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review

SunGod Airas ZF sunglasses

8
£130.00

VERDICT:

8
10
Really good frameless glasses you can tailor to your needs
Light
Excellent clarity
Work well in dappled shade
Four nosepads for adjustable fit
Massive unobstructed view
Can be converted with a bottom frame
Custom option
Sit a bit far from face, even with the lowest nosepad
Nosepad can sit in your peripheral vision
Weight: 
30g
Contact: 

At road.cc 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.

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The SunGod Airas ZF (zero frame) glasses are a great choice if you want maximum viewing real estate while you ride; the 8KO lenses offer plenty of clarity, too. They're also stylish, comfortable, and light. Four sizes of nose pads give good adjustability, although I found the glasses to sit quite far from my face, even on the lowest setting. They're a bit pricey too, considering you don't get a clear lens included, but the ability to customise the glasses makes up for it.

If you like your cycling glasses big and bold, and want almost unrestricted vision while you ride, you are going to really dig these new glasses from SunGod. The lens is big – though not huge compared to some – giving you loads of coverage, and because of their frameless design there are no annoying bits of plastic getting in the way of your peripheral vision. It really is like riding without glasses.

> Buy these online here

As with all SunGod glasses, you get that glorious 8KO lens. SunGod uses the term 8K – presumably like 8K resolution in TV screens – to imply that the glasses have the best level of clarity. I can't compare it to an old 4K set for comparison, but suffice to say they have excellent clarity. I'd happily say this is as clear and undistorted as any of the high-end Carl Zeiss lenses on several other pairs of glasses I have.

SunGod says the lenses are impact and scratch resistant, and have a hydroleophobic coating. I've certainly had no issues, so far. The coating sheds water quickly, and although the downside of an 'all-lens' setup does mean it attracts fingerprint smudges, they're easy enough to remove with the included microfibre pouch.

The lens in our test sample is the 8KO Gold variety, which is well suited to cloudy and sunny days, with good protection against strong sunlight – it's a wee bit dark for particularly shaded areas, mind.

> Buyer’s Guide: 31 of the best cycling glasses

There are seven off-the-shelf lens and frame combinations to choose from, though for the same price you can go the custom route which increases your choice to 10 different lenses (including two photochromic options). There are also multiple colour combinations for the frames, earsocks and logos. This is a nice touch that SunGod offers on all its glasses.

Though you only get one lens in the box, you can buy more at a later date – it's £45 for the clear option, £70 for colour, and £110 for the photochromic. It all adds up if you want more options, but at least they're there. Changing the lenses is relatively easy – the pop-lock screwless design means you just press the side tabs next to the hinges and turn the arms towards the inner lens to remove them.

2021 SunGod Airas ZF glasses - hinge

Attached to the lovely curved lens, which wraps around the face, are a pair of lightweight arms with grippy silicone socks that hug the face. I didn't encounter any issues with the glasses trying to slide off my face, even when they're sweaty. The silicone nosepad helps in this regard. The Airas fit nicely next to my helmet without interfering.

2021 SunGod Airas ZF glasses - side

There are four sizes of nosepad in the box, allowing you to tailor the fit to your particular beak, and they're quick and easy to change. The golden rule is to go bigger if it's small, or smaller if it's big. I did find that even using the smallest one (my nose isn't *that* big), though comfortable, the glasses did sit further away from my face than I'm used to. Subsequently, on fast descents the wind did tend to whip underneath and above the lenses, into my eyes.

2021 SunGod Airas ZF glasses - nose piece

SunGod offers the glasses with a lower section – the BF (bottom frame) – for an extra £25, or there's a combined ZF & BF option for £175, which includes both the BF piece and the nosepad from the ZF, so you can easily switch between the two, depending on your mood.

Personally, I'd go for the BF option as I prefer the look, and I'd happily sacrifice some periperhal vision for slightly better wind protection. It also means you can pop it on a table without fear of chipping the edges of the lens.

Value and conclusion

We've reviewed a heap of glasses on road.cc, and the Airas sit somewhere in the mid-to-upper tier.

Rapha's Pro Team Frameless Glasses are a bit cheaper at £110, and arguably just as aesthetically pleasing, but by comparison there are only a few frame/lens combinations to choose from, and there's no customisation option.

Another option that's a little more expensive than the Airas are the Oakley EVZero Blades, coming in at £143. Overall, they fared well when Liam tested them, though he did find they slipped down the nose, because of a lack of pressure from the frameless design.

> Buyer’s Guide: 13 of the best cheap cycling sunglasses

Overall, the Airas are excellent glasses that, unlike many others, allow you to really tailor how you want them to look and perform. They're not bad value for money considering their performance, and it's worth mentioning that you get a lifetime guarantee, which certainly sweetens the deal.

Verdict

Really good frameless glasses you can tailor to your needs

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road.cc test report

Make and model: SunGod Airas ZF 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?

The SunGod Airas are aimed at those wanting a minimal pair of sunglasses for more performance-orientated riding. There's no frame protection to speak of, but on the plus side you get virtually unrestricted sight. The adjustability makes these suitable for all kinds of shapes and sizes of nose.

SunGod says, ' The Airas™ ultra-lightweight, zero-frame design offers a completely unobstructed peripheral and vertical field-of-view, fused with a new 8KO® cylindrical lens cut that enhances rigidity and durability, for maximum performance on the road.'

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

- Secure hinges, pop-lock screwless

- Impact resistance, certified full frame

- 8KO Nylon lens tech

- Hydroleophobic lens protection

- Triple-layer scratch resistance

- 100% UV protection

- Nosepads, 4 sizes for an optimum fit

- Lifetime guarantee

Re the lens, SunGod says: 'Introducing our new 8KO® lenses, the most advanced lens technology on the planet. Precisely constructed from 2mm nylon, 8KO® lenses are optically superior and lighter than industry-standard polycarbonate. Available in 8 refined lens tints plus two Iris™ photochromic lenses, for maximum optical clarity whatever the conditions. 8KO® lenses are clearly better.'

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10

Good fit, great eye protection, though the frameless design does mean you sacrifice a little bit of wind protection.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

No complaints so far, and the Airas boast some pretty tough specs.

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
7/10

Pretty light, given their size.

Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
8/10

They sit slightly further from the face than I would like.

Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

Slightly expensive, and there's no clear frame included. However, there are lots of customisation options, which certainly makes them more appealing.

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

Really good – great optical clarity with loads of unrestricted viewing. They protect well against the sun, though wind protection isn't quite as good as full- or even half-frame glasses.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Great lens.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

I prefer a slightly more snug fit at the face.

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

Definitely not the cheapest, but far from the most expensive. Given their quality and performance, I think their price is reasonable. The Rapha Pro Team Frameless Glasses are probably the strongest competitor, given their good looks and performance at a lower price. They aren't customisable, like the Airas, though.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes, but I would go for the half-frame (BF) option.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

Good performance, good looks and a pretty decent fit. The customisation options add bonus points.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 39  Height: 6'4  Weight: 175lbs

I usually ride: Condor Italia RC custom build  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: A few times a week  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, mtb,

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