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Reviews > Eye Protection and Binoculars > Sun Glasses > Zeal Optics Essential Sunglasses > Test Report by Kurt Papke
Zeal Optics Essential Sunglasses
|Height:||6' 4" (193 cm)|
|Weight:||225 lbs (102 kg)|
|Email address:||kwpapke at gmail dot com|
|City, State, Country:||Tucson, Arizona USA|
||The company is headquartered in Boulder,
Colorado. The sunglasses are labelled "Patent Pending
Mauritius", but where they are manufactured is unclear.
|Year of manufacture:||2017|
|Manufacturer website:|| https://www.zealoptics.com
Lenses: Dark Grey
Also available in White/Blue, Matte Black/Gray, Shiny Demi-Tortoise/Copper, and Brown+Olive Fade/Copper
||Z-Resin Bio-Plastic Frame
Ellume Bio-Plastic lenses
Bio-Plastic = not petroleum-based, derived from plant materials
||One size available only
Website indicates "Medium-Large"
Measured: 1.1 oz (31 g) without case
I put on the glasses and went outside on a bright sunny day
during the early afternoon and went for a stroll. The
Essential sunglasses felt very comfortable, no distortion, and a
good level of sun protection. The polarization was very
obvious looking in the East sky - it was considerably darker than
with non-polarized lenses.
Please check back in two months for my field report.
|May 25-30||Monument Valley and Canyonlands NP in SE Utah||Canyonlands
||5 mi (8 km)
|Sunny, very windy with blowing dust, temperatures 50-85 F (10-29 C)|
This was an epic 6-day tour of Monument Valley, Valley of the
Gods, Gooseneck State Park, and Canyonlands NP White Rim Trail by
Jeep. Though it's a little hard to see from a distance, the
following photo shows me (in the center) wearing the Zeal
Essential sunglasses along the White Rim with my traveling
companions. This photo was taken mid-afternoon, and the
blazing sun is evident.
I wore the sunglasses pretty much all the time during daytime
hours for six days, including the brutal drive between Tucson and
Canyonlands and the 4-day drive through the White Rim Trail.
Here I am in front of Airport Tower and my trusty Mango Tango Jeep
in Canyonlands just getting ready to pull out for the day's drive,
wearing the Zeal Essentials:
In addition to the Canyonlands trip, I've been using the Zeal
sunglasses for my everyday use in Tucson. I didn't get any
backpacking in during June, as I was traveling virtually the
entire month, to Portland Oregon and North-Eastern
Wisconsin. I took the Zeal's with me on both trips, got a
lot of use from them, and they managed to avoid any scratches to
the lenses despite the abuse they received in my luggage.
None that I have perceived to-date.
|July 29-August 6
Juan mountains between Durango and Silverton, Colorado
||45 mi (72 km) total across 7 hikes
|38-75 F (3-24 C)
Sun, rain showers, high winds
Park, Ontario, Canada
||About 80 miles (130 km) paddled, 25 double
||1380 ft (420 m)
||39-75 F (3-24 C), clouds, high winds, rain,
This was an 8-day paddle and portage up the Falls Chain to Lake Agnes and back. The sunglasses were on my face whenever it was not raining, and the polarized lenses were invaluable for being able to see structures in the water that we needed to avoid with the canoe. On the third day out I had the sunglasses in my chest pocket for a shady portage, hefted a food pack up onto my shoulders, and the strap pressed down over the glasses and broke the left temple:
The items in my Field Report summary are still holding true:
these are comfortable, robustly-designed sunglasses. I
had intended to continue to wear them until they broke, which
unfortunately has occurred, but there are very few glasses that
would have survived the weight of an entire food pack coming down
on them. I am sad that I will not be able to continue to use
the glasses, because I really liked them.
Thanks to BackpackGearTest.org and Zeal Optics for the
opportunity to contribute to this test.