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As a bike commuter, trail runner, mountain biker, and general outdoors person I've been through a lot of different pairs of sunglasses. I've had a hard time finding one pair that suited all the different conditions I played in. My favorite pair to date was a pair of glasses with interchangeable lenses. I got sick of switching lenses. I needed one pair that could literally do it all. Enter the Julbo Dust Sunglasses. Julbo sent me a pair to test and review and here are my thoughts.
Julbo Dust Sunglasses Features
- Frame: nylon
- Lens: Zebra Antifog Photochromic (polycarbonate)
- Frame Measurements: (lens width) 66 mm, (bridge) 17 mm, (temple) 120 mm
- Nose Pads: yes
- Temple Pads: yes
- Protective case: yes
- Recommended Use: running, hiking, biking
- Manufacturer Warranty: lifetime
- Price: $160
Julbo Dust Sunglasses ReviewThe feature that sets the Julbo Dust Sunglasses apart from other sunglasses is the Zebra Antifog Photochromic lens. It is a lens that can literally span most all conditions. For those not familiar with photochromic lenses, they change based on the amount of light, i.e. they get darker as the sun gets brighter. With the Dust riding in low-light (not night) conditions it allows enough light to pass through so you can see. When it gets bright the lenses get nice and dark. Pair that with a reflective coating and even on the brightest days here in Central OR I haven't gotten eye fatigue. I haven't ever had to squint while wearing the Dust. The one thing that is missing in my opinion is the Zebra lens isn't polarized. If Julbo could include that I'd be 100% happy. Yes, I want my cake and I want to eat it too. The Dust does come with a removable lens option that includes a polarized lens, a low-to-medium light lens, and a clear lens. Next on my list of "extremely important" features are the "rubber" nose piece and temple pieces. They kept the glasses in place, even on my sweatiest rides and runs. Nothing like cranking through some downhill singletrack and have to push your glasses up. It wasn't an issue at all with the Dust. The frame is very comfortable and somewhat flexible. A couple of color options are available. My preference was the very "Euro" blue. The Dust is fairly lightweight, meaning that I put them on and I didn't notice them. I'm not a weight weenie so I don't know if it truly is "lightweight" compared to other frames out there. On the quality spectrum, the Dust is high. Julbo has been around for while and their background in glacier glasses have set the ground nicely for high quality products. The Good
- Photochromic lens is highly versatile
- Non-sweat-slippage rubber on the nose piece and temple pieces
- Photochromic lens isn't polarized
Bottom Line:The Julbo Dust has become my go-to all around sunglasses for bike commuting, running, and other two-wheeled pursuits. Buy Now: Pick up the Julbo Dust Sunglasses [gallery order="DESC"]... Read more...
I used to only think of Julbo as the glacier sunglasses company. That's not the case anymore. Julbo gave me the chance to test and review the Julbo Orbiter Goggles and here's what I thought.
Julbo Orbiter Goggles Features
- Material: Lightweight nylon frame is flexible and accommodates large faces
- Breathable dual density foam membrane
- Silicone-accented strap and easy clip secure to fit all helmet sizes
- Camel Photochromic lens (cat 2-4) new high end polarized lens
- NXT technology
- Front venting
- Anti-reflective coating
- Anti-fog coating
- Price: $200
Julbo Orbiter Goggles ReviewFirst off, out of the box the Julbo Orbiter Goggles look great! Let's face it, if you're going to shell out more than $30 for goggles, you want a pair that look good. The Orbiter has good styles and the frame designs are clean. The Orbiter is made to fit bigger faces, so ladies you'll want to check out something like the Julbo Eclipse Goggles. I found the Orbiter extremely comfortable and can thank the breathable foam for that. After all day wear, I didn't get any goggle fatigue. The Orbiter is also comfortable with a helmet. The strap "wings" (as I call them) position the strap to go with the curve of the helmet instead of making the strap stretch straight from the frame. This was huge in terms of on-helmet comfort. The Orbiter also comes with a strap extender so you don't end up with foam imprints after wearing the goggles for awhile. The strongest and most notable feature is the Camel lens. The Orbiter comes with a couple of lens options but just move past the rest and go straight for the Camel. The Camel lens is a polarized photochromatic lens. For the uninitiated, photochromatic is essentially a "transition" lens that changes from light to dark based on the amount of sunlight. The Camel lens is rated as a "2-4" on the scale which means it does well in relatively low-light conditions to bright conditions. The product photo shows the lens at the lightest and my photo shows it at it's darkest. Throw in the polarized coating and you have a lens that is hard to beat. All that combined makes the Orbiter an awesome goggle. I already have a favorite goggle but now I am having to reconsider my choice. The Good
- Camel Lens (polarized, photochromatic)
- Good Style
- Price - it could be hard to shell out $200 for goggles but they are worth it
Bottom Line:The Julbo Orbiter Goggles is a great goggle and worth every penny. Buy Now: Pick up the Julbo Orbiter Goggles[gallery]... Read more...
