Comfortable, lightweight and crystal-clear lenses. Those were the first thoughts that crossed my mind as I slipped on the Wiley X Jake’s for the first time.
The main reason why I bought these glasses was for Airsofting. While these glasses were originally manufactured with other outdoor activities in mind (fishing, racing, skiing), these are rated for high-velocity protection (EXCEEDS ANSI Z87.1-2003 HIGH VELOCITY PROTECTION). Foam inserts around the inside of the lense also protect the wearer from exposure to exessive sunlight, dust, and wind while also remaining breathable and fog-resistant. In my case, they would also block bb’s from hitting my eyes, which is a great plus!
The Wiley X Jakes come in many different colors and lens options. I opted for the brown frames with the polarized amber lenses. Polarized lenses are a must for deep sea fishing, as they eliminate glare from reflective surfaces such as water. I wasn’t expecting to encounter a lot of reflective surfaces while playing airsoft, but in my experience, polarized lenses eliminate a lot of glare in general. They also seem to increase the amount of contrast that you can see; blades of grass and outlines of shapes are sharper, which can give you a slight advantage while trying to identify friends and foes on the battle field.
In the past, i’ve used many different types of eye protection while playing airsoft. Full paintball masks are great because they not only protect your eyes, but also your forehead, face, and ears. However, it can be harder to breath through the ventilation slits. Having a full face mask also prevents the wearer from easily aiming down sights while also hindering a bit of their peripheral vision. Wearing just glasses exposes more of your head and teeth from injury, but also allows more flexibility for resting your cheek while aiming down sights or optics.
Goggles can be cumbersome and uncomfortable. ESS makes great googles with a clear viewing window and even a nose protector; though some would say it looks like you are wearing scuba gear. In my experience though, goggles are more prone to fogging up. This is especially true if you are wearing a head wrap or shemagh (This traps your body heat). You could utilize anti-fog products such as Cat Crap or anti-fog wipes. Others have found that spreading your spit or saliva in the lenses also prevents the accumulation of moisture inside the lenses. I wore both a shemagh and baseball cap while donngin the Jakes, and did not encounter any fogging issues at all; even during heavy exertion activities such as running and climbing.
When I first saw these glasses online, I was a bit skeptical at first. The colors seemed to bright. I needed something a bit more subdued since bright colors can give up your position and make it harder to find concealment from opposing forces. After viewing these in person, the pictures of the product online made it seem brighter than they really were. The frames are a nice dark brown and the lighter areas are more of a tan color than a white or yellow. The somewhat glossy finish didn’t appear to be too reflective. The quality is also premium in my opinion. They are durable and light as well.
I previously owned Wiley X Airrages from their black ops line (Wiley X’s self promoted line of safety and outdoor glasses for military and tactical gear). These glasses share similar features such as : removable foam inserts for full seal, lightweight, included zippered case with cleaning cloths and adjustable straps for added security. However, the quality of the Jakes seemed higher, even though they are around the same price. The frames on my air rages seemed to be made of a flexible plastic, but they felt cheap.The lenses were also not polarized, though they exceeded ANSI ratings as well.
My gripe with the airrages were born from three distinct problems I had that made them virtually unusable. They fogged up like crazy and they distracted my vision because I could distincitly see the outlines of the inner part of the frames (the part closes to my nose). They were also very uncomfortable. The Airrages have fogged when I have played in 90 degree weather and also in the low 60′s. I applied fogtech, I spit in the lenses and even tried cat crap to no avail. And trying to sight while two black rings in the lower half of your vision was not only distracting, but also annoying.
Overall, I am very happy with my purchase of the Jakes. I highly recommend them to anyone looking for a pair of glasses that are not only stylish, but lightweight and comfortable. The removable full-sea foam inserts make the glasses adaptable from any situation; from driving around town to fishing in the open sea, airsofting to shooting real steel on the range, and even riding your motorcycle or hunting game. I have even used these with the mesh wire lower face masks and they still sat comfortable without restricting the fit of the mask. You can’t go wrong with these.
Retail: $140, though I found deals online and on ebay from $80-$120. Comes with zippered case, cleaning cloth and adjustable wraparound straps. Overall Grade: A.