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Reviews > Eye Protection and Binoculars > Sun Glasses > Tifosi Swank SL Sunglasses > Test Report by Christie Kimber

TIFOSI Swank SL Sunglasses

Initial Report
Long Term Report

Initial Report

April 11, 2019

Background Information:

Name: Christie Kimber
Age: 28
Gender: Female
Height: 6’0" (183 cm)
Weight: 145 lb (65 kg)
Email address: christiekimber AT yahoo DOT com
City, State, Country: Courtenay, British Columbia (BC), Canada
Backpacking Background: I started hiking in 2015 when I moved from Saskatchewan to Vancout1ver Island, British Columbia. I started with day hikes and have eventually pushed myself to weekend and even week-long excursions. I am a three-season hiker. That being said, as I gather new gear and develop skills I am pushing my limits to try out 4-season backpacking and mountaineering. Vancouver Island gets a lot of rain and has a moderate climate. I also spend time in interior British Columbia in the Rocky Mountains.

Product Information:

Manufacturer: TIFOSI Optics Inc
Year of Manufacture: 2019
Frame Style: Swank SL
Frame Color: Gloss Black
Frame Material: Grilamid TR-90
Lens Color: Smoke
Lens Material: Polycarbonate
Size: One size
Other Available Frame Colors: Satin Black/Clear, Satin Frost, Satin Crystal Teal, Satin Vapor, Satin Electric Green, Woodgrain
Other Available Lens Colors: Brown Polarized, Smoke Yellow, Sky Blue, AC Red
Listed Weight: Not listed
Actual Weight: 23 g (0.8 oz)
Date Received: April 9, 2019
Listed Measurements:
•    Bridge width: 17.6 mm (0.7 in)
•    Lens width: 57.0 mm (2.2 in)
•    Lens height: 44.8 mm (1.8 in)
•    Temple arm length: 136.8 mm (5.4 in)
Actual Measurements:
•    As above

Initial Impressions

       I hate to sound cliche, but the first thing that came to mind when I picked up these sunglasses was, "whoa, these are super light!" The "SL" in TIFOSI Swank SL sunglasses stands for super light, so this product comes as advertised. They are the lighter edition of the original TIFOSI Swank style frames. I was sent the Gloss Black frames with the Smoke lenses. The sunglasses came in a small, sleek box. Included in the box were the sunglasses themselves, a black microfiber storage bag and care instructions. Everything came in new condition.
    Although these sunglasses are very light they do not come off as looking cheap or flimsy. I think they look quite high-end, especially given the price point. The arms open smoothly and have a satisfying end point. They tend to have a snapping sensation when both opening and closing. There is a small amount of rubber padding on the nose.
    The frames fit my face well. I have a medium sized face. The glasses are advertised to fit small, medium, and large face sizes, although they only come as one size. They feel as light on my face as they felt in my hand. They are comfortable on my nose, temples, and ears. I do not think I will have any trouble with pressure points. The rubber on the nose does add a bit more comfort. The arms of the sunglasses do have a bit of a plastic feel on the ears, but they are not uncomfortable. The lenses are on the larger side, but do not wrap around. Light does come in both on the periphery and underneath the lenses. The recommended use for these frames is for full sun conditions. The manufacturer has recommended against wearing the sunglasses at night.

    The Swank frames are what I would describe as a modern style, particularly for sport frames. They are unisex sunglasses. Detailed measurements are provided on the website and are accurate. This would be handy for any future online orders if I were unable to try them on in person. They are available to order on the website.


Product Description and Construction

    As mentioned above, the TIFOSI Swank SL frames are an update to the TIFOSI Swank frames. They feature a frameless lens as opposed to the framed lens of the original Swank style. They are described as having light durable frames and shatterproof, scratch resistant lenses. They are also touted to have a no slip fit making them compatible with active lifestyles.
    The Gloss Black frames at6ppear as described. They are made of Grilamid TR-90, which according to the manufacturer’s website is a light and durable nylon material that resists chemical and UV damage. The TIFOSI brand name is emblazoned on both arms and the upper left lens.
    The Smoke lenses provide 100% protection from UVA and UVB rays. They are marketed as scratch resistant and shatterproof. The lenses have a glare guard to reduce eye strain. The Smoke colored lens is quite dark and is ideal for full-sun conditions. It allows only 15.4% light transmission.

    The nose piece has a hydrophilic rubber. I had to double check this as I thought it should be hydrophobic in order to repel sweat, but in fact the hydrophilic rubber uses sweat to improve grip during activity.


        These sunglasses came with care instructions included in the box. The handout had instructions in several languages. The cleaning instructions direct the user to use the microfiber bag for cleaning, storage, and protection. If required, the user can rinse with mild soap and warm water. Solvents are to be avoided for cleaning. For storage TIFOSI recommends storing in the case at a temperature between 10 - 35 C (50 - 95 F). The handout recommends avoiding storage in closed spaces with air conditioning. Any damaged part of the sunglasses can be replaced by ordering original replacement parts online from the manufacturer's website. 

