Koo Supernova Sunglasses review

Ultra-lightweight and unobtrusive

Koo Supernova sunglasses
(Image credit: Future)
Cycling Weekly Verdict

Koo’s Supernova sunglasses come with a premium pricetag but are incredibly lightweight (22g measured, 21g claimed) for the wide coverage they offer. With notably springy arms, there’s no pinching or squeezing – the fit is very comfortable. However, this does make the glasses a little less secure for riding on rough roads and trails.

For
  • +

    Very lightweight

  • +

    Unobstructed field of vision

  • +

    Comfy fit

Against
  • -

    Lens could provide more coverage

  • -

    Rattily on rough terrain

With their lightweight and frameless design, the Koo Supernova Sunglasses are designed to hit the mark of the very best sunglasses (opens in new tab) – that is, to be instantly forgettable, allowing you to concentrate solely on the ride, with no distraction from the sunnies perched on your nose.

Koo Supernova sunglasses: the construction

The Koo Supernova sunglasses feature quite a minimalist design, but with a claimed weight of 21g and tipping our scales at 22g, that’s only to be expected – there’s not much room for added extras on sunnies this light.

Helping to keep the weight low is the frameless Zeiss lens, which provides complete UV protection, as well as being shatter proof and hydrophobic to stop the glasses from steaming up. 

Koo Supernova sunglasses lens

(Image credit: Future)

With a Visible Light Transmission (VLT) rating of 23%, Koo reckons these glasses are good for both sunny and cloudy days. Despite the minimalism, Koo has made the nose bridge interchangeable with an alternative fit provided in the box, if you don’t get on with the stock one.

The ride

Putting the Supernovas on for the first time, you can’t help but be impressed. They’re so light it barely feels like you’re wearing them at all – with that feeling of nothingness helped by the very spring arms which don’t dig in at all. For riding on smooth roads, they really are instantly forgettable.

However, whether it’s that the springy, comfy arms don’t grab on tight enough, or if the arm grippers simply aren’t grippy enough, I did find that on ill-maintained roads and gravel tracks, the sunglasses would have a tendency to distractingly rattle about.

Koo Supernova arms

(Image credit: Future)

The frameless design really adds to their forgettability, with no solid bars to obscure the field of view. It is a bit of a shame how the lens takes a step down for the top right and left corners; when hunched over the bars and looking up, I’d end up looking over the top of the glasses, which was a little distracting.

The hydrophobic technology did a reasonable job. Overdressed while hauling up long and steep climbs, I didn’t suffer any fogging at all. But once stopped, the glasses would soon get overwhelmed and start misting up. 

To be fair, there aren’t many glasses I’ve used that will stay clear when stationary – and of the few that can, most of those lose that ability after a couple of months anyway. The main thing is to not fog up while riding and the Koo Supernovas certainly tick that box.

The tint of the lens felt a pretty good balance. They’ve managed to fend off the low winter sun, but were still bright enough on white cloudy days. When the sky gets overcast with more ominous dark clouds, things do become a little too gloomy, but that’s only to be expected.

Value

Coming in at £169 / $199, these do sit at the premium end of the market. Two sunglasses stalwarts, the Oakley Sutro (opens in new tab) and 100%’s S3 (opens in new tab) are both significantly cheaper at £140 / $173 and £139.99 / $165, respectively. Both those glasses offer a similar coverage and a more secure fit, but then neither of them rival the Supernovas for weight

Verdict

The Koo Supernova Sunglasses are incredibly lightweight with a comfy fit. The Zeiss lens provides a well balanced tint that can handle both sunny and cloudy days and is reasonably hydrophobic. Although the springiness of the legs is great for comfort, it does mean the glasses don’t sit very securely, making these best suited for smooth roads, rather than any back lanes and gravel.

Specs

  • Weight: 22g (measured)
  • Colours: Yellow Fluro / Red, Black Matt / Silver, Black Matt / Green, White / Red, White / Turquoise, Blue Matt / Turquoise  
  • Contact: kooworld.cc

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Stefan Abram
Stefan Abram

Starting off riding mountain bikes on the South Downs way, he soon made the switch the road cycling. Now, he’s come full circle and is back out on the trails, although the flat bars have been swapped for the curly ones of a gravel bike.


Always looking for the next challenge, he’s Everested in under 12 hours (opens in new tab) and ridden the South Downs Double in sub 20 (opens in new tab). Although dabbling in racing off-road, on-road and virtually (opens in new tab), to date his only significant achievement has been winning the National Single-Speed Cross-Country Mountain Bike Championships in 2019.


Height: 177cm

Weight: 67–69kg