Hatch B.O.S.S. (Ballistic Optical Safety System) 6000


Hatch
B.O.S.S. (Ballistic Optical Safety System)
6000

By Axe

Stock
Specifications
Features • Tested
to ANSI Z87.1 standard
• Durable, lightweight aircraft alloy frame
• Weighs 2.4 oz., half that of traditional goggles
• Impact resistant, anti-fog polycarbonate lens
• Dimensionally stable optics
• Unique non-sealed fit to prevent fogging/heat buildup
• Sleek design will fit under virtually all helmets
• Self-centering strap
• On-The-Fly™ adhesive tear-offs (smoke, yellow, or clear)
• Completely replaceable components
• Prescription lens insert available
• Black in color
RRP 129.95 USD

Hatch B.O.S.S. (Ballistic Optical Safety System)
6000
I’ve never been happy with the standard Mesh mask.
It’s not that it’s bad, or uncomfortable, or sweaty or any
other failing generally… well it is, but mostly it’s the
mesh itself that bugs me. It takes your eyes time to adjust
to seeing through the grid and still you don’t get decent vision
out of them.

Try using them in any low-light situation and you’ll
be all but blind as the mesh really needs the contrast of
bright light to allow decent vision. And the constant movement
of your eyes behind the mesh means that movement on the skirmish
field is very difficult to pick out, and movement is ultimately
what gives targets away.

Add to that the difficulty of properly
using any sort of scope or sights with the mesh mask and they
just had to go.

So I made the decision to go goggle-eyed. This
wasn’t a decision taken lightly. The advantage of better vision
is clearly countered by the lack of protection for the lower
face. So it’s worth bearing in mind that if you want to go
the goggle route you’ll need to think about how you want to protect
your face, or if you’ll just live with any potential damage.

At
first I thought I could get through this by using a paintball
style mask and I bought a JT nVader to try it out. This wasn’t
the answer though as I ended up with less peripheral vision
and it really didn’t go with any military style at all. Having
said that the vision quality was excellent and re-affirmed my
need for polycarbonate instead of mesh.

So I started looking around
for a range of potential goggles and I came with a few different
alternatives. One set, also reviewed on Arnies, the Bollé T-800
Tactical Goggles
, did have some potential and I decided
to get hold of some to check them out. Attending a day at one
UK site I bumped into a group all using the T-800’s and I got
to have a look and a little test. They seemed to be excellent
quality and quite solid but the main problem for me is that
they are just too wide for my face, and I didn’t find the rubber
seal comfortable against my skin at all.

So I kept looking and
found a whole raft of potential options, there are simply
dozens of ballistic goggles out there worth having a look at,
especially if you don’t mind buying from the US . It was on this
search that I literally fell across the then newly released goggles
from Hatch.

Known
for high quality tactical gear such as gloves, knee-pads,
riot gear and the like Hatch had consulted with SWAT teams
to design from scratch a new option for eye-protection. I liked
the look of them, got in touch and they put me in contact with
a distributor in the UK who got a pair to me in super fast
time.

So before the main review here is the official ‘blurb’
from Hatch:

“…It’s not a goggle. It’s not glasses.
It’s both. Designed from the ground up in cooperation with
S.W.A.T. professionals, the B.O.S.S. 6000 Ballistic Optical
Safety System is an entirely new approach to eye protection.

Tested to ANSI standard
Z87.1, it features a revolutionary aircraft alloy frame; an impact
resistant, anti-fog polycarbonate lens; On-the-Fly™ tear-offs;
and a self-centering strap that can be adjusted while wearing.
It weighs in at a mere 2.4 oz., half that of traditional goggles.
All components are completely replaceable, including the lens,
nosepiece, strap and foam. Optional prescription lens inserts
are also available.

The rigid alloy frame will not deteriorate like traditional
rubber or plastic goggles and will last a lifetime. Most importantly,
it prevents the lens from flexing to provide dimensionally
stable optics. Its sleek design will fit under virtually any
helmet, gives 100% peripheral vision and allows scopes and
sights to be held in proper proximity to the eye.

