It is very easy in the world of cycling to think high quality must come at high prices, but sports megastore chain Decathlon seems determined to prove that notion wrong. Its Orao Arroyo sunglasses are one of a two-model range of low priced cycling eyewear and once again they cover all the bases,
There aren't many boxes to be ticked when it comes to sunglasses, yet many manufacturers still struggle to get the basics right. Comfort plays a huge part and Orao seem to have got that nailed. The rubber ends of the arms sit nicely above the ear without causing discomfort even on those long summer rides. The 30g frame and lenses help reduce pressure on the ears and nose piece. Although not detachable, the nose piece has been made from a strong rubber which can be bent into the necessary shape for maximum comfort, and its securely attached so there's no chance of losing it.
The pack comes with three interchangeable full UV filter lenses in clear, yellow and dark tint for those truly sunny days. Removing and attaching the lenses is simple with a couple of clicks on either end and again at the nose. I've always been worried about breaking lenses, but I was impressed with the strength even when trying a little harder to cause damage. The frame was particularly flexible with rubber inserts along the rim which allowed twisting when changing the lenses.
With small vents along the lens and nose piece, there were no ventilation issues apart from on a climb in tough conditions. Resting far enough away from your face, the airflow to helps blow away sweat keeping the lenses fog-free.
The robustness and durability were also particularly impressive, especially when I managed to miss my pocket at 40kph and gave them a good impact test. Finding only a couple of scratches, I was suitably pleased.
I will admit that the styling did let the Arroyo down a little. I realise sunglasses often come down to personal preference, but I would be lying to say they are the best looking out there. Having a pair slightly too wide for my face didn't help and maybe a different colour for the grey rubber on the frame would help. As with all sunglasses, I would certainly recommend trying them on first for fit and style.
Another pair of low priced and yet high quality sunglasses from Orao
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Make and model: Orao Arroyo Optic Pack
Size tested: n/a
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
With the low price it would be aimed at the enthusiast, however the quality and comfort is far higher than that would suggest.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
3 Interchangeable lenses
- Category 0: filter 0% to 8% of light
- Category 1: filter 8% to 18% of light
- Category 3: filter 18% to 43% of light
Material: impact resistant polycarbonate
Complies with standard EN1836
Frame material: polyamide + rubber
Nose pads material: rubber
Arm tips material: polyamide + rubber
Size: suitable for medium / large faces
Quality materials used good rubber an plastic combination. Smooth hinges for the arms too.
Only had issues with fogging up on a few tough climbs in the heat, but other than that the lenses worked great.
Having already mentioned my unintentional impact test, the glasses came out with surprisingly little damage even on the all important lens.
Comfort that is hard to beat with the adjustable nose piece and rubber arms.
Great value for money at the relatively low price when compared to the high end of the range.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The comfort and durability of the glasses.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The style of the design could do with some work.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Age: 21 Height: 5ft8 Weight: 61kg
I usually ride: Cannondale Cadx My best bike is: Scott CR1 Pro
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives,