Ryders Eyewear has traditionally been known for their cycling glasses and given their long-standing roots on the North Shore of Vancouver it’s understandable that for many their glasses are synonymous with two-wheeled adventures. Ryders glasses though, offered in an array of frame and lens combos, can be used across a wide spectrum of high output activities. Last summer we reviewed the Ryders Nelson and Tsuga sunglasses and this winter over the past few months I put three different pairs of their antiFOG sunglasses to the test to see how well they performed during backcountry skiing, xc skiing, and even snowshoeing.
Below you can see the Ryders Thorn antiFOG Sunglasses, read on to learn more about these as well as the Ryders Face GX and Rockwork antiFOG Sunglasses.
Ryders glasses come in a multitude of frame and lens combinations. For this review, I tested the Face GX in the photochromic antiFOG orange lens, The Rockwork in antiFOG brown lens, and The Thorn in photochromic antiFog yellow lens.
All three lenses share Ryders antiFog technology which consists of a fog resistant backing comprised of military grade hydrophilic layer. This layer absorbs and disperses any water vapour humidity which prevents any fog from forming on the lens. As well, the front of the lens has a hydrophobic coating which sheds water to provide a clear, water drop free view. All antiFOG lenses are decentered, meaning they are optically correct which prevents distortion and eye fatigue. As well, they are impact and scratch resistant and block out 100% of UV.
The Face GX and The Thorn have photochromic technology which means that each lens has millions of organic molecules that change shape and absorb light when exposed to ultraviolet radiation. Essentially what this means is that as it gets brighter outside the lens will darken and as it get darker the lens will brighten. Ryders photochromic lenses stand out from the competitors because most others are simply dipped in photosensitive material whereas Ryders are injected with this material.
Over the course of the winter, each glass was used during a variety of activities in all types of weather. Ultimately, each glass performed well in all conditions and preference to me mainly came down to aesthetics.
Here in the Kootenays we seemed to have a high-pressure system that lasted from late December through February so each of the glasses saw lots of sunny days. The Thorn with its photochromic yellow lens surprised me the most. I’ve used other non-photochromic yellow lenses before on sunny days and found they don’t cut the light enough. Yet The Thorn performed very well. Where the photochromic lens shines, is in its ability to adjust quickly according to light conditions. On ski days with transitions from open slopes to forested runs, the yellow lens changed nearly instantaneously. The Face GX with its photochromic orange lens performed as well as the Thorn in sunshine and transitions from bright light to dark. The foam gasket on the Face allows it to perform more like a traditional ski google with peripheral light being blocked out slightly more than in the Thorn. The Rockwork, having a non-photochromic lens still performed well but in transitions, to darker light, the lens stayed dark.
On cloudy and/or snowy days, again, each glass performed well. The Rockwork having a brown non-photochromic lens didn’t allow for as much light to pass through but overall on darker days it's light transmission was adequate. On snowy days the Face GX blocks out any snowflakes that may try to fly into your eyes. The Thorn with its bigger frame also blocked snow quite well but The Rockwork has a smaller frame and doesn’t block out snow as well as the other two.
As far as the antiFOG technology goes all three glasses managed to fight off fog very well under most conditions. On a particularly warm day, I used the Face GX xc skiing and I found as long as I kept moving the lenses stayed clear. However, whenever I would stop I would have to take them off to prevent them from developing a layer of moisture. Not a big deal but the antiFOG isn’t a cure-all under all conditions to prevent condensation.
Comfort wise all three glasses fit well and are very light which means that you never notice them while wearing them which to me is key. I’ve had glasses in the past which are almost a distraction to wear and thankfully that’s not the case with all three of these.
Below you can see the foam padding on the Ryders Face GX Sunglasses which is designed to keep snow and debris out, so you can see better.
Overall the three glasses performed very well during numerous activities in different types of weather. Each pair of glasses is lightweight and comfortable and construction seems pretty bomber. Having mostly always worn goggles for ski touring I found The Face GX to be a nice hybrid type of glass that blocks out snow and peripheral light very well. In terms of looks, it’s not a glass you’d wear around town but that’s not its intention. The Rockwork is sporty in its looks and works best on brighter days when lighting contrasts are at a minimum. The Thorn is probably the most street worthy frame of the three but with its yellow lens, it is probably best saved for using during activities rather than hanging out on the patio. I liked its larger frame size though and felt it struck a good balance between the smaller framed Rockwork and the glass/goggle hybrid Face GX. Although I didn’t have to adjust the nose pads on The Rockwork it is a nice feature to have in order to fine-tune the fit.
One thing worth mentioning is that because Ryders offers so many frames with many different lens types and colour combinations it’s a good idea to investigate on their website which type of lens and colour will ultimately work best for the activity you will be using them for. Whereas the Face GX and The Thorn performed well in all light conditions The Rockwork performed well in bright light and only adequately in lower light.
Ryders Rockwork antiFOG Sunglasses
Colours: White with Black, Matte Black, Matte Crystal Blue with Black
Lens Options: Photochromic Grey, Photochromic Light Brown, antiFOG Clear, antiFOG Grey, antiFOG Brown, antiFOG Rose, antiFOG Yellow
Frame Tech: Adjustable nosepads
Size: One size
Ryders Face GX antiFOG Sunglasses
Colours: Matte Black, Matte Black Camo
Lens Options: Photochromic AntiFOG Orange and photochromic AntiFOG Yellow
Frame Tech: Grilamid TR90, foam gasket to keep out dust and peripheral light.
Size: One size
Ryders Thorn antiFOG Sunglasses
Colours: Matte with black, Matte white with orange
Lens Options: antiFOG Brown with Orange Flash, antiFOG Grey with Silver Flash, antiFOG Rose, veloPOLAR™ antiFOG Grey, veloPOLAR™ antiFOG Rose, Photochromic antiFOG Yellow, tractionPOLAR antiFOG Traction Yellow, Photochromic Light Grey, Photochromic Brown, Polarized Brown with Silver Flash
Frame Tech: Grilamid TR90
Size: One Size
Ryders Rockwork antiFOG Sunglasses 9/10
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