Julbo Wave Review

"Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others." - Jonathan Swift

Sailors have great vision, speaking from a mental perspective. We see what's beyond the horizon. We see the journey being equally important as the destination.

Physical vision is important while sailing too, so it makes sense to invest in a quality pair of sunglasses that can combat the intense glare off the water and UV rays from the sky. But can't any frame and lens do that just about the same as any other? Maybe on land, but when you factor in spray and wind bombarding your eyes and the high level of activity sometimes required to sail a boat in challenging conditions, a specialized pair of sunglasses begins to make more sense.

Julbo Wave sunglasses handle the job of providing excellent optics by cutting glare and protecting your eyes extremely well, thanks to quality vented and polarized lenses that are light weight and shock resistant. That's all great, but again, there are many sunglasses on the market with good polarized lenses for use on the water.


Your humble SFLF author sporting Julbo Waves on a calm day

So what makes the Julbo Wave special?

First, there's a cephalopod. A multi-armed mollusk, you say? In name only actually, but what Julbo's Octopus lenses do uniquely feature is "NTS technology" to darken or lighten with the ambient conditions, regardless of temperature. And then Julbo adds a water-shedding hydrophobic coating that keeps spray, rain and the occasional breaking wave from blurring the lens. There's also an oil-repellent coating to prevent finger prints, something that drives me crazy with most sunglasses!

Hannah and I tried a simple splash test on the Octopus lens. They shed water nicely and dry spot free.

But wait, there's more!

The Julbo Wave has a sporty appearance out of the box, but you can change from a sporty look to sporty function by adding the protective frame skirt and floating head strap. Now you've got sunglasses with an excellent watersports lens that function more like goggles. The skirt keeps water, spray and direct wind from reaching your eyeballs, while the strap holds everything in place even during ultra-active deck work or capsizing in a small keel boat (Laser, Butterfly, etc.). And the whole package floats, which is always a good feature for sailing gear.

With skirt and strap in place, you'll look like you're ready for some serious action. Which is to say, you probably don't want that look if you're lounging at anchor or schmoozing at the marina. No worries...Simply remove the skirt/strap and you've got a stylish, if not a bit large frame that will still draw some attention.

The Wave's skirt and strap installed.

Want a pair of Wave sunglasses?

This kind of versatility doesn't come cheap at about $190 retail. Julbo also offers the Wave with a standard polarized lens (non-Octopus) for $120. Both versions comes with the snap-on frame skirt and sport strap.

Usually choosing apparel like sunglasses is a very subjective decision based on personal style preferences, but it's a no brainer for me to recommend the Julbo Wave simply because of all the function they bring for sailing and water sports.

The full package included with Julbo Wave sunglasses

Looking for additional reviews of sunglasses suitable for sailing? Here are some previous reviews we've done:

>> Don't forget to visit SFLF's Gear Review page for more sailing gear reviews/tests. <<

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