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Reviews > Eye Protection and Binoculars > Sun Glasses > Tifosi Swank SL Sunglasses > Test Report by Gail Staisil

Tifosi Swank SL Sunglasses  
Test Series by: Gail Staisil, Marquette, Michigan

Author on her favorite lake - Lake Superior
Initial Report - April 03, 2019 
Long Term Report - June 25, 2019

Initial Report:

April 03, 2019

Tester Information

Name: Gail Staisil
Age: 66
Gender: Female
Height: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
Weight: 160 lb (73 kg)
Location: Marquette, Michigan USA
Email: woodswoman 2001 AT yahoo DOT com

For the last 20 years, backpacking has become a passion. I am a four-season backpacker and an off-trail navigator. Although I do take yearly trips to the American West or Southwest, the majority of my trips are in Michigan. My pack weight varies considerably but my base weight is below 18 lb (8 kg). I am primarily a Tarptent camper who averages more than 50 nights a year backpacking in a huge variety of weather conditions including relentless rain, wet snow and sub-zero temps.
Product Information

Tifosi Optics, Inc
Model Swank SL
Satin Vapor (Gray)
Fits S-L
Lenses - AC Red, Polycarbonate
Frame - Grilamid TR-90 Nylon 
Tested Weight  0.8 oz (23 g)
Manufacturer's Weight
 Cost $25. US 

Initial Impressions and Product Description 

The Tifosi Swank SL Sunglasses arrived in the frame color of Satin Vapor which is Gray. The AC Red lenses could be described as semi-transparent and they allow 41.4 percent light transmission during full sun. This style of sunglasses is available in 6 different colors of frame and lens combinations.

The Tifosi sunglasses came with Tifosi Swank SLa soft microfiber storage bag which can also be used to clean the glasses. The microfiber can be used directly on the lenses or the glasses can be rinsed with mild soap and warm water before using the microfiber bag. There is a Lifetime Warranty against manufacturer defects (not applicable in all countries) and a brochure in 19 languages. Basically the brochure goes over use and care instructions.
The lenses are rated Category 3 by the manufacturer on a scale of 0 to 4 for sun glEye protection chartare (0 being the lightest tint, 4 being the darkest). I am actually surprised that number 3 offers high protection against sun glare as I found them hard to wear on a sunny day. Given there is still snow cover so that adds to the equation for brightness.

As referenced, I have already worn the sunglasses some each day since their arrival. I already know that I can't wear them on sunny days as my light-blue eyes are too sensitive to light. That may change a bit without snow cover but water reflection is also a big part of my environment living so close to Lake Superior. That's ok though as there are plenty of overcast days here year-round. When the trees leaf-out in late May/early June they likely will work for me in the forest. I always wear sunglasses when I am outside no matter the sky conditions. More on that will be stated in my field report.

The glasses are designed with rimless lenses. They seem to fit fine. I do have a narrow face but these glasses are listed as fitting small through large faces. I suppose they look a little oversized but not too much. The style of the frame and lenses are plain so it would likely appeal to a wide range of users.

The sunglasses feature lenses made with polycarbonate. The manufacturer claims they are shatterproof and scratch-resistant while also 100 percent UVA/UVB protective. The nosepiece is made with hydrophilic rubber so reportedly it increases grip as I sweat.

There are several warnings on the brochure for all Tifosi sunglasses. They are not to be used for direct observation of the sun or with strong artificial light sources, nor to be used as safety glasses, further they are not recommended to be used while driving in reduced visibility or at night. In addition the lenses should be kept in their case (bag in this instance) to a temperature between 35 to 10 C (95 to 50 F).  

Frame and Lens Measurements:

Height of Lens: 1.76 in (44.8 mm)
Width of Lens: 2.24 in (57 mm)
Width between Lens: 0.69 in (17.6 mm)
Length of Ear Stem: 5.39 in (136.8 mm)
  Manufacturer Chart


The Tifosi Swank SL Sunglasses seem comfortable. It will be interesting to see how often I can wear them in different light conditions. 


