When it comes to cycling or high-performance sunglasses, retro inspired oversized designs currently dominate the market. Most premium brands have either brought back their classic design with modern touches, or they’ve adapted their popular models to satisfy the demand. Bollé has done a bit of both, with their new Lightshifter sunglasses that take inspiration from the Shifter (which is based on the Chronoshield) but with a modern and sharp semi-rimless design. In this review, we’ll be looking at the Bollé Lighshifter sunglasses that offer a large oversized frame for a wide field of view but with a more restrained and premium look.
The Bollé Lightershifter sunglasses offer an oversized lens with premium features without a more restrained yet sleek design.
Bollé has incorporated their latest technology into the Lightshifter with the available Phantom lens. Phantom lens technology is a combination of three elements: NXT material for enhanced definition, photochromic filter that adapts to light conditions, and a high-contrast filter for color and depth perception. For comfort, the Lightshifter features Thermogrip on the temple tips and a three-setting adjustable nose piece. The lens is also removable and features a center vent to prevent fogging and laser etching at the edges as a visual touch.
|Measured weight (in g)||32|
|Likes|| + Sleek design|
+ Included hard case & replaceable lens
+ Phantom lens adapts to mixed conditions
|Dislikes||– Premium price|
|Where to Buy (US)||Bollé|
It’s obvious how large the Chronoshield is simply from the size of the black cardboard box it is packaged in. The box has simple high contrast graphics with an eye catching glossy decal of sunglass profile printed on them. In the box you’ll find:
- Bollé branded hard case
- Soft fabric storage bag
- Lightsfhiter sunglasses
The hard case is quite large as it stores the sunglasses, the brow bar, and has an additional slot for a second lens.
FIT & FINISH
The Bollé Lightshifter combines the classic semi-frameless performance sunglass design with an oversized lens. This design simply works well as you have a wide field of view without a distracting lower frame. While the Lightshifter design is based on the Bollé Shifter, which itself is inspired by the Chronoshield, this one is more conservative. While the lenses are oversized, it can’t be confused for ski goggles. Also, you get the benefits of a larger lens with a more traditional design.
Believe it or not, selecting sunglasses lenses isn’t just about picking a lens that looks cool. It’s important to match the lens tint and filtering category (that determines the amount of light that is transmitted through them) to match the conditions the sunglasses will be used in. With traditional lenses, they are limited to a single filtering category (between 0-4 where 0 is clear and 4 is very dark). Bollé’s Phantom lenses use photochromic technology to adapt the tint to the light conditions and can cover filtering categories from 1-3 depending on the tint. For the Phantom Brown Red lenses, this allows for an impressive range of visible light transmission that ranges from 15% to 32%. This means the Lightshifters can be worn from low light conditions to brighter conditions without the need to swap lenses.
We found that the adaptive Phantom lens technology made the sunglasses versatile enough to wear during low light overcast conditions at the start as well as full sun at the end of our rides. The ability to ride through mixed light conditions allowed us to keep the sunglasses on throughout the ride instead of having to take them on or off as we typically do. Also we found the transitions between light conditions were fast yet gradual enough to not be distracting while riding. The vented lens design also prevented the lenses from fogging up even during slow climbs. We also found the Phantom Brown Red lens on the sunglasses to be a great match for road cycling as the tint paired well with the full sun mountain roads and shaded forest routes we ride on. The semi-frameless design also gives you an uninterrupted field of view.
Although Bollé describes the Lightshifter sunglasses as having a small fit, we found that they fit as well as standard sunglasses. The curved temples do mean if you have a smaller face, the Lightshifters would be a good match but don’t let that scare you away if you typically wear normal fit sunglasses as they are still very comfortable. It’s also easy to personalize the fit as the nose piece has three positions that are easy to adjust. We also found the Thermogrip on the nose pieces and temple ends worked well to hold the sunglasses despite sweat.
Overall, we found the Bollé Lightshifter to be a sleek and comfortable performance sunglasses. Even though Bollé describes the sunglasses as designed for a small fit, we found that they fit as comfortably as standard fit sunglasses. With the Phantom lens technology, the tint automatically adjusts based on the light conditions between category 1 and 3. We found that with the Phantom lenses we could easily ride in low light as well as bright conditions comfortably without having to choose between taking the sunglasses off or keeping them on. Also with the semi-frameless design and oversized lenses the Lightshifters provide an impressive wide field of view. Even though the Lightshifters are not the most affordable pair of sunglasses, the premium design and Phantom lenses mean that they can be worn in a variety of weather conditions both on or off the bike.
Disclaimer: The product for this review was provided by Bollé. The views expressed on this website are solely those of the authors and are here to help people make an informed choice before a purchase. The authors or the blog itself does not get any monetary compensation from the product manufacturer or third-party websites/vendor links that are posted here.