As an adventurer, I end up in some strange places. Inside caves, up mountains, even along cliff faces. Not to mention long-distance trekking such as the Bruce Trail.
A frequent topic of interest in outdoor equipment is always eyewear. Although there are various schools of thought in eyewear, I would like to present my personal choice.
When I work as outdoor educator, I often found myself guiding cumbersome, unskilled outdoor people into back country. While providing a wilderness experience to new outdoors people is a passion of mine, it is not without its hazards. One of these hazards is people hiking ahead of me, and having branches snap back and hit me in the face. While this situation is not common, some individuals seem more prone to this kind of behaviour than others.
Searching for the best solution to this problem, I came across an Idaho based company who supplies eyewear to military forces around the world. Their products are used by the British Army as well as the United States Military. All ESS goggles are made in the United States, which is always a pleasant surprise.
ESS Eyewear, or Eye Safety Systems is a subsidiary of Oakley, Inc. Established in 1988, ESS creates advanced eye protection systems for military, law enforcement, and fire/rescue professionals. Designed for the planet’s most hostile and unforgiving environments, ESS products use cutting-edge technologies and patented innovations to ensure peak performance and uncompromised eye safety.
Upon learning this, I decided ESS goggles may be the perfect choice for my lifestyle. I searched their website at http://www.esseyepro.com and chose the ESS V-12 Advancer goggles
The advancer V-12’s fit perfectly and needed little adjustment. The vents on the goggles allow them to be closed around dust, snow, and even smoke. I was amazed the first time I had a campfire with them on. I snapped the vents closed and did not get that horrible burning eye sensation when the campfire smoke hit my face. In the open position, the vents also help greatly reduce fogging and condensation.
Interchangeable lenses is also another great feature of these goggles. Currently you can purchase clear, smoke, yellow, and sometimes red lenses for them. I use the smoke coloured lenses for day hiking, and yellow lenses for caves and night work. ESS goggles are also protective as “safety glasses” which is a great feature no matter where you use them.
During my Bruce Trail expedition of 2009, I literally lived in my ESS-V12 goggles. From sunrise to sunset, for four months straight I wore these goggles. They showed no signs of wear.
I have travelled tens of thousands of kilometres wearing the same pair of ESS advancer V-12 goggles. The “speed sleeve” has kept them scratch free. The vents keep them fog free, and smoke free. I would proudly recommend these goggles to both the serious outdoors person and novice.
As well as my 2009 Bruce Trail Expedition, ESS goggles have been used on Karl Busby’s Goliath Expedition, and Dmitri Kieffers Nexus Expedition
The people who work at ESS are as great as the product they manufacture. I have e-mailed back and fourth with Ari Drougas and Eliza Buck who were friendly and knowledgeable with the product. They love hearing from product users and are also both avid outdoors people. You can expect superior customer service from them.
Whether you are a hard core adventurer, pushing the boundaries of the human condition, or playing Paintball, Airsoft, or using a firearms range – these goggles are for you. They will protect your eyes from branches hitting you in the face, to stray paintballs and hot shell casings.
You will rarely see a photograph of me without my ESS Advancer V12 goggles on. I would recommend the Advancer V-12 to anyone who needs one of the worlds most rugged goggles for protection in all their endeavours.