Triathlon sunglasses: 3 of the best reviewed
A decent pair of sport glasses will divert blazing sunlight, blustery wind, bugs and more from your vision on both the bike and run legs. Jack Sexty rates three pairs under £100 with ride and run credentials…
Weighing 28g, Lazer’s ARR shades have a more minimal appearance and a slimmer frame than their cheaper AR1s. Although you can buy the ARRs with multiple lens options for £75, we tested the photochromatic lenses with a smooth matte black frame. Photochromatic is definitely worth the extra for riding in unpredictable weather, changing from clear to smoke when the sun comes out and vice versa.
The temple tips didn’t dig in at all on long rides, and on a run we experienced no movement for the duration. It’s just as well they’re such good all-rounders, because the lenses happen to be a pain to change and didn’t loosen after repeating the process a few times. Unless you must have flashy mirrored lenses, then these ones should cover you in all conditions, as they perform well riding or running into direct sunlight.
Verdict: Sleek, well-fitting, glasses for riding and running in all weathers 86%
The only sunglasses here with a frameless design, Tifosi’s Podium XC are also, unsurprisingly, the lightest on test at 27g. Three lens options, a carry case and pouch also make these a good buy at £70. To change the lens, you pull the arm upwards away from the frame, which we found quicker and easier than the other two pairs on test. The red mirrored lenses for the sunniest days look the part and also act it, providing great glare protection on the bike or while running. A clear lens is nothing to shout about, and we tended to gravitate towards the pale red lenses even for very overcast weather. A close fit prevented bugs from getting under the lenses, which we anticipated could be a problem for running, but nothing crept through. The clear arms with red tips on our test pair look a bit cheap and fragile, but after numerous rides, runs and lens changes they’re showing little sign of wear.
Verdict: Light, multiple lens options and sensibly priced 84%
The Char glasses from Scottish apparel brand Endura have photochromatic technology on their smoke lenses, and you get clear ones for ‘foul weather riding’. Add in a hard case and pouch/cleaning cloth and it’s a good value package. Like the Lazers, you have to grab the centre and yank to change lenses, which we found quite fiddly. The temple tips have some adjustment, but of all three on test these were the least comfortable on our head, and dug in slightly under a helmet.
The same can be said during our run testing, where the tips were noticeable on the temples and those thick frames tended to gather a fair bit of sweat on the brow. The nosepiece is large and too flexible, and when we hit a monster pothole we actually felt some movement from it and had to move it back into place. Overall we’re a fan of the lenses and value offered from the Char shades, but just feel the frames let them down.
Verdict: Not hugely comfortable, but they won't break the bank 77%