imagesHNKX1ENQHello everyone thank you for checking out the Charlie Mike Project. Today will be reviewing the Crossbow Photochromic sunglasses by ESS. The ESS Crossbow Photochromic sunglasses are partial frame sunglasses. Full wrap around with rubberized temple. Interchangeable lenses with a black “ESS” logo.


Retail Price: $190. Replacement lenses $28 – $145. Rx Inserts are available.

I have had the Crossbow glasses since January 2015. They are comfortable but the bottom of the lens makes contact with my cheek. The temples are comfortable when worn with a hat, helmet and for short periods under hearing protection. The temples are not flat but are small enough to allow for a full seal with over the ear hearing protection. ESS states, the Crossbow exceeds U.S. MIL SPEC MIL-PRF-32432 & ANSI Z87.1-2010”. The Crossbow transitions quickly from clear to smoke and back again. 100% transition takes just about one minute.


The pair I tested came with a hard case, cleaning cloth, lens bag, retention strap and a set of Photochromic lenses. The Crossbow is designed for most head sizes and fit women well. On hot days when I’m sweating the glasses do not have a fogging issue.


The Crossbow Photochromic is a good choice for patrol or tactical situations. They transition quickly from clear to grey and do not become so dark that it is hard to see in low light situations while they are transitioning back. Crossbow Photochromic providing good protection from the sun and allow you to bring one set of glasses for the mission.


At $190 for a set of glasses that are pretty much limited to the range or work, I would consider other options. ESS makes several other sets of glasses that are much more affordable and come with more options. If the lens is damaged a replacement will cost almost as much as a whole new set. These are outstanding transition lenses and well worth the money, but at $190 there are other more affordable options available. If you must have them, buy them on sale or from a reputable retailer that is offering them at a discount.



  • 50% Activation at 11 seconds
  • 90% Activation in less than one minute
  • Visible Light Transmission (VLT) Range: 86%-24%

ESS Crossbow Photochromic













  • Fast transition
  • Light and comfortable
  • Rx available


  • Cost
  • Replacemnt lens cost

Join Our Mailing List!

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Share This