Vuarnet VL1121 Review

March 15, 2013
Vuarnet VL1121
Lens Clarity
Style Points
Coverage / Wind Resistance
Fit / Comfort
Overall Performance

The Good

  • Solid performance coupled with sophisticated style
  • Top-notch polarized optics
  • Wrapped, full-coverage design
  • Crafted of lightweight Grilamid TR-90
  • Stay-in-place fit for medium to larger faces

The Bad

  • Slightly heavy and bulky for longer activities

The Vuarnet VL1121 is a solid performance product with a sophisticated European look. It has nice full coverage, and the polarized Nautilux lenses really stand out—they increase visual acuity and depth perception. The oversized wrap design does make it slightly heavy for longer activities.


The Design
After falling off the radar (and experiencing a decline in production) following decades of success, Vuarnet is back on the map with a new look, new lenses, and new marketing, all courtesy of avant-garde French eyewear designer Alain Mikli. That’s the background of the VL1121’s sophisticated, modern, and slightly edgy look. But what matters most is that the wide, wrapped design excels at keeping wind and sun at bay.

Lens Clarity
Vuarnet’s optics have always been it’s claim to fame, and that’s true here. The Nautilux lens is a mineral lens with a yellow/green-based tint that Vuarnet says “increases the perception of relief and depth of vision.” I agree. This polarized lens not only cut glare perfectly when I needed it, it also helped increase perception of technical trail features such as rocks, roots, and uneven terrain. A hydrophobic lens coating also helped reduce the amount of visually disturbing water droplets on the lenses when I was caught in a downpour. This lens and its coating also make it an excellent candidate for water-based activities.

Wind Resistance
This sunglass has a significant wrapped design and a more substantial frame profile, two features that equate to full coverage and protection from the elements such as sun, wind, rain, and flying debris.

Fit & Comfort
The VL1121 has a wider and generally larger profile that best fits medium to large face shapes. On smaller faces, this sunglass has a tendency to slide off the nose and slip during activities. On medium to larger faces, it stays put even during more vigorous outdoor activities such as mountain biking and trail running. We did find these glasses to feel slightly heavy on longer rides and runs.

Style Points
It looks good both on and off the trail. While it’s noted as a unisex frame, the VL1121 is likely a better mate for a male athlete.


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