Rudy Project North America
3300 E 17th Ave
Denver, CO 80206
“Rudy Barbazza, a pioneer in the Italian sunglass and sporting goods industry, founded “Rudy Project” in 1985. Through his vision and dogged commitment to technology and innovation, Rudy has created a company and a creative environment that has achieved many "firsts" in manufacturing eyewear, goggles and helmets.”
Sometimes, it’s just hard to know where to begin in trying to describe a product. There are after all only so many superlatives that can be used and at times, those can seem just to be worn-out words and phrases. “Technically Cool”, is how the Rudy Project describe their eyewear and I know I could not come up with any better description than that.
A few weeks ago, Doris and I began to wear Rudy Project Shooting Glasses both at the range and also as daily use sunglasses. That gave us maximum exposure to them and allowed us to see just how effective and comfortable these glasses would be when worn for extended periods of time.
Doris selected the “Genetyk” shooting package with 3 interchangeable Impactx lens sets and I chose the “Rydon” shooting package with 5 interchangeable lenses. Both have the matte black fully adjustable frames.
Both of these styles come packaged in an attractive, functional and protective rigid case that contains the additional lenses and a soft pouch for daily carrying. As I would soon learn, the case is like everything else about the Rudy Project, it’s well done and reflects a true pride in craftsmanship.
These glasses have a very sleek style and appearance that grabbed me immediately but it was when I put them on that they really began to impress me. First of all, they were comfortable! They fit me perfectly, set square on my face and the bottoms of the lenses did not hit my “fat cheeks” as some other styles have done in the past. They are very light and after just a moment or two, it’s easy to forget that you have them on. The best part however was the way they just seemed to really sharpen my vision.
I won’t even attempt to explain how these glasses work or what the technology is that allows them to sharpen my vision. You can read a little about that in the comments below and much more at the Rudy Project web site. I will however relate the experiences that both Doris and I had wearing these glasses for the past several weeks in all kinds of circumstances, including of course, shooting.
“Light is an electromagnetic ray characterized by its wavelength and measured in nanometers [1 nm = one millionth of a millimeter]. The ultraviolet rays [UVA and UVB] are the most dangerous for the eyes. Our lenses absorb all of the ultraviolet rays: the residual transmission is less than 0.001% up to 380nm, and less than 0.1% at 385nm [the wave length at which the visible spectrum begins]. The lens receives an application of metal ions of chrome or silicon oxide, calculated in such a way as to provide a precise absorption factor.”*
Maybe a few preliminary comments and observations from a shooter’s point of view are in order.
Doris and I shoot thousands of rounds each year both at the practice field, evaluating various shooting related items, and in competition. We value our eyes and always wear eye protection. The most important factors are eye protection and comfort. We often shoot in completion for 6 or more hours per day and comfort becomes a major factor. Glasses that are uncomfortable are a distraction that can detract from your concentration and that’s just not a good thing.
We never know what the weather conditions will be at a shooting competition and those conditions can often change during the event. We may start with a cloudy morning, have a very sunny mid-day and then go to overcast conditions by the end of the competition. Backgrounds may also vary greatly and can cause a target to be “lost” as it blends into a skyline or into a tree line. Having a variety of easily changeable lenses is vital to be able to pick up on the target quickly and clearly.
“The color of any lens plays a critical role in the management of light. Different lens shades and densities make it possible to enhance or preserve the perception of colors, contrast and visual acuity and can aid in glare reduction & elimination of UV rays. Every shade of lens and every treatment applied to them holds a specific function and purpose that allows you to manage your light conditions to meet the demands of your environment or activity.” *
For the past several years, Doris and I have spent a good bit of our time in the sport of still target shooting. That means that we shoot a shotgun very much like a rifle. We shoot at 3” circles, 40 yards away, with no rest of any kind and see how many pellets we can get in that circle. We also fire full-power “magnum+” turkey shotshells, shell after shell after shell, for hours in a typical event. To say that anything we use takes a beating would be an understatement. The performance level of anything we use can be the difference in winning and losing.
We’ve both been fortunate over the last several years, picking up world championships and setting a few world records along the way. We only use what works.
So, to the business at hand. How did the Rudy Project shooting package work for us? The glasses fit right out of the box for both of us. It’s winter here with some days in the 20s but we often have days when it still gets into the 60s. Those temperature extremes and different lighting conditions allowed us to give these glasses and the different lenses a real workout.
We found it very easy to switch lenses as light conditions changed and frankly, never experienced any fogging so typical when warm skin is close to cold outside air temperatures.
I especially noticed an improved sharpness of targets with these glasses. I was able to maintain concentration on targets for a much longer period of time and when using open sights on a couple of guns, they seemed to be much sharper as well.
Since I can’t really explain how all of this works, I’d recommend that you visit “Rudy Tube” at http://www.rudyprojectusa.com/rudytube/index.htm There you’ll find a series of videos that explain better than I ever could, just how these glasses work, how they’re made and many of the features and benefits of them.
Lastly, and perhaps the very best recommendation that I can make to you, is to tell you that both Doris and I will be wearing the Rudy Project shooting glasses as we compete in 2011. They work for us!
To read more about Rudy Project North America please visit the site above and to read more “Product Test” articles, please visit http://www.allaboutshooting.com
* From the Rudy Project web site