Most of us put a lot of thought into the guns we shoot and the gear we use. But admittedly, some items receive more attention than others. I recently understood that I’ve been neglecting my eye protection when I tested a set of Revision Military I-Vis lenses in the Revision StingerHawk frames. Most of my eye pro was basic stuff that you can pick up anywhere. I already had one good pair of glasses that I liked, but they were just ballistic sunglasses. Essential eye wear for the range, sure, (eyes and ears!) and very good quality – but nothing particularly special.
But I immediately noticed the difference when I donned the Revision I-Vis lenses. The colors pop . I saw colors that I didn’t know were there. I’m not really a gearhead, so I didn’t know that was even a thing. But these lenses made me more aware of my surroundings, offering contrasts I couldn’t see before. The advantages for shooters, hunters, and operators operating operationally are obvious (in addition to impact protection, fragmentation protection, and other features). And because the I-Vis lenses are from Revision, the quality is there.
The Revision Stingerhawk spectacle system is combat-proven. They’ve been around for about a decade; if you served in OEF or OIF, there’s a good chance you were issued some of these. In 2016 Revision deployed in large numbers as part of what’s called a “Rapid Fielding Initiative” (RFI) to supply PEO Soldier (Program Executive Office) with thousands of ballistic protection spectacles. That was just one tranche of many sent to military, government agencies, OGA, and contractor personnel to combat theaters around the world.
There were good before, and now they’re better. These aren’t your everyday shooting glasses.
Revision CEO Amy Coyne explains it this way:
“I-Vis lenses increase the separation of colors so that when you’re wearing them, you’ll see multiple shades of a color compared to the single shade you’d see with the naked eye or when using traditional lens tints. The result is greater awareness and faster reaction times. In a military setting, this translates into greater survivability and lethality.”
Read on, and I’ll explain further.
I-Vis Lens Features
• Facilitate superior optical performance – but not how you think. This is about improved color depth, reduced eye fatigue, and superior contrast without a reduction in light (which is information to the brain).
• Optical grade high-impact polycarbonate lenses provide maximum protection from fragments.
• Block 100 percent of harmful UV-A, B, and C rays.
• Scratch, streak, smear, and chemical resistant.
• The anti-fog coating reportedly lasts 10 to 20 times longer than competitors’ anti-fog performance.
• Available in six tints, each optimized for a specific geographic region.
• Meets or exceeds US military ballistic impact requirements.
• Meets or exceeds international ballistic impact requirements (there ya go, NATO!)
• Interchangeable lenses.
• Unrestricted field of view.
• High-impact protection goggles version i-VIS lenses are available.
• MIL-PRF-32432A clause 18.104.22.168 Ballistic fragmentation characteristics Class 1 spectacles.
• ANSI Z87.1-2015 clause 6 Impact Rated Protector Requirements (Z87+).
• Berry Compliant
*The chroma-related advantages are not present in the clear lens and smoke lens versions; however, other features (comfort, anti-fog protection, testing re: ballistic impact resistance requirements, etc.) are present.
AI Tint Analysis
Revision developed the six lens tints by employing AI to analyze satellite data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Specifically, the AI considered area-specific color vision variables informed by the color palette and the most likely lighting conditions for different geographic location types.
Each tint is optimized to increase contrast and color and elevate color recognition in a specific region and those analogous to it. Each tint also has its own Visible Light Transmission (VLT) percentage. Higher percentage lenses allow more light. Lower percentage lenses block more light. The six lens tints are, in brief:
• Verso: The most versatile and complex lens tint, the Verso is Revision’s “do-it-all” tint. If you aren’t certain of your operating environment, the Verso lenses are for you. 19% VLT
• Aros: Designed for desert environments, bringing out differences in shades of brown, tan, yellow, and orange. 12% VLT.
• Cano: Optimized for regions dominated by greens, browns, and grays. Think dense forests with heavy shade. 37% VLT.
• Alto: Perfect for dry, high-altitude areas with grays, tans, and blues, as in northern Afghanistan. 12% VLT.
• Clara: These lenses enhance color definition and contrast in brightly lit areas of white, gray, and blue, as in the snowy woodlands of northern Europe, Scandinavia, the Baltic States, and Poland. 12% VLT.
• Umbra: Designed for overcast, snow-covered areas featuring whites and grays, as in northern Europe, Scandinavia, the Baltic States, and Poland. They are similar to the Clara lenses but with a higher VLT rating of 48%.
Does this kind of specificity help qualify them as mission essential eye wear? I don’t know, but the differing lenses have received great anecdotal reviews. I personally have the Umbras, and they worked very well for wooded Appalachia in the winter. I’m confident they’ll perform just as well through spring and into summer.
Revision StingerHawk Frame Features
All I-Vis lenses are available for use in the company’s StingerHawk ballistic eyewear system. Clara and Umbra are also available for the SnowHawk system. StingerHawk frames are a solid foundation for lens overall ballistic protection. Their features include:
- Low-profile and comfortable. I can personally attest to this. They have not interfered with my ear pro or headwear.
- Wide, textured, flexible, soft rubber nose piece.
- Comms compatible arms. I have not personally tested that capability, but it is noted by Revision and confirmed by some of the writers in my crew.
- Lenses are easily swapped out of the StingerHawk frames, meaning lenses may be purchased individually and slotted in as the user needs them.
- Available prescription lens inserts.
- Clear adjustable nosepiece for comfort and fit.
New Favorite Eye Pro Option
Essential eye wear for more than the range
As I said before, I really didn’t know what I was missing before trying the I-Vis system. As it stands now, these are the only eye pro I wear. I’ve already ordered a set of Cano tint lenses for spring and summer here in the Appalachian woods. I’ll also get a set of prescription inserts, so I don’t necessarily have to wear contact lenses when shooting or hunting (more on those when I have them in hand). And I do intend to wear these glasses when I hunt in the fall. I think the enhanced colors and contrasts will be a real boon.
If you want to take the next step in eye pro performance, you should try the Revision I-Vis system. I know I probably sound like a paid spokesperson (I’m not), but they really are that good. And it’s kinda my job to share what I like and what I don’t. That’s why I refer to them as essential eye wear; I mean that sincerely, and not just for trips to the range or a mounted patrol through Fallujadishu. Until they come up with night vision or XRay vision eye pro, I’ll be wearing Revision Stingerhawk and Speed Demon eye pro. They fit every requirement I can think of for hard-use tactical sunglasses.
This is one product that won’t get thrown in the closet now that I’m done testing it.
More at revisionmililtary.com.