Review: Bolle “Copperhead” polarized sunglasses

Just before Interbike, the good folks at Bolle sent over a pair of their “Copperhead” sunglasses to try out. We’re big believers in protecting our eyes when we ride, whether it’s to the corner store or across town, so we jumped at the chance to check out a new pair.


The Copperhead glasses come in a padded case with a microfiber cleaning cloth included. I got the “Shiny Black” color; the glasses come in five other color combinations. The frames are nylon with small hydrophilic rubber pads on the ends of the temples and at the nosepiece to prevent slipping when things get sweaty. The lenses themselves are polarized to help fight glare, and are coated with both anti-fog and anti-smudge treatments. The glasses themselves are suited for smaller faces, like my own — our pal Jim Katz, the PR man for Bolle, helped determine that these would fit my face better than some of Bolle’s other styles.


As you can see, these are more of a casual style — lending them the ability to go with office attire as well as cycling togs. I found the temples to restrict my vision a bit, which may be an issue for those of you who prize extra peripheral vision while dodging traffic. The frames around the lenses are suited for riding more upright bikes; I also had obstruction issues when I rode my more aggressively-set-up road bikes. Hardcore roadies might be better served by rimless lenses.

Despite the minor issues with the frames getting in the way, the Copperhead glasses fit nicely, provided great coverage for my eyes, and stayed in place. No one wants to fuss with readjusting glasses on the go. The temples hugged close to my head, allowing me to tuck them under my helmet straps (decidedly “un-PRO”, but hey, I’m not fooling anybody).


The lens clarity is great and the polarization really helps, especially when going from brightly-lit areas to more shaded parts of the road. And the glasses are pretty stylish — I didn’t feel like I was wearing sportswear; in other words, the glasses didn’t clash with my casual work clothes.

After I wore them for a bit, our friend Wesley (an alumnus of our mountain bike racing team) reached out to us — he was training with the U.S. Navy near Chicago and desperately needed a pair of sunglasses he could wear out on the water. Always one to support our troops, I got the glasses into Wes’s hands in short order with the request that he snap a photo wearing them in uniform:


Wes reported that the glasses worked perfectly for him, and also looked pretty snappy with his “blueberries”. I wholeheartedly agree!

The Bolle Copperheads retail for around $99, and are available directly from Bolle or at retailers near you. If you’re looking for a casual pair of sunglasses that have performance features, but you’re not sitting on a fortune, these might do the trick nicely.

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  1. Steve in Boise

    “The temples hugged close to my head, allowing me to tuck them under my helmet straps (decidedly ‘un-PRO’, but hey, I’m not fooling anybody).”

    Oh my gosh! I haven’t been paying attention! Do the “pros” wear their temples OVER their helmet straps?!!?? I don’t do that – now I feel like such a loser!!

    The reviewer is obviously very style and image conscious.

    But seriously… what color are the lenses? Gray? Brown? “Copper”?

  2. Ghost Rider

    If you knew the reviewer, you’d know your statement is about as far from the truth as can be.

    Lots of cyclists stick to the “pro” styles, however silly that may be.

    Lenses are grey.

  3. Raiyn

    @ Ghost
    I’ve noticed something in your last few helmeted pics. You seem to run your straps WAY loose. Any particular reason? I’ve always thought that a secure helmet would protect better than one that had “play” in it.

  4. Ghost Rider


    the straps aren’t loose…just an optical illusion. I suppose there’s a tiny bit of play; after all, this is my winter helmet (with room for balaclava/snoopy hat/etc.).

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