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review

Panda Optics Conquer sunglasses

9
£79.00

VERDICT:

9
10
Cool looking, big-lens shades that work very well for a competitive price
Comfortable fit
Good coverage
Cool looks
Decent price
Weight: 
40g

Take a look at the pro peloton and you'll spot plenty of big shades on show. The Panda Optics Conquer Sunglasses are a fashionably large-lens option offering good performance and cool looks, but without the 'pro' price.

Coming from a snowsports background, Panda Optics knows how to produce protective eyewear that looks good too. The Conquer Sunglasses are its first foray into sports sunglasses, and despite the multisport intentions, they work very well for cycling.

The sturdy yet lightweight frame (available in three colours) comes in a hard case with three lenses: mirrored (9.73% light transmission), amber (27.18%) and clear (89.87% transmission). You also get a microfibre cleaning cloth and a drawstring microfibre bag.

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They work well with typical road helmets, slotting neatly under the edges with no pressure on the temples or behind the ears. The rubber nose grip is comfortable too, and they stay put even when you're crouched in an aero position.

2021 Panda Optics Conquer sunglasses - inside.jpg

Those large lenses don't look ridiculous on a smaller face either, making them good for any gender. Lens clarity is really good, with no distortion, and probably most importantly they stay clear on sweaty climbs. Unsurprisingly, they're also great at shielding wind on the descents.

2021 Panda Optics Conquer sunglasses - lens.jpg

It's super easy to change lenses, and all three options work really well in the appropriate conditions. I'd have liked the amber lens to be just a little lighter myself, but then my low light vision isn't great.

2021 Panda Optics Conquer sunglasses - spare lenses.jpg

At £79 they're really good value for money. Many cycling-specific glasses are quite a bit more expensive, particularly those with multiple lenses.

The 100% S3 MAAP glasses require a significantly larger outlay at £170, for instance, as do the Oakley Sutro glasses at £130 and the Bolle Shifter Glasses at £149.

Even the usually budget-friendly brand dhb prices its Vector PhotoChromatic Lens Sunglasses at £90, although you are getting photochromatic lenses, of course. The Madison Code Breaker Glasses Three Lens Pack, on the other hand, undercuts the Pandas handily at £55, though lack that big-lens style.

2021 Panda Optics Conquer sunglasses - arm 2.jpg

As good as they are on the bike, the Panda glasses won't look out of place on the ski slopes, the beach or just around town either, so they can easily do extra duty.

> 31 of the best cycling sunglasses — protect your eyes from sun, crud and flying bugs

These are well-made, nicely designed and effective sports sunglasses that work well for cycling, both on and off-road, and come at a good price.

Verdict

Cool looking, big-lens shades that work very well for a competitive price

If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website

road.cc test report

Make and model: Panda Optics Conquer sunglasses

Size tested: N/A

Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Panda Optics says: "Our first sports sunglasses. New Autumn 2020. Unisex and versatile, featuring an urban style wraparound to give protection from sun and wind, whilst maintaining a more fashionable look than traditional wraparound sunglasses."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Large lens wraparound design

Rubber nose grip

Rubber temple grip

3 lenses - mirrored (9.73% transmission), amber (27.18% transmission) and clear (89.87% transmission)

Microfibre cleaning cloth

Microfibre drawstring bag

Hard box for storage of glasses and lenses

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

Very light but sturdy, and good quality optics in the lenses.

Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10

Comfortable and effective. Don't fog up on climbs, and protect your eyes from wind when descending.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

Some care required with lightweight lenses, but sturdy.

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
5/10

Not flyweight like some, but not heavy either.

Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
9/10

Very comfortable.

Rate the product for value:
 
6/10

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Performed very well.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Comfortable fit, good coverage, cool looks, decent price.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing, really.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

At £79 they're really good value for money. Many cycling-specific glasses are quite a bit more expensive, particularly with multiple lenses. The 100% S3 MAAP glasses are £170, for instance, while the Oakley Sutro glasses are £130 and the Bolle Shifter Glasses £149.

Even the usually budget-friendly brand dhb prices its Vector PhotoChromatic Lens Sunglasses at £90, although you are getting photochromatic lenses, of course. The Madison Code Breaker Glasses Three Lens Pack, on the other hand, undercuts the Pandas handily at £55, though lack that big-lens style.

Did you enjoy using the product? Very much

Would you consider buying the product? Definitely

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

These glasses look modern and fashionable, deliver strong cycling performance, and sit at a really good price. They're everything you need, and a nine.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 48  Height: 1.65m  Weight: 77kg

I usually ride: Liv Invite  My best bike is: Specialized Ruby Elite

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,

Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling. 

Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other. 

She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting. 

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