- Excellent fit and coverage
- Venting works well to minimise fogging
- Adjustable nose pads
- Dark lens is only good for full sunshine
The Alpina Bonfire glasses are a versatile and well-performing set of riding specs. They’re lightweight, provide lots of coverage and are a good fit. The Q-Lite lens adds extra contrast and light protection but is only useable in direct sunlight conditions. For the money, these are excellent value and should be strongly considered if you're looking for a pair of the best mountain bike sunglasses.
The Bonfire glasses claim to suit a “performance lifestyle” which, judging by their photo gallery, means these were designed with outdoor pursuits in mind. They’re clearly designed for mountain biking with some nice attention to detail.
Alpina Bonfire Q-Lite Glasses - Technical details
The massive coverage on offer wraps around the face providing protection from the elements. A hydrophobic coating on the lens also helps to keep moisture at bay and stop them from fogging up. Alpina’s Q-Lite lens has been designed to increase contrast, make colours appear richer and provides sharper vision. The lens is also rated for 100% UV A, B and C protection.
Made from a lightweight thermoplastic called TR90, which is similar to nylon, this provides high resistance to impact and breakage - ideal for their intended use. The glasses include rubber nose pads which are adjustable with different sizes to get the nose hugging just right.
Alpina Bonfire Q-Lite Glasses - Performance
These glasses provide massive coverage and have a good curve which was nicely compatible with my face, leaving little room for debris to get into the eye. While on the subject of fit, these glasses pinch the head in a secure but comfortable way. The lens is large but doesn’t interfere with a range of helmets tested which is impressive considering the amount of coverage on offer.
The hydrophobic coating and venting around the sides of the lens work well to combat fogging. The only fogging issues were on misty rides when I was overheating and stopped to chat, as soon as I started moving the fogging was no longer an issue.
The Q-Lite lens is heavily tinted and works well in open sunlight. I found it to shield the eyes from glare and provided more contrast which resulted in trail features being easier to spot. The downside to this lens is when the light becomes shaded or dappled. In these conditions I found the tint to be too much and struggled to pick out the trail obstacles ahead - particularly roots and rocks. I have resorted to using a clear lens - which can be purchased separately - allowing the benefits of the shape and size of the glasses without the tint restricting vision.
Alpina Bonfire Q-Lite Glasses - Verdict
Available in three colours (black, olive and turquoise) and retailing at £50, these glasses represent very good value for money. If you’re looking for a pair of sunglasses for riding, the Merida Race sunglasses are worth a look. At £30 they’re cheap but don’t have an interchangeable lens.
For a little more money, the Endura Singletrack glasses should also be considered. They also don’t come with a clear lens so are aimed at sunny rides but scored well during testing.
The Alpina Bonfire riding glasses provide excellent coverage and a good fit at a very competitive price. The Q-Lite lens works well in the open sun but can be a hindrance when trails are shaded. The hydrophobic treatment and venting work well and with three different colours to choose from these glasses are a great option - as long as you factor in buying a clear lens.