Let me tell you right off the bat that I am extremely picky about my sunglasses. I wear sunglasses year-round because my eyes are very light sensitive and I own at least 20 pairs to rotate through because I don’t love any one pair enough to wear them all the time. I have pretty specific criteria for both fit and function, too. I can try on hundreds of pairs of glasses before buying one. So when Ryders offered to send me a pair of sunglasses to review, my initial reaction was pretty tepid. Cautiously optimistic at best.
I actually already own a pair of Ryders that I love. I wear them for running, cycling and racing and they are awesome! My only problem with the pair I own is that they are very “sporty” looking, so I can’t/won’t wear them for everyday use.
Well, then, how did I like the ‘Vela” sunglasses? Holy cats, I LOVE them!!!
TEST #1: Initial Reaction – I had seen a picture of them on the Ryders website, but they are even better-looking than I had thought. Sporty, but casual. I could see myself wearing them for daily use as well as running and racing. They are super, super lightweight and when I put them on – without adjusting anything yet – they were very comfortable. They aren’t girly or manly – IronHubs thought I looked cute in them and I thought they looked handsome on him.
TEST #2: The Fit – I need sunglasses to fit me a certain way or I simply won’t wear them. They need to sit high enough on my face that I can’t see over the top. They must not pinch my nose or ears in any manner – ouch. They need to sit far enough away from my eyes that my eyelashes don’t hit them, but not so far that I’m aware of the edges in my peripheral vision. They need to sit firmly on my nose without sliding and they need to sit straight. Did I mention that I’m picky?? Yeah. Well, these puppies passed the fit test with flying colors! The adjustable nosepiece made all the difference in the world on the fit, letting me sit the Velas on my face exactly the way I like them.
TEST #3: The Function – It doesn’t matter how good they look if they don’t work, right? This past weekend, I really put the Velas through their paces. Nine + hours of driving? No problem – they were still comfortable at the end of the drive. 18 mile long run? They performed beyond my expectations – no slipping, no chafing, no fogging when I was sweating like a pig, and they were just dark enough in the sunny conditions.
TEST #4: The Details – Here’s where the Velas show their stuff, all the little details that make a pair of sunglasses go from “good enough” to “completely awesome.”
TEST #5: The Price – Bloggy Friends, it doesn’t get any better than this: you can win a pair of them for FREE!! One lucky adventurer from my virtual race is going to win a pair of Ryders ‘Vela’ sunglasses!! It’s not too late to enter! Okay, and even if you don’t win them, they retail for around 40 bucks – that’s a pretty incredible value for your money.
FYI: Ryders sent me a pair of Vela sunglasses for free and is providing one lucky reader a pair for free. The very *ahem* discerning (doesn’t that sound nicer than “picky?”) opinions are all mine.