Glasses can be bulky, or vulnerable when stashed in a pocket or pack. A different concept, Popticals are wrap-around sunglasses that fold up and fit inside an egg-shape case.
Lenses on the Popticals slide apart and then nest close together. The bows hinge and fold. A hard-side case clicks securely shut, latching closed as a 4-inch oblong container that slips into spaces as tight as a hip pocket on your pants.
Review: Popticals Fold-Up Sunglasses
I ran and biked wearing the company’s Popgun model for a review this month. At $199, you pay more for the stow-away nature of these glasses and the accompanying rugged case.
In addition to the small size, the Popgun glasses are light, weighing just one ounce. The case adds another ounce, resulting in a featherweight pod that contains your optics ready for primary or backup use.
During the review process, the glasses performed well in winter and early-spring weather. The lenses, made of polyamide, are polarized and highly impact-resistant, Popticals touts. Requisitely, they filter out all UV rays, and they are sharp and clear in bright sun during my test.
The frames are made of Grilamid, a strong plastic polymer often used in ski boots that has some flex. The result is a pair of glasses that give adequate coverage and are comfortable on the face.
Small Sunglasses With Performance
A caveat: These are slim and small glasses, and they may not work for bigger faces. They looked fine on me, but on one friend the Popguns seemed more like kid-size glasses.
In the outdoors, I was happy trail running with the Popgun glasses. On a bike, however, these glasses do not work. Crouched just slightly on my road bike, eyes angled to look ahead, the top bridge of the glasses got into my line of sight. The lenses are simply not large enough to work for this view.
Overall, the Popguns are good all-around options for hiking, climbing, and paddling. A wrap-around design blocks light from the periphery, and the lens tint and polarization let them work in varying conditions.
Reason To Buy? Packable Design
But packability is the primary selling point. Once you’re ready to stow them away, the Popticals pull apart from the middle of the nosepiece. The system is made of minute rails built into the frames, stainless steel pins, and a magnet to guide pieces into place.
It’s a slick system. Pull the lenses and they disengage, with one lens sliding on the rail to nest behind the other. The bows then fold down, four hinges granting a compact new shape — about half the size of most standard sunglass cases.
Then into the tiny case they go. The Popticals are protected and ready to stow away, in a backpack or a pocket, until the sun comes out again.