Sunglasses: Paint it Black

Not everybody can get behind screaming, flourescent shades. That's OK. This year's crossover designs pair subdued styling with hotshot performance.

Jul 17, 2013
Outside Magazine
oakley offshoot vonzipper lomax smith pivlock v2 max tifosi dolomite 2.9 zeal re-entry sunglasses eyewear optics black sunglasses

   Photo: Inga Hendrickson

Oakley Offshoot
With their full-lens wraps and optics as good as high-end poly gets, the Offshoots look stylish whether you’re sailing, skating, or sipping cocktails. They’ll work for road biking but lack rubber on the earpieces, so put them away for trail rides. ($140) 

Vonzipper Lomax
The Blues Brothers’ black-box styling is back, and the optics are better than ever. VonZipper uses a polarized gray lens to cut through glare on the water. But be warned: gaps in peripheral coverage rule out the Lomax for days of savage sun and wind. ($150)

Smith Pivlock V2 Max
Switching among the three sets of lenses that come with the ultra-technical PivLock V2 Max is as simple as it gets: flip a switch, lock the new lens in place. These sunglasses work in almost any light condition, but avoid wearing them on the street unless it’s been blocked off for a time trial. ($240)

Tifosi Dolomite 2.0
The poly lenses auto-adjust from near clear (low light) to dark gray (searing brightness) in 20 seconds, and the bendable temples fit a range of face sizes. Say what you will about the performance-weenie looks—for the price, the Dolomites were the best sports shades in the bunch. ($100)

Zeal Re-Entry
Love or hate the look of the fine stainless-steel wire that arches over the big rectangular frames, it makes the Re-Entry strong enough to sit on. Add in big coverage and a solid fit and you get adventure-ready shades that look cool enough for après festivities. ($140)

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