The outdoor weather won’t affect the performance of your tactical sunglasses no matter if it’s snowing, storming or extremely bright sunlight. Sometimes the sun can be too bright for regular sunglasses, but high-quality tactical sunglasses will block out more harmful rays and keep your eyes protected.
Tactical sunglasses provide a clear colored vision that you don’t get from regular sunglasses. You’re probably used to regular sunglasses simply blocking out sunlight and dulling the colors around you. Tactical sunglasses work differently by using technology to enhance the colors you see to give you a crisp vision no matter how bright the sun happens to be.
What Sunglasses do Navy Seals and other Military Branches Use?
Navy Seals and other military branches have an extremely demanding job. They have to have highly specialized gear to get them through their missions and can’t afford to have any setbacks, especially with their eyewear. Military branches encounter situations that involve inclement weather such as snow, rain, extreme wind and debris such as from explosions, ballistics and just from moving through the woods. They need the best eyewear on the market and so does anyone else that encounters similar obstacles during their daily routine. While any pair of tactical sunglasses on this list will get the job done, many people gravitate towards the Gatorz Magnum, Wiley X lineup of sunglasses and Oakley Half Jacket 2.0s. The Gatorz may be a little more expensive than others, but you get what you pay for.
What are the Best Tactical Sunglasses?
While you may not be able to determine the one absolute best pair of tactical sunglasses, you can choose from the best the market has to offer. We choose our favorite tactical sunglasses through trial and error and pouring through product specs, reviews and field tests. Just because one person says a pair of tactical sunglasses is the best for them, it may not be the perfect fit for you. We all have different shaped faces and you may need to try out a few before settling on one particular brand. However, if you take the information provided in this article, we are quite sure you won’t regret trying any of the tactical or military sunglasses listed above. These tactical sunglasses have been field tested in extreme conditions and used all over the world by hardcore users.
How Much Do Tactical Sunglasses Cost?
You can find a decent pair for around $50 range, but they can go all the way up into the hundreds. A $50 pair can compare to a more expensive pair of tactical sunglasses if you find one that fits well and has all of the features you are looking for. Sure, the $200 pair may have more features and higher-quality design, but it all depends on how much you are willing to spend on a good pair of tactical sunglasses.
Also, keep in mind the number of cheap sunglasses that you go through yearly. It’s probably quite a bit, especially if you’re rough on your eyewear. A strong pair of tactical military sunglasses can outlast a box of cheap sunglasses while providing you with a much better view.