Tifosi's $35 sunglasses are a vibe, low on budget yet rich in features

Light weight, UV-protection, a shatterproof and scratch-resistant lens — Tifosi Optics' Sanctum is big on features and fashion

Tifosi Sanctum glasses
(Image credit: Anne-Marije Rook)

Our staff here at Cycling Weekly have long praised Tifosi Optics for offering quality, performance-oriented cycling glasses at wallet-friendly prices, but with its new Sanctum model, Tifosi is taking value to the next level.

Priced at $34.95, the Sanctum enters the market as a direct contender against popular brands like Goodr, offering fashion-forward eyewear meant to blur the lines between performance wear and everyday sunnies. 

Promising more than just fashion appeal, Tifosi leverages its history of crafting high-performance eyewear and best-in-class optics to offer a budget but feature-rich package. 

A wide, polycarbonate, shatterproof and scratch-resistant lens offers 100 percent UVA/UVB protection and sits within a flexible frame made, in part, of plant-based renewable materials. The anti-slip nose pads are hydrophilic, said to get grippier the more you sweat, and the whole package comes in at just 26 grams.

A first for Tifosi, the Sanctum features a 'shield-style' design, boasting an oversized rectangular profile designed to accommodate medium to large facial profiles. The Sanctum was not made with any one outdoor activity in mind. Instead, with its extended eye coverage and fashion-conscious design, the Sanctum is meant to cross over from everyday wear to running, cycling, and racket sports. 

Tifosi Sanctum glasses

(Image credit: Anne-Marije Rook)

Our first impression of the sunglasses is that the frame's wide lens and flat brow give the Sanctum a very rectangular shape and a vibe you wouldn't normally expect from Tifosi. These aesthetics won't be for everyone but if you've got the confidence to sport the Sanctum, the frame shape fits well underneath a helmet.

The Sanctum is Tifosi's first model to be crafted with its carbon footprint-cutting Thrive technology. This frame material is composed of 45% renewable raw materials derived from castor oil. The full frame design is simple and entirely made of the Thrive material, with the exception of the small nose pads. While there's nothing wrong with minimalistic designs, the frame material has a bit of a hard plastic feel to it which, while flexible, isn't the most comfortable for all-day wearing. A thin line of rubber on the arms would have gone a long way in adding a bit more comfort. Despite the small nose pads, the Sanctum does a brilliant job staying put – while running, jumping or traversing across bumpy gravel terrain. They don't bounce and, as claimed, don't slip.

Since it's the middle of winter, sunshine has been scarce, but with its middle-of-the-road light transmittance, the lens tint should be a good all-around darkness for most riding days.

Tifosi Sanctum glasses

(Image credit: Anne-Marije Rook)

In line with the brand's fashion-forward approach, the Sanctum is available in various lens and frame color combinations and ships with a microfiber pouch for cleaning and protecting the glasses when not in use.

The Sanctum is currently only available in the U.S. UK sales will be offered in the Spring. 

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