When DeWalt introduced me to the Radians group that handles their personal protection equipment (PPE) line, I was completely unprepared for what I would find. Although in hindsight, it’s easy to understand why DeWalt works with them. We originally looked at a couple of solutions for hearing protection and now it’s time to dig deeper into Radians safety glasses lineup.
What’s attractive about the Radians brand is their ability to blend style, performance, and price. Having been in the world of competitive endurance athletics, I know a thing or two about high end eye wear. For the majority of my time as a triathlete, I wore glasses from Smith Optics and Rudy Project, both with premium price tags. What do they have in common with safety glasses? Only the number one requirement on the jobsite – ANSI Z87.1 impact certification.
So if most of the glasses that actually look good have this protection, why don’t more people wear them to work? For one, employers aren’t likely going to provide you with a pair of Oakleys. The people that do purchase their own don’t want to risk breaking or scratching them on the jobsite. As a result, they go with what the military affectionately calls BC glasses. That would be birth control glasses and one look will tell you why they got the name.
Radians Safety Glasses Brands and Style
Radians Safety Glasses Brands
- Black & Decker – safety glasses
- DeWalt – safety glasses
- Radians – shooting glasses
- Bone Collector – shooting glasses
- Crossfire – outdoor sports
When you look through the array of safety glasses made by Radians, you’ll find some familiar brands along with styles that will fit nearly everyone. From full wrap around lenses to goggles and even styles that remind me of The Matrix, there’s a lot to choose from. The thing is, unlike some value priced glasses on the market, these actually look good. They even offer some upgrades without breaking the bank. For this article, I decided to focus in on two specific upgrades to your standard safety glasses – polarized lenses and interchangeable lens kits.
Radians Polarized Safety Glasses: DeWalt DPG99 HDP
The HDP in this model stands for High Definition Polarized. We all know that polarized lenses cost more and most of us know that it somehow blocks glare, but not much more. Light from most sources is bouncing all over the place – they’re particles and reflect off of some objects while being absorbed by others. On flat surfaces like the road and water, those light particles are reflected and match the angle of the surface. Essentially, they’ve organized the light particles to come at you directly rather than randomly. This is what causes glare and haze in otherwise clear conditions.
Polarized lenses use a filter that blocks light coming from a specific direction. In the case of sunglasses and safety glasses, that would be horizontal light. Light coming from other directions is allowed to pass through so you can still see. What you’ll actually notice is that the haze is greatly reduced and more definition is visible to you.
DeWalt DPG99 HDP safety glasses start with the polarized lenses in a smoke color. This lens color block a significant amount of light while clearing up the haze with its polarized filter. These lenses are excellent for bright days. Dual mold rubber temples allow for a lot of flexibility in the frame so that it’s not pressing against your head and creating a pressure point. A flexible rubber nose piece keeps the contact point of your face comfortable as well. This model includes a microfiber bag and neck cord.
After wearing these Radians safety glasses around for a few days, I decided that it was time to officially initiate them into the club. Temperatures are finally getting cool enough here in central Florida for me to take a lunch time run. With bright skies and temps in the upper 60’s, I took off for a quick 3 miler. The first thing I noticed over the Rudy Project glasses I’ve been wearing was how much less haze there was at mid day. That was actually the last thing I noticed until I got home as well. The fit was comfortable and didn’t create any pressure points that would haven been made worse by the effort. Like a good pair of running shoes, if you don’t have to think about your glasses, they get to stay in the rotation.
Radians Interchangeable Lens Safety Glasses: Radians Shift
Interchangeable lenses are a godsend in varying light conditions. Once you find a frame and lens style that suits your preference, you simply swap out the lenses for indoor use, bright light, and everything in between. There are plenty of styles to choose from, but I prefer a full wrap around thanks to the additional side protection and improved capacity to keep the wind out. As a contact lens wearer, the smallest bit of dust stops my progress on the spot. I also appreciate not allowing the wind to dry my eyes out too much.
Even though the Radians Shift set is technically for shooting, it offers 5 lenses in the kit that covers most scenarios you’ll run into. Since the lenses wrap around your face, you’re not in danger of losing detail in your periphery when your eye reaches the edge of the lens. Rubberized frame tips and nose piece offer a comfortable fit at contact points on your head. The kit comes with a soft, zipper case, neck cord, and microfiber cleaning cloth. While changing out the lenses does take some getting used to, it becomes second nature quickly.
Radians Shift Lenses
- Clear – ideal for indoor and night activities
- Amber/Yellow – enhances visibility in low light situations
- Orange – enhances the orange part of the spectrum and reduces eye strain
- Copper – ideal for medium light and enhances depth perception
- Green Mirror – best for bright light situations
Like the DeWaltDPG99 HDP safety glasses, I wore the Radians Shift around in a variety of areas. Thanks to the versatility, this included driving and work in the shop. While the glasses certainly performed well, they needed to be initiated as well. This took place on a 30 mile bike ride. I was impressed that the air flow was directed away from my eyes whether I was looking straight ahead or down. The added bonus to this was that sweat was channeled around the glasses and not behind them where it could reach my eyes. It wasn’t until I got home that I realized I really didn’t have to think about the comfort of my glasses – another big thumbs up.
We got sent a couple of bonus Radians safety glasses for us to take a look at. Being a bit of a glasses snob, I was happy to try several different styles. What I wasn’t prepared for was that my wife was going to claim a couple for herself. In retrospect though, they really do look better on her than me. If you have a smaller face that traditional size safety glasses make unflattering, check out the Crossfire Sniper and AR3 models. If you like don’t care for a wraparound style in your glasses and want something that looks a little more businesslike, take a look at the Crossfire ES4. The mirrored finish really shows off my ability to take a selfie with a digital SLR.
When you’re looking to provide your own safety glasses, think beyond the safety glass aisle at your local store. Remember the number one feature to look for is the ANSI Z87.1 (or Z87+) impact rating. You’ll be amazed at the number of styles and colors that open up for you. Be sure to check out Radians safety glasses, shooting glasses, and outdoor sports glasses for ideas. I think you’ll be impressed with the variety of options and price points.