Ops Core’s new Step-In Visor offers an innovative solution for eye protection. The Step-In Visor offers eye protection that is easily connected to a bump or ballistic Ops Core helmet having your personal protective equipment readily available in time of need. The Step-In Visor is available in Black, Tan, Foliage Green and Urban Gray and has an MSRP of $275.
I have been using a ballistic helmet regularly, both in shoot house classes and with night vision. A large amount of my shooting is done with steel targets, producing a reasonably significant risk of spalling and fragmentation. While spalling is normally a minor issue when it impacts an arm or a leg, I want to ensure I protect my vision. Simunitions and UTMs are a good training tool but require good eye protection.
Included With Visor
Included with the Universal Step-In Visor is the top frame, side and nose gaskets, a clear and tinted lens, and a set of small and large clips. Due to the design, the visor can be worn in multiple setups based on intended use.
For maximum protection the side gaskets can be worn to protect from debris and particulate not protected by the lens itself.
The visor has done relatively well but like other shooting glasses or other goggles the Step-In Visor is not immune to fogging. The first step to reducing fogging is to remove the side gaskets.
This allows better breathability and will reduce fogging issues. Lately it has been extremely hot and humid where I have been training so everything from windshields to eye pro has been plagued with fogging issues. Removing the side gaskets and occasionally applying Cat Crap has helped keep fogging at a minimum.
When removing the side gaskets make sure to leave the nose piece in place as it prevents discomfort from the lens resting on the user’s nose.
The bungies are able to be tightened or loosened for a more personalized fit. A fabric pull tab is attached to the bungie to allow retention adjustments single handed while the user is wearing the helmet.
Once tab is adjusted properly simply attach to the Velcro on the bungie strap. To loosen simply rotate the pull tab and bungie upward and release to your preferred level of retention.
In case of any worn or lost parts to a Step-In Visor, an accessory kit can be purchased. This includes replacement straps, gaskets, rail clips, bungies, bungie washers and a lens care cloth.
Multiple Stow Positions.
An engaged position is the standard protective position and can be used while operation NVG’s. In the engaged position I found it easy to wear goggles as the visor sat close to my eyes.
This allowed full use of my goggles without pushing them farther out and diminishing field of view through my tubes. In the engaged position the lens can also be pushed forward or backward and left or right to adjust to the user’s preferred positioning. Even with night vision in place, eye protection is needed as discussed in this article on eye protection.
MID stow allows for the user to mount or remove the helmet easily. This position is also useable with nods if the mount is pointed up.
The visor is also able to be stowed up and out of the way. Without NODs the visor simply lifts up and over the shroud.
With NODs simply detach a single side and attach that tab behind the nods on the loop Velcro to the rear of the helmet.
When helmets are involved the associated gear list is often substantial. Often this includes a plate carrier, pistol and rifle platform, numerous backup magazines and a multitude of other gear.
The lens possesses a hard outer coating to reduces scratches and an anti-fog coating on the inside. The anti-fog coating performed well for me in the snow and during cooler temperatures when I began using the lens. However, when humidity rose significantly and the heat rose I began having more fogging problems.
Before applying any cleaners it is suggested that you first lightly brush away any particulate on the lens. Then simply spray some Cat Crap on the lens and clean away any sweat or buildup. Eventually you will start to experience more fogging and grime will build up on the lens. Simply repeat the process occasionally for best results.
Unfortunately for those with helmets from other brands the Step-In Visor is only compatible with Ops-Core Accessory Rails. This is due to the proprietary way the clips attach the visor to the rails.
The visor also had minor cracks where it met with the top frame after being shot with a 9mm SimFX round. The cracks were minor and the shot was at a close distance of 2 meters.
Having eye protection ready, available and this adaptable is not something I have seen other products be able to accomplish. Multiple times I forgot I was wearing eye protection at all. The main issue with fogging that I experienced with the Step-In Visor was well mitigated with Cat Crap and experienced to a greater degree with standard ballistic glasses. The visor is not a bulky unit but very low profile and fit well underneath night vision. Changing positions of the visor when not in the “engaged” position can easily be done with one hand.
For those occasionally using helmets and not having as demanding of a need, standard protective glasses are probably sufficient. However for the training junkie going to multiple shoot house or night vision courses a year and for those using a helmet professionally the Step-In Visor is a welcome piece of gear and worth the price.