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Reviews > Eye Protection and Binoculars > Sun Glasses > Guideline Eyewear Spray Sunglasses > Test Report by Kurt Papke

Guideline Eyegear Spray Sunglasses

Test Series by Kurt Papke

Initial Report - October 13, 2014

Long Term Report - March 10, 2015

Tester Information

Name: Kurt Papke
Age: 61
Gender: Male
Height: 6' 4" (193 cm)
Weight: 218 lbs (99 kg)
Email address: kwpapke at gmail dot com
City, State, Country: Tucson, Arizona USA

My backpacking experience is a combination of Minnesota where I have lived most of my adult life, and Arizona where I moved to take a new job about five years ago.  I have always been a "comfort-weight" backpacker, never counting grams, but still keeping my pack as light as easily attained.  I wear sunglasses almost 365 days/year to protect my eyes from the Arizona sun.

Initial Report

Product Information

Spray sunglasses
Photo courtesy Guideline Eyegear

Manufacturer: Guideline Eyegear
Model:
Spray
Year of manufacture: 2014
MSRP:
US $49
Manufacturer website: http://www.glpolarized.com
Color tested:
Frames: Matte Brown Tortoise
Lenses: Brown

Also available in Matte Black/Amber, and Matte Black/Gray
Materials:
Polycarbonate Frame
Polycarbonate lenses
Size:
One size available only
Website indicates "Best for medium to large faces"
Lenses:
Brown lenses: 12.4% light transmission, 1.4 mm thick
UV protection: 100% for UV-A, UV-B; UV-C protection is unspecified
Polarized
Weight: Listed: N/A
Measured: 0.8 oz (23 g) without case
Hard case only: 1.2 oz (35 g)

The features listed by the manufacturer include:
  • Floating nosepads with injection rubber temples.  My observation: with some sunglasses the floating nosepads can be bent for adjustment/fit purposes, but these seem very unbendable.
  • Vented lenses, visible in the photo above.  My observation: the vent is small, but it is there.
  • Protective case with hook-and-loop closure

Initial Inspection

Sunglasses and case

The above picture shows the sunglasses as-received with the case.  The coloration of the frames is less "tortoisey" (that's the technical term...) than that depicted on the website and shown at the top of the report.  I view that as a "good thing", as I prefer more subtle frames.

The sunglasses seem of good quality - the frames are quite flexible so they should tolerate some abuse.  The lenses seem very optically flat - I could not pick up any distortion.  I inspected the lenses for defects and could not see any flaws with the naked eye.

I slipped them on and they fit my head perfectly.  The frame temple flexibility seems like it will provide good comfort.  There is no doubt the lenses are polarized, that was immediately obvious as soon as I looked out the window.  The lens tinting is quite dark, they should provide good eye protection in the bright Arizona sun.  They fit quite close to my cheeks and brows - there should be little light coming in around the edges, but it'll be interesting to see if that causes fogging issues when I start to sweat.

Trying Them Out

I put on the glasses and went outside on a bright sunny day during the early afternoon and went for a stroll.  The Spray sunglasses felt very comfortable, no distortion, and a good level of sun protection.  The polarization was very obvious looking in the East sky - it was considerably darker than with non-polarized lenses.

Summary

I am looking forward to get the Spray sunglasses into the field and seeing how they perform.

Things I Like So Far:

  • Good quality design and workmanship including optically flat lenses.
  • Appear to be very comfortable.
  • Good eye protection.

Things That Concern Me Upfront:

  • Although they are flexible, the Spray frames are quite lightweight.  The lenses are not protected by a full frame around them.  The glasses could be a bit fragile, especially if I have them in a pocket without the case.

Please check back in four months for my long term report from the field.

Long Term Report

Field Conditions

Date
Location
Trail
Distance
Altitude
Weather
October 12, 2014
Saguaro National Park, Tucson Mountains, near Tucson Arizona
Sweetwater
7 miles
(11.3 km)
2800-3800 ft
(850-1160 m)
Sunny, 85 F
(29 C)
October 16-19, 2014
Gila Wilderness, near Glenwood New Mexico
San Francisco Hot Spring and Box Canyon
12 miles
(19 km)

4600-7200 ft
(1400-2200 m)
Mixed rain showers and sun, 32-75 F
(0-24 C)
November 13-14, 2014 Coronado National Forest, Santa Catalina Mountains, near Tucson Arizona Romero Canyon
12 miles
(19 km)
2800-4500 ft
(790-1370 m)
Sunny, 40-75 F
(4-24 C)
December 7-9, 2014
Saguaro National Park, Rincon Mountains, near Tucson Arizona
Tanque Verde Ridge
23 miles
(37 km)
3120-7050 ft
(950-2150 m)
Hazy sun, 40-75 F
(4-24 C)
January 6-9, 2015
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
Clear Creek Trail
31 miles
(50 km)
2643-7260 ft
(806-2213 m)
Sunny, 29-60 F
(-1-16 C)
January 24-25, 2015 Saguaro National Park, rincon Mountains, near Tucson, Arizona Italian Spring Trail
24 miles
(38 km)
4000-8560 ft
(1219-2609 m)
32-65 F (0-18 C)
Day 1: sunny, day 2: hazy clouds
February 2-5, 2015
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona Tanner and Beamer Trails
30 miles
(48 km)
2650-7400 ft
(810-2260 m)
35-70 F (2-21 C)
Mostly sunny, occasional hazy clouds

San Francisco River

Spray Sunglasses in the GilaThis was a 4-day 3-night backpacking trip along the San Francisco River in western New Mexico in the Gila Wilderness.  We had a wide range of weather conditions on this trip, from chilly mornings to warm and sunny afternoons, with some rain showers on the last day.