The B.O.S.S. 6000’s unique non-sealed fit ensures proper
air circulation, keeps you cool and prevents fogging.

Adhesive On-the-Fly tear-off lens covers, available
in clear, yellow, and smoke allow the wearer to quickly remove
debris or adjust for changing light conditions during critical
tactical maneuvers…”

What’s in the box? – The parcel arrived and the box
that comes out was a very colourful retail style box that wouldn’t
seem out of place on a shelf in any gear shop. And inside the
box I was most impressed. The goggles came in a solid, black
plastic hardcase for safely carrying around and chucking in your
gear bags without worrying about scratching or damaging them.

They also came with two lenses, one standard lens in the goggles
and one double layer specialist anti-fogging lens. Both lenses
are rated for ballistic protection and can take any legal airsoft
BB you care to fire at them. The lenses simple pop in and out
by pulling the upper frame upwards slightly and pressing the
lens out, and then reversing to put a new one in.

Also in the box are two nosepieces, one with foam and one soft
rubber nosepiece and a tinted lens tear-off to make the goggles
act as sunglasses in bright sunlight conditions. It’s worth noting
that all of the parts of these goggles are totally replaceable.
You can get clear, yellow, tinted and anti-fog lenses. There
are replacement nosepieces, foam, a prescription lens insert,
straps and tear-off’s in clear, tinted or yellow.

The goggles themselves seem to be made to the usual excellent
standards you would expect of Hatch. You can see from the pictures
that they fit very close to the face, acting as a cross between
goggles and glasses, almost like wearing a pair of wraparound
sunglasses but just having them held to your face by a decent
adjustable strap.

They are incredibly lightweight, weighing at only 69g (less
than most mobile phones) and even at this weight the aluminium
frame is very rigid, sitting on the skin via 6mm of replaceable
foam with only a small gap at either temple. The foam itself
is actually perforated with very small gaps to allow air to flow
through the goggles.

The foam gap at the temples is then covered by the strap as
it joins here and passes round the head. The strap itself has
two adjustable sliders which makes it very easy to adjust both
on and off the head, just by pulling the sliders apart or closer
together.

Anti-fog? – Well this is perhaps one of the biggest
reasons why many people don’t use goggles more and stay with
their mesh masks. Fog is essentially the build up of moisture
on the inside of the lens which obscures your view, which is
obviously not what you want during a skirmish.

Fog builds up for a number of reasons. The temperature difference
between the colder outside of the lens and the warmer inside
will develop condensation, the more you perspire (sweat) the
faster this condensation will build up. This can be a serious
problem for those goggles with low air-flow across the lens,
as the air helps to equalize the temperatures and prevent fogging,
it also carries away a lot of condensation. Those goggles that
are completely sealed will simply build up the moisture as it
has nowhere to go.

Hatch claim, as many have before, to have solved the problem
with the combination of frame design and lens construction. Firstly
the frame is not completely sealed, as mentioned above, which
allows for air to flow throughout the goggles. The original lens
has been anti-fog treated, which is essentially just a lens solution
to help prevent moisture build up on the polycarbonate. I swapped
this lens almost immediately with the supplied double-layer anti-fog
lens just to be on the safe side as I didn’t fancy being caught
under-fire being next to blind.

The anti-fog lens is in fact two lenses in one. An inner lens
is bonded to the main lens with a sealed strip around its circumference.
The gap between the lenses acts as a vacuum air gap not allowing
the inner lens to be cooled by the exterior and vice versa.

So how does the anti-fogging perform? It
is excellent! I’ve used the goggles in a range of conditions,
warm, sunny, hot, cloudy, cold, wet, windy the list could
go on but not on any occasion have I had any fogging at
all – allow me to repeat that no fogging at all. I’ve really
tried my best, running about getting sweaty and simply
nothing, always clear vision. I’ve sat next to a mate of
mine wearing T-800’s and seen quite clearly while he moaned
about fog on the inside of his lens (albeit a very small
amount indeed).

