When we think about the most important gear that we have with us when we head out for our favorite outdoor pursuits the first equipment that generally comes to mind are things like backpacks, hiking boots or shell jackets. But often times it is the small piece of gear that we take for granted that is actually amongst our most important and useful items. Take for example a good pair of sunglasses. Usually we put them on almost as an after thought and we don’t even realize how important they actually are. I was reminded of this recently while testing out a new pair of shades from Liberty Sport, whose Trailblazer sunglasses have quickly earned a spot amongst my favorite gear items.
Lightweight and durable, the Trailblazers provide plenty of coverage with an attractive wrap around design. They are form fitting, yet comfortable, and are perfectly shaped to wear under both a cycling and climbing helmet. I especially liked the large lenses which kept the bright Texas sun out of my eyes on daily runs and bike rides.
A good pair of outdoor sun glasses needs to be able to withstand plenty of abuse out in the field and the Trailblazer definitely can handle just about anything you throw at them. The frames are flexible and can absorb impacts when dropped and the performances lenses are specifically designed to be as much as five times stronger than standard polycarbonate. The result is a set of eyewear that can be used in a variety of environments and activities.
One of my favorite features of the Trailblazer sunglasses are the included eye cups that snap into place along the inside of the lenses and stay there through the innovative use of magnets. These cups help to seal off the open areas around the outside of the farm, keeping excess sand, dust or snow out of the eyes. The fact that the magnetic eye cups can be added or removed as need, gives these glasses a nice level of versatility that makes them a good option for a variety of outdoor pursuits. For instance, I keep the eye cups off while running and cycling, as the increased ventilation is much appreciated. But when hiking a dusty trail on a windy day, it is nice to have the ability to keep flying particles out of our eyes. Additionally, mountaineers and skiers will appreciate this option of using the cups to keep the snows at bay. Liberty Sport has truly created a pair of sunglasses that is versatile enough for all environments and sports.
Over the past month I’ve used the Trailblazers nearly every day and I’ve been extremely happy with their performance. These glasses keep my eyes well protected from the harsh summer sun and the large lenses are a big help in that department. Initially I was afraid that the wrap around design and thicker frames would be warmer to use, resulting in more sweat in my eyes while running. It turns out the Trailblazers were actually better at preventing that irritating sweat from running down my face, making them much more comfortable to use on the 100ºF/38ºC days.
On top of all those other great technical qualities the Trailblazers happen to look great too. While its true we all want our gear to function at a high level, it also doesn’t hurt if that same gear has a level of good ascetic design as well. Sun glasses in particular should be fashionable as well as functional, and these shades can be worn out on the town just as easily as on the trail.
Outdoor athletes looking for a versatile pair of sun glasses that they can use for a variety of activities will appreciate the Trailblazer from Liberty Sport. They carry an MSRP of $175 which makes them competitive with similar frames from other eyewear companies, but considering the fact that they can be used in a wide variety of sports and environments, I think they are well worth the money. The included magnetic eye cups are a great touch as well.
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