With vented wrap-around sidewalls, dark lenses (5 percent VLT), and a face-hugging frame, the Tensing provided high-altitude sun protection rivaling heavier, spendier mountaineering models. Testers with average-size and larger faces found the flexible bridge material sufficient to keep these ultralight frames in place on sweaty, sunscreen-greased ascents—even with the barely-there weight and feel of the sculpted temple grips. The shatterproof polycarbonate lenses stayed scratch-free all season. “The Tensing was perfect for the bright, snowy terrain in Colorado’s Sawatch Range,” says our tester, “but too dark for shadier transitions on trail or below treeline.” Bonus: Wide, protective stems attach with molded plastic hinges (screws and pins can loosen over time.)
See the Light
Use the VLT* percentage to choose the right lens. Less than 8 percent is ideal for open water, above treeline, and on snow; 9 to 18 percent is an all-purpose range; higher VLTs are best for low light, like overcast days and rainforest.
*VLT Visible Light Transmission = how much light passes through a lens