All-Terrain Vision?

Q: Can you recommend a pair of sunglasses (or perhaps a color of lenses) that won’t break the bank and will keep the sun out of my eyes on the road to the trailhead, as well as help me see rocks and stumps in the quick-light-changing forest?
Jordan, who wants to see clearly

A: The type of lens technology you’re looking for is called photochromic. Photochromic lenses automatically adjust to changing light conditions, whether you are riding in bright sunlight or in the shade. Additionally, photochromic lenses are high contrast, which means that all of the little rocks and roots along the trails will be even more visible. Of course, these lenses (and the frames they come in) aren’t cheap. If you are going to shell out some money for the best optics available, check out Oakley’s photochromic lenses, which are available for all of their cycling models. Our favorite is the Radar, and the lens alone will set you back $165.

For a more affordable option, check out Tifosi. We’ve had great results with their glasses, and they won’t break the bank. Their Podium S glasses are available with their Fototec lenses starting at $80.

Of course, if that is still out of your price range, try buying two pairs of even less-expensive glasses?one with a clear lens, one with a standard gray lens. Carry the one you aren’t using in your hydration pack, and swap when you go from the road to the trail.

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