Julbo Wave Glasses

By Justin Walker 28 March 2014
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Keep your vision sharp on the water whilst wearing these lightweight polarised sunnies.

REGULAR SUNGLASSES AREN’T up to scratch for paddlers. You need glasses that not only protect your eyes from the glare, but also cut the sun’s reflection from the water, allowing optimum vision at all times.

Julbo is most famous for its alpine/snow glasses and, more recently, its MTB/cycling range. Having owned a pair of the brand’s climbing glasses for years, I was keen to see how its water sports specs sports performed. The aptly named Wave fits the style bill for water-borne adventures: this pair has aqua-blue trim (other colours are available) and what I initially thought was funky rubber bordering around the frame front (more on that later).

The Wave’s core design feature is the ‘Octopus’ photochromic/polarised lens. Polarised lenses effectively eliminate glare off the water, allowing paddlers to see without a bright light forever in their eyes. They also allow you to see what lies beneath – something that may not always be a good thing!

The photochromic treatment causes the lenses’ shading levels to adjust (from dark to light) to suit the ambient light and provide clear, bright vision.

I also discovered, after further investigation, that the aforementioned rubber border is actually designed to provide extra protection from water splashes and sunlight – dubbed a “protective frame skirt” by Julbo.

You can remove this, but during my initial testing of the Wave glasses, I opted to keep it on and, after getting used to what felt like a diving mask, I can report it does work as touted.

The rest of the Wave design is practical: the lightweight frame will float if you drop it in the water (yep, clumsy-hands Walker can attest to that). However, if you fit the provided neoprene strap that will eliminate any chance of them floating away if you do drop them in the drink.

The lenses have a hydrophobic coating that makes water slide off, eliminating any chance of copping obscured/blurred vision from droplets shimmering in front of your eyes.

This has worked well, although the odd droplet will stubbornly flutter about on the lens for a while, which can be frustrating, but is easily remedied by either blowing it off, or facing into a headwind. So far, the Wave glasses have performed pretty much without fault – I am even getting used to that aqua-blue colour…

RRP $239 (Octopus, tested); $159 (Polarized3+) www.mont.com.au