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Down ‘N Dirty: Native Eyewear Braiden Sunglasses

Even the toughest of adventurers are nothing without a good pair of sunglasses. Squinting into the sun can turn an epic day of hiking into a painful disaster, and owning a good pair of sunglasses is crucial in the Rockies. But it isn’t easy to find the perfect pair of shades. I’m always searching for something that I can rely on in the backcountry and wear around town without looking like I just walked off a glacier.

Native Eyewear’s Braiden Sunglasses straddle the line of performance and style, making them the perfect pair of one-quiver shades. The N3 lenses block four times as much infrared light than regular polarized lenses with UV protection up to 400 nm, so you don’t have to worry about scorching your eyes while spring skiing. The trilaminate construction and Rhyno-Tuff Air Frames use a super durable thermoplastic material that weighs almost nothing, and Cushinol technology provides a non-slip grip on the nose pads, temple tips and arms, keeping them comfortable on your face while you work up a sweat. I took them trail running in Boulder Canyon and didn’t even notice I was wearing them because of how flawlessly they hugged my face. As for the durability, I’m not proud to say that I drove away with them on the roof of my car, but after pulling over in a panic to retrieve them I can confidently report back that they are still good as new.

The teacup shaped lenses are flattering and stylish, and frames come in an array of colors such as matte black, gray, white or tortoise shell. The style is designed for men and women.

MSRP: $129-$149


Pros: You can wear these sunglasses confidently on the trails and rock them all over town. Plus, Native offers a lifetime warranty for all their products,

Cons: While they’re great for most outdoor activities, they don’t block quite enough peripheral light to be considered expedition sunglasses fit for glacier travel. That being said, unless you’re climbing Denali, they should work for just about everything else.

Where I took Them: Backcountry skiing in Rocky Mountain National Park, trail running in Boulder Canyon, learning to monoski on a sunny day at Beaver Creek.

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