We’ve been testing a lot of great sunglasses this spring, but the Kaenon Leadbetter may be the fanciest ones yet. With a classic design, great materials, and quality construction, the Leadbetters should probably be on your face right now.
Review: Kaenon Leadbetter
Starting with the case the Leadbetter sunglasses come in, brownie points for the sturdy hinged hard case. Of course, you get the traditional soft cloth bag as well. Ok, enough about the case and onto the shades! Kaenon sunglasses are designed in California and made in Italy. Many of the frames are actually hand painted (the ones we tested were basic black).
The cornerstone of Kaenon is the trademark SR-91 polarized lenses. Kaenon claims that they are the industries first non-compromising polarized lens. Also claimed – better clarity and scratch resistance than polycarbonate without weighing more. SR-91 is truly proprietary; no one else has it and it’s not just a rebrand of some other plastic. Optically, it’s comparable to Trivex, but it’s softer and more flexible.
So, do the Leadbetters stand up to the test?
Testing the Leadbetter
I tested the Leadbetter sunglasses over the last few weeks here in Colorado. From warm sunny days to surprise snowstorms. On the trail, skin track and driving. The optics are as clear as anything we have tested before. What I would up appreciating the most was the fit. They are lightweight (29 grams) have comfortable and grippy nose pads (Hypoallergenic Recessed Variflex nose pads) and the sunglasses seem to just grip to your head, yet not too tight. I have a medium size head and the Leadbetter fit perfectly.
The style is awesome as well. They look a bit like traditional sunglasses but have just enough unique detail that separates them from the others. I like the way the look. I love the way they feel. The not-so-subtle nod to Pearl Jam doesn’t hurt.
The color I tested was the Black Label with G12 Grey-Black Mirror lens. There are 3 other colors and lenses in the Leadbetter lineup: Great Weave (hand painted in Italy) with G12 Grey lens, Sea Grass with B12 (bronze tint) and Oasis with B12 Brown Gold Mirror lens. Measurements are 129 frame width, 139 temple, and 42×55 lens. MSRP $229. Grab them from Amazon or from the shops below.