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Gear Guide 2012: Julbo Dust Sunglasses

Sunglasses made for hiking, climbing, and mountain biking
gg12 julbo dust 445x260Julbo Dust (Courtesy Photo)

This is no one-trick pony: Not only is the Dust ideal for hiking, it’s also superior for climbing and mountain biking, thanks to slim (and super-sticky) earpieces that tuck unobtrusively beneath a helmet. Plus, its photochromic (lenses that can become darker or lighter based on UV intensity.) Zebra lenses adapt to a wide range of conditions. “I never had to squint, since the tint darkens quickly when moving from woods to open ridges,” says a tester.

The polycarbonate lenses provide enough coverage to block distracting reflections off snow and water, yet the gaps around the perimeter let in enough breeze to prevent fogging (an anti-fog treatment is also integrated into the lens material; unlike a coating it can’t be wiped off over time). On a lowlands-to-crater spring climb up Chile’s San Pedro volcano, “They never steamed up, whether I was slogging through dusty scrub or kicking steps into snow,” says one wearer. The ultralight construction and snug fit from temples to ears limited bouncing when our tester hit singletrack downhills. But they’re best for low to medium sunlight: Although they’re versatile enough for most activities, they’re not as dark as dedicated glacier glasses. $170; 1.2 oz.; julbousa.com

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