JULBO RUN SUNGLASSES EYE PROTECTION
TEST SERIES BY ARNOLD PETERSON
March 06, 2009
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Wilmington Massachusetts USA
5' 8" (1.73 m)
165 lb (74.80 kg)
19 in (48 cm)
Presently almost all my experience has been hiking in New Hampshire, Florida, Colorado USA, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia Canada using an 11 lb (5 kg) day pack. I have backpacked on Mt. Washington and at the Imp shelter located between North Carter and Mount Moriah mountains in New Hampshire. The gear I will be writing about has been used a lot hiking mostly all year around in New Hampshire. I have completed the forty-eight 4000 footers (1219 m) of New Hampshire. My day hikes have been as long as 12 hours covering almost 20 miles (32 km).
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Year of Manufacture: 2008
Manufacturer's Website: http://new.julbo.fr/
Manufacturer's USA Website: http://www.julbousa.com/
MSRP: US$ 160
Listed Weight: not listed
Measured Weight: 1.4 oz (40 g)
Lens Case Weight: not listed
Measured Lens Case Weight: 2.1 oz (60 g)
Lens: Zebra - NXT + Photochromic 2-4 + Antifog
I received the following items: a 2 color clam shell case, a pack list, and 2 small pamphlets in several languages. One gave a description of the NXT lenses and the other further described the lenses, safety standards, cleaning and guarantee.
The frames are shiny black colored with blue rubber inserts placed where the head makes contact with the frames. The manufacturer states this material absorbs shock, resists movement but does not stick to skin or hair. The bows are slightly curved to form around the head. The frame is curved to fit closely to the shape of the head around the eyes. All parts are precisely formed so that when the Julbo sunglasses are in place the space between the hinged parts appears as a V shaped line. This makes it difficult for anything to get caught on the outer surface of the sunglasses.
The lenses are almost rectangular except the top part of the lens extends toward the nose. The lenses are curved to fit the frame. All the corners of the lenses are rounded and shaped to provide maximum viewing area. The outer edges of the lenses have rounded corners. The lenses are amber in color and as light intensity increases on them, they appear to be like looking into a mirror. In lower light conditions there is no reflection and other people can see my eyes. The left lens has the name Zebra printed on the top right side of the lens as viewed from the outside.
The cover of the clam shell case is smoky transparent colored and the base part is beige colored. There is a small amount of storage space with the glasses inside. The case is east to hold in one hand.
|in open case|
|user view from top|
|user view from bottom|
|closeup of ear rubber piece|
READING THE INSTRUCTIONS
Cleaning is easy; just wash in warm soapy water, rinse and dry with a soft cloth. It would be nice if the cloth had been provided. The lenses are guaranteed against breakage but not scratching. Julbo Race lenses are available in Aquapolar (polarized), Cameleon (polarized and photochromic NXT) and Alti Chromic (photochromic NXT), which is what I received.
TRYING IT OUT
I was able to wear the Julbo sunglasses 5 hours the first day and had them off for only a few minutes during that time. The lenses filter all light entering the eye and the frame does not interfere with vision. I went to the gym and did my complete routine wearing the Julbo Run sunglasses and did not have any fogging or need to remove them during any of the exercises. The routine includes cardio exercises, free weights and various weigh machines. I drove in bright daylight with the Julbo Run sunglasses on and there was a small amount glare from the windshields of oncoming cars. The sunglasses reduce, but do not eliminate the glare. The fit of the Julbo Run sunglasses is comfortable and feels firmer on the head than the Julbo Race sunglasses. The Julbo Run sunglasses fit closer to the face than the Julbo Race sunglasses.
My test plan will be built around comfort, ease of use, dependability, and safety. I will be testing in New Hampshire, and Massachusetts, USA. Rain and snow is almost a certainty on some trips. My eyes are sensitive to the sun and if I am not wearing good sunglasses I get headaches. This condition is year round. Even on cloudy days there are UV rays that are not good for me. I will be using these sunglasses almost every day during daylight hours for all my activities outdoor and a lot of indoor activities where there is a lot of florescent light.
