Under Armour is best known for their lineup of athletic and technical apparel, but in a lesser known realm of the company is their eyewear division with equally as technical and focused sunglasses. Under Armour sent us a pair of their Rivals for review, which were immediately put to use while running on snowy single track in Park City, Utah.
- Comfort: UA’s clever AUTOGRIP rubberized segments are built-in on the temples rather than relying on a slide-over earsock or bulky overcoat (see photo below). This makes for a very comfortable fit even after long periods of use. Just like shoes, the best sunglasses are the ones you don’t notice are there.
- Weight: It’s clear that UA has gone to great lengths to make their frames as lightweight as possible. The frame technology, and I’m not making this up, actively uses both titanium and a “amorphous thermoplastic” called Grilamid (aka a really strong, lightweight, flexible plastic).
- Staying Power: Between the great fit and the lightweight nature of the Rivals, they refuse to move or shift around during even the most aggressive of activities like trail running or biking. The staying power is second to none. In fact, in today’s run with the Rivals, I tripped on a snow-covered rock and went flying on a steep descent. After picking myself out of a very cold pile of fresh powder, I was delighted to see the Rivals has stayed firmly in place and kept all cold snow out of my eyes.
- Lens Quality & Contrast: Despite sporting some fancy feature names like “ArmourSight Multireflectional Lens”, I found the lens on the Rival to be prone to a lack of contrast, especially in environments that are a little bit darker or have varying light conditions. A lack of contrast on the trails is not ideal, and compared to absolutely fabulous contract on lens like Costa’s 580s, UA’s lens technology definitely place in the middle of the spectrum.
- Durability: The durability of the Rivals is hugely impressive and is where UA knocks things out of the park. Despite a lightweight frame, the Rivals stood up to excessive twisting force as we attempted to find the breaking point (within reason, we’re not going to do something absurd like run them over with a car). The Rival shrugged off any attempt we had to test those limits. Additionally, the lens are very resistant to scratches. With sunglasses, we typically test lens scratch resistance using the ‘branch test’, in which we recreate running into a sharp, hard tree branch while running. The lens stood up to what is essentially nature’s version of sandpaper in spectacular fashion, with no permanent scratches following the test.
At a pricepoint of $129 (best price at Under Armour’s website, affiliate link), the Rivals fit comfortably into a premium category of eyewear. Check them out at UnderArmour.com or click on the image below for more information.