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Review - Julbo Zulu

Manufacturer: Julbo Julbo Zulu
Model: Zulu
Price Paid: $108
Made in: France
Lenses: Polarized
Quality / Finish: 4.5 / 5.0
Durability: 4.5 / 5.0
Comfort: / Wearability: 4.5 / 5.0
Tint - Visibility Balance: 2.5 / 5.0
Peripheral Vision: 4.5 / 5.0
Lense Coverage: 5.0 / 5.0
Average: 4.25 / 5.0
What's in the box: Sunglasses, case and warranty booklet
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I purchased the Julbo Zulu sunglasses from Moosejaw.com a few months back. I chose the matte black frames with polarized lenses. I have been wearing these all summer long and although Cheryl is not happy about how the color looks on me (wait until she sees what I review next) she does like the look of the sunglasses. Overall I am very happy with them.

Quality / Finish
Right out of the box these are nice looking sunglasses. The lenses fit in the frames perfectly, the material is 100% free of defects and the matte finish is beautiful. The hinges work like a dream, with the right amount of tension on them. They can be positioned to any angle without flopping open or close, even when grabbing them by the temples and shaking them. Not something you see too often.

With the lightweight acetate frame these sunglasses have durability written all over them. Dropping them, having them bump around your car while taking a corner too fast, or stuffing them into the front pocket of your jeans, (all of which I have done) is not a problem. After using, and sometimes abusing, these sunglasses for several months, they still look brand new.

Comfort / Wearability
Imagine a looooooooooooong roadtrip to Mammoth Lakes, CA in the middle of summer. We left on a Thursday afternoon and five hours later (and nowhere near our destination) the sunglasses were just beginning to irritate the tops of the ears. Unimaginable. Wearing them for shorter durations is great and you can actually forget that they are on your head. As I mentioned before they are lightweight, and it is also nice that the arms don’t put undue pressure on the sides of your head. Another “wearability” test that they passed with flying colors; I sometimes jog at a park near our house. The other day I did nine laps around the track (no one said I was an athlete) while wearing the glasses and it was as if they were not even there. The top of the glasses even kept the sweat from rolling into my eyes!

Tint / Visibility
The Zulu work well in the bright sunshine, but in lower light conditions they are darker than you would expect. This leads to having to pull them off frequently like while driving through a shady area, or while hiking through the trees, or…you get my point. Also worth mentioning is the quality of the polarization, average. Too often you can see that “oil sheen” affect which is distracting.

Peripheral Vision
As a cartoon tiger once said, “theeeeey’re great!” These sunglasses are shaped perfectly for my head and wrap around so I can see completely to the sides. The only bad thing, and it’s a small one, is that the nose piece is thick enough that is does get into the field of vision.

Lens Coverage
The Zulu are the first sunglasses that I have tried that cup around my eyes so well. The frame extends back to your face to completely block out light. The only place the light sometimes shines in is at the top. If you were at the coast or on the lake (or anywhere there is water for that matter) these glasses would work great, not allowing any light to reflect up and in. At Mammoth Mountain we took the Pandora gondola to the top (11,053ft) and with these sunglasses my eyes were very well protected.

I believe that the case that comes with these sunglasses is a joke. It looks cheap from the outside, is awkward to open and looks cheap on the inside. There is some felt and plasticy material on the inside front and bottom, I suppose to protect the sunglasses, but it looks more homemade than professionally assembled. The case is rigid plastic with a grey bottom, an opaque top and plastic hinges that appear as if they are going to break, even when brand new. Also, the absence of a cleaning cloth does not go unnoticed.

For the cost, if you like the look, you have to own these sunglasses. I mentioned the faults, but for $108 (including shipping) I think these are a bargain. This is the first time in my life that I have owned a pair of anything Julbo and I look forward to trying other models.


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