Gear Reviews Hiking and Camping Mountain Biking

TESTED: Gloryfy Unbreakable Sunglasses

TESTED: Gloryfy Unbreakable Sunglasses

Searching for that perfect pair of sports sunglasses can sometimes be akin to the search for the mythical unicorn.

Well the search is over. We found the unicorn alive and kicking in a field full of four leaf clovers. OK, that part isn’t true but we have found, quite possibly, the ultimate pair of sports sunglasses.

I have a love/hate affair with sports sunglasses.  I tend to turn into a cheapskate for some reason. I suppose the thinking is that if I head butt a tree or nose dive into the ground, they’re only going to break anyway and I’ll be $200-$300 out of pocket.

So, why spend that cash when you can get an endless supply of those cheapies you see at the garage? Well, this is what happens…(see picture below)

Buy cheap and expect this. Pic:Tyres and Soles

Admittedly, the above pair of sunglasses were abused for two weeks on the Larapinta trail but….I still think they should of held up better than they did.

But on the other hand, spending a lot of money on a product doesn’t always guarantee it’s going to be a good product. It certainly buys a label and maybe that’s all some people are interested in, but not us.

So, my personal view has remained the same when it comes to sports sunglasses, thinking one day I might spend a bit of cash on a pair, but probably never will and just trudge ever onwards with my crappy cheapo and totally breakable options.

That was until we discovered Gloryfy

Gloryfy hail from Austria and are currently making a big splash in the world of sports sunglasses the world over. Gloryfy’s strapline is “Unbreakable“, which is a bold and brave statement to lead with considering they’re marketing to the rough and tumble outdoor/adventure enthusiasts.

Materials

The frame material is made from NBFX™ (Non Breaking Flex Polymer) which when bent, has a sort of memory where it actually returns to its original shape. Even the lenses can bend!!! Yes, it’s pretty unreal stuff.

We tested this by bending them, sitting on them and generally just throwing them around, and yes they magically returned to their former shape.

Gloryfy unbreakable sunglasses
Unbreakable they say. Well, we just hd to try it for ourselves….Pic:©Tyres and Soles

Anyone who sells a product for a living should know the in’s and out’s of that product but this was above and beyond anything we had experienced before.

We realised that these were no ordinary glasses. The technology behind the product is quite impressive and so is the story of how they got to where they are today, with years of pre-production testing in what sounds more like a laboratory in a James Bond film.

The lenses are also ballistic tested so are suited to an even wider range of applications such as the military, police force, engineering, labouring, shooting sports…the list goes on. If you love your eyes, then these are the lenses for you.

Consultation

Before we go on, we have to say that the Gloryfy distributor was incredibly knowledgable about the products and the advice given to us came with a total understanding of what we wanted out of the glasses. We did ply

This ensured we left with the glasses that we’re going to work for us.  Anyone who sells a product for a living should know the in’s and out’s of that product but this was above and beyond anything we had experienced before.

Models Tested

We opted to test four of the models from the “Sport” range, out of a possible thirteen! With so many models on offer wanted to find the perfect pair to suit our lifestyle of biking and hiking. We also wanted ones that we could wear post ride/hike and chill at the cafe with, because that’s important too right? You got to look your best when your quaffing that extra shot latte.

After our lengthy and in-depth consultation, we ended up with our choices. So without further ado, let’s get on with the review!

The G3

The G3 is the model that originally caught our eye and the reason why we started this conversation with Gloryfy. It has that classic wraparound sporty look and just shouts ADVENTURE! The G3 is a real workhorse and the model we tend to see worn the most, probably because they are so adaptable for a myriad of sporting activities and professions.

With that classic stealthy wrap around look and matte finish to the frame, they look bad ass!

Gloryfy unbreakable sunglasses
The G3 has become a classic for Gloryfy. Colour pictured: Devil Red and Twice Himalaya. Pic:©Richard McGibbon
Gloryfy unbreakable sunglasses
The G3 come in a range of colours and lens kits. Colour pictured: Twice Himalaya. Pic:©Richard McGibbon

Out On The Trails

We initially wanted to use the G3’s for mounting biking because we thought they looked so good. Shallow? Yes we know. But after some in-depth discussions with the distributor, he advised us that these were probably more suited to our hiking needs, and he was right.

Stubbornly, we still took them out for a spin on the bike but found the arms didn’t work great with our helmets and the peripheral vision wasn’t quite open enough.  We also found they tended to steam up quite quickly due to their very close wrap around fit.

However, if they work for you and you wanted to use them for mountain biking, then take a look look at the “air” lenses which have holes in them to improve air-flow and reduce lens steam up.

