Well, I’ve really loved the Julbo Aero Pro with photochromic lenses. I got them for $105 on Amazon which I now realize was an incredible deal from Backcountry as a closeout.
Sad to say. But the aero pro with zebra light is really good. I got the ones which were Zebra Light lenses category 1-3 so very good is dark conditions.
The Zebra is a category 2-4 so for darker conditions. This is a French brand that started as mountaineering glasses.
They use plastic lenses so I make sure to keep them in their case as they will scratch easily. I really wanted glass photochromic but my favorite Smith Backdrop is not made anymore and the other ones they have are just too big for my face.
Cyclelabs liked the Aero with Zebra but they changed their naming. And in looking at the Julbo site they now brand their photochromic lenses REACTIV and have four different styles. And pricing is much higher at $209 vs $105 where it really was a steal on closeout, but they are still excellent as glasses that will go to perfectly clear.
- Aero. Their base with reactiv 1-3
- Aero Segment. The same frame has a category 0-3 lens. These are $205 and since they go to totally clear that’s a great deal.
- Aerospeed. Also category 1-3. It has a larger area.
So if you can’t get $105 sunglasses what are some of the alternatives. Well, Outdoor Gear Labs actually like the Smith Chromapop but they are not photochromic.
Actually for biking now the trend is to move to much larger shades so that you get dust protection. The Zebras, for instance are good for hiking but not as good for biking.
Outdoor Gears Labs like the Smith. The Smith wildcats are $200 and basically goggle-like but they don’t come in photochromic so don’t change colors as the brightness does.
Somewhat smaller are the Smith Attack Max which are easy to take apart. They use magnetic connections to the arms so you can easily swap lenses. But looking at Backcountry Reviews it seems that these snap off way too easily.