Noggs isn't a brand that you've likely heard of before. As a newcomer in the sunglasses space, Noggs certainly doesn't yet boast the history and brand recognition of the heavyweights in the industry, such as Smith and Oakley. But if you're like me and you have lost a few pairs of sunglasses on the slopes or at the bottom of the lake, then you might be starting to look for a pair of sunglasses that have everything you need but at a more reasonable price than $150 plus. And with suggested retail prices around $60 to $90 bucks, Noggs tend to fit that description. I tried out the nog100, which is a pair of very lightweight wraparound sport sunglasses with gray polarized lenses. These are a very versatile pair of sunglasses to keep in the car for whenever you might need glasses on-hand. Get a phone call at work from your buddies that you should meet them at the water ski lake on the way home from work? You'll want a lightweight pair of polarized sunglasses on hand. And these Noggs come in their own case that's built to fit comfortably into a cupholder in the car, so they are never too far away. Noggs has really given a lot of thought to these sunglasses being very usable sport sunglasses, not just for style. Models such as these nog100s are geared more towards men and have rubberized ear and nose pieces. But the womens sunglasses from Noggs generally don't, because rubberized earpieces can get stuck in long hair and rubberized nose pieces rub makeup the wrong way. The frames of the nog100 are extremely flexible. In fact, I would say they are more flexible than almost any other pair of sport sunglasses I've tested. Which is a great feature if you want to actually use these sunglasses while being active -- not just sitting at the beach. Sunglasses fly off when you're diving for a dig in sand volleyball. They get jammed into the bottom of the backpack. They fall off when you go over the handlebars on your mountain bike. Why would you want a pair of frames that are going to get bent out of shape or snapped the first time you actually get active? I took the earpieces of the nog100 and pulled them directly outward, flexing the frames almost flat against their natural arc, and they snapped back perfectly. No damage. No white stress spots in the frames' material. It was really quite unbelievable. The lenses are also impressive. Sure, they have good UV protection. Any pair of sunglasses would belong in the garbage bin if they didn't at least meet those table stakes. But beyond the standard UV protection that most sunglasses have, these lenses are polarized -- making them especially good at reducing glare in water, snow and driving situations. Usually for a polarized lens you can expect to pay over $100. These retail for $88. But these lenses don't just shield your eyes from rays and glare. They shield them from flying projectiles. That's right, they have high velocity impact protection (complies to ANSI Z87.1 standards). So when you're doing off-season trail prep with that pickaxe, shovel and folding saw? Reach for the Noggs. Busting out the weed whacker, edger and lawn mower on a Saturday? Better bust out the Noggs, too. Having used these in a number of situations from driving to yard work to cycling and trail running, I can say that they are a solid pair of sunglasses for a very decent price. I know of sunglasses twice as expensive that are heavier, not polarized, have brittle frames and certainly aren't high velocity impact compliant. So if you're willing to take a chance on a new brand, the Noggs feature set (flexible frames, light weight, impact resistant polarized lenses) will certainly make them worth a long, hard look given the reasonable price. That said, here are a few considerations to keep in mind about the pair I tried:
- I have a narrow, small head and the arms of the nog100s have a pronounced arc. This means that they didn't lay flat against my temples.
- As a result of the high-arc arms on these sunglasses, they put extra pressure right behind my ear where the point of the ear pieces finally pressed against my head. This pressure wasn't noticeable while driving, but when active I certainly felt it.
- I have a small, flat and steep nose (similar to a typical Asian or African-American nose). As a result, after about the first mile of a run they would start slipping down my nose and periodically I would have to push them up. This happens for me with a number of different brands of sunglasses. But some models (such as the Smith Pivlock V90) have a design that sticks very well and doesn't slip on my type of nose.
We're big fans of Kaenon Polarized sunglasses and the all-new Trade looks like a great set for hanging out on the beach or in the mountains. Don't think you won't be able to push it with the Trade's though. With a wide variety of lens options and face-hugging fit, you can take these out on the trails as well. If you're looking for polarized sunglasses, give Kaenon a good look. Here's more information on the new Men's Trade, which will be available shortly.
Newport Beach, CA — May 10, 2011 — Kaenon Polarized, the Newport Beach based Lifestyle and Luxury Performance™ sunglass brand, announces the arrival of its newest men’s piece, Trade, now available exclusively at Kaenon.com and through Kaenon’s authorized dealer network. Inspired by the Southern California beach lifestyle, Trade offers the coverage, fit, comfort and performance Kaenon Polarized is known for, in a tall, boxy frame design laced with California soul. Accented by angular lines and maximum eye coverage, this addition to the men’s Lifestyle Performance line presents an ideal cross section of performance frame engineering and subtle, beach-inspired design for the everyday man seeking protection, function and good looks. While large in look, Trade fits a broad range of face shapes and head sizes due to its 8-base wrapped frame geometry and temple design. Its frame face tapers into sculpted temples that end with ergonomically engineered load-spreading temple tips, fusing Kaenon’s intuitive California design-sense and functionality. Variflex™ nose pads anchor the frame securely, offering a slip-free experience, so the frame remains comfortably in place no matter where your adventure takes you. Initially available in three colors, Brown Olive, Black and Matte Black, Trade retails at $199-209 and is Rx-adaptable through Kaenon’s optical retail network with authentic SR-91 prescription polarized lenses. Kaenon’s patented and proprietary SR-91 polarized lens, standard throughout the entire Kaenon Polarized sunglass line, is the only non-compromising polarized lens that combines superior optical clarity, impact-protection and glare reduction all in one ultra-lightweight material. Available in a variety of purpose-built lens tints and Light Transmission Levels, all SR-91 polarized lenses are available in Single-Vision and Freestyle Progressive™ prescription options using Kaenon-pioneered digital backside surfacing technology and software, resulting in unsurpassed, individually customized, optical accuracy. More Info: Visit Kaenon.com... Read more...
Spring has officially sprung, although in some parts of the country old man winter is still hanging around. When the seasons change typically you'll find me lusting over the latest gear. A good rule of thumb is to go through what you have and donate a few things to make room for a few new pieces. Trying to pare down a Top 3 list for Spring wasn't an easy task, there's a ton of new gear to be had out there. You'll find my picks are everyday life staples for Spring and beyond. 3. Scrunchie Tote from Timbuk2 MSRP: $80
- Because one can never have too many bags. Ladies you can relate, each bag has a different purpose in life and the Scrunchie Tote is one of those GREAT everyday bags. Since it's from Timbuk2 I can guarantee you'll get miles out of this bag. Although, I'm not too keen on the name as it reminds me of the 80's hair scrunchie, it's still a perfect fit for ladies on the go. So what would I use it for you ask? Everything! Work, gym, farmer’s market, carry-on and so much more. It's too new for fun funky colors, but I'm digging on potrero as it's sure to match any outfit.
