Honeywell UVEX S8500 Bionic Face Shield Airsoft Test

I’ve been doing force on force training since 2010. I’ve always used to forms of head protection: either a paintball mask for Airsoft-based training, or a FIST helmet for combatives + Simunitions work.

Both have protected my noggin well over the years, but they share two common problems.

The first problem is that they greatly obscure your vision. Even with today’s “wide angle” lens options, your field of vision is basically a rectangle. Looking down is particularly difficult, especially at your own gear. The FIST helmet is the worst out of these, but they both suck.

The second problem is that it is impossible to read facial expressions at a distance appropriate for making self defense decisions. By the time you can see the eyes and facial expressions of an “attacker” wearing a paintball mask or FIST helmet, it’s too late.

Protective headgear with a wider field of vision and the ability to communicate non-verbal cues helps everyone learn, so I was excited to test out the Honeywell Uvex S8500 Bionic face shield.

It was able to block all of my Airsoft “green gas” pistol shots at 4 – 5′, but the lens was permanently deformed

The S8500 meets ANSI Z87+ and CSA Z94.3 safety standards, which means it should  be safe for training usage over time. I was put off by the pitting in the shield, and I would definitely wear goggles underneath just in case.

If you’re a student, I don’t think the shield’s durability is sufficient to make the switch from a paintball mask. My mask was basically ruined after my testing, and I would have to replace the shield.

However, if you’re an instructor, it might be worth it to you to equip your bad guys / role players with these. Replace the shields every class or two as part of the cost of running a class. Replacement shields can be purchased for $5 – 7 online, not including shipping.

Lastly, thank you to all of our readers and viewers. This item was purchased from the money generated by your clicks, views, Amazon Affiliate purchases, and SBS Store purchases.

About the Author:

Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd is a regular guy and works to make Web sites and mobile apps easier for people to use. He spends his free time attending fight-focused firearm, knife, and combatives training, motorcycling, writing, and playing games. His daily carry is a Glock 19 pistol and an AR15 .300 Blackout pistol in a backpack.

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