Remember that song from the 1980s? ‘The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades?’
Like a lot of things from the 1980s, the song has come back and couldn’t be more fitting for all of our geeky kids. The good news: it’s a lot easier to find the best pair of sunglasses for them to wear.
I wear sunglasses all the time. Seriously, every day. Take a look at my profile picture. The spawnlings each have their own pair as well. However, shopping for sunglasses is a tiring exercise.
To be completely honest, I had never considered purchasing sunglasses online. There was no aversion to online shopping; I just simply had not considered it as an option. All previous purchases have been in a physical store, but the last shopping expedition was … disappointing is the polite way to say it.
There seem to be two options available for kids: sunglasses branded within an inch of their life (fine if your spawnling is into Cars III or Frozen or Star Wars); or really bland and boring.
Is it really that much of a surprise my kids don’t always fit into either category? And let’s face it, I know very few geeky kids who are exactly that 24/7.
So let me introduce Tatiana from Vision Direct. She sent me out three pairs of sunglasses for the kids to test, and she talked me through the selection process for each pair. It was painless, affordable, and they love the sunglasses so much I don’t even have to remind the kids to wear them.
For the energetic 3-year-old honey badger
Zaltu is three years of pure energy (like a lot of three-year-olds), inspired and motivated by her older brothers. She’ll give anything a go, because “she don’t care!” Zaltu is not a stereotype; she likes all bold colors, surfing the waves with her dad, racing in Mario Kart with her mom, pulling out the DC Superhero Girls dolls, and dreams of being an astronaut. Generally, she likes the idea of sunglasses, but they never stay long on her face because they tend to interfere with whatever chaos ensues.
These Julbo Booba sunglasses have been an absolute hit. Zaltu loves wearing them everywhere. And yes, I do mean everywhere.
The sunglasses look good. They have bright bold colors with soft enough arms to rest easily on her head. In fact, I love the look of most of the Julbo range. The Piccolo look just as good.
The quality of the lenses is fantastic: plastic category-3 lenses, designed for full UV protection. These sunglasses are the genuine product, cutting out the glare so prevalent on both the beach and the ski slopes. And the added wrap-around feature is a boon to both light-leak and fitting on the head.
For the experimenting 7-year-old scientist
Now, if ever there was a spawnling to match the song I mentioned earlier, it would be Nefarious. He is the scientist, the curiosity in why things happen (and how to make it go “BOOM!” again). He is the one most likely to end up as the nuclear scientist alluded to in ‘Future’s So Bright,’ and he definitely has the character to pull off these sunglasses.
Aesthetically, the style is a little more “classic cool” with bolder colors to choose from. They are the perfect transition point between the high-energy fun of the Julbos and the more conservative frames for the older kids. These frames are a harder plastic but not so hard as to stick into a kid’s head.
Of course, Nefarious loved the reflective lenses because they hide his eyes. Yes, I did explain to him about the practicality of the lenses, but he didn’t care. He is seven. He just loves rolling his eyes at me behind those shades.
Only downside: they don’t wrap around and stop the light leak on the side. However, Nefarious says he hates that style. So clearly this is my issue, and I should be grateful he has sunnies he is willing to wear.
For the smooth 10-year-old chilling out
Sinister is the more subtle of the three spawnlings. While he loves to be the class clown, he only likes the attention if he is in control of it. At heart, he is quite conservative and deep-in-thought. Sinister is the one to sit back and watch you from behind his sunglasses, playing out a million and one scenarios in his head. He knows what that song is really about.
Tatiana picked out a perfect pair for him:
Again, smooth, classic style but in a color variant he likes. These are the hardest plastic of all the frames. There is no flex in the arms whatsoever. True test of comfort: Sinister is still wearing these on top of his sunburnt nose and there is no pain.
Like his brother, Sinister also likes the mirrored lenses. He also appreciates the single color scheme, as he feels a little more ‘grown-up’. What I did notice with this pair is that the frames are ever so slightly curved to the face. Even though they are not fitted, they do provide a bit more protection to the eyes on the sides.
Each of these sunglasses survived the Spawnling Test Zone; buried at the beach, thrown across the room, sat on by older brothers, running through water features, spinning around and around on a spinning teacup. The worst they seem to have is a slightly loose screw in one arm on Zaltu’s sunglasses, which is easily fixed at any glasses shop or with your own tiny screwdriver at home. I wear glasses all the time and a loose screw is nothing new in this family… or in our glasses.
I’m still stunned by how easy it was. Vision Direct is an Australian website, and they deliver anywhere in the world. They provided me with the kids’ sunglasses for reviews, and now I am so impressed I am going back to them for my own prescripted sunglasses (at my own expense). The hardest part of the whole process was probably measuring Zaltu’s face for her glasses—have you recently asked a three-year-old to stand still for 10 seconds?
Now I have THAT achievement unlocked, I can go back to world domination and preventing nuclear catastrophe.