Will I be able to wear the Julbo Run sunglasses for long hours in cold weather and not feel the need to remove them? Will I have sensitive spots on my nose, ears or where the bows come in contact with my head? I will be looking at how well these sunglasses handle glare when hiking in snow and glare from water. I will be looking at how well I will be protected from wind and in particular dust. I wear hard gas permeable contact lenses and dust entering the eye can be quite painful. The Julbo Run sunglasses will also be used while driving and in some indoor locations where there are a lot of florescent lights.
Ease of use.
Do they go on and come off quickly and easily? Do I have to take a lot of precaution to prevent breakage, or lens scratches? Do they store easily with the rest of my equipment? Will these Julbo Run sunglasses fit so well that after I have them on, I will forget that I am wearing them? If they go on easily will I have a problem with them coming off when going through the bushes?
Will they be durable when bumping into trees, and other objects? How resistant will they be to scratches? I tested a pair of
similar sun glasses by the same manufacturer last year and, due to that experience, I am looking forward to this test.
The Julbo Run sunglasses look like a very good pair of sunglasses. Testing will tell how they compare with the Julbo Race sunglasses that I tested last year. It appears that I will be able to wear the Julbo Run sunglasses during daylight hours and take them off only occasionally. I am looking forward to wearing the Julbo Run sunglasses daily during the test period. The Julbo sunglasses Race and Run are very attractive and eye catching. People notice and have good comments. I never thought I would find myself comfortable wearing any type of glasses after over 20 years of wearing contact lenses. I had so much comfort with the Julbo Race sunglasses that although the Julbo Run sunglasses are comfortable there is a difference and I may need a short transition time to adjust. I had excellent customer service with the Julbo Race sunglasses and I look forward to testing these fine sunglasses.
This concludes my Initial Report. The Field Report will be amended to this report in approximately two months from the date of this report. Please check back then for further information.
My thanks to Julbo and Backpackgeartesters for the opportunity to test the Julbo Run sunglasses.
FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
Locations in Massachusetts: temperature; time duration; weather; field conditions.
Fells East: 50 F (10 C); 3 hr; sunny with some clouds; light breeze; mixed forest of mostly hard wood and mature trees; very rocky and hilly.
Sheepfold: 55 F (13 C); 3 hr; sunny with some wind; mixed forest of mostly hard wood and mature trees; very rocky and hilly.
Virginia Woods: 50 F (10 C); 4 hr; sunny with very little wind; mixed forest of mostly hard wood and mature trees; very rocky and hilly.
Boxford State Forest: 60F (16 C) to 50 F (10 C); 6 hr; winds increasing; fairly dense forest of mostly hardwoods and areas of dense undergrowth; rolling hills.
Middlesex County, backpacking: 10 F (-12 C) to 45 F (7 C); 3 hr; winds up to 20 mi/hr (32 km/hr); late afternoon to pre dawn; dense young forest and a few mature trees.
Locations in New Hampshire: known elevation; temperature; time duration; weather; field conditions.
Cannon Mountain: 4100 ft (1250 m); 30 F (-1 C); 3 hr; sunny with some clouds; wind at higher elevation; small grassy areas to dense evergreen with areas of ledge.
Bald Mountain: 2340 ft (713 m); 60 F (16 C); 3 hr; sunny with no wind; steep and almost all rock with some scrambling near the summit.
Artist Bluff: 2340 ft (713 m); 60 F (13 C); 3 hour; sunny with no wind; lightly forested with mostly rock and assorted trees.
Echo Lake: 55 F (13 C); 3 hr; sunny with no wind; relatively flat.
Brown Lake Barn: 20 F (-7 C); 5 hr; sunny with gusting winds; rolling hills.
