I did my best to break the Aspire Acclaimed sunglasses, without success. I threw them into pack bottoms, tossed them among sharp ice screws, stuffed them into pockets and, on several occasions, completely forgot where they were and sat on them. Much of this has to do with the fact that the Acclaimed are so light — 19 grams on my scale — that you forget where they are.
19 grams is stupidly light. That’s about the same as three quarters (as in, three $0.25 coins). Or a bit more than a CD, which weighs around 15 grams. Even a packet of Gu is 32 grams!
As a result of all this, the Acclaimed got bent out of shape and crushed underneath all sorts of gear. But thanks to the proprietary SDN-4 frame material, they came away unscathed, save for a few scratches on the lenses and bent-out-of-shape arms. SDN-4 is some kind of nylon that is CNC’d into shape, unlike more typical injected construction. SDN-4 is hypoallergenic, extremely strong and durable, heat resistant, as well as having shape memory and UV-resistance so it won’t fade over time. Pretty phenomenal stuff, and I wonder what else you can make from it!
The Acclaimed also sport stainless arms and hinges, as well as UV400 lenses. I’ve managed to bend both the hinges and temple pieces out of shape, but both can be bent right back into proper function without undue issues.
The lenses are perhaps the most fragile part, but thankfully the frame is designed in such a way that they pop right out if there’s too much disfiguration. As I mentioned above, the lenses are not as scratch-resistant as I’d like in what is otherwise an extremely durable pair of sunglasses. Storing them in the provided plastic case seems counter-intuitive as the case adds 72 grams to the package! A soft, microfiber cloth pouch adds only 8 grams and thanks to the Accalaimed’s near-indestructibility provides almost as much protection for a fraction of the weight.
I received the Black Matte finish with mirrored grey lenses, which cut down a fair bit of light and are also colour-neutral (as a photographer I’m not a fan of tinted lenses). The lenses are large and sit close to my face for good coverage and protection from all sides.
Fit is excellent, and the glasses feel weightless on my face (have I mentioned they weigh 19 grams?!). Thanks to the flexibility of the main frame, the Acclaimed sit softly and exert only light pressure on the temples. As a lifelong eyeglass wearer, these are among the most comfortable pairs of glasses I’ve ever put on.
Pros: extremely light, near-indestructible, comfortable
Cons: lenses can scratch easily
Overall: My favourite pair of sunglasses thanks to their ultra-low weight and nearly indestructible construction — just remember to bring a soft storage pouch to keep the lenses scratch-free during transport.