Lacking a proper office and 9-5 job, I’m a guy who is always on the move, whether it’s driving to meetings, heading to the gym, or just enjoying the beautiful outdoor setting of my home town of Boulder, Colorado. With our trademark 300 days of sunshine a year, one of the most critical ingredients to success in Colorado are good sunglasses, without which you’re destined to suffer from eyestrain, headaches, and general crankiness. It’s not pretty.
I’m always on the lookout for great sunglasses, therefore, and when Aspire Eyewear contacted me about their pretty amazing ultra-thin frames, built with a specially designed nylon material they call SDN-4. Since I’m fascinated by the extraordinary innovation going on in materials design, they had me hooked, and when i saw photos of just how thin the parts of the glasses were, I was most interested.
They sent me a pair of Incognito sunglasses with Black Matte lenses and truth be told, I was a bit paranoid when I opened the case because they really were so darn thin it was more like having a production prototype than a real pair of sunglasses, as you can see:
Turns out that the material is way stronger and more flexible than it appears, however, and the company actually advises owners to remove the lenses prior to testing for flexibility, because otherwise, well, turning these into a pretzel is doable, but the lenses are just going to pop out somewhere along the way, right?
What’s also interesting is that Aspire Eyewear is really on the cutting edge of modern manufacturing techniques too, skipping old-school plastic injection molding for computer numerically controlled (CNC) machinery and 3D printing tech for prototype designs, allowing them to have working prototypes for testing in under an hour, rather than a multi-month cycle, as is much more common in the business.
And how do they fit? Oh, they’re almost exactly like not wearing sunglasses at all, except for cutting the glare and avoiding headaches! Here’s a selfie with me wearing the Incognito on a typically bright, sunny Colorado day:
I look serious, but inside I’m happy about my new sunglasses. Just trust me on that!
And then there’s the price. You can buy sunglasses for $20 at a street vendor, but you’re getting ridiculously cheap knock-offs, bad glass, and minimal UV protection for your eyes. Good if you’re planning on skydiving or doing some other extreme sport where the chance of you losing or breaking them is high, but otherwise it’s a very smart investment to buy really good sunglasses. It really does make a difference. Which is just as well as the MSRP on these Aspire Incognito sunglasses is a cool $290. So these are not only the nicest sunglasses I own, they’re also now the most expensive too. But let’s be honest: if you’re an outdoors person or even just drive a lot, it’s a smart investment, and these’ll last me not just years, but decades.
Disclosure: Aspire Eyewear sent me a pair of the Incognito sunglasses for review purposes.