Julbo Monterosa Sunglasses

The Julbo Monterosa sunglasses are new for 2010 and are Julbo’s top of the line Mountain Series of sunglasses for women.  The Julbo Monterosa sunglasses are designed for active use, in high altitude environments, where wind, snow and light reflection can become hazardous.  The Monterosas provide protection from the suns reflection in extreme outdoor activities, like ice climbing, mountaineering, trekking and backpacking. The Monterosas however, are not recommended for driving.

These glasses as tested contained the Spectron 4 lenses and were white with ice blue accents.  Julbo does not provide an attached cord for the Monterosa glasses, but rather manufacture the glasses with holes at the tip of the arms to add a chord.  The Monterosa sunglasses come packaged in a hard plastic, fitted container divided horizontally, which is accessed by pulling apart. The Monterosa sunglasses provide a two lens option, the Spectron 4 lens and the Camel Photochramatic lens, with polarizing and lifelong anti-fog treatment.  Both provide protection from the sun up to category 4 protection, but vary in cost from $90.00 USD for the Spectron 4 lens to $160.00 USD for the Camel lens.

Field Report

As soon as I put on the Julbo Monterosa sunglasses, I was immediately impressed with how the glasses hugged my face.  Since I have a narrow face, most mountain type sunglasses are too big and never seem to fit very well. This was not the case with the Monterosas, “They fit like a glove”.  The large frame size of the Monterosas, not only provide excellent protection from the sun, they are also very stylish, allowing them to look just as good in the city, as they do in the mountains.  The removable side shields allow you to utilize them depending on the occasion.

I began using the Monterosa sunglasses on the Patagonia Expedition of 2010 and continued to love the very dark lenses and the close fit.  The close fit not only blocked light from the side, but helped to block dust, dirt and debris, being blown around from the infamous Patagonia wind.  The wrap around design seemed to hug my face and the very light weight feel made them comfortable to wear all day.

The Monterosas fit so well, they did not move around regardless of the activity.   I added my own after market chord to the glasses to insure that I did not lose them over a cliff while scrambling or in a fast moving glacier river while crossing. This was more of a security blanket for me and not due to a faulty fit.

The Spectron 4 lens is quite dark and while it worked very well in most conditions, there were times that I needed to take the Monterosa sunglasses off when transitioning from very bright, sunny areas to darker shaded areas.  There were areas under a thick tree canopy in the forests of Patagonia, that the Spectron 4 lens was just a bit too dark.

I was very impressed with the anti-fog properties of these sunglasses.  The lenses remained fog-free, even when hiking in cold conditions on glaciers, in the snow and in higher elevations. The grip inserts are on the inside of the arms of the sunglasses, preventing them from sticking to longer hair. The curved temples make wearing them on your head easy and comfortable and seemed to prevent them from falling.  Normally, while backpacking and climbing in very windy conditions, my eyes have a tendency to dry out and water, thus interfering with my vision. While the Patagonian wind at times was very intense, the curved temples, wrap around sides and large frame, preventing the wind from drying out my eyes, allowing me to see very well, no matter the conditions.

Unfortunately, I did manage to drop the Monterosa sunglasses a couple of times, but to my surprise, they always came back without a scratch.  After using the Monterosa sunglasses for some 60 miles in Patagonia, storing them in my backpack, my tent and the various pockets of my jackets, the Monterosa sunglasses showed no signs of wear and proved to be very durable.  I did however, lose one of the side shields on the sunglasses while traveling back to the United States, but upon calling Julbo, they immediately replaced it and were friendly and easy to deal with.

I’m very impressed with the Julbo Monterosa sunglasses.  I have not found many sunglasses that fit smaller faces and that are of the caliber of the Julbo Monterosa sunglasses.  The Monterosas proved to be durable, tough, and very comfortable, plus the Spectron 4 lenses protected my eyes from the sun, dirt and debris.  Add this to the fact that they look great and ladies, you will love these sunglasses.

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