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Gear Review: Tri-friendly sunglasses

Function and style come together in this year's crop of sunglasses designed for training and racing

One of the most important gear selections you’ll make is your sunglasses – finding the right pair that offers enough protection from sun and elements while you’re on the bike or out on a run can make all the difference for training and racing. Hydrophobic lenses that don’t fog up and feature anti-scratching technology are pretty much a given with high-end glasses these days, as are high-contrast lenses that will help you see the terrain ahead. All of which makes picking a pair that much harder – here are a few hot options you’ll have to choose from this spring.

Bolle Shifter Phantom Clear Green


At just 30 g you’ll hardly notice these lightweight glasses on your face. The curved temples and vented lense ensure both a comfortable fit with lots of air flow to keep you cool and ensure the lens won’t fog up even during the hardest efforts. The Polarized, high-contrast Phantom+ lens provides excellent clarity and colour perception, adapting to the light conditions in seconds so you’ll have great vision regardless of the weather.

Oakley Plazma Prizm Grey Polarized


Inspired by Oakley’s popular Racing Jacket, the Plazma frame is lightweight and is specially designed to accommodate high prescriptions. Armed with Oakley staples like the Unobtanium nosepads and earsocks to keep them firmly on your head no matter how hard you’re pushing, the Prizm Grey Polarized lens is perfect for bright light, providing lots of contrast and reducing glare for those long days of riding or running.

Related: 2021 Tri-bike buyer’s guide

Rafa Pro Team Frameless


Triathletes will enjoy the frameless design the ensures you get a complete field of vision even while hammering in an aero position on the bike. The Rafa Pro Team Frameless glasses weigh just 28 g, so you’ll hardly notice them and, thanks to the Megol arm grippers and nose piece they aren’t going anywhere, either. The purple-green lens we reviewed provides 15 per cent light transmission and offers excellent contrast so you’ll see all the details of the terrain ahead whether you are on the road or cruising through the trails.

Smith Flywheel Chromapop Blue


Thanks to the Chromapop lens you’ll enjoy enhanced contrast and colour definition, which means you’ll enjoy excellent clarity and detail while on the road or in the trails with the stylish Flywheel glasses. The lightweight TR90 frame offers lots of coverage and protection, and features autolock hinges to keep the frame open for easy one-handed use. You can dial in a precise fit, too, thanks to the two-position nose pad.

Related: 2021 Buyer’s Guide – tri-friendly bike wheels