APPLICATION to Test Numa X- Frames - Richard Lyon
- Please accept my application to test the Numa X-Frames Extreme
Eyewear System. I have read the BackpackGearTest.org Bylaws v. 0609,
the Appendices, and the BGT Survival Guide., and I shall follow all
requirements. This test will not conflict with any of my other
current tests (listed below) nor impose too heavy a report-writing
burden. I've always submitted my test reports on time and I shall do
so with this test. I have a signed Tester Agreement on file.
Male, 61 years old
6' 4" (1.9 m) tall, 200 lb (91 kg)
Dallas, Texas USA
rlyon AT gibsondunn DOT com
Personal Information and Backpacking Background: I've been
backpacking for 45 years on and off, and regularly in the Rockies
since 1986. I do a weeklong trip every summer, and often take three-
day trips. I'm usually camping in alpine terrain, at altitudes 5000
to 13000 ft (1500 - 4000 m). I prefer base camp backpacking, a long
hike in with day trips from camp, but I do my share of forced
marches too. Though always looking for ways to reduce weight, I'm
not yet a lightweight hiker, and I usually choose a bit of extra
weight over foregoing camp conveniences I've come to expect. I'm
also an avid telemark and Alpine skier who does most of his
backcountry winter traveling on skis.
Background Applicable to This Test: When hiking or driving in
daylight I almost always wear sunglasses, even in very low light.
Sunglasses with interchangeable lenses would be perfect for two of
my preferred outdoor activities in winter and spring: backcountry
skiing and fly fishing. The X-Frames would allow me to take a single
frame instead of two or more pair of sunglasses on these trips.
Fishing requires polarized lenses. Clear and reflective lenses are
ideal for the conditions encountered when surrounded by snow, when
clouds, shadows, weather, and time of day mean everything from
blinding glare to low, flat light. Clear lenses are greatly
appreciated especially at the end of a long day on skis, when the
mountains' shadows mean flat light everywhere. The spectrum of
lenses included in the X-Frames looks just right and all have UV
Test Environment. I have backcountry ski tours scheduled for British
Columbia in late February and Wyoming in March. The longer days as
spring approaches mean more variation in light conditions. I've
been asked to try out a newly-established spring creek fly fishing
venue in Oklahoma in March or April, and my volunteer work may get
me to Montana during the pre-runoff fishing season. I should do
several backpacks in the Southwest during the test period, and I can
test the X-Frames while driving daily.
I'll look for:
Reliability. Several bad experiences with interchangeable lenses
have made me a skeptic of the same frames' ability to do double or
triple duty. My problem has been that frequent changing of the
lenses leads to poorly fitting lenses that soon wind up on the
ground or snow. Will the X-Frames change this opinion? How firmly
will the lenses sit in the X-Frames? Will they lock in by some
mechanical means or must I depend on snap-to-fit? Will a lens pop
out when I'm hiking or, worse, skiing?
Durability. I've seen Numa frames tied in a knot at a trade show.
That's not in my plans, but sunglasses are mistreated when I hike or
ski. Are the Swiss Material frames sturdy enough for bushwhacking
and backcountry skiing? Are these frames flexible enough to
withstand this wearer's inevitable twisting and grabbing? Will there
be scratches on the lenses when I stuff the glasses in a pack or a
gear pocket in a tent with other stuff? I wear all my sunglasses
with a Croakie-style strap, meaning that they hang from my neck when
temporarily not in use. That in turn means frequent contact with
pack straps and jacket zippers and other opportunities for twisting
and scratching. How reliable are the hinges and temples? It's a
real nuisance to jerry-rig sunglasses that have lost an arm in the
Performance: What light conditions are right for each set of lenses?
How effective are the polarized lenses at their intended purpose of
blocking reflected light? Does the wrap in the design block
peripheral light, as Numa claims ("ideal eye protection for fly
fishing")? How effective is the design at allowing venting to avoid
fogging when hiking uphill or skiing, or in humid conditions?
My eyes are somewhat sensitive and I'm outdoors often. UV
protection is a necessity. I'll report on whether wearing any of
the lenses, and the clear lenses in particular, results in
eyestrain, blinking, squinting, or worse.
Fit. The best-fitting sunglasses are those that I forget I'm
wearing. How will the X-Frames measure up against this standard? How
tightly will the frames sit on my "medium to large" face, which is
Numa's recommended customer size? Are the arms long enough for the
ends to fit over my ears and stay in place? Is any adjustment
possible? Will the X-Frames easily accommodate my Croakie-style
strap? Will the nose pad sit firmly on my nose, and will day-long
wearing leave a red mark on the bridge of my nose?
Ease of use: How easy is it to change lenses, at home and in the
field? This will be one of my highest priorities as a four glasses-
in-one frame set that works would be a big money and space saver.
How and where do I store lenses that are not in use?
Preferred color: OD Green.
Prescription: If allowed and Numa agrees and it doesn't mess up the
testing schedule, I'd like to order the polarized and clear lenses
as bifocals with a prescription reading section, to make them better
for tying on flies and map reading, respectively. I'll bear any
additional expense caused by this. I can still see well enough
without corrective lenses to use both sets if this isn't possible.
Tests in Progress (5): R2 Custom Backpack (LTR stage); MontBell
Thunder Dome tent (LTR stage); MontBell UL Down Parka (LTR stage);
Red Ledge Elite Softshell Jacket (LTR stage); Scottevest High
Performance L/S Tee (FR stage).
Selected to Test: None; Other Pending Applications: None
I have completed twelve test series and have submitted thirty owner
reviews, one of which is currently awaiting edit. Approved reviews
are collected at