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Cycling enthusiasts are always on the hunt for gear that not only enhances performance but also withstands the rigours of their sport. The Vallon Watchtowers cycling glasses claim to offer just that, with a focus on both functionality and sustainability.
Designed for both on-road and off-road cycling, these glasses seem to have it all – from advanced lens technology developed with ZEISS to a sustainable build using recycled fishing nets.
Last weekend, the challenging blend of wet, muddy trails and bright winter sun, provided the perfect testing ground for these glasses. In this review, I’ll delve into how the Vallon Watchtowers stood up to the test of real-world mountain and gravel biking conditions, evaluating everything from comfort and protection to their environmental impact.
Let’s see if they truly live up to the hype.
Vallon Watchtowers Spec
- Frame Material: Crafted from durable and lightweight nylon, made from recycled fishing nets.
- Lens Technology: Developed in collaboration with ZEISS, featuring RiPel technology for a hydrophobic and oleophobic coating.
- Lens Options:
- Smoke: Grey tint, 13% VLT (Visible Light Transmission), Category 3.
- Copper: Brown tint, 14% VLT, Category 3.
- Blue: Brown tint, 14% VLT, Category 3.
- Weight: 32 grams, ensuring a lightweight feel during intense activity.
- Additional Features:
- Interchangeable soft silicone nose pads for custom fit.
- Flexible temples with rubber side-grip for enhanced stability.
- Shatterproof lens for maximum safety.
- 100% UV protection, safeguarding eyes from harmful rays.
Vallon Watchtowers Cycling Glasses Review
Upon receiving the Vallon Watchtowers, the first thing that struck me was their unique blend of retro and modern design, making them stand out in the crowded market of cycling glasses. The option to choose between different lens tints – Smoke, Copper, and Blue – allowed for a personalised touch. Initially, they felt substantial due to their size, significantly larger than regular sunglasses, but surprisingly, they didn’t compromise on comfort. The adjustable silicone nose pads and flexible temples provided a snug fit, essential for bumpy rides.
Last weekend’s cycling adventure offered a mix of challenges – wet and muddy trails under a glaring low winter sun. It was the perfect condition to put these glasses to the test. The ZEISS lenses with RiPel technology performed perfectly, keeping my vision clear from both mud splatters and sun glare. Despite their size, the glasses sat comfortably throughout the ride, thanks to the 32g lightweight frame and the side-grip of the temples, ensuring they didn’t slip despite the undulating terrain.
However, their size did stand out to me as a distinct feature. While they provided extensive coverage and protection, which was excellent for cycling, their larger-than-average size means they’re probably not suited for casual wear or other activities. It’s a trade-off for specialised gear like this – focused functionality over versatility.
As an advocate for sustainable practices in outdoor gear, I appreciate Vallon’s commitment to sustainability. Knowing that the frame is made from recycled fishing nets not only adds a feel-good factor but also contributes positively to our environment. It’s a step in the right direction for the industry.
Value for Money
Considering their performance, durability, and sustainability factor, these glasses present themselves as a great purchase for anyone serious about off-road cycling. While they might be pricier than some alternatives, the quality of the lenses and the environmental considerations justify the cost.
The Bottom Line
The Vallon Watchtowers cycling glasses are a solid choice for off-road cyclists who prioritise performance and environmental sustainability. While their size might limit their use outside cycling, within their intended domain, they excel. The comfort, protection, and clarity they provide make them an easy recommendation for anyone looking for reliable cycling-specific glasses. These are not just glasses; they are a crucial piece of gear for your off-road adventures.
For the avid off-road cyclist, the Vallon Watchtowers are more than just eyewear; they are an essential piece of gear. Their superior lens quality, coupled with their sustainable build and exceptional comfort, make them an excellent choice for anyone seeking reliable protection and clear vision on their cycling adventures.
Whether braving muddy trails or bright sunlight, these glasses ensure your focus remains unimpeded, making them a worthwhile investment for your outdoor pursuits.