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Reviews > Eye Protection and Binoculars > Sun Glasses > Optic Nerve Dedisse Sunglasses > Test Report by Kurt Papke

Optic Nerve Dedisse Sunglasses

Test Series by Kurt Papke

Initial Report - June 30, 2013

Long Term Report - November 12, 2013

Tester Information

Name: Kurt Papke
Age: 59
Gender: Male
Height: 6' 4" (193 cm)
Weight: 235 lbs (107 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 four 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

Manufacturer's photo
Photo courtesy Optic Nerve

Manufacturer: Optic Nerve
Model:
Dedisse
Year of manufacture: 2013
MSRP:
US $49
Manufacturer website: http://opticnerve.com/
Color tested:
Shiny white.  Also comes in Shiny Black.
Materials:
TR90 Grilamid Nylon Frame Resin
Tactilite™ bridge pads, described as having low slippage in perspiration conditions
Size:
One size available only
Website indicates "Optimum Face Shape: Average"
Lenses:
Smoke w/flash mirror for bright sun: 15% light transmission
High-def copper for variable light conditions: 27% light transmission
UV protection: 100% for UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C
Weight: Listed: N/A
Measured: 0.85 oz (24 g) without stuff sack
With stuff sack and extra lens pair: 1.76 oz (50 g)
Hard case: 2.15 oz (61 g)

The features listed by the manufacturer include:
  • Channel break frame design for easy lenses changing - I was not able to find out what the "channel break frame design" was from their website
  • Two sets of lenses
  • Vented lenses, visible in the photo above

The Dedisse sunglasses are a member of Optic Nerve's Deuce series, which come with two sets of interchangeable lenses.  This series excludes the following features available elsewhere in their product line: polarized lenses, hydrophobic coating, anti-reflective coating, adjustable wire-core temples, optical rimlock, adjustable alloy bridge rest, and nickel silver alloy frames.

As can be seen in the photos, the nose rests are just pads integrated into the frame.  On the positive side, I've had nose bridges break on me in the past, so these should be very reliable.  On the negative side, they hug my face quite closely and may not vent real well around the edges causing condensation.  I'll be curious to see how well the venting mitigates this issue.

Initial Inspection

Dedisse

Above-left photo: a "selfie" of me with the glasses.  Never had white sunglasses before, so it'll be interesting to see what kind of comments I get about my fashion sense.
Lower-left: soft case with second set of lenses on top, hard case on the bottom.
Above-right: comparing the two lens sets.
Lower-right: the manufacturer's warranty.

The sunglasses seem of good quality - the frames look reasonably sturdy.

Discolored framesI did however notice some unevenness of color in several areas of the frames.  I tried to photograph them, and the image at left is my best attempt to capture the issue.  There seems to be some spots where the white coating did not completely cover the grey frame base material.  The photo at left was at the base of the frame around one of the lenses, the other spot was on one of the temple tips.

This is strictly a cosmetic issue, and would not be seen by an observer while I was wearing the sunglasses.


Trying Them Out

I put them on and drove to the grocery store.  The smoke lenses are quite dark, and appear quite optically flat.  The glasses cover my eyes well - I noticed no distractions from brightness around the edges.  The glasses seem quite comfortable on my head, but are just at the edge of being too small as I have a very large noggin.

I tried changing out the lenses, but they were not trivial to pop out.  I looked for hints on their website for hints on how to change lenses without breaking them, but couldn't find anything.

Summary

I am looking forward to get the Dedisse 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:

  • A touch on the small side.  It'll be interesting to see if I get any sore spots or headaches from them.

Long Term Report

Field Conditions

Date
Location
Trail
Distance

Terrain/ trail type
Weather
Altitude range
July 5-7, 2013
Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness north of Mammoth, Arizona
Aravaipa
28 mi
(45 km)

Creek running through canyon + slot canyon
Sunny, 70-100 F
(21-38 C)

2550-4000 ft
(780-1220 m)
July 26-28, 2013 Huachuca Mtns near Sierra Vista, Arizona Crest Trail
11.5 mi
(18.5 km)
Sky island canyons and ridgelines Sunny/rain mix, 55-80 F
(13-27 C)
6600-9000 ft
(2010-2740 m)
August 10-11, 2013
Santa Catalina Mtns, near Tucson, Arizona
Romero Canyon
12 mi
(19 km)
Sky island canyon
Sunny, hot, 59-102 F
(15-39 C)
2600-5100 ft
(790-1550 m)

September 21-22, 2013 Santa Catalina Mtns, near Tucson, Arizona Romero Canyon
10.5 mi
(17 km)
Sky island canyon Overnight showers, 60-85 F
(16-29 C)
2600-4770 ft
(790-1450 m)

Aravaipa Canyon

This was a return after a three-year hiatus to one of my favorite spots in the desert southwest for a 3-day, 2-night backpack trip.  I was expecting a tremendous amount of heat and sun on this hike, so I also added a new sun hat to my kit:

Dedisse glasses in Aravaipa
Photo courtesy of David Drake

The hat apron hides some of the Dedisse glasses and looks quite silly on me, but keeps me from burning in the Arizona sun.  The good news is the hat and glass frames match!

