Now That’s a Big Damn Beetle
After resisting goggles for like 10 years (they mess with my depth perception) I was left with no choice but to buy a pair when my job changed and I had to take Blackhawk chopper rides 10 times a week.
Up until then my Oakley M frame hybrids were fine for protecting my eyes from wind on the occasional Blackhawk ride, but after getting stuck with the rear right-hand side seat a few times my old Oakley’s just weren’t up to snuff anymore.
So as usual I hit up the PX and picked up a pair of ESS Profile NVG’s, I didn’t choose this brand for any particular reason, it was the only brand they had.
ESS says in their catalog that the Profile NVG were designed with input from the SF community. But every gear vendor says that, so take it with as much a grain of salt as you do when you hear a tactical instructor says he “Trained Navy SEALS”.
The goggles are specifically made to use with a helmet by way of ESS’s Outrigger Strap System that hooks the straps forward and out from the frame (as apposed to the rear like skiing goggles).
Note The Forward Position of the Straps for a Flush Fit Into a Helmet
Around the perimeter of the goggles is a ventilation and filtration system to prevent fogging and dust from coming in, the filtration system is basically striped cut-outs covered by a thin layer of foam. As far as I could tell it worked pretty good, I never had any problems with them fogging up – but I only wore them on helicopter rides so I don’t know how they perform wile static.
They are also night vision compatible, not really sure why that feature is so special that ESS mentions it 3 times on their website. I am guessing that any goggle with clear lenses are NVG compatible, so it’s not that special.
The ESS Profile NVG comes with two impact resistant 2.8mm polycarbonate lenses, one clear and one smoke that have 100% UVA/UVB filtration like most name brand sunglasses.
ESS Profile NVG Clear Lens
Also included is a worthless MOLLE compatible pouch that besides being cheaply manufactured, is too small to close completely. Seriously, you can’t even close the pouch without crushing the goggles and deforming them.
This is one thing that has always bothered me about gear companies, they make a great main product and then they package it with a cheap pouch, sheath or carrying case. They should not even bother with the .20 cent pouch and sell the goggles for .20 cents less in my opinion.
The Included Cheap-Ass MOLLE Case
I used the ESS Profile NVG for about 6 months pretty much only for chopper rides, rarely on the ground. They preformed great when I had hairdryer hot wind blasting me across the face, I was even able to wear contact lenses without them flying out. They were as comfortable as you can get for goggles and are very lightweight.
Besides the cheap-ass pouch I cant think of any reason why not to buy a pair, I like the ESS brand so much now I plan on picking up a pair for the next time I go skiing. But I will buy an aftermarket case.
ESS Profile NVG
Between 80 and 100 bucks USD
*Note: I know squat about goggles except I used to wear them.
James G is a Veteran Civilian Contractor who has worked in the Middle East and Southeast Asia for way too long. He spends his off time in his homes in Indonesia and Virginia getting drunk, shooting guns and writing poorly written articles.