/ Which sunglasses and where to buy
However, where on earth does one buy these in the Lakes (found one Julbo dealer in Ambleside, but they only had pretty hardcore type sunglasses that you would not want to wear during the day)? Are there any other brands that are ok in that price range, and where can you buy them in the lakes (also travel to Leeds and Shrewsbury sometimes, so anything in that area would be ok as well)? I hope this has not been discussed to death yet, but thought I'd ask.
I got mine from Vision Express in Blackpool.
Having used both wrap around sunglasses and round lenses with screens I can say I prefer wrap arounds these days, as they don't knacker my peripheral vision so badly.
Most of the brands are as good as one another, but remember that it's a bad idea to drive with a category 3 or 4 lens.
I think I have some dirty dog polarising sunglasses for driving and bloc for the hills.
Julbo Nomads - Cat 4, about £55 from Cotswolds and fit me perfectly.
Otherwise, I've got Bloc glasses as my cheap ones and then 3 pairs of assorted posey Oakleys
Have a look at the Dixon range. I 've been using them for a few years now working in the hills in this country and abroad and they are the toughest, comfiest glasses I have! I think you can get polarised wrap-arounds for about £30, and glacier ones for similar. No metal arms etc to freeze to your skin like some of the Julbo range...
Others are welcome to disagree but I certainly can't tell the slightest difference in performance between most brand name £25 pairs and £80 pairs.
If you do loads of hardcore skiing and want maximum performance in flat-light then the correct £200+ pair of Oakleys with interchangeable lenses will certainly give you an edge, but you need to consider firstly whether you can afford it and second whether you can be sure that you won't lose, break, scratch or otherwise trash them in short order.
Personally find I can manage fine with basic 'grade 3' wrap around sunglasses in the mountains but I rarely spend day after day on snow with bright sun. However, on a long high-altitude exped I would be taking two pairs of sunglasses as a matter of course (as well as googles) and in that case one pair would probably be 'grade 4'. It is worth remembering that it is against the law to drive with 'grade 4' sunglasses meaning that if you go for the darkest possible ones with side and nose guards you would need another pair for any driving.
I have a couple of pairs of bloc glasses, but I am really bad at looking after them. In an interesting experiment with one of the bloc reps we took a lens and a hammer and tried to break it. It just wouldn't happen no matter how hard we hit it.
And another. Always look in TK Maxx when in the UK and see whatever wrap-arounds they have that I think look good. Currently have some Nikes, before that some North Face ones, before that Animal ones. All cost about 15 quid from TK Maxx (all had RRPs for 60 quid+) and all have worked very well cycling, climbing, running and just general usage. And at 15 quid when they eventually get scratched, it's not the end of the world.
these have a thin metal frame full wrap around and comfortable lense equals cat 3 but are also available in clear. seen a few cyclist wearing these as well and there cheap enough to try out.
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