Adding Flip up lens covers to the Vortex Solo R/T 8X36
I recently wrote an article about the Vortex Solo R/T and one of my only critiques was that there were no lens covers. Vortex stated that their O-40 and E-10 from their Defender line of flip-up caps would fit. I was skeptical of how well they would fit, the front of the Solo R/T is not completely round, and the eyepiece has an eyecup and a focus knob. I ordered a set since I felt that it really needed covers for field use.
Upon receiving the lens caps, I discovered they are very heavy-duty and well worth the money. The front one slipped on with a little persuasion and the fit was incredible. It doesn’t want to move around at all, and the thick rubber formed to the oblong shape nicely.
The cap for the eyepiece was a different story. It did fit, but made the eye relief too long and would slide off easily. It also covered the reticle focus knob. Using it with the eyecup in place or removed caused different problems, neither of which were acceptable. At that point, I decided some modification was the only solution.
Both the eyecup and the rubber on the cap needed to be trimmed to set the proper eye relief. They were both trimmed easily with a pair of sharp scissors. Don’t worry if you cut either slightly too short, it can be adjusted later.
The rubber on the eye cup and lens cap needs to be trimmed to set proper eye relief.
Take your time fitting these together, if the eyecup is left too long it will bunch up on the inside of the lens cap. If the lens cap is left too long it will cover the reticle focus wheel and also bunch up on the top of the belt clip.
Once you have the proper fitment and eye relief, remove both pieces from the monocular and prepare to glue them together. If they are not glued the lens cap will try to slide off when you open the cap. I used athletic shoe repair glue. It’s sticky and messy, so it’s best to have it away from your lens and focus wheel. Rotation doesn’t matter as the entire assembly can be indexed when reinstalled. I found the best way to apply the glue was to slide the two pieces together, then stretch them apart and apply the glue with a q-tip. This saved on the mess. After the glue is dry, reinstall and index the flip cap.
Stretch the two pieces apart and apply the glue with a q-tip.
Overall I am very pleased with the outcome. It would have been nice if it came with lens caps, or if they just fit on without modification, but it was quick and easy enough. The end result is two very durable and easy to use flip-up lens caps. I now feel much better that dust and debris will be kept away from the lenses whether carrying it exposed using the belt clip or inside a case.
Below are some pictures of the completed project: