|Contributed by: Ken Isaac | Published: May 2007 | Views: 58312 | Email this Article
9418 Snow Lake Place
Elk Grove, CA 95758
Phone: (916) 691-6467
to see plane "in the" sun
over most existing eyeglasses
from shatter and scratch resistant plastics
in the USA.
in sides can take some getting used to
can be a bit intimidating at first
are several different types of lenses available for these sunglasses,
but after talking with Bruce I choose to try the Rose lenses. Bruce
said these would be the best overall for different conditions that
I might be flying in, and that they would help give me better definition
of my plane in the air.
face it, when we think about reviews on RCU, sunglasses usually
don't come to mind. But if you stop and think about the environment
that we fly in we start to realize that our eyes are really important.
Clear skies and a sunny day make for a great environment for flying
our planes, but it also makes for a situation that could cause
us to lose the plane. Anybody in the hobby for any length of time
has had his plane lost in the sun while flying. Some may have
been lucky enough to recover, while others weren't so lucky and
took their pride and joy home in a trash bag.
Weak Signals show in Toledo for RCU this year I had the opportunity
to interview Bruce Holden, CEO of
Zurich USA. After the interview I spent some time talking
to him about his product. After a few minutes of talking with
Bruce it became quite clear that he is very passionate about helping
RC pilots keep sight of their planes. He firmly believes that
his product is better than anything on the market today. As I
continued talking to him I started to come to the conclusion that
maybe it was time for me to try these sunglasses.
have worn prescription eyeglasses since I was 13 years old, and
because of glaucoma I cannot wear contact lenses, so the choices
I have for sunglasses can be limited. Those of us in this same
boat have been limited to those geeky looking clip-on sunglasses
for years. Recently I got some new eyeglasses that came with matching
sunglasses that attached to the frames by the use of strong magnets.
But once again I was at the mercy of the manufacturer as to the
type of sunglasses that I could get - in this case they were brown
lenses. But after meeting with Bruce at Zurich I quickly realized
that I had another option. Zurich's original sunglasses are designed
to be worn over eyeglasses without interfering with the glasses
at all. Bruce gave me the opportunity to try a pair of his sunglasses
so that I could share the experience with RCU viewers. As I was
talking with Bruce at his booth he had me slip a pair of the sunglasses
on as a small demo. He had me look directly at one of the lights
in the convention center and asked me what I saw on the bottom
of the light bulb itself. With the sunglasses on I could actually
read the writing on the bottom of the bulb. Now while I was still
looking at the bulb he removed the glasses from my eyes. The light
from the bulb blinded me without the sunglasses on, so much so
that it took me several minutes to get my normal vision back.
I was really impressed with this little demonstration and I was
really excited to get a pair of the glasses to the field so I
could see what they would do for me while I was flying.
let's get started and take a look at Zurich's Original Sunglasses......
Completely protects eye environment from potentially developing
cataracts. It has been proven that cataracts are caused by overexposure
of the eyes to the sun (including side glare). Prevents sun related
wrinkles from occurring due to side glare and squinting
100% of harmful UV-A rays
100% of harmful UV-B rays
65% of harmful infrared rays
100% harmful side glare and reflected light
free from top to bottom and from left to right.
optical quality available.
clear, non-glare definition of objects.
visual depth perception.
eye environment for protection from wind, airborne debris and
eye irritation (Original Zurich’s). Therefore, allowing
eyes to relax.
vision blockage from frame.
over prescription glasses for better vision in sun conditions
(Original Zurich’s only).
Protects contact wearers from wind, debris and prevents the
loss of contacts.
from dry eye conditions.
eyes from allergy causing pollens and related eye irritants.
and structural frame is made of 2.5 mm minimum thick shatter-proof
exceeds the ANSI Z87.1 safety standards.
lens repels direct impacts and will withstand the blast of a
shotgun from seven yards with NO penetration or shear. The ballistic
polycarbonate is manufactured by General Electric and will also
repel a .255 caliber bullet at 25 feet. (Only the Original Zurich’s
have been tested for shatter-proofing).
bar and structural design absorbs impacts and there are no frames
to break (Original Zurich’s).
and side protection from wind, dust, airborne debris and eye
Original Zurich's Fit
to fit over prescription glasses.
