Eye protection is probably one of the best precautions to take both on the field and on the range. After lots of eye injuries suffered by many during deployment, the DoD has decided to take measures against this big issue. Companies like Oakley have revolutionized the materials and the manufacturing process in order to meet these ballistic requirements. It has been many years since the US Gov. has issued the first Oakley Ballistic protective goggles and since then Oakley has produced different variants for different missions.
The SI Ballistic Det Cord sunglasses are the latest addition in Oakley SI’s line of eye protection. The low-profile design meets the requirements of many covert operations, while still having that “Oakley DNA” for aggressive environments and when things go south.
With the constant presence of threats in high risk environments, asymmetrical warfare seems to be the keyword of this century. In the last few years brands like Oakley SI, who have always equipped armed forces, have found themselves designing and manufacturing more discreet products for the tactical market.
The lens placement on the Det Cord is slightly different from the usual sunglasses (aside from the ballistic protection). The frame design allows the lenses to sit very close to the user’s face, providing a very wide field of view. It also shields sunlight from any direct contact with the eye, above or beneath the lenses.
This design seem interesting also when speed is involved; with the lenses positioned so close to the user’s face the Det Cord appear to give some very good protection also from dust and wind.
Oakley has designed these glasses with the tactical operations in mind. The thin construction of the ear stems allows the glasses to be comms compatible (or ear pro). Not having this feature would lead to the loss of the seal of the muffs, causing them to lose any hearing protection capability. A thinner design of the frame is also very important if an helmet is worn. If you are carrying a ballistic helmet with night vision, lights and accessories attached you will end up with quite some weight; so it is important to have a secured and comfortable fit.
The DetCord are manufactured to conform to the ANSI Z87.1 – 2010 requirements. To meet the ANSI Z87.1-2010 rating the eye protection must exceed specific high mass – high velocity tests and provide continuous lateral coverage. Most competitors on the market don’t provide lateral coverage; the presence of a “+” after Z87 will assure the lateral coverage compliancy.
The DetCords high purity optical-grade polycarbonate also meet the ballistic fragmentation MIL-PRF-32432 required by NATO forces and DoD.
To enhance the performance of the product under stress Oakley has applied a very interesting material for the nose-piece. It’s always annoying when, under stress, sunglasses (or even worse eye pro) slip down on the nose because of the presence of liquids on the skin. To solve this issue Oakley has applied a rubberized material on the nose piece, and even after some pretty hard use it does not seem to come off.
Another issues that, with other optics, appears on similar activities is fogging. This phenomenon is due to the body heat and moisture condensing in small drops on the lens itself. When shooting it’s usually frequent to have fogging in the winter when utilizing a rifle or a carbine; usually after some sort of dynamic action. We have had the opportunity to test this product from late summer until now and, due to the coating applied to the lenses, we haven’t had a sigle issue.
The this version comes with Cerakote applied to the entire frame. This superficial finish enhances the anti-reflection capability of the Det Cord and it also provides longevity to the surface of the frame. When used in conjunction with helmet systems and comms usually eye-pro and sunglasses get scratched a lot, the application of Cerakote prevents this from happening.
What you carry on your person everyday (or at least accessible close to you) may dictate the success or the failure of a difficult situation.
Whether it is a medical, practical or defensive scenario carrying basic or advance equipment is really important.
If you live in an urban environment and you are not always close to your vehicle it’s suggested to build an EDC kit in a backpack or a sling-bag.
In our opinion your self defense tools and equipment should be at all times on your person. We only use our backpack to store extra mags, but not our primary firearm. If the situation does not allow us to reach for our EDC backpack we sill have a concealed-carry handgun with mounted light and extra mag, a folding blade, a smartphone, a wallet, a tactical flashlight and a tourniquet. Keeping our EDC defensive tool in the same location will also provide efficiency and accuracy to the situation.
We like to divide by priority and importance our daily-carry equipment into different levels.
