Everyday Carry Pocket Dump of the Day: Cheap Sunglasses? [Music]

Rick's everydaycarry.com pocket dump

The title of this post is a little misleading. Rick’s everydaycarry.com pocket dump includes a pair of Costa Del Mar Blackfin Polarized Sunglasses. Amazon sells them for $102.96 – $258.95. So they ain’t cheap. But even that is relatively inexpensive compared to . . .

a pair of high-end prescription sunglasses.

Especially if you have them made from thinner material, coated for scratch resistance, and photochromic reaction. And maybe bi-or trifocal vision. Five bills for all that isn’t beyond the realm of possibility.

But a good pair of sunglasses is key to armed self-defense. You’ve got to see it — an imminent credible threat of grievous bodily harm or death — coming!

Or am I overstating the case? Are you as safe with a pair of cheap sunglasses as you are with the good stuff? What sunglasses do you, the everyday carrier, wear?

comments

  1. avatar OmnivorousBeorn says:

    ESS Crowbar, semi-mirror finish, non-polarized. They’re $90, and work well. I like them, but they scream tactical. I blend in a lot better without them, so unless I need them I don’t wear them.

    Being eye pro, I mostly wear ’em at the range.

    1. avatar Flinch says:

      Kripes people! Expensive sunglasses cost many hundreds to thousand of dollars. A hundred bucks won’t even get you glass lenses. Heck even $200 will still buy plastic lenses by most companies. What you’re talking about here is the the difference between cheap/disposable sunglasses and budget/safety sunglasses.

      The real issue here is why on God’s green earth anyone would carry a Benchmade Axis knife with a spyderco-like hole. The axis blade deployment is vastly faster using an axis lock release combined with a light wrist flick compared to a blade hole thumb arc. The hole is just a throwback to pre-axis lock days.

      Know your gear dudes! Sheesh.

      1. avatar OmnivorousBeorn says:

        Okay. And your point is . . . ? At some point, a thing is expensive no matter how expensive it COULD get. For instance, a $3K gun is an expensive gun, even though there’s guns that cost $250K+.

        “Know your gear dudes! Sheesh.”

        The question was what sunglasses we wore.

  2. avatar strych9 says:

    I wear Maui Jim sunglasses pretty much exclusively and have for a decade plus. I find them to be the best compromise on quality, price and fit for my weird-ass skull.

    Currently rocking Peahi wrap glasses. Super light green lenses for most applications or a pair of darker brown lenses for bright conditions. I have an older pair of aviator style glasses, similar to their Freight Trains in an ultra dark lens for sunny conditions where there’s a ton of glare, such as when there is snow on the ground or when I’m on the water. All are mirrored to some degree.

    As for safety… I don’t think cheapo sunglasses should be used as a form of PPE and even higher end sunglasses have their issues when used this way. They work for shooting but that’s not usually a situation requiring shatter resistance. They are however a good safety enhancement on the road and they do wonders for keeping your eyes from getting tired later in the day which I suppose is a safety issue.

    1. avatar OmnivorousBeorn says:

      Would you mind expounding on your comment that “even higher end sunglasses have their issues”?

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        So, this is just MHO.

        There are a ton of sunglass styles out there. A high-end example would be Ray-Ban aviators with shatter/scratch resistant glass lenses. Great sunglasses, my dad has pairs of them that are approaching half a century old.

        Great sunglasses, shitty PPE for applications like shooting a suppressed pistol. Too much room for stuff to get around the lens and hit your eye.

        Just an example.

        1. avatar OmnivorousBeorn says:

          Okay, thanks.

        2. avatar Geoff PR says:

          “… A high-end example would be Ray-Ban aviators with shatter/scratch resistant glass lenses.”

          I’m 20/400 uncorrected. (Blind as a fvcking bat.)

          I’m rocking Ray-Ban Aviators (large black frame) with high-refraction *plastic* lenses. Lots easier to live with than the glass type. *Massive* field-of-view for driving and the occasional ride in someone’s spam can.

