In 2005, the mythical and seldom seen snow leopard became ski mountainteering and mountain running brand Dynafit’s logo. This rare Asian cat possesses superior mountain skills and its natural camouflage makes it nearly invisible to the eye. So it is ironic that the company’s apparel and equipment is some of the loudest you’ll find on the market, using neon colors that make you the easiest thing to spot on the mountain.
Dynafit’s new sport sunglasses carry on this bold tradition with huge shield-like lenses paired to beefy frames. As this style has become quite popular with some trail runners — many of whom cross over from sports like ski touring and cycling where bigger can actually mean better, safer eye coverage — Dynafit’s two new styles, the Dynafit Sky Pro Sunglasses ($250) and the Dynafit Trail Evo Sunglasses ($150) can serve as excellent trail running sunglasses while working just as effectively for these other sports.
This new eyewear collection from Dynafit offers three different styles, named to fit within the existing shoe and apparel categories: Ultra, Trail, and Sky. All models are very light but offer slightly different lens and frame specifications. It’s great to consider how one pair of sunglasses can be used for all the sports we do to lessen the financial investment and reduce consumption. In this article, we review sunglasses from the Sky and Trail lines.
With that said, if big and bold isn’t your style, consider this article’s facts about two of Dynafit’s sunglasses styles and whether you can trade aesthetics for versatility and performance.
Dynafit Sky Pro Sunglasses Review
The Dynafit Sky Pro Sunglasses out of the box are meant for mountaineering, particularly for glacier and snow travel. That said, their customizable components, an optional sweat bar for managing sweat and side shields for blocking surrounding glare and wind, are removable, which allow you to pare down the glasses for running, while taking advantage of the absolutely stunning photochromic lenses.
Dynafit Sky Pro Sunglasses Lenses
I had to almost stop and take a moment to consider what I was seeing the first few times I used the Dynafit Sky Pro Sunglasses, because the transition from your naked eye to these lenses in full sunlight is so stark it’s like turning off the lights in a dark room.
The Sky Pro Sunglasses have a photochromic lens that ranges from Category 2 in low light to Category 4 in bright sunlight; this corresponds to a basic visible light transmission (VLT) of 18% to 43% that goes up to VLT 3% to 8% when the photochromic tint is activated. VLT refers to the percentage of natural light that reaches the eyes through the lenses. As the lenses adjust to very bright light, a lower percentage of this light will make it through, allowing an even experience for the user in varying light conditions.
This adjustment for your eyes takes a moment and the transition perhaps isn’t as fast as the photochromic lenses in the Julbo Aero with Reactiv 0-3 Lens Sunglasses — which we included in our Best Running Sunglasses guide — but the experience is otherwise exceptional.
The very wide, 360-degree wraparound lens provides full protection and has been so appreciated as the already windy Boulder County where I live in Colorado seems to be becoming windier in this climate-changing reality. And for that reason, despite unfortunately not testing these lenses in a glacier setting, I keep the side shields on most of the time. Not only do they not detract from the field of vision, but for not a lot of extra weight they provide this invaluable protection from wind and the related debris it brings.
As you’d expect from a $250 pair of sunglasses, the Sky Pro Sunglasses are 100% protected from ultraviolet A, B, and C rays. And though the hard coating finish provides scratch resistance, it doesn’t prevent all nicks and minor abrasions from appearing over time. But in months of testing, the lenses look mostly clear and are certainly free of serious damage.
Dynafit Sky Pro Sunglasses Frame and Fit
As we’ve mentioned, the Dynafit Sky Pro Sunglasses is a big pair of sunglasses. With the side panels and sweat bar you get the feeling of wearing a pair of goggles, not sunglasses. That said, without those pieces, the sunglasses become much more wearable for trail running with an absolute bomber fit at the nose and temples. There is just no movement or bouncing, even when sweating. The frame uses the polyamide material Grilamid, which is super durable but also light and flexible. What this means is they are less likely to snap at any junction point like at the arms or temple.
The ventilation qualities are very good despite lacking any distinct holes or cutouts. This isn’t a criticism; many sunglasses we’ve tested with pronounced air flow channels create peculiar airflow and therefore a distracting sensation around the eyes. Using these glasses for other sports — particularly ski mountaineering, climbing, or cycling — with helmet straps has been perfect. The arms sit very well at the ear despite any straps.
Dynafit Trail Evo Sunglasses Review
For $100 less than the Dynafit Sky Pro Sunglasses reviewed above, the Dynafit Trail Evo Sunglasses have a non-photochromic, Category 3 lens, which is perfectly suitable for everyday outdoor exposure.
As with the Sky Pro Sunglasses, the wraparound frames provide good protection from wind and related debris, but the frame of the Trail Evo Sunglasses is noticeably lighter.
Dynafit Trail Evo Sunglasses Lenses
The Category 3 lenses used on the Dynafit Trail Evo Sunglasses are said to allow between 8% and 18% VLT, with excellent glare reduction and blocking effectively 100% of ultraviolet A, B, and C rays.
These lenses offer very good color perception and contrast, allowing you to see the trail, rocks, and trees clearly in bright sunlight. Like the Sky Pro Sunglasses, the lenses are interchangeable. Although an additional lens is not included with either model at this time, additional lenses are available for purchase on Dynafit’s website.
Both models’ lenses are handmade by a company called Divel Italia, an almost-75-year-old company founded after World War II, in the region of Emilia-Romagna, northern Italy. This partnership means Dynafit’s lenses are made in Italy, by hand.
These lenses are highly capable for mountain sports, especially at high altitude or in glacier environments where it is vital to protect your eyes from ultraviolet rays, snow, dirt, and wind.
Dynafit Trail Evo Sunglasses Frame and Fit
The Dynafit Trail Evo Sunglasses are reportedly seven grams lighter than the Sky Pro Sunglasses reviewed above, and without the snow-based accessories, they feel distinctly lighter during wear. The frame shape is almost exactly the same but while it also has a 360-degree protection around the lens, it uses strategic ventilation cutouts on the inside corners of the lens that the Sky Pro Sunglasses don’t. In these lighter and slightly less technical sunglasses, the wearability is slightly better for everyday running. I found no irritable spots from rubbing or moving around while running in the Trail Evo Sunglasses and these are glasses you can really wear all day long without fatiguing your face and head.
Dynafit Sky Pro and Trail Evo Sunglasses Overall Impressions
With offerings from all the sunglasses brands, from Oakley to Pit Viper and from Smith to 100%, many runners are opting for full-face, cycling-style sunglasses for trail running and adjacent mountain sports.
At first glance, the frame shape of the Dynafit Sky Pro Sunglasses and Dynafit Trail Evo Sunglasses seems counterproductive for the sport of running since more coverage can mean less breathability, and while it might simply be a style preference, we like to imagine that runners are looking for the convenience of having one pair of large shield sunglasses that accommodate the unique demands of wind and snow protection when participating in these other sports.
Dynafit has created a collection of sunglasses that blend these qualities perfectly, with some of the best durability and quality we’ve ever tested. All frames include a hard case, cloth, and a lifetime guarantee.
Call for Comments
- Have you tried either of these sunglasses? What did you think?
- Do you like the bold appearance of Dynafit gear in general?
[Editor’s Note: If you’re affiliated (i.e., an employee, ambassador, etc.) with a brand, please share your relation in each of your comments on this article. Thanks!]