JULBO SUNGLASSES REVIEW: FORGETTABLY GOOD | CONVERTING A SCEPTIC
After several long, hot, sunny days of trail running, hiking and racing around the Alps, the Julbo Aero sunglasses have proven their worth. Having stupidly lost my previous pair after diving off a pedlo in Lake Lugano while wearing them, I’ve been making do with a wonky old pair. They’ve done the job, but having used the Julbo Aero sunglasses over the past month I now realise what I’ve been missing.
A short admission and moan here before I continue: I have mixed feelings about wearing sunglasses when running. There are clear benefits, but sometimes I prefer to keep things simple and go without. Especially in races, it’s one more thing to manage. They fog up when sweating, have to be removed and remembered when getting a head shower on route and fall off my head when tilting backwards.
However, I’m happy to report that all but the second gripe is a non-issue with the Julbo Aeros. In fact, they were such an improvement over other pairs that I often forgot I was wearing them.
FUNCTION OVER FASHION
There seems to be a dividing line between the functional and stylish designs. I might think twice about wearing them in a Parisian cafe, but they’re a perfect choice when on the run. At 26g they’re extremely light, comfortable and well ventilated thanks to a ‘suspended lens construction’ that keeps air flowing.
During the recent Eiger Ultra Trail race in the Swiss Alps, I had them propped on my cap for the first early morning section, toiling up to Grosse Scheidegg. Once the bright sun emerged as I ran up towards Bachalpsee, I put them in place to protect my eyes. To my surprise they were totally clear with not a trace of fog from my sweaty endeavours. Nor did they fog up for the rest of the race (only the odd droplet of sweat disturbed my vision).
The Zebra Light photochromic lenses worked perfectly, darkening to the bright sunlight as we climbed above the treeline, and lightening when we descended into the darker forest. This also proved a bonus due to high bug activity when in more humid zones, protecting my eyes from multiple encounters with wayward insects. They felt more like car windscreens than sunglasses most of the time.
The only times I needed to take them off on the trail were after numerous head washes, and when looking at a message or the map on the phone in deep shade. Otherwise, whether on my nose or resting on my cap while running they felt securely in place. I’m not sure the elastomer inserts at the ends of the side temples were noticeably shock absorbing, but they certainly added to the comfortable fit.
Plus, every part can be replaced. Which gives them a very functional, almost futuristic prototype look.
If you’re serious about your running (or cycling) gear and are looking to upgrade, I can thoroughly recommend the Julbo Aero sunglasses.
Written by Alister Bignell, Lead Runner and Trail Runner
For further information on this and other models check out the Julbo website.