Mt Hedgehog: 3140 ft (957 m); 15 F (-9 C); 5 hr; sunny with some clouds; no winds until summit, winds 20 mi/hr (32 km/hr).
Flume Gorge: 30 F (-1 C); 3 hr; overcast with slight breeze; steep inclines and declines.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
My impression of these sunglasses, on inspection, was that they would feel heavy. Despite knowing their weight, my mind was not changed until after I had worn them a few days. My plan was to wear them during daylight hours. The first couple days I wore them about 5 hours each day. By the fourth day, I forgot to take them off. Since then, I have worn them almost every day during daylight hours. When I am wearing the sunglasses I can feel them, but only barely. The feeling is awareness only, and not annoying. There are no obstructions to my field of vision. I also wondered about the fogging, because of the closeness of the sunglasses to my face. As demonstrated later in my report, my concern was unfounded. The Run sunglasses easily slipped on and off, thus I was also concerned they might come off when bushwhacking. This concern also did not materialize.
Hiking and sun
During the test period I hiked 10 times ranging from 3 to 6 hours each time. Temperatures spanned from 10 F (-12 C) to 60 F (16 C). Winds varied from no wind to 20 mi/hr (32 km/hr) with gusts up to 35 mi/hr (56 km/hr). I experienced the sun being positioned in almost all positions. I encountered an unusual condition while descending Cannon Mountain in the late afternoon, very near sunset. I found I was looking down on a very bright sun, angled up at a very low angle. All my hikes were started after 11 AM, so I was exposed to sun coming directly from overhead. All but three of the hikes were near some form of water with reflection of the sun off the water. The Run sunglasses always protected my eyes from the sunlight including sunlight which came from below me. There is some glare as these sunglasses are not polarized, but the glare is reduced. When I bushwhacked on Cannon Mountain, there were places for short periods of time when I was moving through the evergreen branches. The Run sunglasses not only stayed on my head, but did not require adjusting after getting into the clear. There were very few times during the test that I felt the need to readjust my sunglasses. These times were mainly in the first few weeks of use.
Hiking and wind
My first exposure to strong wind was on my hike to Mt Hedgehog. It was a cold 13 F (-11 C) just outside the building that day, when I left the ski club with 3 other hikers. We drove about 30 minutes east to the trailhead parking lot. Most of the hike was in moderately mixed forest with about 6 in (15 cm) of snow on the ground. There was little or no wind until we emerged from the protective forest near the summit. In the last 10 minutes before reaching our destination, we hiked over snow covered rock. The winds in this unprotected area were about 20 mi/hr (32 km/hr) with gusts much higher. The wind was swirling the fine powder snow all over. I am sure the snow powder was making contact with my lenses, but it was not melting or staying on them. At some point I thought there might be a small amount of fogging. When I removed my glasses I saw a few small drops of moisture on the inside of one lens near my nose. These drops disappeared before I had a chance to do anything. After I replaced my sunglasses there was no more evidence of fogging or moisture. Near the summit, after we enjoyed the views and ate in less than 15 minutes, we decided to return to the parking lot because we were feeling cold. On the Boxford State Forest hike, I experienced wind and some air borne particles. As we were hiking back to the parking lot, the winds increased. In the last 5 minutes before reaching the parking lot, there is very little vegetation on the ground, and there tends to be a small amount of dust in the air when it is windy. I wear hard contact lenses and am very sensitive to even very small particles of dust. I have been bothered in the past on this hike when it is windy. I had no problem with any dust particles at that time, or at other time, while using the Julbo Run sunglasses.
|Brown Lake Barn NH|
|Mt Hedgehog NH|
|Virginia Woods MA|
During the testing period I went on 7 one night trips. All were started during twilight and involved some bushwhacking. I wore the sunglasses for protection from branches and was adequately protected. I would also have them in the morning in case I slept a little late and experienced a bright sunrise. When one gets up on a cold morning in the tent, putting on a pair of sunglasses can be a bit of a shock. Fortunately the adjustment time is short and almost painless. On my last backpack, a blizzard had started during the night and it was windy and snowy in the morning. There was 8 in (20 cm) of fine powder and the wind was blowing it everywhere. My Run sunglasses completely protected my eyes from this fine snow powder swirling all around. The snow surprisingly did not melt on the lenses. I was cool enough when I woke each morning that I decided to leave in the twilight and did not experience any bright sunrises on these trips.
