Triathletes are a demanding bunch. They want their shades to provide lots of protection from the sun, wind and other elements. They want all that in lightweight, super-comfortable sunglasses that will get them through even the longest training days or an Ironman race.
Creating sunglasses to fit those demands might sound tough, but manufacturers are more than answering the challenge. Our pick of glasses to review this year includes models designed specifically to meet your training needs, along with some other models that offer all the technology we’ve come to love in our training glasses, but in styles geared to casual wear.
Speed Storm $80
The photosensitive Biochromik lenses in the Speed Storm adjust to the light intensity, so you can get away with one pair of glasses for virtually all conditions. Weighing just 27 g, the Speed Storm glasses are super light and quite comfortable thanks to the flexible Grilamid frame that seems to wrap around your face and adjustable rubber stems and bridges, so you won’t have any problems wearing these glasses for even the longest rides. The vented frame wraps around your eyes to provide lots of coverage and won’t fog up because there is lots of airflow. Designed to fit medium to large faces, these glasses are great for either cycling or running and there’s an included prescription adapter for those who need some correction. You also get a hard case and microfiber bag to protect your glasses when you’re not using them.
These glasses manage to combine both a stylish look with all the technology you could want for virtually all your training. Three different interchangeable lenses (smoke mirror, orange and clear) are included which gives you lots of flexibility based on the light conditions. The flexible Grilamid TR-90 frame has rubber inserts on the stems and an adjustable rubber bridge to ensure a comfortable, customized fit, but still manages to weigh in at a svelte 28 g. The Phaze looks so good you’ll want to wear it around town, but that shouldn’t stop you from wearing it for virtually any ride or run, either.
Tweaker SL $90
Thanks to a Polarized Photochromic Lens that’s made in France and uses Essilor’s patented active cell technology, you’ll be ready for virtually any light conditions with the Tweaker SL. Weighing just 28 g (a surprise because the frame looks so solid), you’ll hardly notice you’ve got these glasses on. The photochromic lenses that lighten and darken quickly in different light allow you to wear theses glasses without having to change them for super-long training days or even an entire Ironman, while the polarized technology will eliminate glare to further protect your eyes. The aggressive angular style of these glasses means they look really good for casual wear, but performance is the name of the game with the Tweaker SL – it’s even specially designed to fit under a bike helmet.
These super-light glasses are every bit as fashionable as they are functional. These sport/casual glasses have a slim temple design with lots of curves, making them perfect for heading around town. That doesn’t mean you can’t use them for workouts, though. The optically correct, shatterproof lenses provide lots of protection and coverage while your riding, while the anti-slip hydrophobic nose pads will keep them snug on your face while you’re out running, too.
Fast Jacket $250
The latest sport-specific glasses from Oakley are sure to be a hit with triathletes because they combine all the cool features introduced in the Jawbones, but in a more run-friendly style. Like the Jawbone, the Fast Jacket uses SwitchLock technology, which makes changing lenses a breeze and improves optical clarity in the High Definition Optics Plutonite lenses. Unlike the Jawbone, which has a hinge that locks the lens in through the lower part of the frame, the Fast Jacket uses a stainless steel pin at the top to lock the lens in place. That makes it incredibly easy, and fast, to change lenses. Oakley has it’s own lingo when it comes to describing the various parts of their glasses. The frame is made of O-Matter while the nose piece and ear stems are made with Unobtanium,which provides increased grip as it gets wet. Crazy names aside, the frames are virtually indestructible and you’ll find these glasses are extremely comfortable and stay on even in the most demanding training situations. The stainless steel SwitchLock mechanism adds a bit of weight to these glasses, but they’re so comfortable you’ll hardly notice that and you’ll absolutely love the ease with which you can change up the lenses. Oakley is pretty much the undisputed leader in virtually every transition area you’ll enter and the Fast Jacket is yet another example of why they continue to lead the way in the triathlon world.
With a frame that’s made of lightweight aluminum, the Jury is a causal sunglass that is extremely stylish but includes many of the features we’re used to seeing in Oakley’s sport glasses. The ear stems are wrapped in Unobtanium to ensure a secure fit while the O-Matter nosepiece provides a comfortable nose bridge. Using a three-point fit, the Jury’s remain extremely comfortable after even a full day of wear. The custom-engineered spring hinges even utlize O-Matter to enhance the solid, smooth feel. The polarized lenses used in the Jury are cut from a single toric shield, then placed into the frames. The result is crystal clear vision even through your peripheral vision and you’re eyes can relax because 99 per cent of the glare is removed.