Anti-Fog Sunglasses for Mountain Biking, Trail Running

Ryder Thorn sunglasses in action; Photograph courtesy Ryder
Ryder Thorn sunglasses in action; Photograph courtesy Ryder

Has anybody else found this summer to be hot and humid? Oh, right —pretty much everyone. Hottest year on record and all that. But that humidity…oof.

Not being what you’d call a morning athlete, most of my mountain bike rides this summer have started somewhere between 11 and 2. (As my wife likes to say as I’m heading out the door, “Good thing you didn’t wait until the hottest part of the day.”) Combine that with what seems to be a permanent flow of moist tropical air and these beachside hills feel more like the swampy blanket of Washington, D.C. that I thought I’d escaped. But I have a new secret weapon — Ryders antiFOG sunglasses. They don’t help with the heat, but they sure do keep the sauna at bay where other shades fail.

On one particularly manky afternoon, I took the Ryder Thorn out to climb hills, along with similarly styled pairs of Oakleys. Sorry, Oakley, but after about five minutes your lenses looked like a bathroom mirror during a hot shower on a cold winter morning. The Ryders, though, stayed clear and condensation free, thanks to their anti-fog coating on the back of the lenses, even after 20 minutes of hard uphill pedaling.

Ryder Thorn sunglasses; Photograph courtesy Ryder
Ryder Thorn sunglasses; Photograph courtesy Ryder

Ryder says the coating on the back is permanently embedded into the lens and won’t rub or wash off. Neither will the hydrophobic on the front. Two months of testing is too soon to validate that claim, but I didn’t notice any falloff in performance.

Both glasses are oriented toward high speed use in or around forested conditions (i.e., mountain biking and trail running). The photochromic Thorns thus never get too dark — their yellow lens light transmission ranges from 76 percent to 27 percent. In a place like Southern California, where clouds are turned away at the border for boorish behavior, this doesn’t seem dark enough. But in most of the country, where shadows and shade are ever present, it’s probably just right.

$140; ryderseyewear.com

See more Elements gear reviews and Gear of the Year: Spring/Summer, both by Steve Casimiro.

 

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