What makes a pair of sunglasses unique? High quality lenses? Sure. Nifty styling? Why not. But, beyond that, the basic qualities of the sunglass – two lenses and a frame — are pretty well established.
The Bivouak glasses from Julbo USA come with something that no other pair of sunglasses on the market currently offers: removable side protection. That’s right, thanks to their magnetic side shields the Bivouak can be converted from everyday to heavy duty use in a snap – going from the car to the trail, from the lodge to the hill, from the valleys to the peaks, in about as long as it takes to clean the grime off of your lenses.
Why would anyone want to do that?
The increased protection against light reflection that the side panels offer allows the Bivouak to fill in as bonafide backcountry glasses, making them mountain glasses that don’t look like them. The side shields are made from heavy duty plastic so they’re easy to handle and very durable. You won’t be snapping these things in half when they’re in your pocket, for one, and they won’t fall off on their own when in use. According to Julbo, the Bivouak glasses are all about “solar protection for any condition.”
Beyond the panels, the glasses feature wide, 66mm lenses, front venting and grippy material at the stem ends and nose piece to keep them in place during activity. As for weight, Julbo claims that they weigh 32 grams, which I have no way of verifying. They seem pretty light to me, and that’s really all that matters.
The Bivouak glasses are available in three color combinations — matte black frames with shaded antireflective gray lenses (for multisport), matte black frames with medium yellow antifog lenses (for backcountry), and matte black with dark tan antifog lenses (for high light backcountry use, like in snow). They range in price from $120 up to $190 depending on the lens selection.