Review by Arnie P
PROBAR MEAL The Real Whole Food Bar
I received the Ryders Defcon PolarPhoto for review purposes. The Ryders eyewear comes in an amazing assortment of lenses, frames, styles, and colors,
In addition to the Ryders sunglasses, I received a soft shell clam case and a fabric bag. The clam case is black with a zippered opening and the fabric bag is black with a red pull string closure. Both the front and the temples of the black frames are curved to fit the contour of my head and the lenses are curved to fit the frame. The gray lenses are photosensitive and thus get darker as the intensity of the light source increases. There are small pieces of rubberized material where the sunglasses make contact with the nose and at the ends of the temples where the temples make contact with the head just above the ears.
Features from the hang tag and web site for the Ryders PolarPhoto sunglasses
Protection: 100% UVA, UVB, UVC
Lenses: Made in France
Lenses: Optically correct, no distortion
Frame material: TR90 Switzerland
Hydrofluoric parts: Nose pads and temple tips
Lens color: Gray
Frame color Black
Listed weight 28 G
Measured weight: 28 G
Polarized Polychromatic Technology from website
A COMBINATION OF OUR TWO MOST ADVANCED TECHNOLOGIES
It’s a polarized lens so it eliminates glare. It’s also a Polychromatic lens, meaning it lightens and darkens automatically to suit the light conditions. These two lens technologies offer the greatest advantages, so we’ve packed them into one.
Our PolarPhoto 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 PolarPhoto 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. If sunlight intensity gradually changes, the lenses will gradually change with it. If the intensity suddenly drops off, the lenses will start to change instantly but the adjustment from dark to light is slightly slower than the rapid adjustment from light to dark.
Where there is light there is always glare. It’s caused when light hits a surface, becomes concentrated, then reflects into your eyes. PolarPhoto lenses eliminate glare from horizontal surfaces [roads, water, ice, snow, etc.] allowing details to show through, drastically reducing eye strain.
LIGHT CONDITIONS: designed for medium to very bright, glaring light
POLARIZING EFFECT: eliminates glare, significantly increasing definition and depth perception
PHOTOCHROMIC EFFECT: automatically adjusts from light to dark and vice versa to suit light conditions
COLOUR EFFECT: darkens colors without changing hue or contrast
VISIBLE LIGHT TRANSMISSION: 34% – 12%, category 2 – 3
UV PROTECTION: 100% UVA, UVB, UVC and harmful blue light to 400nm
POLYCARBONATE LENS MATERIAL
Polycarbonate is the extraordinarily durable thermoplastic that’s used in bulletproof glass, riot shields and astronaut helmets. It’s the ideal material for performance eye-wear because of its high impact resistance, inherent UV protection and light weight. All of our lenses are made of polycarbonate.
All of our lenses block 100% of UVA, UVB, and UVC rays, and harmful blue light to 400nm. These harmful rays are a leading cause of cataracts, skin cancer and wrinkles around the eyes—all great reasons to block them out.
All of our lenses are shatterproof, meaning they won’t break up into dangerous little shards when impacted. An extremely strong impact may damage the lens, but it will never shatter. If astronauts trust this material to keep their heads from exploding while on a 17,000 mph space walk, you’ll have nothing to worry about on your adventures, no matter how fast you’re going.
The lenses in all of our sunglasses are made by injecting molten polycarbonate into a mold that is specially shaped to eliminate distortion. This process makes the lenses optically correct, increasing comfort and minimizing eye fatigue.
We apply a scratch-resistant coating to all of our lenses. Though this process makes the surface of the lens considerably harder than the base lens material, it’s impossible to make the lenses completely scratch proof (short of making them from diamonds) so please care for them properly as they may still scratch under certain conditions.
A Swiss technology, this thermoplastic is the material used in all of our sunglasses (with the exception of our metal frames). Its extreme flexibility, durability and light weight make it the perfect material for performance eyewear.
HYDROPHILIC NOSE PADS + TEMPLE TIPS
Hydrophilic [anti-slip] nose pads are an important feature to look for in performance eye-wear. 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.
The web site had a lot more material than I anticipated. I have been using both prescription and over the counter photosensitive lenses since the early 70’s. I learned then that I had a sensitivity to UV light and that without some kind of eye protection I would have severe headaches. For a long time I have worn sunglasses outside and sometimes also inside. Surprisingly enough, to my knowledge, I have not worn polarized lenses. I have experienced glare in the past, but it did not seem to happen often or long enough for me to be concerned. I was also under the impression that if I wore polarized lenses there would be a noticeable loss of light. Several times last year, I experienced severe glare to the point that I wished there was something I could do. With this history of mine, I am looking forward to using these photosensitive polarized lenses.
