If you’ve been searching for a pair of low-key ballistic sunglasses for everyday wear, Revision’s Vipertail may be your answer.
Three weeks ago, out of the blue, the brand’s newest design arrived at my door. At first glance, the Vipertail appeared short on style – they didn’t look much different than Tom Cruise’s “Risky Business” glasses. Meh. Particularly when compared to Oakley’s flashy Romeo and Juliet series, the shades seemed pretty old school. Still, after giving them a try and getting good feedback from the worn photo review, I started to appreciate their covert vibe. These glasses don’t scream tactical, and they don’t scream metro-douchebag.
Overall, the frame is simple and boxy. Subtle angles add a dash of aggressiveness to the look. The lenses offer solid visibility, but not as much peripheral as Sawfly glasses. That being said, I've never felt vision-hindered while wearing the Vipertail. The arms are simplistic, and offer no size adjustment. Their dagger-like design allows them to slide easily under a hat and/or hearing protection, but the lack of curve or sport strap connection points makes them prone to slide down one’s face during heavy movement. Still, I’m built small, and this complaint may be less of an issue for normal to large-sized folks.
Of course, a major benefit of the Vipertail is their more than adequate ballistic shield. Because they exceed ANSI Z87.1-2010 and U.S. military standard MIL-PRF-31013, they offer trustworthy protection for a range of tactical applications. The lenses also offer 100% UV protection.
Durability-wise, the Vipertail glasses are what you’d expect from Revision. The core frame material finds a nice middle ground of rigidity vs. flexibility; they offer protection, yet they’re still able to be squashed and not break. The arms use a slightly rubbery material to provide long-term comfort and grip. The lense coat is solid and noticeably scratch resistant, although you couldn’t take sandpaper to it. The nose pad area has some interesting nubs that offer a good balance between grip and comfort, even when a wearer is sweaty. They’re more comfortable than they look.
The kit package is simple, and consists of the glasses, a zippered protective case, a microfiber cleaning cloth, and instructions – in short, all you really need for storage and maintenance.
I’m still a fan of the performance of my Sawfly glasses, but I know they don’t have that hipster appeal – in fact, they’re pretty dorky for civilian wear. As a result, I’ve been using the Vipertail glasses more often for daily use, and I enjoy the added bonus of being able to take them to the range.
My final assessment? You can generally treat the Vipertail like a bastard – even accidentally step on them - and they will still hold up. I think Revision achieved their goal of designing glasses that honestly do provide “off-duty appearance with on-duty performance.” I certainly recommend the Vipertails to those on the lookout for that unique class of glasses that fit the Gray-Man concept.