So, Let’s get one thing straight… Ballistic Lenses will always be a better option than mesh. No exceptions, No ifs, No buts and No maybes. The only thing that mesh offers above ballistic lenses is their inability to fog.
Fogging is a massive issue, everyone’s had it happen. There are a massive amount of options when it comes to reducing the effects, From choice of Eyepro to anti-fog or hydrophobic Solutions. But even taking all of this into consideration, If the air is loaded with moisture, your glasses are going to take some of this on board. Leaving many with the option of not seeing enough of the game to actually play or by buying mesh…
Heroshark has long been the go to for some of the best mesh eyewear available, hand crafted in the UK and made to a specification that takes into consideration that your eyesight is on the line, It’s a shining light in a sea of poorly made and sometimes frankly dangerous eye protection within our pastime, something I feel isn’t taken seriously enough by the players and seldom even spoken about by the sites outside of a cursory mention in the morning.
I’ve had Heroshark mesh now for a number of years, I first heard of his work about 5 years ago but I’m sure he’s been around for a lot longer than that. His ability to create masks and mesh to meet an individuals needs are well known by those who have had a mask made… I had the honour of having a quick chat a couple of years ago with the man himself, at HTIS’s Op: Blue Fox II.
I was looking at a lower profile option than the current back up mesh I was using… I’ll always start the day wearing Revision Sawflys or Wiley X Sabres but I inevitably end up wearing mesh, I’ve always suffered from fogging and it’s probably the one thing I’d wish away from Airsoft if I had the chance.
I opted for a pair of Vipers with the (Relatively) new hex mesh which offered better light transmission at 64% of it being open vs the older round holes at 50%. I can attest that these are much better than the older version, certainly in low light and reduce the negative effects of wearing mesh goggles.
Supplied with a Bolle microfibre bag and a Heroshark patch they arrived in a very secure tube shaped package to prevent damage in transit.
The lenses themselves are formed in a convex shape, this allows a natural wear without your eyelashes touching the mesh (an annoying trait of some cheaper options) and also provides an increase in strength both through the shape being naturally stronger than a flat sheet and in part, due to the process of forming this shape effectively “work hardening” the steel mesh.
The inside of the mesh is painted with a white laquer, this goes some way to reduce the seen presence of the mesh and although it’s probably a placebo effect it certainly appeared lighter than when looking though the other way, this is however a very light dusting and doesn’t appear to suffer from flaking off or spalling.
Spalling is where an impact on one side of a material causes chips or shards of the other side to be blown off… It was a leading cause of armoured vehicle crew fatalities until gap and reactive armour developments helped defeat the majority of this type of death. See the below GIF for a demo of how even without penetration your able to create fragmentation beyond a solid barrier.
I’ve had a couple of pretty gnarly hits to the mesh and nothing so far has got Gen way or deformed Although you must constantly check and look for damage to any Eyepro you use… just because it’ll take a 12g buckshot shell at 5m doesn’t mean that after 2 years use and dinks and scratches it’ll withstand some dickhead with a 500fps boltie at point blank who wants to 360 no-scope your ass, So always prepare for worst case scenario and add a little bit of wiggle room just to be sure. And finally, if it’s deformed at all or your concerned that it might not be holding up, destroy it immediately to prevent a case of the “it’ll be alrights”.
The frames are repurposed from Bolle Spiders, wide fitting and lightweight they are a great choice for those of you with the larger heads… the overall joining of Bolle and Heroshark is fantastic with the mesh being a perfect fit within the frames and without any play whatsoever.
One slight criticism is that the glasses need longer are supplied with the retention strap that the earlier models come with… This is pretty vital as the glasses themselves do seem to slip away from your face unless held firm with ear protection such as Peltors or Sordins, I’ve pinched a Wiley X cord strap from my Sabres as they’re held via an elastic headband anyway and this works great.
The arms are low profile enough to not cause undue pressure whilst wearing with a helmet or headset and in general are relatively comfortable. They’re also pretty good with NVGs, something not a lot of Mesh options cope with at all.
Overall, if your looking to add a set of mesh to your PPE, Look no further… as with all eyewear I’d strongly recommend trying a pair on before you buy, As you might find (As I did with the Makos) that they’re genuinely not the right design for you. Turnaround times can vary due to the nature of his business but if you ping across a message you’ll get a no-BS answer back promptly, Mine were delivered within 48 hours of ordering which is a spot on.