Pete recently did a long term review of a set of Gatorz Eyewear Magnum Z87. I too have been wearing their glasses for almost a year. I was going to pick up another pair for backup (since one of my special talents is breaking things) and also a clear pair (shooting in low light is valuable training and anyone that does it knows that dark sunglasses are not great eye pro in shoot houses or after dusk…)
Gatorz was kind enough to send me four different pairs to compare since they have like, five-hundred options and variations. Specifically I was looking at polarized lenses and also a clear variant. They sent two frame styles (“Wraptor” and “Boxster”) in a basic black frame, with a smoke lens, and normal polarization. They also sent one of their new “optimized polarized” sets (in the “Wraptor” frame). And lastly a pair of the standard Magnum with the “Inferno” lens, which is a smidge darker than clear but actually still works in darker environments.
Demystifying Gatorz Models
- Boxter frames are a larger sized lens on a wide frame.
- Wraptors are medium sized lenses in a wrap style frame.
- Magnums are wrap style frames with a large lens.
The “Blackout” variant of any model simply indicates that the outer logo is not highlighted against the frame.
What To Pick?
Basically you want to pick eye wear that fits your face. I dug through the product catalogs, and hopefully the miniscule research I did will help a little if you are interested in adding Gatorz to your eye armor. The Boxters should be better for people with a larger face shape due to their more rectangular shape. Wraptors are probably better for a narrower face as they are going to fit more snugly around your face and follow the contours better. Same with the Magnums with the exception that the lenses are going to be a little bigger. This is all advice I was given by my wife, who understands such things, and whom I have learned not to test against fashion. I would note that you do need to adjust any of the frames a bit to your head by bending them (they give you instructions) otherwise those aluminum frames will pressure into the side of your head and will be uncomfortable after a while…
Polarized models are nice because they cut reflected glare. Which makes it easier to see objects in bright conditions. In New Mexico, since we are cursed with nearly 300 sunny days per year, there is more opportunity to be outside (which I would argue is the optimal place to shoot; not inside like some sort of cave troll). One downside is that polarized lenses can interfere with seeing digitize screens—like on your smart phone with its polarized screen…
Gatorz has a model they are are calling “Optimized Polarized”. These are partially polarized and provide glare reduction without significantly impacting the ability to see digital screens.
It is important to note that only the Gatorz Z87 models are actually rated for impact protection—the rest of their glasses are technically “just” glasses. Only you can make the determination for what you should wear to protect your eyes.
Boxster Black Smoke Polarized
Wraptor Black Smoke Polarized
Wraptor Blackout Smoke Opz (Optimized Polarized)
Magnum Blackout Inferno
The above are a few of the many variants they offer. The quality of materials are very good and I’ve had nothing but excellent customer service when dealing with them. Gatorz are a little pricier than I normally go for glasses (since I break or trash them pretty regularly). That said, the pair I have been wearing for over a year have held up better than anything I’ve used before.
Do any of you wear them? Any favorite models or colors? You can see the full line up at: https://www.gatorz.com/