Before this summer my only knowledge of Julbo was that they sponsored Squamish-based shredder Remy Metailler. I was happy to get the offer to test a pair myself, and I opted for the Edge model with both a photochromic lens and a clear lens.
After a few months of testing the Edge sunglasses impressed me in several ways. I liked their large, protective lenses, light weight, and versatility for any light or weather conditions. They also refused to fog up, and their lens swap system is painlessly simple.
Julbo Edge Sunglasses – Construction Features:
The first thing that stood out about the Edge sunglasses is their large lenses. In particular, the lenses are quite tall top-to-bottom, measuring 64mm. Their shape is clearly designed to offer full eye protection and good lower peripheral vision.
The Edge is listed as offering a large fit. I don’t have a huge head and they are fairly wide at 131mm, but they fit me pretty well. The arms are 124mm long, which reach just to the back of my ears. The Edge frames were designed to provide a wide field-of-view, and I found they definitely do.
The Edge model I tested comes with two lenses, one Spectron 0 clear lens and one Reactiv Technology high contrast photochromic lens. The Reactiv lens covers category 1-3 light conditions. They allow between 13-72% transmission to suit any weather from cloudy conditions to full-on sunshine.
The Reactiv lens is not temperature sensitive, so it will remain responsive to light whether it’s cold or warm outside. Julbo also claims their lenses have a very fast response time when adjusting to light levels.
Lenses can quickly and easily be swapped thanks to the Edge’s MagneFix magnetic lens swap system. A magnet on the bridge holds the lens in place, and a simple upward push disconnects the lens from the frame. Julbo’s lenses have an anti-fog coating but on the Edge sunglasses they also barely touch the frames. The lens basically floats on the frames to ensure good ventilation from all sides.
Julbo’s frames are made from Rilsan, a bio-sourced material that’s lighter, stronger, and more eco-friendly than traditional plastic. The Edge sunglasses feature a minimalist frame design with slim, straight arms. This design will probably make these sunglasses compatible with a lot of helmets. Grip Tech sections on the inside of the arms and the adjustable 3D nose piece help ensure a secure fit.
Even with the MagneFix lens system, my scale weighed the Edge sunglasses at an impressive 26g (with either lens).
The Edge sunglasses I tested come with a hard shell case (with a slot for a second lens) and a soft bag/cleaning cloth.
I tried four different helmets to see how they jived with the Edge sunglasses. They fit fine with my Oakley DRT5 and ABUS MoDrop helmets, but the width became an issue with two of my deepest-fitting lids. With my POC Kortal Race MIPS and Endura MT500 helmets, both shells sit too low and they push the arms downwards at my temples.
The Edges’ field of view is excellent – You have to look to see the frames on the sides, top, or bottom, and while riding I didn’t think about them at all (for even less frame visibility, check out the also excellent Julbo Density). The lower peripheral coverage is particularly good, which is ideal for cycling. The lens shape extends pretty far downwards and the frames just clear my cheeks. The large lenses keep wind off your eyes, and provide plenty of protection from rain, mud or trail debris.
On one ride I noticed the arms were pushing my ears outwards a bit, and this got a little uncomfortable after an hour and a half on the bike. However, this didn’t prove to be a consistent issue. On all my other rides I found the Edges perfectly comfortable. I barely adjusted the nosepiece, as the sunglasses fit my face well right out of the box.
The Edges do sit a bit further out on my nose than I’d like, but only by a tiny bit. After riding rough terrain, I found the sunglasses will slip slightly down my nose, but they only shift outwards by 1-2mm and stay there. At no point did I ever fear I’d lose them off my face. The low weight of the Edges is great; Even on longer rides you can almost forget you’re wearing them.
Julbo’s MagneFix lens swap system is simple and easy. It takes mere seconds to slide one lens off and install another. At first I was concerned with how strong the magnet might be, as it wasn’t hard to accidentally knock the lens off the frames while handling the sunglasses. Thankfully the lenses held tight on the trails, never even rattling or shifting let alone falling off.
The lenses also proved excellent at preventing condensation. I rode a hot summer climb on a sweaty 31° day with the Edges’ Reactiv lens and they did not fog up at all, staying crystal clear! I did also ride the clear Spectron 0 lens, and throughout my whole test period I never managed to fog up these glasses.
As promised, Julbo’s Reactiv photochromic lenses definitely provide a wide range of light transmission. I tried moving inside and outside on a very sunny day, and could easily see the lens changing its tint. At their darkest they are sufficient for the brightest of days, shading things to a noticeable degree. On the other hand, I never found the Reactiv lens too dark while riding in shady forested areas.
Of course, having the clear lens only furthers the Edges’ usefulness for darker days when you just want protection from rain and mud splatters. I should note the clarity on the clear Spectron 0 lens is excellent; it’s like they’re not even there.
Pricing and Options:
The Edge sunglasses (as tested) retail for $289.95, which is not cheap but well within reason for a pair with both photochromic and clear lenses. Check out Julbo’s website for all the color and lens options; The Edge sunglasses can be purchased with just a photochromic lens, a non-photochromic lens, or with both a photochromic and a clear lens. Prices vary from $184.95 – $289.95.
Julbo covers their sunglasses with a lifetime warranty.