Liv Vista NXT Varia cycling glasses review

Colour change lenses at an impressive price, thought the fit could be improved

Cycling Weekly Verdict

Excellent light adjusting lenses at an affordable price point. Unfortunately the fit wasn't great on our tester, but this may vary between individuals.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Lenses changed in bright light quickly

  • +

    Didn't fog up

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Fit far too wide on our tester

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Liv, and its sibling brand Giant, aim to provide everything a cyclist needs to get started under one marque. This can be particularly helpful for new cyclists - the bike purchase comes with a one-stop-shop for clothing, helmets, shoes, and indeed glasses.

>>> Best cycling glasses reviewed 

The Vista NXT Varia cycling glasses (opens in new tab) are the range toppers in the Liv eyewear collection. They come in at £89.99, and the defining feature is the NXT Varia lens.

This adjusts to light changes - so in low light, riders enjoy a clear lens which will keep grime and muck away from their peepers. As soon as the sun comes out, the lens takes on a dark hue to protect against the rays.

The colour change feature worked exceptionally well for me - and I was impressed by how rapidly the switch would take place, bearing in mind that these come in well below the price usually associated with this technology.

There's a vent at the corner of each lens, which helped to clear condensation (for example, at traffic lights) and these didn't mist up any more than an average pair of riding glasses.

I tested the white pair, with purple temple tips, but there's also a black pair with pink details. The temple tips, combined with a rubberised and adjustable nose pad, kept the glasses on my face, with an impressive lack of slippage - even leaning forwards and shaking my head around, there was no movement.

Liv has opted for a flexible TR-90 plastic for the frame, and dropping onto the scales at 29g, which is only 3g heavier than my favourite pair of Radar glasses from market leader Oakley.

So far, so good. However, Liv boasts a 'panoramic lens' for the widest field of vision yet, as well as a slim, women's specific fit. Sizing is listed as "one size fits most".

The lens is indeed wide, but it didn't wrap around my face - instead hanging off the edge in a way that, front on, looked and felt a bit odd.

I will add that I do have a notoriously narrow face, always opting for "slim fit", "junior fit" or "Asia fit" wherever possible. However, I had hoped that this women's fit would suit me, too. Not so.

Face shape and fit are of course both personal factors. However, I'd say these glasses were wider than many other pairs I've tried, to the point I didn't feel comfortable in them, despite the excellent grippers which did at least prevent them from moving around.

The lens technology here is great, when considered alongside the price, but unfortunately these won't become my next go-to riding specs.

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Michelle Arthurs-Brennan

Michelle Arthurs-Brennan is a traditional journalist by trade, having begun her career working for a local newspaper, where highlights included interviewing a very irate Freddie Star (and an even more irate theatre owner), as well as 'the one about the stolen chickens'.

Previous to joining the Cycling Weekly team, Michelle was Editor at Total Women's Cycling. She joined CW as an 'SEO Analyst', but couldn't keep her nose out of journalism and in the spreadsheets, eventually taking on the role of Tech Editor before her latest appointment as Digital Editor. 

Michelle is a road racer who also enjoys track riding and the occasional time trial, though dabbles in off-road riding too (either on a mountain bike, or a 'gravel bike'). She is passionate about supporting grassroots women's racing and founded the women's road race team 1904rt.

Michelle is on maternity leave from July 8 2022, until April 2023.