- A roomy all-around gear bag that cradles your yoga mat and looks good doing it.
- Refined weave ballistic nylon exterior with a stylish printed graphic liner.
- Exterior slash pockets for quick access and hidden zipper pocket for safe keeping.
- Waterproof TPU base so your gear stays dry, even on a damp gym floor.
- Key tether to keep you locked in.
- Zip top closure gives you the option to be super secure or casually closed.
- Living in Tahoe you can’t leave the house without your trusty sunglasses. It’s also handy to have sunglasses for specific occasions. The Smith Aura is more of the fun weekend warrior type. They're also not only functional but fashionable. Remember I usually opt for functional fashion. Wear them on a boat or cruising down the boardwalk with your pals. I'm digging the stone frame with a brown gradient lens for Spring.
- Anti-Reflective and Hydrophobic Lens Coating
- Medium Fit/Medium Coverage
- Techlite Polarized Glass TLT Lenses
- Stainless Steel Spring Hinges
- An oldie but a goodie, the Women's Rain Shadow Jacket is a lightweight jacket every woman should have in their closet. It packets down to a small ball making it easy to throw in your Timbuk2 Scrunchie Tote when weather calls for rain showers. Roomy enough to layer over a sweatshirt on colder days without it being bulky. I purchased this jacket for my trip to Central America with the idea of trekking through rain forests and hanging at beach for three weeks. It kept me dry and warm. Today, I wear my Rain Shadow Jacket around town and while hiking. This is the jacket for you if you're looking for something lightweight, waterproof, and breathable. Make a statement with color, I’m digging on the prickly pear for 2011.
- Lightweight - 10.9 oz
- waterproof/breathable H2No barrier and Deluge DWR
- Roll-down, 2-way-adjustable hood with a laminated visor improves hood structure and visibility
- Microfleece-lined neck and chin for comfort
- All exterior zippers and pit zips are watertight, coated and treated with a Deluge DWR
I know the Smith Interlock Trace Sunglasses have been out for awhile but I love them. They've been my go to glass for over two years. Smith stepped up the interchangeable lens game when they released the Interlock lens system a couple of years ago and they stepped it up again with the release of the Piv-Lock system. The Slider system worked but it was a little bit of a pain getting the lenses in and out. The Interlock system makes lens swaps easy with a simple twist of the temple pieces. I've been a fan of Interchangeable lenses since the Slider days but I was extra stoked when the Interlock came out.
Smith Interlock Trace Features
- Carbonic TLT Lenses
- Interlock Interchangeable
- 3 sets of lenses (mine came with polarized brown, Ignitor, clear mirror)
- Nonslip emple pads
- Medium fit
- Hard Protective case (at least mine came with one)
- Lifetime Warranty
- RX Compatible
- Price: $149
Smith Interlock Trace ReviewI've been a fan of Smith for a long time now and the Interlock Trace doesn't disappoint. The Trace features a medium fit and sit nicely on my face. The lenses on the Trace are a little larger than other sunglasses, but not big enough that you look ridiculous. They do provide enough coverage that on sunny days touring the snow reflection doesn't get through the edges, they keep keep the wind out on fast bike rides, and enough coverage to keep the rain and mud out when the weather gets dicey. Like most all frames, the Trace frame features a little bit of a springy-tension to allow fit on a wider range of head sizes. I like this because it helps keep the glasses where they need to be on my head. In my experience this tension goes away within a year or two of use, but after nearly two years of use it's still going strong. The temple pieces have long pads to also keep the frames on your head, especially when you are sweaty. Many others I've used would still slip, even with the pads. The two lenses I've used the most are the brown polarized and the clear lenses. Of course the polarized brown on sunny days and the clear on the rainy days or when I commute home at night. The clear lenses feature a very light mirror to help break glare when riding at night or in the rain. The Good
- Interlock Interchangeable system
- Good face coverage
- Fit and look
- RX compatible
- Are a little bigger, might look silly if you have a small face
- If you have a big head the temple tension might be uncomfortable
- If lenses aren't inserted just right they'll pop out
Bottom Line:The Smith Interlock Trace has become my "go to" sunglass for everything. I wear them when bike commuting, trail running, mountain biking, going to the park with the kids...everything. After two years I haven't had any problems and am still extremely satisfied with these glasses. Buy Now: Pick up the Smith Interlock Trace Sunglasses and put your other sunglasses on the shelf.... Read more...
