Rewind to September of 2018 and I had just picked up two pairs of Magpul’s then-new sunglasses; a “Terrain” and an “Explorer” model (YouTube video HERE). At some point Chris stole the Terrains, and I continued wearing the Explorers until about six weeks ago.

Jeremy is not cool, he just portrayed a cool guy in a photoshoot once.

Undeniably cool looking and comfortable with crisp, distortion-free lenses, I wore those suckers nearly every single day for almost two-and-a-half years. They traveled around the country with me, saw summers in Texas, winter in Wyoming, swam in the ocean in Florida, traveled inside my backpack a hundred times, hung from the collar of my shirt whenever I stepped indoors, regularly found themselves peppered with suppressed pistol blowback and weed whacker debris, and were always unceremoniously cleaned on my t-shirt.

They certainly didn’t suck when new — Mr. Pike agrees — and they didn’t even suck after all of that time. Sure, they had picked up a few hairline scratches and a small scuff on the lenses.

But lord knows how many times I dropped them onto every surface known to man. Or how many times I rubbed them down with my t-shirt after a cursory attempt to blow off sand, dust, and other debris.

The worst wear was to the tortoiseshell finish in the areas contacted by my skin. Two-and-a-half years of wear, most of which was in hot Texas weather, took its toll.

I also lost the rubber nose pads about three months ago. They were there for over two years…and then all of a sudden they weren’t. The glasses were still comfortable — the little nose pad mount flange things didn’t touch me.

The temples also suffered some finish loss, but the rubber grip sections were still solidly affixed from end to end.

Frankly, I don’t think I would have purchased new sunglasses quite yet. These bad boys were still perfectly serviceable. But then opportunity came knocking…

Fast-forward to about six weeks ago and Magpul released new eyewear models around SHOT Show timing. With the new models came a blowout sale on some older models that were getting phased out (Brownells still has a few models on sale), including the Terrains, so I picked up two pair.

Both tortoise shell frames, both polarized bronze lenses, but one mirrored blue and one mirrored gold.

Magpul’s glasses come with a microfiber cleaning cloth and are packaged inside in one of their DAKA Cans, which, for what it’s worth, sell for $18.99 on their own.

Obviously they’re great for safely storing your sunglasses, but they’re also handy for 6-inch or shorter cigars and whatever else you might want to keep in there. My 8-year-old uses one for her prescription glasses that she wears at school; the DAKA Can is easier and stronger than the skinny clamshell case her glasses came with.

The Magpul Terrain sunglasses are taller than the Explorers I had been wearing prior, and they wrap around the side a little more as well. They’re slightly less “everyday” cool and slightly more full protection safety-oriented.

With ballistic rated lenses that meet or exceed Z87+ and MIL-PRF 32432 standards, they provide a solid level of high velocity impact protection and will keep your eyeballs safe. The TR90NZZ frames are flexible, lightweight, and extremely durable.

With the larger, wraparound style there’s effectively no frame intruding into your vision. It’s edge-to-edge clear, crisp, completely distortion-free lens.

Comparing the Magpul sunglasses to some other high-end models I have (e.g. a really nice pair of Gargoyles) or that I looked through back-to-back with these (e.g. Oakleys from the higher end of their line), they absolutely hold their own for image quality and zero distortion.

In general I’ve found that they tend to be slightly brighter — less tinted aka more light transmission — than other shades. Perhaps when I’m on the water or in bright snow I’d want to dial up the tint a little, but for general use and definitely for shooting range use I think Magpul has the tint level just right here.

All this is to say that the Magpul sunglasses are, indeed, things that don’t suck.

 

11 COMMENTS

  1. So… they don’t hold up. Going on 4+ years with some Oakley’s from SI and they are still the same color, and so is my face from them not shedding skin all over it.

    • Preach it.

      Try 20+ years with the same pair of Ray-Ban Aviators, and the finish hasn’t worn off of them yet.

      (Although like the Possum, I keep getting even better looking, based on how my phone keeps ringing more and more… 😉 )

  2. I bet I could stash an NAA Mini-revolver and 50 rounds of ammo in that DAKA container…

  3. I thought I liked my Oakley Fuel Cell glasses until I wore them for a long day at a 3 Gun event. The constant pressure on the sides of my head above my ears eventually gave me a headache and I ended up taking them off whenever I wasn’t competing. Maybe it’s just my fat head, but I found out the the design didn’t work for me. Did you ever wear these for 5 or 6 hours at a time and were they still comfortable?

    • Not all glasses are created equal.

      I wore some of the “cool” oakley gascans right up until my first IED hit… Fell off my face and Im pretty sure they are still on the side of RTE Jackson.

      Gotta get shades that have rubber nose and ear pieces, and won’t fog up when you get hot and heavy.

  4. I’ve been wearing the same pair of Magpul Summits for about two years and they still look brand new. Heavy Industrial Construction sites, power plants, heavy range use. They have held up so well I bought another pair in a different color a couple of months ago. I get that some people take better care of their gear, but damn, I dont know how you can make your glasses look like that without trying to.

  5. This was not the experience I had with these sunglasses. After about a year of normal every day use, all the rubber bits fell off. This includes the nose pads and the rubber bits on the temple. Additionally I found the lenses to scratch easily, the two pairs I’ve owned both developed scratches in the lower middle of the lenses that eventually became to much to ignore and I stopped wearing the glasses. Given the fact the lenses aren’t replaceable, this is a major disadvantage of Magpul’s over Oakleys or any other brand with replaceable lenses. I’d also include that while the included carrying case is cool, its extremely bulky and isn’t something you can easily find a place for in a glove box, or center console on anything less than a large pickup truck. Overall I’d say these are 3.5 stars, if they where 60-80 dollar glasses, I’d say 5 stars. However, they are a lot closer to the price of Oakleys and other brands that have more scratch resistant lenses, and also have replaceable lenses.

    • Came to say this.

      As for the rubber bits some of us have sweat that eventually destroys some common polymer compounds, and it doesn’t help when it’s mixed with 100% DEET left over from being in the service. Bathe in that stuff and it will destroy quite a few otherwise durable items. IIRC Magpul does formulate for DEET resistance, but sadly, there is very little resistant to me, apparently. G Shock or Casio straps, Papermate pens, Croakies, Marathon silicone straps, I eventually corrode them all. Even a pair of Serengeti’s, and my Rx Monel wireframes went poof, too. Just as well they don’t offer Rx shades.

      Regardless of how well you take care of your kit, some it it just can’t take care of you. No manufacturer should be blamed for not holding up to the last few of us left walking the earth who share DNA with beings who created molecular bonds and who’s heritage is the ability to dissolve them.

      If you’re normal count your blessings.

  6. I bought a pair from Brownells when they first came out. They didn’t last. I tried to warranty a pair because the lens coating sucked. Sweat washed it off the insides.

    At first I thought it would be pretty straight forward but the next message I got from Magpul implied that I was trying to learn proprietary trade secrets. Like I was gonna hook up with Luxxotica and screw them out of their fair share???

    Oh well, gonna have to get back on the phone in the morning. I hate pissing away $100 and just taking it.

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