Tifosi Frame Dimensions Photo: Courtesy of Manufacturer

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Long Term Report:
June 25, 2019

USA Locations and Conditions


During long term testing I have worn the Tifosi sunglasses during many outings including cross-country skiing, mountain biking, day-hiking and backpacking. The settings include boreal forest and lakeshore. Elevation ranged from above 600 ft (180 m) to almost 2000 ft (610 m). 
Location of Trip #1: Hiawatha National Forest, Michigan
Length of Rustic Cabin Trip (hike-in): 3 days, 2 nights (April 19-21) 
Distance: 5 to 6 mi (8 to 10 km) day-hiking
Pack Weight: 23 lb (10.4 kg) 
Sky and Air Conditions: Partly sunny and partly cloudy 
Precipitation: Light rain
Temperature Range: 54 to 29 F (12 to -2 C)

Location of Trip #2: Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, MichiganIsle Royale
Length of Backpacking Trip: 2 days, 1 night (May 11-12) 
Distance: 10 mi (16 km)
Pack Weight: 20 lb (9 kg)
Sky and Air Conditions: Partly sunny and partly cloudy
Precipitation: None
Temperature Range: 56 to 27 F (13 to -3 C)

Location of Trip #3: Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan
Length of Backpacking Trip: 3 days, 2 nights (May 16-18)
Distance: 20 mi (32 km)   
Pack Weight: 21 lb (9.5 kg)
Sky and Air Conditions: Cloudy
Precipitation: Some rain 
Temperature Range: 61 to 33 F (16 C to 1 C) 

Location of Trip #4: Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan
Length of Backpacking Trip: 3 days, 2 nights (May 23-25)
Distance: 15 mi (24 km)  
Pack Weight: 21 lb (9.5 kg)
Sky and Air Conditions: Partly sunny, partly cloudy
Precipitation: Light rain  
Temperature Range: 60 to 45 F (16 to 7 C)

Location of Trip #5: Isle Royale National Park, Lake Superior, Michigan
Length of Backpacking Trip: 12 days, 11 nights (June 11-22)
Distance: 66 mi (106 km)
Pack Weight: 28 lb (12.7 kg); One re-supply so pack weight varied
Sky and Air Conditions: Partly sunny, partly cloudy
Precipitation: Rain; Four episodes but not severe
Temperature Range: 63 F to 34 F (17 C to 1 C)

Trip Talk
   Skiing on a cloudy day
During the test period I have worn the Tifosi sunglasses regularly. It was still ski season when I received them and it continued for another month. With snow reflection everywhere, I tried wearing them on a sunny day but my sensitive eyes rebelled because there was too much light transmission. From then on I carried the Tifosi glasses and another pair of darker sunglasses on every ski outing so that I could use whichever was appropriate for conditions. Cloudy days usually prevail here but sometimes the sun comes out for part of the day. Since I can't predict when that is going to happen (the weather service can't seem to either), having both pairs with me worked well.

I continued to have both available into the spring season because it takes forever for the trees to fully leaf-out and provide some shade. By the middle of June the forest had leaf cover over the trails. My cabin trip and three backpacking trips this spring were with little-to-no leaf cover but it was mostly cloudy so I wore the Tifosi Sunglasses each trip.

My final trip during the test period was a backpacking trip of eleven days to Isle Royale National Park. The forest is boreal so thick tall evergreens abound. However there are frequent exposed ridges and open lakeshore. Being concerned about pack weight/bulk, I knew I would still have to take both my darker lenses and the Tifosi Sunglasses as the conditions would vary. When we were on our way to the island (six-hour ferry ride), my partner for the trip commented that he forgot his sunglasses. I immediately told him that I had two pair. I offered for him to wear the Tifosi lenses when it was sunny out as I had to wear my darker lenses. Then he would have to give them back to me when it was cloudy or raining. This worked out perfect for both of us and the Tifosi pair was worn the whole trip either by him or me (better than stashing them when I didn't wear them). He liked them so well that he wants a pair!

The sunglasses have held up well. They are not scratched or broken. I do seem to always have the lenses spotted or smeared but it is cosmetic and doesn't interfere with my vision. I must inadvertently touch them when placing them on my face and removing them. The shiny reflective coating shows my errors. I seem to clean them more than other glasses for that reason.

Overall the qualities of the sunglasses including comfort, clarity, lightweight and the guarantee is remarkable for an inexpensive ($25 US) pair of sunglasses. They also never slipped when I changed positions (bending down, etc). They offer excellent coverage for the eyes (width and height) and the AC Red lenses are best used in low light conditions (this may vary with the person). There are many other lenses available with this frame model.

  • Lightweight
  • Everyday style
  • Inexpensive


  • Lenses are more transparent than I prefer   

Tester Remarks 

Thanks to Tifosi and for this opportunity to test the Tifosi Swank SL Sunglasses. This concludes my final report and the test series.

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Reviews > Eye Protection and Binoculars > Sun Glasses > Tifosi Swank SL Sunglasses > Test Report by Gail Staisil

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