Eschewing earpieces and side arms, Ombraz sunglasses are quite certainly the most minimalist shades you can find. The unique design is the brainchild of Jensen Brehm and Nikolai Paloni, who began manufacturing the sunglasses in 2017. It was a journey that began when Jensen’s sunglasses were damaged while on a camel safari in India and he had to use twine to keep them from slipping. The solution worked so well that he returned to the states to manufacture a more sophisticated model on a mass scale. These days, the sunglasses check all of the boxes: They feature German-engineered, scratch- and smudge-resistant lenses, polarized, polyamide optics, aerospace-grade TR-90 frames, optimized nose pads, ergonomic sliders to fit all head sizes, and a lifetime warranty.
And now, the sunglasses have gotten an upgrade. Enter the Ombraz Side Shields. Designed to block peripheral light and reduce glare – think water and snow sports, in particular – the shields are removable, completely malleable, and feature patent-pending louvered ventilation. The Side Shields, available for the five styles of Ombraz sunglasses, Classic, Dolomite, Leggero, Viale, and Teton, retail for $50.
The sunglasses are almost indestructible with no sidearms to break or bend, so they’re perfect for the most rugged terrain. Plus, the nylon cord can fit comfortably under hats, helmets, and headsets. In addition, Ombraz — one of the most carbon-negative products on the planet, thanks to its founders’ mangrove tree-planting initiative — has impressed even the toughest critics. The brand has won Backpacker Magazine “Gear Editors’ Choice Award,” Gear Junkie’s “Best Sunglasses of 2020,” USA Today’s “Best Gear of 2020,” and Outside Magazine’s “Gear of the Year in 2021.”
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