Julbo Contest Review

Apparel Pro Reviews

One of the outstanding features of the Contest, is the full coverage they offer, giving good field of vision, aerodynamics and excellent wind coverage. I dislike eyewear that makes your eye water when you go ride into a strong headwind, or when you start to boogie going downhill. The Contest offers incredible wind protection, almost like wearing a pair of goggles. I think the wind protection is due to the large lenses, wrap around frames, which act like side shields, and that they sit close (but not to close) to your face.


Another pet peeves of mine, is lenses that fog up on you, like when you go into a dense section of trees that might be humid, after a rainstorm, or when you start sweating, and then pop into a cold spot on the trail. The Contest rarely seemed to fog on me in any of the adverse conditions that I dumped them into, so the anti-fog coating works amazingly well.

The side sun coverage that the frame offers are quite nice, and cuts down on eye fatigue and scattered light entry, and the frame and lens curve around enough that the sides don’t interfere with your peripheral vision. I always like sunglasses that have suspended lenses, as it gives better panoramic vision, without any distracting frame in your lower vision, giving an uninterrupted viewpoint.

The curve and shape of the frame, along with rubbery shock absorbing nose and ear coverings, keep the sunglasses stuck to my head no matter how rough the terrain tossed at me. Sometimes the width at the temples can make it interfere with helmet straps, though it’s a minor annoyance, and the frame bows out a bit much for a fitting properly within a full faced helmet.

They have been comfortable, with a nice fit and feel, though I wish the rubbery temple section was a tad softer, since they can sometimes dig into your ear ever so slightly. There is no ability to adjust the frames, since they’re not pliable (stiff), and lack any additional features for fine tuning.


Thanks to the durable NXT, the lenses have been bombproof, and I have gotten no scratches, which is pretty amazing, since I always seem to do that with any eyewear, even the ones that are supposed to be unscratchable (marketing hyperbole). I have repeatedly dropped them, abraded them (accidentally) and have not been nice, and I have yet to scratch them.

They offer excellent varying light capabilities due to the Zebra photochromic lenses, and the amber tint has been especially nice on the cloudy and foggy days. Sometimes buzzing in and out of trees in the bright afternoon sunlight the lens did not change fast enough for those conditions, but it is a very minor issue. I usually ride in places in which I am going in and out of the shade, into wooded areas, and I also ride a lot in the late afternoon, so I appreciated the photochromic lens. They are slightly dark at dusk, but that is really pushing the limits of its design specifications.

The lenses have phenomenal optical quality, and they’re a distortion free with a high degree of clarity. The lenses are large and curved enough for a nice panoramic field of view, and being suspended adds additional spaciousness.

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About the author: Brian Mullin

Brian likes to push the limits in all the sports he obsesses in, whether it's mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, skiing, or sport climbing. He takes those same strengths and a good dose of insanity to his reviewing and writing on mountain biking products, creating technical, in-depth articles. Whenever he's not on the bike, he might be found watching MotoGP racing, otherwise look for him out on the trail.

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