Yesterday I got my glacier glasses and storm goggles which I ordered almost two months ago from Arctek Eyewear.
What I had ordered were Julbo Micropores glasses and BollÃ© Quasar goggles. Both of these are with my own perscription, so I don’t have to use contact lenses with them. The Micropores are fitted with Zemu lenses which pass only 7% of the light through and Quasars have photochromic Modulator Vermillion (pinkish I would say) lenses which have an adapting coating which pass through 26-66% of light depending on the light conditions. The Quasars have a removable adapter with my prescription. With Micropores came a storage box and a neck strap and with Quasars came a storage pouch which is pretty normal with snow goggles.
Not having to wear contact lenses is an excellent thing for me as I have tried to use them when snowboarding or scuba diving and both of these have been a real struggle. Especially the diving was total torment for me. The problem was not wearing them, no, but the procedure of putting them on and taking them off. After the last time I had them on when diving and I was supposed take them off, I just couldn’t. I tried and tried, but failed to take the other contact lense off and with my now devilishy sore and red eyes I had to ask my wife to take it off. And off it went. That was the last time I have used contacs. Contact lenses and I don’t co-operate. End of story.
Back to these more interesting things, right? The Micropores apparently come only in one size (56mm) which sits between the previous PT (54mm) and GT (57mm) models. Someone can correct me if it is not so, but this is what I was told from the Arctek. This version which I got feels perhaps a tad narrow for my face, but this is what I will have work with from now on. The glasses feature leather side shields and a plastic cover for the center part between the lenses. The function of these is to block sun reflects from the sides and between the lenses. Also available is a nose shield which I still have to get. If the leather sides are removed the fit is bit better, but you should always keep them on when at high altitude as burned eyes are real pain in the ass on top the pain in your eyes, I’ve read. I think you’ll get used to them quite quickly when you are wearing them almost all the time. Same thing with any new glasses.
The Quasars have a similar fit as the Micropores, a tad narrow for my liking, but as these too are said to fit medium to large faces I cant’t really find anything more fitting I think. You just have to get used to it, fat face 😉 I have previously used my regular specs under my snow goggles for snowboarding and it is nice to have a pair in which I don’t have to. The goggles themself don’t provide any prescription, but they provide an option to insert an adapter with prescription inside. The first few moments I have tried them, it works quite nicely. You might suspect that the field view would be somehow skewed as the adapter won’t ever cover the whole goggles lens, but it was surprisingly good. You didn’t really notice the adapter at all.
If you consider that the Zemu lenses on my Micropores pass through only 7% of light, you could assume that you won’t see anything through them in “normal conditions”, but this is not the case. You actually see surprisinly well through them and you could easily use them on a normal summer day when strolling the streets or on the beach. But I have received some hints from my wife not to use them in the so called public, and I have to confess that they definitely aren’t the most trendy piece out there. Not even if you strip the side leather shields off 😀 You still have to remember, though, that these lenses are not suitable for using while driving. It may feel stupid to obey this rule once you put these on as you can see quite nicely through them, but I can just image you going next to blindness when driving into a tunnel or a very shadowed street while wearing these. So don’t do it.
I wore the Quasars yesterday for a while, but I couldn’t yet see a whole lot of difference with them in the shadow or in bright light. Could be that I wore them on separate occasions in these different light conditions and it is hard to compare just relying on your memory. I think you would have to walk from brightness to darkness or vice versa to really see the photochromatic effect.
Overall, I’m quite statisfied to have these things in my hand. I have gone through an exhausting search for a place that makes the Julbo Micropores glasses with prescription, usually just to find out that either they do not support my powers (-6,25 and -6,50) or they say that these are too much for the frame. Nontheless, I needed to have glacier glasses with my prescription as it is an almost non-existent chance that I could pull out any expedition while wearing contacts. I was just about to take the Micropores from the only place I found that would make them for me – Helsingin Katse. There was this fellow (huge thanks to Mikko) who did a very through search and found that the only lens that could be put into that frame was Zeiss lens with 10% passthrough. The Zeiss lenses are said to have the best bad wavelenght filtering in them so that could have been just fine. But then suddenly I found Arctek Eyewear which by the name of it sounded pretty solid in this field, also their product line is pretty much oriented towards mountain and snow sports. What furthermore tipped the scale towards Arctek was that I was able to get, with very small additional cost, also the storm goggles with my prescription from them. They have this -30% discount on the prescription goggles if you buy any prescription glasses from them. All in all, I can really recommend the Arctek if you are in need of prescription goggles or glacier glasses. They also have very reasonably priced internation shipping 🙂
(Just to clarify, I have no connection with Arctek other than normal business-client relationship, but I am just so happy to have the glasses as I was beginning to be quite desperate whether I would get them at all.)