Review: Julbo Renegade and Resist Glasses – ‘They’re Better Than My Eyes!’

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Julbo designs its glasses high in the Jura mountains of France, gets its frames made in Poland, and then makes all its lenses and assembles them with frames in its Jura factory. It’s one of very few glasses brands that are still independent, and personally I quite like the idea that they’re not being mass produced and labelled with a designer badge so you can charge more for them. With a history in making specialist glasses for outdoor pursuits, there are frames and lenses to suit a whole range of specific niche needs. The new Renegade and (women’s specific fit) Resist glasses however, have a more generalist application, aimed at both on the bike and hanging out afterwards. The different coloured frames come with different types of lenses, and both of these here have been fitted with the ZebraLight lenses, which are photochromic and better suited to mountain biking than the other colour options within these frame styles. If you like the frames, the Polarized 3 lens will be good for high glare scenarios like sailing, and the Spectron 3 CF will be better in bright conditions – but they’re not photochromic so they won’t adjust in low light.

These are the ‘men’s’ Renegades.

The blurb for the Renegades says:
Blasting down a single track followed by lunch on the terrace? Same sunglasses, same style and same protection. Julbo has created Renegade, at home in daily life on any type of terrain. Its resolutely urban look disguises a keen appetite for adventure: incredible grip, wide angle of vision and photochromic Reactiv lenses. A true work of art!

These are the women’s fit Resist.

While the women’s Resist blurb reads:
With feminine good looks and freeride spirit, Resist is up to any challenge and refuses to compromise. Effortlessly switching from town to mountains, it offers an outstanding level of performance: pantos shape and keyhole bridge for style, grip material, a curved front and temples to take on the worst situations, as well as photochromic REACTIV lenses for the best vision. 100% protection of your look.

Translation: you can wear these on the bike, and you won’t look daft at the pub afterwards.

Sightly more coverage on the Renegades.
Still a snug fit on the Resists.

Yes, I think they are a good looking pair of pairs of glasses – if you see what I mean – though I do slightly prefer the oversized fit of the Renegades over the Resists. But then, my head is not particularly girly-sized, and I think the Resists would be a better fit on a narrower head than mine. That said, I have worn both plenty, and the smaller lenses of the Resists leave my face feeling a little cooler in warmer weather.

On the trail, both are great – they stay in place and have impressive anti-fog properties on even the steepest and sweatiest of climbs. In fact, I’ve never actually had them steam up – instead they sort of collect little rivulet of moisture if you stop riding when hot and sweaty, but they clear again as soon as you start moving. Again, the Renegades are my preferred pair, as the larger lenses give a bit more coverage and therefore protection from flying bugs and grit, although the Resists do sit quite neatly over my eye sockets so there’s still a good level of protection there. I like the full frames – I’m not a fan of exposed lens edges as I’m always paranoid it’s going to slice my cheek.

This mirror finish lens is the right colour for trails, and looking good.
The photochromic lenses are great in low light too. Note the simple rubber nose piece.

I’m a recent convert to sunglasses – I mean, I love sunglasses, they’re pretty much a guaranteed way to look cool, and they mean you can actually see when the sun is out. But until recently I couldn’t find contact lenses to suit. In fairness, the ones I have now are still compromised – I can’t see as well with them as I can with my glasses, so to help check out the visual properties of the lenses I’ve passed these around a number of friends. The result? Universal awe. ‘These are better than my eyes!’ and ‘Everything’s gone HD!’ were two favourite comments. They certainly seemed clear to my slightly wonky eyes, and others have confirmed this. In fact, Andi tried my test pair on and subsequently bought some – that’s a pretty glowing recommendation.

Even in low light conditions these glasses offer great visibility.
Hannah tested these out in the bright mountain sun of Idaho too. Image Credit: Crank Tank.

The photochromic lenses are great for a whole range of light conditions. Only under trees in dark shadows at the end of the day, or really dark rain cloud skies did I find I was straining to see on the trail, and quite often find I’m still wearing them inside or late into the evening when there’s really no need for sunglasses. At the opposite end of the spectrum, a super bright day in the high mountains did have me wishing they went a shade darker, but I don’t live in the high mountains and if I did there are other glasses for those white light eye burning conditions.

There’s no adjustability in the nose or leg pieces, but for me that’s not an issue – they fit, and they stay put. I’ve not scratched them during the test period, and I confess that I’m not the best for putting my glasses carefully away within protective cases.

Overall

I really like these glasses and the Renegades are my go to pair for riding and relaxing. There are cheaper glasses out there, but I don’t think you’ll get the clarity that these offer, and there are more expensive options, but I’m not all that sure why you’d bother. These do the job nicely.

The glasses stay put, stay clear, and are great for almost all conditions.

 

Review Info

Brand:Julbo
Product:Renegade and Resist Glasses
From:lyon.co.uk/outdoor/
Price:£110
Tested:by Hannah for 2 months

Comments (3)

  1. A well written review and seem nice enough glasses, but going back to STWs clarity policy, didn’t you get a trip out to Geneva from the company a year or so ago?
    If you are going full disclosure you might want to consider historic potential “influencers”.
    You opened a can of worms with that policy.

  2. @eddiebaby I did, and that disclosure is in the linked article about their history. I see your point, but I think they are genuinely good glasses and these were sent completely separately to that trip. While my trip there informed my understanding of the manufacturing process I hope that I’m experienced (or cynical?!) enough now to see past the marketing and through to the actual performance.

  3. 🙂 Let’s go with experienced.
    Sorry, I didn’t click on the link so missed that – I didn’t actually know there was a link due to the subtle colour used to highlight it.

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