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There are a few shooting games today that use non-lethal weapons and projectiles and airsoft is one of them.
If you’re one of this thrilling game’s new (or experienced) players, you might be wondering about the gear you need to use, including safety eyewear.
Let me rephrase that… Most importantly, the safety eyewear.
There are so many safety glasses and face masks on the market today that choosing the best one to protect your face can get a bit tricky. You need to know What eye protection do you need for airsoft
And with just one mistake…
… you could pay with your precious eyesight.
Not all safety glasses and other sorts of eye protection you see on the market can withstand the power of airsoft pellets or airsoft BBs.
But then, you can’t just test them all out one by one.
So to help you out, we’ve compiled the most important things you need to know in choosing the best eye protection for your precious peepers.
Different Types of Eye Protection For Airsoft
You shouldn’t just buy one badass-looking pair of safety glasses or airsoft goggles and then go straight to the field.
There are different types of eye protection for every situation and gameplay or level so you need to know if that cool-looking pair of safety glasses you’re holding is suitable for the kind of gameplay you’re going for.
Airsoft Safety Glasses Mesh Eye Protection
The airsoft mesh goggles are one of the most popular choices for people who are just starting to play with airsoft guns.
These safety glasses are characterized by a strong plastic material with a multitude of little holes on the protective eyewear itself.
So there are no lenses…what’s the point of wearing them?
Well, this mesh eye gear is popular with airsoft players who are looking to have eye glasses that don’t fog up on them AT. ALL.
This face protection gear has perfect ventilation all thanks to the holes, so you won’t have any problems with fogging.
Aside from that…
They are perfectly lightweight, as well!
Personally, this type was also my first eye protection gear when I played airsoft for the first time. I didn’t want to invest much early on, and most mesh eye protection is super cheap and affordable so it wouldn’t feel like a waste if I didn’t like airsoft or the equipment itself.
But be warned.
Compared to the best airsoft goggles and other glasses, these are undeniably the least safe.
The tendency for the airsoft BBs to shatter upon impact on the mesh and the shattered pieces penetrating the holes, and eventually your eyes, is quite high.
Sure, there is airsoft mesh eye gear that can certainly withstand the power of raging airsoft BBs, but there are also the super flimsy ones that break with the first hit from airsoft guns.
This is a great choice if you’re on a budget but you must choose very carefully.
Clear Airsoft Safety Glasses
Now if you’re ready to level up your gear for playing airsoft, the classic clear airsoft safety glasses are the next one up on the ranks.
They’re a type of mask for the eyes worn by most airsoft players for quite a few good reasons.
First, these glasses are lightweight, just like the mesh ones, so this could be your best bet if you don’t have too much stuff weighing down your face and head while you’re in action playing airsoft.
It’s also good enough for younger players to use – they’re much lighter than paintball masks or airsoft goggles. So if you have a teenager who’s just starting to practice target shooting, this choice would be good, as well.
Aside from being lightweight and affordable…
…most importantly, they also offer more protection against vision loss and permanent blindness as good quality safety glasses are made of shatter-proof material to keep your eyes in shape.
Although, of course, there are still drawbacks such as the glasses not being full seal so there are still entry points for airsoft guns BBs so the person wearing it isn’t completely safe.
Airsoft Safety Goggles
Now we come to the master of all airsoft eye protection gear…the best goggles for airsoft.
Airsoft full seal goggles are characterized by a much heavier build compared to the first two we’ve mentioned, usually with lens coatings or anti-fog coatings, UV protection, a durable frame, and other extra features to secure not just the comfortable fit for the person wearing it but the best materials for sure protection, as well.
…most of the best airsoft seal goggles have a lens that’s made from polycarbonate material that’s proven to be as strong as a paintball mask, even shatter-proof and scratch-proof, too.
Some are even made with dual lens for further protection, in case you’re shot right in the eyes. In case the outer lenses crack or break, you still have your inner lenses to protect you.
Good full seal goggles can protect you from airsoft guns BBs coming from different directions because there’s just no point of entry for them.
Most airsoft goggles are also made to be military-grade such as the ESS Land Ops goggles which were authorized by the U.S Army itself.
As a matter of fact…
…these military airsoft goggles have undergone tests being shot by high-velocity airsoft guns at different particular ranges so you know that you’ll have perfectly secure protection for your eyes.
These airsoft goggles can also be paired with a good face mask to protect the lower part of the entire face or just a full face mask.
You can also use airsoft goggles for target shooting, especially when you’re handling super high-velocity airsoft guns.