We are absolutely not saying you can’t wear these for mountain biking, you can, but they didn’t quite work for us.

Gloryfy unbreakable sunglasses
The G3’s are a great all round pair of sunglasses but didn’t work quite so well for us on the bikes. Pic:©Richard McGibbon
Gloryfy unbreakable sunglasses
The G3 out in their natural environment. Pic:©Tyres and Soles

The G3 is probably the ultimate pair of hiking sunglasses! Come to think of it, it’s one of the best all-rounders we’ve experienced.

With this experience, we decided to take them hiking as we originally planned, to see how they would perform . We discovered that the G3’s were much better suited to our hiking activities. Why oh why didn’t we listen to the advice given? Because we’re curious and we need to test these things out for ourselves.

We didn’t have any issues with the lenses steaming up due to the slower pace and less high intensity outbursts and the peripheral vision felt much better at walking pace. Of course we still rely on our peripheral vision when hiking, but the importance is lessened somewhat when you’re not hurtling down rocky terrain at 40-50kmh. Yes, the G3’s were much more suited to our hiking needs.

The fit was very comfortable and worked well with a sunhat or cap. The wraparound design gives them a very comfortable and snug fitting feel. We had no issues at all with slippage and even after a full day hike (6+ hours) they still felt light and extremely comfortable.

Did you ever have a comfort blanket or stuffed toy when you were a kid? Well these are the sunglasses version of a blanky. I really didn’t want to take them off.  At the end of the day when our hike was over, we were driving home and I mentioned to my wife how dark it was getting, but she pointed out that I still had them on! Doh! See!

The Lenses

The standard STRATOS lens handled the hiking trails very well in pretty much most light conditions. We were in and out of light dappled areas all day and had no issues with them.

The lenses are ballistically tested and this was somewhat put to the test as I walked straight into a branch at eye level!  I hit it quite hard and was hugely thankful for the strength of these lenses.

I wondered if other lenses would of come off worse, and thus my eye? The lens was fine, not a mark on it. These glasses were quickly becoming my new best friend.

The G3 STRATOS lens handles most light conditions very well.

The NIGHTFLIGHT lenses boast a high contrast level which helps to highlight rocks, roots and other potentially leg breaking obstacles.

We wanted to test the NIGHTFLIGHT lenses so we decided to go for a late afternoon hike in a low light tree covered area. In popped the lenses (very easily by the way) and…WOW! It was as if someone had turned on the big light. The impact really was that impressive.

All those sneaky leg breaking trail obstacles will be revealed with the G3 NIGHTFLIGHT yellow f1 lenses.

The NIGHTFLIGHT lenses boast a high contrast level which helps to highlight rocks, roots and other potentially leg breaking obstacles. Which is exactly what you want in low light conditions and why they are so well suited for hiking or trail running.

Although they didn’t quite work for us on the bike, we have to admit that the G3 is probably the best best all-rounders we’ve experienced. They certainly suited our hiking needs and we would confidently recommend them to anyone thinking about their next pair of hiking sunglasses.


G4 Radical Neon

The G4 Radical have now become our favourite go to glasses for mountain biking. Damn! Did we spill the beans too early? Oh well, you just have to carry on reading to find out why.

The look and feel of these glasses with their crystalline Radical shape is not only stylish but functional, creating an overall edgy look. The angular shape reminded me of the old school cycling glasses, that slightly retro appearance. At my age I consider myself to be naturally retro,  hence I was attracted to them.

After our lengthy discussion with the distributor, the G4 Radical was the model he picked out for us for our biking needs. Another bullseye! This guy was good. The G4’s can certainly talk the talk but let’s see if they can walk the walk.

Gloryfy unbreakable sunglasses
The G4 Radical with it’s angular and edgy look. Animal magnetism. Even the local bugs were attracted to them. Pic:©Richard McGibbon

The removable rubber grips added a level of grip which kept the glasses firmly in place when we were smashing through the rough stuff.

Gloryfy unbreakable sunglasses
The G4 Radical and the FOGLESS orange f1 lenses are ideal for low light conditions. Pic:©Richard McGibbon

Out On The Trails

The G4’s and feather-light. You will notice this as soon as you pick them up. Due to the half cut style frame the vision range felt good out on the trails and didn’t impede our peripheral view. Not having the frame at the bottom section of the lens certainly helped when scanning the trails at speed with the “there and now” technique us riders use.

