Sweet Protection’s Memento RIG Reflect sunglasses offer excellent coverage with an impressively wide range of adjustability and effective fog resistance. Although its lens is clear and very useful in its intended conditions, its tint limits use and the fact it’s not replaceable impairs the glasses’ versatility.
- 10 pieces of essential mountain bike clothing for beginners
- Rapha Pro Team Full Frame glasses review
- The best glasses for mountain bike and gravel riding - top glasses reviewed and rated
Sweet Protection Memento RIG Reflect - Technical specifications
Sweet Protection's Memento RIG Reflect comes fully sorted with a cylindrical lens and compared to the brand’s other models, it’s thinner and claimed to be a bit lighter. Its lens is held within a rigid frame that gets wider temples to provide more space between the lens and the eyes in a bid to boost comfort.
In its most budget-friendly guise, the Memento rocks Sweet Protection’s RIG lens tech which is said to offer contract-enhancing vision with little colour distortion, resulting in reduced eye fatigue. This particular turtle shell-esque Matte Crystal Black Camo colourway gets a RIG Bixbite lens that’s designed to perform at its best in cloudy to partly cloudy conditions with a VLT of 25%, sitting in the S2 category. Other colourways get slightly different lenses to suit brighter, or darker days.
The Memento comes in two other models too, one with a photochromic lens and another with a polarized lens both for more money. And while happy to be run with other helmets, Sweet Protection says that these glasses gel best with its range of helmets.
Included in the box are three different-sized nose pieces that cater for wide to narrow noses, each of which alters the distance between the glasses and the rider’s eyes. There’s also a neat hard case and a soft pouch for carrying.
Sweet Protection Memento RIG Reflect - Performance
During testing, I rode using the Memento RIGs through a range of conditions and primarily with Sweet Protection’s latest Bushwhacker 2Vi Mips helmet. Initial impressions were good as the Memento notably offered fantastic coverage, leaving very few, if any areas of my vision uncovered.
Comfort is excellent too. The combination of the soft rubber but grippy nosepiece and thin arms result in a pair of riding specs that I’ve been happy to ride in day-long with impressively little discomfort later into big rides.
The Memento RIG Bixbite lens is very interesting as it’s a tinted lens that’s designed for use under cloudy conditions. As such, it’s a very light tint with some mirroring. I found it to be especially useful in wooded areas where the lens would boost the greens and the reds/browns which makes the trail pop from the rest of the environment. This contrast resulted in a clear split between trail and foliage that becomes especially useful through woods.
I've found the RIG Bixbite lens to be a bit of a one-trick pony as it works excellently on sunny days under the tree cover and just as well in exposed areas under cloud, however when in the woods, on an overcast day the lens is too dark, and on open trails in pure sun, I'd have liked more tint. And that’s where the Memento falls flat a little, as its lens isn’t interchangeable. This limits its versatility, which is quite a shame. On the upside, the frame should be more durable as it doesn’t need to bend in order to accommodate lens swaps.
Of course, if you want a lens that’s better suited for lighter, or darker conditions, you could very easily pick a different colourway and lens combo. There is also a photochromic model on offer which I reckon would be the set to go for if you're looking for one pair of specs for all riding in all conditions.
Limitations aside, the lens that is equipped works very well. It shows no evidence of warping and the colour it casts is consistent throughout the lens’s coverage. While it’s no Chromapop or Zeiss, it’s plenty clear enough.
Even though I rode with the Memento placed quite close to my face, its resistance to fog was very effective. Only on proper slow, wrenching climbs where the sweat got pouring did it show signs of fogging but it’s only understandable, and once a breeze found its way underneath the lens, any fog cleared quickly.
Sweet Protection Memento RIG Reflect - Value and verdict
When there is a range of sunglasses available for less than £100, anything above is a considerable spend but if you primarily ride under the cover of trees or clouds, or just want some specs that run smoothly with your Sweet Protection helmet, the Memento RIGs fit the bill.
Smith Optics’ Flywheel is a similar pair of glasses with a non-interchangeable lens. It’ll cost you more at £130, but its lens is sharper, and it offers decent coverage. But for the money, the Memento really does stack up.
Melon Optics’ Alleycat comes in at £120 and it’s a pair of specs that I regularly return to for my day-to-day rides. Its coverage isn’t quite as comprehensive as the Mementos and a low-light lens will set you back an extra £20, but it’s an entirely customisable pair of sunglasses with a range of frame, lens, nose rubber and logo colours to pick from. Its lens is also interchangeable.
Sweet Protection’s Memento RIG sunglasses are a great choice if you’re looking for good coverage, compatibility with Sweet Protection helmets and day-long comfort. However, some may be put off by the non-interchangeable lens.