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ESS ICE Kit & RX Insert Review

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews' started by mercop, Apr 10, 2009.

  1. mercop

    mercop Empty Pockets

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    At the SHOT Show, I stopped by the ESS booth and picked up one of their ICE Tactical Kits. I have been wearing glasses since I was three years old. During my military and law enforcement careers, wearing prescription eyewear presented some problems with protective masks, but the idea of wearing contacts and leaving my eyes unprotected never appealed to me. Not to mention seeing the effects that OC has on contacts.

    Because of having very photosensitive eyes, I switch off between my regular glasses and a pair of RX Oakley sunglasses. A few months ago, during some horseplay with my kids, I snapped my regular glasses in half and had to spend two days wearing my sunglasses for everything until my replacements came in. I wanted to have another pair of regular glasses on hand in the event that I broke either my regular glasses or Oakley’s. What I couldn’t justify was spending a few hundred dollars on something I “might” need.

    The majority of MCS classes involve force on force and we require eye protection. I usually wear goggles to save my glasses. After checking out the ICE Tactical Kit and finding that it accepted RX inserts, I decided to give it a shot. In the past, I had my reservations about using any kind of a RX insert or having a prescription filled by mail, but I conceded. The Tactical Kit retails for $85 and includes the following-

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    Rose Copper Lens with Foliage Green Frames
    Clear Lens with Black Frames
    Hi-Def Yellow lens with black nose piece
    Op-Drops Anti-Fog Solution
    Microfiber Storage pouch / Cleaning Cloth
    Elastic Retention Strap
    Protective Hard Case

    The next step was getting a copy of my current prescription and going to the ESS website to order my RX insert. The format was user friendly. Within minutes, I had ordered my insert. In about 10 days, a small package showed up at my PO Box containing my RX insert, nosepiece, and case. Everything, including shipping, was around $135.

    Unlike some other eyewear, the first thing that struck me about the construction of the ICE glasses was that they felt pliable and “unbreakable” even though there is no such thing. Snapping the RX insert into the RX nosepiece adaptor and then into the frame of your choice is easy for anyone that is familiar with Legos. It really is that easy. Same thing goes for the adjustable frames. We were getting ready for a holiday road trip, so I chose the Rose Copper lens since they provided the best sun protection. Over the years, I have probably had around 50 prescriptions and this is the clearest one ever. The clearness of the prescription coupled with the crispness of the Rose Copper lenses was amazing. I wore them during the three-hour drive and even as the sun went down things were still amazingly clear. The rubber of the one-piece nosepiece and the adjustable / flexible temples make them super comfortable.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    Everyone has had buyer’s remorse when it comes to buying gear. The quality of the ICE Kit and its added value made me feel like I got more for my money. In one small kit I have the ability to pop my prescription into three different color frames allowing me to easily adapt to my environment. With the clear lens if another unfortunate accident should fall upon my regular glasses I have a back up pair with my current prescription. The glasses have an admittedly low CDI (Chicks Dig It) factor compared to my slim Oakley’s, but provide unraveled wrap around eye protection. I also like the idea that there is a ballistic resistant lens covering my prescription. Even if I drop them on the deck, it would do little damage, unlike regular glasses. And if the lens does get scratched, I pop another one and replace that color for $16.

    [​IMG]

    My final opinion is that when it comes to tactical eye protection the ICE Tactical Kit offers the best bang for the buck. If you also happen to wear prescription glasses, I would be at a loss to recommend a better option for you.
     
  2. netprophet21

    netprophet21 Empty Pockets

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    Thanks for the review, I've been wondering how well the RX inserts worked. Looks like I"ll be ordering a pair soon. O0
     
  3. newtothis007

    newtothis007 Loaded Pockets

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    great review

    T
     
  4. mercop

    mercop Empty Pockets

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    Used the Rose Copper lenses again today while shooting a pistol match with my daughter. The clarity if phenomenal, like most of us who wear glasses I have had bad scripts. When I took them off to put my Oakelys back on in the car I could no believe how bright it was. Best gear money I have spent in a few years.- George
     
  5. bartsdad

    bartsdad Loaded Pockets

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    Did you order directly from ESS? Is this the kit you ordered? I'm going in this week for an exam and have been looking for a lens system. Thanks for the review. I'm not a "tactical guy", but I do spend a ton of time outdoors doing various activities and really would like a good prescription system up to hard use.

    Thanks Chris
     
  6. mercop

    mercop Empty Pockets

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    Got the same kit at SHOT but did my RX through the website.- George
     
  7. bartsdad

    bartsdad Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks, I'm going to seriously consider this setup.
     
  8. greenLED

    greenLED Empty Pockets

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    Thanks for the review, George.
    I don't wear glasses, but have been wondering about the ESS ICE for range work. Any feedback on that?
    Thanks!
     
  9. mercop

    mercop Empty Pockets

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    Shot a pistol competition with them on SAT. We will be recommending them for all of our courses since we require wrap around eye protection- George
     
  10. jlomein

    jlomein Loaded Pockets

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    I would like to note that eyewear fit is dependent on the user's face/head shape and each manufacturer's eye protection models fit differently. I agree that the ESS ICE is a high quality product, but they simply do not fit my head. They are very tight on my temple areas, the bottom of the lens cuts into my cheeks, and the nose support doesn't sit securely. I also bought the Revision Sawfly and found them to be comfortable without any of the ESS ICE problems. I have a wide face and large head (I wear a 7 and 7/8th size hat) with a small nose bridge.

    Therefore I would recommend each potential buyer to try out several models and see what fits best. Note that some manufacturers offer two sizes. The ESS ICE comes in a regular or small/narrow model, while the Revision Sawfly comes in regular or large.
     
  11. greenLED

    greenLED Empty Pockets

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    Thanks, George; that tells me a lot.

    That's partly the reason I asked. The "eyes" I have right now are not overly comfortable; they kinda pinch my temples/ears after I wear them for a while. I agree with you; everybody should try the models they're thinking about buying.
     
  12. Clead

    Clead Loaded Pockets

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    I'm pretty sure that's the same Rx carrier that will fit in the V12 Advancer goggles. I already have polycarbonate Rx Transitions lenses in my Bollé Thunderstruck frames, but I wanted something for power tool use, motorcycling, TacRifle and 3-gun matches so I ordered the carrier by itself, and took it into my local Walmart eye center for a pair of lenses. I know.. Walmart.. I'm on a budget, OK! :rolleyes: I had picked up a deal on Ebay for $65: the V12 goggles in a belt case with Clear, Smoke, and Amber lenses in hard clamshell cases of their own. I did my setup for the same reason as Mercop.. Rx lenses behind cheap replaceable polycarbonate shields! It's the best of both worlds. 2 thumbs up for ESS for having such a great Rx system.