Trying them out
The fit is perfect. There is very little space between the frame and where it makes contact with my head. I have been wearing the Defcon sunglasses outdoors everyday since I received them. The feel and comfort is excellent. The lenses react quickly to changes in light intensity. Within the last month, I had purchased the new LED light bulb for internal use in my house. The light produced is a narrow flood beam, which if looked at directly, tends to cause temporary loss of vision when one looks away from the light. I had to be careful using this bulb for reading and computer use. With the Defcon sunglasses there is no more glare and looking directly into the light is tolerable for a short period of time. I have remembered asking my optometrist about how to tell if a lens was polarized. She told me to hold the glasses between me and my computer screen and rotate the glasses. If the screen turns dark at some point during the rotation the glasses are polarized. I did this with the Defcon sunglasses and when the angle was about 45 degrees my screen went dark. This bit of information turned out to be helpful when a couple days later, while wearing the sunglasses, when using my computer, I bent sideways to pick something up off the floor. As I was doing this my LCD screen went black and initially I thought I had loosened the electrical plug. This was only momentary, until I realized I had to be careful while wearing the sunglasses, not to tilt my head when looking at a computer monitor.
I have mostly good things to say about the Ryders Defcon PolarPhoto sunglasses. They are lightweight and comfortable. They change quickly in changing light conditions and they allow little or no sunlight to enter my eyes directly. Putting the sunglasses on when they are cold, does cause some fogging. However, if I take them off for a few seconds, the fogging usually goes away. There is no ventilation in the sunglasses and I did not see any mention of anti fogging technology used in the manufacturing of these sunglasses. Fortunately this does not happen very often. Please check back in about a month when I will have more to say.
I have used the Ryders Defcon PolarPhoto sunglasses almost everyday since they arrived at my house. I am finding out there is a lot to like about these sunglasses and I will get into the details. I have used the sunglasses mostly outdoors hiking and driving and on a few occasions indoors.
Hiking in the Middlesex Fells has a lot of the same conditions that I would encounter in the White Mountains, except on a smaller scale. This includes ledges, large boulders, and and muddy areas. Although I did not have to deal with reflection of snow on the ground for these hikes there was plenty of water for reflection and glare. When you experience glare it is obvious and annoying at best. The glare was virtually gone with the Defcon polarization and I found that it I began to take the absence of glare for granted. Occasionally I did remove the glasses for a few seconds to be able to see the difference. The glare was greatly reduced. This translated into seeing more objects under the water such as in a stream, or pond. This hike did have some clouds and the polarization adds depth to the clouds.
Great Brooks Farm State Park
The day was overcast with very little wind, and the temperature was almost 40 F. The ground was mostly frozen. My hiking friend, Feral Cat (a trail name), and I have hiked at this location several times. Since our last hike, we found several places where trees and large branches were blocking the trail. Since this is a popular place for hikers, there was always a fairly easy path around the blocked trail. There are minor hills and a lot of places where there are ponds and a few small streams. After we completed the first loop we stopped to rest and have a bite to eat. Since we both had time (after the meal/snack), we started a second loop. To our surprise, we encountered a place on the trail where there was a lot of shade and there was a large patch of packed down snow that was mainly ice and almost no bare spots. There was no glare off the ice. I have always enjoyed looking at the ponds and streams but the Defcon PolarPhoto sunglasses made this experience even better.
Horn Pond Reservation
This was an afternoon hike where temperatures were about 70 F, sunny and very little wind. It was my first hike of the season with shorts. The ground was completely thawed and there was only a small amount of mud in a few places. The major trails are well used, so I take smaller, less used unmarked trails where they are more likely to be obstructed by small branches. I find it nice to be in a place where I don’t see people for short periods of time. Then I return to the main trail and wait till I see the next side trail to wonder off on. I did not get to look at the water as much and as long as I would have liked, what I did see was a lot more than I have seen in the past. There is a lot more happening below the surface of the water than I had seen in the past.
When it is sunny there is almost always various amounts of glare. The worse kind for me comes from the windshields of vehicles. I like to be able to see the person driving when approaching a vehicle. It seems to me that over the years the glare from windshields has become more of a problem. I think it is due to windshields being slanted more to reduce drag and increase gas mileage. The polarization and the ability of the lenses to adjust to the intensity of the light has practically eliminated that glare for me.
