This is my first review, so be nice. I know that Youonlywish did a little review on these, but I did it anyway
Being as blind as I am, I wanted a pair of goggles/glasses that were low profile, wouldn't fog, weren't huge, and, that had Rx inserts. After some research, I decided to give the ESS advancer v12 goggles a shot.
The first place I found them was at cpgear. Of course, they were $140+ shipping. Not wanting to explode my bank account, I opted to look on ebay, where I found then for 35 GBP at a UK surplus ebay store. Apparently these are issued to soldiers in the UK, which would explain why they are cheaper there. After express shipping, my order came to $65 CDN. Less than half the price. AND, they got here in a week exactly.
Packaging was pretty generic. The goggles and extra lenses came themselves in a cloth bag, which was in a plastic bag. I would have expected them to be in a box, but that may have been the seller that removed them. They got here in one piece, so that's all that really matters.
Inside the bag were the goggles, a sticker, an "anti fog" cleaning cloth, and two pods with extra lenses. The goggles had the clear lenses on them right out of the bag.
APPEARANCE AND FEEL
The goggles are nice and light. Some of the parts feel a little cheap material-wise, like they wouldn't hold up under too much abuse. Also the little pieces of foam that are covering the vents seems like they may fall off, it's hard to say. Other than that, they are cleanly made and all of the pieces fit together nicely.
WHAT REALLY MATTERS
Alright, so one of the main selling points for me was ESS's patented AVS Adjustable Ventilation System. This means that if the goggles are fogging up, you can click the lenses out a bit to get more airflow.
I was expecting a little vent that was covered with something, but it just opens a small hole behind where the strap swivel attaches to the goggle. It would seem that if you had bad luck, a fragment of something could ricochet and enter through said hole. That being said, when the swivel strap is pulled against your head, it covers the gap far enough that a bb could not possibly get through.
open with the strap back
The v12's come with 3 kinds of lenses; clear, tinted, and hi-def yellow. All are rated for 100% UVA/UVB protection. The lenses meet ANSI S87.1-2003+ requirements for ballistic goggles, and can take a .22 shot. I think a bb at 400 fps is safe.
To change the lenses is fairly simple. First, open the vents.
Then pull the tab on the side of the lens nearest the outside back, and pop that side of the lens out.
Pull the lens towards the middle of the goggles to pop it out. This feels a bit awkward, like it takes more force than it should to pop them out. Maybe I'm just being paranoid about breaking my new goggles, I don't know.
To reinsert a lens, first put the tab back into place in the outer portion of the goggle, and then snap the middle in by pinching the goggle and lens together. They will snap into place.
my tinted lens on the right side moves a bit more than the other lenses when the vents are open. This seems to be the only "defect" that I could find.
side note: the lens pods have a little diagram to show which way the lens fits in the pod, just in case you're retarded and can't figure it out like I may or may not have been.
Not really applicable to airsoft, but I'll mention it anyway. it's pretty much a bag that sits on the back of the goggle strap that you can slide around to hide the goggles so they don't glint and give you away, and to protect them while not in use. While the latter is helpful, goggles have to stay on all the time during play, so it doesn't really apply. The strap can be removed, so i may take it off later. It does
provide a bit of padding on the back of your head. I will update after they are gamed on Sunday.
It also gets in the way of tightening/loosening the strap.
The rubber around the lenses provides a nice tight seal around your eyes. I've heard that prolonged use can get painful, so I will have to see about that. So far it seems good, as the rubber is soft enough to form to your face. The strap is hardly noticeable on the back of your head, but then agian, I have a lot of hair.
Not having gamed them yet, I can't come to a final say yet. So far, they seem like they will work well. The low profile won't get in my way while aiming, and if the ventilation system works, I won't have to worry about fogging. I'll have to wait for the inserts, because I just bought a Cowon D2+ and I kind of have no money now.
cases for all lenses
can get Rx inserts
they look badass
Some parts feel cheaply made