We recently reviewed a few Photochromic and Polarized sunglasses just in time for the Summer but some of our readers prefer Interchangeable lenses. So we are now doing a follow-up review of three Interchangeable sunglasses: Ryders Nitrous Interchangeable, Smith Optics PivLock V90 Max, and Optic Nerve Neurotoxin IC.
Interchangeable sunglasses offer a high-performance frame and three to four sets of easy-to-change lenses. A clear lens provides protection for your eyes in low light conditions. The orange or yellow lenses are ideal for when you require high contrast in the forest or on overcast days. The darkest lens is for bluebird days when the sky is clear and the sun is bright.
One pair of sunglasses for year round protection. The days are shorter in the winter, longer in the summer, some days you are in the trees, others you are on the road. Every day, every situation requires a different kind of eye protection.
Ryders Eyewear Nitrous Interchangeable (IC)
An updated classic, the Ryders Nitrous offers a lightweight frame, superb airflow and an ultra comfortable fit. This style weighs a featherweight 26g (0.9 ounce).
The Nitrous IC comes with three lenses:
- Grey – dark lens for medium to very bright conditions
- Orange – contrast lens to increase contrast and depth perception in medium to low light conditions
- Clear – clear lens to protect against the elements in low to very low light conditions
The Ryders Nitrous is much better fitting that some of the other sunglasses from Ryders that we reviewed earlier this year.
Smith Optics PivLock V90 Max
The Smith Optics PivLock V90 interchangeable lens system features a proprietary, patent-pending temple and lens interface that truly provides an unobstructed field of view. Engineered to minimize frame weight while maintaining a secure fit, both the temples and nosepiece remove easily, making the task of changing lenses easier than ever.
The PivLock V90 Max comes with three lenses:
- Yellow Mirror – enhances greens, yellows, and reds, and best suited for extremely low light conditions.
- Clear – clear lens best suited for low light or night conditions.
- Ignitor – maximizes an object’s definition and enhances depth perception and best suited for medium and overcast conditions.
Optic Nerve Neurotoxin IC
The Optic Nerve Neurotoxin ‘Active Lens Venting’ is a welcomed feature as it allow air to be forced directly into the lens and eyes area to help circulate air between the eyes and the back of the lens – fogging minimized!
The Neurotoxin IC comes with four (yes 4!) lenses:
- Smoke – best suited for bright sun conditions
- Yellow – best suited for extreme flat light conditions
- Copper – best suited for normal to variable light conditions
- Clear – best suited for low light to night-time conditions
|Model||Neurotoxin IC||PivLock V90 Max||Nitrous IC|
|Lens Color (VLT*)||Smoke (15%), Yellow (64%), Copper (27%), Clear (100%)||Yellow Mirror (68%), Ignitor (32%), Clear (98%)||Grey (14%), Orange (47%), Clear (93%)|
*VLT = Visible Light Transmission: The amount of visible light, not UV light, that is able to pass through the lens and reach your eye. The lower the number, the darker the lenses.
All the sunglasses performed well for the quick changing and shifting weather conditions in Northern California area. But it all boils down to interchange ease, fit/comfort, and price.
The table below is a comparison matrix on the ease of removing and inserting lens (interchange ease).
|Model||Neurotoxin IC||PivLock V90 Max||Nitrous IC|
|Removing Lenses||Easy||Easy||Some Effort Required|
|Inserting Lens||Some Effort Required||Easy||Easy|
With all three models, there are definitely finger print marks left if you don’t use a soft cloth or tissue to aid in the removal or insertion process.
As for fit and comfort, they all fit very well on my less-than high nose bridge. But over long runs of an hour or more, the Neurotoxin and PivLock V90 Max stayed too close to my high cheekbones – I get a leftover impression from the bottom of the lens.
The frameless or rimless PivLock V90 Max offers the widest and no-interference field of view with it wraparound design and exceptional airflow scored the best for us.
The PivLock V90 Max works best on a medium to large face because of their size. For those with a smaller face, they also offer the PivLock V90 – notice the subtle differences in the bottom part of the lens.
Interchange Ease Ranking: Smith Optics PivLock V90 Max, Optic Nerve Neurotoxin IC, Ryders Nitrous IC
Fit/Comfort: Smith Optics PivLock V90 Max, Ryders Nitrous IC, Optic Nerve Neurotoxin IC
Price: Ryders Nitrous IC, Optic Nerve Neurotoxin IC, Smith Optics PivLock V90 Max
Overall Pick: Smith Optics PivLock V90 Max
A brief description of each company follows.
Founded by Brent Martin in 1986, Ryders Eyewear has built a sterling reputation in the industry for developing performance eyewear that is affordable enough to wear for training, competition and life.
All Ryder lenses are made using shatterproof polycarbonate through an injection process thus are optically correct to prevent distortion and eye fatigue. They all also provide 100% UVA, UVB + UVC protection.
*Product provided by Ryders Eyewear – CMP.LY/1 Review
Born of innovation and based in the outdoor Mecca of Sun Valley, Idaho, Smith Optics, Inc. was founded in 1965 by consummate ski bum, Dr. Bob Smith, with the creation of the first ever fog-free snow goggle utilizing a sealed thermal lens and breathable vent foam. This kitchen table advancement gave birth to the Smith brand which over past four decades has gone on to set technical benchmarks and earn an unmatched reputation as an innovative and authentic company driven by people as passionate about the outdoors as their core customers. Still designed and largely manufactured here in the good ol’ US of A, Smith’s product line spans the range of snow and motto goggles, performance and style eyewear, ballistic Military eyewear, Ophthalmic eyewear, and snow helmets.
*Product provided by Smith Optics – CMP.LY/1 Review
Optic Nerve stands for three things – intelligence, awareness, and style. Intelligence in the way they build their glasses with only the finest, most durable frame material and highest quality lenses. Awareness in the way they run their company and the non-profit youth organizations they associate themselves with. And as for style, they like to let their fashionable yet functional products speak for themselves.
*Product provided by Optic Nerve – CMP.LY/1 Review
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