Review: Julbo Trek Sunglasses

Funny-looking shades are a serious help on the mountain

In a color scheme only a mother could love come the Julbo Trek sunglasses. Actually, after an initial WTF reaction to blue and orange, they kind of grew on us. They're also available in some slightly milder color combos (black/orange, black/green and even black/black). Either way, Julbo makes good glasses, so we were more interested in performance.

The Trek comes with your choice of Spectron 4, Zebra or Camel lenses. The Spectrons are the budget lens, and if you're investing in a quality brand like Julbo you'll want to step up to the Zebra or Camel. Both are photochromic (the tint changes in reaction to light) and anti-fog; the difference is in light transmission. The Zebra gets much lighter, 7 to 42 percent light transmission, while the Camel goes 5 to 20 percent. Both are recommended by Julbo for mountain, water and bright light conditions. Both are not recommended by Julbo for driving.

Our model had the Zebra lenses (MSRP $180), and we found them suitable for driving as long as you're not rapidly transitioning between deep shadows and bright sun. The photochromic response is 28 seconds end-to-end, which is just fine for most uses. The Trek's true home is in the vertical environment, where they perform like champs. The acuity of the lenses is great, and the light weight and ergonomics rock. Need ventilation for high-output? Remove the side shields and brow piece. Transitioning to glacier travel? Put the shields back on; it only takes a second.

The Trek is definitely a small/medium face frame. The nose pads flex a bit and the temples adjust by bending, so you can tailor the fit from there. Included is a clip-on leash and hard and soft cases. If you're looking for all-mountain sunglasses that will take you just about anywhere, the Trek is a great choice with lenses to match your epic.

Hits: Lightweight, solid ergonomics, decent ventilation and photochromic lenses make these perfect for the mountain.
Misses: Users beware: Garish color schemes could make you the butt of many base camp jokes.
Buy It ($144 at Moosejaw)

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