Mountain Biker wearing the Julbo Rush

How To Choose Your Next Performance Sunglasses

Clear vision is essential no matter what you’re up to. This means that sunglasses are much more than a simple fashion accessory—they’re a tool to improve performance. Three key elements come together to help you choose the right sunglasses for your sport: fit, frame and lenses.  Read on to learn how to approach these three elements when purchasing new sunglasses.


Comfort, protection and security should be top priorities when evaluating fit. Choose sunglasses with soft rubber at the nose and temples for comfort; the right amount of coverage to offer protection from sun, wind and objects in the air like dust and bugs; and enough security that they’ll stay tight to your face if the going gets bumpy. 

If you spend time in the high mountains, look for wrap-around styles and large coverage to protect against the elements and harsh light. Sunglasses in Julbo’s Mountain category feature these attributes, along with removable side and nose shields for additional protection. 

For biking, running and Nordic skiing, consider sunglasses that are light enough to forget you’re wearing them, allowing you to stay focused on extended efforts. Sunglasses in Julbo’s Performance line are lightweight and offer features for improved security for when the trail becomes challenging. 

If you spend most of your time on the water, consider a flexible, wraparound frame that will protect against splashing and provide ventilation to prevent fogging. Julbo’s watersports sunglasses are packed with features for long days on the water.


When selecting a pair of sunglasses, identify the important features you’re looking for in a frame that will help you perform at your best. 

For extreme high-mountain environments, consider either a lightweight polycarbonate frame or a durable metal frame. Choose a pair of sunglasses with side shields to block the sun’s rays, along with wind, cold and snow. If nose coverage is important, pick a pair of sunglasses like the Ultimate Cover, which has a removable nose shield. Temple style depends on personal preference and usage: the straight arms of the Shield and Shield M, Monterosa, Montebianco, Camino and Explorer 2.0 easily slide underneath a helmet or hat, while the adjustable arms on the Cham and Ultimate Cover provide a secure, custom fit. 

For endurance sports like cycling, trail running or triathlon, choose adjustable and/or thin temple arms that easily slide underneath a helmet or hat. Additionally, non-slip arm tips and adjustable nosepieces, like on the Ultimate and Rush, ensure a perfect fit. Consider ventilation: frameless styles like the Aerospeed and Aerolite offer ample ventilation, while partial-frame styles (Ultimate, Aero) and full-frame styles (Rush, Fury) feature vents between the lenses and frame. 

For time spent on the water, we recommend a flexible, wraparound frame to protect against splashing water with suspended or perforated lenses to prevent fogging. 


Lenses are the final factor to consider, and when choosing the right lens for the activity, there are many aspects to weigh: personal sensitivity to the sun, tint and color preference, common conditions you encounter, polarization, visible light transmission and more.

Julbo offers three lens options: Spectron polycarbonate lenses, REACTIV photochromic lenses and Alti Arc mineral lenses. 

REACTIV PHOTOCHROMIC LENSES: These lenses adjust from light to dark depending on ambient light, making them ideal for constantly changing conditions. REACTIV lenses combine the advantages of mineral and polycarbonate lenses: exceptional optical quality, scratch resistance, strength and lightness. In addition, their NTS (Non-Temperature Sensitive) technology guarantees a constant photochromic range, whatever the temperature.

SPECTRON LENSES: These lightweight and durable polycarbonate lenses are designed to offer powerful protection. They are equipped with an anti-reflective coating to improve visual comfort and a flash finish that improves filtration of visible light. Although highly durable, Spectron lenses are less scratch-resistant than mineral lenses and do not adjust to different light like REACTIV lenses. They are, however, more affordable.

ALTI ARC MINERAL LENSES: Alti Arc lenses provide excellent scratch resistance and superior optical quality, setting an industry benchmark for glacier glasses. They’re the only mineral lenses that Julbo offers. They have an external anti-reflective coating to improve visual comfort by eliminating stray reflections and a flash finish that improves the filtration of visible light by applying a mirror effect to the lens. Unfortunately, mineral lenses are more fragile than Spectron or REACTIV lenses.

For high-mountain protection, choose lenses with the lowest percentage of Visible Light Transmission (VLT) and options with polarization or glare control. The best lenses for mountaineering and snow travel are the REACTIV 2-4 Polarized or Glare Control; Spectron 4 or Spectron 3 Polarized; and Alti Arc.

For running, biking and Nordic skiing, REACTIV photochromic lenses keep pace with the changing light conditions experienced during these activities. Their durability, optical quality and anti-fog treatment are unrivaled, ensuring clarity for the long haul. The best photochromic lenses for performance sports include the REACTIV 0-3; REACTIV 0-3 High Contrast; and REACTIV 1-3 Light Amplifier and High Contrast.

Spectron polycarbonate lenses are a lightweight and more affordable alternative, though they don’t change VLT based on ambient light. For performance sports, consider the Spectron 1 lens for low-light conditions or the Spectron 3 lens for bright conditions. 

If you spend most of your time near or on the water, we recommend choosing polarized lenses, which eliminate glare from the sun off reflective surfaces and offer a clear view of the horizon without any reflection. Julbo’s polarized lenses are: REACTIV 2-4 Polarized, REACTIV 2-3 Polarized and Spectron 3 Polarized.

Whether you spend all day in the mountains, ripping singletrack or on the water, Julbo has a wide range of frames and lenses to help push your limits and improve your performance.