to hug the head comfortably
style nose design for a comfortable fit.
ear piece tension (Original Zurich and Pilot Style).
temple pieces (Original Zurich only).
warranty on breakage (Original Zurich).
warranty on breakage (Pilot style).
in many attractive colors.
in three shade densities (light, medium and dark) for different
metal hinges to bend, break or corrode.
soft pouch with Velcro seal and belt clip.
sport/pilot strap for use with headsets and helmets, and to
secure glasses during active sports.
strap for on water use
*NOTE: My review here is of
the Original model of sunglasses from Zurich. They also have a
new model of glasses called "Pilot" sunglasses. These
new glasses will not fit over existing eyewear, but otherwise
provide the same protections as the original glasses do. I am
including a picture of these for reference only.
Zurich "Pilot" Sunglasses
getting home from the show in Toledo I pulled the sunglasses
out and took my first real good look at them. Zurich uses good
quality materials in the construction of these glasses, and
it's pretty easy to tell when you look at them. It's actually
hard to tell from the photos but the glasses do have a nice
"mirror" finish to them. In fact, I had a very hard
time taking pictures for this review because of the finish on
the glasses. I had to keep adjusting the angle so there wasn't
a reflection in the lenses.
Original sunglasses are made with side protection built in.
What this means is that the material of the sunglasses is molded
so that they "wrap around" to the sides of the glasses.
They also are molded around the top of the glasses, providing
screening from the top as well as the sides. This extra protection
is part of what makes these glasses good. The protection from
the sun extends to the sides as well as the tops of the glasses.
first glance most people won't notice the temples of these sunglasses,
but a closer inspection shows that a lot of thought has gone
into the design of these glasses. There are no metal hinges
on these glasses that can bend or break over time. The temples
of these sunglasses are designed to snap into place. So if the
temples get "broken off" you can simply snap them
back into place by yourself.
temples of these sunglasses are made of a plastic that is
pliable and is resistant to breaking. You can bend and twist
them and they won't break. In fact, this is also how you adjust
the glasses to fit. You can simply bend them to fit your ears.
the Toledo show Bruce went so far as to actually set a pair
of glasses on the table and "smash" them with his
fists to show that they won't break. It was easy to see that
these glasses are made to take some abuse. Because of this
these glasses should give anybody a lot of good service over
the years. In the event that the glasses or temples to break
they are covered by a lifetime breakage warranty and Zurich
will replace them for you.
with the glasses was a neck strap and carrying case. While the
neck strap might look a bit like what you would expect to see
a librarian wearing, it actually comes in very handy. Being
able to have the glasses hanging from my neck was a real convenience
so that the glasses were right there when I needed them. Also
included with them was a carrying case. Although I didn't have
the opportunity to test this, Zurich claims that the case will
float if dropped in the water. The case also has a nice plastic
clip on it so that you can "snap" them in place so
you don't lose them.
it's easy to see that there is a lot of quality built into these
glasses. They have been designed to give the wearer a lifetime
of good service, and in the event that they do break Zurich backs
them with a warranty to replace them for you. These are definitely
a good investment to make.
*NOTE: This information
is provided as background information. This information is directly
from Zurich's website and I am providing it as reference information
in order for RCU's viewers to have a background into these glasses.
I am not making any claims as to the validity of this information.
and UV-B cause cataracts and damage the sensitive retina, sometimes
impairing vision to the point of blindness.
Zurich Sunglasses Block 100% of UV-A and UV-B .
Ordinary sunglasses actually worsen UV-A damage - a real concern,
because sunlight now has more UV-A than ever before, particularly
in high-altitude ski areas.
UV-A and UV-B are the culprits
"The increasing amount of UV-A sunlight is one more chapter
in the ongoing tale of environmental destruction. Perhaps you've
already read about the problem.
It's happening in the upper atmosphere, where a layer of ozone
(03) gas filters out practically all UV radiation from the sun
and protects our eyes - or at least it used to. In recent years,
contamination of the atmosphere by chloroflourocarbons in aerosols
and refrigerants has depleted the ozone layer, letting much
more harmful UV-A radiation through.
"Because of the danger, aerosol chloroflourocarbons are
now banned in the United States and controlled by a recent international
treaty, but great harm has already been done. We're now beginning
to see the health results."
