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Julbo Explorer

rated 4.5 of 5 stars
photo: Julbo Explorer glacier glass

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.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $124

Quite possibly the best glacier/mountaineering glasses made. The Julbo Explorers build on an already impressive history of quality from the French company.


  • Fit
  • Lens quality
  • Design


  • Included strap is a bit weak

The Julbo Explorer is probably the best Julbo product I have used. As a professional wilderness adventure guide, ski guide, and mountain trek leader I have used numerous Julbo glasses over the years (25 to be precise) and the Explorers are the best I have ever used.

The adjustability off the stems, and the bridge makes these have an exceptional fit that lets in almost no light at all. 

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $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).

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: about $100

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Price MSRP: $190.00
Historic Range: $62.99-$190.00
Reviewers Paid: $100.00-$124.00
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