XX2i Optics Sunglasses – Protect Your Eyes All Day, All Sports
This isn’t our first sport sunglasses review, and certainly won’t be our last. We’re going to continue to cover ones with outstanding features or exceptional value, and hopefully both. The USA1 Dual Pro kit from XX2i easily falls into the latter category. What kind of value are we talking here? How about two frames, and five pairs of lenses, for $149.99? While that technically offers combinations equal to ten pairs of glasses (more if you want to mismatch your lenses, which we did below to show some of the options available), it’s still a good deal for two pairs of very versatile frames.
As delivered, my review kit included glossy black frames with dark grey lenses, demi tortoise frames with brown lenses, and extra sets of orange, clear, and yellow lenses. In addition, they threw in some polarized brown lenses, and perhaps in a nod to my age, some polarized grey readers* (ouch). All this fits into a fairly bulky but protective case, with each pair of frames and lenses also having their own microfiber drawstring bags. You get a lot of stuff for your coin. All that would be for naught though if the glasses weren’t well designed and constructed. To that end, the temples have a grippy rubber coating and bend a bit, to adjust for a snug fit. You’ll find what seems to be the same rubber material on the nose pads, which also adjust for comfort. In the outer corners of the lenses are some cutouts to help with ventilation. So they’ve got the important features covered.
It’s a bit ironic that there are more color options with the lenses – at least five, than with the frames – gloss black, gloss white, and the demi tortoise. But these glasses are more about stylish utility than chasing the latest fashion trends. (See Alex’s commentary yesterday on color trends for 2013) Pick two frames, and you’re probably set for a club ride, 18 rounds of golf, an early morning run, an afternoon hike, a long walk on the beach at sunset with the girl you met on the internet, and just about any other activity you can think of. From sports to casual activities, there’s a frame and lens combination to make you look good and protect your eyes. You can even get your prescription in them, if necessary.
I’ve said it before, testing sunglasses is easy. Put them on, go outside, and do stuff. That’s exactly what I did with these. A little bending at the temples, a tweak at the nose pads, and I’ve got the perfect fit. When swapping lenses, (they snap in and out fairly easily), the nose pads got out of adjustment. Annoying, but easily fixed. The included bags make it easy to clean the lenses too. I put them through their paces with some cycling, jogging, dog walking, lawn mowing (it can’t be all glamor, all the time), driving, and even used the yellow lenses at an indoor range, where the increased contrast was welcome. My personal favorite would be the polarized lenses, for the added snap they give fall colors. They got some compliments too, which is nice. Overall, I think this kit would really serve you well if you were into multiple sports, but on a single sport budget. They don’t look terribly expensive, because they aren’t, but they don’t look cheap either. Optical quality is more than acceptable for the price. I worry about the two small screws holding the nose pads in place, and will report back if they don’t hold up over time. Which brings me to another plus to consider – a no questions asked, lifetime warranty. No matter how they get damaged, XX2i will replace them with new ones for a $19.95 handling charge. Just don’t lose them, and that’s a hard to beat deal. xx2i.com
*I tested the readers, even though I don’t need reading glasses. The optical quality for that portion of the lens was better than expected, and unless someone is right up in your face, they’re not likely to notice the magnified portion of the lens. Stealthy.