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Gear Reviews

Julbo Aerolite Long Term Review

Performance sunglasses fit for the most demanding athletes

I seek out gear that I can wear into the backcountry without need to stop and adjust as the conditions change. Sunglasses are no exception, and Julbo gets it. All of their sunglasses that I’ve used are well-designed for demanding conditions and users. The Aerolites are no exception.

It is almost too easy to forget that my Julbo Aerolites are on my face––both because they are extremely light but also because the photochromic lenses change light transmission so smoothly and quickly. The frameless design, premium materials, and minimalistic temple design with the “Air Link” system make these glasses featherlight.

Julbo Aerolite Sideview
Julbo Aerolite temple view

Features:

  • Panoramic view – the field of view is huge and the frameless design means that as you fly down a technical trail, there are next to no blind spots to trip you up
  • REACTIV Performance photochromic lenses – the lenses will transition under different light conditions. Click here to learn more. You can also get them with a non-photochromic Spectron 3 lens for a bit less money
  • Superior venting – the glasses have huge venting cutouts and sit far enough from my face that I’ve never had them fog up, even on long ski trips
  • Weight – 22g
Julbo Aerolite front view
Julbo Aerolite front view

Style & fit:

The Aerolites are marketed by Julbo as sunglasses for runners with smaller faces, but I have a pretty average face, and I think they fit great. For the massive-glass style that’s popular these days, especially among cyclists, you might look to the larger cousin of the Aerolites, the Aerospeed.

Julbo Aerolite
The author with Aerolites on

Performance:

I’ve used the Aerolites in a wide variety of conditions from full alpine sun to snowy ski mountaineering races to night running with a headlamp. Yes, that’s right––these are sunglasses you can run in at night, great news for those ultrarunners out there.

All in all, I’ve put in over a thousand miles with these sunglasses on. They show limited wear and perform as well today as the day I got them. I’ve never had fogging problems, and I’m impressed with their durability, having dropped them on trails, shoved them into stuffed packs, and probably sat on them a time or two.

Julbo Aerolite
Author wearing Aerolites in the Power of Four Skimo Race, Aspen Highlands

Final thoughts:

The Aerolites are part of a family of Julbo shades that started with the Aero—a very similar, but slightly larger pair of glasses—and the still larger Aerospeeds that I mentioned before. It would be hard to go wrong with any of these, but I have to say, despite the trend, bigger is not always better, especially for runners. The Aerolites may be the last glasses you ever need.

From Julbo, the Aerolites retail for $219.95 with REACTIV lenses. They come with a hybrid hard/softshell case and microfiber bag. You can likely find them elsewhere for less. I wrote this review entirely of my own accord, and I have no relationship to Julbo other than being a customer.

Julbo Aerolite REACTIV
The world through the Aerolite REACTIV lens in full sun

By Galen Hecht

I am a river advocate, endurance athlete, and writer in Soldotna, Alaska. My passion for advocacy and adventure comes from an understanding the humans are a critical part of nature, and we must embrace that wholeheartedly. In 2013 I graduated from United World College in British Columbia then from College of the Atlantic in 2016 with a BA in Human Ecology. I spent a year traveling along and write about international rivers as a fellow of the Thomas Watson Foundation.

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