Wondering if they also have anti-fog properties?
Well, while most are full seal airsoft goggles, there are also ones that were made with vents to allow your face to breathe, especially if you’re playing in a humid location.
Some of these glasses even come complete with anti-fog coating on the lenses to avoid clouding up your vision wherever kind of field you may be playing.
Want the full military effect?
Most great goggles can be worn over helmets and even with full face protection if you prefer to wear a complete loadout for the game!
I can say, a good pair of goggles is truly value for the money.
Related: Best Airsoft Goggles
What Safety ratings are required for Eye protection?
As I’ve said earlier, you just don’t randomly pick out airsoft lenses and call it a day.
Aside from their quality, comfort shot resistance, and anti-fog lens, one of the most important things you’d want to check is the safety rating your pair of eye protection fits in…or if it fits in any at all.
Just like with a safety helmet, your vision protector should also be able to pass certain levels of safety standards…
…especially if you’re using it for airsoft, paintball, or any games that involve a gun, toy, or not, so you can avoid injuries just because of a foolish mistake.
Below are the most common ballistic safety standards for airsoft glasses.
ANSI Z87.1-2003– This is the most common type and also the weakest one. You’ll see the ANSI Z87.1-2003 in most airsoft glasses and goggles, and that means they can be used for airsoft but you shouldn’t expect a high level of safety from these glasses.
Wear them and you’ll be protected from airsoft BBs with around 300 FPS to 350 FPS power and with repeated shots, they can pretty easily be broken.
MIL-PRF-31013– This ballistic rating is way safer than the first one and is considered military-grade. A MIL-PRF-31013 is not perfectly safe to wear but it’s much better than an ANSI rating and it can stop a .2g airsoft BB flying at around 480 feet per second.
Though, like the ANSI once, some models with this safety rating may just be able to stop a high-velocity BB once before they crack or break.
MIL-DTL-43511D– Now this is the monster rating and not very commonly found in markets for airsoft players because this rating is a heavy-duty military rating that’s marketed to, well, the military, of course.
These bosses can protect you from .2g BBs flying at around 500 feet per second or .1g BBs or pellets flying at around 1,200 feet per second!
That gives you absolutely zero chance for any kinds of injuries to the eyes, although let me tell you that it’ll cost a considerable amount of money to get but I don’t think there’s anything more priceless than the eyes, right?
Are Safety Regular sunglasses suitable for eye protection?
If we are talking about protection from the sun, lights, and other elements, then regular safety glasses would be fine.
Now, if we’re talking about eye injuries from airsoft BBs and pellets, then you must find ones that have passed a suitable safety standard rating.
Are Regular Glasses suitable for eye protection?
Now, if you’re here thinking that wearing regular sunglasses and a good old helmet will keep you from getting injuries in the field, then you might want to think again for your life.
Regular sunglasses should never be used as eye protection gear for the reason being that not only is it unable to protect you from flying BBs but it will also make it way worse as the glasses will surely shatter, thus creating graver injuries to your eyes.
We’re done tackling quality, standard ratings, and whatnots.
But you might also want to consider the more practical things, such as the price, the fit, and durability.
You’ll also do well to study its vision and longevity so you’d know if the price is well worth it.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
What types of Eye Injuries occur due to airsoft?
So what is the price you have to pay whenever you wear flimsy eye protection?
The most common injuries among some unfortunate airsoft players are corneal abrasion and hyphema, which is clotting of blood in the anterior chamber of your eye.
Can I use shooting glasses for airsoft?
You can, if those glasses passed a safety standard rating.
Can airsoft goggles stop rubber bullets?
Not all airsoft goggles do, but the ones with high military ratings certainly can.
Our Top Recommendation
An ANSI Z87.1 and military eyewear gear standards passer, well-sealed, and super cool looks to boot, we’re loving the performance of the XaegisTac XTG07 military airsoft goggles!
It also has a UV/A/B/C shield to further take care of your eyes in sunny fields and with its wide strap, it felt very easy and comfy around the head too!
CONCLUSION: What eye protection do you need for airsoft
A thing’s cost is deemed acceptable for the value it comes with, and with that said, you only have one chance to have your two eyes and we know that they are priceless, compared to the most expensive goggles and masks on the market.
That’s why being vigilant and knowledgeable before diving into this rough but thrilling sport is a must.
Never forget to do your research and study as much as you can. The reward will be perfect confidence which will be your best accessory on the airsoft field.