Gloryfy unbreakable sunglasses
The G4’s have a great peripheral field of vision making them ideal for mountain biking. Pic:©Richard McGibbon

The Anthracite Transformer lens worked so well in most light conditions I kept forgetting I had them on.

Due to the shape, the air flow felt much better than the G3’s when moving along at high speeds and even when stopped the lens wouldn’t steam up as quickly.

The removable rubber grips added a level of grip which kept the glasses firmly in place when we were smashing through the rough stuff, but hell, even if they did fall off our face onto the trails…they’re unbreakable anyway right!

Gloryfy unbreakable sunglasses
Testing the Gloryfy G4 Radical at some local trails. Pic:©Richard McGibbon

Lenses

The TRANSFORMER anthracite f1 – f3 lens that came as standard with the G4, seemed to work in a broad range of lighting conditions even in low light. In fact, the Anthracite Transformer lens worked so well in most light conditions I kept forgetting I had them on. That’s always a good sign.

If these are the only lenses you decide to buy with the frame, then you wont go far wrong but we do advise on another pair specifically for low light conditions, then you’ll have everything covered.

The multi-talented Anthracite Transformer lens.

We opted for a set of FOGLESS orange f1 lenses for low light conditions. The Fogless Orange lens has been developed perfectly for fast moving activities in lowlight settings. Perfect for mountain biking yes.

The G4_Fogless Orange Lens are prefect for high speed low-light trail activity, such as mountain biking.

We were able to pick our way through some dodgy rocky, rooty sections in low-light, resulting in faster times and safer riding.

We were able to focus our attention on the trail much more with the Fogless Orange lenses and were able to pick our way through some dodgy rocky, rooty sections in low-light, resulting in faster and safer riding. Talk about confidence inspiring lenses!

To be honest with you, once I popped the orange lenses in, I rode with them for most of the time. You can use these for pretty much all light conditions imaginable. They’re not overly bright in well lit areas so the trails don’t feel over contrasty, but yet they kick in when in low light conditions. One lens to rule them all.

If you purchase a pair of the G4 glasses, then do yourself a favour and buy the Fogless Orange as your second pair of lenses. You’ll end up with a pair of glasses that cover all light conditions, plus you can get them with prescription options. Bish, bash, bosh, job done!


The G9 Radical Transformer

The G9 has jaw dropping good looks with it’s single lens design and angular styling. It provides the ultimate peripheral vision with its frameless design that doesn’t impede or obstruct your vision.

The crystalline angles on the lens adds to it’s Radical and very stylish shape. We think fashion and function have merged beautifully here.

Gloryfy unbreakable sunglasses
The G9 with it’s fixed, single lens. This what happens when fashion meets function, smack bang in the middle. What a stunner! Pic:©Richard McGibbon

Out On The Trails

Gloryfy state that “The high-tech lenses with power contrast, due to their colour, enhance contrast and true-colour vision and are unbeatable in any light situation.” So we were happy put that statement to the test.

Gloryfy unbreakable sunglasses
The Gloryfy G9 Transformer. Where style and function merge together to create a remarkable pair of sport sunglasses. Pic:©Richard McGibbon

The G9 Transformer Energizer lens handled a huge variety of light conditions we threw at it and performed admirably for us during the testing.

As riders we need to be able to spot obstacles on the trail ahead, and quickly make decisions based upon this. If we enter a dark section of the trail after being out in bright sunshine, we need to have lenses that can adjust. The lenses on these did just that.

We chose trails that had sections of bright open areas to darker tree covered sections. This was to push the boundaries of the lens and the statement made by Gloryfy, above.

Although they don’t change super-quick like some something out of a sci-fi movie, they adapt quick enough for riding situations.

Gloryfy unbreakable sunglasses
The Gloryfy G9 Transformer give you a full wide-open view of the trails. Pic:©Richard McGibbon

Our peripheral field of vision on the trails felt wide and open, reducing that feeling of trail disconnection you can sometimes get with glasses.

Our peripheral field of vision on the trails felt wide and open, reducing that feeling of trail disconnection you can sometimes get with glasses.

The one piece frame and lens is incredibly light and after several long days in the saddle, it never felt uncomfortable. The arms didn’t dig into the sides of our head and the 2-component nose piece was very comfortable and grippy, and we experienced zero slippage.

Lenses

The G9 Transformer Energizer lens handled a huge variety of light conditions we threw at it and performed admirably for us during the testing.

However, it did struggle on some of the very dark sections of the trail, but we think most other lenses on the market would of struggled also.

We chose the Transformer Energizer out of a range of eight other options due to the lenses being able to handle most light conditions we would encounter out on the trails, and we were happy with this choice. We would highly recommend this model and lens kit for mountain biking purposes.

