Glasses 2003






The easy-on-the-pocketbook Optic Nerve Sequencer ($48) deserves accolades all around. It offers high-end features (nose and temple grips, three pairs of truly easy-to-change polarized lenses) at a low-end price. One of the more classic styles in this year’s review, the Sequencer has a rectangular shape that best suits medium faces.

Houdini’s Pick
Bollé is the king of easy-to-change lenses. They pop in and out with ease, even with gloves on. The Downdraft ($90-$100, depending on lens choice) was designed with the elements in mind. Nose and temple pads keep the glasses in place, and extended side shields protect against wind and blustery snow.

If you can dish it out, the Smith Carbonic Folsom ($70) can take it. Designed for the extreme skier, it puts performance first. That means comfort comes second; the glasses are lightweight and have rubber nose pads, but the stiff plastic temples can’t be adjusted. The carbonic lenses eliminate distortion and resist impact.

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Slope Suave
The extremely lightweight Briko Prowler ($79-$99, depending on lens choice) packs a big punch in a small frame. The Grilamid nylon frame is tough enough for aggressive athletes, but the style is as appropriate off-mountain as it is on. The lenses are not interchangeable, but extra-comfy rubber temple pieces keep your head happy.

Ladies’ Choice
Though not designed exclusively for women, the Uvex Viper ($50) is sleek and feminine. It fits medium faces well, but might leak light through the sides on very small faces. As part of Uvex’s Extreme line, Viper has polycarbonate, scratch-resistant lenses and comfort pads on the nose and temples.

Go Light
Oakley’s new Eye Jacket 3.0 ($85-$130, depending on lens choice) is so lightweight and face-hugging that you may just forget you have it on. Comfortable temple and nose pads keep the glasses from slipping, and the unusual temple shape promises a sleek, unique style. The lenses are not interchangeable, but the frames are compatible with many prescription lenses.