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Eye Safety Systems Crossbow 2x Kit

Company Website:

Now on the U.S. Army's Authorized Protective Eyewear List (APEL)! 


  • ANSI Z87 Rating
  • Tri-Tech™ Fit temples
  • DedBolt™ Lens Lock System
  • Ballistic 2.4mm High-Impact Polycarbonate Lenses
  • Advanced ClearZone™ FlowCoat Anti Fog and Anti Scratch Coatings
  • ESSOPTICS™ Distortion Free Optics
  • 100% UVA/UVB protection
  • APEL-Approved
  • U-Rx™ Prescription Inserts available
  • Made in: USA
  • Street Price: $105.00 (2x kit) $110 (3LS kit)


The Crossbow can be purchased directly from the ESS Website, US Cavalry as well as other online vendors.


The 2x kit comes with one smoke lens, one clear lens, two frames, a microfiber lens cleaning bag, a zippered hard case and a head strap. All is packaged in a cardboard retail box.

Initial Impressions:

After donning these glasses for the first time I was pleased to see how clear the optics were. The shields are large and the frames are sized that on my face they ride above my eyebrows. The sides of shields extend past the corners of my eyes and out of my peripheral view. The bottoms of the shield are just visible while I am wearing them, but the transition between tinted lens and clear air is not distracting.

These glasses are quite large. They are sized so as to fit larger heads, but they are still secure on my medium sized head. The ear pieces wrap in a way as to provide solid contact on behind my ears. The nose piece and bottoms of the ear pieces are covered in a soft rubber. This rubber appears to become tacky when wet and helps provide for a secure grip.


I have worn these glasses off-duty, on patrol and during training and live entries for a couple months. They are comfortable, clear, and not distracting. The ESSOPTICS™ allow me to forget that I am wearing them and concentrate at the task at hand.

Most glasses of this type have the lenses coated by dipping. This means that both sides of the lenses are coated with the same coatings. The ClearZone™ FlowCoat coatings are unique in that the inside of the lenses are coated with an anti-fog coating. The outside are coated to be scratch resistant. The coatings are up to the task. As is likely to happen these glasses were dropped at least a couple times onto pavement, rocks, etc. This only resulted in a scratch once.

The ClearZone™ Anti-fog coating only failed on me in the absolute harshest southern Indiana humidity. During a night shoot in full armor in near tropical humidity the clear shield repeatedly fogged. However in all fairness not a single set of glasses or goggles on the line were clear. Oakley, Wiley, Revision and dollar store safety glasses all fogged that night.

The Crossbow does not hamper sight alignment even shooting "NTC" with the M16.

DedBolt Lock
DedBolt™ Lock in the open position

On a later date we had occasion to serve a search warrant on a suspected weapons cache. The night was only a little less muggy and the gear was the same. I was prepared to have to ditch the glasses if the fogging was as bad. This time I had no problem the glasses were only obscured by a little sweat here and there. Target ID and sight alignment would not have been a problem.

To test these in a little more controlled manner I wore the clear shields on patrol on one of our more humid nights. The outside temperature was 88 degrees Fahrenheit with 71% humidity. Going in and out of air conditioned buildings I noticed almost no fogging. If there was any it was just a slight haze that disappeared after two steps. It did not limit my visibility in any appreciable manner.

Getting out of the car was a little different. I had the AC cranked up in the car. The temperature was 75 degrees Fahrenheit with the vents blowing on my chest and face. When I exited the car the lenses fogged totally. Target ID would have been impossible. After seventeen seconds the left side of the shield had totally cleared. It took forty seconds for the right to totally clear. I repeated the test several more times with a maximum time to clear both lenses at forty two seconds. I can only assume that the difference in time between the two lenses had to do with how the vents in my car were focused.

I don't believe the fogging was a failing in the Crossbow. I feel that it's more of a training issue. If it's that humid you know that fogging will be an issue. You will either need to turn down the vents or open a window. I despise patrolling my beat sealed up in the rolling box and only do so in the pouring rain. The rest of the time I have a window or two down. Even with the AC on high, I did not have any fogging issues when I left the window down.

The Crossbow was designed to allow easy lens changes from smoke to clear and back. The 2x kit comes with both lenses and two frame sets. This alleviates the need to swap lenses, however you could conceivable order a couple of extra lens sets to swap in if one is damaged due to debris, enemy action or IED. Anyone who has done helo ops in the desert knows that rotorwash takes a toll on glasses.

For the duration of this test I have been using one frame set and swapping lenses. This gave me a better feel for the process and allowed me to see if repeated lens changes were going to cause damage to the lens or the frame.

I am happy to report that it's a non-issue. After numerous swaps the lenses still lock in tightly due to the DedBolt™ lock system. Replacing the lenses takes a little getting used to, but it can be done rapidly with practice.

DedBolt Lock
DedBolt™ with lens removed

The Anti-Scratch coatings on the clear lens seem to work well. I only managed to scratch them after a drop from the top of the squad car onto the rock parking lot. This resulted in a almost invisible scratch on the lens. It's not perceptible when wearing. The glasses come with a microfiber bag for cleaning, but I preferred to use my t-shirt tail for the duration of this evaluation. This did not result in any scratches on the smoke lenses even while cleaning off some pretty nasty dried sweat and dirt.

After living with these on my face for several weeks I can definitely recommend them. They are an excellent choice for eye protection from sun, wind and debris.

(click images for larger view)

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