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Kask Koo sunglasses review

16 Feb 2018
Verdict:

High quality glasses from the maker of Kask helmets

Cyclist Rating: 
Price: 
£174.99
For 
Excellent lenses from Zeiss
Against 
Gimmicky folding mechanism

Buy Kask Koo sunglasses from Bike Inn here

If you owned a helmet brand, it would make perfect sense to produce a sunglasses brand to match, which is exactly what Kask has done with Koo.

The supplier of helmets to Team Sky has created the Koo Open to complement its helmets, and the unique feature of these sunglasses is the way the arms fold away. Rather than bending inwards, like most glasses, the arms rotate until they are tucked neatly away. It’s the glasses equivalent of Delorean Gullwing doors compared to standard car doors.

The benefit of this system is not immediately clear. It makes no difference to how well the glasses fit, and certainly doesn’t make it any easier to take off or put on the glasses while on the bike.

With normal glasses, a quick flick will extend the arms and they can be donned one-handed while riding. With the Koo Open, extending the rotating arms one-handed is a trickier prospect, requiring some dexterous thumb action.

What’s more, some of us like to store sunglasses when not in use by tucking one of the arms down the front of a jersey, and this is made more fiddly with the folded arms of the Koo Open as they bend inwards in a way that doesn’t lend themselves well to jersey tucking.

For more information visit velobrands.co.uk.

Koo insists there is a good reason for the rotating arms. While the glasses are being worn, the lenses can be tilted forward by small increments, which Koo describes as ‘Airflow Active System’, and is intended to allow air to pass over the front of the glasses, helping to with de-misting.

Does it work? Not really. Once again, the adjustment of the lens angle is quite tricky while riding, without taking both hands off the handlebar. And to improve airflow it is actually much simpler, and just as effective, to nudge the glasses down your nose a bit.

As such, I can’t help feeling that the rotating arms are just a gimmick, designed to give the Koo Open a unique selling point, while actually providing no genuine advantages. 

 

That aside, the Open Koo is a rather fine set of sunglasses. The lenses are from Zeiss – the renowned German lens manufacturer – and offer exceptional clarity and protection from bright sun. Even in low light, the sunglasses provide excellent contrast, such that colours, details and road surfaces are easy to see.

The stylish package comes with one set of dark lenses and one set of clear for riding at night or on particularly dull days. Switching between the two is easy thanks to a nifty system with a couple of small tabs that rotate to allow the lenses to pop out or clip in.

The package also includes a separate rubber nosepiece, so finding a perfect fit should be easy, regardless of nose size or shape. I found the fit to be comfortable and secure, and I was never in fear of them slipping off my face regardless of how sweaty I was or how vigorously I rode.

The lenses are large enough that they offer a good field of vision, however the chunky frames do make for a few blind spots. While riding around town I found it tricky to see what was coming up behind me when looking over my shoulder, as my peripheral vision was obscured slightly by the thick wedge of plastic at the frame’s outer edges.

Ultimately, I think that the Koo Open is a handsome and effective pair of sunglasses, and they would be a perfect companion for a Kask helmet. It’s just a shame that their standout feature – the rotating arms – is the least outstanding thing about them.

Buy Kask Koo sunglasses from Bike Inn here

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