NOTE: I have no idea why they call these “Goggles” when they are really just Sunglasses
I started wearing the Wiley-X SG-1 V-Cut Tactical Goggles in Iraq about 5 years ago after destroying about 15 pairs of sunglasses. I managed to toast my old sunglasses in every imaginable way possible - sitting on and crushing, dropping and breaking, placing in my front pocket and sitting down, stepping on, getting drunk and dropping them through a hole in the floor in one of Saddam’s old palaces are only a few examples of the ways I have mangled sunglasses.
So after having a pair of Ray-Bans fly off while I was standing in the back of a Bongo truck I went to the IZ PX and picked up a pair of Wiley-X SG-1 V-Cut Tactical Goggles. The only reason I picked that particular brand and model of “sports/tactical” sunglasses was because I didn’t want to go the Oakley route because I am not really keen on the NASCAR fan look like my brother Bubba G. seems to like.
Luckily for me they turned out to be the toughest pair of sunglasses I have ever owned outside of dedicated safety glasses. Not that Wiley-X’s don’t have their bad points (they have a few), but they are great for the desert environment and they are kick-ass tough
You can stuff these into your pocket, drop them on the concrete, throw them at someone or even do a half-sit on them (like when you forget your sunglasses are in a chair and you start to sit on them). If you scratch the lenses you can just pop them out and replace them (or change from dark lenses to clear lenses) in just a few seconds.
They are also unique among sunglasses because they have a foam ring around each lens that basically turns them into a goggle/sunglass combo. This is a much needed feature especially if you are working in the desert where sand is always kicking up in your face or when you are driving around with the hairdryer hot air blowing in your face.
The Wiley-X’s sit on your face and not on your nose like normal sunglasses so if you sweat allot (and you will in the desert or during heavy training) or have oily skin they will not slip down your nose – a big plus for me.
They fog sometimes, especially when going from an air conditioned building to the desert heat, but a bit of spit or anti-fog spray takes care of that no problem (fogging has never been a big problem for me with Wiley-X’s but I still wanted to mention it.
Also the foam on the lenses and the rubber on the arms will start to come off a bit after 6 months if you sweat like a pig like I do. But it is no big deal; I just glued them back on with some superglue from my first aid kit.
These are not the “coolest” looking sunglasses out there – some people even say they are clunky looking. Sure, titanium Oakleys and Ray-Ban Aviators are way more pimp but if you are as hard on sunglasses as I am in-country then you don’t want to waste your money on nice stuff like that. Save the cool sunglasses for your R&R.
You can also remove the arms and attach an elastic strap so you can wear them like traditional goggles but I really have not seen many people who do that (except maybe for Vin Diesel). Also when you use the elastic straps they are tight as a mother-fucker so you feel like your eyeballs are being shoved into your head. I threw out my headband after wearing them once.
They also come with a padded soft case that is half the size of a shoebox, it looks cool but it’s not like someone deploying can give up that sort of space in their bag. The good part is these are tough enough to just throw in your cargo pocket or in a pouch on your rig.
The Wiley-X SG-1 V-Cut Tactical Goggles are great operational specific sunglasses (like I would not wear them in the states, but I wear them all the time in Iraq) that have some minor faults. If you don't quite need a pair of real goggles then they are great for filling in the gap between sunglasses and goggles.
If you are looking for a pair of full-on goggles then be on the look out for an article on the only brand of goggles we recommend when you wear a helmet later next week.
Wiley-X SG-1 V-Cut Tactical Goggles >>> Around 100 Bucks
~James G Founder - Editor in Chief
James G is a Veteran Civilian Contractor who has worked in the Middle East and Southeast Asia for way too long; he has traveled to over 50 countries chasing fortune and glory. He spends his off time in Indonesia and Virginia getting drunk, shooting guns, writing poorly written articles and spending 20 minutes picking up bullets after 3 M-4 mags slid off the roof of his car and blew open like a bullet piñata into the sand