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Eye Protection Is Key

But What Is Good Eye Protection?

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#1 MattTheSasquatch

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 11:00 AM

I know just about every Nerf War requires eye protection. Yet, there really isn't a topic of what eye protection is actually good and practical. Basically, I want to start this topic (maybe have it pinned) so new Nerfers who do not have proper eye protection can see what is good and what is not. I am going out myself today and possibly next week to get me a good pair. But not even I know of every good pair, or even bad pair. I mean, I think no one would want a person to go buy a three dollar (U.S. currency if anyone is wondering) pair of basic sunglasses and have them shatter in the field and get seriously injured. Everyone enforces this, but there seems to be a lack of what is good eye protection and what is bad (especially with all of us modders starting to create more powerful blasters). So, post comments on what you have used, experienced with, or know of that are good or bad eye protection and I'l start a list in this post for the ease of other users so they do not have to scroll through pages of comments. Be as specific as you can, we don't want to get anyone hurt (not that it has happened, I don't know, but better safe than sorry).


Alright, thanks for the suggestions already and keep them coming. This list is what would be considered a recommendation and guidelines list. This doesn't mean you have to follow or agree with the list. If anyone sees anything in the list that should be moved to a different category or do not agree, don't flame, just leave a respectable comment stating why it should be changed. Again, thanks to everyone for these suggestions. I am not taking credit for this list. NerfHaven as a community may take credit.

Practical:
Lab/Industrial/ANSI Z87.1 - Thanks for the additional help from Jlego. Basically, any rated by ANSI Z87.1 has been impact tested for industrial work/chem lab, which they use that rating system for their standard. "Nothing nerf will punch through those" - Swiftone1990
Airsoft Glasses - BB's can't penetrate, neither will a Stefan.
Nerf Dart Tag - With point blank 1/4in dome darts out of a rainbow by HasreadCoC, these will do just fine.
Paintball Goggles - If a paintball can withstand them, a Stefan shouldn't be any worries. Plus can come with anti-fog lenses.
Shooting Glasses - If they're made to protect from bullet shrapnel, or bullets, then what is a Nerf Dart going to to?

Would Work But May Not Be Too Practical:
Swimming Goggle - They work, but your peripheral vision is blocked.
Ski Goggles - Same as swimming (Thanks to Swiftone1990 for verification).
Standard Pair of Sunglasses - These will definitely work (as long as not glass), but use with CAUTION as sides may be exposed. Recommended to get a pair that wrap around the eyes.

Practicool (inspired by OneWingedAngel):
Sunglasses With Built In Camera - Same as regular sunglasses, but the cool feature of filming.
Welding Helmet - Intimidation factor will come into play, but may lack peripheral.
Face Shield - Seriously, if you use one of these you much be cool.
Mesh Face Shield - It may work, but because of the mesh it may not hold out too well. As well may lack peripheral.

Not Practical:
Prescription/Reading Glasses - Thanks to KaneTheMediocre for the better information. Prescription glasses may be safe as they're made out of a special poly-carbonate plastic, but some pairs may be too small to protect the eyes and may have the possibility to fall off (unless you have goggles over top them). Am I saying don't use these? No. Just fair warning for anyone who may want to and this is clearly at the hosts discretion for if your prescription glasses are protective enough or not.
Unprotected Eyes - ... I'll let Langely or someone cool make a funny comment about unprotected eyes.
Monocle - Seriously, it only covers one eye, and just barely.
Frameless Sunglasses - Probably worse than basic sunglasses as they may be easier to breakage because of lack of a frame structure.
3D Glasses - They maybe give a cool effect, but the effect may mess up your vision and the lenses may not be very durable. Also, probably doesn't cover fairly well.

Also given by Jlego, here is an external link for more information about protective eyeglases Lab Safety Supply

With a helpful tip from Daniel Beaver, if your eye protection tends to fog up, get anti-fogging spray or a drop of dish soap (I didn't even know that).