According to the instructions these sunglasses are also not to be used as safety glasses or for looking directly at the sun.

There is a Lifetime Warranty against manufacturer defects.


Long Term R

    The TIFOSI Swank SL sunglasses have been my go-to eye protection for the last several months. I have worn them in the cold, heat, snow, rain, and sun. I have used them primarily for hiking, but also for biking, running, kayaking, driving, and everyday wear.

Field Testing1
  • Sylvia Grinnell Territorial Park, Nunavut, Canada
    • Elevation: 41 m (135 ft)
    • Duration: day hike, 6 km (3.7 miles)
    • Temperature: 5 C (41 F)
    • Weather: clear, cold, sunny
    • Trail conditions: partially snow covered, rocky trail
  • Road to Nowhere, Nunavut, Canada
    • Elevation: 150 m (492 ft)
    • Duration: day hike, 9 km (5.6 miles)
    • Temperature: 10 C (50 F)
    • Weather: clear and sunny
    • Trail Conditions: wet, rocky trail

  • Arctic Bay, Nunavut, Canada
    • Elevation: 300 m (984 ft)
    • Duration: day hike, 5 km (3.1 miles)
    • Temperature: - 5 C (23 F)
    • Weather: clear, cold, sunny
    • Trail Conditions: partially snow covered
  • Crest Mountain, Gold River, British Columbia, Canada
    • Elevation: 1100m (3609 ft)
    • Duration: day hike, 10 km (16.1 miles)
    • Temperature: 30 C (86 F)
    • Weather: clear and sunny
    • Trail conditions: dry, forest trail and alpine hiking

  • Sunshine Coast Trail, Powell River, British Columbia, Canada
    • Elevation: 4200 m (13,779 ft) total, 1150 m (3772 ft) at peak
    • Duration: 5 days, 4 nights, 84 km (52 miles)
    • Temperature: 10 to 28 C (50 to 82 F)
    • Weather: clear, sunny, partially cloudy
    • Trail conditions: old growth forest, coastal

  • Bouldering Trail, Tahsis, British Columbia, Canada
    • Elevation: 100 m (328 ft)
    • Duration: day hike, 5 km (3.1 miles)
    • Temperature: 30 C (86 F)
    • Weather: sunny and clear
    • Trail conditions: overgrown

  • Oregon Coast 
    • Several day hikes around the Oregon coast while car camping. Mixed conditions
    Overall, I am very happy with how these sunglasses fit and performed. I really like how light weight they are. I could wear them for long days without the sunglasses feeling heavy on my nose or ears. It was also nice packing them on a long multi-day hike as I knew I was not adding any additional unnecessary grams of weight.

     The glasses fit snug, but not tight on the temples, even after a long day. I found it remarkable that the more I sweat the more it seemed to make the nose piece stick to my face. I then reminded myself of the hydrophilic rubber on the nose piece and was impressed all over again. I had absolutely no issues with the glasses slipping whether I was looking up, down, side to side, or head shaking. At times I would even say it felt like the nose piece was "stuck on" but not in a way that felt uncomfortable and it did not leave any sticky residue.
    The smoke lens color is definitely best for full sun areas. They provide great eye protection in these conditions. They also perform well on overcast days when it is still bright out. I do think they are a bit too dark for hiking in the forest. In old growth or densely treed areas I usually leave my sunglasses on as I am often popping in and out of covered versus exposed areas. However, the smoke lenses were too dark at times, so I did find myself removing them. The lenses were not polarized, so they did not provide as high of quality clarity and color as polarized sunglasses do, but for a budget friendly performance option, I thought these sunglasses worked great.

    The other issue I had was that for some reason the left eye would fog when I was sweating a lot. They cleaned easily, but the fog would reaccumulate. I tried repositioning, but for some reason it was always the left. This happened on more than one trip, but I think it could just be from my own anatomical variation, as I had a friend try them and the same did not happen. I also wore these sunglasses down to a temperature of - 5 C (23 F) while hiking. I had no problems with them in cold weather.

    The TIFOSI sunglasses were easy to clean with the microfiber bag. I also stored them in the bag. I am very rough on sunglasses, so I also stored them in a hard cover case (not included) in my pack. I am happy to report there are no scratches or breaks despite being packed with keys at one point. I also dropped them several times from waist height (not on purpose) and they do not look any worse for wear. There are no loose screws and the arms are still folding smoothly.

Lastly, these sunglasses look great. I got several compliments on them, which is always above and beyond for me when it comes to performance wear.


The TIFOSI Swank SL sunglasses are super light, comfortable, and provide adequate sun protection with a modern style.

This concludes my Long Term Report. Thank you TIFOSI Optics Inc. and for the opportunity to test this product.

Read more reviews of Tifosi gear
Read more gear reviews by Christie Kimber

Reviews > Eye Protection and Binoculars > Sun Glasses > Tifosi Swank SL Sunglasses > Test Report by Christie Kimber

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