Ombraz Armless Sunglasses – Polarized Shades That Don’t Hurt Your Head
Ombraz Armless Sunglasses are exactly what they sound like – polarized sunglasses that use a woven cord to stay in place on your head as opposed to arms that slide over your ears. I was intrigued by this design because I tend to wear wide-brimmed hats or beanies in nearly all of my outdoor pursuits, and sunglasses with arms don’t fit well under such hats. Arms inevitably cause pressure on my temples or are pressed painfully down on my ears by the brim of my hat. So Ombraz’s solution seemed like a must-test. My testing model was the Dolomite in charcoal with polarized grey lenses.
Armless Sunglasses Fit and Frames
Let’s start with Ombraz’s chief selling feature — the armless design. The woven cord is made of 100% recycled nylon, which right off the bat is attractive to me. The cord is advertised as “buttery soft,” and I can confirm that the nylon is indeed extremely tightly woven and very smooth. At no point did it cause any rubbing or chaffing on the side of my head.
The cord tightens via an adjustable sliding mechanism that lays flatly against the back of the head. To tighten, all you have to do is grab the cord with both hands and pull it towards your ears. To loosen, simply pull in the opposite direction. I’ve seen this same design start to be incorporated into headlamps (notably in BioLite’s recent line) and it is reliably comfortable and secure. I wore the Ombraz Dolomites armless sunglasses on trail runs, backpacking trips, day hikes, and while paddleboarding, and the sunglasses stayed secure throughout.
Were they more secure than traditional sunglasses? Absolutely — and they were certainly more comfortable under the kind of wide-brimmed hats a lot of people use for outdoor activities. Were they more secure than traditional sunglasses with third-party retainers or straps attached? I think so. My trail runs take me over a variety of steep terrain at a moderately high speed, and not once did I have to adjust my sunglasses. That’s a game-changer for me.
Another nice feature of the Ombraz Dolomites is their molded nose piece. Along with arms, nosepieces are one of the first things to bend or break on sunglasses. While a molded nose-piece isn’t necessarily revolutionary (many sporty polarized sunglasses have them) it’s still a good design for the use cases users are likely to subject these polarized sunglasses too.
Lenses and Durability
The polarized lenses are another win for Ombraz. The lenses are engineered by Zeiss, a German company best known for providing extremely high-quality glass to high-end scope, binocular, and camera manufacturers. My lenses were crystal clear, easy to clean, and polarized the glare from snow and water effectively. The Dolomite model seems to be inspired a little by the glacier glasses of yore, with rounded lenses and a slight side-visor built-in. If I had one gripe about the design, it’s that I’d like these side visors to be a little more robust and protective — though that would lead to more fogging.
The lenses did fog up every now and then in cold weather/high exertion activates, but never too badly — whatever Ombraz has coated these glasses with seems to be doing the trick.
One durability note. I almost immediately lost the 3mm thick neoprene case that the armless sunglasses come in. Because of that, I did manage to wear the coating off a small portion of the right-hand lens by storing the glasses in a pocket of my running vest along with my earbud case. The fault was mine, and I think it would have happened to nearly any sunglasses, and shouldn’t be read as a statement on the durability of this pair.
When you consider how stable and comfortable these armless sunglasses are and combine that with how easy they are to store (no arms allow them to slide easily into any pocket), add in the Zeiss optics, cool retro design, and 100% compostable, zero-plastic packaging, you end up with a pair of polarized sunglasses that are absolutely top-notch. If they were naturally buoyant, they’d be the unequivocal king of sports glasses. And at the price point (about $140) they’re cost-competitive, too.
I highly recommend them to any outdoor athlete looking for comfortable, highly functional glasses from an environmentally conscious company.