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Reviews > Eye Protection and Binoculars > Sun Glasses > Tifosi Optics SLICE Sunglasses > Test Report by Kurt Papke

Tifosi Slice Sunglasses

Test Series by Kurt Papke

Initial Report - December 9, 2019

Field Report - February 25, 2020

Long Term Report - April 21, 2020

Tester Information

Name: Kurt Papke
Age: 66
Gender: Male
Height: 6' 4" (193 cm)
Weight: 230 lbs (105 kg)
Email address: kwpapke (at) gmail (dot) com
City, State, Country: Tucson, Arizona USA

I do most of my hiking in the desert Southwest, but occasionally get up into the Pacific Northwest and my old stomping grounds in Northern Minnesota.  I am a comfort-weight guy when it comes to most gear, trying to stay as light as possible but I don't go to extremes.  I wear sunglasses pretty much every day to protect my eyes, especially when hiking.

Initial Report

Product Description

The test product is a pair of lightweight frameless (the frames don't wrap around the lenses) sunglasses with rubberized non-slip nosepad and interchangeable polycarbonate lenses.  It comes with three colors of interchangeable lenses and is available in five frame colors, each with a different primary lens color.  To be more precise, all five frame colors come with one lens intended to be used in most situations.  Three of the five come with two additional lenses: AC Red, and Clear.

The frames and lenses have a wrap-around shape, as if they were designed to keep wind out of the wearers eyes.

Product Facts

Product Information
Manufacturer
Tifosi Optics
Manufacturer website
https://www.tifosioptics.com/
Products tested
Slice
Color tested
Crystal Smoke with Clarion Blue lens
Also available in: Black/white with smoke lenses, Matte white with smoke lenses, Black/white with light night Fototec lenses, and Crystal Black with Enliven Bike lenses
Polarized Lens?
No
Country of manufacture
Taiwan
MSRP
USD $79.95
Warranty
30 day return policy
Materials
Grilamid TR-90 Frame
Polycarbonate lenses
Nosepiece has hydrophilic rubber pad
UVA/UVB protection
100%
Measured weight
28 g (1.0 oz)

Initial Inspection

ts01

Package contents (see photo above): sunglass frames with Clarion Blue lenses and nosepiece attached.  Hard sunglass case with two additional lenses.  Soft carrying bag that doubles as a lens cleaner with padded holder for additional lenses.

I have a big head (I wear a size 7 7/8 hat) and new sunglasses often fit me too tightly.  The Tifosi Slice are snug, but do not seem excessively tight.  I won't know for sure until I wear them all day hiking.  The rubber pads on the nose bridge are comfy (see photo above).

The frames are a dayglo yellow color with flexible tips.  They seem fairly sturdy; I flexed them at the hinge and they don't feel susceptible to breakage.

The lenses are not particularly dark, which for me living in Arizona where we have brilliant sunshine may be a liability.  When held up to the light from a distance and rotated I don't pick up any distortion, so the optical quality looks good.

Trying them out

I put them on and walked outside on a sunny day.  They are quite comfortable with no undue pressure on my temples.  The frames are quite straight and do not curve down behind my ears, so they may be susceptible to falling off when I lean forward.

Summary

I am looking forward to getting these sunglasses out hiking in the Arizona sunshine and seeing (literally) how they do!

Good Things:

  • Attractive.
  • Comfortable fit.
  • Lightweight.
  • Interchangeable lenses provide options for different lighting situations.

Concerns:

  • May be susceptible to falling off due to lack of curvature behind my ears.
  • May not be tinted sufficiently during peak of Arizona sunshine days.

Field Report

Date
Location
Trail
Distance Hiked
Altitude
Weather
December 6-8, 2019 Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona Hermit
18 miles
(29 km)
6630-2400 ft
(2020-730 m)
Partly cloudy, one night of rain, 38-65F
(3-18 C)
January 13-15, 2020
Gila Canyons west of Kearny, Arizona
Arizona National Scenic Trail
27 miles
(43 km)
1600-2100 ft
(490-640 m)
Sunny, variable winds,
40-70 F (4-21 C)
February 8-9, 2020 Gila Canyons west of Kearny, Arizona AZT to trestle bridge
8 miles (13 km) 1800-2100 ft
(550-640 m)
Sunny, light to variable winds, 35-72 F (2-22F)

Ts02

Local Day Hikes

My wife and I do local day hikes several times per week in one of the mountain ranges surrounding Tucson.  The image in the above collage at lower left is from a hike in Catalina State Park in Oro Valley, Arizona.

Hiking in the early morning means the sun is at a low angle, so even my wide-brimmed hat does not keep the sun out of my eyes.  The Tifosi Slice sunglasses had plenty of protection to prevent eye strain and keep my cataracts from getting worse!

