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Rudy Project Astral sunglasses



The lens suits a wide range of light conditions, but the shape and long arms can cause fit issues
Clear optics
Lens suits a range of light conditions
Compatible with lens inserts
Sustainable materials
Lens shape can cause issues with airflow
Limited adjustment
Fit issues with some helmets

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

What the scores mean

Good scores are more common than bad, because fortunately good products are more common than bad.

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  • Appalling

The Rudy Project Astral glasses have fantastic optics and a minimal and extremely lightweight frame made from a bio-based polyamide, but the frame itself has limited adjustment and can cause fit issues with some helmets, and although various lenses are available, they are not interchangeable.

For more choices in eye protection, check out our guide to the best cycling sunglasses.

> Buy now: Rudy Project Astral for £119.99 from Rudy Project

The frame is made from Rilsan Clear, an environmentally sustainable and bio-based polymer manufactured from 45% castor oil. This construction is used on several Rudy Project models, with the Astral being one of the lower priced pairs.

2023 Rudy Project Astral sunglasses - logo.jpg

The arms are hinged, but unlike some, such as the Rudy Project Cutline – which has arms that can be flexed and shaped – the Astral's are fixed.

2023 Rudy Project Astral sunglasses - hinge.jpg

The arms measure 131mm from hinge to end, and I found their length and shape interfered with some helmets.

2023 Rudy Project Astral sunglasses - side.jpg

The arms bend in but then the ends flick out slightly, and when they tuck in tightly under the shell in some cases it can cause movement while riding. (The photo below shows the end in comparison with some Smith sunnies.)

2023 Rudy Project Astral arm flick comparison.jpeg

It seemed to be an issue with helmets with a narrower, more elliptical shape, MET being one example.

2023 Rudy Project Astral sunglasses arm flick detail.jpeg

The nose-piece does feature some adjustment, with the 'Ergonose' allowing independent movement on each side to suit nose shapes and individual preferences.


The Astral bucks the trend for increasingly larger lenses, with a more minimal design. The smaller lens might be preferable for some, but I found that on faster sections, and especially downhill, wind swirled behind the lens and caused my eyes to water. Aerodynamicists may be able to give a more definitive reason, but I found the problem worse than simply not wearing any glasses. The shape of the lens also means the edge is in your peripheral vision when riding.

2023 Rudy Project Astral sunglasses - front.jpg

The lens does cover the eyes, so they do still offer protection, and I had no problems with it fogging up, even on high-effort, slower speed situations, or when stopped after a harder effort.

The lens is not interchangeable, but Rudy Project has released six versions, each with a different colour and amount of light transmission. All models are also compatible with optical inserts, allowing the integration of prescription lenses.

Not having a replaceable lens makes the initial choice important, but for general British riding the Multilaser Green on test is well suited.

It has 16% luminous transmittance, or visible light transmission (VLT), which means that 16% of the light hitting the lens passes through. I've used the glasses through a full range of weather and light conditions, and have found them versatile and not too dark. They're suitable for cloudy days, and even approaching twilight hours; you can ride into dark patches under trees or very shaded areas without your vision being impaired dramatically.

2023 Rudy Project Astral sunglasses - nose piece.jpg

You can, of course, wear them on sunnier days, but there are other tints and lenses that transmit less light through, should you want a pair for cloud-free days.


At just 27g they're lighter than many glasses aimed at cycling; they certainly feel extremely light, worn or just in your hand. Despite the low weight they were stable on the head – when worn with a compatible helmet – even when riding off-road on rough terrain.

Value and conclusion

Considering their lack of adjustment and non-replaceable lens, their rrp of £119.99 is quite high.

Lara reviewed Magicshine's Windbreaker Classics and thought they were excellent, and though they also only come with a single lens, they cost just £39.99.

Others offer more adjustment and replaceable lenses, and some are even supplied with multiple lenses – the Tifosi Rail Races, for example, which Stu tested last year, come with a clear lens and are £89.99.

That said, if the lens shape appeals then the price of a second pair is not dramatically more than some replacement lenses. Replacement lenses for the recently tested Rudy Project Kelions, for example, cost £77.99, or £119.99 for the photochromic version, though that still doesn't completely justify the price of the Astrals.

Yes, they have good environmental credentials and very clear optics, and the tinting and light transmission levels have made them useful in a wide range of weather conditions. But the shaping and arm length made them uncomfortable when worn with some helmets, which, along with the limited adjustment and inability to change the lens, impacts the value.


The lens suits a wide range of light conditions, but the shape and long arms can cause fit issues test report

Make and model: Rudy Project Astral sunglasses

Size tested: One Size

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?

Rudy Project says:

The Rudy Project Astral glasses can be described with three adjectives: affordable, comfortable and sustainable. Designed to offer the best of Rudy Project's sustainable technology, these glasses perform excellently in a wide variety of sports. The Astral frame is made from Rilsan Clear, a bioplastic derived from 45% castor oil grown by certified farmers in Gujarat, India. The different lenses used for this model of glasses not only offer excellent eye protection, but also modern and fashionable shapes and colours. They feature an adaptive Ergonose nose pad for maximum comfort and a custom fit. This unique design ensures that you can customise the openings of your glasses to suit your face shape and preferences, providing excellent all-day comfort.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Rudy Project lists:


* Gender: UNISEX

* Weight: 26 g.

* Dimensions: 147 - 130

* Height: 55

* Base: 6

* Luminous transmittance: 16%

* Filter category: 3


Adjustable nosepiece

Rate the product for quality of construction:

The quality is fine, but the design of the arms means they sit inside the helmet shell and with some helmets it can cause them to move when riding.

Rate the product for performance:

Issues with some helmets because of the shape of the arms, and while the optics are clear, the size and shape of the small lens seemed to cause air to swirl behind it when riding faster.

Rate the product for durability:

All good so far – no sign of wear or scratching to the lens.

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)

They are very light.

Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)

With some helmets they're fine – I have a few different ones and was able to fit one that suited the glasses – but the design of the arms causes issues with others, impacting both comfort and performance.

Rate the product for value:

Compared with others, the limited adjustment and fixed lens impact the overall value.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Lens quality and optics are great; the lens is very clear with no distortion. But I found the small size and shape of the lens caused wind to swirl behind it at higher speeds, making my eyes water far more than glasses with a larger lens.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The low weight, and the VLT that makes them usable in a wide range of conditions.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The long arms interfering with some helmets, and the lens size and shape that seemed to allow air to swirl between it and my eyes, especially at higher speeds.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on

There are many more expensive glasses, but other brands offer more adjustment and a replacement lens for less, such as the Tifosi Rail Race.

Lara thought Magicshine's Windbreaker Classics were excellent, and though they also only come with a single non-replaceable lens, they are just £39.99.

Did you enjoy using the product? They were OK.

Would you consider buying the product? No

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Probably not, unless they want a small lens, and have a helmet that won't interfere with them.

Use this box to explain your overall score

The Rudy Project Astral glasses have fantastic optics, but the frame has minimal adjustment, and can cause fit issues with some helmets. The fixed lens and the limited adjustment impact value, with other brands offering more adjustment and replaceable lenses for less.

Overall rating: 6/10

About the tester

Age: 39  Height: 168  Weight: 61

I usually ride:   My best bike is: Cannondale SystemSix

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo cross, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Lots of gravel style riding

Matt is an endurance nut who loves big rides and big events. He's a former full-time racer and 24hr event specialist, but now is also happy riding off-road on gravel bikes or XC mountain bikes and exploring the mountains and hills of Mid Wales.

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