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Reviews > Eye Protection and Binoculars > Sun Glasses > Julbo Contest Sunglasses > Test Report by Thomas Vickers

Julbo Contest Sunglasses

Initial Report - July 4, 2010

Thomas Vickers

42 years old
5 ft 11 in tall (1.8 m)
175 lb (79 kg)
Southeast Texas, Houston Area

Tester Background:
I grew up in the piney woods of southeast Texas. Camping was a quick trip into the mosquito-infested woods behind the house. My style has evolved and over the last 4 or 5 years, I have begun to take a lighter weight approach to hiking gear (I still use sleeping bags and tents, just lighter versions). While I have flirted with lightweight hiking, I feel that I am more of a mid-weight hiker now. My philosophy is one of comfort, while carrying the lightest load possible.

Initial Report
July 5, 2010



Manufacturer Information:

Manufacturer: Julbo Inc


Year Manufactured: 2010

MSRP: $160 US

Weight: NA

Information From Tester:
(all measurements approximate)

Model: Contest

Frame color: Black

Lenses: Zebra

Weight : 1.4 oz (39 g)

Initial tester expectations:
I was excited after leaving the Julbo USA website.  The Contests frames did not have a ton of information about them, but the Zebra lenses had a good amount of information.  I have never owned a pair of sunglasses with photochromic lenses and the website claims a response time of about 28 seconds. I know it is hard to actually describe frames, but at least I knew what they would look like and had a good feel what how the lenses were going to work. 

Manufacturer's description:
"Whether you’re into endurance training, freeride or all mountain sports, the Contest has got you covered. With interchangeable or Zebra lenses for perfect vision at all times, well-ventilated frame for the tough moments in the ascent, and wide vision spectrum for the descent, they are the ATV of sunglasses.".

Tester's Description:
The Julbo Contest sunglasses are  wrap around sunglasses with a black frame. The frame and nose pieces are highlighted with 


bright yellow portions and the lenses appear to be a yellowish color.   The lenses are large and when worn in the sun they darken up to provide better protection from bright sunlight.


The frames are a rigid plastic and the hinges swing back and forth nicely.  They are not stiff and hold the temple pieces open or closed with ease.  The nose pieces are not adjustable and molded into the frames of the Contest sunglasses. 

Initial thoughts:
The frames of these glasses are rather small, but the lenses themselves are large, which is just the way I like them.   


They cover my face and more importantly my eyes in such a way that sunlight does not leak into my eyes from around the edges of the lenses or frames.  

The color of the lenses is what really impresses me. I have depth perception problems with traditional brown or gray sunglasses lenses, but I have had better luck with orange, amber, or even rose colored lenses.  The yellow color of the Julbo Contest sunglasses seems to be pretty effective at blocking the sun's rays and they do not seem to impact my depth perception to a huge degree.

The frames themselves are rather rigid and seem a big large for my head, but they do not slip around at all. In fact, they do not grip my head too tightly and cause headaches like a lot of hats and sunglasses do for me. The nose pieces hold the Contests in place on my face and there is just no movement so far.  Despite the size of the lenses, the glasses weigh very little and I can hardly tell that they are there from a weight stand point.  So the Julbo Contest sunglasses offer up some serious contradictions for me at this point. They are large, but do not weigh a lot. They do not squeeze my head, fit good, but are on the verge of being 'too lose' for my head. None of these are bad things, just somethings I need to keep in mind as I use these glasses.

Final thoughts:
I have worn these glasses for just a few days so far. The lenses do change tint, but I will have to wear them more to see how quickly and effectively this happens.  I will also be watching the anti-fogging capabilities. Coming from inside an air conditioned house to the hot humid outdoors in Texas can cause almost anything with lenses to fog up instantly.  

Most importantly, I hope the Julbo Contests not only block bright light, but allow me to see with sharp detail. The idea that I can get everything I need out of one set of sunglasses and one set of lenses for every lightening condition is one that I find promising.

Things I like:
1. Do not squeeze my head
2. Stay in place

Things I do not like:
1. Color scheme is loud
2. Feel lose on my face.

Check back in two months to see how the Julbo Contest sunglasses hold up to the Texas summer.

Read more gear reviews by Thomas Vickers

Reviews > Eye Protection and Binoculars > Sun Glasses > Julbo Contest Sunglasses > Test Report by Thomas Vickers

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