Ryders Swamper Photochronic Sunglasses

When Ryders approached 4alloutdoors.org to test any of the many sunglasses they offer, I jumped at the chance to try a pair.  I do a lot of bike riding and running and most of the time I start or end in the dark so I was looking for a pair that would work in low light and in bright light without having to change lenses or glasses.  I went to the Ryders website and started researching all the different types of glasses that they offer.  After much research, I thought that the Swamper Photochronic would be the best for what I was looking for.  They are considered medium in size and weigh 32 grams.  They were the style I prefer and I liked the idea that they are rated for low light to bright sun.  The lenses of the Swampers are made to automatically adjust by becoming lighter or becoming darker based on the light you are in.  Info in italics below is from the Swamper Photochronic website.



Light conditions are constantly changing. Time of day, weather, or simply a change in location or direction of travel will alter the intensity of the sunlight that’s reaching your eyes. Photochromic lenses automatically adjust to suit the amount of sunlight at any given time.

Our Photochromic lenses are made using an injection process that ensures they’re optically correct, decreasing eye fatigue and increasing comfort. At all tint levels — from the lightest to the darkest — RYDERS Photochromic lenses provide protection against 100% UVA, UVB, UVC and harmful blue light to 400nm.

When exposed to sunlight, the lenses will start to darken instantly. The time they take to reach maximum darkness depends on a number of factors including the intensity of sunlight and air temperature. Generally speaking, the adjustment from light to dark is quite rapid. The adjustment from dark to light will begin instantly but occur more gradually.


It’s important to note that most car windshields block the UV light that’s needed for the Photochromic reaction to take place. For this reason, you should not expect the tint of the lenses to darken while driving in bright conditions.

When the Swampers arrived at my house, I immediately pulled them out and put them on.  They felt very light on my face and were very comfortable. The frames are flexible and the nose piece is non-slip which will be great when I am sweating.  They are slightly smaller than my other pair of sunglasses but they fit the contour of my face very well.  The Swampers feel very light on my face and I have worn them all day without any discomfort or squeeze areas.  Below is from the Swamper  website.

HYDROPHILIC NOSE PADS + TEMPLE TIPSHydrophilic [anti-slip] nose pads are an important feature to look for in performance eyewear. Hydrophilic temple tips give that extra little bit of grip that can come in handy in many situations. The material we use to make these features is so effective that it actually grips better when it’s wet — exactly when it’s needed.


I am a little behind getting the first review up so I have had many opportunities to wear the Swampers in several different environments.  I have worn them mostly for driving.  I have worn them in bright sunshine, rain, snow, dusk and dawn.  One thing to keep in mind that most automobile glass blocks UV rays which is needed for the Swampers to darken in bright conditions. This causes the sunshine to seem brighter inside your car than if you were standing outside.  I have found them to be very effective even in the bright sunshine.  I really like them at dawn, dusk and in the rain and snow.  At dawn and dusk they brighten the road so it seems I can see farther and clearer.  In rain and snow during the day, the orange tint of the lenses takes out the white effect that I see when driving ahead of me and again I can see farther down the road.

I have also had the opportunity the wear the Ryders Swamper Photochronic Sunglasses on runs and hikes.  I really am impressed on how well the Swampers stay on my face during a run.  I have run with them on trail runs and on the road.  I like them a lot on trail runs because I go from shade to bright sun throughout the run.  I cannot tell when I’m running if the lenses are getting darker and lighter but I do know that I can see the trail much better with the orange lenses than I can with traditional dark lenses.  Roots, rocks and ruts show up much better which is much safer in my book.   I did not have any issues with the Swampers slipping down my face even when I was sweating.  I felt the same hiking as I did trail running about the Swampers.  I can see the trail much better wearing the Swampers.  I have not had the opportunity to ride either on my mountain bike or road bike but I really look forward to trying them out.  I feel I will have more confidence on the mountain bike because I will be able to see the trail much better with the Swampers.

Ryders Swampers were great on a hike.

Ryders orange lens

Other things the website says is the lenses are scratch resistant and shatterproof.  Hopefully this is true since I tend to be rough on my glasses.  They also say they are optically correct to eliminate distortion.  I have not had any problems with distortion with the Swampers.  The lenses also block 100% of UVA, UVB and UVC rays and harmful blue light to 400nm according to their website.  The Swampers come in a semi-hard protective case and a soft sleeve.

Ryders Case with soft sleeve
Ryders Case


There is much more information on the Swampers website( http://ryderseyewear.com/node/6436 ).  So far I am very impressed with the Swampers and I cannot wait to try them out on the bike.  I look forward to using them on all my runs and hikes and as everyday sunglasses.  I will have more on the Swamper adventures in about a month.

