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Reviews > Eye Protection and Binoculars > Sun Glasses > Ryders Eyewear Defcon Sunglasses > Test Report by Nancy Griffith

December 30, 2011



NAME: Nancy Griffith
EMAIL: bkpkrgirlATyahooDOTcom
AGE: 45
LOCATION: Northern California, USA
HEIGHT: 5' 6" (1.68 m)
WEIGHT: 130 lb (59.00 kg)

My outdoor experience began in high school with involvement in a local canoeing/camping group called Canoe Trails. The culmination was a 10-day canoe voyage through the Quebec wilds. I've been backpacking since my college days in Pennsylvania. I have completed all of the Appalachian Trail in Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina. My typical trip now is in the Sierra Nevada in California and is from a few days to a week long. I carry a light to mid-weight load, use a tent, stove and hiking poles.



Photo courtesy of Ryders Eyewear
Manufacturer: Ryders Eyewear
Year of Manufacture: 2011
Manufacturer's Website:
MSRP: $39.99 US for non-polarized lens version
Listed Weight: 28 g (1 oz)
Measured Weight: 27 g (1 oz)
Color Tested: Frame: Black; Lens: Brown
Available in various lens types (colors) and frame colors
Made in China


Top ViewThe Ryders Eyewear Defcon sunglasses are what they call full-rimmed meaning that the frame goes completely around the lens. The frame is made of a thermoplastic material which is supposed to be durable, flexible and lightweight. The glasses have a slight wrap-around shape. The stems are curved for a tighter fit on the temples. The tips of the stems and the nose pads have a rubbery (hydrophilic) material to aid in holding the glasses in place especially in wet conditions.

The lenses are made from a shatterproof polycarbonate and block 100% of the UVA, UVB and UVC rays and harmful blue light. They are injection molded to be optically correct with no distortion and are covered with a scratch-resistant coating. The brown lenses are for medium to bright light conditions and allow 14% visible light transmission making them a category 3 lens.


With CasesThe sunglasses arrived in a hard-shell box. Inside this box the sunglasses were in a soft bag. My initial impression was that the box seems like over-kill since I never end up using these to store my sunglasses due to the bulk. Since sunglasses are a year-round item for me I don't have the opportunity to store them in a drawer in the off season which is when I would use the box. However, I love the soft bag and have definitely used this type of thing for storage and cleaning of my sunglasses in the past.

I tried the sunglasses on and love the fit. The width is only slightly wider than I need as compared to most other pairs of sunglasses which are much too wide for me. I should say that it is easy to find fashion sunglasses that fit, but performance sunglasses always seem to be made for larger faces than mine. The stems are snug on my head without being too tight. The lenses wrap around slightly making them comfortable and secure on my face. The lenses are noticeably clear and fairly dark.


The Ryders Eyewear Defcon sunglasses seem to be a nicely made pair of face-fitting sunglasses for smaller faces and have a fairly dark tint.

Likes so far:
Great fit!
Very clear lens
Soft storage bag

Dislikes so far:



Sequoia NPDuring the Field Testing period I wore the sunglasses nearly daily for driving and walking. Outdoor active use consisted of 2 backpacking trips, 5 mountain bike rides, 3 fishing trips and 3 dayhikes for a total of 19 days. I stored them on my car visor during the week. While backpacking I stored them in the tent pocket at night.


Sequoia National Park, Sierra Nevada, California: 6 days, 60 miles (97 km); 38 to 84 F (3 to 29 C); 6,700 to 11,600 ft (2,000 to 3,500 m) elevation

Bucktail Path, Elk State Forest, Pennsylvania: 2 days, 15 mi (24 km); 55 to 70 F (13 to 21 C); 2,100 to 2,700 ft (640 to 820 m) elevation.