To conclude this report I can say the lenses continue to be scratch free. In fact all parts appear to be in like new condition. Please check back in about a month when I will take a last look at the Ryder Defcon PolarPhoto sunglasses.
A last look
I continued wearing the PolarPhoto sunglasses almost daily during this period. My positive experiences continued to grow during this period. I was able to try something that I had not expected as you will see as you continue to read my review.
Due to a recent eye problem, I was required to stop wearing my contact lenses and wear prescription glasses. My glasses have metal frames and are very lightweight. They weigh in at 18 G, about 10 G less than the PolarPhoto sunglasses. Despite being lighter in weight, I found them less comfortable, and in less than a week, I started having sensitive spots on my nose. In the past I had always attributed these sensitive areas to wearing heavy glasses, but I have had no such discomfort from the PolarPhoto sunglasses. I was glad I only had to wear the prescription glasses for a week. Since I needed sunglasses when outside, I began to wear the PolarPhoto sunglasses over my regular glasses in “piggyback” style. I did go on a hike during this period which I discuss in a following section.
Driving through the “Big Dig”
Around mid-day on a very bright, sunny and hot day, I drove from the north on I93 into Boston to take my son for his scheduled appointment with the neurologist. After the Zakim Bridge, the highway goes downhill and enters the main tunnel which essentially connects the north of Boston to the south of Boston. Even though the inside of the tunnel is lighted, there is a dramatic contrast between the outside on a bright day and the inside of the tunnel. The tunnel is 3 sometimes 4 lanes wide with cars entering and leaving the tunnel at several places on both sides of the road. The lenses adjusted so quickly that I had no moment of lost vision. For me the contrast of going from dark to light is more difficult. With these glasses on, I did not experience any spots in my vision as I drove from the tunnel to the outside bright sunlight. Even with great sunglasses, it is not pleasant to drive in the tunnel.
Harold Parker State Forrest
This was a bright sunny day in the high 50’s F, with very little wind. I had to wear my prescription glasses. Since this was going to be a short hike of about 2 hours I wore the PolarPhoto sunglasses over my regular sunglasses. The regular glasses being smaller, fit close to my head, and the sunglasses easily fit in front of my prescription glasses. I would probably not want to do this for longer hikes, but I was surprised how well my pair of sunglasses stayed in place with very little discomfort. I was surprised that I did not have to adjust them while hiking.
I did experience fogging under two different circumstances. If I put the sunglasses on when they were a lot colder than my face I experienced fogging. This happened in the colder weather when I left my sunglasses in the car while I was in a building. The sunglasses would fog up for a few minutes when I put them on. I would usually just push them up on my forehead to allow them to warm up and in a few minutes would be fog free. The other condition which occurred only once was in my house. I had bent over to pick something and when I stood up I had fogging. I was surprised and took the glasses off to find the fogging was on the inside of the sunglasses. The fogging lasted for a fraction of a minute. I think when I bent over the glasses moved slightly away from my face and my hot moist breath made contact with the inside of the lenses and caused the fogging. This turned out to be the only occasion that this happened.
Prescription vs non-prescription sun protection
A few years ago when I was getting my prescription filled for regular glasses, the optician suggested that they could be photosensitive as well as polarized prescription lenses. My problem was that those added features almost doubled the cost of the glasses. From a cost perspective, it is a lot more economical to be able to separate the prescription which can change from the polarization and the photosensitivity which does not need to change. But, if money was not a consideration, I would have those added features in my prescription lenses. For that prescription, I was provided with sunglass lenses which could be magnetically attached to my prescription glasses. However they were not polarized or photosensitive. I don’t think I can get along very long without these features anymore, so when I cannot wear my contacts, I will probably “piggyback”.
I will summarize with my likes and dislikes. The comfort I am having with daily use of the PolarPhoto sunglasses is outstanding. The ability of these sunglasses to adapt quickly to changes in light conditions is excellent. Since this was my first real use of polarized lenses, I was positively impressed. I think polarization improved my depth perception. I also felt very protected from the sun and wind while wearing these sunglasses. There is very little space between the glasses and my face for this kind of penetration. The only downside I could find was the rare occasions when I did experience fogging. I look forward to using these sunglasses on a daily basis for a long time. I wish to thank 4alloutdoors.org and Ryders for the opportunity to test the PolarPhoto Defcon sunglasses.