Julbo Shield Sunglasses | Review

The Julbo Shield is an extremely capable pair of Cat 2-4 sunglasses for high alpine missions

When you’re skiing high in the alpine you need a good pair of sunglasses – it’s as simple as that. The dangers of exposure to the sun at high altitudes can’t be stressed enough.

For every 1000 metres you climb, the exposure to solar radiation increases on average by 10%. On top of this, the snow also reflects around 80 – 90% of solar radiation and given that alpine environments are predominantly covered in snow… well… the numbers speak for themselves.

“For every 1000 metres you climb, the exposure to solar radiation increases on average by 10%”

To add insult to injury, your eyes are in danger from UV damage even in cloud conditions. Cirrus clouds (those high altitude clouds) have no blocking effect whatsoever while fog is only able to block around 50% of sunlight. If you find yourself up in the top portion of the fog, the light can sometimes intensify due to diffraction.

OK, so that’s our public service announcement over. The sun is dangerous, but what can you do about it? Well luckily French-based Julbo know a thing or two about creating high altitude eye-wear that’ll protect you from the worst of the sun’s rays.

First producing sunglasses way back in 1888, Julbo founder Jules Baud started out by creating the ‘Cristalliers’ – sunglasses designed to protect the eyes of the Chamonix crystal hunters as they headed into the high alpine in search of treasure.


Fast forward over 125 years and Julbo are still creating high altitude-specific sunglasses to protect the eyes of those venturing into the Alpine – albeit they’re now searching for a very different kind of treasure. Julbo’s years and years of knowledge has led some cutting edge lens technology. Step forward, the Reactiv High Mountain Lens – able to adapt to the amount of light exposed to your eyes, and included on the Julbo Shield.

We’ve found this reactive technology to be particularly useful when, say, skiing in a dark and shaded couloir before shooting out into a highly exposed apron slope – with the lens swiftly darkening in response to the quickly changing light conditions (meaning we avoided glare).

“The lens swiftly darkens in response to the quickly changing light conditions”

If you’d rather wear goggles on the descent, then this technology is available in Julbo’s Aerospace goggle – give our review of the Aerospace a read to see how it performs when applied to a pair of goggles (pretty well, in short).

All in all, these are a cracking pair of ski touring sunglasses – ideally suited for high alpine environments. Watch out for misplacing those side-glare covers though, they can become easily lost. That being said, we still appreciated the option to remove them – allowing us to go with a more casual look if we wanted it.

Price: £100
Weight: 44g


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