Most days of the year, I can’t go anywhere without sunglasses. My eyes are very sensitive, and I get a headache from squinting into the sunlight within minutes. I’ve long been on the search for a favorite pair of sunglasses. My kids share my sensitivity, and my youngest hates wearing hats, so we both tried a pair of Julbo sunglasses designed for activity, adventure, and travel.
I tried the Julbo Alagna, which is described as a model that combines vision technology and beauty. They certainly are stylish. They’re simple but sleek with curved lenses to avoid contact with eyelashes, and come in black, white, or ‘chocoblack’ frames…all colors that will go with almost anything. They’re designed to block side sunlight (making them great for driving) and their lenses are lightweight polycarbonite. I can wear them while dressed for an average day, or for a day of hiking, kayaking, or touring.
To add a little color to the frames, each Alagna model includes an accent stripe on the sides. The chocoblack (which is a dark brown, nearly black color as you might have presumed), has a lime stripe. The black has hot pink or white, and the white has ice blue. The tint colors vary as well: the chocoblack features a brown tint. Both are Spectron 3.
But how do they feel on? At first try, I wasn’t sure. They felt a little tight and restrictive. But as I wore them more, they began to have some give. In fact, the entire frame is quite ‘moldable’. You can bend the sides out or in a small amount to fit your face. I also like that the nose arch does not have any padding or plastic across it (while that’s sometimes comfortable, it inevitably tears or causes the glasses to slip when sweaty). I wore the Alagna glasses mountain biking, hiking, kayaking, and just around town, and they preformed well in every situation. For a non-specialized pair of glasses that will see you through just about every activity, the Alagna is a quality bet.
Are they sturdy? Mine have suffered at my hands (I toss them into the car, stuff them in backpacks, etc) and they’ve held out just fine. The only ‘injury’: the lenses scratched easily when I dropped them in a hotel parking lot.
Now for the kids: my son Toby, age 8, tried the Julbo Piccolo, which were a home run. This kid hates things on his face, but the Piccolo is flexible, so the glasses are not uncomfortable. With polycarbonite category 3 lenses that eliminate all reflections, they’re designed for use on water and in the mountains. This was ideal, since we tried them out on a trip to Canada during which we’d be primarily on the water kayaking and in the mountains hiking. Toby wore his ice blue Piccolos with no complaint, and if I do say so myself, he looked good doing it.
For those needing the nitty gritty specs: A pair of Piccolo are designed for ages 8-12). The temple length is 115 mm, and frame width is 124 mm. (You probably don’t know your kid’s temple length though, so I don’t know if this information will be helpful.) The lens width is 50 mm and the weight is just .94 oz.
If you have younger kids, you might consider Julbo’s line of soft, looping sunglasses with Spectrum 4. Piccolos are sold for $40 at Julbo and are just a few cents less at Altrec and Amazon.