Gargoyles, you say? You mean those glasses made popular in the 1980's by their military-grade lenses and pro wrestler styling? Yup... those are the ones. Well, after a brief disappearance, Gargoyles is back with the same dedication to performance and optical quality. Over the past few months I've had a chance to test the new Cardinal multi-sport sunglasses from Gargoyles (part of their Instinct Collection). The wide-coverage and curved-lens design of the Cardinal offers sweeping peripheral coverage that is matched by a select few sunglasses on the market. Gargoyles Cardinal Features:
- Lightweight flexible Nylon frame material
- Pin Stop Hinge
- Dual Toric 210º Vison Shield Lens
- Shatter-resistant ballistic defense lenses
- Soft rubber Temple tip inserts
- Non-slip Adjustable nose pads
- 100% UV Protection
- MSRP: $110
The Gargoyles trademark Green Lens provides the wearer with a unique balance of target and background brightness. Designed for the Field of Play, the Gargoyles Green Lens helps you locate and track objects in motion against a variety of outdoor backgrounds including Earth, sky and water. Our green field of play lens has a transmission which is tailored to accommodate playing field sports and outdoor activities where tracking objects in motion is critical. The Green Lens controls low-level blue light while the middle range of light is selectively manipulated to provide optimum visual stimulation and distinctive object illumination.While many sunglasses feature non-adjustable nose pads, the Cardinal's stand out with their easily-adjusted noses. You can expand, contract or even move them forward or back for the proper, slip-free fit. Grippy ear pieces also help keeping things in place while running or biking. To be honest, I'm not super-keen on the styling, but that's a personal preference and you may like the looks on your face for your intended purpose. They are on the midrange side as far as price goes and are widely-available online or directly through Gargoyles. The Good
- Wraparound styling provides excellent protection
- Good optical quality
- Adjustable nose piece fits nearly any face
- Extremely-durable lenses
- Not so hip styling
- Green lens is really dark, in my opinion
As Smith continues to up the ante in lens technology, they are also stepping up in eco-friendly construction. Their Evolve line consists of sunglasses, goggles and helmets utilizing more environmentally-friendly solvents and materials. For the past few months, I've been rolling with the Smith Backdrop sunglasses that feature the most advanced lens technology Smith has ever developed. Performance thus far has been nothing short of spectacular... lets dig into some details. Smith Backdrop Features:
- 8 Base Lens Curvature
- Frame Measurements 61-16-135
- Grilamid TR90 Frame
- Medium Fit / Medium Coverage
- Techlite Polarized Glass TLT Lenses
- Lens Options: Polarchromic or Polarized (depends on lens/frame color)
- Colors: Black Matte Evolve (tested), Black, Mahogany, Tortoise, Brown Stripe
- MSRP: $159.00 - $199.00
- Techlite glass lens is lightweight
- Amazing optics in all conditions
- Polarchromic technology reduces glare and extends window of use
- Eco-friendly Evolve design
- Flexible hinges extend fit without flexing the frame or lenses
- Stay put very well
- Highly scratch-resistant
- Small "evolve" text on the upper-left of left lens is annoying... my eye is constantly drawn towards it
Bottom Line: Smith Backdrop Polarchromic SunglassesThese are definitely some of the finest sunglasses on the market today. Overall construction is killer, the fit is just right and the lenses really put them in a league few other sunglasses can match. Buy Now: Search for Smith Backdrop Sunglasses... Read more...
I’ve been able to take these goggles out on a few backcountry trips as well as inbounds at Solitude Resort on an ultra-cold day and Alta Ski Resort on a powder day and have been thoroughly impressed. The foam conforms to my face very well for a comfortable, all-day fit. I also like the style… yeah, a little loud, but not completely over the top. Overall vision has been top-notch with superb clarity. Under cloudcover, I could have wished for a brighter lens tint, but these are pretty darn solid as a single lens of choice. The lenses seem pretty scratch-resistant as they have yet to incur any scratches–even after some up close and personal encounters with low-lying branches. I’ve got to call these out a little more for their fog-free performance. You see, I tend to fog up nearly every pair of goggles I’ve owned. Truth be told, there are circumstances that can fog up even the best goggles, but I’ve put these through their paces and have yet to have them fog. Sweaty hikes, long traverses at Alta and hard-charging runs in deep powder… nothing has phased them. Fog-free goggles? Decidedly so thus far. The Good
- Spherical lens provides distortion-free vision
- Excellent fit with a variety of helmets (Smith Maze and POC Skull Light)
- Has been fog-free in a variety of temperatures and conditions (and I’m a fog machine)
- Excellent pricepoint
- No strap clip
Bottom Line: Scott Fix Ski GogglesEasy on the wallet and excellent, fog-free performance on the snow, the Scott Fix goggles are a wise choice if you like being able to see your next turn well in advance. Buy Now: Search for Scott Fix Goggles... Read more...
I've owned Julbo glasses since I started mountaineering, and loved them. I've had the old school pair, with the leather side sheilds and the newer, more stylish pair with the plastic shields and the more "modern" shaping to them. However, not until this fall did I ever think I'd own a pair of "women's specific" glacier glasses! This past fall, Julbo released the Monterosa, their women's specific pair of glasses, intended to be functional enough to be glacier glasses and stylish enough to be worn on a daily basis.
Monterosa Glacier Glasses- Style PointsNow, I will be the first to admit, I am NOT the person to write a review on what is in style. I live in my mountain khakis, flannel shirts, and rarely glance in the mirror before leaving the house. I readily wore my old Julbo's as daily sunglasses, oblivious to the fact that I looked a bit out of place until my younger, more hip sister pointed it out one day, informing me that I looked like an ant on steroids. However, when I got my Julbo Monterosa's, I was given the official "sister seal of approval," for style. So, when I say that the Monterosa's are fashionable and in style, rest assured that this has been assessed by a professional.
- "Feminine from peaks to streets" is the slogan of the Monterosa- and I'd say they achieve it.
- Larger, more squared frames look much more like style based glasses than the old Julbos.
- Available in 2 colors- white or black. Each color comes with a second "accent color" on the sides, which is the same color used on the removable side shields.
Monterosa Glacier Glasses- Functional Features
- Removable side shields: as with all of Julbo's glasses, you still have the removable side shields, so you can get that extra protection when you need it.
- Available with Spectron 4 or Camel lenses. The Spectron 4 are lightweight lenses with category 4 protection (5% visible light allowance, making them acceptable for high altitude mountaineering). The Camel lenses change colors, and when outside darken to a cat 4 protection, but lighten if you are inside or in an area with less sun exposure.
