Bollé Shifter Phantom sunglasses review

Cycling Weekly Verdict

The Bollé Shifter Phantom sunglasses are amongst the best we’ve tested, with excellent optical clarity, zero misting and a well-performing photochromic lens.

Reasons to buy
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    Really good photochromic lens

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    Zero misting

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    High optical clarity

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    Trendily large lens

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    Firm hold

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Reasons to avoid
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Bollé‘s Shifter Phantom sunglasses boast impressive performance and resistance to fogging

The Shifter Phantom has to be one of the best sets of eyewear we have ever tested and not just in one aspect but across all categories. Superb lens clarity, excellent fit and above all devastatingly good looks; it has to be in Editor’s Choice 2019.

Bollé has again paired up with AG2R La Mondiale this season, so its Shifter glasses are being worn by the likes of Romain Bardet and Tony Gallopin. It’s an excellent choice, with the Bollé Shifter Phantom glasses giving really good performance.

The vermillion Phantom lens in the Bollé Shifter Phantom glasses is photochromic, so it adjusts to light levels. I’ve always found photochromic lenses ideal for UK conditions and the Phantom lens is a really good example. It shields well from bright light and stops you being dazzled even when the sun is low. But get under deep tree cover or glowering clouds and it lightens up, so that you’re not left riding in gloom.

>>> Cycling glasses buyer's guide

Optical clarity is great too and the reddish vermillion base tint helps develop contrast, so it’s that much easier to see obstacles ahead.

The Bollé Shifter Phantom is one of the increasing number of large lensed glasses now on sale. As with 100%’s glasses, there’s lots of peripheral coverage and the frames don’t obstruct your field of view.

The design is, like the Rudy Project Defender glasses that we tested a few weeks ago, based on an older model. In the case of the Bollé Shifter Phantom, that goes right back to the 1980s and the Chronoshield, although the Shifter lens isn’t quite as large as that model’s.

What’s really impressive with the Bollé Shifter Phantom is its resistance to misting up when stopped or riding slowly. There is a long slot vent under each eye at the base of the frame and just one vent at the top in the centre. But it’s enough to keep the inside of the lenses completely clear, even up hill in the rain. That’s probably down to Bollé’s expertise in skiing goggles as well as cycling. The large, flat lens means that it’s easy to wipe raindrops off the outside too.

The matt navy nylon frames have a quality feel and Bollé adds grippy inserts at the temples and for the nosepiece so, coupled with the robust frame, there’s zero slippage in use.

Buy now: Bollé Shifter Phantom for £149 from Wiggle

There’s a range of lens tints available, with only the Phantom lenses being photochromic. There are seven different frame colours, and Bollé will fit prescription lenses too. At £149 a pair, the price of the Bollé Shifter Phantom is reasonable for top notch photochromic sunglasses.

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