Ryders Vigor Sunglasses
Test Series by Sophie Pearson
Initial Report - September 8, 2009
Field Report - November 5, 2009
Long-Term Report - January 11, 2010
Name: Sophie Pearson
Height: 5' 8" (1.71 m)
Weight: 180 lb (82 kg)
Email address: sophiep3 at gmail dot com
Location: Tampa, Florida, USA
I first started backpacking as a teenager in England. I did a
28-day trip in the Arctic, but most of my backpacking experience
has been weekend to 10-day trips, in a range of terrains and climates.
I am a volcanologist so I also do day hikes carrying loaded packs over
intense terrain. Nowadays I am generally in sub-tropical climates. I
am heading increasingly towards ultralight packing, and unless I am
sharing I use a hammock. I try to pack around 20 lb (9 kg) for long
weekend trips but have carried over 50 lb (23 kg).
September 8, 2009
Manufacturer: Ryders Eyewear
Year of Manufacture: 2009
MSRP: US $44.99
Color: Gloss black with grey lens (also available pearl white with grey, bronzed carbon with brown and gloss black with orange lenses)
Listed weight: N/A
Measured weight: 1 oz (28 g)
The Ryders Vigor Sunglasses form part of Ryders Eyewear adrenaline-essential collection. They are sporty sunglasses with optically correct, shatterproof, polycarbonate lenses. Mine have a gloss black duraflex frame and grey lenses with flash. According to the website the lenses have 100% UV protection and 15% VLT. They are a medium-large fit.
The sunglasses are a fairly angular shape, with 5 sides to the lens frames. There are three holes between each lens and the frame - a fairly long hole at the top, a medium one at the bottom and a small one to the side, all towards the outside of the lens. In the center of the glasses there is a silver piece with the Ryders logo. The nose piece and ends of the arms are made of a slightly soft rubber that grips and is flexible. The nose piece is one piece of rubber that is connected to the frame on the opposite side to the Ryders logo. The frames are fairly wide and the arms can go to quite a wide angle from the frames when open. Along the outside of each arm the word Ryder is written in a raised, silver color.
The nose piece and ends of the arms are made of a soft rubber that grips.
The arms of the glasses open wide to fit a range of people. The nose piece sits slightly off the frame.
These glasses are definitely sporty looking. As I have quite a square face they are more angular than I would normally choose, and the silver piece on the front gives them a sporty look that is definitely not what I would choose for around town, but I think I will get used to it! The frames of the glasses are wide, and with the arms also opening to such a wide extent the manufacturer's claim of a medium-large fit seems justified. They sit slightly forward on my nose, which someone told me looks a bit funny, but I find this comfortable as there is nothing I hate more than when my eyelashes brush my sunglasses.
The sunglasses are fairly angular, and definitely a sporty style.
The glasses sit a little bit off my face.
I am really impressed by the lenses in these glasses. I always buy very cheap sunglasses, and was so excited when I put these on and glare was reduced but otherwise things looked exactly the same. The world did not develop a colored tint as so often happens with sunglasses! I also really like the small holes between the lenses and the frames. This means that the glasses do not fog up, especially as they also sit slightly forward on my nose. This is fantastic as living in humid Florida I normally give up on sunglasses because I can't see through them. I don't notice the top or side holes at all. The bottom holes are just within my peripheral vision, and have the same sensation as when I am using swimming goggles that have let a tiny bit of water into the bottom of them. Already I am noticing it less though. The 15% visible light transition (VLT) is great for me as I had laser eye surgery and my eyes became very light-sensitive. These glasses cut out glare and reduce light transmission without affecting the view. I love it!
The fit of these glasses is surprisingly good. They are a little bit too wide for my face, but the nose piece and ends to the arms do a really great job at keeping the glasses in place. This means that I don't have to worry about them falling off, but I also don't get aches from where the glasses are tight behind my ears. The arms are quite long so reach well behind my ears, but this does not affect their fit or performance. Because the nose piece sits slightly off the frame they do catch slightly in my hair when I put them up on top of my head, but the solid rubber and the flexibility mean that they do not tangle my hair and pull it as other glasses do.
Three holes between the lens and frame on each side stop the glasses fogging up.
The lenses are supposedly shatterproof. I am generally hard on sunglasses and they end up covered in scratches and often break. These frames have a slight give to them and the glasses appear to be well made so I am excited to see how they hold up with regular use. They come in a cloth bag which will be good for cleaning them but does not provide solid protection so I will try to be careful when packing them!
The arms of the glasses are long and fit well behind my ears.
So far I really like these glasses. Aesthetically they will take a bit of getting used to as they are definitely sporty and I normally wear more fashion sunglasses. Functionally though I have been really impressed so far and am looking forward to wearing them frequently over the next 2 months.
November 5, 2009
These sunglasses have literally been around the world with me. I have worn them to climb Half Dome in California (35-85 F/2-30 C; 5000 ft/1500 m; 13 miles/21 km; 2 days), Mt Vesuvius in Italy (55-80 F/13-27 C; 4000 ft/1200 m), Mt Tauhara in New Zealand (40-60 F/4-16 C; 3600 ft/1088 m) and Mt Mitchell in Washington (45-70 F/7-20 C; 6700 ft/2000 m). I also wore them to go kayaking in Florida, sailing in southern England, watch tennis at the US Open in New York, exploring in Naples and Pisa and sunbathing at a wedding in Tuscany. I also wear them on a daily basis driving to and from where I work in west central Florida. These glasses have seen some use!