- Grip inserts: Keeps the glasses on your head! And, Julbo has positioned these inside of the side pieces, so they don't stick to your hair and pull painfully, yet they stay put. Sweet!
- Curved temples: They've specifically designed the glasses so that they will fit your face, and also your head. Finally, someone that understands that to be the perfect pair of shades, they must function as both sunglasses AND a headband. I know my shades spend a fair amount of time up on my head when they're not in use. I hardly ever take them off, just slide them up.
- Case: comes with a soft sided plastic case for storage.
- Uses: So far, I've taken my Monterosas mountain biking, road biking, skiing and mountaineering. I love how wide they are for these specific sports- keeps my eyes from drying out. I'm not a big goggle person, so I especially loved them for skiing. I could still get enough coverage to keep my eyes from frying and to keep most of the wind out, without having to wear goggles.
OverallAs with most sunglasses these days, they're a bit spendy ($160 for the Camel lenses, only $90 for the Spectron 4), but I was impressed with the fit and I know Julbo's unprecedented reputation for sun protection.
Buy NowCheck out the Julbo Monterosa!... Read more...
I recently picked up a pair of Gordini SureShot 2 goggles to test out (full disclosure: they were provided free from Gordini). I have long been a fan of Smith and Arnette, and even an occasional pair of Scott or Oakley goggles. But this was my first chance to try out an offering from Gordini. Gordini has long been known for their gloves (at our house we have a couple of pairs, including our favorite all-around winter glove the Gordini Deerskin Lavawool: http://gordini.com/products/men/gloves). The Gordini brand has also made a solid space for themselves in the goggle market. The model I tried out, the SureShot 2, is a testament to why that is. GOOD GORDINI: The Gordini SureShot 2 is well-priced, very solid goggle that is sure to please because it doesn't miss on critical areas like standard helmet compatibility (with the face frame) and good ventilation. The SureShot 2 has vents along the front-top of the lens, and standard foam-covered vents along the top and bottom of the frame. No fogging for me when I used them on a cold day. As is to be expected, the SureShot 2 boasts 100% UVA and UVB protection. While testing these goggles I spoke with a retinal surgeon from the University of Iowa (the top ophthalmology program in the US) and he said that you don't need to get the expensive brands of sunglasses and goggles to get all the sun protection you would ever need. As long as it has 100% UV protection, you're good on that front. So the SureShot 2 fits the bill there, and for half the price of premium brands (msrp: $60)! The peripheral vision is good, though the frame of the goggle itself is a bit big for my small face (see accompanying photo of me at Alta). The goggle strap is very burly - much wider width than most other goggles on the market - which makes it quite comfortable when worn over a beanie. While the face foam isn't as plush-perfect as more spendy goggles, it isn't uncomfortable either. It uses two different layers of foam, and a third soft layer of material against the skin. The lens is a bit of a rose tint, which gives it great versatility. The metallic lens coating is effective but makes the goggles look a little eighties, in this author's opinion. However, there are many different styles for the SureShot 2, so you don't have to get what I got. I got the Gun Metal gray color with the blue mirror lens. Click here to see all Gordini goggles, including the more aggressive treatments of the SureShot 2. BAD GORDINI: No clip on the strap. I don't know why Smith is the only goggle maker that seems to make their goggle straps with clips - perhaps other goggle makers are just cutting costs? Regardless, I always think that the lack of a strap clip is a huge downfall because you can't extend the strap to fit larger-sized helmets. To complicate matters further, the Gordini goggle strap is shorter than most other brands I've tried. While the SureShot 2 fit very well on my Smith Variant Brim helmet, my helmet is only a size Medium and I had to extend the Gordini goggle strap all the way just to work with my helmet. Without the possibility of extending the goggle strap, I wonder if the goggle frame would sit flat on your face or if the short strap would cause pulling. Also, the lens worked well for me but I wish it had a system like the Smith I/O for swapping out other tints. Granted, this is only a $60 dollar goggle - not $180 like the Smith. But for only $60, you're not going to get a distortion-free spherical lens like the Smith either. But in reality many folks don't care about that, when it comes right down to it. All in all, for the price ($60) the Gordini SureShot 2 is a great goggle in lots of cool colors with just a few key shortcomings - mostly revolving around the goggle strap's lack of extendability. BUY NOW: Click here to search for goggles....Read more...
The new product machine at Smith is relentless. Without fail, every six months, I get the lowdown on the new sunglasses, goggles, helmets and accessories. Chopper at Smith was particularly stoked on this new model, so I was naturally intrigued.
"We had a handful of mountain bikers ride them for several days straight on the Umpqua River Trail in Oregon," he said confidently. "They were all stoked on how lightweight they felt."Slipping them on, I could see why as these glasses offer some of the best field of vision while remaining super light at the same time. The frameless design really gives the V90 Max a stylish look, but more importantly provides killer field of vision and excellent water shedding qualities. I've used the V90's extensively on the bike and trail running and really appreciate the grippy rubber and clear optics. I actually have used all three lenses in differing light conditions and truly dig the new Pivlock lens system. Changing lenses couldn't be easier with no need to ever touch the middle of the lens to do the swap. A quick rotation of the arms, a tug on the nose piece and you're swapped out. The only real gripe I have with these glasses is that the ear pieces don't curve behind the ear enough and tend to interfere with my Giro Xen bike helmet. I found myself adjusting the glasses a little too much on the bike with that helmet. I love how light they feel and how comfortable they are in all conditions. I settled in on the Ignitor lenses for all-around performance. My favorite feature of these is the amazing field of vision offered by a truly frameless design, which lends itself to excellent peformance while trail running, mountain biking or hiking where a wide field of vision is key. The Good
- Excellent coverage is much appreciated--especially during cold weather activity
- TLT optics provide great clarity in all conditions
- No frame to interfere with vision
- Flexible for any head shape
- Easy to swap out lenses without scratching
- Ultralight feel
- Ear pieces interfere with my bike helmet (Giro Xen)
- Still not sold on clear lenses (I know... I know... night riding)
Bottom Line: Smith Pivlock V90 Max SunglassesA solid new sunglass offering from Smith features new Pivlock interchangeable lens technology in an uber-light shield design. Buy Now: Search for Smith Pivlock V90 Sunglasses... Read more...
