FAST METAL. REVIEW OF SPEED DEMON SUNGLASSES
If you are like me, chances are you have searched for the perfect pair of sunglasses for years. In that search, you’ve probably come across some sunglasses that you liked and worked for you at that time. Inevitably though, something happens to those sunglasses. You sit on them and they break, you forget them somewhere, that barracks thief walks off with them, or you left them at that psycho stripper girlfriend’s house and even you know better than to go and try and get them back.
One thing is certain, no one likes when any of those things happens, especially when said sunglasses are not “cheap sunglasses”. It’s one thing when they are an issued item and you can go down to supply and DX broken frames, arms and lenses for a new pair. But when it’s your hard earned money and you have to go buy another pair because of a durability issue, you start to question why you need those “expensive sunglasses” when you know they are going to break in six months. If only someone would make sunglasses that were durable, looked good, didn’t cost and arm and a leg and were made in the USA. Well my knuckle dragging, gun toting, panty dropping, freedom fighter I have good news for you. FAST METAL has once again, risen to the occasion and delivered unto you, what you have asked for.
Before we go down this road, it’s probably a good idea to quickly go over some history, since there is that often used saying about “those who don’t learn from history and doomed to repeat it”.
Now, you are probably wondering who FAST METAL is and why you should care. Chances are, you’ve probably owned or still own sunglasses from big name companies, many of which have become ubiquitous in the “tactical” and military communities. I won’t attempt to name them all, but I will cover two of them that are relevant to this brief history.
If you are like me, chances are you can recall when Gatorz sunglasses became popular (I’m probably showing my age here). What started off as a popular sunglasses trend in civilian skydiving, crossed over into the military community and became the rage for quiet some time. Fast-forward a few years, and another sunglasses company, once again, gained popularity in skydiving, was picked up by the military and eventually shooting community. Enter Liquid Eyewear with what was unquestionably an evolution and improvement to Gatorz.
The piece that ties these two companies together is a man named Ken Wilson. It was Ken that started Gatorz in his garage in California, grew the company, sold it and then went on to create Liquid Eyewear and improved upon aluminum frame sunglasses on the market. After growing Liquid Eyewear, Ken (and business partner) once again sold the company. But not one to rest, Ken has created a new product line of aluminum and nylon framed sunglasses under the FAST METAL brand name.
If you are wondering why any of this is important, it is to address the questions, comments and comparisons that would inevitably come from readers when they see what products FAST METAL brings to the table. Now that you know that history and how it is all tied together, lets now talk about the Speed Demon sunglasses product.
SPEED DEMON (made in the USA)
Having worn sunglasses from both Gatorz and Liquid Eyewear for years, I can say that the FAST METAL Speed Demon sunglasses are an evolution of all of the good things from both previous brands while doing away with the negative things.
Made from 7075 Aluminum with a T6 Rockwell rating, FAST METAL has improved frame characteristics to further increase the durability and user comfort by creating a stronger hinge mechanism and maintaining a lightweight pair of sunglasses. Based on user feedback, a hinge was re introduced into the frames, as not everyone found the “no hinge” frames of previous brands (Liquid) to be accommodating, even if they were stronger. Likewise, the hinge on previous brands (Gatorz) was often an Achilles heel, among other detractors. Having addressed these issues, the Speed Demon frame is extremely comfortable and durable.
Which brings me to adjustability. FAST METAL sunglasses are customizable. Meaning that the frames are designed to be adjusted by the user, to the users comfort. The user can make minor adjustments to the frame geometry to obtain a tighter or looser fit, so that you can bend over and engage in strenuous physical activity and not worry about you sunglasses falling off. Likewise, if you are a SEAL and you find that your head has gotten bigger after publishing your tell all book, you can adjust the frames to fit your now hydrocephalic, hair gel infused melon of a head.
*DON’T BE THAT GUY WARNING* I shouldn’t have to say this, but if you are the guy that decides to constantly adjust, ie: bend your frames like a stretch Armstrong doll, they will eventually not fit right and or you can break them. Don’t be that guy.
FAST METAL continues to provide sunglasses with lenses of a high optical clarity. In the past (Gatorz), due to the tension put on the lenses when mounted in the frames, starbursts or optical aberrations would often appear in the wearer’s sight line. While not visible to the naked eye, if one were to hold a polarizing filter up to the lens and look at it, these aberrations or sunbursts could be clearly seen.
The Speed Demon uses patented nylon inserts that not only does away with the tension issues, it also allows for quick and easy interchangeability of different colored lenses. Additionally, if you prefer a goggle like seal against your face, they come with a nylon insert that offers a closer seal around the lenses that is also user interchangeable.
Having been issued sunglasses that supposedly had interchangeable lenses that failed miserably, I was skeptical to say the least. However, these lenses actually are easy to change and most importantly, they don’t fall out un expectantly as you exit the aircraft at 13,000 feet AGL or as you move across the objective at night.
The user has the option of the standard Smoke (polarized or non polarized), Clear and Amber lenses to choose from and they can be changed quickly in the field without scratching the minute you take them out. Frame color choices at the moment are Black, Red and Blue.
SAFETY and PRESCRIPTIONS
Because no review would be complete without one, here is your safety brief. YES, Speed Demon sunglasses meet and exceed the ANSI Z87.1 standard as well as meet the MIL standard (MIL-PRF-32432) set for protective eyewear. Translation: they provide ballistic eye protection while being worn.
If you require prescription lenses, you can order them through FAST METAL as well. If you have a Coke bottle thick prescription or other Mr. Magoo like requirement be sure to contact FAST METAL before ordering to ensure they can accommodate you.
All FAST METAL glasses come with a one-year warranty against defects in materials and workmanship
Speed Demon Sunglasses come in at $138.00 (Call and ask about MIL/LEO discounts)
WHERE TO GET THEM
FINAL THOUGHTS AND RECOMMENDATION
Get yourself a pair of these sunglasses. Having worn aluminum framed sunglasses by the brands mentioned in this article for years, I can say without hesitation that FAST METAL sunglasses are the best of all worlds in terms of safety, comfort, style, modularity and affordability. If Aluminum frames are not your thing, the nylon version (Screaming Demon) are an option and are a less expensive alternative with many of the same characteristics.
I received this product as a courtesy from Fast Metal so I could evaluate it and provide my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give this product a good review. All opinions are my own and are based off my personal experience with the product.
Brought to you by the dudes at Spotter Up