Thursday, July 24, 2014

XX2i France 2 polarized sunglasses

I am a big proponent of wearing eye protection when needed, that includes riding.  The few times I have ridden without something over my eyes I always seem to end up with something I don't want in them!  I have been wearing either glasses or contacts since I was 10 years old, so I am accustom to something sitting on my face and in front of my eyes.  I also know some people HATE things on their face, so your choice.

I also am light sensitive; meaning I always seem to be squinting in daylight.  If you have ever been on a long road trip, driven or ridden into the rising or setting sun, or just been outside for an extended period of time on a sunny day you know the tension headaches you can get from squinting the whole time.  I especially despise it when squinting with a headache in Chicago traffic when I do drive....still don't understand it.

I have used everything from the cheapo gas station grabs when I am on the road and left my sunglasses at home, to my Oakley Antix with the Iridium polarized lens, and everything in between.  My Oakley Antix have seen better days and the lens is pretty messed up.  There are scratches, chips, and missing the outer film.  While this doesn't destroy the lens in it's entirety, it does cause cloudy viewing.  When I looked at the cost to replace the lens I was unpleasantly surprised, usually over $100 for the Oakley brand lens, cheaper if I wanted something that may or may not work.

In steps XX2i.

I subscribed to their email list and around rolls a 50% deal on any order, so I start poking around their site.  I am all about the obnoxious so the screaming orange really appealed to me.  I also wanted polarized lenses, they had both.  I wasn't a fan of the France 1 or the USA 1, but I wasn't sure about the France 2 either.  Reason being is I "suffer" from something called cranium enormous, meaning I have a big head.  Any childhood nickname revolved around my head size, buying hats was a joke because most fitted caps don't fit unless it is an 8".  I liked my Antix because they looked normal on my head despite their larger frame, so I was worried about the France 2s looking like I was wearing a pair of Harry Potter's childhood glasses.  Thankfully that was not the case.

The color is very subdued online, but that is OK because I prefer the "SEE ME" flair to it.

The company is based in Cali and the glasses are made overseas.  When I placed my order I was very excited to be getting some glasses since at this point I couldn't wear my Oakleys unless it was super sunny out, otherwise the damaged lens screwed up my vision.  I was originally given a date of a few days to ship, which turn into a few weeks overall.  I did email them but their communication was slow and the emails were usually short and rather unfriendly reading.  They didn't give a real answer until about a week and a half of promised ship dates were missed and they asked if I'd be OK to change from the blue tinted polarized lens to the brown.  I agreed and then a few days later they shipped out.

I had it shipped to where I work so I wouldn't have to wait to get home; yes I know lame, but who doesn't love to get stuff at work!

The spread....
It showed up neatly packaged and on time for a postal delivery.  The glasses come with a soft carrying case that can be used as a rag to clean them, a sports band for those stuck in the 90s, and a "hard" case.  I put hard in quotes because while it is a plastic lined, canvas feeling case it isn't hard.  It can be squashed if you were to sit on it, for instance, and isn't hard like my case is for my Oakley Gas Cans.  It will do the job of protecting your glasses and has a zipper instead of a snap hinge like many glasses come with.

The nice thing about the case is it has slots for holding more pairs of lenses.  The France 2 allows you to swap lenses on the go, and XX2i has a myriad of different colors and styles, from lightly smoked lenses to yellow to full reflective to polarized.  I like that I don't need to have multiple pairs of glasses, I can have multiple lenses.  Huge deal if you ride all year round, I fully plan on getting some for the winter months that aren't going to be tinted but so my eyes are protected.  The case does a good job of having the room for another 2 sets of lenses, and they are inexpensive.   The replacement lens for my Antix is $130 on Oakley's site, the lenses for my France 2's run $25 and up.  Can't touch that!

As you can see, the nose piece moves and helps keep
the glasses where you want them

The camera phone still won't catch the awesomeness of
the orange color.
One of the nice features of the glasses is that you can custom fit them to your head.  Both my Antix and Gas Cans don't have anyway to adjust the nose piece or ear pieces.  You just hope they stay in place, which they usually do except if you sweat like I do.  Once I have that rolling sweat going I am in a battle to keep most sunglasses on my head.  My France 2s have adjustable, rubber coated ear pieces and nose piece.  They are easily moved to adjust height on your face, grip around the nose, as well as tightening or loosening their grip above your ears.  I have also noticed the ear pieces are narrower which means they fit around my helmet strap without any issues.  Both my Oakleys will dig into my head and cause discomfort after a while.

They also fit my head really well, so my fellow large cranium individuals, rejoice!  You won't have to spend a small fortune on sunglasses that don't accentuate your head size, only your cool factor.  They fit well and the polarization is great, on par with the more expensive Oakleys.  Not as nice as the high end Iridium lens, but it holds its own.  Better than my standard smoked lenses in my Gas Cans.

As for finish, well they don't cost $250 and that is obvious.  Some of the edges aren't perfect, the lenses are a hassle to remove and they both don't come out the same way.  Meaning one came out really easy and the other took some finagling to get out.  They don't have a hinge that will break away instead of breaking, so I'd suggest not using these in a situation where you will have a lot of physical contact.  The adjustable nose piece can get out of whack easily, so you might have to move those around from time to time.  The coloring was even all across the lens and frame, and the rubber parts were a really nice white and seem to repel getting dirty.

The cool thing about XX2i is that they offer a 1 year trial period, meaning you can return them in that time, and a lifetime replacement on the frames and lenses.  That's right, lifetime.  You break or scratch them, they replace them.  Now I have been pretty rough with these over the last few months but I haven't had any issues or scratches so I haven't put that to the test.  I will say they are a great alternative to the more expensive brands out there, especially if you are on a budget or lose sunglasses easily.  The warranty doesn't seem to have a rival, and overall they are a good buy.

My only complaint was with the time it took to get them to me.  Had they been forthcoming with the fact they were waiting on parts I'd understand.  I work in a field where we can be backed up because we are waiting for raw material, which then screws everything up!  However if that is the worst of it, they will get my business again because they made up for it in a great product.

1 comment:

  1. Very excited to read your article, I am humbled that I was the first to comment your blog, polarized sunglasses are important to protect your eyes and I have ordered one pair online from