The best cycling sunglasses are the perfect fusion of form and function. In a perfect world, they would protect your eyes in any situation and never fog up. Still, even if you found the right goggles from a performance standpoint, you’d still have some work to do. Sunglasses aren’t just about performance; they are about style.
This is where the 100% brand comes in. There are brands that exude style and 100% is one of them. For this reason, we have included more than one pair on our list of best cycling sunglasses. Despite an already strong portfolio, this winter it released something new: the Eastcraft and the Westcraft, two takes on a common theme, and we were lucky enough to spend some time with the strong boxy silhouette of the Eastcraft. If you’re looking for high-performance cycling sunglasses with a strong focus on fashion, keep reading to see our thoughts on these new 100% sunglasses.
Design and aesthetics
“This collection is packed with high-performance design and technology upgrades and represents an incredible fusion of sports eyewear into fashion. The aesthetics of these styles is what modern sports stand for.” That’s a statement from CEO and 100% co-founder Ludo Boinnard talking about Eastcraft and Westcraft eyewear when they launched in November. Whatever you think of the aesthetic, what’s interesting is how important they were to the team that designed the glasses. The rest of the discussion is very similar: yes they are high performance but they are also high fashion.
To make that a reality, the Eastcraft starts off with what 100% calls a “strong boxy silhouette.” Whichever style you choose, they are otherwise constructed the same. Both start with a lightweight rubberized frame. There are lots of little technical details that add a sense of movement to the frame while setting the stage for more performance-oriented parts of the design.
The back of the arms curve around the wearer while falling. It’s useful for keeping clear of helmet parts and there’s a contrasting color insert of heavily textured grip material. Since the frame is already rubberized, there’s no change to the material, but the texture does the job of adding grip. As you go, the 100% logo is prominently displayed on each temple.
Right behind the temple logo is one of the coolest features of Eastcraft sunglasses. Inside each branch is a removable side protection. The material has a spring-like quality and it’s only the ability to hold its shape that keeps it pressed into a small hole at the top and bottom, plus a recess just forward of the hinge. To remove the shields, slightly compress the part and pull it from the top or bottom of the hole. Once released, the other two brackets easily detach. Making room for these shields means the lenses sit on the other side of a visually heavy section of the surround.
The Eastcraft offers four different lens options. Two of them are variations of mirrored designs while one is the contrast enhancing HiPER and the last is a smoke option. The included hard case also comes with a pair of interchangeable clear lenses as needed.
The exchange of the lenses is done by means of the very visible metal hinge which is in the center of the glasses. It would be easy to overlook the hinge thinking it was just a design detail, but there is a clasp that sits above the bridge of the nose. Pull it down and the whole piece hinges up. When released, there are three dots on either side of the lens that sit behind the frame. There is enough flexibility in the mount to move it around and release the lens.
The colored lens is a one-piece shield. It goes behind the hinge and through the bridge of the nose. The transparent lenses that interchange differ in design and instead offer a two-piece design. This leaves the center section uncovered in an effort to aid airflow and reduce fogging.
What I find most unique about 100% Eastcraft eyewear is their ability to transform. I’m not going to try to say this will work for all social situations, but I think some people might remove the side guards and run them off the bike. No doubt it would be a brash look, but it is possible and it all comes down to the side shields.
Side shields offer no performance benefit that I can detect. Put them on, take them off, I can’t tell the difference other than visually. 100% talks about adding protection vs removing peripheral vision, but for me they sit so far to the side that it’s hard to detect them in my line of sight. As for additional wind protection, the deep curve of the front shield manages wind protection without any noticeable contribution from the side shields. I consider it a successful part of the design even though it doesn’t fit the marketing description.
What I find a little less successful is the lens release mechanism. It is difficult to release the bottom of the hinge. The bridge of the nose doesn’t offer a lot of room to work with, and there’s no easy-to-grip lip on the hinge. 100% includes a tool to facilitate this process. The plastic piece with a logo is shaped to catch the latch and release it. It works but it requires an extra room and there is no clever storage for the tool. It’s a nice design detail, but there’s no benefit to the added complexity.
The comfort of 100% Eastcraft eyewear is more important than anything else. The arms don’t interfere with any of the headsets I’ve tried them with, including the notoriously finicky Kask Utopia, and they never seem to move. On a recent four-hour ride, I don’t recall needing to adjust the positioning of the goggles. They stay put, making them a more comfortable pair of glasses, no matter how long you spend in them.
The things we ask of riding goggles seem simple and obvious, but some products don’t even meet the obvious needs. The 100% Eastcraft do a good job of staying fog free and they are exceptional when it comes to protecting your eyes from the wind. Frames don’t block your vision and details like a quality case and extra, clear lenses are part of the deal. It’s the easiest thing and 100% did a good job at it. The hardest part of the equation is style.
100% is a bold brand and you would never call their style understated. If that’s your style, the Eastcraft is worth a look. Remove the side guards and you might even be able to run them off the bike.
Changing lenses is the only area where there is room for improvement. The hinge that locks the lenses in place is an important part of the overall styling, but functionally it could use a little help. As long as it’s not a deal breaker for you, there are more positives than negatives in the mix and the 100% Eastcraft are a high performance, stylish pair of sunglasses.
Technical specifications: 100% Eastcraft cycling sunglasses
- Price: £169.99 to £199.99 / $195 to $225 (depending on lens and color combination)
- Available colors : Lens Soft Tact Black/Soft Gold Mirror, Soft Tact Cool Grey/HiPER Crimson Silver Mirror Lens, Soft Tact Red/Black Mirror Lens, Matte Black/Smoke Lens
- Clear lenses included: Yes
- Weight: 32 g including protective lenses