Other features? – There are a few
other useful things worthy of a mention. The strap as already
mentioned is low profile and I’ve worn it over the top
of helmets, caps, boonies and balaclava’s with no problem
what-so-ever. It’s adjustable to fit over just about any
helmet I can find and yet it will still fit close to the
head if you want to wear it under your gear. I’ve also
worn it under the same headgear as above and it’s very
comfortable in both situations. This low-profile design
has meant that I can wear it with any of the gear I’ve
got and I’d be surprised to find a helmet that it won’t
work with.

The tear-offs are worth their weight in gold.
In the summer I used the tinted tear-offs to help with
bright sunlight and on the darker and dimmer days the clear
tear-offs allow you to just rip one off if you get the
lens too muddy or dusty giving you clear vision again.

Overall comfort has been excellent for me. Due to the close
fitting design it’s not necessary to pull the straps too tight
and the goggles will sit on the face just fine. So you don’t
end up with a big foam mark all the way round your face.

Safety – It goes without saying that safety is always
the highest priority for anything coming onto the skirmish field
and proper eye protection is a must. Any eye protection worn
must be capable of withstanding any UK legal weapon, and I would
suggest some illegal ones too, just in case.

All of the lenses from Hatch pass the rigorous testing for ANSI
Z87.1 which is the American standard for ballistic level eye
protection. The main test for this standard is the ‘dropped’
and ‘shot’ ball test. A 1 inch diameter steel ball is dropped
from a height of 50 inches. When it has withstood that, a ¼ inch
steel ball is shot at the lens at a muzzle velocity of 250 fps.

With my rough calculations, and I’m happy to be corrected, that
steel ball, measuring roughly 6.35mm, fired at 250 fps equates
to a projectile mass of 1.05 grams and a muzzle energy of over
3joules, which by far exceeds anything that you should find on
any skirmish field. But for the sake of my eyesight I decided
to do my own testing. So these goggles, my new pride and joy,
had to be tested.

I fired upon them with an AEG shooting at 370 fps from less
than a metre with absolutely no effect on the lens (using the
double layer anti-fog lens). To prevent any surface scratches
I always keep a tear-off attached and hence the lens is still
in perfect condition. The lens has also taken hits from all sorts
of AEG’s, upgraded and standard, during skirmish days and a number
of sniper rifles. Indeed it has taken a 500+ fps sniper rifle
hit at a range of approximately 10 metres with no effect other
than some profuse swearing at the shooter from me.

Conclusion – Hatch have come up with an absolutely quality
product. To my mind they are some of the best on the market.
They look good, they perform excellently and I find it very hard
to find any fault with them at all.

Having said that there are some downsides. Firstly, these are
not easy to get hold of. Although Hatch put me in touch with
the UK distributor they don’t generally hold a great deal of
stock as they are new and there’s not been much demand in the
UK, so be prepared to find a US supplier or wait for the UK distributor
to get stocks and supply you directly. Related to this is the
availability of spares. If you want spare tear-off’s, lenses
or other bits then get them at the same time as you buy the goggles
as you won’t find them anywhere else in the UK .

Secondly the price. The retail price listed in the US varies
between $80 and $120 wherever you may find them and then add
to that the cost of getting them to the UK . However going through
Hatch and the UK distributor will get you better prices. Going
through the UK distributor will get your price down to around £40.
And ultimately you get what you pay for and these are quality
items.

So overall I have to say I’m most impressed and would recommend
these to anyone. They are excellent goggles and in my opinion
some of the best on the market today.

By Axe

External
Links:
Hatch

Site
links:
TBA

Comment
on this review in the forums


Last
modified:
Friday, January 23, 2004 5:55 PM
Copyright 2003 ArniesAirsoft




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