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Tifosi Sunglasses Review: Crit

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Article Categories: Gear
Article Tags: Hiking Gear

When you’re an outdoors enthusiast, having a great pair of sunglasses is absolutely crucial. UV damage to your eyes is irreversible, but sunglasses can do a lot more than offer protection. The right lens color or treatment can also make certain activities easier, safer, or more enjoyable.

For example, when you’re in a pair of polarized sunglasses, it cuts down on sun glare. It makes fishing or other water sports more enjoyable. If you’re skiing in a pair of rose-tinted lenses, your sunglass lenses can increase the visual contrast. This makes obstacles easier to see, as well as dips and rises in the terrain. If you’r biking, glasses can offer wind protection, anti fog properties, and comfort with a helmet.

But finding the right pair of sports sunglasses for your outdoor activities isn’t always easy. With so many different options, making the right choice can be tough. In this article, we want to talk about a pair of sunglasses we recently tried out, and still consistently use: the Tifosi Crit sunglasses.

Tifosi is an industry leader for sports sunglasses, and their products are beloved by cyclists, runners, golfers, and many other athletes. Tifosi is an Italian word meaning “super fan,” and the brand’s ethos is that sports enthusiasts should have glasses that can keep up with them. Their sunglasses are known for their durability and functionality through tough conditions. So let’s take a closer look at the Tifosi Crit sunglasses!

 

Where To Buy

You can buy Tifosi sunglasses on their website and at numerous local retailers.

You can also find these on Amazon.

 

About Tifosi

Tifosi Optical is a high-end sunglasses brand that just turned 20. Founded in 2003, Tifosi’s founders set out to create an eyewear brand that stood for quality, style, function, and value.  Over the years, Tifosi has gained popularity in a number of athletic areas, especially cycling and running.

Tifosi’s offerings are known for the quality of their construction, as well as highly innovative designs. Of particular note is their Fototec transition lens technology, which changes lens darkness as you move into areas of higher and lower light.

About The Sunglasses

Tifosi Crit

Tifosi makes several different designs, and the ones we tested are their popular Crit model. The Tifosi Crit is a pair of feather-light (31 grams, or slightly over 1 ounce) sunglasses made from Grilamid TR-90 nylon. This durable material was designed to perform well in high stress situations and withstand bending, force, and shock. In other words, it’s the perfect material for a lightweight pair of sports sunglasses.

 

Tifosi Tech and Lenses

Tifosi uses numerous highly technical features in their lenses. These include several different colors of light-adjusting lenses, as well as change-out lenses in many of their glasses. They also have prescription options available, as well as a number of lens tints and mirror options.

Another Tifosi innovation is Enliven, which is not part of the Crit model. However, because it’s so useful for fishing, we thought we’d bring it up. Some Tifosi glasses have a lens treatment that makes colors pop better than they would in other sunglasses. The Enliven Polarized line is designed for fishing, making fish much easier to spot and making underwater hazards much easier to see.

 

Our Testing

Tifosi Crit Sunglasses

We took the Tifosi Crit sunglasses out on some hard, heavy activity, including trail running, backcountry skiing, and some big day hikes. We also used them in all types of weather– rain, clouds, and sun. Finally, we drove in the Tifosis to see how they performed on the road and how the transition lenses worked through car glass.

To this day, we regularly use the Crits for athletic days where there will be a lot of sweating. I personally have used these glasses on over 75 days of activity.

 

Our Review

The Tifosi Crit sunglasses are so lightweight and breathable that they’ve become the first pair we reach for on really heavy activity days– or whenever it’s hot out. These lenses don’t fog up, and the frames won’t slip around when you sweat. In fact, it’s the exact opposite.

 

The Fit

Tifosi uses fully adjustable hydrophilic rubber nose and ear pads to enhance the glasses’ grip. They actually become more reliable when you sweat. The pads swell, causing a better grip that doesn’t feel tight on your face. The sunglasses also have a comfortable, anti-bounce fit that keeps up with your activities, no matter what you’re up to.

 

Versatility

The Crit model stands ahead of the competition in its versatility. Because the Fototec lenses transition to darker when exposed to UV, your eyes get the protection they need without sacrificing visibility. And what’s even better? They’re polarized! Most transition lens are not polarized, and we love these so much because they are. Polarization isn’t just a buzzword for sunglasses; it means that the lenses reduce glare by filtering out certain light waves. They perform great in bright light conditions or when you’re on the water or snow.

One place where we noticed these sunglasses performing really well is on hot trail runs and sunsets during summer. The great breathability and transition lenses mean that you don’t need to switch sunglasses to block out the light, and you don’t need to worry about them slipping around as you sweat.

 

Value

Another thing we loved about these was the pricetag. Coming in at $79.95, these are a mid-priced sunglasses option with the performance of a higher-end piece of gear.

 

Looks

However, there were a couple of minor details that we didn’t like quite as much. First, the lenses are a little smaller than expected. We thought they would cover a bit more. But there’s a silver lining to this- the smaller lenses allow more airflow, which prevents fogging. This is why these are our go-to shades for the sweatiest situations, like hot and humid days.

The other concern is the Fototec lenses. They do change in the amount of light they let in, but the variation difference isn’t giant. (The range on these is rated between 26% and 12% where as other glasses with transitions often range further than this.) This makes these glasses very versatile, but they are still too dark for nighttime and other very low light conditions. And while most of the time you don’t need to wear your sunglasses at night, sometimes you do want lenses on your eyes during nighttime pursuits.

For example, when you’re skiing at night, a tinted lens that lets plenty of light through makes it easier to see changes in the terrain. The polarization and darker shade mean they don’t get quite clear, so they aren’t ideal for nighttime. But they’re excellent for other varying light conditions!

In addition to the full test we did of the Crits, we also tried on and used several other models, all of which had a lightweight frame and great lenses. The whole range feels like they would hold up to tough use and heavy activity. Tifosi might be a well-known brand with cyclists, but trail runners, hikers, and skiers have been sleeping on Tifosi. The Crit sunglasses are a great option at a great price point, and we heartily recommend them!

If you need a larger range in transition, you will want to go with the non polarized versions of the Fototec lenses which vary based on lens color.

 

Comfort: 5 out of 5 stars

Looks: 3 out of 5 stars

Versatility: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Durability: 5 out of 5 stars

Value: 5 out of 5 stars

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Max DesMarais

Max DesMarais

Max DesMarais is the founder of hikingandfishing.com. He has a passion for the outdoors and making outdoor education and adventure more accessible. Max is a published author for various outdoor adventure, travel, and marketing websites. He is an experienced hiker, backpacker, fly fisherman, trail runner, and spends his free time in the outdoors. These adventures allow him to test gear, learn new skills, and experience new places so that he can educate others. Max grew up hiking all around New Hampshire and New England. He became obsessed with the New Hampshire mountains, and the NH 48, where he guided hikes and trail runs in the White Mountains. Since moving out west, Max has continued his frequent adventures in the mountains, always testing gear, learning skills, gaining experience, and building his endurance for outdoor sports. You can read more about his experience here: hikingandfishing/about

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