Level 1: the EDC items carried on your belt and pant’s pockets.
Level 2: items in your bag directly accessible from the outside.
Level 3: items organized in pouches and dividers inside the bag.
About the backpack:
One of the key features that we really like of the Blade’s design is its side-access. This allows us to open and extract the content without dropping the bag or revealing what’s inside. Arc’teryx has padded this bag like a tank, it is comfortable, light and extremely protective towards electronics or fragile items.
The Blade has many pockets, some visible and some hidden. On the top, next to the handle, there are two pockets: one specifically designed for eye wear and one for GP items. On the side there are three pockets: the admin pocket (with stitched organizers for admin tools), the main compartment and the laptop (or even ballistic plates) compartment. All the internal parts of the bag are made of hi-viz nylon for better efficiency. The hidden pocket is located on the lower back close to the body, and it is intended for documents, extra cash, copy of conceal carry permit or passport.
Even on the road this backpack is really handy, in case of an accident (especially at night) you can grab it, exit the vehicle and move towards a safe location without keeping any valuables in the car. In the admin pocket we have placed two S&S Precision V-Lites and a Manta strobe to mark our presence to other drivers or the authorities until we have access to roadside flares.
This backpack is efficient and feature-rich without screaming “tactical”. We like the adaptability of PALs webbing and we like Camo but in most urban environments it just stands out too much. The clean design of the Blade 24 allows to be “undetected” or just not to stand out too much.
Bag, Pouches and Cases:
Arc’teryx Blade 24
Maxpedition Fatty Organizer
Maxpedition Mini Organizer
Salewa Med Pouch (With personal kit)
6×6 Pals Multicam Pouch
Thule 13″ Laptop Case
Items directly accessible:
Outdoor Research Helium II Jacket
Outdoor Research Halberd Sensor Tactical Gloves
Princeton Tec Remix MPLS Headlamp in Multicam
Boker VAT tool
Princeton Tec Switch light
S&S Precision V-lite Green
S&S Precision V-lite Blue
S&S Precision Manta Strobe
Gerber Impromptu Tactical Pen
Oakley SI Ballistic DetCord in Cerakote
Surefire E2D Defender Ultra
Pick Lock Kit with Tecnora and Kevlar Strings
Vapur 0.7 Water bottle
Items stored in pouches:
Pelican 1010 Case
Samsung 250gb T1 SDD
Storacell 123 Battery holder
Gerber MP1 Multiplier
Gerber Shard Multitool
Surefire EP-1 C Ear Pro
Steiner T824 Compact Binoculars
Altoids Tin with basic Survival kit
Inforce 6vx backup Flashlight
Rite in the Rain notepad
Cyalume 6″ green
Samsung 13000mAh Battery Bank
Chargers for electronics
1 x QuikClot Combat Gauze
2 x Gauze Pad (4″x 4″)
1 x Elastic Bandage
1 x Tourniquet
3 x Pharmaderm Antibiotic wipes
3 x BurnFree Gel
10 x Normal Band Aids
8 x Special Shape Band Aids
3 x 3M Steri-Strips
1 x Aluderm Gauze Pad (8″x 8″)
2 x Aluderm Gauze Pad (4″x 4″)
1 x 3M Micropore Tape
1 x Surgical Tape
2 x Sterilized Gloves Nitrile
2 x Ketoprofen
10 x Ioperamide
2 x Paracetamole
2 x Amoxilline (antibiotics)
4 x Aspirin
4 x Iburofen
1 x Fine-Point Metal Tweezers
1 x Space Blaket
Inside Altoids Tin:
3 x 3M Steristrips
2 x Bandaids
2 x Iboprufen
4 x Antihistamine
4 x Water tabs
1 x 3M Ear Pro Backup
1 x Pencil w/ 1ft of tape and 20 ft of floss
4 x Stormproof matches
1 x Exotac firestarter
1 x Clip Compass
2 x BurnFree gel
1 x Alchool wipes