Days 2 and 3 included hikes in and along the San Francisco River.  I really appreciated the polarized lenses on those days, as it allowed me to see down into the water to check my footing.  This was particularly important on day 3 which was a hike in and out of a slot/box canyon, where the water was often hip-deep, and the river bottom was a mix of muck and boulders.  I don't normally think of polarized sunglasses being particularly useful when backpacking, particularly in the desert Southwest, but I learned that when wading in water they really are quite handy.

The photo at right shows the Spray sunglasses at the trailhead, as we were getting ready to begin our descent to the San Francisco River.  It was a bit overcast that day, but still bright enough that I wanted eye protection.

Romero Canyon

Spray in RomeroThis was just a simple "get into the mountains" overnight backpack.  I hiked to a campsite that I like at a higher altitude, so I was on the trail for quite some time.  The photo at left was taken on my ascent, and it is obvious from the picture that it was a bright sunshiny day where sunglasses are essential.

Tanque Verde Ridge

This was a pleasant 3-day/2-night backpack up into the Rincon Mountains on a trail that I had a hankering to return to after a 5 year absence.  It is notable in that the trail follows the Tanque Verde Ridge, so it provides expansive views but offers little protection from the sun, so sunglasses are essential.

I had hazy sun for most of the 3 days, so the sunglasses were on and off my eyes depending on the time of day and the direction I was hiking.  They stayed perched nicely on my hat when not in use.  The Spray sunglasses performed flawlessly on this trip.

Denver Road trip

My wife and I took a week-long road trip from Tucson to Denver, and I did much of the driving, wearing the Spray sunglasses during most of the daylight hours.  One thing I noticed is the polarized lenses create a "rainbow" effect in the car windows.  This was not a problem for me, and is something that any polarized glasses would do.  Since I was wearing the glasses pretty much all day long it gave me a chance to assess the long-term comfort of the frames, and the Spray glasses did not disappoint.

Clear Creek Trail

I had brilliant sunshine on this 4-day backpacking trip in the Grand Canyon.  I didn't wear the Spray glasses at all times, for instance on day 4 I was hiking in the shadow of the South Rim early in the morning, but I did wear them for hours every day.  The Clear Creek trail is on a South-facing slope of the Tonto Platform and is treeless, so good eye protection was essential, as the following photo shows:
Spray on the Clear Creek trail

Scratched

The bad news: I had the glasses perched on my hat, bent over to pick something up, and the glasses fell off my hat onto the sharp rocky ground and got scratched.  The good news: the scratches are not in my center field of view, so no serious impact.

Bottom line: the Spray sunglasses performed extremely well in long days of canyon hiking in the intense Arizona winter sun, when it is low in the sky and shines right into my eyes even at high noon.  Though my legs were sore when the trip was over, my eyes were in great shape!

Tanner and Beamer Trails

ss07During this 4-day backpack in the Grand Canyon I wore the Spray sunglasses whenever I was in the sun, which was pretty much all the time with the exception of the first/last mile of the trail which is shaded by the South Rim.

One of the things I have come to appreciate about the Spray glasses is their comfort.  I can wear them all day long for several days and experience no eye strain, pressure on my nose nor my temples.  The glasses are very light and don't weigh me down.

I have also come to like the rimless design.  They are not distracting for all-day use.

Another successful backpack outing with the Spray sunglasses!

Summary

I have been very pleased with the performance of the Guideline Eyegear Spray sunglasses over the last four months.  I intend to continue to wear them for as long as they hold out.

Good Things

  1. Lightweight.
  2. Good optical quality for all-day use.
  3. Comfortable.  I can wear these glasses all day long, for several consecutive days, and not experience any pressure on my nose or temples.  That is exceptional in my experience.
  4. Quite durable considering their lightweight design.  Typically, after about 4 months of use the hinge gives out.  So far, the Spray glasses show no signs of imminent frame failure.
  5. Quite attractive.
  6. Though I don't spend a lot of time staring at water, the polarized lenses on the Spray glasses have done a great job of eliminating any glare from my field of view.

Things I'd like to see improved

  1. It would be great if someone could invent a lens that does not scratch.  Inevitably glasses will get dropped or mishandled and experience some abrasion.  I don't think such a material exists, but ultimately it has been scratched lenses that have caused me to replace a pair of sunglasses.


Thanks to BackpackGearTest.org and Guideline Eyegear for the opportunity to contribute to this test.



Read more reviews of Guideline Eyewear gear
Read more gear reviews by Kurt Papke

Reviews > Eye Protection and Binoculars > Sun Glasses > Guideline Eyewear Spray Sunglasses > Test Report by Kurt Papke



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