Julbo Explorer

2 reviews
5-star:   1
4-star:   1
3-star:   0
2-star:   0
1-star:   0



High altitude eye protection, style, and comfort win…

Rating: rated 4 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $124


High altitude eye protection, style, and comfort win the day with the Julbo Explorer. I would recommend these glasses for hiking, trekking, biking, kayaking. Don't forget how important protecting your eyes in high UV light is!


  • Lightweight
  • 100% UV protection
  • Quality construction/materials
  • Can get prescription lenses through Julbo
  • Spectron 4 not polorized


  • Fogged easily
  • Not interchangable lenses
  • Pushed in at the cheeks a bit
  • Spectron 4 not polorized



I purchased these glasses for a trek to Mt. Everest in 2012. I bought them well ahead of time in order to test them out hiking in and around Vegas. I also used them kayaking, golfing, and biking.

Notice the vents below the lens and near the temple. They are not as effective as I had hoped. When I hike in summer heat in Vegas, they fog on me frequently.

There are a few different lenses you can get: For protection from high-altitude sunlight, Explorer is available with either the Camel polarized, photochromic, anti-fog lens; the glass Alt Arc 4 lens; or the Spectron 4 lens. Min Lenses are the Spectron 4 lenses.  These are the least expensive of the model.


The are very well made and fit pretty good, though I have high cheek bones and so the bottoms of the glasses tend to kind of turn into my cheeks. This may be remedied as easily as taking them in to a Lens Crafter store and asking them to fit them for you.


The handy strap that comes with them is connected to the ends through holes in the ear pieces and does not come loose I find this far superior to the croakie type insertion on the ends of the ear pieces.  In the above picture you cans see the removable shields that go over the brow. It is the dark pieces over the top of each eye. (Does not appear that Jim Whittaker is wearing the Julbos!)


I also wore them kayaking. The first time I wore them on the water, they seemed to make my eyes tired. I never found this to be the case after that and have worn them now in all activities for over two years. You can see what I meant by their pushing in at the cheeks in this picture.

The Explorer also has a great field of vision. You get good sight even to the outside of the lenses. There are no side lenses, but they wrap around your eye and I never felt I had to move my head more to see to my left or right.


I have also worn them golfing and they performed well. Again, with the caveat that they do fog a bit. The lenses themselves are not vented. The Julbo Trek Zebra, by comparison, has vented lenses to help as well as an anti-fog coating. I have not tested them yet, but will soon.

The lenses spot with water, but are easily cleaned. There is no special water shedding coating on this model.

Here I am on the Khumbu Glacier at the base of Mt. Everest wearing my Explorers. At 17,500 feet, my eyes were comfortable and protected from the UV! (UV is increased about 30% at that altitude and the snow reflects 80% of UV rays.)

I would recommend these glasses for great eye protection and comfort. For a more expensive line, this model is at the low mid price range and well worth the $120. I have had NO problems with the quality in all these variety of uses. I use them a lot and the ear pieces are still good and tight at the hinges. Quite durable and I expect to get many more years out of them. With all the banging around in my pack, on the seat of my car and out in the wilderness, they have not scratched!

It is important to note that the Spectron 4 lens is NOT polarized. Julbo explained that is because these are primarily for work in snow and you need to be able to see glare to differentiate ICE. So keep that in mind when looking at these glasses and if you need polarized lenses, get them from Julbo where you have more control over the lenses that come in them. So as you see, I noted that fact as both a pro and a con...depending on your use of these glasses.


Nice review, thanks for sharing it! We're also fans of Julbos in our house.

4 months ago

Thanks for your review GoG! Do you know if you can get these with a prescription?

4 months ago

To answer Seth, Julbo does prescriptions (including for these frames). You can see the options here: http://www.julbousa.com/prescription/

4 months ago
Daniel Oates

Cool, never heard of them before giftogab! Love the design, very sleek. Eye protection is something a lot of us don't think twice about. It's funny how much better things look when you're not squinting! Nice review

4 months ago

As Aliia said, yes to prescritions. I am getting another pair that I will review after a bunch of hiking and Peru.

4 months ago

I added that prescription to the review.

4 months ago

You look like an orange ninja in the first pic! Nice review, GoG!

4 months ago

GOOSE, Rick always called me the Sunkist Ninja in my Sherbet colored Fitz Roy!

4 months ago

Nice review, Karen! Thanks for sharing!

4 months ago
second gear

Thanks for the insight! (Ok, I couldn't resist the pun, but I mean the compliment ;) )

4 months ago

HA Second that was funny. I SEE what you did there!

4 months ago

These are great glasses for snow and glacier travel.

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: about $100


These are great glasses for snow and glacier travel.


  • Dark, polarized lenses, with good eye coverage
  • Lightweight
  • Removable side shields


  • Case is a bit large

I got these for snow and glacier travel and after several years of use they have not disappointed. The lightweight lenses are sufficiently dark, provide good protective coverage, and have side shields that can be removed if not needed or to provide more ventilation. They come with a lanyard and hard case. 

Two sizes are available — Reg and XL, which was good for me, as the XL's had the best fit (my wide bridge always makes good fitting glasses a challenge for me).

Manufacturer's Description

Visit Julbo's Explorer page.

Retailers' Descriptions

Here's what other sites are saying:

Julbo Explorer 326 SunglassesWhen you take the challenge of climbing the highest mountains and surviving extreme conditions, it's best to have the proper protective eyewear for the job. The Julbo Explorer 326 Sunglasses gives you excellent durability to handle the elements, innovative lens technologies to maximize eye protection and your field of vision under any condition, and a sleek design for comfort and style. Its total cover frame design blocks harsh sun rays from damaging your eyes. You can even install the removable side shields to also provide lateral protection from sunlight. The Explorer 326 Sunglasses are designed with Camel polarized photochromic lens with anti-fog coating. Not only do they lighten or darken depending on the light's intensity, they prevent condensation build up for maximum longevity. Other features of the Explorer 326 are grip tech inserts and an adjustable to secure the sunglasses on your head with a better hold. Get maximum eye protection in extreme conditions. Choose the Julbo Explorer 326 Sunglasses.

- SunnySports

Julbo gave their high-tech Explorer Sunglasses incredible Alti Spectron 4 Lens that provide 95% visible light reduction to protect your eyes on high-altitude mountaineering trips. Take these Julbo glacier glasses to Rainier, Alaska, or even the Himalayas. Designed with help from Chamonix mountain guides, these glacier glasses features removable side shields and a wrap-around design that rivals the protection offered by goggles in high winds and blowing snow. The Explorer Sunglasses also include a removable stretch headband to keep them in place and let you drop them to your neck when you crawl into a tent. Julbo added frame vents to reduce fogging because you can't climb if you can't see.

- Backcountry.com

Free Shipping. Julbo Explorer XL Sunglasses FEATURES of the Julbo Explorer Extra Large Sunglasses Total Cover Shape: Maximum protection in extreme conditions against harsh sunlight Removable Side Shields: Lateral protection against harsh sunlight 360deg Adjustable Temples: Stem ends bend in every direction, easy to wear and good hold when worn with helmet, beanie or simply alone Grip Tech: Soft comfort exclusive material on the temples that doesn't stick to hair, giving perfect hold and comfort Front Venting: Natural front air flow thanks to the lens shape or mounting structure Adjustable Cord The SPECS of the Julbo Explorer Extra Large Sunglasses Lens Width: 63 mm Nose Width: 11 mm Stem Length: 135 mm

- Moosejaw

An essential piece of protective equipment for high-altitude climbs, these Julbo Explorer glacier glasses offer exceptional protection for your eyes.