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The Synform from Rudy Project is their flagship eyewear for a broad range of activities. These high performance glasses are made in Italy, with a light weight frame that folds, along with photochromic lenses that go from almost clear to dark grey.
Weighing just 1.15 ounces (33 grams), these are plenty light, but heavy on cool features. There is a hinge at the nose piece and and an extra set on the temples, so they fold down into an egg-shaped case about one half the size of a regular case. This makes them an easy fit for a jersey pocket or even a backpack. Of course, the key feature is the lenses. We have reviewed Rudy Project in the past, and the optical quality of their lenses is sure to impress even a picky photographer like me.
While most of our readers know the brand for their cycling products, I didn’t just wear them while fat biking in the snow this winter. A good portion of my review time was spent trudging around with a camera up in our mountains, on the prowl for moose and other wildlife to photograph. This requires glasses that provide good contrast and a sharp image, as most animals blend in well with their surroundings, and are easy to miss. With the changing light conditions, I would normally either suffer in the sun with clear lenses, or have to take off my sunglasses and squint under cloudy skies. The photochromic lenses of the Synform turned from clear to middle grey to darker grey, as the weather and light changed.
As luck would have it, the folks at Rudy Project had offered the Synform for review not long after I had gotten an eye exam, so they were kind enough to send a pair with my Rx (This added $330 to the base price of the $349 glasses, but read on to see why I feel they’re worth that price). As sunglasses, they are certainly worth the $349 MSRP, especially if you want the very best optical performance, frame technology, comfort, and the exclusiveness of having your glasses made in Italy from 33 individual pieces. When you consider that their photochromic lenses go from dark (22% light transmission) for the brightest days on the bike or in the snow, to almost clear (92% light transmission) for night rides and driving, plus target shooting at the range, and any other time I might need my Rx, they are a reasonable investment. And after a bit of adjustment with the nose piece, they ended up being some of the most comfortable glasses I have ever worn. A bike ride is a good test, but on a road trip, I wore them for about ten hours of driving, from just after sunrise, until into the evening. That’s a solid test even for my everyday carbon fiber and stainless glasses, yet the Synform did not disappoint. After more than four months of use, they are still scratch-free, and the hinges are tight. That says a lot about the high quality of the lenses and frames.
It’s clear that the Rudy Project Synform glasses are not for everyone. But if you want great looks, impressive optical performance, and all-day comfort in a unique design, they are for you. And you can choose from Black Matte, Ice Graphite, White Matte, or even Golf Black Matte, plus there are many lens options. Of course, you can get your Rx in them too. Check them out at e-rudy.com .