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Product Review: Bolle Performance Draft Sunglasses

During the past several weeks, I've been wearing and testing Bolle's new "Draft" performance sunglasses with photochromic lenses during cycling and running workouts.  Bolle provided Athletic-Minded Traveler with a few complimentary models (full disclosure) for testing purposes, but as with all of our product reviews, the freebies do not influence our opinions--our credibility is always paramount.

In all candor, prior to donning the Bolle's, I was skeptical about whether differences between their glasses and other eyewear I've used would be tangible.  Shame on me.  These Bolle's are impressively unique and superior in many respects.



Lightweight - When picking up the glasses, the first thing I noticed was their weight--or lack of it.  Even compared to other sport-performance glasses, the Bolle Drafts are airy but not delicate.  When wearing, the glasses are so light they are easily forgettable as is the extremely comfortable nose pad.  That is the best measure of great glasses--do you forget they are there?  For these Bolle's the answer is a resounding "yes".

Wide Lenses - The term "wrap around" can be vague, but in Bolle's case it's appropriate.  On my face the lenses stretch to my temples creating a protected and shaded view throughout my peripheral vision.  Compared to other brands, the lenses can be up to 1 inch wider.  And, they are up to a 1/4-inch longer too so that there is no risk of having vision obscured by the lens bottom. 

Photochromic Lenses - For an additional $30, purchasers can choose a photochromic lens.  This decision is a no-brainer.  Often i've fretted over what glasses to wear during a long bike ride.  Here in San Diego, it can be gray and foggy along the coast (or early in the morning) but bright and sunny only 5 miles inland (or later in the a.m.).  Choose a route that mixes both coastal and inland roads and frustration over not having the correct lenses is likely.  Similarly, being out for several hours and having the weather change can also create vision issues without optimal lenses.  Bolle solves the problem with their photochromic technology embedded in the lens.  If it's bright and sunny, the lenses will react to the UV and darken.  If the skies gray-over, the lenses will lighten on their own.  It works so well, that while wearing the glasses you may not even notice that the UV brightness has changed around you.  Very cool and effective.

Great Ventilation - I have yet to find performance glasses that do not begin to fog over after stopping for a few minutes.  These Bolle's do the same, BUT, their great ventilation eliminates the fog after 10 pedal-strokes while on the bike and within 30 seconds on the run--basically immediately.  That almost immediate clearing is about as fast as I've experienced.


Fog - As mentioned above, the glasses fog over when stopping after an intense workout (hot forehead).  However, I have yet to find glasses that do not fog over in this situation AND the Bolle Draft lenses clear the fog very quickly (see "Pros" above).

Price - At $179, this great eyewear may be out of reach for some who could benefit from its wonderful characteristics.  While we're not talking obscene cost--and the price is reasonable for the level of sophistication/technology--we receive a lot of feedback from our readers about trying to find quality eyewear under $100.

Bottom Line: 

Bolle's Draft Performance eyewear with photochromic lenses receives our top "Gold" rating and strong recommendation. 

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Ibought my wife a new pair of

Ibought my wife a new pair of Bolle sunglasses for Christmas 2012 at my local Opticians and there are no scratches and hardly ever worn because the lens are all foggy. Where I purchased them they claim they will not warranty because they were just over the 1 years date.Is there anything I can do as they were around 200.oo?John Williamson

I see the comment is a bit

I see the comment is a bit old. That said, Bollé has recently come out with a couple of new lenses, one being "b-20.3 Polycarbonate" polycarbonate lenses that are made from premium-grade resin, resulting in a lens that is 20 times more impact-resistant than glass and three times lighter, with unrivaled precision and clarity.

The other lens is called "b-Clear" Ultra-light Trivex® lenses that offer unrivaled optical quality that can help improve hand-eye coordination, enabling athletes of every ability to perform at their peak. Lighter than polycarbonate, these lenses allow for larger designs and fuller coverage - giving you enhanced protection from the elements without the added weight that can slow you down.

Both new lenses have the Bollé new "3 in 1 technology."

1. Polarized lenses: a technology that eliminates bothersome glare and improves contrast for maximum comfort.
2. Anti-Fog treatment: a treatment is applied to the interior of the lenses which prevents fog from forming whatever the conditions and reactivates when the lenses are wet.
3. Oleophobic/Hydrophobic treatment: a treatment is applied to the exterior of the lenses to eliminate drops of water or rain and avoid oily smears, ensuring clear and precise vision.

I know this will take care of your old problems.

John, We reviewed the glasses

We reviewed the glasses and think they are high quality. But problems etc., have to be directed to Bolle. We are not sellers etc. Good luck.

So do Athletic Minded

So do Athletic Minded subscribers get a discount????

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