Cycling

The Tifosi Slice sunglasses are ideal for cycling: their wrap-around frameless design keeps the sun and wind out of my eyeballs.  I did several morning cycling jaunts each a couple of hours long with the glasses (see above photo collage at lower right).  I like the way they stay on my face, no slippage down my nose.  I tend to look off-axis a fair amount when I am cycling: up to see where I am going, and off to the left to check for traffic.  Off-axis viewing would be likely to expose optical flaws in the lenses, but I didn't pick up on anything.

Hermit

This was a 3-day backpack that I led down to Hermit Rapids and back with several members of the Tucson Backpacking Meetup group.  The sun came out sporadically, but I still wore the sunglasses much of the time to protect my eyes.  In the above collage, the photo at upper left shows me in front of the rapids wearing the sunglasses.  When I get into camp and exchange my wide-brimmed hiking hat for a warm beanie, eye protection becomes a lot more important.  The lenses are not so dark that they caused any issues when the sun went behind the clouds.  Conversely, for the first hour or so of our descent there was a fair amount of snow on the ground, and the sunglasses had enough density that the glare off the snow was not an issue.

No issues with the sunglasses on this trip whatsoever - they performed flawlessly.

Gila Canyons

This section of the Arizona National Scenic Trail is becoming an annual winter tradition for me.  What's not to like: warm temperatures due to low elevation, ample water from the Gila River, and beautiful scenery.  This trip was a scouting expedition to explore campsites for a future Meetup group hike; I found a great spot.

It was quite sunny all three days, so I wore the sunglasses pretty much 100% of the time while hiking.  See photo from the above collage at upper right.  I did notice that with the relatively short frame length, they had a tendency to fall off my hat if I propped them up there.  Apparently the glasses are designed to be worn, not stored in a hat!

AZT to Trestle Bridge

Same trail as my prior outing, just a lot shorter.  My prior trip was a scouting mission for a trip I planned to lead with the Tucson Backpacking Meetup group, and this trip was that Meetup organized hike.  I billed it as "beginner-friendly", which indeed it was: short hike with gradual elevation change and a scenic campsite with water and fire ring.

We had brilliant sunshine on day 1, and we had the sun at our backs.  Day 2 had high clouds, but we were hiking into the sun.  The sunglasses performed well in both situations with no issues.  We weren't hiking long enough for any comfort issues to pop up, but I will say that they felt good enough that I generally forgot I had them on.

Summary

So far I have not used the alternate lenses.  On backpacking trips, I generally don't bring the lens storage case where the lenses are stored, so I would have to decide which ones to use before the trip.   Overall, I have been quite pleased with the Tifosi Slice sunglasses, having experienced no major issues.

Good things:

  • Complete eye coverage - the way the glasses wrap around my face there is little chance of any direct sunlight or wind leaking in anywhere around the edges.
  • Good optical quality - I never felt like my vision was distorted when wearing the sunglasses.
  • Great all-day comfort - I never had any sore spots on my temples or nose, even though I often wore them all day long.

Things that could be better:

  • With the wrap-around design and short temple frames they are a bit bulky to store, e.g. in a shirt pocket, and they don't like to stay on my hat when I perch them up on the brim.

Long Term Report

These are not normal times.  The bad news is I didn't get in any overnight backpacking trips during this period.  The good news is I got in a day hike almost every other day, along with frequent bike rides, during all of which I was able to use the Tifosi Slice sunglasses.  I didn't keep records of my day hikes, but I'd estimate I got in roughly 50 hours of use:

ts03

The above photo was taken along the Pontatoc Ridge trail in the Santa Catalina Mountains just north of Tucson, Arizona.

ts04

The above photo was taken at Catalina State Park, Northwest of Tucson, Arizona.  From this photo it is apparent that the sun is getting stronger here in Arizona in April as it gets higher in the sky (less shadow), a good test of how well sunglasses protect the eyes, and the Tifosi did just fine.

In some ways, the large amount of day hiking was a tougher test for the sunglasses than backpacking.  They had to endure many more trips in the car in various pockets, being put on and taken off countless times, etc.  I can happily report that the Slice sunglasses emerged unscathed, not even a minor scratch on the lenses.

The only thing I can add to my Field Report summary is that they have proved to be very mechanically robust, surviving my every unintended effort to break them.  As mentioned previously, they are a bit bulky in a pocket, so I woudn't have been shocked if they had sustained some mechanical damage, but I have none to report.

One feature I did not get a chance to exercise is the interchangeable lenses.  This is not unusual for me, I have tested sunglasses with alternate lenses before and simply find it is not worth the hassle to me to wrestle with an exchange, and the attendant possibility of breaking them.

I can heartily give these sunglasses my "thumbs up"!


Many thanks to Tifosi Optics and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this product.


Read more reviews of Tifosi gear
Read more gear reviews by Kurt Papke

Reviews > Eye Protection and Binoculars > Sun Glasses > Tifosi Optics SLICE Sunglasses > Test Report by Kurt Papke



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