Guest - Not logged in 

Reviews > Eye Protection and Binoculars > Sun Glasses > Ryders Eyewear Defcon Sunglasses > Test Report by Jennifer Pope

Ryders Defcon Sunglasses
Test Report
Last Updated: January 16th, 2012

Biographical Information Product Information Initial Report
July 27, 2011
Field Report
October 18, 2011
Long Term Report
January 16, 2012

Defcon sunglasses

Biographical Information
Name Jennifer Pope
Age 30
Gender Female
Height 5 ft 7 in (1.7 m)
Weight 145 lb (66 kg)
Email Address
Location Connecticut USA
Backpacking Background
Intermediate. I've been a car-camper as long as I can remember and started backpacking in Northern California over a decade ago. I'm again taking a break from backpacking to hike and car camp with my two young daughters and my husband. I typically carry my younger (lighter) daughter while we hike, and now that my 3 year old is getting better at walking longer distances, she's spending more time hiking on her own rather than in a backpack carrier. We live on the Connecticut coast and hike around New England.

Product Information (back to top)
Manufacturer Ryders Eyewear
Manufacturer URL
Year of Manufacture 2011
Color Black
Lenses Brown Polarized
Claimed Weight 1 oz (28 g)
Actual Weight .9 oz (25.5 g)
MSRP $69.99 US

Initial Report
July 27, 2011

Initial Impressions & Product Description (back to top)

These are fairly basic sunglasses with black plastic frames and brown polarized lenses.


These are simply-designed sunglasses that wrap slightly around my head. The frames are black with a white logo on the temple. The lenses are brown and polarized to help prevent glare near water or wet surfaces (like rainy roads while driving). There are anti-slip grips on the nose pads and the tips of arms; however these are not noticeable while wearing the glasses. The frames are alleged to be flexible, durable and lightweight. There is also a scratch-resistant coating on the lenses, they are shatterproof and provide UVA, UVB, & UVC protection.

The glasses came with an oversized hard-sized zippered case. The case appears to be sized for multiple styles of sunglasses since it's quite large for these smaller glasses. The case has a loop for attaching it to a belt and a clip so it could be attached to a D-ring or really anything on a backpack.


The Ryders website says that these glasses are best suited for small to medium head sizes; since these glasses are unisex, I would agree with their designation. The glasses are extremely lightweight. I almost don't feel them on my face at all. I find the nose pads very comfortable. The lenses give me full coverage from the sun and I haven't noticed any light leaking in around the edge of the frames. The brown lenses provide bright sun protection. The first time I wore them outside I was surprised by how bright it was (compared to my other glasses) but I still wasn't squinting. I wear sunglasses just about every day all year round. I wear contacts, which leaves my pupils slightly more dilated than they normally would be, so I find sunglasses completely necessary almost every day, even if it's cloudy or rainy.

The only negative I've found so far is that they don't stay on the top of my head well. I often push my glasses up to the top of my head when it gets dark at the end of the day or when I go inside briefly. These glasses don't stay put very well. I think this is partly because they are so lightweight. So far this is just a minor annoyance. I can still wear them on the top of my head; they just occasionally fall down (especially if I bend over).

Field Report
October 18, 2011

Field Conditions (back to top)

Catskills Mountains (New York): approximately 2 miles (3.2 km), 85 F (30 C), hot, humid, and clear.
Cape Cod beaches (Massachusetts): 1 mile (1.6 km), 85 F (30 C), hot, sunny, sandy.
Sleeping Giant State Park (Connecticut): approximately 2 miles (3.2 km), 70 F, crisp and clear.
West Rock Park (Connecticut): approximately 3 miles (4.8 km), 60 F, wet ground and rain imminent.
Around Connecticut: (almost) daily wear, driving, neighborhood walks, cloudy days, clear days, temperatures ranging from around 50 F (10 C) to near 100 F (38 C).

