zeal-optics-red-cloud-review-dirtbagdreams.com

ProView – Zeal Optics Red Cliff

As an Outdoor Professional we are often up with the sun and don’t clock out until the sun goes down. It is important to take care of your body if you play outside for a living. Our eyes are key to what we do and taking care of them is paramount for staying focused, aware, and ready for anything. Throw on the Red Cliff shades and your eyes will be wrapped in polarized protection for whatever the day decides to throw at you.

Zeal Optics Red Cliff

Product Name: Zeal Optics Red Cliff

Product Description: Zeal Optics Red Cliff is your companion for every adventure that awaits. This full frame, large-fit wrap has you covered from the trail, to the beach or just downtown. Red Cliff blends function, with its full coverage frame, Hidden Spring hinges and ProFlex nose pads; with fashion in its triple-injected frame that adds pops of color. Red Cliff’s plant-based Ellume Polarized lenses heighten color, clarity and contrast, while keeping your footprint light on and off the trail.

Offer price: MSRP: $159.00

  • Quality
    (5)
  • Features
    (5)
  • Fit
    (4.5)
  • Durability
    (5)
  • Eco-Friendly
    (5)
  • Performance
    (5)

Summary

Do your eyes a favor and treat them to a pair of Red Cliff glasses for showing you all the world has to show us. Quality lens, durable frame, and a wide spectrum of light protection makes the Red Cliff a go-to for the serious Outdoor Professional.

Overall
4.9

Pros

  • Biomaterial construction
  • High quality polarization
  • Prescription lens ready
  • Stay-put nose pads

Cons

  • Worth mentioning again to double check the measurements for proper fitment

Fit and Comfort

The Red Cliff sunglasses are a large-fit pair of glasses that are a wrap around style. I was quite shocked with how “wrap around” they actually were once they arrived. Other photos that I saw prior to them arriving made them seem a bit less wrap around. It is an acquired style, in my opinion. I already have a serious face, so I tend to shy away from wrap-around glasses as they have the tendency to make people look quite serious and intimidating. As a climbing guide, I need people to feel comfortable and I want to look as welcoming as possible. Despite the intimidation factor, these are professional looking glasses, and their muted frame and color choices, will blend in with the professional outdoor setting.

I was pleased with the fit as they were going to be a bit larger than the glasses I typically wear. Thankfully Zeal Optics provides quality measurements in an easy-to-read diagram so you can compare with other models or other manufacturers. It is worth noting that another tester mentioned they were a bit snug on his head and caused headaches. It is worth taking the extra efforts to compare measurements from previous glasses you have worn to be sure you get well fitting glasses.

Performance

There are no two ways about it: the desert is bright. Whether it is the dead of winter or the Summer Solstice the sun shines and it shines bright. A quality pair of UV-A, B, and C protecting glasses that are polarized are well worth the investment. They will make those hours in the sun while staring up at the cliffs less intense on your eyes and help keep you focused. The Ellume polarized lenses are plant based and do an incredible job at filtering out the reflected light off objects as well as heightening color and contrast. I loved wearing these while climbing at Indian Creek as it made the cliffs rich in color by blocking out that nasty reflected light off the Wingate walls.

A big sticking point for me is a sunglass company’s nose and ear pads. Your sunglasses need to stay put – end of sentence. You cannot expect to keep your focus on your clients’ care if you are constantly futzing with your glasses. I was blown away by the ProFlex nose pads on the Red Cliff glasses; they kept the glasses steady and firmly on my face despite me sweating my way up some classic desert off-width.

The wrap around style did win some points from me in the end. The last month in the desert has been windy! The wrap around style kept my eyes better protected from nature’s sandblaster as I spent day after day guiding in heavy winds. These were my first pair of wrap around style glasses and although I do not prefer the look, their function was A1.

Friendliness to the Earth

Zeal boasts some pretty cool facts about their glasses: both the frames and the lenses use biomaterial in place of crude oil or petroleum based products. The Ellume Bio-Plastic lenses are using plant-based resins as the bonding agent. I can testify that there is no difference in the quality of lens due to the biomaterial – the clarity is unreal. The frames, too, are using oil from a bean – how cool is that?! The Castor Bean is a drought resistant, fast-growing perennial that is helping reduce our dependence on crude oil-based products. High five to Zeal Optics for making a plant-based product that does not show its hand by reducing quality or durability in function.

Final Word

Do your eyes a favor and treat them to a pair of Red Cliff glasses for showing you all the world has to show us. Quality lens, durable frame, and a wide spectrum of light protection makes the Red Cliff a go-to for the serious Outdoor Professional.

Shop Zeal Optics Red Cliff on Outdoor Prolink. Not a member? Apply today!

About the Gear Tester

Outdoor Prolink Pro
patrick-betts
Patrick Betts
Technical Director :: Front Range Climbing Company

Patrick Betts is the Technical Director at Front Range Climbing Company and is based in Moab, Utah. He has been in the Outdoor Industry since 2009 and guides year-round in Colorado, Utah, and beyond. When he is not guiding, you will find him traveling to climbing destinations around the world. Patrick is an experienced adventure photographer who enjoys taking photos of people pushing their own limits and capturing the landscapes of the areas that rock climbing takes you. Follow along @adventurethrulens

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.