Julbo Dirt with Zebra Lens ReviewJuly 1, 2012
- Fits comfortably under a helmet.
- Wrap design with a wide visual field and good coverage.
- Tech-infused optics with anti-fog photochromic lens.
- Shock absorbing temples and nose pads.
- Radical good looks.
- The meaty frame profile delivered extra heat in hot, sunny conditions.
A strong contender for riders looking for a one-stop, no-fuss photochromic lens that eliminates the need for lens swapping. Universal helmet compatability and a rad look sweeten the pot. It can, however, feel slightly bulky in hot conditions.
A Julbo classic since Fall 2010, the new-and-improved Dirt delivers true helmet compatibility, excellent coverage from a meaty wrap design, and lens adaptability via Julbo’s proprietary Zebra anti-fog photochromic lens.
The photochromic Zebra lens worked well in varying light conditions and eliminated the need to carry extra, swappable lenses. Julbo says the activation time (read: from a lighter tint indoors/in the tent to darker on the trail) for this adaptive lens is 22 to 28 seconds. It delivered on this promise, with a seamless transition from light to dark that was virtually unnoticeable.
As light conditions changed while riding in Durango, the shifting tint was again undetected and the tint level remained comfortable. Julbo nails the transmission rate range of the Zebra lens from 42 percent light transmission to 7 percent light transmission.
The Zebra’s anti-fog coating also worked well. While the enclosed frame shape of the Dirt could lend itself to easy fogging, we experienced none, even while tackling the steepest, sweat-inducing climbs.
The substantial frame silhouette of the Dirt provides excellent coverage from the elements and the occasional flying stone. It also fit just right under our helmet and remained there comfortably for rides lasting up to four hours.
The Dirt’s size is, however, definitely a better bet for riders with larger face shapes; the larger frame and wider size can slip, slide, and overpower on smaller face shapes.