Due to the one-piece lens, we did experience some slight sweat transfer issues, but only on very warm days, 35-40 degrees. The sweat on our brow occasionally transferred onto the top of the lens, resulting in sweat drip on the inside of the lens. Our fault for riding in ridiculously hot weather conditions I suppose.


The G10

The G10 models have a more casual/fashion design to them but still with all the features you’d come to now expect from Gloryfy with their flexible lenses and frame and incredibly sharp optics. The G10 have also been designed for a narrower face and tend to hug a little more snugly.
We’re not sure how Gloryfy did it, but shape of the frame and lens seem to look right at home on the trails with our riding/hiking gear as well as in the city in our civvies. Some sort of mysterious magic has been sewn into the fabric of these.
Gloryfy unbreakable sunglasses
The Gloryfy G10. Looks great out on the trails or at your local cafe. Pic©Richard McGibbon
Gloryfy unbreakable sunglasses
With a graduated frame colour from light to dark blue, these glasses are the first choice for friends of stylish sports sunglasses. Pic©Tyres and Soles

Out On The Trails

Due to the tighter fit and the rubberised arm and nose pieces, the G10 fits like a glove and is ideal for any outdoor activities. What that translates into is that they stay glued to your face and you don’t have to worry about them slipping off throughout the day and keep having to do that finger pushing, Clark Kent thing all day.

Gloryfy unbreakable sunglasses
The G10 are stylish enough to wear at the Cafe or beach yet are also in their element out in the bush. Pic:©Tyres and Soles
Gloryfy unbreakable sunglasses
The Gloryfy G10. Good looks, great fit and a more casual style, make these a great choice. Pic©Tyres and Soles
Gloryfy unbreakable sunglasses
They even looked OK on my ugly mug, now that’s a winner in my books! Pic:©Richard McGibbon

If you’re looking for a stylish yet highly functional pair of sports glasses that can mix with the uber-trendy and rough it up in the wilderness, then these will be a great choice for you.

They come in a range of droolingly beautiful frame and lens choices. The only problem will be which ones to choose.


Price Point

I suppose we can’t really talk about a product without talking about the price. Gloryfy come in at the mid range price point and go upwards from there, starting at around $209AUD for a basic model. This is still well within the price range of other big named brands out there.

You’ve probably heard people giving advice “just buy a cheap pair, lasted me years, this is my 10th pair”, “only cost me $40″ yadda, yadda, yadda. Which can be good advice, to a certain degree.

It will always come down to what you will be using them for and how often and how much you value the safety of your eyes. Hey, if that cheap pair actually work for you then that’s great, but there’s usually a reason why you’ve gone through 10 pairs already.

Conclusions

  • G3 – The perfect hiking and all-rounder for most sports and manual professions. You can’t go wrong with these. Might not be the best choice for mountain biking, but that was only our personal opinion.
  • G4 Radical – Light, stylish, good airflow, great peripheral vision and the big plus for us was the different lens options, plus prescription options made these our personal favourite and the ones we ended up purchasing.
  • G9 Radical (Transformer lens) – Exceptional peripheral vision, lightweight, stylish and a lens that can handle most light conditions. Due to the single lens/frame combo, you can’t buy different lenses, you have to buy the entire package but not a huge problem with these incredibly adaptive lenses. No prescription options.
  • G10 – Very stylish design that look great on the trails or in the city. If you want something that looks like a pair fashion sunglasses but is also very capable out in the wilderness, then these are a great choice.

All of the Gloryfy products are exceptionally made, with the highest design standards and the highest quality optics we have ever experienced. They models come with a hard case and lens cloth.

The range of products and the lenses on offer is vast! Couple this with the incredible advice you get from the Gloryfy distributor, who do their utmost to ensure you have the best possible experience…then it’s very hard to look anywhere else.

Where to buy:

We highly recommend you get in touch with the Australian distributor and receive the best possible advice, as we did via their Facebook page.  You can also purchase them at Paddy Pallin stores.

Jason Lorch

Author: Jason Lorch

Born and grew up in Wales but now a fully fledged Aussie. A passionate mountain biker, hiker and general nature addict. I’m also a bit of a muso and enjoy a good craft beer every now and again (probably too often).

I hope what we do here at Tyres and Soles will inspire people to get out there and experience first hand, the natural wonders that surround them.

So, pump up those tyres, don your favourite boots. Grab a mate, a partner, a pet… and head out into nature. But tell us all about it when you get back.

Editor at Tyres and Soles.

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