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Mountain Optics

Time tested sunglasses we can't live without.


by Sarah Peruzzi

1)  POC Crave

Poc’s Crave sunglasses, made with a nearly indestructible grilamid frame (it’s the same stuff high end backcountry boots are molded from), fit flawlessly with the brand’s Tectal Race mountain bike helmets, while the ample, yet aerodynamic lens protects from wind, rain, and wayward branches. We were impressed with the optics of the Carl Zeiss Vision lens. And our test monkey credits the Crave for saving his eyes during a recent mud bog endo. Though his face looked like hamburger, the grilamid temple snapped right back on the lens.

POC Crave


2) Aspire Incognito

Aspire’s collection of frames employ a proprietary blend of nylon so light you’ll forget you’re wearing sunglasses. Truly. They’re bizarrely lightweight. Better still, unlike traditional frames made from plastic and metal, the Incognito bends and twists to extremes without breaking.  We were skeptical of their claims, but you can wear them all day long with zero discomfort: forget nose pad indentions, temple pressure, or slippage.

Aspire Incognito


3) Spy Rover Happy Glass

Spy Optic’s newest Happy Glass lenses—they were only available in polycarbonate before—let the sun’s beneficial long-wave blue light in to keep you alert and cheerful, but blocks the nasty short-wave blue light and UV that fry your eyes. The Rover covers enough of the face to give adequate peripheral protection, and keeps light from spilling over the top. Plus, thanks to Trident polarization you can scout salmon all day without the blinding glare.

Spy Rover Happy Glass


4) Smith Langley

Back in the day, we all wore Ray Ban aviators whether we worked as lifties or fry cooks. Smith brings back the Top Gun vibe, but this time for women, with the Langley, which features a stainless steel frame, specially designed nose pads to keep your hair from getting tangled, and a common sense size so you don’t look like the cop in Terminator or a sorority girl.

Smith Langley


5) Zeal Memphis

The folks at Zeal claim that their Memphis sunglass is “born in Boulder and crafted in Italy.” Where else would an eyeglass company design a biodegradable frame made from a cotton-based M49 material? But the polarized and RX ready Memphis also shows its Italian side in a seamless marriage of style and function. It’s the top choice for those who care about the preservation of their eyes… and the planet.

Zeal Memphis


From our Early Summer 2016 issue.

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