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.
There you have it — an unknown brand, but a solid set of features in a pair of sunglasses…and for a fair price. I’ll have my eye on Noggs as they continue to grow.