The Chums Orbiter Retainer accessory is designed to provide lightweight, non-obstructive aide for your chosen eyewear. By attaching the Orbiter’s two rubber ends to the end of your sunglasses (or any other eyewear), you are ensuring peace of mind when engaging in any activity. The manufacturers have molded the temples of the Orbiter to reflect its emphasis on comfort by making them flatter. This, in turn, provides practical support without putting any pressure at the back of your ears (accommodating the tall frames of current trends in eyeglasses).
Chums has also engineered the Orbiter to have a halo effect when worn, leaving you to roam free without anything rubbing against the back of your neck. With it off your neck and without any pressure from the support structure, you will forget it is there completely due to its lightweight design.
I tested the Orbiter Retainer while on Patagonia Expedition 2010, traveling throughout Chile and Argentina. With the sun being immensely bright at times both while hiking on the trail and on the Moreno Glacier, I was in dire need of protective eyewear and even more importantly, a way of protecting them. With that, I was also in need of something durable and light weight that could hold on to my sunglasses when travelling through shaded areas on the trail (having gotten tired of constantly having to take my entire pack off in order to put away my sunglasses, only to have them re-emerge soon after with the sun).
I found that the Orbiter model was as tough as I needed them to be in the rugged terrain and strenuous unpredictable conditions. Whether they were dangling from my neck on 14-mile days, or securely holding on to my coveted sunglasses while on my face, I saw the Chums brand as being extremely reliable. I never worried about losing my sunglasses because I knew they were protected, even in the brute-force winds notorious in that region of Patagonia.
I did find, however, that with the temples being rubber, I had a hard time getting my shades on and off without pulling at my skin behind my ears and pulling at my hair. It seems that the rubber would latch on to whatever was next to it, causing a chaffing sensation. Quickly taking my sunglasses on and off was not possible, as I either had to use two hands and pull my sunglass bands away from my head, which always made me nervous that I would damage my sunglasses, or I had to endure a painful exit with the rubber against my skin.
With the Orbiter being “Halo” shaped, I found that the loose versatility found in other brands was lost. The other members of my group were somewhat fancy free when approaching their sunglasses and the attached support, whereas I was faced with a more rigid, no-nonsense style, at times leaving me confined with my options of how to wear them). With the stiff “Halo” effect, I found it unattractive to have my sunglass support fully visible, sticking out at all times.
Overall, I was grateful that I was wearing the Chums Orbiter Retainer in Patagonia, as I was in need of something strong-willed and seemingly indestructible. For a more relaxed experience, though, I might prefer a looser-fitting version for myself without the painful rubber temples.