Since their initial release in 2020, the ROKA Matador sunglasses have gained popularity thanks to their bold styling and excellent optics. Not only do the Matador sunglasses have a memorable product name but with the upswept V-CORE temple design, they don’t look like any other sunglasses on the market. In this review, we’ll be looking at the latest version of ROKA sunglasses, the Matador Air. As the name implies, the Matador Air is a lighter semi-frameless variation of the Matador sunglasses. The Matador Air shares the same $225 retail price and has an interchangeable lens and nose pad design. Vents along the top and sides help prevent fogging on the lens while fog, scratch, and water-resistant coatings on the C3 lenses ensure clear optics.
The ROKA Matador Air sunglasses are a semi-frameless variation of the unique Matador sunglasses and share the same crisp optics and comfortable fit.
|Measured weight (in g)||24|
|Likes||+ Bold styling|
+ Easy to forget your wearing them due to lightweight
+ C3 lens offer crisp optics
|Dislikes||– Premium price|
– Does not include an extra clear lens
– Limited color selection currently
|Where to Buy (US)||ROKA|
The ROKA Matador Air sunglasses come well packaged in an all-black cardboard box with a paper external sleeve and glossy silver ROKA logos. The cool thing about the box is the top lid of the cardboard box as it has a magnetic lid to keep it in place. Inside you’ll find:
- Matador Air sunglasses
- Fabric carrying bag
- Three additional swappable nose pads
- Info pamphlet with lens information
- ROKA sticker
Surprisingly, ROKA does not include a zippered hard case with the sunglasses which is common at this price point.
FIT & FINISH
One of the most unique visual aspects of the sunglasses are the V-CORE temples which are mounted low on the frame and curve upward. ROKA claims the design reduces interference between the sunglasses and helmets or cycling caps. Although we didn’t notice much difference between the Matador Air sunglasses and more traditional sunglasses, the design makes the ROKA’s stand out. Currently ROKA only offers the Matador Air in two versions – the matte black with Gold Mirror lens we have here, and a glossy white with HC Fusion Mirror lens. We expect ROKA to also offer a customization program in the future for more color and lens options similar to the standard Matador sunglasses. Also, branding is limited to ROKA logos debossed on the top of the frame and on each of the temple arms for subtle look.
Although the styling of the Matador Air isn’t as controversial as the Oakley Kato or POC Devour sunglasses, the oversized shield design may not be for everyone. The Matador Air has a 7-base cylindrical lens which means it has a visor-like fit that curves around your face. ROKA also has made the Matador Air sunglasses have an interchangeable lens design which are held in place with tabs and can be removed by simply pulling up on the top center vent. Once the top frame has been lifted, the lens curves out allowing them to simply slide out the two tabs on the sides. The nose pad holder also just slides off the lens with a little bit of force, but be careful not to break it. It’s a simple design but unlike the Smith Shift MAG sunglasses, you can’t avoid getting fingerprints on the lens.
The Matador Air comes equipped with ROKA’s premium C3 lens which have distortion free optics and various coatings applied to them. It’s a 7-base cylindrical lens which has a high curvature that wraps around your eyes for a wide field of view and makes the temples nearly invisible. We chose the Gold Mirror lens because they not only look cool but also offer CAT 3 filtering with 16% VLT which works well for sunny weather. The dark bronze base tint on the lenses also helps increase contrast and enhances green and yellow colors. As with other premium lenses from POC or Bollé, the Matador Air also has clear and distortion-free optics. We found the sunglasses worked well for road cycling to reduce sun glare and improve contrast. The three vents and semi frameless design also prevented the lens from fogging up even on slow climbs.
With their featherweight 24 gram weight it’s easy to forget that you’re wearing the ROKA Matador Air sunglasses. Although the weight reduction may not help you set new PR records, it reduces pressure on your nose or temples. It’s also easy to dial in the fit of the sunglasses as the temple arms are easy to adjust. The bendable titanium core inside the temple allows the curvature to be adjusted and retain their shape but are less malleable than other sunglasses we’ve worn. We found the pre-installed nose pads to be comfortable but those with different shaped faces have three additional nose pads to choose from. The nose pads simply slide off plastic mounts by pulling down and away from the sunglasses.
Overall, we found the ROKA Matador Air sunglasses to be well styled and comfortable sunglasses. The unique upswept V-CORE temples and cylindrical lens shape give the Matador a distinct styling that stands out on the road. Thanks to the semi-frameless design of the Matador Air sunglasses, the field of view is very wide and provides an immersive experience when cycling. The sunglasses are also very light which makes it easy to forget you’re wearing them. We also found the optics of the C3 lens to be crisp and clear which is impressive given the high curvature of the lens. The main downsides of the Matador Air is the fact that ROKA doesn’t include a hard case or clear lens which are both more common at this price point. That said, if you’re looking for some oversized cycling sunglasses with unique styling, the Matador Air is a great option.
Disclaimer: The product for this review was provided by ROKA. 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.