Vermont is home to some incredible forests. And being a mountain biker here means riding in highly variable light conditions which in turn means sunglasses are often either too dark, too light or simply more of a hindrance than an aid.
The Julbo Edge says otherwise.
Central to Julbo’s latest offering are its Reactiv High Contrast lenses. I tested the 1-3 lenses which modulate fluidly between 13% and 72% light transmission; they’re essentially clear in low light settings and darken to a nice rich tint when exposed to maximum UV light. And unlike counting clicks on your suspension’s compression settings, there’s zero indication of a stepped transition between light and dark. Put simply, they’re always the right tint, doing their work quietly and undetectably, leaving the wearer free to ride their bike and worry about more important things…like staying on the trail.
The Julbo Edge lens extends the viewing window down lower than their previous offerings, providing a much larger pan with your eye before seeing the frame.
They’re like a large format TV, they offer an immersive viewing experience.
The MagneFix interface allows for simple and super efficient lens swaps. Though to be honest, the aspect of the removable lens I’ve most appreciated so far is how easy they are to clean. Simply pop them out, run under some water, and wipe.
The clear lens is a great addition and feels like a nice value added move from Julbo.
The Edge’s frame is impossibly lightweight. The fit is near perfect for my very average shaped face and with the adjustable ear and nose pieces, customization is a cinch. The fog mitigation is superb with abundant venting around the entire lens and the optics are simply unreal. They’re durable and stay put even through the roughest terrain.
With their straight earpieces, the Edge’s mounted on my helmet neatly and securely.
The Edge glasses integrated just fine with my medium helmet and face, but if your face and helmet size are smaller than average, I’d recommend trying a set on with your own helmet first before plunking down for a set.
Julbo’s internal anti-fog and external oil-repellent coatings do what they should and do it well. The venting is incredibly effective due to the fact that the lens rests almost completely independently of the frame, making contact only at the MagneFix interface and at a few small rests in the lower corners. This means that air is able to easily circulate in and around the entire perimeter of the lens at all times.
Based on the internal coating and the air gaps at the bottom of the lenses, sweat drops tend to streak downwards and essentially disappear after a few minutes.
The Edge’s ship with a bomber case that stores the second lens as well. It’s pretty bulky and certainly isn’t going to fit into your hip pack while riding, but in terms of safe and secure storage, Julbo’s case is essentially a vault.
If I had to pinpoint one gripe it would have to do with how visors and very low angle sun can affect the Reactiv lenses, causing them to darken at inconsistent rates from side to side, usually showing up as streaks. I found this interesting but not disruptive.
Julbo’s Reactiv photochromic tech is thoroughly impressive providing the “just right” light level 100% of the time. They’re crazy lightweight, fit like a charm, and integrate seamlessly with helmets. 5 stars from this rider!
Quinn Keating spent more than a decade as a Patrol Director in Northern Vermont and has been riding mountain bikes since he could walk. He’s now a middle school Tech Ed teacher with strong ties to the outdoor industry and community. He serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Vermont Mountain Bike Association and works closely with recreation and advocacy organizations throughout the state. He’s a husband and dad and passionate outdoor advocate.