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Rudy Project Defender Sunglasses Review

Rudy Project Defender Sunglasses

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  • Full frame glasses
  • Ultralight at 28g
  • Many vents for anti-fogging
  • Adjustable anti-slip nose pads and anti-slip temple tips
  • Interchangeable lenses
  • Unbreakable lenses
  • Sharp looking
  • Very comfortable and they stay in place
  • 100% UV Protection (UV400)


  • None

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Rudy Project really hit a home run with the Defender cycling glasses. There are so many great features I almost don’t know where to start.

To start with, the Defender are ultralight cycling sunglasses that come in at only 28g. That is lower than any other sunglasses I’ve reviewed including semi-framed ones.

The frames have an adjustable nose piece and arms so that you can really dial them in. They are hydrophilic rubber so that they’ll grip like you won’t believe while they repel water and sweat.

The lens contains tons of vents and moves so much air these glasses won’t fog up.

Rudy Project Defender Sunglasses Front View

Rudy Project Defender Sunglasses Front View



The lenses in the Rudy Project Defender are shatterproof and unbreakable. According to Rudy Project no matter what happens they’ll stay in tact and not damage your eyes. Not many other manufacturers go as far as saying unbreakable so that tells you something about how well these are made.

The lens is also easy to change out with a different color. They are easy to change out which is a real plus.

Rudy Project Defender is a top contender when you’re talking about the best cycling glasses you can get. They look great, work amazing, and really are a pleasure to wear. In fact, when you’re wearing them they’re light enough you really forget you’re even wearing them.

Design and Fit

The Defender sunglasses have a sporty design that is suitable for a wide variety of activities. The frames are made from Grilamid TR-90 material, which makes them lightweight yet durable. This material also provides flex so the frames adapt well to different head shapes.

The Defender sunglasses come with adjustable RX adapters so you can add prescription lenses if needed. The arms have rubberized Temple Tips to help keep the sunglasses securely in place during activity. Overall, the fit is snug but comfortable. The sunglasses include a sturdy hard case and a cleaning cloth.

Lens Technology

One of the standout features of the Defender sunglasses is the lens technology. The lenses provide 100% protection against harmful UV rays. They also have an anti-fog coating to keep your vision clear.

The Defender sunglasses utilize Rudy Project’s ImpactX photochromic lenses. This means the tint adapts to changing light conditions. On bright, sunny days, the lenses darken to a grey/green tint to reduce glare. In lower light conditions, the tint lightens to keep your vision sharp. This auto-adjusting tint is extremely useful for sports and activities where light levels frequently change.

Rudy Project Defender Sunglasses Side View

Rudy Project Defender Sunglasses Side View


The performance of the Rudy Project Defender sunglasses makes them well suited to running, cycling, hiking, and other vigorous activities.

The ImpactX lenses effectively reduce glare while providing excellent terrain definition. You can see rocks, roots, and other potential hazards clearly. The tint also enhances contrast on cloudy days.

The sunglasses stay put thanks to the rubberized temple tips. Even during vigorous head movement, the sunglasses rarely budge. Side shields help block peripheral light and debris getting to your eyes.

The ventilated nose bridge allows airflow to your eyes. This helps reduce fogging, keeping your vision unfogged. The sunglasses are also quite lightweight at just 24 grams. You barely notice them while wearing.


With its Grilamid frames and durable polycarbonate lenses, the Defender sunglasses can withstand quite a lot of use and abuse. The sunglasses resist scratching, warping, and cracking.

The Defender sunglasses meet ANSI Z87.1 safety standards. This means they provide reliable eye protection. The lenses and frames are impact-resistant.

In real world use, the Defender sunglasses hold up extremely well. The frames show minimal wear even after extensive use. The hydrophobic lens coatings also resist smudges and fingerprints quite effectively.


The Rudy Project Defender sunglasses excel at protecting your eyes while providing clear, glare-free vision. Key strengths include the versatile ImpactX photochromic lenses, comfortable lightweight design, and rugged durability. The sunglasses work well for running, cycling, hiking, and other outdoor sports.

While the Defender sunglasses are on the expensive side, their performance and optical clarity make them well worth the investment. They will protect your eyes while improving your performance in a wide range of outdoor activities. For those seeking premium eyewear protection, the Rudy Project Defender sunglasses are strongly recommended.

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About the Author

Tony K

Senior Technical Writer,

Tony K is a technical editor at He has a focus on downhill bike riding but still loves xc bikes too.

With more than ten years of mountain biking experience and more than 5 years testing mountain bikes, Tony has ridden and tested hundreds of different bikes and products, everything from XC to enduro bikes. Tony regularly competes in mountain bike races while seeing how long those compontents can hold up which gives me a lot of insight.

When he isn't shredding down a mountain or camping out, he is writing reviews for Mountain Bike Experience.

Rides: Surly Lowside, Canyon Exceed