Muir Grove, Sequoia National Park, California: 5 mi (8 km); 75 to 80 F (24 to 27 C)

Mid-State Trail near Poe Paddy State Park, Pennsylvania: 6 mi (10 km); 60 to 75 F (16 to 24 C)

Tower Trail near Poe Valley State Park, Pennsylvania: 3 mi (5 km); 70 to 75 F (21 to 24 C)


The Defcon are one of the few pairs of sunglasses that I've worn that actually fit me really well. Usually sunglasses are too wide and big which cause the stems to hurt my ears and for them to slip down on my nose. The Defcon sunglasses are perfectly comfortable, never hurt my ears and never slip down despite sweat dripping down my face. The non-slip material on the stems helps to keep them in place without grabbing my hair. I often wear the glasses on top of my head and when I do my hair doesn't get pulled by them.

The lenses seem a bit dark at times. When I'm hiking through heavily forested areas I find myself sliding the glasses up on top of my head or removing them. For mountain biking this is more of an issue since I can't easily remove them and I like to have glasses on full-time for eye protection. So I end up leaving them on and occasionally have some trouble seeing the trail definition. For fishing I have found the lenses to allow me to get good definition on the water. The lenses aren't polarized but they reduce glare well and help me to see through the ripples.

Since I use the glasses every day I haven't found it to be convenient to use the hard-shell case. I do use the soft cloth bag occasionally but I usually just store them on my head or the front of my shirt until I'm home where they sit on the counter until the next day. While backpacking I do the same and then store them in the tent pocket overnight. I haven't made any serious attempt to protect the glasses but they still look great with no noticeable scratches on the lenses.


The Ryders Eyewear Defcon are a great-fitting, functional pair of sunglasses that work well for outdoor athletic use.

Stay in place
Rubbery material doesn't grab hair

Lenses are dark in low light conditions



Final ConditionI wore the Defcon sunglasses nearly every day during the Long-Term test period. I wore them on my daily lunchtime walks at work and on the drive home. I wore them for nine dayhikes, two mountain bike rides, two afternoon runs, two tennis matches, playing disc golf, a snowshoe hike and multiple sessions of cutting firewood.

Some examples include:

Fairy Falls, Spenceville Wildlife Area, Northern California: 11.8 mi (19 km); elevation 400 to 1,000 ft (122 to 305 m); 47 to 50 F (8 to 10 C). With overcast high fog conditions but bright at times, I wore the sunglasses on top of my head at times.

Western States Trail, Sierra Nevada, California: 12.8 mi (20.6 km); 715 to 1,200 ft (218 to 366 m); 44 to 53 F (7 to 12 C). The trail is on the shady side of the canyon in winter so we hiked in and out of bright sunshine all day. I mostly kept the glasses on but wore them on my head through darker spots.

Rockville Hills Regional Park, Northern California: 5.5 mi (8.9 km); 150 to 550 ft (46 to 168 m); 55 F (13 C). The trails here are mostly exposed and it was a bright sunny day so I wore the glasses the entire time.


I continue to find the Defcon to be the best-fitting glasses I've ever owned. In my experience sport sunglasses are typically designed for larger people than I so they usually hurt my ears and slide off of my nose during vigorous activity. The Defcon fit snugly without causing any irritation and never slip on my nose despite my face being soaking wet with sweat at times. Although these aren't marketed as safety glasses I like using them for wood-cutting and feel more comfortable using a chainsaw with these glasses than with any of the safety glasses that I own since they fit so well. The only time this didn't work was in lower light conditions where the Defcon lenses were just too dark for me.

The lenses have held up remarkably well. I never use a case for my sunglasses. Since I wear them so frequently, they are either hanging on my car visor or sitting on my dresser or countertop, in my tent pocket or on top of my head or helmet when not being worn. Despite my not being particularly careful with them, I can't see any noticeable scratches or damage. The screws haven't loosened and the rubbery material on both the stems and nose is still intact.


The Ryders Eyewear Defcon are a great-fitting, functional pair of sunglasses that work well for outdoor athletic use.

Great fit on smaller face!

Lenses are dark in low light conditions

This concludes my Long-Term Report and this test series. Thanks to Ryders Eyewear and for allowing me to participate in this test.

This report was created with the Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.
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Reviews > Eye Protection and Binoculars > Sun Glasses > Ryders Eyewear Defcon Sunglasses > Test Report by Nancy Griffith

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