Rudy Project – Rydon Sunglasses Review

featured image February 11, 2012

Rudy Project eyewear has been know for quality and fashion. I have asked Rudy Project to select a pair of sunglasses for trail running, that is, we deal with no light to extremely bright conditions.  New for 2012, I will be reviewing the Rudy Project – Rydon Sunglasses ($230) – Black Gloss frame with ImpactX Racing Red Photochromic lenses.  Additionally, I will also review the ImpactX Clear Photochromic lenses (sold separately – $85).


Out of the box, they appear to be a high quality piece of eyewear.

In Box + Extra


                                               DARK TRANSITION (RED & CLEAR LENS)        NORMAL TRANSITION (RED & CLEAR LENS)



First series of testing included using the Clear Photochromic lenses during my early morning runs.  Although I do wear prescription glasses, I normal do not run with them. When wearing the Rydon with Clear Photochromic lenses, I initially needed to adjust to the slight glare produced by my headlamp and waist lamp (a converted headlamp to waist lamp – read my headlamp review). This issue was minor and did not affect my visibility in the dark.  The lenses performed perfectly and adjusted to the changing light conditions. See photo below after my morning run – ah…the sun.

The sunglasses never slipped and fit perfectly. I attribute this to the no slip nose piece and the very easy adjustment to the noise and temple piece. Please note, the lenses adjust to light conditions. If you are using the clear or red photochromic lenses for driving in your vehicle, the lenses will not transition to full dark state because the UV protection in the windshield and/or side windows prevents the process.

Second series of testing included using the Racing Red Photochromic lenses. I had no issues with low to bright conditions on the trails. The red tinting was perfect for the low light conditions where some sunglasses may hinder viewing obstacles in the shaded areas along the trail. In short, it exceeded my expectations.


 Product Features:

  • Eye Size – 70mm
  • Bridge Size – 17mm
  • Temple Length – 138mm
  • Quick Change – interchangeable lens system
  • Rx – Rx friendly (either in the lens or with an optical adapter)
  • Adjustable Nosepiece – completely adjustable to fit most face types
  • E-Lock – anti-slip nosepiece
  • Safety Project – safety hinges that are hidden and provide safety during a “crash”
  • Adjustable Temples – customized to fit most size or shaped head
  • ImpactX (Select on link for more information)
  • Photochromic Lens
  • 100% UVA/UVB protection
  • Light Transmission – 15% (Sunny) to 49% (Cloudy)
Weight Breakdown:



The Rudy Project Rydon with the Photochromic lens performed as expected and exceeded my expectations. They are great to use, because you do not need to change out the lenses when lighting conditions change. If you do change lenses, it is very easy to remove and replace the lenses. The Rydon is the perfect addition to your trail running gear list (and they work well as everyday eyewear).

I must agree with Rudy Project that their sunglasses are highly customized to fit most face types. I have a “large” face and the Rydon fit perfectly. I would say the Rydon is designed for medium to large faces.  For you smaller faced individuals, I would recommend the Rydon II.

I’d love to hear your comments. What’s your favorite pair of sunglasses on the trails?


  • Paul

    That is a brilliant review and test!! I agree, Rydons are one of the most versatile pairs of glasses that Rudy makes…fits every sized noggin and lightweight/customizeable. My pair is 8 years old and I still wear them with no problems!

  • james wilie

    Hi Paul, They are definitely well made and will last a very long time. Thanks for your comments.

  • Pitre

    I had bought a Zyon Photochromatic Impact X sunglasses for my cycle rides. It worked fine till the arrival of the monsoon rains! (I am in India).While riding in the rains the water flowing off the glasses made my eyes sting to the extent I was forced to take off the sunglass, after which it was fine and the stinging stopped. Any idea what causes this? What is the way around it?


    • James


      Hmm. I’m not sure why you would have this issue. Has this occurred more than once? Do you have acid rain issues in your area? Where you in a high traffic area?


      • Dustin D.

        Probably could have been sweat from his head running into the eyes? Sometimes if you have sunblock on your face, the rain can cause some of it to get into your eyes. Just some thoughts.

  • Cy

    Hey James, thanks for the great review. I’m looking at getting some Rydons mostly for trail running but for road cycling too. Would you say the clear impactX or the racing red impactX would be the way to go?



    • James

      Hi CY,

      If you think you will use the Rydons for early moring and late evening use (i.e., no sunlight), I would select the clear ImpactX. If you are more likely to adventure during the daylight hours, I would use the racing red ImpactX. Also, if you want to use the Rydons for “daylight” use (driving, etc.), I would use the racing red. You can use the clear, but once you are in your vehicle, the shading really lightens the clear lens (thus, the racing red preference). I hope this helps.

      Good luck,

  • Cy

    Awesome, thanks heaps James.

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