Support road.cc

Like this site? Help us to make it better.

review

30 South Trail RX glasses

7
£65.00

VERDICT:

7
10
Solid performers, but lack of replacement lenses counts against them given the stiff competition
Light
Comfortable
Decent quality optics
No yellow lens for overcast days
Replacement lenses presently unavailable
Weight: 
26g
Contact: 

The 30 South Trail RX glasses are a triple-lens design which live up to their hype and don't cost the earth. The interchangeable lenses feel lighter and less substantial than some polycarbonate types, but prove reassuringly durable and are easily switched around.

The ADVX frames are made from 'Swiss engineered' TR90, a thermoplastic that is light and extremely flexible, so unlikely to break if you drop them – or even sit on them. 30 South backs this up with a lifetime warranty.

The HDO (High-Definition Optics) lenses employ NASA-developed REVO coatings to give 'high-contrast viewing and enhanced clarity,' apparently, with the three supplied options being a non-polarized mirror lens, a grey CAT 3 polarized lens, and a clear UV400 lens.

> Buy these online here

The latter rating refers to a UV filter impregnated in the lens (so it shouldn't degrade over time) that blocks 99-100% of UVA & B light. As for 400, that means blocking all light rays with wavelengths up to 400 nanometers. Basically, it's the highest rating sunglasses can get.

2021 30 South Trail RX glasses - hinge.jpg

Wraparound design is nothing new, and since we only get one pair of eyes, you'll be reassured to note these are 'ballistic grade' shatterproof. They're also hydrophobic (water repelling) and 'highly' scratch resistant.

2021 30 South Trail RX glasses black - side

The company also does a light-reactive 'PhotoChromatic Transition' lens, available separately for £14.

Completing the soft-cased package, there's a flamboyant carry sack and lens wipe.

2021 30 South Trail RX glasses - bag.jpg

Frame & fit

On the bike, the 30 South Trail RX frames stay in perfect alignment, passing my two-hour, mixed terrain test with flying colours. The rubberised gripper sections along the arm and ear sections may look a little willowy, but they do an excellent job and remain unaffected by sweat or heavy rain.

2021 30 South Trail RX glasses - arm inside.jpg

The hydrophobic lenses work well. Persistent, showery rain doesn't impaired vision or the ability to canter along at a decent pace. I've had no fogging issues either, and I've been out in temperatures between -1° and 12°C.

The coverage is decent, without being engulfing, and leaves little room for wind or rain to penetrate. The lens shape and subtle 'give' mean they stow neatly in jersey pockets, top tube bags and so on as well.

2021 30 South Trail RX glasses black - nose piece

Switching lenses is easy, even by the roadside. Compared with some polycarbonate designs, the lenses feel a little whippy, but this means they easily engage in the frames with a soft but audible 'click'.

2021 30 South Trail RX glasses black - extra lenses

The polarized grey lens has also proved surprisingly reactive to subtle and moderate variances of light, from overcast to bright but not blazing sunlight.

Limitations become apparent a dusk; not to the point where I was struggling, but enough to warrant a switch to clear. The Shimano S-Phyre R Glasses cope better in these extremes, to give one example, but then they're £129.99.

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

The mirror lens has done what I expect of it, although is only necessary when conditions turn dazzlingly bright. Direct hits from stray stones make a definite 'thwack,' but have so far left no evidence of damage.

Value

At £65, the price is reasonable given the spec and quality. The Madison Code Breaker Glasses Three-Lens Pack retails at £55, for instance – and offers a useful yellow lens – but seems a little more vulnerable to scratching than the Trail RXs. However, spares are available.

The Tifosi Davos Race Neon Interchangeable Lens Sunglasses are level-pegging with the 30 Souths at £64.99, but George noted the fit may not suit everyone and that lens swaps are a touch fiddly.

2021 30 South Trail RX glasses  - case

Summary

While I would prefer a yellow lens for low light to one of those included here, I have been impressed by the standards of performance and build quality. The 30 South Trail RX glasses are comfortable, well made and a really solid option.

Verdict

Solid performers, but lack of replacement lenses counts against them given the stiff competition

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: 30 South Trail RX glasses

Size tested: One size

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?

30 South says: "3 PAIRS OF OPTICS IN 1 – The TRAIL RX comes as standard with a 3 interchangeable lenses, a non polarized mirrored lens, a grey CAT 3 polarized lens and a clear UV400 lens."

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

30 South lists:

Non polarized mirrored lens, a grey CAT 3 polarized lens and a clear UV400 lens.

Optional Transition Lens – The Trail RX also has a PhotoChromatic Transition lens for those changeable days

ADvX Frames: Our unique ADvX Frames are constructed from a Swiss Engineered, ultra-flexible TR90 material. They are super lightweight, non-slip, non-abrasive and hypoallergenic.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
7/10

Lightweight but solid.

Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10

Barely noticed them (in the most positive sense) and the lens choices suit most conditions. Would've welcomed the inclusion of a yellow lens for low light but that's a personal preference.

Rate the product for durability:
 
7/10

Very lightweight but sturdy lenses are comparatively thin too but springy, so easily switched and engaged within the frames.

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
8/10

Very svelte and unobtrusive.

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

I found them extremely comfortable, offering excellent tenure and optical clarity.

Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

At £65, the price is reasonable given their spec and quality.

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

I've been impressed by the comfort and optical quality.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Light, well made, and offer great all-round performance for the money.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

No yellow lens.

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

The Madison Code Breaker Glasses Three-Lens Pack retails at £55, for instance – and offers a useful yellow lens – but seems a little more vulnerable to accidental scratching than the Trail RXs. However, spares are available.

The Tifosi Davos Race Neon Interchangeable Lens Sunglasses are level-pegging with the 30 Souths at £64.99, but George noted the fit may not suit everyone and that lens swaps are a touch fiddly.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

These offer a nice three-lens design with decent build quality and performance, but competition is fierce. Ideally 30 South would sell replacement lenses and perhaps a wider variety of them, too. Overall they're good, and a seven.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 47  Height: 1m 81cm  Weight: 70kg

I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset  My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road

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: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,

Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)

Latest Comments