GUIDELINE EYEGEAR DRAFT SUNGLASSES
TEST SERIES BY ANDREI GIRENKOV
LONG TERM REPORT
INITIAL REPORT - October 27, 2013
LONG TERM REPORT - March 04, 2014
New York, New York, USA
5' 10" (1.78 m)
150 lb (68.00 kg)
I have been backpacking for 6 years, mostly three-season weekend trips in the Adirondacks, and other parks in the Northeastern US. Additionally, I try to take at least one 5-7 day trip each summer to other destinations in Canada, Western United States and Central America. I use lightweight gear on a budget. My multi-day pack weight is around 20-25 lb (9-11 kg). I enjoy sleeping comfortably and cooking a hot meal at night.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Manufacturer: Guideline Eyegear
Year of Manufacture: 2013
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.glpolarized.com/
MSRP: US $59.95
Listed Weight: N/A
Measured Weight: 28 g / 1.0 oz (sunglasses) 37g / 1.3 oz (case)
Color Tested: Brown
Frame Material: Grilamid BTR polymer, 51% bio-based
Lens Material: Polycarbonate
The Guideline Eyegear Draft Sunglasses (hereafter "sunglasses") arrived in minimal packaging. The glasses themselves are quite light weight. They feature a wraparound light weight frame with a heavy rim on top of the lens, and no rim on the bottom.
The manufacturer's website lists the frame material as Grilamid BTR. With a bit of online sleuthing I found out that Grilamid BTR is a biopolymer manufactured in Switzerland by a company called EMS-Grivory. It is notable that the company focuses on the environmental impact of its manufacturing activities. Grilamid BTR is made from 51% castor oil, a renewable biological resource, and manufactured using CO2-neutral energy such as hydroelectricity. EMS-Grivory states that other properties of Grilamid BTR are directly comparable to conventional crude oil based polymers. Their marketing material mentions "excellent impact strength," "high dimensional stability," and "good UV and chemical resistance"
The polarized lenses are made from 1.4 mm thick Polycarbonate. Both the lenses and the frame are brown. Also present are floating soft nose pads.
In addition to the sunglasses the package included a soft black cloth case with a Velcro closure. There is not much to be said about the case. It is lightweight, and looks like it will protect the sunglasses well enough.
TRYING IT OUT
The glasses feel very light. I will definitely appreciate this on the trail. The lenses are quite large. They covered my entire field of view, which is definitely a plus. The semi-rimless design works well as well. Sports sunglasses are normally made with a heavy rim on all sides for strength and stability. This rim usually blocks out a good portion of the view. Not so with the Guideline Draft sunglasses. The view is completely unobstructed.
On the flip side, the lightweight semi-rimless design makes me wonder how they will fare stuffed into an outside pocket of a backpack. A second point of concern for me is whether the earpieces will be comfortable after wearing them for a few hours. This is a common problem for me with most sunglasses. There is nothing specific about this particular pair of sunglasses which makes me believe they will be particularly prone to this problem.
Finally there is the question of style. I happen to think that these sunglasses are quite stylish, but everyone has their own taste, and there is no right or wrong answer here.
|Here's the mugshot!|
|And here's the profile!|
Pros so far:
- Ridiculously light (28 g!)
- Do not obstruct view with a heavy rim
Cons so far: None
Concerns / Plan to Test:
- Durability, particularly packed in a bag
- Long term comfort
LONG TERM REPORT
FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
This winter has brought lots of snow to the east coast of the United States. As a result I had a dozen or more occasions to wear the glasses on day hikes out into really bright snow-covered backcountry around Pennsylvania and New Jersey. As I mentioned in my initial review, I also wear the sunglasses every day on my bike ride to and from work.
I've worn them in weather ranging from 10 to 60 F (-12 to 15 C), rain, snow and sunshine. When riding a bicycle, I wear them for about 30 minutes. On day hikes I've worn them for an entire day without taking them off.
|In the woods...|
|And in the snow|
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
In my initial report I was excited about their light weight and rimless design, but I was concerned with durability and comfort. Over the course of the past 3 months, I have been able to confirm some of those observations and invalidate the others.
Weight & Design:
For both bicycle riding and hiking, the rimless design provides that additional field of view and doesn't require me to turn my head fully around to look behind me. The light weight discourages the sunglasses from drifting down my nose, as is often the case with many other sunglasses. In addition, for an ultralight backpacking style, the weight savings are appreciable as well.
One of my concerns was regarding the durability of these sunglasses. After receiving them, I promptly lost the case, and kept them in a daypack pocket instead. This is the daypack that I wear both on day hikes and to ride my bike to work. Usually it has solid heavy objects in it such as a laptop, water bottles, or a camera. Storing the glasses in the side pocket of the backpack for the past 3 months has not resulted in any scratches on the lenses nor any deformation to the frame or lenses. In my eyes this conclusively removes any concerns I had about durability.
I mentioned in my initial review that I cannot wear most sunglasses for more than an hour or so without some serious chafing behind my ears. Whenever I find the rare pair that doesn't have this problem, I hang on to it for a long time. Sadly these sunglasses cause me some serious chafing issues after about 45 minutes. In the picture below you can see the red imprint on the back of my ear and right at the hairline above the ear. This does not happen when I ride my bike for 30 minutes, but it has occurred invariably on every hike. I tried wrapping plaster around the temple tips with no luck. Nonetheless, I suspect that this problem is not as prevalent as I experienced. With the shape of my head nearly all sports sunglasses cause chafing behind the ears.
|Chafing behind ear|
Glare: In my experience these glasses are on par with any other pair of sports sunglasses that I've worn when it comes to blocking glare from the sun. They are not as effective as specialized snow glasses at blocking out snow glare from below for the obvious reason that they have a wide open rimless design without blinders.
Things I like:
Very light weight
Adequate protection from the sun
Things I dislike:
Chafing behind the ears
I would like to thank Guideline Eyegear and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test wonderful gear!
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5
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Read more gear reviews by Andrei Girenkov