I have a graveyard in my desk drawer. It’s the land of dejected sunglass frames, loose lenses, broken nose pieces. They remind me of crashes (and scars) long in the past.
There’s something remarkably frustrating about finding the right set of sunglasses for an adventure. I’ve always tried to strike a balance between outdoor function and all-around wearability, which is why I’ve shied away from some of the industries’ louder, more popular brands (cough cough Pit Vipers). There’s a time and a place for the loudness and general clout that a pair of Pitties generates (there’s a sexiness there, for sure) but my budget and space is a little slim – enter the Tifosi Swank XL.
While not a complete replacement for a full wrap-around pair of shades, the Tifosi Swank provides remarkable functionality and coverage. The glasses are light and well-built. For a pair of glasses that swing in at just under $30, I’ve beat them up a fair bit with little protest.
From desert to snow, the shades were barely noticeable on my head or bridge of my nose. I’ve been most impressed with the glasses’ rubber nosepieces. Inset into the frame, the pieces grip your nose without any pesky bruising or pain. The Swank’s matte, hydrophilic rubber gripping also keeps the shades from getting slippery from sweat or precipitation.
I wore the shades on a surf trip to Costa Rica and shoved them in my boot bag for some final Spring laps at Arapahoe Basin in Colorado. Properly squashed into my overstuffed carry-on luggage and hung around my neck faithfully with a pair of Croakies for the entire trip, they held up to the sand and salt.
I am blown away with how sturdy the glasses feel. The Grilamid TR-90 (it’s a lightweight, notoriously strong plastic) and polycarbonate lenses are a perfect match. The oversized lenses kept my eyes protected, even through blowing dust and snow on a late spring skiing day at A-Basin. The arm’s of the Swanks had a low profile beneath the ear flaps of my helmet and they stayed in place – even after a few embarrassing crashes in the terrain park.
I searched for something to not like with these glasses. I beat them up and they still feel brand new. The lenses haven’t seen a scratch. They’re light and versatile.
A swiss army knife of sunnies – I’ve worn them on the slopes, beach, backpacking in the desert, and more. For the price, the glasses are hard to beat. For the quality, the glasses are hard to break.