The Future’s So Bright, I’ve Gotta Wear XX2i
Disclosure: I received a complimentary XX2i France 1 Dual Pack to review because I am a BibRave Pro. (Per usual, all opinions are my own–you should know by now I don’t need any help with that, I’ve got plenty of ’em!) Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro here. Read and write race reviews at BibRave.com! It’s a great way to choose between conflicting races, to help runners find the best races, and the help race directors improve each year.
In the interest of full disclosure, I haven't actually had the opportunity to run in them. It's a sad saga involving a very expensive lost contact lens, a lengthy insurance battle, and other epic plot elements. By the time my new lenses were approved it was time for a new prescription, and on the only day I had free to go to the eye doctor, she was sick. (I know, I know–#firstworldproblems.) So while I can't write about how awesome it is to run wearing these sunglasses, I've thoroughly investigated the rest of the aspects. I'll update this post after I get my &^%*!!?! contact lens situation resolved.
I've never owned fancy sports sunglasses. In fact, until a few years ago when I was gifted a pair of Oakley sunglasses, I really only used giveaway sunglasses I received from various promoters. Basically I was afraid to spend money on sunglasses, because throughout my life I've always scratched them, sat on them, lost them, and otherwise destroyed them. The secret, it turns out, is to have both a safe place for them to live (like a hard case) and protective clothing for when they travel and are not on my face (like a microfiber cloth slipcover).
This kit from XX2i had me completely covered. First–and most important to a serial sunglasses killer like me–a zippered hard case to store all components when not in use.
By the way, see those letters at the bottom? LIFETIME GUARANTEE, baby!! This is really important to me because when I spend the money to buy quality gear, I need to know the company really stands behind it. So before I even opened the box, I headed over to the website to see what “lifetime guarantee” means to XX2i. First, I noted the company's mission statement: “We support people that make a difference every day. People who are committed to a healthy, athletic lifestyle and being good citizens. People who appreciate quality, innovation and no BS marketing. We are committed to producing the best possible eyewear for outdoor enthusiasts and stand behind each product we produce with integrity and pride to insure your completely satisfied no matter what. All of our products are perfect for running, cycling, golfing, fishing, tennis, sport shooting and just about any outdoor activity.” So far, so good.
Then I clicked on the “warranty” to find out the scoop. It's much better than I expected! See for yourself: “All XX2i sunglasses come with a no questions asked Lifetime Warranty! No matter if your dog chewed on them (which we hear a lot!) or if you drove over them in your SUV, we'll replace them for a nominal shipping and handling fee of $19.95!” They do ask that you ship by a method that can be traced, which is pretty reasonable (since packages do sometimes get lost, but there are also scammers who try to take advantage, so I don't blame them for making that request).
Satisfied it was safe for me to touch the glasses themselves, I opened the box to see what goodies were inside.
As you can see, the kit contains TWO frames and FIVE sets of lenses. Assuming you and your significant other or best friend don't like the exact same combo, you can easily share. For this picture I left the lenses as they came (wrapped in plastic and yes, that was a Twin Peaks reference), though the kit actually includes a protective cloth cover for each set of lenses. That's in addition to the two drawstring-style cloth bags for the sunglasses (frames with lenses inside them).
On the right, you can see the additional accessories: a sports-style strap and additional nose pieces and tips. Since I've also lost a few pairs of sunglasses that just had to go swimming instead of canoeing, the former is important to me. The latter could be really useful if you want to match your sunglasses to your running outfits or, for example, plan to be Captain America for the Disney Avengers races.
With all these pretty parts and a lifetime warranty in place, it was time to mess with the component parts. First I decided to try swapping out the tips. It was pretty easy, though you do need to give the original tips a little twist to get them off.
Next I decided to try changing out the lenses. I've never had this option with sunglasses, and it seems both practical and fun (you could have two different color lenses, just like Dr. Jacoby! why yes, that's another Twin Peaks reference). The kit includes five sets of lenses, and the other four will be sad if I don't try them out right? Also, you can buy additional lenses, including prescription lenses, polarized lenses, and readers. Changing the lenses was a big leap of faith for me, as I think of sunglasses as being delicate and easily broken.
It turns out you really can manhandle the frames a bit. The lenses too–sure, I got them all fingerprinty while changing the lenses out, but they cleaned up easily. The only pieces I didn't test-change were the nose pieces. This is mainly because I'm not great with little tiny screws, and I was afraid that one or more would go the way of my errant contact lens. The nose-pieces are adjustable and stiff to hold shape but pliable to bend, so you can customize the fit.
Speaking of customizing the fit, I was really pleased that these frames fit me. Through much trial and tears while trying on the cute headbands at all of the running expos, I've discovered I have a giant melon. (You can read about the ones that finally fit me here: Bani Bands.) These frames worked just fine.
Since I can't see without my contact lenses, running wasn't much of an option. (Surely I would have killed both the sunglasses and myself if I had tried!) So instead I did some jumping around to mimic running, though it was more like crazy jumping jacks; the sunglasses stayed put, which is exactly what I need them to do. They also feel very light, and didn't make any effort to ski jump off the end of my nose. That's the long and short (mostly long) of my test drive of the XX2i sunglasses dual kit.
If you want to get your own, use code “XX2iRocks” (without the quotation marks) to score 50% off of your order!
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