Today I’m reviewing the Wiley X SG-1 tactical goggle. I was really lucky to score two pairs of these off ebay a few months ago off someone who evidently didn’t care how much they were selling them for, or had no idea what their street value is. I picked up both pairs for a bit over $40 shipped! The suggested retail price for these are $110 per pair in the configuration that I have. Let’s take a closer look at them.
The description from Wiley is as follow:
Designed for jump missions, close-quarter combat, urban warfare or just looking good in your downtime. These sunglasses in a goggle were inspired by the Army Rangers for multi-operational deployment. Durable Ultra Foam rubber-based rim seals your eyes from foreign objects and particles. Ballistic, anti-fog lenses can be changed depending on weather, environment and operation. Functions with NVG’s. Fits under all issued helmets. Meets both ANSI Z87.1-2003 and the military’s ballistic requirement, MIL-PRF-31013.
So, the way I see it, if it’s built to military specs it should work like a champ for airsoft right? The answer is yes and no.
Packaging and Included Items
I received the goggles and all their accessories in the pouch that they come with, not in a retail package, so I cannot attest to the packaging. The pouch consists of 4 compartments: 2 internal and 2 external. The two external compartments are sized for the interchangeable lenses and hold one each. The internal compartments allow you to store the goggles, bungee, temples, and elastic strap. The lenses included with my package were clear and smoke, but additional lenses (such as polarized smoke) are also available. Upon taking the gear out the package for the first time, they are assembled with the head strap and the clear lenses installed with the smoke lenses in small zip-lock bags in the outer pouches.
Hey, their goggles, how hard are they to use? There are really only so many things you can do other than wear them, and we’ll look at those first.
Switching out the head-strap for the sunglasses style temples requires no tools. This is easily accomplished by gently pulling the connectors that attach the elastic strap to the glasses frame, (you might need to press your thumbnail against the locking tab when doing so).
Changing the lenses is also a simple process, albeit a bit scary. The lenses are held in place by a small plastic tab on the fame around them. To take out the lens one must gently pry the top edge of the frame away from the lens while pushing the lens out. At first this might seem a bit intimidating as the lenses tend to twist and the plastic flexes easily (more on this later). Once the top is free, the lens swings back and down easily. Putting the new one in is a simple as snapping it in place.
Adjusting the head strap is not much different from adjusting any other strap, so I really hope I don’t need to leave you an explanation for that.
Enough about the accessories and parts, let’s see how they perform.
The lenses themselves are made of to meet the ballistic requirements for the US military, therefore they should have no problem stopping a 6mm plastic bb whatsoever. After having done some backyard and woodland skirmishing with friends, I can say they’ve been shot at least once, and there is no visible problems with them whatsoever. While they haven’t been shot at close range, I have seen a picture of a soldier who unfortunately took a blast from an IED while wearing a pair of these. Let’s say the pictures of the soldier were not the most pleasant to look at (hence the reason I have not posted them here), but the soldier had zero damage within the rim of the lenses. There were cuts from the impact of the frames against his face, but his eyes were perfectly intact.
The lenses each have a foam lip round them with notches removed. They seem to work well at keeping dust and dirt out, but I do not know how well they might work in a very windy and sandy environment (as I live in a woodland climate). The seal is more than adequate to keep the a majority of the dust and dirt out in my experience.
The frames, although somewhat flimsy when changing lenses, are not as fragile as first impressions might lead you to think. I’ve swapped the lenses several times, and they’ve taken shots and been dropped with no notable problems.
In wearing both the clear and smoke lenses, I have to say both work well. There is no notable distortion of the image looking through them, although I do wish I had a set of polarized smoke lenses rather than the standard smoke lenses. I guess I’m just spoiled with my Bolle sunglasses?!
The elastic head band is very durable, easy to adjust, and holds to the adjustment without slipping even after hours of wear. The sunglasses temples are easy to switch out and work equally as well, and the included keeper cord works well to retain them if they do happen to slip off. They weight nearly nothing, and are very comfortable once you’ve adjusted the strap. You should have no problem wearing these for extended periods of time.
So far I have only come across two problems while wearing them. If you’re wearing a Nomex hood, or UnderArmour hood, they do have a tendency to fog up a bit when you get sweaty or start breathing hard. There are some simple ways to fix this. Either pull them a touch a way from your face to allow some air to flow through, or you can use the soap trick. Place a tiny drop of soap in each clean lens. Rub the soap around and then using a clean dry cloth wipe all the soap you can off. This will leave it almost crystal clear, and the lenses should be fog free for at least a good day of skirmishing. The last method requires removing a bit of the foam on each lens from the upper inside edge. This helps the air circulate through, at the cost of some dust and debris protection.
The Wiley X SG-1 tactical goggles are excellent if you prefer goggles with a wide field of view, slim design, and light weight. The trade off comes in possible fogging, and not being true full seal goggles. In my opinion, the comfort and flexibility make up for that. At +$100 MSRP, it might not be everyone’s idea of a good value, and had I not found them for such a cheap price I probably went with a mid-level set of ESS goggles, but if you hunt around on the Internet they can be found for $30-50 each.
tags: airsoft reviews tactical gear wiley goggle