          Like you, I have a pair of my dad’s Ray-Ban square frame cable-temples he wore back in the 50’s. I just need to cough up the cash for prescription lenses for ’em…

  3. avatar Zeke says:

    I’m too cheap for prescription sunglasses, or those “transitioning” types. I just snap a pair of $40 clip-ons on top of my regular frames.

    That said, before my OFWG (Old F&cker With Glasses, haha!) days, the BEST sunglasses I ever had were a pair of Ray-Bans. Damned good shades back in the day!

    1. avatar KTR says:

      About 25 years ago I got a pair of Ray Ban and had Rx lenses put in.

      Last year I did it again, Rx is now progressive no line and the sunglasses were about 3 times more expensive.

      But I sure love them. 🙂

    2. avatar strych9 says:

      Still damned good but dat inflation has them on par pricewise with a lot of other high end brands.

      1. avatar Zeke says:

        You ain’t kidding! I looked into getting a spare pair a few years ago, and was utterly floored at the prices for them (especially since my particular model was discontinued a couple of decades ago). When I saw the prices they were going for now, I gave serious consideration to putting them in the safe with the heavier assemblies of metal. 🙂

  4. avatar DrewR says:

    Um, I don’t really care about the sunglasses, can we talk about the holster? I don’t understand how anyone who buys a $500 gun and $100 sunglasses and then trusts his life to a cheap nylon holster has their priorities wrong. Especially a Glock guy.

    “I carry a Glock because it’s the most reliable, but I’m going to carry it in the least reliable type of holster I can get.”

    Sound logic there.

    1. avatar OmnivorousBeorn says:

      Yeah. Or we could also ask, “Why don’t you carry any medical gear?” Carrying a RATS is about as easy an EDC item as you could ask for, and it’s a lot more important than a lot of gear. Just my opinion, of course.

      1. avatar A O says:

        A RAT is crap. Demonstrated through training, they consistently show extreme difficulty for individual application when under extreme stress and also slip a lot when applying with blood present. They are more practical for buddy application but not self application. Spend $10 more and buy a CAT or SoftT.

        1. avatar OmnivorousBeorn says:

          This Green Beret medic of 20 years would say it’s actually good: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzIXjG0I9EU&t=959s

          Another point he made was that you can use it on kids, which is a MASSIVE plus to me.

          The video includes a demo toward the end of a one-handed application. All TQs are good, but I said the RATS specifically because it’s easy to carry: Just wrap around your belt.

        2. avatar strych9 says:

          The obvious caveat is that 99% of people who carry a RATS (a TQ with no clinical data and from a company with a history of misleading clients) don’t have 20 years experience as a SOF medic as stress innoculation/experience in on the fly troubleshooting in chaotic and frightening environments so his recommendation is a sword that cuts both ways.

          Other people have pointed out the potential for use on small children. The question in that case becomes statistical and based on your life.

        3. avatar OmnivorousBeorn says:

          Stress is a factor, but carrying a TQ of any kinda can’t hurt. It’s far more likely to help, seems like.

          Yeah, some people don’t have kids around. But why not prepare for it?

          Also, what is their “history of misleading clients”?

          If by clinical data you mean the place that hasn’t certified a TQ in 15 years, I’m fine with that if it’s been working for 15 years all over the world with everything from cats to large men. YMMV.

        4. avatar strych9 says:

          Anecdotal “it works with…” is just that anecdotal. When you’re bleeding the fuck out do you want the anecdotal TQ or the one with a boatload of clinical and battlefield data that backs up it’s effectiveness? Only a fool picks the former. It’s like comparing me to JWT. If you’ve been shot I can very likely deal with that based on previous training I’ve had but I ain’t no combat medic. Given the choice between myself and JWT you’d be an idiot to pick me.

          As for misleading clients. OK, this gets a bit complicated. I’ve posted it before, but since you ask I’ll do it again and try to keep myself from writing a book. As such, I’ll bullet point things.

          1) There is a set of standards out there called the TCCC. That’s shorthand for Tactical Combat Casualty Care. TCCC is the standard for pre-hospital/battlefield medical care.

