Due to incessant nagging, public awareness about skin cancer, proper application of sunscreen and what SPF ratings actually mean, most outdoor enthusiasts are cognizant of the fact that UV rays are bad for their skin. Conversely, however, they are clueless to the harmful effects these UV rays have on their eyes and are shocked to learn they are equally as damaging. Crazy fact, nearly 20% of cataracts in the United States are attributed to UV exposure. UV rays also aid in causing macular degeneration, which is damage to the retina that destroys central vision. Frightening insight about macular degeneration, this is the leading cause of blindness in the lower 48 and lengthened excursions into the outdoors put sportsmen and women at an even greater risk.
When buying a pair of sunglasses, look for something that blocks out 100% of UV and possibly UVB radiation. This will help keep your vision healthy and clear and your eyes working more efficiently. Recently, I was introduced to Viking Eyewear and their Stingray line of sunglasses and they do precisely that. They are high performance, great fitting, affordable, sunglasses that are geared toward the rigors of outdoorsmen and women’s daily pursuits. I researched their construction, safety benefits and more, and here are my findings.
The Stingray Lens:
- This lens is a polarized double injected polycarbonate lens and is available in four color options. For firearm shooting protection, polycarbonate is the absolute best in protection currently on the market. Moreover, polycarbonate is the same material used for making bullet resistant glass in police vehicles. These lenses are lightweight, extremely durable and capable enough to ward off scratches far better than non-polycarbonate lenses. Many law enforcement agencies and fire stations across the US are making polycarbonate sunglass lenses standard issue and they are approved by Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), as long as their shape meets the demanded criteria for safety measure.
Cover Your Bases:
- Lens material and the UV protection it provides is crucial, and that also holds true for the lens shape itself and the frame it resides in. The Stingray’s lens has a slight curvature that wraps around to the corner of your eye socket which assists in providing protection from side impacts and UV penetration. The Stingray’s frame fits medium to large faces which is good since I have a fairly big head, or so Mrs. Bunny says. They sit snug on my face, but far enough off my eyes that they don’t impede the movement of my eyelashes, annoy me or cause excessive fogging. This style of frame fits oblong face shapes well, but it’s important to figure out the shape of your face before you buy your next do-all pair of sunglasses if you want them to function accordingly and look nice. Do you have a round, square, oblong, oval, diamond or heart shaped face?
Does color matter?
- Yes and no. Traditional sport shooting sunglasses have yellow or orange lenses with incorporated sweatbands, but these factors aren’t necessary or generally needed for 24/7, wear all the time, sunglasses. The yellow and orange lenses are relaxing on your eyes and are great for blocking out haze and excessive blue light, which both are significant factors for competition shooters. My Stingrays have a Smoke-Purple lens and oddly enough, this color helps distinguish a target that is set against trees, bushes, tall grasses, etc., and are typically made to perform best in bright conditions. In contrast, however, they also enhance and give definition during overcast days and don’t mute, washout, colors like the aforementioned do. My Stingray’s are excellent for all-weather use and allow me, or any of their wearers, to visually see true colors and all colors as though they physically are. Darker lenses like smoke, gray and green tints are the most common for all-purpose sunglasses. These colors are exceptionally good at blocking glare without giving that funky feeling of changing your viewing perception. The Stingray’s come in Smoke-Purple, Amber-Black and Orange-Black, as well. It’s also worth noting that these Stingray’s have a rubber nose pad that prevents slipping in moments of high activity, during impacts from recoil, or unwanted movement from sweat.
Good eye protection isn’t an option it’s essential for everyone, whether you’re a diehard hunting and shooting buff, an avid bird watcher, angling enthusiast or daily walker. Make sunglasses a part of your everyday life, or everyday carry. Be scrutinizing in your selection to eliminate any uncertainties in their ability to perform sufficiently. Check out the Stingrays from Viking Eyewear, they hit all the high points and then some.
Stay sharp and grab a pair of shades,