Rudy Project Defender sunglasses review

Rudy Project’s latest design combines retro chic with excellent optics

Cycling Weekly Verdict

The Rudy Project Defender sunglasses give you the big lens look for an excellent field of vision, with a really good photochromic lens as well. They’re resistant to misting, which clears quickly if it does occur. But all that performance does make them expensive.

Reasons to buy
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    Good visual clarity

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    Excellent photochromic performance

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    Resistant to misting

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    Large field of view

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Reasons to avoid
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The trend to larger lenses continues, with 100%’s extra-large sunnies worn by Peter Sagan and Simon Yates’s Scott sunnies so large that when riding the Vuelta he looked like a giant hoverfly, with just his mandible showing beneath his specs. But it’s not a new trend: the Rudy Project Defender sunglasses are based on the Aggressor model from 1992.

As with the brand’s other models, the Rudy Project Defender is available with a range of different lenses. The ImpactX2 red photochromic lenses tested offer excellent clarity and are unbreakable. I find photochromic lenses ideal for typical UK conditions, when you’re never sure whether you will be riding in bright sunshine or overcast gloom – and one ride can easily include both.

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Paul Norman

Paul started writing for Cycling Weekly in 2015, covering cycling tech, new bikes and product testing. Since then, he’s reviewed hundreds of bikes and thousands of other pieces of cycling equipment for the magazine and the Cycling Weekly website.

He’s been cycling for a lot longer than that though and his travels by bike have taken him all around Europe and to California. He’s been riding gravel since before gravel bikes existed too, riding a cyclocross bike through the Chilterns and along the South Downs.