Is this list final? No. Is this a list that should be made standard? Not necessarily. Everyone has their own opinion. I see this as a guide for players who don't know what to get and want to check out what may work. Then they can venture out and get what they want for they feel is best suited.

Edited by MattTheSasquatch, 05 March 2012 - 05:21 PM.

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#2 Bchamp22795

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 11:09 AM

Lab Safety Glasses from my chemistry class and shop goggles/glasses for "industrial" eye protection. I have also used swimming goggles before, although it does cut off your peripheral vision.
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#3 Swiftone1990

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 12:00 PM

anything with the ansi Z87.1 rating. Nothing nerf will punch through those. And pretty much every hardware and walmart or target carries them.
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#4 BritNerfMogul

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 01:01 PM

I used sunglasses that have a built in camera. Ryan McNumbers wore aviator's at Revolution. Anything will do, as long as it covers your eyes.
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#5 HasreadCoC

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 01:20 PM

I used sunglasses that have a built in camera. Ryan McNumbers wore aviator's at Revolution. Anything will do, as long as it covers your eyes.

It also has to not break, so actual glass glasses are probably out just to be safe.

I personally have fired 1/4" dome darts from an oversized perfectly sealing rainbow at point blank (1ft away) at nerf brand safety glasses (the ones that always came with dart tag) and they held up fine. I personally prefer lab safety glasses though, as they do not tint my vision orange, and they provide a wider field of vision.

Also Britnerf, side note, I PMd you back on facebook about the polycarb cutting (it's Obi), just in case you hadn't been on facebook to see.

Edited by Langley, 05 March 2012 - 11:19 AM.

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#6 Keo

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 02:24 PM

I personally favor some shatter proof airsoft goggles, the kind that tint like regular sunglasses would, not the yellow that would enhance lighting.
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#7 taerKitty

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 02:47 PM

Okay, back on target. I've modded, gutted, spindled/folded/mutilated at least a dozen Splats and Splat-a-likes during my interest addiction to this hobby. All new Splats and Splat-a-likes I've seen have come with safety glasses that feel reasonably resilient and usable. Most of them have gone into the 'community bin' that Dayko hauls around. I may have some that haven't been donated to this higher cause. If so, I'll try blasting them apart with slugs and gluedomes next week.

For our Effin' wars, we're just looking for something to cover your eyes, and probably only from the front. I wear prescription glasses w/o the 'aviator' side-cups, which I gather is what Ryan wore at Rev. I've had a racquetball come off my partner's racquet at full swing and hit me square on the lens on the fly. It cracked the frame and gave me cuts on my brow and cheek from driving the lens into my skin, but the lens itself was undamaged.

As with all things, it's up to the war organizer. If the WO is okay with me wearing prescription glasses, I'll take the responsibility if I do get tagged by a side shot, or my glasses get damaged. I see safety equipment as serving three purposes - keeping the ambulances away, not scaring the parents, and lowering potential legal risks in this sport.
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#8 KaneTheMediocre

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 04:13 PM

Prescription/Reading Glasses - I'm putting them in here for multiple reasons: 1) They're used to help your sight, I would hate for someone to have their glasses that they need to see break. 2) Typically made of glass. They break, ouch. 3) Some pairs can be small and would not cover well.

3) is the only valid concern among these. It applies equally well to sunglasses and alone is sufficient reason not to use them.

2) is simply false, I have never seen glasses that are actually made of glass. Usually, they are made of a special variety of polycarbonate plastic, which is the same stuff used in bullet-proof glass. Depending on how thick they are, they may be tougher than many lab / safety glasses.

1) is a legitimate concern in terms of the glasses falling off, but in my experience this is more likely when they are kludged in conjunction with some other goggles in order to get more coverage. But they're not going to get damaged by anything that you should be shooting at people.

