Julbo Nomad Sunglasses

My Review: 5

Julbo is a manufacturer of high quality optics for the outdoors (sunglasses, goggles, etc.) They are based in France, and they have two websites; one for international users, and the second tailored specifically for the United States. I have owned two pairs of Julbo’s Nomad sunglasses, but I suspect I will not own a third.

I like Julbo glasses in general.  They are a well known brand, considered to be high quality,  and 100% UV protective.  You can get multiple lenses for their glasses, and they have optics which focus on a variety of outdoor activities, from mountaineering to water sports to urban lifestyle.

The Nomad in particular is a mountain piece with a neat twist.  They feature removable face shields that snap into place along the stems.  These convert a regular pair of sport sunglasses into mountain goggles which help shield the eyes from dangerous glare off of surrounding snow. This glare can cause retinal damage and permanent blindness in extreme cases.  Sun damage to the eyes at high elevation is extremely common and extremely dangerous, and many mountaineers use protective goggles with leather shields to avoid this danger.  The Nomad is a more versatile (and arguably more stylish) option.

But the damn lenses scratch.

I owned a pair, which I purchased from REI, and the lenses scratched to the point of un-usability.  I returned them and recieved a new pair, which have now scratched as well.  I am generally careful with my gear, expecially expensive and potentially delicate items like mountain sunglasses.  I think that these are overly prone to scratching, and it’s annoying.  A close friend and climbing partner named John has also owned a pair of these and encountered the same problem.

I think that these glasses are well designed and versatile.  They fit somfortably, stay in place on my face, and they look reasonably cool. But even though I keep them in a case if they are not on my nose, and I always clean them with either an optic friendly wiping cloth or soft clean cotton, they consistently wear poorly and become unusable.  I want them to be a ten, but they are sadly only a five.

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