First Look: Uvex’s superlight SGL-202 Vario sunglasses

Doh!  We’ve heard from Germany that we got the light transmission wrong: it’s even wider than we thought  Updated below…

Even though the brand’s name originally from their eyewear’s ultraviolet protection (UltraViolet EXclusion), Uvex’s sunglasses really haven’t made much of a mark lately.  For us, that changed dramatically when we came across the company’s flagship SGL-202 Vario model at Interbike last fall.  Barely disturbing the scale at 23g (20% lighter than Smith’s already light Pivlock V2), the SGL-202s feature a visible light sensitive (rather than UV sensitive) lens alongside several other novel features.  Now that we have our hands on a set, you can click though for more details and our first impressions…

light when it's dark out, dark when it's light out

light when it's dark out, dark when it's light out

As promised, the SGL-202s’ Variomatic Smoke lenses transition quickly from 7778% to 179% light transmission when exposed to bright sunlight.  As someone who starts his daily commute when the sun has yet to cross the horizon- but finishes the day when the desert sun is going full tilt- this has been ideal.  A Variomatic Brown lens is also available to provide a bit more contrast in mixed lighting.


Unsurprisingly, the 23g glasses rest lightly on the face.  Though they feel insubstantial, the lightweight and breathable split arms can take a fair amount of abuse, twisting and bending quite a bit before snapping back into shape.  The arms are short enough to clear most helmets’ retention systems and have a couple of small gripper pads at their ends.  An adjustable nosepiece is always welcome and allows the rider to get the glasses as close to or far from the face/cheeks as desired.

The frameless design doesn’t allow for easy lens exchanges- but so far the Variomatic lenses have been spot-on.  After the first minute or so after stepping outside at midday, I have yet to want for more or less tint while riding.  The oleophobic coating that allowed me to cleanly wipe Sharpie has kept other, more common crud from accumulating- but does make the back of the lenses feel sticky under a cleaning cloth.

The SGL-202 Varios are available to shops and consumers in the US through Magura Direct and retail for $160.  Check back in a couple of months for a full-fledged review…


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