The Environmental Protection Agency predicts 600,000 additional
cases of sight-threatening cataracts due to ozone depletion.
Ozone Damage Harms Eyes
The increasing amount of UV-A sunlight is one more chapter in
the ongoing tale of environmental destruction. Perhaps you've
already read about the problem.
It’s happening in the upper atmosphere, where a layer of ozone
(O³) gas filters out practically all UV radiation from the sun
and protects our eyes or at least used to. In recent years chloroflourocarbons
in aerosols and refrigerants have depleted the ozone layer letting
much more harmful UV-A radiation through to the earth’s surface.
Because of the danger, aerosol chloroflourocarbons are now banned
in the United States and controlled by a recent international
treaty, but great harm has already been done. We’re now beginning
to see the health results.
The Environmental Protection Agency predicts 600,000 additional
cases of sight-threatening cataracts due to the “ozone factor”.
That’s a frightening statistic.
What’s even more frightening is that some sunglasses actually
increase the damage sunlight does. The pupil dilates behind
a dark lens, so more UV-A light enters the eye.
That’s why if you spend time in the sun you need real protection
against increasing UV-A radiation in sunlight.
Our Response to the Problem
Zurich Sunglasses block UV-A (98%), UV-B (100%), Infrared (65%),
and protect against wind, sand, snow and dust.
Zurich Sunglasses stop ultraviolet light. Your eyes are safe
- at sea level as well as at high altitude.
Zurich Sunglasses also help you see better by filtering blue,
white and flat light. When you put them on, you’ll be amazed
at the sparkling clarity of your vision.
The wraparound design keeps out harmful irritants like wind,
ice crystals and dust. The optically perfect Zurich lenses with
their tough scratch-resistant “quartz” coating give you a full
180° distortion-free vision.
Zurich Sunglasses stay on your face whether you’re sailing into
the wind, swishing through a slalom, or rappelling down a rock
face. They’re strong, constructed of high-tech polycarbonate,
which stays flexible when at very cold temperature.
Zurich Sunglasses are designed so you can wear them comfortably
with contact lenses or even over regular prescription glasses!
sunglasses are built tough in order to withstand the tough conditions
that we will put them through. Even with that in mind, the sunglasses
do require a little bit of "tender loving care" in order
to give you years of service. All glasses are going to get dirty.
Dust, lint, fingerprints and numerous other things will cover
the lenses of the sunglasses and need to be cleaned off. To clean
the glasses I dip them into the dishwater that I wash dishes in.
NEVER ever wipe the glasses with paper towels, toilet paper or
tissues. These items may seem soft to your touch, but to glass
lenses they are like sandpaper and will leave scratches in the
lenses. Over time the scratches will build up and eventually obscure
your vision or totally ruin the lenses completely. Use a soft
lint free cloth to clean the lenses with. Old t-shirts are great
to clean the glasses with. The cloth of the shirts will clean
the glasses but won't scratch the lenses. Since I wear eyeglasses
I've had a lifetime of experience with keeping glasses clean,
so I keep a small piece of a t-shirt in my transmitter case to
clean my glasses and sunglasses with. I highly recommend that
anybody using these glasses carry something like this in your
box to clean your glasses with.
personally would have never given any thought to the neck strap
that comes with the glasses, but in my conversations with Bruce
in Toledo he pointed this out. After he did it made perfect sense.
Most people would simply wrap the neck stap around the glasses
and the folded temple pieces. Bruce says that this will actually
damage the temples and glasses over time. He recommends that users
fold the temples into the glasses and then wrap the strap around
the ends of the temples.
who has ever owned a pair of sunglasses knows that "stuff
happens". Probably one of the biggest things that happens
to most sunglasses is damage to the temples. To put it plainly
they simply break off. The temples of the Zurich sunglasses are
designed with the real world in mind. If the temples of the glasses
do come off it's a simple matter of snapping them back in place.
If for some reason the temples do break Zurich sunglasses will
replace them for free. You simply have to pay for the shipping.
temples for the Zurich sunglasses are "one size fits all",
so they may not fit each individual exactly. This is a simple
matter of bending them to shape. Take the temples of the glasses
and bend them until they are comfortable for you to wear without
any excess rubbing or binding.
be honest in that I was more than a bit nervous about trying these
new sunglasses out. These sunglasses had some pretty big expectations
to live up to. Because my current sunglasses are a brown tint
I thought that I should wear the new Zurich glasses for a bit
so that I could let my eyes get used to them before I flew. I
quickly found out that it wasn't necessary for me to do that.
