Gear Review: Julbo Explorer XL Sunglasses

So let’s get one thing out into the open to start: the difference between the Julbo Explorer XL sunglasses and the regular Explorers is the frame size. Why does that matter? If you have a “hard to fit face,” you’ll care.

Beyond that, though, they are essentially identical to the standard Explorers – just all around, high performance mountaineering sunglasses. The lenses are a bit bigger than normal – 63mm – the 11mm nosepiece is a little wider, and the stems are 135mm, but otherwise they’re the same as the Explorers.

Developed in partnership with the French national skiing and mountaineering school, the Julbo Explorer XL sunglasses were designed for serious high altitude, backcountry, mountain use. These are the real deal. They block harsh snow glare, cut down on UV rays and, in general, make life livable for your eyes in the high country. The wrap around design is also a performance feature, great for blowing snow and high winds.They even offer a little extra protection on the periphery.

Like Julbo’s other mountain glasses, the Explorer XL features removable side shields, which offer lateral protection against harsh sun, as well as 360 degree adjustable temples that make the glasses easy to fit whether around a helmet or on their own.

Sunglasses that fit? Score one for the Explorers.

Beyond the fit, the glasses also feature Julbo’s Grip Tech compound for a comfortable fit on the temples and nose, along with front venting for air flow around the lens and frame. At home, that doesn’t sound like that big of a deal, but once you’re in the backcountry this proper venting really shines. Lens fogging, condensation, constant wiping … all are minimized thanks to the shape of the Explorer’s frame, and that’s a real benefit on the trail.

Julbo even includes an adjustable stretch headband that helps keep the glasses in place no matter what you take on.

The Explorer XL is available in two color combinations – white and black – both with Julbo’s Spectrum 4 dark gray lenses. Like the standard size Explorers, they are priced at $120.

For more information visit Julbo USA. To purchase the Explorer XL sunglasses, click here.

About the author


Tim Sprinkle

Tim Sprinkle is a Denver-based writer and editor whose work has appeared in dozens of publications, including Outside, Backpacker and Wired.

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