Tested Gear Guide: Julbo Wave
Reviewer :The Expeditioners Roberto
Gear: Julbo Wave Sunglasses
It's not often that a pair of shades lasts more than 3 months with us. And it's not because we're careless. It's because sunglasses are one of those items that you can practically use every single day (depending on where you live.) But this frequent use, like anything else, is what usually causes there to be a high probability that you will lose them, scratch them, or break them.
If you're an outdoor adventurer, then that probability is even higher. Which is why Bella and I literally go through about 7 lost/broken/sunken pairs of sunnies per year. In the past year, we drove over a pair that had fallen in the snow, lost 4 to kiteboarding, one got scratched so badly that their un-usable (while crawling through a section of caves 1km into the earth that were 3 feet tall and 70 feet long,) and another also got bent out of whack somehow.
So it's with great surprise that I still have my Julbo Wave sunglasses after 5 months. And there's a key factor why... they float.
When we're kiting, the crashes can be pretty superb-- and for a few moments you don't know what is up, left or right. Most sunglasses don't float-- so if they came off your face, then Poseidon's got a new look. Thanks to me, he has a new collection now.
With the Wave shades-- they float perfectly. My solution to keep them from ripping off my face (when possible) was to put one of those touristy floaty bands. Both for keeping them on my face and for greater visibility after a crash. And trust me-- these Julbos are so comfortable that you don't want to lose them!
With many of the glasses I lost, the band just ripped off the end of the arms. In the case of Julbo's Waves, I can tie the band to the arm tips, which kept it from tearing off like the others. The strap they supply is great for kayaking and calmer water sports, but tended to snap off with my kiting wipe-outs. Luckily, the wave's arms have holes through which you can tie the strap nice and tight.
Even if your strap does come off, with the Waves, after the confusion of a crash settles, you can easily spot them floating. Now it isn't just the floating factor that made these one of my faves, it's the incredible polarized lenses coupled with fantastic full eye-protection. When you do lots of water and snow sports, the sun is reflecting on the water or snow from beneath you- usually squeezing under your glasses and hurting your eyes. But with these, they cup your eyes just perfectly-- so that no sun squeezes through, and so that I don't get water into my eyes that's kicking up from my board.
Another neat factor I like is the drainage/venting holes, so that when you do take a dunking and come out--the water just drains out nicely. They give great air circulation while still protecting you. Must have been a water athlete that designed these! Here's a few pics of mine in use!
But what if you're biking or doing a sport where you have way too much humidity and you nee extreme air circulation? Then you just snap off a section and suddenly they've got all the ventilation you could ask for. Transformer cool.