Just a little bit late, here is the FR on these kewl sunglasses.
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TIA for the edits
February 5, 2010
During the past 2 months, I have worn the Tifosi sunglasses on just about every sunny day, which has not been that many. In terms of hiking, I took the glasses on an overnight trip to Delaware, Ohio in early December. I was cabin camping on that trip but spent a few hours tramping around outside. Temperatures were in the 20's F (-6 to -2 C) during the day when I was outside, and it was clear and reasonably sunny that day. The second trip was a weekend trip to Portsmouth, Ohio in mid January. This trip was one night of cabin camping in a rustic cabin and one night of tent camping. I hiked about 5 miles (8 km) through some poorly cleared trails (or absent trails) during the day just to stretch my legs for a while. Temperatures over the weeekend ranged from around 40 F (4 C) to 52 F (11 C) on a mostly cloudy day
In addition to these camping trips, I have worn the glasses for driving and general wear around town, including the sun, rain, and snow in temperatures from the 20's to the 40's F (-5 to +5 C).
The weather here in central Ohio has been pretty lousy the last few months, which has reduced my camping and hiking time. The lack of sun has also put a general crimp in my testing plans for this item. Despite these limitations, I feel I have worn the Tifosi Fototecs enough to get a fair sense of their function.
First, there is a pretty big difference between the glasses in their 'light' and 'dark' phases. When the glasses have been in the dark (e.g., in the case) and I first put them on in the sunlight, it takes a noticeable time for them to get dark. I have noticed this same time lag when wearing them walking through a darkened area and then coming out to the light, and vice versa. The company literature suggests the change occurs over 12 seconds, but I think it is probably more like 20-30 seconds. To be fair, I have not actually timed it yet, so they may be right. However, I would not consider this a fault with the shades, because I really like the job they do enhancing contrasts when it is cloudy outside. Under these conditions, I think I see better with the glasses on than in the natural light. When I was in Portsmouth, I was wearing the glasses in the late afternoon on a cloudy day. Despite the fact that it was almost sunset, I had no trouble seeing where I was going as I bushwhacked up and down some hillsides through the Shawnee State forest.
Because it has been a wet and snowy winter so far, I have actually worn the glasses in both the snow and in a cold rain. Because of the light transmission, there is no sense that they are "too dark" under these conditions. Although there are no side gussets, I found that the Ventoux frames did a good job of protecting my eyes from rain and blowing snow. Aside from allowing me not to spend time blinking stuff out of my eyes, the glasses also kept my cheeks and eyes noticeably warmer than when I took them off.
In terms of the frame style, the fit is ok. The only issue I have with them is that I have some trouble looking down because the frames sit away from my face. If I have to look down (say while walking down steps), I either have to tilt my head all the way down, or look under the frames. I find this to be inconvenient, but again, this may be more a feature of my nasal anatomy than anything to do with the glasses.
I have kept the glasses in my car overnight on numerous occasions, even with temperatures below freezing. I have come to appreciate the fact that the rubber pieces on the nose and on the temples do not conduct cold well, so that I can put them on without having to pre-warm them to avoid getting a cold spot on my nose. Although it is a small thing, I really like this!
I also want to say a word on style, since hiking gear definitely comes with a fashion statement. Most people tend to look at me strangely when they see the orange glasses. However, I have a good friend from Italy who praised me for my improved sense of style when he saw them. Personally, I like the look, too.
WEAR AND TEAR
Although I can't say that I have put a lot of miles on these glasses, they seem to be holding up well. There are no marks on the lenses to date, and the frame looks just as it did 2 months ago.
To date, I have to say that I really like the Tifosi Optics Fototec lens sunglasses. They are stylish and I have found the orange coloration to be quite adept at giving me enhanced contrast in the low light. Although not as dark as other shades I have used, they also get dark enough to provide good vision when the sun is bright.
This concludes my Field Report on the Tifosi Optics Backcountry Orange Fototec Lens sunglasses. I am hoping to get some more sun and more miles with the glasses over the next 2 months so I can really get a sense of their ability to hold up on the trail. Please check in back in about 2 months for my final report to see how this went.