Long long ago I saw a place to buy cheap adaptable side-doohickeys for eyeglasses. I wish I'd ordered a box of them.
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#9 taerKitty

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 04:24 PM

I agree - if you're wearing 'cat eyes' or otherwise very small lenses, you're missing the point. If there's a gap between the top of the frame/lens and the upper lip of your eye socket, that's a place where a dart can hit and still damage the eyeball.

I should probably stop making excuses and get some of those 'overwrap' glasses to go over my prescription specs.

And, as KtM said, glasses are not made of glass. I'd say that my glasses are easily more resistant to direct impact than the Dart Tag goggles. That said, they're also much, much more expensive.
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#10 MattTheSasquatch

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 04:31 PM

Thanks Kane and taer, the new information has been added.
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#11 Jlego

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 04:41 PM

Lab/Industrial - Probably the safest, especially the industrial.
Anything with an Ansi Z87.1 - As stated by Swiftone1990, "Nothing nerf will punch through those".

Specifically, anything that is qualified to ANSI Z87.1, by the most recent revision, should have a marking on it somewhere stating this. Most labs/industrial places would use glasses spec'd to this, seems redundant to list these all individually.
More specifically, anything you want to use for nerf should have Z87+ printed somewhere in the plastic, since this denotes the lenses being impact rated. [Via]


That's just an important clarification, but personally I wouldn't nerf in anything else.
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#12 Swiftone1990

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 05:07 PM

Z87.1 will stop .22 rounds, so they will be fine.
Ski goggles do impair a bit of your vision, but are not bad. Think what a hoodie cuts out of your vision.
A solid hit to anything not goggles will bounce back and cut or bruise you with sufficient force.
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#13 OneWingedAngel

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 05:51 PM

Anything solid that covers the eye qualifies as eyepro for me. Face shields, safety glasses, sunglasses, optical glasses, welding helmets, they all work.
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#14 Blue

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 09:40 PM

Do people seriously have this much trouble finding something to put over their eyes? As long as you aren't using the 3D movie hipster glasses you'll be fine.
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#15 KoRnEd

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 12:46 AM

Important note about eyeglasses: I wear prescription eyeglasses, and I have almost a horror story (TL;DR Don't use choppers pointed at your eyes with loose endcaps, and fat darts). So I put a chopper on my snapbow, and was firing it outside. I put fat dart into it, and fired. Unfortunately for me, the endcap was loose, had no string stop, and came flying at my left eye at a high speed. The lens (probably polycarb) shattered into a bunch of pieces, thankfully none of those pieces went into my eye. I personally don't recommend wearing prescription or even sunglasses. You never know what's going to hit you in your face, and you sure as hell don't want to spend an extra $50 for a new lens.
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#16 HasreadCoC

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 08:15 AM

How about this guys? Full face protection and full vision field.

http://www.harborfre...ield-46526.html

Edited by Langley, 05 March 2012 - 11:21 AM.

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#17 MattTheSasquatch

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 08:18 AM

KoRnEd, I'm glad you're ok and not seriously injured. My little incident may not be as dangerous, but painful. I was in a friends room who was selling a modded Firefly (I bought it and modding it further) and he was test firing it. One of the darts hit the portion between the eye ball and the brow. That stung for a while. Even stock darts on a modified blaster can be painful.

Blue, No one has trouble finding protecting. Just some protection such as prescription eyeglasses or possibly some sunglasses may not be well suited. What I hope to in the future is take the list in depth after some hard research and really point out stuff to stay away from. Cause I think no one in the Nerf Community wants to see anyone get hurt from poor protection. Has it happened before? Possibly. I haven't heard any stories of it in battle, but I sure as hope to keep it that way.

HasreadCoC, Nice find on that. But that is already in the Practicool section. I'm still debating about hitting up a Goodwill or Salvation Army to find one cheap.

Edited by MattTheSasquatch, 04 March 2012 - 08:23 AM.

