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Vortex Eyewear: The Optics Brand Takes Aim at Shades

From scopes and binos to shades that work, Vortex has branched into glass ... for your face.

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Vortex Optics has taken a confident leap into the sunglasses market. Today, the brand launched Vortex eyewear, and I can tell you firsthand that this isn’t a gimmick product. These shades are rad.

I’ve had the Jackal and the Banshee frames for a few weeks now, and though I was skeptical, I am impressed. I think brands often take the leap into sunglasses half-heartedly. Vortex seems to be taking it seriously, and for a brand known for making high-caliber optics, it makes sense.

“We’ve always been in the business of helping our customers see the world better, and now we’re taking that vision to a whole new level,” said Joe Hamilton, Vortex CEO. “This new eyewear category embodies the same commitment to quality, affordability, and customer satisfaction that has made us an industry leader in sport optics. And, backed by our legendary VIP Warranty, we guarantee to protect your eyewear, for life.”

Vortex Eyewear

Vortex Eyewear
(Photo/Rachelle Schrute)

Vortex Eyewear Specs

  • UV protection
  • Polarized
  • Smudge-resistant
  • Anti-scratch
  • Nonslip
  • Lightweight
  • Anti-reflective
  • Ear Pro Ready
  • Ballistic durability
  • ANSI Z87.1+ tested and MIL PRF 32423-A 4.8.4 Ballistic Impact Tested (Lenses)
  • Price: $130-180

First Impressions of the Vortex Eyewear Line

Vortex Eyewear
My attempt at looking tacticool in the Banshee frames from Vortex Eyewear; (photo/Rachelle Schrute)

I’ve had both pairs briefly on the water and even more briefly behind the scope. So far, I’m seriously impressed. They are incredibly lightweight while still feeling high-quality, which is an accomplishment. For those of us who wear high-performance sunglasses that often have a high-performance price tag, high quality is usually piggybacked by high weight.

The Banshee frame has large lenses, but even for someone with a pin-head like mine, they fit shockingly well.

Because of the safety ratings, these get the OSHA thumbs up, which means I’ll likely lose a pair to a lineman who is always glad to add another pair of Z87 sunglasses to his truck.

I can’t speak to durability yet, but I promise I’ll do what I always do and likely wreck these sunglasses beyond use. Luckily, Vortex’s Lifetime VIP Warranty backs them. I’ll no doubt employ that service, and I’ll report back when I do.

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