POC isn't shy about design. Much like the Swedish company's standout helmets, the POC DO Half Blade sunglasses are hard to miss. Regardless of how they look from the outside — some of us at BikeRadar like the aesthetics, others don't — the half-frame sunglasses work well on the bike. Here's why.
As the name suggests, the DO Half Blade is a version of the original DO Blade glass, but with 'half' the frame. Specifically, the lower frame is gone, allowing for unobstructed field of vision, top to bottom.
The tall frame works well for cycling's tilted-head position, as you can't see the top of the frame, even with your eyes pointed at your eyebrows.
The Smith PivLock V2 Max has a similarly large lens, but I found the arms on that pair to often bump the bottom of my helmet. My colleague Colin Levitch has experienced the same thing with the newer Smith PivLock Arena Max. I had no such issues with the DO Half Blades with a variety of lids from Giro, Specialized, Lazer and, yes, POC.
The frame design also makes it easy to swap lenses. This particular style comes with a clear replacement lens. Some of the other, cheaper models just come with a single lens.
The one downside to the half-frame construction is that it can make it easier to scratch the lens should you drop the sunglasses. I did both.
Carl Zeiss supplies the tinted lens, which offers good clarity on the road as well as the basic UV protection for your ears. The lens might be a little bit shy of Oakley's excellent Prizm road lens in terms of contrast, but it is still quite crisp.
The lens has a Ripel treatment, which means water will bead up and roll off instead of streaking. Also, the Ripel treatment makes the lens easier to clean.
The adjustable nose piece and ear socks use a hydrophilic rubber, and do their job of keeping the sunglasses in place, regardless of rain or sweat.
The DO Half Blade sunglasses come in a variety of frame and lens styles. Some, like this Hydrogen White/Cannondale Green model, come with a clear lens. I think the second clear lens is worth having. It is easy to swap in, and the clear lens works well for rainy days.
Rain beads up and runs off, and if the lens fogs up (sometimes I wear them on the back of my head when climbing, and they fog this way), they clear up quickly on their own. The lenses do have an anti-fog treatment, plus little vents at the top which may or may not do anything. In any event, the clear lens, like the tinted lens, provides distortion-free protection.
The sunglasses certainly aren't cheap, but you can find them online for substantially less than the advertised retail price. For instance, Backcountry has them for $154 and Cyclestore is selling them for £192.