Gear Army: Julbo Bivouak Glacier Sunglasses


Think of Julbo's new glacier sunglasses, The Bivouak ($120), like a Transformer. At the base level, they're a wraparound frame with a stylish shape for moseying around town. Now, attach the fire engine red side shields and you have a glass that is ready for maximum sunlight (like on a glacier or a high-altitude river).

As basic sunglasses, the Bivouak works well thanks to its high-quality lens, light frame, and adjustability. Over half of the arms (shown in red, at left) are made from sticky rubber that is also flexible. This equals grip as well as a fit that can vary depending on your helmet or hat. By bending the rubber around your ear, you can avoid losing them if you, say, have a yard sale while skiing.

The Bivouaks are available with multiple lens colors (for varying environments) including one that they claim can block out glacial light, but they are all vented with notches to eliminate fogging. It worked on both the river and the snow for me.

Now, onto those protective wings.The magnetic side shields blocklight from the periphery and allow sharp focus on the what's in front of you and come on and off in a flash. The only downside is that, because they are magnetic, they are easy to lose when they're detached. Don't lose 'em, and you'll be glad you bought these. 

–Justin Bobb, a native Santa Fean, can be found rafting on the Rio Grande or snowboarding in the backcountry of Northern New Mexico's mountains. If he's neither place, he's probably mapping little-explored cave systems. 

Want to test gear for Outside magazine? Apply to be a member of our Gear Army, here.