These sunglasses have been around the world with me. At Half Dome in California we dumped our packs for the last 2 miles but I still got pretty sweaty hiking. Yey for ventilated sunglasses!!!
At Mt Vesuvius in Italy the sunglasses helped with dustiness as well as the sun.
I have been really pleased with the Ryders Vigor sunglasses. The really big thing for me has been the ventilation. With humidity close to 100% in Florida, all of the sunglasses I have worn in the past have fogged up. So far these haven't even shown the beginning of that problem. I still sometimes notice the holes in the bottom of the glasses as a blip in my peripheral vision, but to me that is totally worth the trade-off of clear lenses no matter how hot, sweaty and humid it gets.
The glasses have borne up remarkably well considering not only how much I have worn them, but also how much time they have spent sitting in my purse or hand-luggage in just a soft-cloth bag. The frames are not showing any sign of wear. The lenses have a few small scratches on them but nothing that interferes with my vision when I am wearing them. They do have a slight greasiness to them now, possibly from some shampoo that leaked in my bag, and although I have washed them it doesn't seem to want to come off easily. It is slightly noticeable in my right eye when I am wearing them but I think with a proper cleaning that should go away.
Aesthetically it has taken me a bit to get used to how they look. In Italy it was all about fashion and sometimes I felt a bit silly in my sporty sunglasses, but their functionality totally makes up for that. I'm not sure about the silver logo though, as sometimes it really catches the eye, and other times it totally fades away. In some pictures I do end up looking a bit like the alien from Men in Black when the logo isn't noticeable and because the glasses are quite wide, but never mind!
Sometimes the glasses do make me look a bit like the alien from Men in Black!
While other times, like here in New Zealand, the silver catches the eye!
Because the arms of the glasses are long, I think it is the nose piece that makes these glasses stay on so well. Even looking down they have never slipped. The anti-slip part of the arms doesn't even touch my head, but the nose piece fits well and holds the glasses close to my face but off it, so that my eyelashes aren't touching the lenses (which I hate) but the glasses don't slip down my nose. As the lenses are fairly straight the sides sit quite a way off my head which still looks a bit funny from the side, but I think this helps the ventilation so it doesn't worry me. As the arms are so long, it does mean that the glasses don't sit well on the top of my head. The anti-slip parts of the arms are at an angle so that they don't actually touch the sides of my head and so the glasses slide forward quite a lot. It has meant that I don't wear them on top of my head as much as I have done with other sunglasses and I think is purely a function of them not being a perfect fit for me. They work fine when I am wearing them though!
The lenses are optically correct, meaning that when I am wearing them everything looks the same but without the glare. I love that! They are pretty reflective from the outside, which I always find a mixed blessing. It bugs me when I am talking to someone and can't see their eyes, but there have been a couple of times when my attention has wandered or I have dozed off and no-one has realized!
So far I have been really pleased with these glasses. I can see perfectly out of them, they stay on my nose well and they don't fog up. They do have a few scratches and a greasiness to them from where they have seen a lot of use, but time will tell if these become problems that interfere with me seeing through them. Please check back in 2 months for that information!
At Pompeii in Italy I realized that the glasses are pretty reflective, so no-one can see my eyes when I am talking to them.
January 11, 2010
I continued to wear the Ryders Vigor sunglasses on a regular basis, hiking, kayaking and around town. I wore them on one more backpacking trip in Withlacoochee State Forest, central Florida. We covered 18 miles (29 km) in 2 days with elevation changes of around 80 ft (25 m). The temperature varied between 55 and 80 F (13 and 27 C) with no rain. I also wore the glasses on four day-hikes, in eastern and western central Florida. We covered between 5 and 10 miles (8 and 16 km) each time with negligible elevation change. Weather was similar to in Withlacoochee except for the final hike where the temperature was a chilling 26 to 44 F (-3 to 7 C) with really bright sunshine.
These glasses have stood up remarkably well to the last two months of use. I couldn't find the soft-sided case for about a month and so the glasses rode around loose in my backpack or purse. They don't seem to have gained any scratches from this harsh treatment, or to have deformed. They still stay on my nose well, but slide down on top of my head.
Our final hiking trip was in a forest where it was really bright sunshine but very wooded. I really loved these glasses as they cut out the bright glare when I suddenly stepped into the sunshine, but I could still see when I was in the shade. Other people complained about their glasses fogging up but I have never had that problem. The greasiness that I noticed in my field report has got better but I still find that I need to give them a really good clean each time before wearing them. They remain great sport glasses and I will continue to wear them when hiking or kayaking, but I will probably revert to my less angular, fashion glasses for wandering around town. As I never used to wear sunglasses hiking or kayaking because I found them irritating, that is a pretty good endorsement of the Ryders Vigor sunglasses from me!
Never fog up
Don't give the world a colored tint
Really reduce glare
Can still see in shade
Stay on well
Comfortable - I forget I am wearing them
Sit forward so my eyelashes don't brush the lenses
Survive being next to keys without being scratched to death
Got a few scratches
Don't stay on top of the head
Arms are a bit long
Silver over nose-piece and angularity make them very sporty-looking
Sometimes a bit greasy and hard to clean
This concludes my report. Many thanks to Ryders Eyewear and to BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test the Ryders Vigor Sunglasses.
Read more gear reviews by Sophie Pearson