The sunglasses performed very well.  I wore them all day long and they were very comfortable with no sign of the pressure that I had feared from the snug fit.  The Smoke lenses are quite dark and did a great job of protecting my eyes.  It was humid enough along the river that the sweat was dripping down my face and running down the lenses all day long.  The lenses cleaned up nicely with a simple cotton bandana, and I saw no sign of scratching after repeated cleanings.

Though not clearly visible due to the distance, the Dedisse glasses sat up nicely on the visor of my hat when I was in the shaded slot canyons:

Dedisse in Deer Creek canyon
Photo courtesy of David Drake

The glasses were quite secure in this position, and I had no troubles with them falling off when I needed to look down at something.

Crest Trail

I returned the the Huachuca Mountains looking for a respite from the hot and humid Tucson monsoon season, only to run into rainstorms.  I didn't get in a lot of mileage in, but I did get a break from the heat.  This was a reasonably high altitude hike, much of it along the section of the Arizona National Scenic Trail (AZT) near its southern terminus.

The weather was quite mixed on this trip, and I spent a lot of time in wooded areas.  I would have liked to have used the lighter lenses, but I still have not taken the time to figure out how to change them out.  Outside of that, the glasses performed very well, even at the high altitudes where the sun can be quite strong.  They continue to be very comfortable, even when worn all day long for several days.

Changing Lenses

After my last trip I was sufficiently frustrated with my inability to change the lenses that I did some research on the Web and learned how to change the lenses.  The technique is illustrated in the set of photos below:
Changing lenses

  1. Left photo - removing a lens: press both thumbs against the backside of the lens, fingertips on the front.  Pull the frame out away from the lens while pushing forward with the thumbs.
  2. Upper right photo - the lens pops out the front of the glasses
  3. Lower right photo - inserting a lens: coming from the front of the glasses, insert the edge close to the nosepiece into the frame.  Move the fingers to the other side of the lens near the temple tips and push the lens into the frames.  Not shown: push the frames against the lens to tighten and make sure the lens is in the track.

The key to the whole procedure is recognizing that the frames will stretch/flex.  By pulling them away from the lens, it allows it to be popped out of the track.  The other key is to follow the rule that the lens must come out of and go back into the front of the glasses, i.e. the side that is away from the wearer.  When I tried to force them out the backside (closes to the wearer) they would not budge.

The procedure takes only a few seconds for each lens.  The only downside is they get covered with fingerprints, so I immediately had to clean the lenses mounted in the frames.  No sense in cleaning the removed/stored lenses, as they will just get smudged again when reinstalled.

Romero Canyon

It was a blazing hot August afternoon, but fortunately I was hiking with the sun at my back for both the hike in on Saturday afternoon and the hike out on Sunday morning.  Since I was not going to have the sun directly in my eyes I decided to leave the lighter lenses that I had installed while experimenting with changing lenses.  The lenses worked great in this situation, in particular on the early morning hike out as shown in the following photo.
Dedisse glasses in Romero Canyon

The only issue I had was sweat constantly dripping down the lenses which had to be periodically cleaned, but there's no magic solution to that problem.

A month later I returned to the canyon.  I had planned to do a 3-day trip down Paria Canyon, but the roads to the trailhead got washed out with the severe rains.  I settled for a quick return overnight trip up Romero.  The sunglasses performed just fine on this trip, no issues other that sweat running down them due to the unusually high humidity.  Someday someone will invent sunglasses unaffected by dripping sweat, but I'm not aware of any available today!

Lenses After Four Months

Lenses after four months

The picture above shows the condition of the lenses after four months of hard use.  At some point in the last month the coating of the "smoke" lenses developed the speckling that I tried to capture in the photo.  I don't know if something splashed on them, or what really happened, but the speckles would not wash off no matter what I tried.

The scratches I would have expected as normal wear and tear.

Summary

In addition to the backpacking trips described in this report, I now have 4+ months of wearing these glasses pretty much every day.  Some days its just in the car on the drive to/from work, other days include short strolls at work to various buildings.  I have used the supplied soft case extensively on a daily basis - I like having the alternate lenses with me, even though they take up a little bit of bulk in the container.

Good things:

  • Good eye protection in intense sunlight
  • Clean up well when wet with sweat
  • Sit nicely on the visor of a cap
  • Good all-day comfort
  • Flexibility of having two sets of lenses for dark/light conditions

Improvements:

  • Better instructions for lens exchange.  It is really not all that hard, but I was surprised there was not even anything on the Optic Nerve website.


Thanks to BackpackGearTest.org and Optic Nerve for the opportunity to contribute to this test.



Read more reviews of Optic Nerve gear
Read more gear reviews by Kurt Papke

Reviews > Eye Protection and Binoculars > Sun Glasses > Optic Nerve Dedisse Sunglasses > Test Report by Kurt Papke



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