Ben Horan is a freelance writer and sometimes-guide based in Missoula, Montana, and blogs at thegentlemanatlarge.com (instagram: @thegentlemanatlarge). Photos from the Outdoor Prolink team.
The Native Eldo is a close-fitting, full coverage sunglass that fits big heads well. Native suggests that they’re a great fit for driving and riding motorcycles, although they’re also well suited to spring skiing, throwing streamers, and hanging out on brewery patios. They may sit a touch close to the face for sweatier athletes and cardiovascular pursuits, although fogging didn’t wind up being as much of an issue as I thought it might be.
Some people have fat heads, and that’s ok. The Eldo is here for you. The boxy construction and large lenses complement a robust face, but proved to be a bit much for folks with small heads. Of course style is personal; you do you. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you.
The first thing that jumped out about the fit is how closely the lenses fit to my face. A few friends with differently shaped heads tried these on and felt the same way. My eyelashes didn’t quite graze the lenses, but it was close. This has pros and cons. On spring ski trips they actually did a pretty fair job of keeping peripheral light out, and I’ll be reaching for these as a lightweight surrogate for goggles on days when I’m not worried about real storms. I also had to admit (after initially scoffing at motorcycle specific glasses) that they were extremely comfortable and effective while riding a motorcycle. No dried out eyes or gnats! They do a great job of protecting the eyes from projectiles as well as UV rays.
On the flip side, the close fit of the Eldo glasses means that ventilation is tricky, which means that fogging is an issue. I’m a pretty sweaty guy and usually can’t wear glasses of any kind during aerobic pursuits, but even a few bites from a moderately spicy calzone had these things fogging. At least for me, they’re not suitable for long climbs on a mountain bike or the skintrack. In spite of the close fit, however, airflow across the lenses is pretty good and the fog cleared quickly once the velocity picked up. I had no lingering fogging issues once it was time to head downhill.
Native’s interchangeable lens system is both intuitive and secure. The N3 polarization keeps glare to a minimum, colors sharp, and is apparently extremely effective in blocking ultraviolet light. I did not test Native’s claims on UV light filtering, but can report stunning crispness and little-to-no loss of contrast.
Just like the sharpness of a new knife, few things are quite as satisfying as the clarity offered by a new pair of sunglasses. Even after several months now of the Eldos bouncing carelessly from the dashboard to the floor, or wrapped in a fleece and shoved in a pack, or catching gnats at 70 miles an hour, the lenses are relatively devoid of cloudiness and scratches.
The frames are designed to endure large temperature fluctuations. There’s nothing more infuriating than sunglasses that snap in half when the mercury drops, and I’m eager to see how these perform in the winter.
The Native Eldo is built for going fast and laying low. It keeps colors sharp, fits big heads well, and keeps glare, dust, and fish hooks out of your eyes. The close fit means fogging can be an issue when things get sweaty, but when things speed up that issue fades away.
- Fits big heads
- Close fit is great for eye protection and peripheral glare
- Extremely crisp lenses (two sets!)
- Doesn’t really fit small heads
- Fogs easily