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January 21, 2015 Comments (0) Gear Reviews

Optic Nerve Variant Sunglasses – Product Review


Spoiler Alert!

These are the best sunglasses we have ever reviewed on

At Summer Outdoor Retailer trade show we made our annual pilgrimage to the Optic Nerve booth to see what special new treats they’d have in store for us this year. Immediately we were drawn to a few flashy green, blue, and pink transparent framed glasses. These new Variants were due to launch in the Fall. It was all we could do to restrain Renee, our Social Media Manager, from stealing a pair and running out of the building. Our host, Mae, was kind enough to promise an opportunity to review the sunglasses, so we were able to calm Renee without having to get Security involved.

The Optic Nerve Variant is a price-point active-wear sunglass, targeted to bridge the gap between sport and leisure. At $49 it immediately makes it a good value, but when you consider what you get for the price, the option to purchase just became a lot easier. These sunglasses come with a 100% UV protection lens and they also send an additional pair to swap out if conditions require it. Additionally, the TR90 frame materials and lens quality means that your sunglasses will have a long lifespan, assuming your dog doesn’t eat them or you run face-first into a tree. Even then, you might be surprised how well they hold up.

Optic Nerve was kind enough to send us three pair; each in a different color. While the Pink is not currently in production, the green and blue are and you can even get a pair in Carbon if you aren’t quite as daring. We put each pair on a different tester and asked them to put them to work. The results were, well, not surprising.

Feel & Fit – 5.0

Lightweight, with an adjustable rubber nose piece and you’ll hardly know you’re wearing them. The frames and lenses are gapped, allowing for maximum air flow. Ultimately, whether you’re running in the mountains or wearing them around town, comfort will never be trumped by fashion.

Craig – “I wore these for the 112 mile Skyline Drive FKT, all day and into the next  and never even knew I had them on. By far the most comfortable sunglasses I’ve ever worn.”

Matt – “The larges lenses gives really good coverage, but the retro design also gives plenty of space for airflow, reducing fogging.”

Renee Variant 2Renee Variant 2

Quality – 5.0

Durability has already been inferred in the product specs above. Our testers found that even when not wearing the glasses they held up quite well. Whether keeping them in a hydration vest during the dark hours or having them fall off your head if you go down on the trail, the frames and lenses held up to the elements. While they don’t have the scratch resistance of a specialty made lens, you get a lot better quality than you think you’re paying for.

Craig – “I have a habit of pushing my sunglasses up on my bald head to see something then bending over, only to have them fall off onto the ground. I don’t know how many times I’ve done this, but I still don’t have a scratch on the lenses or a ding in the frames.”

Craig Variant 1

Looks – 5.0

Admit it, nearly all of you think this is the most important category. The holy grail of sunglasses is to find that one pair that you can wear both on the trails and around town. For many of us, we never thought we’d find that perfect pair, but we are here to tell you that they exist. Whether you want to get noticed in a pair of the transparent green or blue or you plan to play it cooler in the carbon you’ll look great either way. And while we try and stay pretty objective here at TAUR and generally not come off like an advertisement, there is nothing else that can be said of these sunglasses other than they are brilliant.

Matt – “These have become my everyday wear sunglasses. They sit in my car for driving, and more often than not they stay on my face when I leave the car and hit the trail.”

Renee – “They are light weight, don’t fog or skip, and are the CUTEST running glasses ever!”

Renee Variant 1

Final Thoughts

Here’s the kicker. If you’re a TAUR fan, you can get a pair of these with a logo in the upper corner of the lens. If you aren’t wanting to sport the logo, feel free to buy there HERE. But if you do want it, like we all have, wait a few weeks and we’ll have several pair in the store. This is the first product we are truly excited to throw our brand on and we can’t tell you how happy it makes us to partner with Optic Nerve on this.

Optic Nerve Variant with TAUR Cairn Etching

Optic Nerve Variant with TAUR Cairn etching

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