Gatorz’s newest frame style is called the Marauder, and they look a bit like a full coverage Wayfarer style. Combining my go-to look with a wrap style frame that offers extreme peripheral vision, I got my hands on a pair immediately and put ’em through their paces up in North Idaho.
[EDIT: Gatorz has offered TTAG readers a 15% discount with coupon code TTAG15]
Made in the US of A from CNC machined 7075 aluminum and ballistic rated to the highest standards, I always liked and appreciated Gatorz but wasn’t a big fan of their high-speed-low-drag “Operator” style frames.
With the release of their Delta frames (seen on me in the pic above) there was a style that I loved wearing every day, and Gatorz have since become my favorite sunglasses. While I wear a lot of cheap-o sunglasses for fun, I also own or have owned Gargoyles, Oakleys, Ray-Bans, Smiths, and others and have never liked glasses more than I do my Gatorz.
These new Marauder frames have thinner temples and skinnier stems than Gatorz’s other styles, but still employ the same quadfecta of heavy-duty stainless steel hinges.
The length of the stems allow the Marauders to wrap far enough around behind my ears that they grip extremely securely to my head. Whether shooting around the lake at max speed on a jet ski, floating a river, or stealing a friend’s side-by-side to bomb up logging trails in the mountains, I never worried about the Marauders leaving my head. Even if I turned to look sideways while at 45 MPH.
After about four continuous hours of wearing them, however, I did find that the stems became uncomfortably tight at their tips on my large noggin. No problem, as custom adjustability is one of the really cool aspects of Gatorz frames. Machined from aluminum, the curve of the frame at the bridge and the curves of the stems can be adjusted by hand (instructions and tips HERE). Yeah, the 7075 is super strong, but with a firm grip and by flexing a little at a time, Gatorz can be perfectly adjusted to your unique and lopsided head.
Same, too, for the really comfortable nosepiece. With a metal core inside of grippy silicone, the nosepiece can be adjusted in all sorts of different directions to move your sunglasses up, down, in, and/or out.
Now, let it be known that I have long and luscious eyelashes. There are tons of sunglasses that simply don’t work for me because my eyelashes touch the lenses. There are few things more annoying. Given the Marauder’s wrap-around sort of style I was concerned they would fall in this camp, but surprisingly that wasn’t the case.
Even with the nosepiece adjusted very minimally and keeping the frames quite close to my face for as much coverage and protection as possible, my lashes don’t touch.
Thanks to the wrap style and relatively large lens real estate, the peripheral vision in the Marauders is awesome. I have alien-like peripheral vision (according to the tests for that at the optometrist’s office) and even I can barely see the edge of the frame anywhere in my vision. From one edge to the other, there’s no lens distortion that I am able to notice.
As you’d expect, protection from wind, spray, debris, and even dust is top notch. At full speed flying around the lake, my eyeballs were wind and water spray-free.
On the logging roads in the side-by-side, where it was so dang dusty that after I took my hat off it still looked like I was wearing a hat and everything on and around me looked like it had been antiqued with a thick layer of sepia-toned flour, the Gatorz kept wind and dust out of my eyes. ANSI Z87.1/MILSPEC ballistic lens ratings will keep the peepers safe from high velocity debris and fragmentation.
I chose polarized lenses for my Marauders, and, while looking down at the river we were about to float, the difference with and without the glasses on was absolutely massive. Without them looked significantly worse than in the cell phone photo above (I think the cell phone camera provides some anti-glare/polarization of its own). In particular, over the entire far half of the river I was entirely unable to see into the water due to the glare.
Holding the Marauders in front of my cell phone camera dramatically reduced the glare, but there’s some glare from inside of the lens now because of the gap between the phone and the glasses. This is definitely an imperfect example that was 10x more dramatic and effective in real life with the glasses actually going on my face. With the Gatorz on I could see into the water everywhere in the river; could clearly see the rocks, fish, etc. and there was a near-complete elimination of glare.
It was a good, relaxing day in the mountains of N’Idaho. With the Marauders on I was able to spot dozens of fish, two pairs of sunglasses, and some other objects on the bottom of the river that were entirely invisible without quality, polarized lenses on.
Unlike some other purpose-built sunglasses, I also like the relatively casual look of the Marauders and happily wear them out-and-about on daily activities. They provide full protection by fitting fairly closely to the face with a generous wrap-around and large frame size, yet they maintain a casual and cool aesthetic.
Between these Gatorz Marauder frames and my Delta frames, I’m ready for any activity. The optical clarity, polarization, protection level, massive adjustability, and Gatorz’s lifetime warranty are extremely hard to beat.
As a guy who has owned a couple of $500 cars that suited me extremely well and currently drives a 2012 minivan, I don’t take spending $160+ on a pair of sunglasses lightly. I’ve come to really love the Gatorz product, though, and if a high-end, high-performance pair of shades is on your list, Gatorz needs to be way up on that list, too.
Specifications / Available Features: Gatorz Marauder glasses
Frame Width: 139mm
Frame Height: 47mm
Nosepiece Height: 25mm
Nosepiece width (adjustable): 30mm
Temple tip to tip (adjustable): 125mm
Temple length: 112mm
CNC machined 7075-T6 aluminum frame
Stainless Steel Rivets Bond 4 Hinges to Frame
Adjustable Center Frame Width
Thin Adjustable Temples
Adjustable Silicone Nosepiece with Metal Core
MILSPEC Ballistic rated
High contrast lenses
Scratch resistant coating
Polarized glare reduction
MSRP: $160+ (polarized starts at $210) [coupon code TTAG15 for 15% off]
Ratings (out of five stars):
Overall * * * * *
I love these things. Top quality, made in America, fully adjustable fit, good looks, great protection. Gatorz are fantastic sunglasses.