Sunwise Chromafusion Sunglasses
Hands up, who's been on their holidays and seen a replica pair of premium sunglasses for a tenth of what they are worth in the shops and after haggling with the Del Boy of the Costa Del Sol, strolled off into the sunset feeling like Daniel Craig from Casino Royale?! But reality hits when the UV protection from the 'high tech' shades doesn't really work at all and the frame snaps when a leaf lands on them whilst they're resting on the sunbed! In the past, we have been reluctant to purchase premium shades purely because of value for money. We recently reviewed Maui Jim shades and they were Oakley territory but they accompanied us to our recent outing in NYC so although they wasn't typical riding eyewear, the polarized shades were a massive step up from our bargain bucket regular glasses. So when we were offered another sunglasses review, we didn't hesitate to see what else was out there in the eyewear world!
Sunwise Chromafusion sunglasses contain the an unique lens technology which specialises in anti-fog protection. Now this is a little bug bear of ours especially when pulling up to traffic lights and then all of the sudden, it feels like you're Di Caprio in the back of that car in that Titanic scene (the one where it gets steamy?! I was trying to be clever!). Steamed up glasses is more of a hazard than a nuisance especially when you push off and there's still traffic moving from all different directions, mini roundabouts are the worst!
The glasses also come with a photochromic feature where the lens change in accordance to the light conditions which would definitely benefit dusk and dawn rides. First feel of the glasses was one with gentle fingers as these are very light. We did feel the frame was not as strong as the Maui Jims and did wonder where the near £100 price came from. The look definitely grasps the cycling stereotype, the legs whip around your head and as you can see from the photos, they have been finished off with a small grippy area so that they are not loose when riding. Overall, first glance they wouldn't look out of place on the everyday roadie.
One thing that Maui Jim did have over these at this stage was the out of hours riding protection. There was no presentation box and I know that's not what you're necessarily paying for but looking after them when not riding definitely prolongs their lifespan and does give the glasses that premium feel that these shades are special. Hopefully Sunwise can get on the case and knock up a box just so they are looked after well.
The first ride out on these were impressive we have to say. The lens were as clear as the Maui Jims and at times I forgot I was wearing them thanks to the lightness. Unless there was direct glare from the sun, the photochromic lens coped well adjusting to the sunlight. These first few rides were when the sun started to wake up from its winter sleep but the freshness in the mornings would usually steam up my regular shades which have now run their course as the rubber bridge which normally sits on the nose is down a pothole somewhere so they are not the most comfy to wear on a ride.
The legs on the Sunwise glasses have a lot of flex in them. You are worried you might snap them but the flimsiness is a red herring as there's no tightness to report. We used to push the legs inside the straps of the helmet which resulted in discomfort later in the ride so we wear ours outside the straps these days.
Looks wise as you can see from the photos from the Calvin Klein model shoot (they are a fan of the site!), they work well with a black kit. The shine and reflection off the lens we feel gives it a premium look. When ever you see those RAF pilots with the stealth visors and you can see the sky reflecting back in them, how cool is that?1 Replicate that on the road, you're going to turn a few heads. We've got a cap thing going at the mo and in our opinion, the Sunwise shades compliment our attire choice at the moment.
We come back to value of price. In our previous eyewear review, the cost of the Maui Jims were on a steep side but the argument that these shades would suit most social situations as well as riding ones justified the price somewhat. First impressions of the Sunwise was that the pure lightness of these shades did make us suspicious as to where your investment was being returned. But look a little deeper and you'll start to claw the fight back for these. The lens are quality, very clear although we have not used them on a full night time ride and we would rather wear a fully clear lens anyway. The overall look definitely has that classy feel to it, the reflective shades are a little soft spot for us. We just feel a black lens is not as exciting but we do realise there is a time and purpose for black lens. Only gripe from us and it's just an after thought would be a protection box or somewhere to store them, they've been sitting in our helmet when not in use and the moving about and dust accumulation must not be doing the lens any good. So you just need to ask yourself, what sort of rider are you? Are you Maverick out of Top Gun hunting down your next breakaway or are you happy being Leo in that steamy car on board the Titanic?! Spoiler alert....it doesn't end well for Leo even though there was clearly space on that piece of driftwood! Over and out!