I was really excited to have backed the IO Cover on Kickstarter and being a fellow entrepreneur, I love supporting projects on Kickstarter, especially ones geared towards this industry. The IO Cover was designed by Joseph Chen as a way to not only protect the body of the Aimpoint T-1, but to also provide lens covers that improved upon Aimpoint’s design.
As you can see in the photo below, the lens cover Aimpoint provides didn’t make it very long on my T-1. Before it was damaged, I’d also always worry about losing it. Most people I saw, would do what I’d done and simply pull the T-1 cover down around the mount, but the constant stretching of the cover is what I attribute the breaking to.
I will say this, the Aimpoint T-1 is a workhorse and one of the best optics out there for rifles. I’ve seen Pat Rogers personally take his off his gun at a course and chunk it across a rocky field without sustaining any damage. I’ve never had any issues running mine without lens caps or a protective cover over the body. That being said, it’s a $600+ red dot sight and I have worried about the glass lenses getting damaged, which is why I really wanted to back the IO Cover Kickstarter project and really liked what Joseph had come up with for protection and covers.
One of the problems that Joseph notes that he faced in designing the IO Cover, was that the T-1 had a nice lip on the front lens for a cap to grab onto, but the rear lens had nothing that could keep one closed. He finally extended the rear of the IO Cover so that if formed a ridged lip that the cover could snap onto. What’s also unique about the IO Cover, is that the two lens caps fold back and nest into each other, which keeps them out of the way. They also fold back to the side opposite the T-1 brightness control knob and windage/elevation adjustments.
Another benefit of the IO Cover is the big tab that’s utilized on each lens cap, which can be opened and closed using gross movement, one-handed and even wearing gloves.
Around a month after the funding had been met to produce the IO Cover, I noticed that Joseph posted in the Kickstarter comments that iO Cover hadn’t been purchased by TangoDown, but that they were teaming up with them to provide mass distribution to dealers and end-users. As you’ll notice, TangoDown’s logo appears on the inside of the outmost cap when they’re nested together.
According to a post by IO Cover on their Facebook Page, the IO Cover was designed and prototyped in the USA and manufactured in Taiwan. I’ll try to clarify more on TangoDown and when they’ll be offering them for sale. As of now, IO Cover has been shipping out Black to the Kickstarter backers first.
I’m looking forward to running this on my T-1 and reporting back on how it’s worked out for me. I’m very optimistic though and was glad to see the IO Cover become a reality! According to the Kickstarter project updates, these will eventually be available in Black, FDE, OD Green and Foliage Grey.
Update: IO Covers are now available directly from TangoDown.
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