With the exception of the first week of the test I have worn the Julbo Run sunglasses almost every day during daylight hours. The transition from being in bright sun outside, to a much lower light intensity was not noticeable. The exception would be really overcast days. We had a 3 day blizzard in which we received about 20 in (51 cm) of fine powder snow. I returned from a one night backpack on the morning after the blizzard had started. The first order of business after breakfast was to start what would seem endless hours of shoveling. I put on sunglasses and went out into powder snow blowing everywhere. I had no problem with the snow melting on the sunglasses. At some point, during that 3 day blizzard, when I came inside the house to rest and had not removed them, the sunglasses probably became really warm. Later when I went back out into the swirling snow, within seconds the outside of lenses were covered with tiny droplets of water. That was the last time I would put on warm sunglasses before going out into blowing snow. I have used the sunglasses for driving, and because of the tint in the windshield, the glasses do not darken as much. I also noticed that there is less tint on the side windows of the car. When the sun is entering from the side window, I need the protection of the sunglasses to avoid headaches. I found I was completely protected from the sun at this angle. This is very comforting for me. I do experience a small amount of glare on the windshields of oncoming vehicles. The sunglasses do help reduce the amount of glare. I use the sunglasses to walk to the local plaza, walking in the neighborhood, and working around the yard. I very seldom leave the house during the day without them on.
The Julbo Run sunglasses protect me very well from the sun, and branches. I am also protected from snowflakes, and dust in the wind. The ability of the sunglasses to change with light intensity means there is no fade out when walking from a bright area into a shaded area. The transition of the lens from very bright to dark is quick and unnoticeable. I had a slight amount of fogging only twice and only for a few minutes. I wear them almost every day and for long periods without any irritation to my ears or nose. Since these lenses are not polarized, glare is only reduced, not eliminated. I am really pleased with the performance of these sunglasses. The comfort is outstanding and they are durable. Even though they are on my head for long periods of time, I don't get any sensitive spots where they make contact with my head. My only suggested improvement is to add polarization without changing anything else.
I will continue wearing the Julbo Run sunglasses nearly daily during the daylight hours. I will be wearing the Run sunglasses for all my hiking and backpacking during the remainder of the test period.
This concludes my Field Report. The Long Term Report will be amended to this report in approximately two months from the date of this report. Please check back then for further information. I wish to thank Backpackgeartesters.org and Julbo for the opportunity to test the Run sunglasses.
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
Middlesex Canal: 19 F (-7 C); 3 hr; sunny with light wind; mixed forest of mostly small trees and bushes with a few mature trees; relatively flat with wet areas.
Middlesex Canal: 25 F (-4 C) to 35 F (2 C); 3 hr; sunny with light wind; mixed forest of mostly small trees and bushes with a few mature trees; relatively flat with wet areas.
Mount Watatic: 1,832 ft (558 m): 15 F (-9 C); 3 hr; sunny with winds up to 30 mi/hr (48 km/hr); mixed forest of mostly hard wood and mature trees recent severe storm damage, snow covered ground up to 10 in (25 cm).
Minuteman National park: 34 F (-1 C); 3 hr; no wind; mostly open areas with large older trees; rolling hills.
Middlesex County, backpacking: 33 F (-1 C) to 55 F (13 C); 3 hr; very little wind; dense young forest and a few mature trees.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
I snowshoed twice along the Middlesex Canal for about 3 hours each time. On both occasions, I was breaking through 2 crusts of snow. It was bright sun with a light wind. The temperatures varied between 19 F (-7 C) to 35 F (2 C). I had no trouble keeping the Race sunglasses on while walking through areas of thick brush. My eyes were always protected from the sun and the branches.
