The Julbo Aerospeed is an excellent, performance-oriented pair of sunglasses. It is very lightweight, comfortable and provides excellent protection with a photochromic lens that works really well.
The Julbo Aerospeed are high end, performance-oriented sunglasses. They feature an XXL large lens that comes in a few different options. We tested the Reactive Photochromic Zebra lens. There are two other Zebra lens options, a slightly darker version, and a red/blue tint option, as well as their basic polycarbonate lens. These sunglasses are very comfortable thanks to their lightweight and well-designed rubber inserts on the nose and arms. There was no problem wearing these for several hours on the trail and they stayed secure on the bumpiest terrain. The rubber nose piece is adjustable and replaceable. The nosepiece can fit any size nose and the soft rubber comfortably stays put all day. This acts as a shock absorber and reduces pressure around your ears. It is made out of the same rubber as the nose and securely grips your head without pulling on your hair or moving around. On all of the Julbo Aero series, they have the same nosepiece and “air link temple” on the arms. The Aero series features a few different lens and frames configurations and the biggest difference was between the frameless Aerospeed and AeroLite and the half frame Aero is the rigidity of the frame. The Aero is slightly more rigid but does not compromise on comfort, ventilation or anything else. All of the Julbo sunglasses scored the highest of any competitors. For the purposes of this test, we lumped all the Aero glasses together.
Julbo knows how to pack the features into a pair of sunglasses. Their Reactive Photochromic Zebra lens transition from nearly clear to fairly dark seamlessly and regardless of temperature. The lenses on the Aero series are all the same (except for size) and all feel very well built and durable. They are made out of Trivex NXT which is a very durable, lightweight plastic that is the best material for sunglasses available. That combined with the well thought out design and innovative features like the “air link temple” make for an excellent pair of sunglasses. These sunglasses are not cheap at $189, but I believe they are an excellent value considering all the features and performance.
The Julbo Aerospeed is incredibly comfortable. It has a wide base-6 curve, adjustable nose-piece, and “air link temple” inserts. At only 26 grams it very lightweight, even with its very large lens. The adjustable rubber nose piece can fit any nose shape and is flexible yet grippy enough that it is comfortable and helps keep the glasses secure. Julbo’s “air link temple” feature is on all of their Aero models and is very comfortable. The rubber insets act as a shock absorber so there is no pinching around the ear, no bouncing, and the soft rubber grips really well. It also fits really well with a helmet and did cause any problems.
The Aerospeed we tested came with Julbo’s Reactive Photochromic Zebra lens. It can transition from 17 percent light transmission in low light situations to a fairly dark 75 percent light transmission in bright light situations. It transitions quickly and seamlessly regardless of air temperature. These lenses came with a slight brown tint but are also available in a red to a blue tint. The anti-fog coating works very well and has never had a problem with them fogging up. Julbo claims to have a coating on the lens that resists fingerprints and promotes water run-off. I can say that it does not seem to do a good job resisting fingerprints, but they do clean easily. These lenses seem to be pretty durable as well and have resisted scratches so far. The clarity is very good outdoors but there is a noticeable glare indoors when multiple light sources are present, this is not noticeable outside, however. There is no option for polarized lenses on any of the Aero models.
Security of fit
A lot of the features that help make the Aerospeed so comfortable also make it very secure. Being very lightweight means that there is less weight move around when the trail gets rough. The adjustable (and replaceable) rubber nose piece can be independently adjusted to securely fit your nose which is the biggest factor on sunglasses staying put. The long, wrapped arms securely hug your head while the rubber air link temple inserts absorb shock.
The peripheral vision of the Aerospeed is excellent. The temples are enough that they don’t obstruct your view and with no frame, there is literally nothing to obstruct your view from side to side and top to bottom. This area is definitely where frameless sunglasses shine.
With an XXL lens, it should be no surprise that the Aerospeed has excellent coverage and wind protection. They don’t sit so snuggly against your face that no air can get in, which could cause them to fog, but when the wind picks or your bombing a downhill there is a noticeable amount of wind protection. Also, the XXL lens does a great job of keeping dirt and debris out of your eyes.