Julbo Dirt Sunglasses

Ever since Interbike in September I’ve been rocking a slightly different look on thoese days when my head isn’t squished inside a full-face helmet. The Julbo Dirt sunglasses are designed with the mountain biker in mind so they look good AND feel good on the bike.

Julbo has been around since 1888 with a rich history in alpine / high altitude optics. These shades are made in France where you can pretty much guarantee the designers have a thing or two to say about optics.

That being said, the lenses are the most important part of the Dirt sunglasses and you can choose between three types of lenses. I went with the photochromatic Zebra lenses for all-out mountain biking performance. The Zebra has a fast acting tint change, taking only about half a minute to go from full dark to full light. Even at this time of year when the sun sets early I found I can wear my Dirts at dusk and still see well enough.

When the Julbo Dirt sunglasses aren’t shielding my eyes from the sun, I keep them on for protection from flying trail crud. The lenses produce a nice warming effect in most light conditions and help define the terrain with enhanced contrast which makes everything sorta “pop.” Greener greens come through and shades of brown are more clearly separated. All this allows you to catch details that you might otherwise miss, especially at high speeds.

The lenses are coated with an anti-misting coating, which promises to prevent fogging on the inside (see illustration above showing the range of Zebra lens light transmission rates). After riding with these for several weeks now, I did get a bit of fogging right near my nose after riding hard uphill. I guess the extra heat from climbing and the slow speeds was just too much for the coatings but otherwise they work great.

Wrapping around these amazing lenses is the burly Dirt frame. You’ll notice the frame is a bit bigger than many fragile-looking sport glasses, but that’s OK with me – these glasses are built to take some abuse. The frames hide the integrated nose grip (which really works well) and siped sides. These features work together to keep the glasses in place, even on rough trails. The wraparound frame and tight face fit also helps FOD (foreign object debris) from possibly ruining your ride.

I opted to go for all black frames, something I can use all year round both on and off the bike. I love the Julbo Dirt sunglasses because they’re fairly understated and they get the job done. The Zebra lenses work well in many light conditions and work extremely well in overcast weather (something we get a good bit of on the east coast). These are my go-to glasses right now and heck, even the wife is fighting to use these.

Check out the Julbo Dirts ($120-$160 MSRP) and other slick mountain biking shades at JulboUSA.com. I would like to thank the folks at Julbo for sending up these glasses for a product review.