New Protective IO Cover for the Aimpoint T-1: First Look

by February 21, 2013 02/21/13

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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drew Del
drew Del

Taiwan! WTF! With all the recent pushes for people to buy American made gear, why would they manufacture in Taiwan?!?! People spend $5-6 hundred dollars on optics, so I'm sure they would pay for a quality American made part, I know I would. Too bad...

WoodenPlank
WoodenPlank

Joe,

Any updates on when they will be available to those of us that missed out on the Kickstarter? I have a T1 inbound, and would love to top it off with one of these covers.

WoodenPlank
WoodenPlank

Joe, Any updates on when they will be available to those of us that missed out on the Kickstarter? I have a T1 inbound, and would love to top it off with one of these covers.

Joe Chen
Joe Chen

Hi guys! Thanks for the great first look! Nice photography! Just a couple of things to point out.

While the Aimpoint Micro is pretty much bomb-proof, the iO Cover was designed to keep the lenses clean and clear in crap environments. It's not really a square range type of product. If you don't patrol in the rain or sand or break brush carrying your weapon, then it may not make a lot of sense. However, if you do, you'll immediately remember that time you needed to take a critical shot and wasted seconds trying to clear the lenses or fumble with a bikini cover. You can't shoot what you can't see, and rain on the rear glass usually results in a phenomenon I like to call "Christmas lights".

And yes, we are manufacturing overseas with a longtime US-friendly ally for all the reasons aforementioned. As much as I'd like to keep it here, there are a lot of things that need to change before large-scale, low-tech manufacturing becomes competitive in the US again, if ever. But that's a discussion for another time and place and drink.

As for the Primary Arms question, I've FINALLY received a Primary Arms MD-06 and it does fit with slight modifications. The fit is poor compared to the Aimpoint of course since there are a couple of dimensional features that aren't exactly cloned. And before anyone asks, all the other clones including airsoft knockoffs are way too different to work.

Best regards,

Joe

Joe Chen
Joe Chen

Hi guys! Thanks for the great first look! Nice photography! Just a couple of things to point out. While the Aimpoint Micro is pretty much bomb-proof, the iO Cover was designed to keep the lenses clean and clear in crap environments. It's not really a square range type of product. If you don't patrol in the rain or sand or break brush carrying your weapon, then it may not make a lot of sense. However, if you do, you'll immediately remember that time you needed to take a critical shot and wasted seconds trying to clear the lenses or fumble with a bikini cover. You can't shoot what you can't see, and rain on the rear glass usually results in a phenomenon I like to call "Christmas lights". And yes, we are manufacturing overseas with a longtime US-friendly ally for all the reasons aforementioned. As much as I'd like to keep it here, there are a lot of things that need to change before large-scale, low-tech manufacturing becomes competitive in the US again, if ever. But that's a discussion for another time and place and drink. As for the Primary Arms question, I've FINALLY received a Primary Arms MD-06 and it does fit with slight modifications. The fit is poor compared to the Aimpoint of course since there are a couple of dimensional features that aren't exactly cloned. And before anyone asks, all the other clones including airsoft knockoffs are way too different to work. Best regards, Joe

Skip
Skip

Could you post when we can actually buy them?

Mike
Mike

Does this fir the Primary Arms red dot that looks similar to the aim point? It came with the same little bikini covers, which we all hate.

Mike Petrucci
Mike Petrucci

Very cool design and it's especially nice how the caps stay out of the way when opened. It does sadden me to see this manufactured in Taiwan. Was American manufacturing simply too much?

Eric
Eric

It looks like they're available in FDE, OD, and Foliage, in addition to Black.

Eric
Eric

It looks like they're available in FDE, OD, and Foliage, in addition to Black.

WoodenPlank
WoodenPlank

You'd still buy it if it costs 3-4 times the price to be made in America?

$25 for a scope cover is very reasonable - a lot less people would be willing to drop $60+ on one.

WoodenPlank
WoodenPlank

You'd still buy it if it costs 3-4 times the price to be made in America? $25 for a scope cover is very reasonable - a lot less people would be willing to drop $60+ on one.

Spencedaddy
Spencedaddy

as someone who is dealing with that EXACT issue....like....as in I am dealing with it this weekend.

Taiwan can produce a product at 35% to 10% of the price of America..with comparable quality(or potentially exceeding our quality), speed, and safety. Occasionally they also have access to better materials than we have here.

so when you ask, was it too much to produce it here.yes, it most likely was, they take a HUGE hit trying to do it here, I wont comment on the politics or whatever involved, but as a business man that is dealing with this issue, I see no problem with it.

You can love the "made in America" bullcrap all you want, but until we get competitive with pricing, its just not worth it man, just not.

Spencedaddy
Spencedaddy

as someone who is dealing with that EXACT issue....like....as in I am dealing with it this weekend. Taiwan can produce a product at 35% to 10% of the price of America..with comparable quality(or potentially exceeding our quality), speed, and safety. Occasionally they also have access to better materials than we have here. so when you ask, was it too much to produce it here.yes, it most likely was, they take a HUGE hit trying to do it here, I wont comment on the politics or whatever involved, but as a business man that is dealing with this issue, I see no problem with it. You can love the "made in America" bullcrap all you want, but until we get competitive with pricing, its just not worth it man, just not.

Seifer
Seifer

It's piece of rubber. 25-30$ it's reasonable price for US product. For example Magpul Iphone field case - 10-13$.

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