When I got my hands on the Treviso, I was immediately impressed with the features, styling and function. I think the thing that caught my attention the most is the adjustable fit. While many other sunglasses offer a "one fit" system that oftentimes doesn't, these glasses feature rubberized adjustable temple tips and nose pieces to adjust to the differing needs of each individual face and usage. Where this becomes particularly useful is when these glasses are used for a variety of athletic activities with or without helmets, hats or visors. Standard, rigid temple pieces can get in the way of bike helmets (my Giro Xen helmet interferes with many other sunglasses) or visors--thus limiting compatibility. But, with the adjustable temple tips (think Gumby), a quick adjustment can accommodate a variety of headwear options. Not only was I impressed with these glasses for mountain biking and trail running, but they are a great option for road biking and any other athletic pursuits to boot. They stayed put and never interfered with helmet or visor comfort or fit. The photochromic lenses are also a great feature of these glasses. As a test, I removed my glasses from the dark and into full sunlight. You can visibly watch them transform from 45% VLT to 15% VLT in a matter of 20-30 seconds. While you're wearing them, they will never go from that extreme to the other, but just know that the lens tint is constantly adjusting on-the-fly to give you the best visibility. Because of that, I was able to wear these glasses in a variety of conditions without feeling like the lens was either too dark or too light. The only real gripe I've got with these is that the paint is wearing thin on the arm pieces above the logo. Other than that, the styling is pretty solid and you're getting a versatile pair of sunglasses for a great price. The Good
- Love the flexible arms
- Adjustable nose piece
- Photochromic lens adjusts quickly
- Comfortable for all-day
- Great optics
- Paint is rubbing off the frame
- Don't have that brand-name zing
Bottom Line: Ryders Treviso PhotochromicThe Ryders Treviso photochromic sunglasses are a great pair of sunglasses for cycling and running and would be an excellent choice for triathletes who need the adjustability that the flexible arm pieces provide. The fit is stellar and can be adjusted on-the-fly and the photochromic lenses are great for those of us who'd rather not swap out lenses all the time. Buy Now: Search for Ryders Treviso Sunglasses... Read more...
After some warming up, I've come to like the new Smith Foley sunglasses. They are a complete departure from every other pair of sunglasses I've ever owned as I never opt for style over function, but these are a fun pair of sunglasses. Built with all the lens technology you'd expect from Smith, these are much more than your typical metal 80's throwback sunglasses. They are offered in polarized and non-polarized and feature Smith TORIC lenses with TLT optics for superior optical clarity in all conditions. Here's the skinny from Smith:
The FOLEY is an exceptionally well fitting NEW METAL style from SMITH. Intended to compliment the documented success of the Serpico, this new style features a medium-scale, modern silhouette that uniquely blends the classic shape of a navigator and an aviator. The sculpted metal temples feature dimensional branding that seamlessly integrate with the sleek lines of this style. TORIC lenses featuring TLT Optics deliver optical clarity in both polarized and non-polarized options.
Smith Foley ReviewWhile the Smith Foley glasses are pretty much dedicated to looking stylish or impersonating motorcycle cops, they are still highly functional with excellent optics. They feel very light on your face and offer excellent wraparound coverage--something not many aviator-style glasses are known for. My gold-framed glasses were mated to polarized gray/green lenses. In spite of the darkness of the lens, I felt like these glasses were letting in ample light for mixed conditions. Direct sunlight was a bit bright (a mirrored coating would reduce that), but overall lens tint was excellent. I appreciated the quality of the polarized technology and didn't get much in the way of rainbow effect, which happens with some polarized glasses. The lenses are only slightly curved top-to-bottom, but feature quite a wraparound as compared to most aviator glasses. This really improved the function of the glasses and increased the peripheral vision. Grippy nose pieces keep things in place, but you're not going to want to do much more than chill in these shades unless you're Officer Friendly then we'll all be kept wondering if you're a good cop or a bad cop. MSRP: $139 (polarized) or $119 (standard lens) Good Foley
- Stylish update to aviator-style sunglasses
- Lens quality and optical clarity
- Cool throwback styling
- You get to play good cop bad cop
- Grippy nose pieces keep things steady
- Pretty much relegated to hang-out duty
- Don't sit on these (at least Smith will take care of you)
If you were to search for clarity in the dictionary there is a picture of the Julbo Dirt sunglasses. Ok not really, but that is the best way I can describe the Zebra lens they come with. Good rugged design made for...well, playing in the dirt. At first they look a little bulky on the side of the frame but the durability that comes with that makes it the ultimate mtn. bike shade. The wide design is also nice for blocking peripheral sun rays that could quite possibly burn your retinas. Julbo is more commonly known for their glacier glasses with the famous leather side patches. With the Dirt, Julbo integrated that idea but with a stylish hybrid frame for all around use. Hmm which lens? I had the chance to try out the polarized Zebra lens which is always a good choice for driving, fishing, and riding. The photochromatic lens changes as more UV or less UV rays hit the lens. For example if you were to walk indoors with a photochrom, the lens would lighten up and you can achieve true creepiness at the grocery store. To me polarized is a great all around choice and easier on the wallet. Julbo offers anti-fog with their photochromatic which is something to consider if cold weather use is in your future. The other plus I noticed about the Zebra lens is the coating material is different than per se a Smith lens. When I clean the lens I haven't seen any peeling like I use to see with my Smiths. I don't think there is anything more disheartening than have splotches of missing coating on your lens. Julbo has made the lens coating more burlier than the rest. Paris Hilton