Panoptx Cyclone Sunglasses

Panoptx Cyclone Sunglasses: $160

story by Eric Bass, Created Aug. 13, 2003
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One-Sixty for a pair of sunglasses you say?! Not much of a shock if you're accustomed to sporting Oakleys or Vuarnets, I suppose. But I live walking distance from the Venice Beach boardwalk, home of the six dollar sunglass special. Literally thousands of Taiwanese knockoffs to chose from. Sit on 'em, lose 'em, who cares? They cost six flippin' bucks. Feel a little stupid, moment of silence, brief mourning period, and move on to the next cheapo pair. Not so different from my love life come to think of it. So for me to completely alter my time-tested sunglass strategy and become lovingly devoted to a single pair in which I could invest all of my ocular hopes, dreams, and aspirations would take a spectacularly stupendous set of shades. One that I could even (gasp) fall in L-O-V-E with.
No "six-dollar-specials" these

So where did I meet my new flame? At the local Harley dealership as a matter of fact. Where else? The Panoptx display caught my eye and one of H-D's faster moving employees capitalized on the opportunity to demonstrate the day/night lenses for me. As a matter of fact, I had been looking for just such a solution to the problem of night-time eye wear. Carrying two sets of glasses or lenses was a repugnant circumstance for a minimalist freak like myself. If I could get through two months in Europe with only a day-hiking backpack smaller than most women's purses, I oughta be able to survive an extended jaunt on the bike without lugging two pairs of goggles. The yellow lenses that I had been wearing were the closest thing to a day/night solution that I had found amidst the six-dollar selection, but weren't totally satisfactory. So after an abbreviated test, I requisitioned a pair of Cyclones from the Panoptx peeps for a more thorough workout under a variety of clinical conditions to see if these were indeed my dream shades.
EBass doing his best Stevie Wonder impressionWhile I was most intrigued by the morphing lenses, I found that the Cyclones actually offered much more than that in the whiz-bang department. The lightweight wrap-around frames provide good peripheral vision and because of a thicker nose bridge, ride higher on the face than most pairs. This allows for a breathable seal to be created around the eye socket by the use of microfiber foam padding that keeps out wind, rain, snow, dust, pollen, and virtually anything else that would cause tearing. The pads are porous by design, and allow air to move slowly in and out of the cavity to combat fogging, which is also minimized by a permanent anti-fog coating on the inner lenses.

The material also wicks away perspiration to keep it from running into your eyes and provides a secure and comfortable fit that doesn't require re-adjustment due to wind buffeting. I've been wearing the Panoptx glasses for the past three months, and while wearing open-faced helmets at speeds up to 90mph, they did not lift away from my face nor did they allow excessive airflow to reach my optical receptors. 

Can you say, "variachromic lenses"? We knew you could The day/night lenses were actually perfectly suited to my tastes, as the variachromic filter changes from a mildly tinted gray sunglass by day, to a near-invisible light amber at night. Granted, for people whose eyes are more light-sensitive, these lenses will probably not be dark enough in bright sunlight. But, for people like me, who prefer to just take the edge off of the glare, rather than descend into thier own private solar eclipse, the tinting suits almost every lighting condition that you're likely to encounter.

The Cyclones are available in seven frame colors and ten 100% UV protected, shatter-resistant lens styles, and can be ordered with prescription lenses as well. Other models are available too if you go for a different style. Hard case, neck leash, and cleaning cloth are included in the price. One Year Limited Warranty on defects."Maybe chicks would dig me more if I didn't have a Buell growing out of the side of my neck ... Naaah!"

I have to say that while I still cringe at the thought of shelling out three-figs for a pair of shades, that the Cyclones are worth every penny. I didn't want this to read like ad-copy, but after testing them extensively, these glasses performed exactly as advertised. The wind and debris protection is first rate, the day/night transition is just what I needed, the anti-fog and perspiration absorption work like a charm, and my riding experience is more enjoyable for it. I didn't think it would ever happen to me, but I'm ready to say the "L" word! Now if only Panoptx offered an on-line dating service, perhaps my other "six-dollar special" problem would be solved too.

Available at: http://www.panoptx.com/




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