Rudy Project Karboneye Review

Apparel Pro Reviews

The Rudy Project KarbonEye is an incredible pair of sunglasses, and the frameless design has superb peripheral visibility and a panoramic field of view, and lenses offers excellent optical clarity. The KarbonEye is comfortable, durable and lightweight, and the lenses are made with tough and trick ImpactX material.

Rudy Project KarbonEye
The KarbonEye temple are constructed with a stainless steel core and an outer carbon fiber foils bonded together with over-injected Megol, a thermoplastic elastomer (TPE), which offers a soft and hypo-allergenic rubber, for maximum comfort and adhesion.

The one-piece ImpactX Photochromic lens, offers excellent wrap-around protection, light management and optical clarity, and they’ll accept a prescription stainless steel optical insert. The Ergonose 4 nose pads use an aerated version of the Megol, and are adjustable for comfort and fit. The KarbonEye comes in a nice carrying case, is available in three versions: the Carbon/Red frame with ImpactX Photochromic Red lens ($359.99), the White Carbon/Black frame with ImpactX Photochromic Clear lens ($359.99), and White Carbon/Black frame with Polar3fx Laser Grey lens ($384.99).

ImpactX
The NXT polyurethane polymer technology was born of the successful efforts to develop advanced transparent armor for U.S. Army helicopters. Commercial applications for this new 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 a low-temperature glass molds. This reduces the tension in the material and gives better optical quality and homogeneity, excellent transparency and improved long-term stability. 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. ImpactX lens technology offers the NXT semi-rigid molecular properties, including enhanced impact resistance, superb optics, and scratch-resistance, formulated exclusively for Rudy Project, by combining photochromic particles and advanced polarized technology for any type of climatic and light condition.

The photochromic lenses will darken or lighten depending on light intensity, come in several colors, each with a differing light transmission range, and include Golf Green (13-38%), Red (21-50%), Clear (18-78%), Laser Clear (16-62%), Brown (21-50%) and Grey (12-30%), and they all provide 100% UVA and UVB protection. The polarized lenses will enhance contrast and depth perception, and come in two colors, Grey and Brown, which have 12% light transmission and 100% UVA and UVB protection. Rudy Projects backs their lenses toughness with their Replacement Lens Guarantee (RLG) policy, and if a customer ever scratches them, for whatever reason, they’ll replace the lenses for a nominal shipping & handling fee of $19.95.

Impressions
The red photochromic lens worked great in changing light, and they didn’t have any issues with moving in and out of the trees. They got dark enough in bright conditions to keep things pleasant without being blinded, while in dimmer settings, they mellowed out to a subdued hue. The red tint offered good contrast, sharpness, reduced glare and increased depth perception, which was beneficial in technical terrain, and when you rolled directly into the sun. 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 self-adjusting photochromic lens. In extremely bright light and late dusk, they were outside of their comfort zone, though it was really pushing the boundaries of its light transmission range. The lens’s coating properties and how their shape bows out away from the face, meant I didn’t have any issues with fogging, even in cold, wet and humid conditions, including when I was sweating profusely on a hot day.

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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