You could call it a four-eyed quest, our long search for the perfect lightweight prescription sports eyewear. And by perfect we mean eyewear with clip-in RX inserts covered by polycarbonate UV protective lenses that don't, as so many of this type of eyewear has in the past, make you look like the lead character in a sci-fi B movie titled, "The Bug-eyed Man Who Ate Detroit."
Eager to meet the challenge, Rudy Project offered us its new Exception model to test. Trim, sleek and ultra light, a pair of Exceptions does give the confirmed glasses wearer anything but the "bug-eyed" look. Things were looking promising.
Exception frames come with nine different-colored, quick-change lens options and easily removable optical inserts. The polycarbonate lenses can be flipped up for clearer vision when you walk from the bright sunshine into the pub or coffee house of your choice after a workout. Sounded good too, although we have to admit a bit of trepidation over the flip-up option -- smelled like it had "GEEK" stamped all over it.
Still, our job is not to prejudge, but rather to test, evaluate and report, so we ordered up a pair and sent one of our resident eyeglass wearers out bike riding, trail running and paddling to get the straight scoop.
He reported that with a few quick temple and nosepiece adjustments, the Exceptions were face-ready. In use, they stayed snug on his face thanks in large part to rubberized temples that grip the side of the head without any discomfort whatsoever. While it does sound clichÃ©, our tester told us that unlike other glasses he's tested, the Exceptions were the exception to the rule as he hardly noticed the 1.26 ounces perched on his face. Like other high-end glasses we've tested, the optical quality was superb.
All that was left to gauge was the all-important, sports eyewear fashion factor. Comments elicited from our tester's fellow riders in the local road peloton, the local mountain bike gang and his paddling friends were all favorable, touting the Exceptions as both stylish and comfortable looking. The strut inspired by newfound eyewear fashion was tempered somewhat however, when our tester walked into a coffee bar and flipped up the polycarbonate lenses to better see who was in the place. Turns out our tester's youngest son was there and witnessed his eyeglass-flipping entrance. Naturally, being well-versed in all things hip, cool and current, he promptly exclaimed to dad, "Oh no, flip-up geek glasses."
Of course, being an avowed gear-freak like his dad, youngest son took a longer look at the Exceptions in both the flip-up and flip-down modes and revised his initial observation to proclaim, "Really cool-looking geek flip-ups." Ah, the quest for lightweight RX-insert sports eyewear has ended, as long as you're still willing to embrace your inner geek it seems.
Exception frames come in a choice of platinum, titanium or matte black finish.
SNEWSÂ® Rating: 5 (1 to 5 hands clapping possible, with 5 clapping hands representing functional and design perfection, even if they do have a certain geek appeal)
Suggested retail: $235; Spare lenses range from $45 to $75
For more information:www.rudyprojectusa.com or 888-860-7597