Recently I set out to find a pair of impact resistant sunglasses that would fit my incredibly large dome. It’s not as easy of a task as it sounds. Most wrap around tactical frames are narrow enough that they squeeze the temples or create enough of a fit issue that they don’t rest on the face properly if you have a large head. During a long search with a lot of trial and error, I stumbled upon the Edge Blade Runner XL. And they are one of the best pairs of sunglasses I’ve ever owned.
The Blade Runner XL features a light weight matte black nylon frame with soft TPR temple tips for comfort. The G-15 lenses have Edge Eyewear’s “Vapor Shield” technology which help prevents fogging. They allow 15% of the light to pass through and block 99% of harmful UVA/UVB/UVC rays. They are also rated ANSI Z87.1+2010/Military Ballistic MCEPS GL-PD 10-12 compliant. What does that mean?
High Mass Impact Test:
Spectacle frames and lenses shall be capable of resisting a 500 gm (17.6 oz.) spike that is dropped from a height of 127 cm (50 in.).
Lenses shall be capable of resisting penetration by a weighted needle with a total weight of 44.w gm (1.56 oz.) dropped from a height of 127 cm (50 in.).
High Velocity Impact Test:
Spectacle frames and lenses shall be capable of resisting impact from a 6.35 mm (.25 in.) diameter steel ball traveling at a velocity of 45.72 m/s (150 ft/s).
And the Military adds an additional requirement:
Includes the same process as the High Velocity Impact test but increases the speed to 660 ft/s.
Here is a video that Edge did testing one of their models using a Nail Gun:
Of course, all of this is great but what about the fit? The XL version of the Blade Runner is tailored for larger heads. They are 150mm from temple to temple compared to 128mm for the regular Blade Runner. The rubberized nylon frame is soft to the touch and light weight. Based on all of these factors, the Blade Runner XL has been one of the most comfortable pair of sunglasses I’ve worn to-date. I’ve had them on for an entire day during a hike or at the range and hardly knew they were there.
Durability has not been an issue. The lenses are sufficiently dark in bright conditions and because of the wrap-around design they don’t obstruct my peripheral vision. The Vapor Shield coating does it’s job and I haven’t had significant issues with condensation which is unusual for non-vented glasses. I also think they look great and are proportional sized for my face. A couple of people have asked me where I got them which is a good sign that they don’t make me look like a dweeb.
Cost-wise, the Edge Blade Runner XL retails for $32.50 and can be had for less. You read that right. If you’re one of those people that are hard on sunglasses like me then these shades represent a great value over blowing a wad of money on Oakleys or something similar. The Blade Runner XL is available from a number of retailers. They are also available in a regular sized version for people with smaller heads and they also make versions with Polarized Gradient Smoke, Clear, and Tiger’s Eye (Amber) lenses.