From those sunny days with massive glare on the snow to white out blizzard conditions where without some kind of eyewear you wouldn’t be able to see at all, eyewear is an essential part of any nordic skiers gear arsenal. While there is not a whole lot of eyewear designed specifically with nordic skiing in mind, many companies such as Native are employing new techniques and technology which lend themselves perfectly to the sport of nordic skiing. The WARD from Native is a really impressive and versatile pair of sunglasses. I have been training, racing, and just generally using them for the past month. I am please to report that the Ward is one of the best all around pairs of sunglasses on the market backed by an iron clad warranty (if you ever need it) and superior optics. In this review I will be touching on performance, build quality, specifications, and value.
The performance of the WARD is really an easy thing to asses. They are simply superb. The polarized lenses and ultra lightweight frame lend themselves to action packed activity (including racing). It has been an absolute pleasure to use these glasses in a race setting as well as a relaxing post ski. They sit nicely on the bridge of my nose with the help of a rubberized nose piece. I also found the temples the be very well designed. Some sunglasses can give me a headache after several hours due to the compression on my head. I had no such problems with the WARD.
The build quality of the WARD is something which I have wrestled with slightly while I have been using them. They are built incredibly well, yet they are remarkably light (in a good way). The reason I bring this up is because at times they are so light you almost forget how well built they are (an excellent issue to have with a performance sunglass). The joints are exceptionally stiff and inspire confidence in their strength. I have had no issues with either the lenses or the frames during my test period. Native also offers a wonderful lifetime warranty on their sunglasses – which covers accidental damage! A real bonus if you are using them to race and are prone to breaking glasses.
The specifications of the WARD are fairly straightforward. They use Native’s N3 Polarized lenses which Native claims to block up to four times as much light as traditional polarized lenses. The WARD also comes with a set of SportFlex amber lenses and a handy carrying case / baggie.
As far as value goes I think you get a tremendous amount for your $129-149. These glasses are just at home apres as they are on the race course! And with that lifetime warranty these could be the last sunglasses you ever buy!
Overall the WARD is a jack of all trades pair of sunglasses which are most definitely a worthy addition to any skiers bag of kit. These truly are one of the most versatile pairs of sunglasses which I have come across. Something which is no easy feat, usually sunglasses are either meant for performance or leisure. These will feel right at home doing either. Do you ski with sunglasses? Let me know in the comments down below!
DISCLAIMER: Native did provide these glasses to me for review purposes but this in no way affected the above words. My opinions are my own.