Trial Run- September 2002

Trial Run

Interchangeable-Lens Sunglasses:
by Cindy Hirschfeld

Slip the polarized lenses into the Bollé Supercells and you can spot a trout two feet down in muddy water. You'll also stop squinting on the slopes. Other available high-quality lenses include gray, citrus, clear, and red vermilion-especially handy in flat-light conditions. We were impressed by the optics, and the streamlined wrap frame fits most faces.

Hip and street-worthy, Zeal's Thrusts could throw you-they look too cool to accommodate interchangeable lenses. But, of course, they do. The lenses (not as crystal clear as the Bollés) easily pop in and out of the sturdy frames for all conditions. Gray, yellow, and clear lenses are standard; a set including polarized lenses runs $129.

Left your sunglasses on top of your car again? Optic Nerve Sequencers are for you. With shatterproof-though slightly grainy-lenses and a stylish nylon frame just a tad less distinctive and snug fitting than the Bollés or Zeals, they offer the same versatility as the others at less than half the price. Gray, clear, and amber lenses included.

Mini Digital Cameras:
by Lindsay Yaw

What sets the sub-six-ounce Kyocera Finecam S4 apart from other mini digitals is that it lets you choose from three coloration modes for its high-resolution (4-megapixel) images: full-color, sepia, and black and white. Built from durable yet sexy stainless steel, the S4 has a 3x optical zoom lens, 2x of digital zoom, and a pop-up flash-in a package the size of a deck of cards.

With its 3x optical zoom lens (and 7x digital zoom) and ability to store one minute of continuous video at 4-megapixels, the Hewlett Packard Photosmart 812 is perfect for documenting big airs-or big yard sales. Made from metallic-finish plastic, it's only slightly heavier than the Kyocera (6.4 ounces), but it still fits neatly in your pocket.

Unlike its pricier brethren, the Minolta DiMage X has only 2-megapixels of resolution. Unless you want to blow up that backscratcher shot, though, it shouldn't be a problem. The bantamweight (4.8 ounces) DiMage maintains its low profile (less than 3/4-inch thick) with an internal 5x zoom (3x optical, 2x digital).

Leather Gloves:
by Dimity McDowell

Smartwool's Competition Gloves are beefy enough for gate-crashers, with reinforced palms and extra padding over the precurved fingers and the knuckles. But these deluxe gloves aren't armored gauntlets; they're made from supersoft, waterproof goatskin covering a cozy layer of even softer merino wool-a remarkably warm, breathable insulator.

Manzella's TEC-82s don't sport pricey goat-skin, but these water-resistant cowhide gloves do have an Outlast lining-technology that stores and releases body heat to maintain a comfy temp. It worked better on sunny days than wind-chilled ones. Grippy textured palms, cinchable cuffs, and gender-specific cuts round them out.

They look straight out of Home Depot, but Cloudveil's Trollers are on-slope workhorses with flexible knuckle panels, downlike Primaloft insulation, fleece cuffs, and a handy snot wipe. While claims that the leather is waterproof might be ambitious, any shortcomings are mitigated by the fact that they perform firewood-chopping duty in style.