factor Big glasses are sort of the fad lately, well the past 3-4 years. Personally I got sucked in the Paris Hilton crew about a year ago and once you go with a big lens with wide face coverage it's hard to wear tiny glasses again. The Dirt has that big coverage but not in an overbearing way. After all, these things need to fit under a helmet. The larger coverage helps in a protective way. I've been hedging junipers (worst bush in the world) in my yard and the clippings can be quite pokey and annoying. I didn't have to get the big nerdy safety glasses to cut a couple bushes because the lower part of the frame comes about 2mm within my upper cheek. Julbo Construction I've seen the snap in hinge design on sunglass frames which makes the frame more forgiving if your hard on sunglasses. The Dirt is made with two screws per hinge which I prefer. The hinge type seems to feel loose after a while and if you break a the little insert the frame is done. Little screws are annoying to tighten and are easy to loose but they are easy to replace also. The earpieces have a smooth rubber that doesn't pull on hair when taking on and off. The rounded frame arms keep the Dirts secure on the face also. My only complaint is the earpieces aren't adjustable and feel too tight. If Julbo could put a slim metal piece in the end of the side arm you could customize the fit. Overall I am really pleased with the Julbo Dirt. Stylish. Durable. Bomber lens. Interchangable lenses are cool and all, but if you could have once lens to do it all, why not? Julbo takes it back to basics with the Dirt which is what we need. BUY NOW: The Julbo Dirt Polarized Sunglasses....Read more...
Sometimes when you look outside the typical Smith & Oakley sunglasses you find a real gem. The Electric G.Six appears to be just such a set of sunglasses. Understated but very cool style. One thing I like about the Electric G.Six is the straight-across rim on the top of the sunglasses (click here to see). I have the toughest time finding sunglasses that fit under a baseball cap brim well, and a design like that can help. The design of the Electric G.Six reminds me of some of Shane Szocs' old Arnette sunglasses -- straight, simple style that fits. They aren't as trendy as some sunglasses lately...like the very cool but somewhat gimmicky Smith Nolte. The Electric G.Six gives you good UV protection of course -- what sunglasses don't? They are not performance sunglasses to be used cycling or playing tennis or whatever, rather they are squarely in the lifestyle category. But they do boast steel hinges, and have a mol-injected frame. At $90 bucks you're getting a great brand like Electric, and a great style. BUY NOW: Click here to search for Electric sunglasses and gear....Read more...
I'm a sunglasses junkie and have been drawn to the performance of Kaenon sunglasses of late. Having flogged the Kaenon Kore sunglasses for over a year and subsequently wearing the Kaenon Jetty sunglasses now for about 6 months, I'm sold on the lens technology and the function of these killer optics. From Kaenon, here's the skinny on the Jetty:
JETTY™ is an oversize, tall and boxy performance frame with plenty of street attitude which embodies the company’s Luxury Performance™ design and engineering mantra. A unisex frame that can be worn by men and women everyday, JETTY is also built to perform for the active lifestyle. This style features tall temples and a rectangular face shape with clean and smooth surface design; plus functional details such as recessed Variflex™ rubber nose pads for secure fit and heavy duty, non-corrosive, five-barrel stainless steel hinges for added comfort and durability. JETTY is finished with the polished Kaenon jewel icon that marks the authenticity of a Kaenon Polarized original design. JETTY comes with a protective metal case.
Kaenon Jetty Sunglasses ReviewWhile the Kore's are built for athletic performance (cycling, skiing, running, etc.), the Jetty's are built with style and performance in mind. So, you do give up some of the pure performance features in favor of a little more street or beach style. By no means do you give up anything when it comes to the lenses as the polarized SR-91 lenses offer crystal clear optics and durability not found on other non-glass lenses on the market. Another note about the polarization technology used by Kaenon... I've worn these side-by-side with other polarized lenses and the difference is dramatic. With some of the others I got rainbow artifacts while mountain biking--not so with these. While I really appreciate the clarity of the optics, the Jetty does have its limits when pushed hard, but they still performed surprisingly well. I wore them on several mountain bike rides and even on a few long-distance trail runs just to see how well they'd work. Surprisingly, they stayed put and were quite comfortable--even when I was sweating buckets. For true athletic activity, I'd prefer the Kore, but these are amazingly-versatile while still being super-stylish. I always love to share my Kaenon's with others when at the river or the lake to show them just how effective polarization is at cutting down glare. I'm a believer. Model Tested: Black with G12 Lens, MSRP $208.95 The Good
- Top-notch polarization
- Scratch-free performance
- Stylish design around town and on the trail
- Feels very comfortable
- Rubber nose pads keep them in place
- Wide frame design doesn't sit well on top of the head (flush carefully!)
- No rubberized earpieces
While at Outdoor Retailer, I stopped by to see my old friend Greg "Chopper" Randolph from Smith Optics. The guy is the real deal and loves to show the goods coming down the pike from Smith. This year, the story was in refinement with several new polarized options and the all-new ultralight Pivlock V90 and V90 Max interchangeable lens sunglasses. This all-new minimalist shield design from Smith offers a super-lightweight design with solid wraparound protection. The V90 and V90 Max differ only in the size of the lens, otherwise all other features and interchangeable lens designs are the same. Trying them on, they are extremely lightweight and comfortable–I can’t wait to try them on the trail as I imagine I’ll forget I’ve got them on. The lens design not only eliminated frame interference in your line-of-sight, but it also reduces material usage. Throughout the entire Smith line, you can expect solid optics, polarization options and Eco-friendly materials with the Evolve lineup. The V90 and V90 Max will be available soon with an MSRP of $119 for a single lens and $139 for 3 lenses....Read more...
