When Magpul, a company known for magazines, stocks, slings, and the like got into the eyewear business about a year ago, I was a bit doubtful. My first thought was, what in the heck are they doing?
Shall we say I was a bit hasty in my judgement?
They knew exactly what they were doing. I would suspect Magpul doesn’t go into any new product line half-cocked. Their eyewear endeavor was no exception.
I’ve been wearing their Explorer model every day in Hawai’i for a year. That entails everything from visits to Hawai’i Kai Costco to hikes in the Ko’olau mountains or swims at Kaimana Beach. They also accompany weekly to the Kokohead Shooting range.
I’m a newspaper columnist (in addition to writing this blog) and the glasses accompanied me on international assignments to remote beaches in Fiji (where the sun is wickedly intense) and this February to Sri Lanka, where I took them deep into a leech-infested rainforest.
In short, Magpul’s Explorer offers everything you’d want from eyewear but the Terrain adds yet another layer of protection.
Experiencing the Terrain
My conclusion after several months of wear is that the Terrain sets the bar a bit higher. First off, it’s ideal for anyone who spends serious time with firearms or, in the tropics. As it states on their brochure the glasses offer maximum coverage in a larger frame that best fits medium to large faces.
They are durable enough to handle impacts (such as shell cases flying around) or as I discovered at the range, from the spit that will come at you sideways from the gap, between the cylinder and the forcing cone, of a .357 magnum. The Terrain’s wrap around design will protect you from this type of unexpected event that may otherwise be very unpleasant, not to mention harmful.
The model I tested was reflective and polarized, which helps decrease the glare when driving or on the range.
As a gun writer I’ve tested out a lot of safety glasses and most of the lenses nowadays, even the expensive stuff, is made from a flexible type of polymer. They work fine and some models offer interchangeable lenses, but they are prone to scratching and need to be replaced every so often.
Magpul could have gone the replace-the-lens route but they didn’t. They went with a type of durable impact rated polycarbonate lens (that seems more like glass) that I’ve yet to scratch. I’m not trying to do so, but I’m pretty hard on my gear and to date (after a year) the Explorer has yet to show any signs of abuse.
The lenses are sturdy and space-age durable. They have an oleophobic treatment which means they shed oil and other liquids. They are not degraded by water, sweat, or chemicals. They are also ballistic and mil-spec impact resistant.
A thoughtful innovation from Magpul is the sturdy packaging that comes with the eyewear. Called a DAKA can storage container, it’s lined and comes with a cloth slip case. It’s perfect for your duffel bag or backpack. Your glasses will not get mashed enroute to the range or the Rockies.
What I really like is how light both the Terrain and the Explorer are. They are constructed from TR90NZZ, which Magpul says are the strongest thermoplastic material available for eyewear and you can wear them all day you don’t even notice they are there.
The glasses will also stay put even if your movement gets radical.
Jump from one boulder to the next or even out of an airplane and the glasses aint going anywhere. The Terrain’s 8-base wrap and over molded anti-slip rubber nose and temple pads prevent slippage so that’s one less thing to worry about.
They are not only light, they are comfortable. The Terrain’s low-profile design which means my temples weren’t under pressure from my earmuff style hearing protection at the range. They also work well under helmets.
You can get the frames in three different colors and have eight options with the lenses so there’s something for everyone.
The only thing they don’t have (which I’d like to see) are straps. I picked up some decent ones Amazon that work fine.
Finally, they have a casual look so you can wear them anywhere without feeling self-conscious. As a travel and outdoor writer and, a gun enthusiast and as just an ordinary guy who likes to walk on the beach, I don’t think you can go wrong with these glasses.
Depending on the style, the product’s MSRP is $109.00 for the non-polarized model and $149.00 for polarized version. You can get the polarized models for around $109 on Amazon.