Julbo Motion Review

Pro Reviews

Zebra Photochromic Lens
The Motions use Julbos Zebra photochromic lens made from the unbreakable, light and very transparent NXT material. They quickly darken with a light brownish tint or lighten with an amber tint depending on light intensity, and have an anti-fog coating that has been laser etched into them. Per Julbo fodder “adapts to varying light conditions from Category 2 (59-percent visible light coverage) in low light conditions to Category 4 (95-percent visible light coverage) in powerful light in as little as 30 seconds”.

NXT Lens
The NXT polymer technology was born of the successful efforts to develop advanced transparent armor for U.S. Army helicopters. Commercial applications for the new transparent polymer material led to the production of lenses and shields for sunglasses and sport eye wear.

The NXT lens is manufactured by pouring resin into low-temperature glass molds. This reduces the tension in the material and gives better optical quality, excellent transparency and improved long-term stability. NXT lenses were originally developed in the 1990′s for the American army, so our US tax dollars went to a useful place.

The NXT lens meets the ANSI Z87.1 standard for industrial application impacts, meaning it must withstand a pointed 17.6 ounce projectile dropped from a height of 50 inches, and 1/4 inch steel ball traveling at 150 ft/sec! I did not test either compliance, but I am glad it can take a wallop.

Julbo lenses offer 100% protection against UVs: UVAs, UVBs, and UVCs.

Impressions
The ear loops work nicely, just a simple tuck of the loop behind the ear and the sunglasses stay put no matter how bumpy the terrain is. The ear loop is still up in the air for me, and needs some more long term testing, since on some rare occasions the back of my ear lobe was sore from the elastic loop slightly rubbing it. The nose bridge works great, and I honestly would not have thought it would work, but it works very synergistically with the ear loops and keeps everything in place. It would be nice if the nose piece was made of just a tad softer and more rubbery material, since it can dig in if the ear loops are tight.

The photochromic works great in changing light, and the 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. If I was doing a lot of desert riding, or was going to be constantly out in bright sunlight, I might prefer a somewhat darker lens. 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. I had the Motions out on some very damp and drizzly days, and they had a minute amount of fogging, most anything else would have fogged over, so the anti-fog coating works amazingly well.

The lens has a high degree of clarity, and the shape offers a nice panoramic field of view. The Motions are very light weight, and sit so comfortably on your face that you forgot that you are wearing any sunglasses. On occasion I noticed the metal arms of the ear loops in my field of vision, but then I forgot that they were there. I had to really look for the clear rubber nose piece, and it was only the small black plate that holds the nose piece to the lens that would stand out. It is a bit weird when you need to scratch your eye; such as when they water; since they get in the way and are not easy to move due to the elastic ear loops holding them tightly in place. You do need to be careful if you ever lay them down since they don’t have arms to hold them up, so I usually just don’t take them off, or I hang the loop on my handlebars for safety. It is also a chore to clean them since you don’t have arms or a frame to hold onto while cleaning them.

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About the author: Brian Mullin

Brian has been part of the Mtbr team since 2007, where he has become an integral member of the review and test staff, specializing in technical articles. He likes to push the limits in all the sports he obsesses in, whether it's mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, extreme 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 and hyperbolic articles. Whenever he's not on the bike, he might be found watching MotoGP racing, otherwise look for him out on extremely technical singletrack.


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