Trail Shades: Julbo Renegade Reactiv Review
Updated: Mar 12, 2020
Julbo was a brand that was pretty unknown to me until recently. I was in the market to try a new pair of trail glasses and stumbled upon the Julbo Renegade Reactiv model in the green camo. After finding these I did some digging and found a couple reviews of them but wasn't enough for me so I decided to try a pair. I ordered from Julbo's website as they have free shipping and returns so the purchase seemed pretty safe.
Camoflage Green/Orange with Orange Reactiv Lenses
The Reactiv lenses are photochromic where the lens tint goes from 17%-75% visible light transmission. They get decently dark and lighten up enough for moderate light situations. One thing that I wanted to know but couldn't quite find from Julbo's website was if they had anti-fog lenses. After looking around it seems all their lenses do so that was a yes but you won't find that information on the product page.
Glasses are on the larger side but have great coverage
The fit and quality of these glasses are very nice. The arms are thin and a bit pliable so not to pinch my larger than average head. Nose and temple pads add even more comfort and stability. This helps them to stay locked in the position you leave them in even during the rockiest descents. They seem to be less bulky than my other glasses and fit with a helmet without issue. These glasses are on the larger end and wrap around your face very nicely. Lenses are orange mirrored and look nice and the optical quality is very nice. They also come in matte black frames with red ting Reactiv lenses as well as other non-photochromic lens options.
On my first few rides I noticed that the lenses fogged up a bit in the corners of the lenses when stopping from a gut busting climbs during the 35 degree temps. This was a departure from my normal go to Ryders Thorn glasses. Julbo's customer service was great and took care of the issue by replacing the lenses. Getting the glasses back I did notice that trying to wipe the inside of the lens was very difficult as cloth was treated like Velcro and would barley slide across. I believe that more anti-fog coating may have been applied causing this issue.
Back on the trial the new lenses preformed great and handled the fog issue. These lenses have more of a purple/grey tint so lower light conditions had me taking them off where my yellow tinted glasses would serve better. During very sunny days where I was in and out of the trees is where photochromic lenses are my favorite. These glasses were great and adjusted well if not a bit on the slower side. Sweat often times drips down onto the inner part of the lens on long hot climbs. Normally with other glasses this is an issue but with the Renegades the sweat rolls down and all but disappears making you forget that this had ever happened. With any other glasses I would need to stop or wait to clean the drips off to improve visibility so this was a major plus.
These glasses feel large on my face but seem to measure very closely to the Ryders Thorns. The difference seems that the Renegades sit lower on the face where the bottom part of the lens touches my cheek. This causes sweat buildup and is a bit of an annoyance. This could be attributed to the narrowness of my nose but my other go to pair, Ryders Thorns, sit higher on my face and off my cheeks.
Reactiv lenses have great range of tint
Quality, warranty, and customer service are top notch
Good field of vision and clarity
Come with case and bag
Anti-fog lens coating makes trail side cleaning difficult
Initial fogging issues
Fit may not be for some
The Julbos are a great pair of trail glasses that offer large coverage, great anti-fog, and adjust to varying lighting conditions. They carry a high MSRP of $219.95 which is pretty high compared to competition. They do carry lifetime warranty and my experience with their customer service has been very positive. If you can snag them on sale, which I did, then they can be a great option for most trail conditions.