ROKA Phantom sunglasses

ROKA make some amazing looking stuff. However, as I wrote about in October, their shipping costs were incredibly high. Well, great news: the bad old days are gone! ROKA now has a UK distribution centre allowing them to serve UK and European customers without adding 50% on to the price of your order.

To celebrate, I’ve been testing the ROKA Phantom sunglasses. First up, here is the unboxing:

These are the carbon (polarised) lenses. The packaging looks excellent. It feels like you’re opening an Apple product. Inside you’ll find your glasses, along with a pretty rugged soft case. Not something I would want to be thrown around in the bottom of a suitcase, but sturdy enough to leave in the outer pocket of your backpack without worry.

They weigh in at just under 20 grams. I also weighted my existing sets of sunglasses, all of which weighed in at somewhere between 30 and 35 grams. Whether you can tell the difference, I’m not sure, but they do feel super light when I’m putting them on.

The light transmission works well in most environments. Admittedly, the British winter isn’t the best time to test them in bright, sunny conditions. But my usage so far has been positive. You can’t stare directly into the sun (I didn’t test this intentionally, but the sun is pretty low around here during winter), but you can get close, and they function well in low light scenarios, too: walking into the office and driving at dusk both left me with enough detail to see clearly.

Racing in aviators isn’t something I’ve previously considered but ROKA insists they will stick to your face. So far, they’re holding pretty true. I can make them jump forward if I rock out to Metallica on maximum. But anything that would actually happen in a race wouldn’t be enough to disturb them: see the video above for my own shake test.

What you won’t get with the aviators is an ultra-wide field of vision. They’re more than adequate on the run, but on the bike, you can see around the side of them and as soon as you get on the drops or TT bars, you can see over the top of them, too. If you’re looking for a wide field of vision, check out my upcoming ROKA SL-1 review. That said, the inner vision is arguably better. The nose bridge entirely disappears on the Phantoms in a way that it doesn’t quite on the SL-1.

Summary

ROKA set out to make a set of aviators that was built for racing. They’ve done an excellent job. I don’t think I’ll be trading in my sport style glasses for these while on the bike due to the extra vision I get with the former. But, when the on run, the low weight and invisible frames come into their own.

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This entry was posted on Monday, November 26th, 2018 at 11:00 am and is filed under Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.