How to Choose: Glasses and Magnifiers

How to Choose: Glasses and Magnifiers

Are your arms getting too short to read the o-map? Do you have trouble distinguishing a boulder from a cliff?  Do fences look like trails?   Maybe, just maybe, it’s time to admit you need some assistance reading the map.


 Vapro Down-cut GlassesVapro Half-Frame GlassesVavrys Sports Bifocal GlassesVavrys Sports Bifocal Glasses with Hole
Available Diopters1.0 to 4.0 in 0.5 increments1.0, 1.5, 2.01.0 to 3.0 in 0.5 increments1.0 to 3.0 in 0.5 increments
Special FeaturesThe shape of these glasses allows for easy map reading, without having any lens in front of your eyes when looking out at the terrainComes with headband for easy adjustment of lens position.  Half-size frames allow for terrain reading over the lens and map reading through the lensMagnifier is low in the lens to offer easy switch between close map reading and distance terrain reading.  Full lens offers eye protectionSame as Vavrys Sport Bifocal Glasses but with a hole in the middle of the lens to prevent fogging
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Magnifying Lenses

 Moscompass Magnifier**Ekens LuppStr8 Magnifier**
Special FeaturesAluminum rod attaches directly to any Moscompass.  Rotating lens allows for close up reading of map or compassComes in left or right hand models and fits on all brands of thumb compass.  Rotating lens allows for close up reading of map or compassFits with the Str8 compass and comes in left or right hand models.  Attaches using the thumb strap and has adjustable angle to match your compass.  Rotating lens allows for close up reading of map or compass
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*If price on chart and price on product page are different, price on product page is taken as accurate.

** Remember that these magnifying lenses only fit with their respective compass brands.

Factors to Consider when Choosing your Lens

Magnifying Lens or Glasses

If you’re starting to notice that you can’t make out some of the smaller details on the map, the magnifying lens may be the better option.  It can easily be moved out of the way when you’re feeling confident about your map-reading, and it can be super helpful in those treacherous, nitty-gritty parts of the map.   If you’re feeling that the whole map is looking a little fuzzy, it’s probably time to try out some glasses.  Sometimes it's even nice to have both! And some of the young sharp-eyed elite orienteers like to have a magnifier for the busy sections of a 1:15,000 map. 


The experienced glasses user in our O-Store team has found that it is helpful to have a slightly stronger lens than what you use for regular reading glasses at home.  Not all of our glasses come in all diopter options so check what is available in the strength you are looking for. 

Lens Shape

Each of our glasses offers a different lens shape to facilitate quick switches between close map reading and distanced terrain reading.  The choice here is really personal preference and comfort.  Do you feel that you prefer to have some eye protection with a full lens? Or do you find it easier to read the terrain with nothing in front of your eyes? Are your glasses always fogging up and making it difficult to see anything at all?