The Adidas Zonyk Pro VARiO’s are a pair of ridiculously expensive cycling glasses. The eyewear does look cool and the VARiO lens is really very good in low light but it’s a little harder to stomach the high price when they aren’t that great in very bright light.
Worn by the impressively fast Jolanda Neff, I had dreams of donning these and becoming something akin to my cross country girl crush, alas that didn’t happen but I did get to look cool in a tinted lens in the woods. Well, you win some, you lose some…
On with more serious things, like product testing and the Adidas Zonyk glasses are designed with a frame that gives a wide field of vision perfect for sports and travelling quickly. The coverage is pretty deep too, offering protection from mud flying up from beneath my face.
This ‘pro’ model of glasses are equipped with LST lenses which stands for Light Stabilising Technology. Adidas says the LST tech makes contrasts appear more vivid which helps filter out distracting changes when going from light to dark. The VARiO part is an injected ‘wafer inlay’ embedded in the lens which adds the photochromatic element to the lens with a change from 13 to 82% visible light transmission rate. It adapts from clear to tinted in different light conditions pretty quickly indeed, Adidas says this transition happens in seconds, it is certainly rapid. I rarely found myself having to slow down on entering the tree line when wearing these glasses.
I’ve ridden in these glasses in and out of the woods in bright sunlight, on darker days and when the tree cover has been particularly thick and I genuinely haven’t had a problem seeing where I am going. There are limits, I wouldn’t recommend these for use in the dark but for every other time these are actually very good. The tinted lens also looks a lot cooler than a pair of clear lenses if we are going to be vain about things.
The lens features a rating of UV400 and whilst these lenses are OK in direct sunlight, if you are thinking about buying them to take the place of regular sunglasses, I’d look elsewhere. I found myself still squinting somewhat when things are really bright. Otherwise, the lenses have stood up to my sometimes careless care, they are pretty resistant to scratches and stay pretty clear in wet weather.
The anti-fog coating works well too, although with the foam bar used to stop sweat running into the eyes attached, they do steam up a little. Removing this allows more air flow through the vents, top and bottom to prevent steaminess and lowers the temperature a little behind the glasses too.
The Zonyk glasses come in two sizes which is great for small faces like mine, I wore the size small and found the glasses fitted with all of my helmets, regardless of brand. The frames feature Adidas’ TRI.FITTM arms, thee arm can be altered to sit a three different angles, which ever best suits your face or helmet shape. This along with an adjustable nose bridge ensured the Zonyk’s were always secure on my face.
The frame also allows the lens to be detached and replaced, Adidas offers a range of lenses both VARiO and non-VARiO plus prescription options. The ‘Zonyk Pro’ glasses sit at an eye watering price of £190 which seems pretty steep considering they steam up a little and aren’t that great in very bright light.
That said though, these glasses party piece is the VARiO photochromtic lens, the ability to alter to the changing light conditions is the objective here and that, they do very well indeed. You can buy Zonyk glasses for £155 but these don’t have the VARiO lens. It's worth mentioning that these glasses aren't just for women either, there is a men's version which is identical other than lens/frame colours.
If you want the some of the best performing glasses in changing light conditions then you’ll be pleased with the purchase of a pair of Zonyk glasses, just save your pennies or ask Santa nicely…
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