Used to be I’d pay $400 or more for normal prescription frames and lenses from a store. The world has changed, and with it eyewear — most definitely for the better.
Last month, going with online purveyor Trioo Eyewear, I procured stylish, active-oriented glasses for $47.
Made with a unique resin material, the frames are light, flexible and strong. The fee included shipping from the company factory in Shanghai.
Granted, these are not made-for-sports glasses. But for my day to day use, including biking to work, my glasses do double duty as “active” eyewear.
So far, the Trioo frames have been solid, on the bike or while writing a post for the GearJunkie blog. The bows are extra thin and flexible, and they fit secure but comfortable at the nose and ears.
Beyond the resin frames, Trioo sells a few interesting options. A carbon-fiber frame costs $97. Other materials include titanium and aluminum-magnesium frames.
The company is one of many inexpensive eyewear outlets that have cropped up online. You can save hundreds of dollars in some cases and get similar quality to what you see in person at a store.
One of our editors swears by the dirt-cheap glasses from Zenni Optical, which range in price from about 10 bucks to around $50.
Zenni has thousands of combinations to choose from, including glasses designed for sports and also ski goggles. So far, our editor has been completely satisfied with the four pairs he’s used over the last couple years.
The disadvantage to buying online is that you cannot try them on for looks. You need to pay to get your prescription checked at an optometrist to enter the Rx numbers when ordering online. Make sure to get pupil distance measurements as well.
On Zenni Optical, you can upload your photo to digitally “try on” glasses. The representation seems to work OK and our editor has had pretty good success picking out frames.
Glasses are delivered in about 10 days after ordering from Trioo or Zenni. You then get 30 days to return if the fit, function, or fashion is off.
Trioo Eyewear was founded in France and recently started selling from a new Shanghai headquarters. Look into one of these brand for inexpensive everyday or “active” eyewear of your own. With prices like this, you don’t have too much to lose. —Stephen Regenold