JetBlack Turbulence VX sunglasses review

Versatile budget eyewear

BikeRadar score3/5

JetBlack is an Australian brand that prides itself on producing high value cycling products. The Turbulence VX are designed as a do-it-all sunglasses for any condition.

The frames are made from a durable plastic that’s resistant to cracking, and are available in five colours. The glasses include a quality hard case and three sets of interchangeable lenses – smoke, amber and clear – to handle a range of conditions.

The darkest tint – smoke – was best suited to sunny conditions, and reduced glare and eyestrain well. They were our favorite for early morning rides through to mid-day scorchers. The amber lenses found their place on early morning or late evening rides when the light was fading, however they excelled on cloudy days when the light was flat. With no tint, the clear lenses are best kept for night riding and serve eye-protection purposes.

The turbulance vx comes with three sets of lenses for different conditions: the turbulance vx comes with three sets of lenses for different conditions
The turbulance vx comes with three sets of lenses for different conditions: the turbulance vx comes with three sets of lenses for different conditions

The Turbulence VX glasses come with three sets of lenses for different light conditions

The lens clarity is not the quality you would expect from premium glasses, but the optics are clear and there’s no noticeable distortion, even towards the edges of the lenses. All three polycarbonate lenses offer 100 percent UV protection and scratch resistance.

Swapping lenses is fiddly at first, because it requires you to stress the frame, but we quickly found the right technique to make changing them easier.

The large lenses and wraparound frame offer strong wind protection, even when riding in an aggressive time trial position. One of our testers, who has tear-prone eyes said they provided protection on par with the benchmark Oakley RadarLocks. Surprisingly, ventilation was generous, and even on hot sweaty climbs we experienced minimal fogging.

Unfortunately, the adjustable nosepiece and temple arms are quite stiff, and the nosepiece didn’t sit comfortably on all testers' faces, digging into the bridge of a few noses.

The bulky frame is the bane of theses glasses for riding use – they definitely reduce peripheral vision. The frame is visible while hammering with your head down and looking over your shoulder, the feeling is akin to wearing horse blinders.

The adjustable nose piece was stiff and uncomfortable for a few of our testers: the adjustable nose piece was stiff and uncomfortable for a few of our testers
The adjustable nose piece was stiff and uncomfortable for a few of our testers: the adjustable nose piece was stiff and uncomfortable for a few of our testers

Some testers found the nosepiece uncomfortable

They're best suited to mountain biking. They are durable, offer great impact protection and the reduced peripheral vision wouldn't be as much of an issue as on the road. Their durability was proven after one of our testers sat on them during a café stop – we heard a loud crack but they remained completely unharmed!

These glasses are functional and stylish enough to be worn on or off the bike. Despite a few shortcomings, the Turbulence VXs are a high value option for multipurpose use.

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