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review

Koo Orion sunglasses

7
£159.00

VERDICT:

7
10
Great lenses and levels of adjustment, but not the most refined for the money
Excellent lens clarity
Adjustable arms
Anti-fog works well
Different lenses available
Not the easiest transition between sun and shade
Weight: 
33g
Contact: 

At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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The Koo Orion glasses offer a secure fit and a fair amount of adjustment, which isn't always the case with shades. Most importantly the lenses deliver excellent clarity and vision, although the coloured tint on this version limits them to bright days.

The Orions are good sunglasses thanks to a frame with extendable arms and a good fit. I rarely wish my sunglasses' arms were a different length when I put them on, but if you do then the Orion – with its three length settings – could be a great choice.

It may also help them fit with different helmets from a clearance point of view. As per most glasses, the nose section is tweakable too.

> Buy these online here

The frame itself is quite chunky, but that doesn't translate into any restriction on visibility. You can see the top of the frame when riding (and the arm when looking over your shoulder), but I wouldn't say it's enough to create any blind spots.

2021 Koo Orion sunglasses - arm detail.jpg

Koo has specced a pair of Zeiss lenses on the Orion, and they are very good. The curved shape doesn't cause any distortion and the clarity is excellent. In changeable weather – like showers on a warm day – I've found the anti-fog treatment does its job well, unless you're working very hard before being forced to stop, at traffic lights for instance. They do fog a little then, but clear straight away as you start moving.

2021 Koo Orion sunglasses.jpg

The Orion is available in fourteen colours with a range of different lens colours. This white/black frame comes with the Milky Gold option with a filter category of 3, and a VLT (Visible Light Transfer) of just 17%.

2021 Koo Orion sunglasses - frame inside.jpg

This means they are great on bright sunny days, but less so on overcast ones. Also, if you go from sunshine into a heavily shaded area, there are a few seconds where you can't see anything until your eyes adjust.

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

You can buy the other lens colours separately to give your glasses a bit more flexibility for year-round riding, including clear ones. They'll set you back £60 a pair. Overall I've found them durable; the lenses have resisted scratching, while the frame material can take plenty of abuse.

Value

For their £159 price tag though, I do find the design feels a bit plasticky, and it's not exactly the most refined when it comes to aesthetics.

Included in the package is a separate nose piece and a sort of soft/hard case amalgamation.

2021 Koo Orion sunglasses - case.jpg

Price wise the Orions are similar to the 100% Speedcoupe HiPER Blue glasses, which cost £169.99. Here you're getting a set of clear lenses included in the price though, and a proper hard case for protection.

If you want a twin-lens set of glasses then you'd be sensible to include the Endura Singletrack glasses, which at £70 come with an array of lenses and do well on the anti-fogging front.

Conclusion

The Orions are an all-round decent set of glasses with very good lenses. They are a big chunk of money though, even given those quality lenses and their unusual adjustability.

Verdict

Great lenses and levels of adjustment, but not the most refined for the money

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Koo Orion 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?

Koo says, "Dual-lens sunglasses optimised for trail and road with interchangeable lenses manufactured by Zeiss. Orion features an open frame, length-adjustable arms and active anti-fog ventilation."

Overall, they do a good job at protecting your eyes with a comfortable fit.

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

// Binocular-open frame

// Adjustable arm length

// Interchangeable Lens

// Active anti-fog ventilation

// Anti-Scratch and Anti-Reflective Zeiss® lenses

// 100% UV protection

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
7/10
Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
7/10
Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

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

Very good lenses with good clarity.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Plenty of lens coverage and clear optics.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

A slightly cheap feel, considering the cost.

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

They are similar to the 100% option mentioned in the review, although you are getting more for your money in their case with extra lenses. The Enduras are very cheap though.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Possibly

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

The clarity is very good and I can see the adjustability helping out some riders. They are pricey though, and don't have quite the feel of quality I would expect for the money.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 42  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: This month's test bike  My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,

With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!

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