The 9 Best Sunglasses of Winter 2012
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Oakley Holbrook Sunglasses
Snowboard King Shaun White enlisted his brother, Jesse, to help him design the Holbrooks. While the look harks back to the company’s famous Frogskins, they also have a little bit of Ray-Ban’s Wayfarer in their DNA. None of Oakley’s performance features (save the tack-sharp polarized lenses) are here; this one’s just for kicking around in.
TAGS: CLASSIC, WHITE BROTHERS
Tifosi Tempt Sunglasses
Adjustable temple and nose pads; vented, fast-changing photochromic lenses—you’d be hard pressed to find endurance-sports glasses this tricked-out for less. If you’re in the habit of losing expensive shades, look no further. Available with interchangeable non-photochromic lenses for $60. Fits small to medium-size faces best.
TAGS: ADJUSTABLE, SMALL FACES
Native Bolder Sunglasses
The Bolders aren’t as low-key as they look—they’ve got hydrophilic nose pads and temples and interchangeable polarized lenses (two are included). While the optics won’t blow you away, they’re pretty damn good—and a steal at this price. Our only minor gripe: swapping out lenses requires a bit of manhandling.
TAGS: INTERCHANGEABLE LENSES, VENTS
Smith Chief Sunglasses
As with the Julbo Ultras, the Chiefs have photochromic lenses, but here they’re glass (not polycarbonate) and polarized, and the variation in lens tint is subtler—finer-tuned than just light-to-dark. The result is impressive, and the igniter lenses we tested increased depth perception and nixed glare in all but the brightest conditions.
TAGS: GLASS LENSES, PHOTOCHROMIC
Maui Jim Freight Trains Sunglasses
They’re so light and comfortable, you think they’ll slide right off if you start horsing around. But they don’t. THe Freight Trains’ springy metal frames and grippy nose pads keep them firmly in place. The lenses (we liked the bronze tint best), meanwhile, dish up a brilliant view, especially on water.
TAGS: LIGHT, WATER-LOVING
Bollé Damon Sunglasses
This one is straight out of a John Hughes movie and probably the most unisex frame here. Like the Oakley Holbrook, it’s a lightweight frame with top-notch optics you can wear forever. Also available in tortoise and black frames ($60) if you’re not digging on the two-tone thing.
TAGS: CLASSIC, ANDREW McCARTHY
Julbo Ultra Sunglasses
The techiest glasses here, the Ultra’s photochromic lenses can go from almost clear (think nordic skiing at dusk) to impressively dark (full sun) in less than 20 seconds, making them ideal for trail running and mountain biking, too. Smart: the malleable frame and lenses are nearly unbreakable.
TAGS: LARGE HEADS, PHOTOCHROMIC
Kaenon Trade Sunglasses
Large frames tend to overwhelm many people’s faces. Not so the Trades. They have plenty of attitude, of course, but because they’re taller, the lens shape works with a wider variety of heads. Nonslip pads at the nose keep them in place, and the gray polarized lenses play well on both land and sea.
TAGS: LARGE, POLARIZED
Spy Quanta Sunglasses
There’s nothing wrong with wearing sunglasses that scream I own a carbon-fiber road bike. But it’s also nice to get all the same features—fog-preventing vents, a secure fit, and big-time coverage—on a pair that doesn’t scream I own a carbon-fiber road bike. Thank you, Spy. The Quantas are our new favorite go-fast glasses.
TAGS: LOW-KEY, BIKE-FRIENDLY