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Feature Review: Zeal Optics Women's Polarized Line by Susan Grant

Posted Oct 02 2008 6:13am

EveryMan "Gotta Have" Latte Rating Scale: Rating Scale (based on the amount of lattes per day you'll give up to buy this product)?

• 4 Lattes: A must have product that will make your friends jealous and your competitors cower in undisguised fear and trepidation. ??
• 3 Lattes: A very good investment in well worth forgoing a year or two of your children's college fund. 
• 2 Lattes: One of those products that actually does what it says it does, but with the same pizzazz as a Q-Tip. ?
• 1 Latte: The best thing said about this product is that I wouldn't send it back if I got it for free. ??• No Latte: So excruciatingly lame that you would get more value by crossing the street for some discarded and well chewed gum before buying this product. ?

 Zeal Optics Polarized Women's Line

Models tested: 
Airestream (retail $110) 
Zest (retail $99) 
Juice (retail $99)

 I have to begin my review by giving Zeal Optics props for continuing their sponsorship of the great Xterra athlete, Jamie Whitmore, while she battles cancer. Zeal Optics have created quite a name for themselves in the multisport industry because of their stay-put power and polarized lenses. Now Zeal has come out with a new line of women's specific sunglasses, completed with the same patented ZB13 lenses found in all their other models. The ZB13 lens has a thin, microscopic film inside it that block UV rays off any surface - water, snow or road. The women's specific versions are not just pink or flowery, they are made for smaller faces, a huge plus when you want your glasses to stay on and look cool. 

Zeal-optics-airestream-sunglasses-2 Airestream: 3 lattes  
The biggest selling model of the women's line, the Airestream offer lightweight, glare-free awesomeness. The one-lens frame offers maximum visibility out on the road or snow. I took these out on a long ride in the middle of the day, and the sunny San Diego weather was no match for the ZB13. The rubber sides on the frame helped them stay put over some unexpected bumpy roads along Highway 101. My small face was a bit dwarfed by them, but the average female face shouldn't have an issue with the size at all. 

Zest Zest: 3 lattes  
These are built for speed. The half-rimless frames offer the ultimate visibility for sports where being able to see changes in terrain is key. My cherry-red frames stayed put through a four-hour brick workout, including a trail run. I'm taking these puppies with me for my next race, and I know they'll keep the glare of the hot Texas sun off my peepers the whole day. 

Juice Juice: 4 lattes 
Why do these guys get the gold star? Versatility. Like a cool pair of yoga pants that can go from class to breakfast with your friends, the Juice model looks sleek on and off the trail. The small frames fit my face snugly through a run, but they looked so cool I now wear them all day long. The frames are dark, so I recommend them for really sunny weather and especially for that long commute in your car. Now that I am approaching my 30s, my years of avoiding wearing sunglasses were beginning to show in the corners of my eyes. Now, my Juices and me are going to battle crow's feet in style.

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