Ryders Eyewear does an excellent job of making high-quality sunglasses and goggles that are actually affordable. I've been impressed with many of their styles over the years and have found them to be an amazing value for the money. Over the past few months, I've been able to test the new Ryders Stealth sunglasses. These glasses are a great option for cycling since they are an open frame design (e.g. no lower frame to impede vision). Slipping these glasses on and it's easy to get them to fit your face just right. The adjustable nose piece is a nice feature that's found on many of their styles. I found the Stealths to stay put and wear comfortably under a helmet on long bike rides. The grey flash lens (15% VLT) offered excellent vision in and out of the trees. My only gripe is that the peripheral vision is a little impeded by the drop-down frame. Out of the corner of your eyes, you can see the drop to where the arms attach to the frame. Over time I was able to zone it out, but it is annoying at first. The lenses have held up to abuse very well with no signs of scratches--in spite of repeated drops and just chucking them in the back of the Subaru. The Good
- Solid price-point ($44.99)
- Comfortable for all-day use
- Adjustable nose fits a wide range of noses
- Frame slightly impedes peripheral vision
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tErKUAw5Hug[/youtube]I was exposed to Smith Optics as a child when all the older cool kid skiers were sporting them. I fell in love with a pair of Smiths with amber lenses that my older brother had when I was 10 years old or so. As his pair is long since discontinued, I opened a hunt to find a pair of sunglasses with a sleek and snug shape, durability, and amber colored lenses. I found the Smith Interlock Whisper. Sometimes life calls for a fun and wide style in a sunglass, and other times you need a snug, dependable sunglass that can meet as many scenarios as you can. The Smith Interlock Whisper is lightweight and is a pair of sunglasses I find myself reaching for more and more often. I needed a pair of sunglasses that I could wear all day under a climbing helmet that would not compress the sides my head, and be tight enough I can maneuver every which way without having to wonder if my sunglasses will stay on. I also wanted something that would look sleek for motorcycle rides, river trips, and around town. A problem I was running into was lens color, I needed a variety of lenses for the conditions I find myself in and didn’t want a pile of sunglasses. Smith Optics Interlock technology has stepped it up. With a simple quarter turn of the side arm the lens is free to lift. I can switch lenses in a matter of seconds without risk of forcing or sliding lenses. The quarter turn widens a seam in the frame and the lens pops right out. I have been wearing my Interlocks over a year and this feature has yet to show wear. I was worried the arm may loosen or the lenses would loose stability, neither have been even a fleeting issue. Nice work Smith. Check out the video. The only complaint I have is the lenses fog up from the inside if you exert a lot of heat quickly. When I go trail running or cycling, it can be a bother. The Smith Interlock Whisper has small rubber grips on the arc above the bridge of the nose. Usually I will move the sunglass slightly forward so it can vent, the rubber holds them there. The condensation fog lifts quickly, and causes no damage to the lens as they are treated with a hydrophobic coating. If cycling or running is your primary sport there are better options, like the Smith Factor, Redline, or Parallel. On these there is no bottom frame piece and they ventilate better. Each pair of Smith Interlocks comes with two spare pair of lenses, a clear mirror pair and an ignitor. When comparing Smith Optics to other top sunglass manufacturers, the place where I feel Smith could improve is the lenses themselves. While I love the wide range of lens colors, and the Tapered Lens Technology (eliminating distortion), the lenses will scratch over time. It is not easy to scratch them, but will happen inevitably with continued use. I am not gentle on my gear (yes, I consider sunglasses gear). I have accumulated a few scratches through tossing the glasses in my bag full of random objects, or carrying my glasses in the same hand as my car keys. Absent-minded care of Smith Interlock Whisper sunglasses will result in scratches within a year. If you are kind to them they will last several years. This earns Smith a “good” on the crappy – excellent lens quality scale. Features of the Interlock 01:
- Snug, but not tight frame
- Medium fit
- Tapered Lens Technology
- Carbonic lenses
- Interlock Interchangeable lenses
- Lens quality- good
- Lifetime Warranty
I recently adopted a 2 year old blue heeler/husky mix, and within his first week at the house, he devoured my treasured favorite pair of sunglasses, which of course, had been discontinued and no longer exist. So, I branched out, tried a new brand, new style, new everything, and I'm psyched! I am in love with my Smith Whisper Interlock Sunglasses! With the new Smith Interlock System, changing lenses is no longer a hassle, so you've basically bought yourself 3 new pairs of glasses. Lets face it, old sunglasses came with other lenses, but who really changed them? I certainly didn't, mainly out of fear of snapping both the lens and the frame with the awkward popping out process. Since purchasing the Whispers, I've used all 3 different tints of lenses!
Smith Whisper Interlock Sunglasses
- Whisper fits mid to small sized faces
- Lenses provide ample coverage without being huge! I'm not into the "bug" look with big glasses, despite how in style it may be. I like my smaller, sleeker sunglasses.
- Standard lenses are Polarized TLT lenses, with clear (perfect for protecting the peeps while ice climbing!) and "ignitor" (purplish, intended to highlight shadows- good for low light ski days!) lenses as the optional ones, but you can purchase up to 14 different types to change out.
- Comes with a case! It's the little things in life, right? I'm stoked any time a company want to help me keep from breaking my stuff!