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#18 pinhead52

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 09:52 AM

I'm surprised nobody has mentioned Paintball goggles. They are designed for comfort, long hours of running around, limited peripheral vision obstruction, and the anti-fog lenses are easy to come by.
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#19 Duxburian

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 12:18 PM

For those of us who wear prescription glasses, there are safety glasses out there designed to be worn over prescriptions. I wear mine loose, but they do have side clips for stabilization if necessary. These safety glasses can be found from Google, are lightweight, Z87+ rated, protect the side angles, and are cheaper (even with shipping) than a nitefinder. You might think that wearing glasses over glasses would suck, but it really doesn't affect anything. I still have a full field of vision, can judge the ground perfectly, can aim just as well, and run just as fast. Even if your prescription glasses can take a direct hit, you don't want scratches and other damage on them. I've been hit in the glasses 4 times in the past 2 wars. Trust me, you feel much better when those darts are bouncing off of a surface designed specifically to take impacts.
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#20 Langley

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 12:31 PM

Taer, don't the splat goggles have a safety rating on them? I can't find mine, but the pair I have that came with the chalk-darts had something embossed on the sides.

I've seen exactly one full-on failure of eye protection. Someone who was wearing prescription glasses was hit with a mega (size 7 fishing weight) out of a singled 1500. The lens popped out of the frame, and the edge hit him in the eye. There was no permanent damage, but it scratched his eyelid and he reported that it was painful to focus for the rest of the day. Remember that even if prescription lenses are made of thick polycarbonate, the frames aren't necessarily designed to withstand an impact.

Typically I don't try to define what eye protection is or inspect what everyone's wearing when I host a war, but I try to encourage people who wear glasses to get real protective eyewear. You can get safety/sport glasses with a prescription relatively cheaply, and you can get safety goggles meant to fit over glasses at your local hardware store. Here's one source that I believe Muttonchops has ordered from with some success. http://www.cheapglas...m/sport-glasses
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#21 Curly

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 01:36 PM

I've used full-face protection like the one HasReadCOC mentioned. An issue I had was that the plastic fogged up quickly and was difficult to see out of. However, 0% chance of facerape and nasty headshots are very helpful. The solution I stick too is a ABS plastic welding mask just like this, with the lens and flip-up piece removed and the view widened to not mess up my vision. I then wear nice safety glasses that cover everything the mask doesn't, and are ANSI certified.

Replacing the two costs under $15, and a couple minutes with a dremel to widen the view. Also, in the event the mask falls off or is damaged, I can remove it and still have the protection of the glasses.
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#22 HasreadCoC

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 02:37 PM

I've used full-face protection like the one HasReadCOC mentioned. An issue I had was that the plastic fogged up quickly and was difficult to see out of. However, 0% chance of facerape and nasty headshots are very helpful.

I'll do you one better. No fog, able to be yelled through more easily (for team work), but just sadly not as awesome looking.

http://www.harborfre...ield-97010.html

Honestly, at under $10, and compatible with glasses, this should work fine for pretty much anyone just so long as the mesh cant be shot through.
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#23 BOSS9

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 03:32 PM

you sure as hell don't want to spend an extra $50 for a new lens.


Or $1000s for a new eye. Everyone who uses a dremel should have a good pair of safety glasses already, and just use those. I have a nicer not-scratched up pair I use for wars. If you have glasses, just use those chemistry goggles over them.
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#24 mysterio

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 09:34 PM

I use splat glasses, and looking at the side, they say "WARNING: These glasses are a toy and do not provide protection."
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If two powerful is a problem then just go with one powerful. I guess this style of hopper will work even beyond three powerful..


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#25 KatanasPWN

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 10:21 PM

With the mesh facemask you could spraypaint/stencil a design on it, and still see through it! That could be pretty cool, but honestly if I were to go that far, I'd just use an iron man mask painted to my liking. If you had the money this would be pretty cool also.
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