Planes are notoriously uncomfortable for many reasons. They’re noisy, tight, smelly and when you’re trying to sleep, the chances are someone around you has their reading light on or is watching a movie.
That’s exactly why we have sleep masks. But if we’re being honest, sleep masks look pretty stupid. On the other hand, sunglasses are scientifically proven to make you look more attractive.
Who would you rather look like when taking a nap?
Blackout Bands are essentially sleep masks that look like sunglasses. The wearer can’t see through the Blackout Bands making everything dark, hence “blackout”.
Recently, I had the opportunity to try the Ninja Blackout Bands, one of the two models currently available. I’ve been testing it out extensively and here is my take on the Ninja Blackout Bands:
- 98% tint – pretty much completely opaque
- Look just like normal sunglasses
On a sunny Saturday afternoon, I stepped out of my backdoor and laid on my grass patch resembling a backyard (I live in New York City) with my Blackout Bands on. It was so dark, if you had told me I died I would have believed you.
I’m the type of person who is blessed (or cursed?) with the ability to fall asleep anywhere, but I still know how annoying it is to wake up on a plane because someone else decided to turn on the lights. Even when your eyes are closed, your eyes are still sensitive to light, which is why you’d probably wake up if someone shined a flashlight at your face.
As I’ve tested, when wearing the Blackout Bands and looking at a very bright light, you can dimly identify the source of the light. For example when I ‘accidentally’ looked directly at the sun (don’t do it) with the Blackout Bands on, all I could see was a dim orange circle. The same goes for looking directly at a flashlight. With the Blackout Bands, all I could see was the small bulb.
98% is very very dark so don’t expect to use the Blackout Bands for anything other than sleeping. Most cheap sleep masks tend to let light in if the light is strong, unlike the Blackout Bands.
Whenever I’m traveling, I always try to be completely aware of my surroundings. Most of the people in this world are good, but there are always those crazy bad people that you have to watch out for. One of many drawbacks of wearing a normal sleep mask is that everyone who sees you wearing one will know that you can’t see. When traveling around sketchy areas with all your belongings, letting everyone know you can’t see is the last thing you’d want to do. This would especially be a concern if you’re traveling alone.
Since the Blackout Bands look just like sunglasses, I’d imagine that thieves and onlookers would assume that you’re wearing normal sunglasses and wouldn’t be able to tell you are sleeping. You could consider the Blackout Bands as a primitive form of theft deterrence.
- Bands don’t fit my face correctly
- Could be potentially confused for normal sunglasses
Maybe I just have a weird shaped face, but my cheekbones get in the way of the bottom of the bands, creating a gap around the bridge of my nose. This lets some light in, somewhat defeating the purpose of the bands.
It’s so crucial that you get a good fit with sunglasses and especially the Blackout Bands since you’d want it pitch black when you’re using them. It would be great if the bands had a more ‘one-size-fits all shape’ which could be used for people of all facial structures.
Another option would be to make different bands for people with different face shapes. But then again, I’d imagine that it would be difficult to know which pair of Blackout Bands to buy online since you wouldn’t know which would fit best until you tried them in person.
I have a pair of Oakley sunglasses which look quite similar to my Ninja Blackout Bands, which can cause a minor confusion. When on the go, just remember not to mix up your Blackout Bands with your sunglasses.
After hearing about the Ninjas not fitting my face correctly, Blackout Bands were kind enough to send me another pair, this time the Night Hawk model. Turns out the Night Hawks fit my face a lot better than the Ninjas did and not as much light gets through the gaps.
The Blackout Bands are a great concept, however I was really disappointed about the fit and the gap around my nose bridge. The bands are a stylish alternative to normal sleep masks and I’m looking forward to using the Blackout Bands on my next plane ride.
Science tells me that you look better with sunglasses on, so go buy a pair of Blackout Bands.
Blackout Bands Rating
Where to Get It:
- You can find the Blackout Bands here on their official website.
The Ninja Blackout Bands were provided for this review. As always, this Blackout Bands review contains only my honest views and opinions. 🙂
What do you think? Leave your comment below.