The French eye-wear company Julbo has been around since 1888, and while it’s been adapting its products for multisport since 2000, it’s still fairly small in cycling scene.
For those us who ride across disciplines and enjoy spending time in the woods or in the snow for cross training, it’s a company worth checking out.
If you’re a “one pair of glasses for everything” kind of person, their latest products may be right up your alley.
Reviewed: Julbo Aero
$130 – $180 depending on lens option
Photochromatic lenses: eye protection for any light
With their photochromatic lenses, Julbo is setting out to create a product that you’ll use every day, no matter the weather, the season or the activity.
Photochromatic lenses transition tint density based on the level of UV light in their surroundings, making them lighter or darker accordingly. And Julbo’s lenses are touted at the industry’s best, changing from Category 1 tint density to a Category 3 in just 26 seconds in direct sunlight.
I see these lenses as a great option for those wanting just one pair of glasses to do it all or for ulta-endurance athletes and 24-hour mountain bikers who need eye protection from dusk till dawn and beyond.
The Aero offers three lens options, two of which use the photochromic technology and one darker colour-coated lens.
All lenses are lightweight yet very study as they’re made from NXT material, which is the same material used to make bullet-proof windshields.
Surrounding the lenses, the Aero frame itself is a performance-ready design. The complete glasses weigh in at just 48 grams (32 grams for the frame itself) and the fit is snug but comfortable, ensuring the glasses stay in place, no matter the activity you’re engaging in. This is aided by the adjustable nose piece and the grip tech stem ends, which keep the glasses in place and despite the rubber, do not stick to your hair –a bonus for those of us with long hair. Additionally, the arms have what Julbo calls an “Air Link Temple System,” a shock-absorbing elastomer insert at the end of temples which keeps the weight down while adding in comfort.
Aside from the feathery weight, the first thing I noticed was the ventilation and airflow, keeping the lenses from fogging up when you’re stopped at a light or snap some Instagram photos.
I have tested these glasses on road and mountain bike rides as well as on trail runs, and they have performed well in a variety of light, weather conditions and terrain. There’s good airflow, a wide field of vision and they simply stay in place. But what makes me reach for these glasses is primarily the comfort.
Often, lightweight glasses made of non-metal materials can feel a little flimsy, but because of the lack of weight and the good fit, once they’re on, I forget I’m wearing them.
The only issue I have had is that the lens sometimes comes unclipped. Easy to fix but that shouldn’t happen.
Overall, these are great all-rounder performance glasses you can wear cycling, running, Nordic skiing or wherever your active life takes you. And if you are not someone who has a collection of sunglasses to match each and every outfit (guilty!), shelling out the extra $50 USD for photochromotic glasses is absolutely worth the money. You won’t need any other sunglasses.
Reviewed: Julbo Breeze
$130 – $180 depending on lens option
Like the Aero model reviewed above, the Breeze also offers the photochromatic lens option, making them a great option for those wanting just one pair of glasses to do it all or for ulta-endurance athletes and 24-hour mountain bikers who need eye protection from dusk till dawn and beyond.
While the lens may offer the same benefits as the Aero lenses, the Breeze frame is unique in its shape as well as adjustability.
These glasses were specifically designed for “the shape of women’s faces” and the “female fans of the great outdoors”, but really, you’re empowered to customize the glasses yourself to make sure they fit you, individually.
You see the frame features the same non-hair gripping technology on the stem ends as the Aero frame as well as fully adjustable wingtips for the nose piece, but get this: the arms are bendable.
Upwards, downwards, inwards, outwards: you can literally bend and squeeze the arms into whatever shape you prefer. Given that we are all slightly asymmetrical, these allow you to get the most custom fit I have yet seen.
The downside is that once you’ve played with them a few times, you can’t get them 100 percent straight again.
Performance-wise, these glasses are great. If adjusted right, they’re not going to go anywhere and you can wear them for 24 hours straight should the adventure call for it. Comfort and style-wise, I prefer the straighter lens shape and elastomer arms of the Aero frame.