A sophisticated pair of sunglasses made specifically for adventuring in the peaks, including at a high level and amongst snow and ice. The protection provided and comfort level on these well-featured glasses is excellent, and while they might look a little too technical for social wear, they work wonderfully well in the mountains.
Photochromic – adapt as you climb
Not much choice of colors
You can't remove side shields
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Bollé Adventurer sunglasses: first impressions
These premium-priced Bollé Adventurer sunnies are, as the name suggests, designed specifically for adventure pursuits. High performers, they are among the best sunglasses around for hill-hiking and mountaineering, but can be a tad dark for driving and low-level wear in anything but the brightest conditions.
• List price: $200 (US) / £165 (UK)
• Weight: 37g /1.3oz
• Category: 4
• Frame colors: Black / Forest / White
• Lens colors: Matte / Black
• Lens options: Phantom Black Gun / Solace4
• UV protection: 100%
• VLT: 5%
• Extras: Cord
• Suitability: Hiking and mountaineering
Designed with the frame shape of classic glacier sunglasses, they come with either photochromic Phantom lenses or Solace4, Bollé’s new mineral glass lens designed specifically for the mountains (Category 4). There are three choices of color for the mineral lens frames (black, white or dark green) but only black for photochromic version. The lenses have great optic clarity and anti-fog features, as well as supplying 100% UV protection.
The frames of these sunglasses incorporate built-in side shields and a bridge piece. Unlike other available models on the market, these side shields do not fold down or come off.
The Thermogrip nosepieces are adjustable to fit the shape of your face, however, and they are hydrophilic, which in theory makes them grippier in wet and sweaty conditions. Thermogrip is also used on the tips for a more comfortable fit.
A cord leash is provided, with holes in the frame, at the end of the arms, to attach it to, and they come with a handy protective case and a microfiber pouch.
Bollé Adventurer sunglasses: on the trails
These Bollé Adventurers came up north with me to England’s Lake District and the Cairngorms in Scotland and quickly proved themselves ideal sunglasses for hiking.
They are a lightweight pair of glasses, but still feel sturdily built. Having side shields that don't need to be folded was a good for use in the mountains, and I found the side coverage around the eyes to be decent.
The lenses are large and provide good visibility. Having photochromic lenses allows you to use one pair of sunglasses for all situations. Not being able to remove the side shields does mean you can’t convert to a more “normal” look for post-adventure social wear, but they are fantastic as an all-round pair of mountain sunglasses. Just make sure you know how to clean sunglasses the right way so you don’t damage them.
Like several other models I've tested from different brands, the Bollé Adventurers left a gap around the bridge of my nose, allowing light through. However, as someone with a small face, this was the best fit I'd had in the classic glacier glasses style. I also really appreciated the coloration in the lenses; the rosy tint made everything look better – especially in snowy conditions.
An adventure writer based on Dartmoor, England, Emily is an active member of Mountain Rescue and a summer Mountain Leader, but loves all things adventure – before her third birthday she had lived on three continents. Founder of Intrepid magazine, she works to help break stereotypes about women in the outdoors. Her expeditions have included walking all Dartmoor’s 119 tors in a single two-week outing, cycling to Switzerland and back, and riding the Rhine from source to sea.