          2) The standards set forth in the TCCC are created by the Committee on Tactical Combat Casualty Care (CoTCCC).

          3) The RATS TQ advertised itself as “TCCC Approved” by placing a label on the device that said this. This statement is simultaneously true and untrue.

          4) The RATS TQ was never certified by the Committee on Tactical Combat Casualty Care and is not part of the Tactical Combat Casualty Care standards or guidelines. Never. Not fucking once.

          5) What the manufacturer of the RATS TQ did was create a company, a commercial entity, that they named and placed a trademark on. That company is called “Tactical Combat Casualty Care” and that business filed for trademark on that name on March 20th, 2012. This is problematic since the REAL committee and standards for this had have had that name since 2006 (which means the company should’t be able to trademark the name but I digress because the trademark isn’t the point).

          6) The RATS TQ manufacturer then had their own company “approve” the RATS TQ. This allowed them to place a label on the device that says “TCCC Approved”.

          7) That statement is/was clearly meant to convince customers the RATS TQ meets the standards set forth by and has been approved by the actual Committee on Tactical Combat Casualty Care which is absolutely untrue.

          ITS Tactical busted these guys back a while ago, like three fucking years ago and still, to this day, retards carry this TQ without knowing that the company is a staffed by the kind of underhanded people who would pull this shit and put YOUR life in jeopardy to make a few bucks.

          So yeah, fuck the RATS TQ and fuck the people who make it. They’re liars and their lying isn’t about something insignificant like the stitching on a on a shirt. They’re lying about being CoTCCC certified for life-saving emergency equipment and that’s about as fucking low as you can get. These people should be facing a fucking firing squad, not making money off their uncertified and unproven product which people are betting their lives on. If they did this kind of thing with something like a harness the guy’s who fly steel use the government would have put people in prison over it.

          I give no fucks what some Delta dude says about the product. The company claims are a sham, they have no clinical data and they have mislead/flat-out lied about the product in question. Hence, carrying a RATS is foolish. It’s an unproven product sold by proven hucksters. Buy a CAT or a SOF-T and stop handing cash to fucktards who don’t care if you live or die while using their product.

        5. avatar OmnivorousBeorn says:

          Of course I’d pick JWT over you, but that doesn’t mean I’d pick nothing over you, right?

          Thanks again for your knowledge! That’s pretty impressively low.

          The ITS article did say they did not question the RATS’ efficacy, and in light of that and the video above, I’d say lab testing is unnecessary if I have field testing.

          I already have a CAT, and it’s a pang to carry. I’d rather carry a RATS than nothing for the same reason I’d rather carry a gun made by criminals and live than not carry it and die. I bet you’ll find that despicable/offensive, but hey, it’s my life, right?

        6. avatar strych9 says:

          “The ITS article did say they did not question the RATS’ efficacy…”

          They point that out for a number of reasons. One, it’s not the thrust of that article. Two, they’re not competent to make that judgement and therefore it isn’t their place to do so.

          SkinnyMedic OTOH, does question the efficacy, simplicity and basically everything else about the RATS TQ and comes to the basic conclusion that a belt and a thick stick are a better solution unless you’re dealing with a child where he says it might work better than a CAT or SOF-T depending on the situation.

          Like you said, your life. If you wanna bet your life on the RATS, go ahead but be aware you’ll probably never really get it tight in a situation where you need it. Just think about how it works. Want to test it? Try wrapping that thing super hard after you slick down your hands with baby oil (to simulate blood all over your hands because when you need a TQ someone’s bleeding A LOT). Good luck getting it tight enough to restrict blood flow.

          A CAT isn’t hard to carry. You just need a better method for doing it.

        7. avatar OmnivorousBeorn says:

          I respect SkinnyMedic, but I also respect the people who have used it effectively. I guess I’ll have to find out more to determine if it’s actually effective.

          What are good ways of CCing a TQ?

  5. avatar Larry says:

    Maui Jim, here too .

  6. avatar Tile floor says:

    Wiley x valor for range and police work use, Oakley gascan and flak xlj for every day

  7. avatar A O says:

    Whatever they have at Wal-Mart in the fishing aisle for less than $10, but have to be polarized. I ruin too many of sunglasses so I keep a glovebox full of them.