Update Ryders Swamper Photochronic Sunglasses 04/11/2012

The Ryder Swamper Photochronic eyeglasses have become a part of my everyday life.  I wear them all the time.  If I am outside, they are on my face.  I wear them driving, walking, running, hiking, riding, soccer games, lacrosse games, etc., etc.  I can go on and on about the uses for the Swampers.  I mainly decided on this particular pair for their use from low light to bright light.  As I mentioned before most of my bike rides and runs start or end in the dark and in the past I have had to change lenses or completely change glasses.  Not anymore with the Swampers.

I have had many opportunities over the past month to use the Swampers on bike rides, both mountain and road.  Most of my road rides have started before the sun comes up.  I have found that even before daylight the Swampers are great for wearing as long as there is just a little light from the moon, a street lamp or my headlamp.  With just a little bit of light the road seems much clearer and my eyes are protected from the wind and bugs.  I have noticed the colder the temperature and the faster my speed, the more my eyes water.  For example, the temperature was 35 degrees F one morning and at 30mph my eyes watered really bad.  They watered enough to where I had to slow down; a problem I have not had with other glasses.  My thought is the lens on the bottom of the Swamper is cut out more than my other glasses and it allows more wind to come in.  The warmer the temperature, the faster I can go without my eyes watering.  On another ride, the temperature was 52 degrees F and it wasn’t until I hit 42 mph before my eyes began to water.  It was really nice not changing lenses or glasses once the sun was up and shining brightly.  The Swampers automatically darken for brighter light.  I don’t notice it happening but it must be happening because the Swampers work great in bright light as well.

Ryders Swamper Photochronic Sunglasses
The cut off lenses may be the cause of my eyes watering in colder temperatures and high speeds on my bike.

Another experience I had on the bike with the Swampers was when I was riding a section of the Blue Ridge Parkway.  I was on a section where I would go through several tunnels.  Usually, I would have to remove my sunglasses in the tunnel but there was enough light coming into the tunnel where I did not need to remove my glasses, I just kept on pedaling.  The Swamper seems to make my surroundings brighter when in dark conditions.  I have also been on several mountain bike rides.  I feel safer wearing the Swampers over my other sunglasses because the trail seems much clearer with the orange tinted lenses.  Going in and out of shadows all the time while mountain biking, I can see roots and rocks better and sooner so I have more time to react giving me more confidence when I ride.

One of tunnels on the Blue Ridge Parkway during a ride.
Another Tunnel
Ryders Swampers are great for mountain biking.



I have run in the Swampers many times on both trails and the road.  While running trails, like mountain biking, the Swampers give me more time to react because the trail just seems clearer and brighter.  Since the weather has turned very warm and I am sweating more, I have not had any issues with them slipping down my face even when I am real sweaty.  I have run with them in the rain on the road and other than the raindrops on the glasses, I can see clearly in the rain.

I have done several day hikes with the Swampers and I will never do another without them.  Walking through the woods especially around rivers, the colors seem so much richer with the Swampers on.  It almost looks fake, it looks so good.  Wearing them on hikes is my favorite time to wear them.  I wish my camera could catch on film what my eyes are seeing through the Swamper lenses.

Other than my eyes watering in cold temperatures at higher speeds on my bike, I am completely satisfied with the Ryder Swamper Photochronic sunglasses.  I have not had any quality issues or scratches on the lenses.  I plan on continuing to wear them every day.  I will have more experiences with them in about a month.


Final Review Ryders Swamper Photochronic Sunglasses 5/16/2012

I really enjoy testing something I can use every day.  As I mentioned before the Ryder Swamper Photochronic glasses have become a part of my everyday life.  I continue to use them for all my outdoor activities and am very impressed with how well they work in all levels of light.  Whether I am riding my bike before the sun comes up or watching my sons play lacrosse on a bright, sunny day, the Swampers are doing their job and protecting my eyes.  I am impressed with how well I see when I wear the Swampers on mountain bike rides and trail running.  I have more confidence on the trails because I can see things that could cause me problems better than my other glasses or going without.   The problem I had with my eyes watering while riding in cold temperatures has gone away since the temperatures are warmer now.  I have not had problems with my eyes watering as long as the temperature is above 60 degrees F no matter how fast I go on my bike.

The Swampers are lightweight and very durable.  The scratch resistant coating on the lenses works very well.  After using them every day for almost three months, there are not any scratches on the lenses.  The frames a flexible which reduce the chance of them breaking if you accidentally sit on them or if you are not careful when you put them on or take them off.

I know this is a short final review.  It is because I would be repeating myself over and over by telling you how great the Ryders Swamper Photochronic Sunglasses are.  If you do anything outside and you want a pair of glasses that can protect your eyes no matter the level of light, the Ryder Swamper Photochronic sunglasses are for you.  I look forward to years of outdoor activities with the Swampers.  Thank you Ryder for providing the Swampers to review and 4alloutdoors.org the opportunity.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *