If you are serious about backcountry adventuring, then you need a proper set of rugged sunglasses. What better brand to pick than the one that has been designing mountaineering glasses for the last 125 years? The Vermont Mythic Mountaineering glasses by Julbo have been resurrected to commemorate the anniversary.
The Vermont Mythic recaptures the traditional mountaineering sunglasses look with its durable metal frame, round lenses, leather side shields, leather nosepiece and rubberized flexible wrap around ear loops, all weighing in at 46g. With only 4% visible light transmission and a protection index of 4, these are some of the darkest sunglasses I have ever worn. They have highly scratch and shock resistant Alti Arc mineral glass lenses. The lenses also have an anti- reflective coating, flash finish to eliminate glare and strengthen filtration.
The dark lenses are great for bright days and especially useful for preventing snow blindness. However, they will start to hinder visibility in any low light scenarios. I found the leather side shields great for protecting against sunlight coming in the sides of the sunglasses. While mountain biking, I learned that the leather side shields are also extremely effective at keeping tree branches from poking out my eyes as they sneak up and smack you straight in the face like a forest ninja. The leather side shields have ventilation holes to prevent the lenses from fogging up. I did have some issues with the lenses fogging up, but it only happened a couple times. (It is possible, however, that this was due to the glasses being too tight against my face while exerting myself during outdoor activities.
When I let a few other people try them on while outside in direct sunlight, several of them complained about how the small rays of light coming through the leather side shields was distracting. Personally, I didn’t think it was distracting at all. One thing I think everyone would agree on with these glasses is that they are not very safe for driving due to the reduced peripheral visibility caused by the leather side shields. Obviously, these shades are designed for climbing mountains and not for driving in traffic. It would be nice if there were the option for these shields to be removed for activities that require unobstructed visibility, such as driving any kind of vehicle. On the flip side, if the side shields were removable, I think many people (including myself) would probably misplace them.
I have owned a large quantity and wide variety of sunglasses over the years, and so far these are my favorite. Wearing them on a recent backpacking trip made me look and feel like I was ready to summit Everest. I especially enjoyed how well they blocked the setting sun and its blinding reflection on the water while on an exploratory kayaking trip. If you want to protect your eyes from the many harsh environments that could potentially be encountered on any expedition, then I highly recommend the Julbo Vermont Mythic Mountaineering Glasses. They are an exceptionally rugged, dependable and well-suited for any outdoorsman or explorer seeking serious gear for serious adventures.