The Ombraz Leggero sunglasses are a unique piece of eyewear. Most of the shades we test are pretty straightforward, so it’s easiest to compare them in a roundup. Since there’s so much going on with the Leggeros, they need their own writeup.
The most unique feature Ombraz brings to the eyewear party is actually the lack of a feature — temples, or side-arms, to be exact. In place of the hinged arms we’re used to seeing, Ombraz uses a woven nylon cord. In my experience temples don’t always fit comfortably with bike helmet straps, so this seemed like it could be a good solution for biking.
In theory, the design shouldn’t work. But after wearing these sunglasses for months, I can confirm that they do indeed work, and they work quite well. The nylon cord serves to keep the lenses in place and stable, even with plenty of slack. It’s easy to adjust the fit with one hand, and the lenses stay put on my face even when I’m jogging.
Under or over the chin strap? Mountain bikers will to debate the right choice for traditional glasses, but with the Leggeros, running the cord beneath the chin strap is an easy call. The line runs just over the ear and stays far from the edge of the helmet and any sort of helmet retention system that may be peeking below. The upshot is these are easily the most comfortable glasses I’ve worn with a bike helmet.
Of course that comfort does come at a slight cost to convenience. Taking the glasses off generally means undoing the helmet chin strap and sliding the Leggeros down around your neck. If you want to remove the glasses completely to stow them in a pocket or a pack, you’ll have to take the helmet off first.
By getting rid of the temples, the Leggeros solve a few other common eyewear issues. There are no hinges or screws to wear out or get lost, and the glasses are mostly flat so they’re easily packable. Ombraz say they float, and the nylon cord means they’re unlikely to fall off in the first place. I assumed that weight savings would be another advantage, and at 24g these are light, but they’re similar in weight to the traditional Roka Halsey and Bolle 527 sunglasses I tested a few years ago.
My test sample features a Tortoise frame and grey, polarized lenses. The optics are good and have stayed mostly clean and scratch-free over a couple months of heavy use. The coverage with this style is good as well and does a solid job blocking the wind without feeling overly hot and stuffy.
Ombraz notes the nylon cord is made from recycled materials, and they claim all their packaging is compostable. The company also says they plant 20 trees for each pair produced to provide a carbon-negative footprint.
Various styles, colors, and lens options are available online. The price for the Leggeros as tested is $140 USD.