I got a few pairs of Wiley-X to try out and to get a sense of how they compare to Panoptx.
Results/conclusions so far:
Wiley-X and Panoptx products with foam lining are really quite different in design and concept. Thus far I like both very much but would use them for different activities.
Overall, the Wiley-X frames are lighter weight and the sensation wearing them is they don't "hug" the face/head quite so much as Panoptx. They are also not quite so individual. All three of the Wiley-X pairs that came seemed reasonably comfortable on me, while there are only one or two Panoptx designs of the 6 I've tried that work well for me.
Wiley-X foam pad is much lower profile and quite different design/material than Panoptx: it is a narrower strip with a smooth covering and indentations at approx. 3/4" intervals to breathe.
Wiley-X seems to provide a noticeably bigger visual field than the Panoptx, partly because the lenses are larger and partly because the foam insert is lower profile. By bigger I mean both at the sides and top-to-bottom. I don't think the difference is as dramatic as I was expecting, but I would definitely prefer them over Panoptx for driving and I do find I'm happier indoors in the Wiley from a vision standpoint, though I'd rather have the fuller foam coverage of the Panoptx in a heavily air conditioned or heated environment.
The Wiley-X fixed-lens frame with removeable foam liner gasket thingy (that's not a technical term...) model JP3 is pretty nice. I do not like it without the foam liner because removing it leaves some rather sharp corners exposed. The liner itself is far more delicate than the Panoptx one and I think I would worry about breaking it if I were taking it in and out a lot. - Incidentally, my husband, who does not have dry eye, loved this one and is going to buy some.
I really like the SG-1 with interchangeable lenses, though it's not as classy looking as the JP3. The design is very convenient for switching between, say, indoors/computer work and outdoors. The frame is extremely lightweight and flexible. I don't think I'd be comfortable in it while doing anything particularly active, but I find it terrific for indoors and in fact I'm wearing it right now with the clear lenses.
Overall conclusions: I think Panoptx, with its heavier-duty Orbital Seal and greater variety of frame designs to snugly fit different face shapes, provides the best protection for dry eye, but is not ideal for all activities due to reduced vision and even (in some models) a "tunnel vision" feeling. I prefer Panoptx from the standpoint of fit, but Wiley-X on the other hand can provide better vision for some activities (trading off some protection for this) along with a lighter overall feel and (compared at least to the removeable eyecup Panoptx) a more discreet/ less goggly appearance.
I think my preference at this point is:
- Wiley-X SG-1 for driving
- Panoptx Sirocco for all outdoors activities esp. in wind
- Undecided for indoors! Probably Wiley-X on a good day and Panoptx on a bad day.