Cycling specific sunglasses, are something of a personal preference. You may consider things like lens size, shape and colour. Or the width, length and curve of the arms. Or you may just choose them because they look good and are well priced. We picked up a pair of Northwave Devil sunglasses and headed out for a few rides, with Spring in the air and the Sun teasing us. The Northwave Devil Sunglasses are by no means a new model, but the fact they are still available to purchase means we are happy to review them.
Technically Advanced Shades
The Northwave Devil sunglasses are very lightweight and extremely comfortable for a relatively entry-level pair of performance sunglasses. They have a common half-frame design and come with interchangeable lenses which boast a number of technical features. Designed to be impact resistant, the lenses are made from Polycarbonate which means they are not only strong, but they are also very lightweight. They are extended in the coverage around the outside of the eye for your peripheral vision and according to Northwave, the off-centre curve of each lens enhances UV protection and prevents image distortion. The lens surface area is treated to make them repel any drops of rain or sweat that comes into contact with them. Water-drops simply run off the surface and in our tests, this works very well. However, we did find that when we tested the sunglasses on a commute for example and having to stop at junctions or traffic lights, the Northwave Devils steamed up pretty quickly. This may be down to the fact they sit quite close the face but a small vent would have be an advantage. Of course the lenses clear quickly when you set off again.
Changeable lenses are a real advantage as it means you can always be prepared for whatever lighting conditions you may be riding in. However, this is where we found the Northwave Devil Sunglasses to be a little flawed. Trying to change the lenses is difficult! Yes you want them to be securely in place whilst you are riding. This goes without saying, but if you have interchangeable lenses, you need to be able to change them without feeling like you are going to break something.
In The Frame
The frames come in 6 colour options (depending on availability) which include white, black, red, blue, pink and yellow fluo. All of these come with 2 pairs of lenses, one of which is a very lightly tinted ‘clear’ option. But strangely the colour and style of the fully tinted lenses you receive are dependent on the colour fame you opt for. For example, if you want the blue mirrored lenses like the version we tested, you will have to choose either the white frame or the yellow fluo frame. The red frame comes with red mirrored lenses, whilst the black and pink frames come with a smoked lens. This means you are a bit limited on choice. Perhaps a 3 lens option would have worked better with a clean, mirrored and the 3rd option being somewhere between the clear and smoked options for low-light conditions.
The frame design of the Northwave Devil sunglasses seems to be well thought out. As well as being lightweight, their shape sits nicely on the face. The nose pads are independent from the frame and can be adjusted (or lightly bent) to fit the bridge of your nose. This is a really nice little feature as it enhances the comfort of the sunglasses. The 13cm arms are thin without being flimsy and curve nicely around the head and then slightly downward past the ear where they flatten. This means that they should fit the adjustable head support restraints on most helmets. Each arm features a 5cm rubberised grip-strip which helps to hold them in place.
Northwave Devil Sunglasses Review Conclusion –
As we said at the beginning, (cycling) sunglasses are really quite a personal thing. It is as much about the look and comfort of them, as it is about how well they perform. We think the Northwave Devil Sunglasses look good and the lightweight frame and the adjustable nose pad makes them comfortable. The lenses are impressive and whether or not you are interested in the technical features, they do a very good job of keeping your eyes protected from the Sun, insects and the wind. It would be nice if the lenses were a little easier to remove but it seems that alignment followed by a little force and frame manipulation does the job.
As we also said, the Northwave Devil Sunglasses are an older model but this means they are very good value. The RRP is a very reasonable £34.99 but both Wiggle and Chain Reaction Cycles have them reduced by 20% at the time of this review, making them well worth the money.