I put the glasses on and my eyes quickly adjusted to them and
I had no problems seeing with them. The new glasses fit right
over the top of my prescription eyeglasses with no issues at all.
The only thing that took some getting used to was the "closed
in" feeling that I got when I put the glasses on. Because
of the side protection offered by the sunglasses there is no light
that slips in from the sides like there is on normal sunglasses,
and this does give you a bit of a closed in feeling. But it doesn't
take long to adjust to it and I quickly came to like that amount
of "new" shading I was getting from the glasses.
time had come to put the glasses to the real test and fly my plane
with them. After taking off the first thing I noticed was that
I actually had better definition of my plane in the air. With
the sunglasses on my plane seemed to stand out a bit more than
normal and it was easier for me to see the contrasting colors
of my trim scheme while doing aerobatics. So far, so good. But
the big test was still ahead of me: the sun. Now the butterflies
in my stomach were really churning up because I was preparing
to do something that we are taught from day one to avoid - fly
into the sun. I felt that there was no better way to put Zurich's
claims to test than flying my plane across the sun. So I took
a deep breath and aimed my plane for the sun. What happened here
was actually anti-climactic considering the nervousness I had
leading up to it. While the sun was bright in my vision I was
able to see my plane the entire time that it moved across the
sun as I was flying. So there it was, the glasses simply lived
up to their hype. They did indeed save my plane from being lost
in the sun as I flew. Just as a little test after I landed my
plane I looked at the sun with the glasses on, and then removed
them. I am glad that I didn't have a plane in the air when I did
this, as I would have surely lost the plane. With the glasses
removed I was blinded by the sun and had to sit for a few minutes
and wait for my vision to return. Nothing could have sold me quicker
as to the effectiveness of these glasses than this little demonstration;
the sunglasses were able to negate the effects that the sun has
on us when we fly.
my test flights with the sunglasses on I did notice that there
was another huge benefit of them, side protection. I suffer from
Glaucoma and I have problems at the field when the wind blows
from the side, behind my glasses and across my eyes. When this
happens my eyes will start watering, and at times they will water
to such an extent that I have trouble seeing my plane. When this
happens the only thing I can do is land my plane and wait for
my eyes to stop watering. There have even been several times that
I've had to hand my plane off to a fellow modeler because I couldn't
see my plane well enough to even land it. With the side protection
offered by the Zurich glasses it blocked the wind from blowing
behind my glasses and causing my eyes to water up. For this reason
alone these glasses are worth every penny of their cost.
as much as we spend on our hobby it's sometimes funny that people
will skimp on something like sunglasses. I'm just as guilty as
the next guy when it comes to this. I've often looked at the price
tag and thought that was too much money to spend for a pair of
sunglasses. Especially when what I had "worked just as good".
Or so I thought. After flying with Zurich sunglasses I quickly
realized how wrong I was. These glasses are worth every penny
on their price tag, and after flying with them I quickly wondered
how I ever got along without them. The glasses will give you better
vision of your plane in just about all conditions, and when your
plane is flown into the sun the glasses will more than likely
save your plane. It's even more important than just your plane
though. These glasses will save your eyes from the damaging UV
rays of the sun. With all of this in mind I think that every pilot
should have a pair of these glasses as part of their field equipment.
Considering what they can do for you they are indeed very cheap
won't try and sugar coat the truth here. T/hese sunglasses are
a little pricey compared to some other sunglasses. But when you
weigh the cost against the amount of protection that you get from
the sunglasses it's a no-brainer. The cost is well worth it.
spending a little time flying with these sunglasses I can safely
say that they have found a permanent home in my flight gear. I've
actually cut a place for them in my transmitter case so I won't
accidentally leave them at home when I go flying. It didn't take
long for me to become a loyal Zurich customer; I'll always have
them with me whenever I am flying.
Zurich International/Zurich USA
9418 Snow Lake Place
Elk Grove, CA 95758
Phone: (916) 691-6467
Toll Free: (800) 533-5665
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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