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SSP Eyewear Review

SSP Eyewear Review

SSP Eyewear Review

SSP Eyewear Review

Summary

SSP Eyewear is a Washington-based company focused on creating the best high-impact glasses on the market to protect the vision of folks regardless of activity. Their shatterproof glasses are designed for more than just safety work. They are designed for comfortable wear for any activity.

Overall
5

Pros

  • Reduces Eye Strain
  • Improves Contrast and Visual Clarity
  • Offer sharp peripheral vision, without any blind spots
  • Permanent durable anti-scratch hard coating

Cons

  • Bifocals are too high to acquire scope image
  • Magnifying lenses are too small to refocus quickly and comfortably when shooting

SSP Eyewear is a Washington-based company focused on creating the best high-impact glasses on the market to protect the vision of folks regardless of activity. Their shatterproof glasses are designed for more than just safety work. They are designed for comfortable wear for any activity.For Mike Bechtel, the founder and owner of SSP Eyewear, safety glasses are more than just a business. In a childhood accident, Mike’s grandfather, Don Bechtel, lost an eye. While Don was able to live a well-rounded life, Mike believes that no one should have to endure the pain and challenges caused by accidental eye injuries.

What Are Safety Glasses?

Safety glasses, ballistic eyewear, or shooting glasses are all industry and trade names for the critical piece of safety equipment that sportsmen use when shooting. When struck at high velocities, the ability to resist shattering separates safety glasses from regular glasses and shades. Impacts can be lead spall ricocheting from a steel target or gas-redirected backyards from an overpowered load for shooters. In either case, having a pair of glasses that can withstand the impact and direct objects away from your face is important. Run-of-the-mill glasses and sunglasses are not constructed of suitable materials; they can shatter, potentially increasing damage to the wearer. When selecting a pair of safety glasses, always check that they are rated to the minimum standard ANSI rating of Z87 or better. Furthermore, glasses that don’t provide wrap-around protection aren’t safety glasses. By not protecting the side of the face, the wearer’s eyes are still susceptible to injury.  

What Makes A Good Pair Of Shooting Glasses?

Shooting glasses are arguably a subset of all safety glasses. They must first be impact rated and wrapped around to keep dust, gas, and shrapnel away from the shooter’s eyes. But, shooting glasses need to stay on the shooter’s head while shouldering a rifle or jogging to catch up to a dog on point. A rubberized nose piece and tips are required to stay on a damp brow. 

When paired with earmuffs, a straighter profile of the temple arms helps ensure a good fit around the shooter’s ears. On top of needing to stay in place, shooting glasses need to be low profile to keep from being bumped by scopes, buttstocks, and everyday gear like backpacks or carry straps that pass close to the face. Some of the “shop” style safety glasses many wore in woodworking class, or even the classic Ray-Ban aviators, protrude too far from the shooter’s face to stay in place when nestled behind a scope.

A Men is wearing SSP Eyewear

Shooting Glasses For Everyday Use

The glasses feature high-impact flexible lenses with a Z87+ rating. The polycarbonate lenses are treated with an anti-scratch coating for extended life in rough conditions. 

SSP has several different glasses that they manufacture, including several ballistically rated readers. No, it’s not a joke. As the largest population of outdoorsmen and hunters continue to age, being able to read maps, tie flies on a line, or fill out the right portion of a deer tag is a lot easier with prescription lenses. There are options for polarized and non-polarized shatter-resistant lenses on several models, including a bifocal option.

The Methow Kit

The flagship of SSP eyewear is the Methow Kit. There are a number of interchangeable lens models that SSP carries, but none offer the versatility that the Methow does. including a bifocal option.

The Case

Opening the Methow box, buyers will find the glasses and accessories in a hard-shell style black case. The case is designed to fit the frame, all six lenses, two additional nose pieces, a cleaning cloth, a lanyard, and ear plugs. Ear plugs are the one item the user must supply; everything else listed is included in the kit.

Methow box | SSP Eyewear

Lenses

First, the Methow kit is a blade style promoting a wider range of view and reducing eye fatigue with optically centered lenses. Optically centered lenses reduce the amount of frame that your eyes pick up in the periphery of your vision. If wearing smaller framed glasses gives you a headache, that’s why. 

The polycarbonate lenses are starch resistant, anti-fog, and snap into the frame securely. I am known to be rough with gear and now confidently change lenses out on the frames with just a few minutes of practice. 

The lenses have different colors designed to highlight targets in different conditions. 

  • Clear and yellow lenses are best used in low-light shooting, like indoor ranges or at night. Having worked in construction for several years, the yellow lenses were my preferred choice when working with nail guns inside for the same reason.
  • Brown and orange lenses help increase the contrast of targets in bright areas. Either option would be ideal for busting clays on a bright summer day or hunting pheasant in snowy North Dakota.
  • Purple and Huckleberry lenses best suit overcast or dimmer natural light scenarios. I’ll be putting these lens colors to use during duck and small game season, where the early morning hours require a lens that will let the birds pop out against a gray dawn sky.

Lenses | Methow kit

The Nose Piece

Fitting in between the two headers of Lenses and Frames is the nose piece on the Methow. The adjustable nose piece was a feature that took me by surprise. My crooked nose has made finding glasses that sit evenly on my face a hassle. The nose piece on the Methow is easily adjustable to create a fit that keeps the glasses centered and even on my face. The nose piece is made of a pliable rubber that becomes tackier as it heats up, keeping it secure to your face.

Frame

There is a total of six frame options that shooters can choose for the kit. I went with black and selected the second frame in camo. We went with two to ensure the lenses would fit on a second frame, and I wanted a second frame should I need to use one as a loaner pair. Both frames functioned as expected. The lenses popped into place easily and stayed secure regardless of the movement, including driving the palm of my hand into my face to try and pop the lenses out. Self-harm is not suggested, but it’s what we do in the name of science

The wrap-around style of the Methow frames helps avoid any pressure points while still keeping a low profile. The tips of the glasses are narrow enough not to be obtrusive when wearing headphones.

Additional Accessories

While not part of the Methow kit, there were a number of other goodies we ordered. 

Blinders

Blinders are a solid option for trap and skeet shooters looking to keep their attention squarely on the range and not what folks are doing in the next stall. SSP makes two different blinders styles depending on the shooter’s needs. The first style is the pop-out. The pop-out style blinder is a blinder that attaches to the temple frame of your glasses and works to block any light or wind from the sides. There are multiple holes to fit nearly any style of shooting glasses, I feel like I could have used these in high school, but that’s a story for another time.

The second blinder style is the hat clip. The clips are a great option for shooters that wear ball caps to the range (like yours truly). Clips attached to the brim of ball caps work the same way as the pop-out blinders to focus the field of view on the area directly in front of you, the shooter.

RX Adapter

We had mentioned earlier that SSP makes several optically enhanced lenses for shooters needing a bit more focus. The lenses on the Methow are not RX lenses, but they can be equipped with an RX insert that clips to the nosepiece of the glasses. The clear polycarbonate frames accept standard-size lenses and can be installed by any vision center. For those who need an optometrist to order lenses from, SSP has a recommended professional they can set you up with, for competitive prices.

All said and done. SSP’s Methow Kit is going to be in my range back and on my face for a long time. Interchangeable lenses allow the user to quickly adapt to changing conditions while not sacrificing safety or comfort. For anyone that has struggled with headaches or trying to double up with prescription glasses under shooting glasses this kit and the additional accessories are worth every cent.

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