Field Report (back to top)

I have pretty much been wearing these sunglasses every day since I received them. I've worn them on several hikes as well as just for daily wear on most days. For the most part I've been very happy with how well these sunglasses have performed. They are very lightweight. I really feel like I'm not wearing sunglasses at all. I feel like my surroundings are still bright when I'm wearing them but I don't have to squint. I did wear them once at midday on a very bright sunny beach. In this one case, the glasses weren't quite dark enough. But under all other conditions I found they worked well.

I still find that the glasses slip off the top of my head when I push them up (like if I go indoors or into a particularly wooded section of a hike). They have only fallen off my head when bending over once or twice. They do often fall back onto my nose though. It's more of an annoyance and wouldn't keep me from wearing them.

The styling of the glasses is a bit more 'sporty' than I would perhaps normally choose. The glasses are more of a wrap style. They do have a bit of styling to them so I don't feel like I'm wearing glasses that are not suited for a female wearer at all. I'm also not crazy about the logo on the side of the glasses being in white. I don't like the contrast, I would prefer if it were in dark gray or just black on black.

The glasses are holding up well. There aren't any scratches or bends in the glasses at all yet--despite throwing them in bags or storing them in the center console of my car on occasion.

Long Term Report
January 16, 2012

Field Conditions (back to top)

Sleeping Giant State Park (Connecticut): approximately 2 miles (3.2 km), 55 F (13 C), crisp and clear.
West Rock Park (Connecticut): approximately 3 miles (4.8 km), 50 F (10 C), overcast.
Sacramento River Trail (Redding, California): 2 miles (3.2 km), 65 F (18 C), sunny.
La Jolla Coves walkway (La Jolla, California): 2 miles (3.2 km), 60 F (15 C), partly cloudy.
Around Connecticut: almost daily wear, driving, neighborhood walks, cloudy days, clear days, temperatures ranging from around 30 F (-1 C) to 60 F (15 C).

Test Results (back to top)

At the end of the testing period, my initial reactions are pretty much the same as noted in my Field Report. I find the sunglasses extremely lightweight and comfortable to wear. I almost feel like I'm not wearing them at all. The lenses themselves keep everything looking quite bright and clear but filter out enough sunlight that I don't find myself squinting. This means that if I go into light shade I can leave the glasses on but I can still see.

I rarely use the supplied carrying case. It's quite large and seems to be a generic case perhaps used for all Ryder sunglasses. I might have used it more frequently if it were sized more appropriately. But it was quite bulky. I used it a few times if I needed to pack the sunglasses in a backpack to travel somewhere but if I left wearing the sunglasses, I rarely brought the case with me. Instead I wore the glasses on top of my head, put them in a zippered pocket of my jacket or fleece or, occasionally, just put them in a backpack or purse pretty much unprotected. The glasses handled my treatment OK though and survived unscathed.

sunglasses on top of my head

Sun beginning to set and the sunglasses on top of my head

The glasses came with a microfiber cloth for cleaning but I always cleaned the lenses with a clean cotton t-shirt. The lenses stood up to this treatment fine and there are no scratches. I never needed to use any kind of glass cleaner or even water on the lenses to keep them clean.

I still find the styling a bit masculine for my tastes and I'd prefer a more curved frame (rather than a frame that goes straight across my brow). I would also prefer if the logo on the side of the glasses didn't stand out quite so much (white logo on black frames). A black or dark gray logo would be more appealing to me. Of course, none of these minor issues has anything to do with the function of the sunglasses, which I've been quite pleased with overall. Note: My husband has a narrow face and has already claimed these glasses as his now that the reporting has concluded.

Summary (back to top)

Comfortable fit. Extremely lightweight.

Thank you to Ryders and for allowing me to test this item.

Read more gear reviews by Jennifer Pope

Reviews > Eye Protection and Binoculars > Sun Glasses > Ryders Eyewear Defcon Sunglasses > Test Report by Jennifer Pope

Product tested and reviewed in each Formal Test Report has been provided free of charge by the manufacturer to Upon completion of the Test Series the writer is permitted to keep the product. Owner Reviews are based on product owned by the reviewer personally unless otherwise noted.

All material on this site is the exclusive property of
BackpackGearTest software copyright David Anderson