    So no one comments on me being cheap, I carry a SigP229.

    1. avatar OmnivorousBeorn says:

      Hey, sometimes cheap is the way to go, especially if you’ll be replacing it a lot.

    2. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      Gotcha beat AO,
      I hit a sale at a local LGS. They were blowing stuff out the door, parking lot sale style. Along with free burgers and hot dogs for customers.
      They had safety shooting glasses WITH a +2 bi-focal insert. 2 bucks a pair. I bought a case.
      I went there for a scope mount. Ended up spending almost 500 bucks on stuff. Things like 5.11 tactical pants for ten bucks, Surefire water bottle for 2 bucks, Atlas bipod for 99 bucks, etc… I was surprised at my final tab.
      But those glasses? They rock.

  8. avatar rt66paul says:

    If you have a $1 store nearby, they often have wire frame aviator type sunglasses for $1 a pair. You can buy 10 pair, they should last you a year, so cares if they get lost or stolen?
    Yes, they are cheap, but have the UV coating and decent lenses. I’ll put them up against any pair that cost up to $50. If you do not need prescription glasses or can wear contacts, you can be served very well by these.

  9. avatar Specialist38 says:

    As a prescription wearer I rarely notice the sunglasses. And damned sure couldn’t identify the brand by sight.

    I try to buy frames that come with magnetic clip ons. When they wear out, I buy clip-ons from walmart for $12. Polarized and work well.

    I have a prescription set of sunglasses for driving that stay in the car. $120 from Walmart.

    So you can see why I would have no problem with his cheap-ass nylon holster. If it works and is comfortable, what more do you need? Lip Balm?

  10. avatar ironicatbest says:

    I loose sunglasses to often to buy high dollar, the pair I have now is cheap, someone left them on a pikanik table at the park. TQ ? Will a supple belt work? I can’t remember, someone told me in emergences a belt would work?

    1. avatar OmnivorousBeorn says:

      From what little I know, a dedicated TQ is better than a jerry-rigged one, and a jerry-rigged one is better than nothing.

  11. avatar Justin Miller says:

    I currently wear a pair of polarized Oakley tens that I’ve had for 5 years, bought used, paired with a Cablz lanyard. I love em. They wrap and have side protection. I’d definitely feel comfortable shooting in them.

  12. avatar Hannibal says:

    I never pay more than $40 for sunglasses and usually quite a bit less. I end up losing them too often to pay more. I guess I could keep the cheap ones for when I’m doing activities that lead to them falling off, but I’ve found that there are severely diminishing returns above about that price point.

    If money were no object… I’d still probably go with cheap ones most of the time.

  13. avatar Tile Floor says:

    Wiley X valor for range and PD use

    Oakley Gascan and Flak XLJ for personal use

    I used to buy cheap but I didn’t take care of them, so I spent the extra money and got some decent stuff. Oakley SI gives a pretty steep discount, which helps.

    The Valors saved my vision once, they are worth every penny of the 60 bucks on amazon and come with three sets of lenses.

  14. avatar Wedge259 says:

    I’m blessed with garbage eyes, legally blind without my glasses. I think I’m in the 20/400 range. As a kid I had transitions lens but they’re really meant for cutting down on glare, not doubling as polarized sunglasses. I tried the clip Ons and even some of the bulky ones that go over your glasses completely, but was never really happy with them. After I got my first professional job with semi decent insurance I dropped the coin on some prescription sunglasses and have never looked back! My eyes are more light sensitive than normal, so for driving and motorcycles theyre excellent, and I basically wear them whenever I’m outside if its anything less than completely cloudy. Ive been forced into basically aviators, the correction in my right eye is so strong that the resulting lens is too thick to put in wrap around/sport style sunglasses. However Ive come to really like the aviator style as they obviously look cool and increase my field of view. Right now I have Oakleys, the only “name brand” apparel item I’m willing to pay the extra money on. With the frames, glass lenses, and coatings I think I spent about $500 on them.

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