Review: Kaenon Black Label Collection: Trade Sunglasses

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Kaenon’s Trade sunglasses feature excellent coverage and superior optics in a murdered out, black matte finish as part of the company’s new Black Label Collection.  I’ve been testing the Trades on the trail and around town and here’s what I’ve found.

At first glance, the Kaenon Trades are larger and darker than most sunglasses you’ll find, and there’s a reason beyond just looking cool. The large lenses are designed to offer maximum coverage and it’s definitely noticeable: there’s very little sun leakage around the edges and even peripheral vision is shielded, providing almost goggle-like coverage. The glasses also feature Kaenon’s darkest polarized lenses with black mirror finish, which blocked even the brightest, high-alpine rays during a recent trip to Park City. Jim mentioned these shades look like Batman’s sunglasses, which is a pretty good description.

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Kaenon’s online ads claim “the best lenses in the world,” and I have to admit, they’re certainly the best I’ve tested in recent memory. The clarity is exceptional and the polarization is evident when staring into the back windows of cars in traffic or a smartphone screen. Despite not being very careful with how I handle the Trades, they always wipe clean and haven’t suffered a single scratch over many weeks of testing.

The Kaenon Trade frames are made from TR-90 thermoplastic which means they’re lightweight (42 grams) in spite of the beefy look–and they’re flexible. I like the material but honestly it feels a bit cheap for a $200+ pair of sunglasses.

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The hinge action on the Trades is noticeably solid and the sunglasses open with a satisfying “thunk.” It turns out the hinge is cam driven, which is probably a bit of over-engineering for a pair of shades–but I love it anyway. Part of the upshot is these suckers fit me tight behind the ears, making them nearly impossible to shake off my face, even on washboard terrain. That tight fit did make them slightly uncomfortable after a couple hours of continuous wear, though those with slightly narrower heads may not experience this.

The Kaenon Trade sunglasses will keep your eyes protected from both harsh rays and foreign object debris on the trail in true superhero style. Pick them up for $209 MSRP.

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