I snowshoed Mount Watatic for about 3 hours on a very cold day, the temperature was 15 F (-9 C) and winds were up to 30 mi/hr (48 km/hr). The snow cover was at least 10 in (25 cm). It was a very bright sunny day and there were ice crystals on most of the trees producing a lot of bright light. The Race sunglasses not only protected me from the sun but also from the strong winds. There were a few places on the trail where trees had fallen and I made contact several times with branches without any adverse effects to my eyes. It was just a great day to be wearing Race sunglasses protecting me from the sun, wind, and branches.
I hiked in Minuteman National Park with 19 hikers from a local hiking group for about 3 hours. This was a very sunny cloud-free day with a temperature of 34 F (1 C). The trail was a mix of ice, snow, water, and mud. The Race sunglasses protected me from reflections off water, and snow, and from the direct sun.
I backpacked twice using my Race sunglasses. These backpacks were done in the late evening and early morning. I used the sunglasses mainly for protection against branches, especially while setting up the tent. When I woke in the morning and put on the cold sunglasses, there was no fogging and the frames warmed quickly.
|Minuteman National Park|
Around town daily use.
I use the Race sunglasses almost every day, to go to the gym, to go shopping, and for all my other social and business activities. In the buildings where sunglasses are not permitted, I slide them up onto my forehead and that has worked very well. I don't find snow shoveling fun, but it is part of living in New England. During a 3 day blizzard in this test period, I was out early on the second day shoveling about 8 in of snow. What was falling while I was shoveling was too fine to see, but could be felt on my ears as cold spots. Fortunately my eyes were completely protected as I cannot stand snow or ice melting on my eyes. I experienced that situation one morning when I went to the gym without my sunglasses, because it was very overcast and the snow was not supposed to fall until the afternoon. When I left the gym and stopped to do some shopping, it had started to snow. The snow was getting into my eyes and this was causing problems with my hard contact lenses. It was also interfering with my vision and was very annoying.
I have found that even with daily use, the Race sunglasses lenses did not get dirty and required very little in the way of maintenance. Occasionally I put the glasses under running water and used tissue paper to absorb small droplets. About once a month, I would use a cloth from another pair of glasses to wipe the lenses. This leads me to believe that the anti static system is working because I expected to find dandruff and dust that I find with the other glasses I have. After about 5 months of almost daily use, I see no evidence of scratches, despite my taking no special precautions. I think a cloth for cleaning should be provided. My idea of soft may not be appropriate for lenses made of a high tech material. The glasses case fits nicely in my hand as well as in the upper portion of my backpack. The extra space in the case is not wasted as I can use it for my headlamp, wiping cloth, and a couple spare AA batteries. The lowest temperature I encountered during the test was -8 F (-22 C) and I did not notice any adverse effects.
The Race sunglasses have many qualities, but comfort has to be at the top of my list. The Race sunglasses fit firmly on my head, but don't cause any irritation or sensitive areas on my nose or ears. This is followed closely by the glasses being able to adjust quickly to changes in light intensity. The anti fogging and anti static have worked very well and the glasses keep my eyes dust free which is important to me. Looking through the glasses without obstruction from the frames is great. Despite numerous contacts with branches there has been no evidence of scratches on the lenses or frames. These are the best sunglasses I have ever used, a product that comes close to perfection for me.
I would like to have an appropriate cloth supplied in the case.
I will continue to use the Julbo Run sunglasses daily during daylight hours except for days when it is really dark. I am looking forward to hiking near water, knowing that I will be protected from sun reflections. I am also looking forward to hiking in places where I could not hike when it was windy due to the fine sand and dust getting into my eyes.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
This concludes my Long Term Report. I wish to thank BackpackGearTest.org and Julbo for the opportunity to test the Run sunglasses.
Read more gear reviews by arnold peterson