I have issues with sunglasses. Sometimes they are too big for me and slide down my face, sometimes they give me headaches from temple pressure and/or poor quality lenses, sometimes they give me funny indention marks on my nose that hurt a bit when they decompress, sometimes they pull my hair out, and sometimes I lose and/or abuse them.

In fact, I lost my last pair while on a hike in Yosemite a few months ago. Luckily for me, French adrenaline sport brand Cébé (owned by Bushnell Outdoor Products since 2009) had perfect timing with a sunglasses review request and sent me two pairs from their new line to review. I got the Wild style in black and the Cinetik style in metallic grey.

Wearing Cebe Wild sunglasses (and a Rockgrrl Climbing icon shirt)
Wearing Cebe Wild sunglasses (and a Rockgrrl Climbing icon shirt)

I’m happy to say that of my usual sunglass issues, only one occurred, and that only occasionally.

I attribute this happy state of sunglass contentment to the pros I discovered:

  • Lightweight. Both the Cinetik and Wild styles feature ultra-light (5.8 gram) frames
  • Smart frame design. No places that pinched hair when I chose to put sunglasses on top of my head (I often do this when taking photos)
  • Great peripheral vision. As a former prescription glasses wearer, I always hated the lose of peripheral vision when I wore them before I switched to contact lenses. As a climber I don’t like it when a glasses frame blocks that hand hold I was looking for.
  • Lens choices. The default lenses are great, I can see detail but also be saved from glare. As a photographer, I also appreciate that the color shift is not overly distracting.
  • No fogging. Apparently this is part of the frame design of the styles I was given – there’s a gap between the lens and frame in the top outermost corners of both the Cinetik and Wild styles (it’s larger on the Wild than on the Cinetik).
  • Ample accessories. Nice protective molded case (with a soft lining and detachable extra lense pocket orgranizer inside), handy accessory carabiner, cleaning cloth.

Here are the few cons I’ve found:

  • The bottom of the left eye lens of the Cinetik and Wild styles sometimes touch my face, causing sunscreen smudge on the lens. This is pretty common with sunglasses for me (usually it’s the entire bottom of the glasses that touch). This may be due to my genetic luck of the draw as I have a short nose bridge and wide face (and maybe my left ear is lower than my right?). Since it’s happening on only one side though, I may go into a glasses shop and see if they can adjust the left sunglasses arm. At any rate, it is a huge improvement compared to other glasses I’ve worn, and is not hard to ignore.
  • The case for the glasses — while I like the fact that is it protective and nicely curved to fit the glasses — is bigger than past cases I have had.  I could use a different case but I would be afraid to break the glasses if I just kept them in a simple fabric pouch and stuffed them in a pack. Note that the frames are made of  TR90 nylon and should be sturdy and flexible… but I’d still rather not put this to the test with my new favorite glasses!

Bottom line is I’m very happy that I finally have sunglasses I can wear all day, on the approach hike and while climbing. Either style, the Cinetik or Wild will be great multi-pitch climb choices and for general backcountry and sport use.