RCU Review: Zurich International Pilot Sunglasses

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    Contributed by: Matt Gunn | Published: January 2009 | Views: 30010 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    Zurich Sunglasses

    Review by: Matt Gunn

    "PILOT" Sunglasses
    Distributed exclusively by:

    Zurich International
    9418 Snow Lake Place
    Elk Grove, CA 95758


    Click Here

    Blocks extreme glare

    Durable frame and scratch resistant coated lens

    Multiple reflective colors and viewing densities available

    Limited warranty

    Made in the U.S.A.


    Zurich International, makers of fine aviation-quality sunglasses, has introduced a new pair of stylish shades made to the same exacting specs as the Original model, but with a more modern design that looks good on both men and women. The Pilot sunglasses boast a laundry list of features that put other designer, high-dollar sunglasses to shame. Not only do they offer superior glare reduction when flying model airplanes, helis, boats, or cars, but they look just as good as any pair I've owned.

    In this review I will detail what features these sunglasses have and why you should literally drop your existing pair and order the Pilot sunglasses as soon as possible! So if you'd like to operate your rc aircraft, vehicle, or boat more confidently knowing you can clearly see it in almost any extreme-lighting condition, please read my review of Zurich International's Pilot sunglasses.

    Name: Zurich International Pilot Sunglasses (Blue Solid lens)
    Price: $69.00

    • Blocks Extreme GLARE in Bright Conditions.
    • Works better than polarized lenses in the sun?s glare.
    • Blocks out UV-A (98%), UVB (100%) Infrared (65%), Blue & Flat light.
    • Has 180 degrees wraparound lens, allows excellent peripheral vision.
    • Optically ground lenses from top to bottom & from side-to-side.
    • Amazing clarity of vision...you see crisper & clearer.
    • Comfortable, lightweight & shatter proof.
    • Protective scratch resistant coating.
    • Floats with add-on "i-Float" strap.
    • Fits under most helmets.
    • Ventilated to resist fogging.
    • No metal hinges to corrode.
    • No screws to vibrate loose.
    • Protects contact lens wearer.
    • Will not melt in summer?s heat.
    • Will not become brittle in cold weather.
    • Clip-on floating case included with glasses.
    • Protects sensitive eye area from wrinkling (by shielding the eye area from damaging UV rays), and eliminates unnecessary squinting.
    • Limited warranty.

    The Pilot sunglasses come in four different colors: gold gradient, blue solid, silver solid, and teal solid. You can also choose what color lens you want, i.e. how you view the world. They are available in either gray, or rose. The rose lens is for high definition, low light, hazy and dark weather days and the gray lens is for bright sunny conditions. Each colored lens not only has a unique ascetic look, but also has different light transmission qualities. The gold gradient lenses are the lightest density, silver solid and blue solid are medium density, and the teal solid are dark density lenses. basically, the higher the lighting conditions that you are regularly in, the darker the lens should be. In this review, I chose the medium density, gray lens in solid blue. This is a great all around lens for a variety of conditions; I can still wear them in high sunlight conditions as well as overcast days at the lake to cut surface reflections and glare.

    The lens and structural frame is made of a 2.5mm thick shatter-proof ballistic polycarbonate. What does this mean to you? According to Zurich's website, the ballistic polycarbonate manufactured by General Electric can withstand a direct hit by a .255 bullet from 25 feet and a shotgun blast from 7 yards with no penetration or shear. Editorial note: Please don't test this claim, just take their word for it. This does mean, however, that you can count on the Pilot sunglasses for increased eye protection when your starting your airplane or working on your vehicle in the field as well as front and side protection from wind, dust, airborne debris, and eye irritants.

    The hinges on the Pilots are made of the same shatter-proof polycarbonate as the rest of the sunglasses. This means there are no metal hinge pins that can rust. But if the hinges do break, spare temples are available and are easily replaced.

    Glare Resistance
    The Pilot sunglasses have exceptional glare resistance. They block 98% of UV-A, 100% of UV-B, 65% of infrared light, and blue and flat light. The lenses are not polarized, in fact, they offer multiple advantages over polarized lenses. You still get the standard filtering qualities of polarized lenses but with the added ability to read lcd/display screens at any angle, and no side glare that is often associated with the polarized lens. After putting them on for the 1st time, I immediately noticed an improvement over my $100 Arnette polarized shades that I have been using for boat racing. The Pilot sunglasses are much more clear in any light condition and feel better sitting on the bridge of my nose. No longer did I have to squint when my boat went across the reflection of the setting sun on the surface of the lake. I also felt more relaxed because I could keep my eyes open, resulting in reduced strain.

    Cleaning and Care
    Make it a practice of keeping your Pilot sunglasses clean and clear for the best possible view. Always clean the lens with a soft cotton cloth, never use paper towels or other "less than soft" materials to clean them. You can actually use Rain-X on your glasses if your boating or in rainy conditions to sheet off water. If you need to use a cleaner, use mild liquid soap and water. never use ammonia or window cleaners.

    The Pilot sunglasses come with a very nice clip on case that will float if you accidentally drop it in the drink. The front flap is held closed with a piece of velcro. The case is very soft inside to prevent scratching the lenses. If dirt or dust gets in the case, it can scratch the lenses so the case is designed to be safe for washing with soap and water.

    Front blue solid lens
    No metal in hinges
    Included case
    Even these stylish shades can't help me!

    Zurich International's Pilot sunglasses are high quality shades designed for extreme glare conditions such as flying rc airplanes and helicopters, and operating rc boats on water with reflective glare. These are also great for everyday activities like driving, boating, or if you're a pilot, for flying as well. With all the great features such as shatter-resistant polycarbonate construction, extreme glare reduction, scratch resistance, and stylish modern looks, I rate these at the top of my list of sunglasses I've ever owned. I highly suggest you pick up a pair and enjoy them for years to come.

    Pilot Sunglasses
    Distributed exclusively by:
    Zurich International
    9418 Snow Lake Place
    Elk Grove, CA 95758


    Comments on RCU Review: Zurich International Pilot Sunglasses

    Posted by: RTice on 01/07/2009
    Hi Matt: nice review. I am interested in a new pair of rc glasses. Any chance on getting Zurich to offer RCU members a complimentary discount or special? BTW - were you able to try out the LIGHT or DARK density lenses? Rob
    Posted by: webdr on 01/08/2009
    Sorry, I wish I could. Im just a writer. matt
    Posted by: amerindo on 01/24/2009
    If your budget is a shade on the low side, check out their *seconds*. They are about half the cost, but I swear, you can not see the *reason why it is a second*, on those glasses. Just give them a call, and they will gladly help you with those. HTH
    Posted by: JustPlaneChris on 03/31/2009
    I've had Zurich's for about a year now, and they are definitely excellent glasses. I really appreciate the 'safety glasses' aspect too, since helis are known to occasionally shed parts at high velocity. :)
    Posted by: mickvk on 04/15/2009
    Well that guy Bruce is sure a class act. Very attentive customer service.
    Page: 1
    The comments, observations and conclusions made in this review are solely with respect to the particular item the editor reviewed and may not apply generally to similar products by the manufacturer. We cannot be responsible for any manufacturer defects in workmanship or other deficiencies in products like the one featured in the review.

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