Aftershokz Bone Conduction Headphones.
POC is somewhat of an outlandish brand. An innovative Swedish company, which wants to improve the comfort, safety and performance of sports people, in equal measure. In making those steps, they haven't been afraid to push fashion trends as well; coming up with some alternative new looks and designs.
POC sunglasses made their first appearance in the pro cycling ranks, when Canadian Ryder Hesjedal donned a pair in the 2013 season. They got a bit of a 'Marmite' reception from most onlookers, but the foundations of their fan base were firmly laid.
The big lens profiles and strong bloc colours have expanded into a range of POC casual and sports sunglasses, and the AVIP version of the Do Blade sits at the top. Given their outlandish looks and style, I was keen to test a set myself, and see what my personal verdict would be on these instantly recognisable sunnies...
The first thing that will strike you as you remove the POC Do Blade from their smart hard case, is that they are ludicrously light. Lighter than Oakley RadarLocks, and certainly lighter than most other sports sunglasses. Lightness doesn't mean these are made of low grade materials though; far from it, they use a pioneering grilamid injection into the frame, which makes them stronger and lighter than most composite bodies.
Put the AVIP Do Blade glasses on, and the feel and lenses don't disappoint either. The frames sit comfortably and securely on your face; with rubber inserts in the arms gripping well on the sides, and an adjustable nose piece providing a firm fit, even with rough road vibrations.
The Carl Zeiss lenses are frankly superb, too. POC claims they have been given a unique tint, which is optimised for road cycling; it is designed to increase contrast on the road surface, so that you can spot irregularities and dangers. Certainly, the clarity is fantastic, and the wide profile means there are almost no blind spots, which can occur when the frame interrupts your vision. The lenses are also treated with anti-fog and Ripel water-repellent technology; so fog, dirt and water bead off the surface, rather than sticking to it; this is something that is very welcome in UK conditions!
All these features combine together to mean, that out on the road, these are one of the best sets of eyewear that I have worn. They are light, comfortable and have a clarity that is second to none. You soon become accustomed to the different style, and in fact I've grown to really like the unique look and feel.
OK, they don't come in with a "value" price tag, and can be found in most shops for around £200. That said, this price isn't dissimilar to top level eyewear from most brands, and these are certainly as good as most range-topping sunnies that I have used.
If you're looking for something that's a bit different, and that performs faultlessly, these are very definitely worth considering. The Swedish company proves again, that often it is the most outlandish designs, which push the boundaries in terms of performance and function too. Look out for a review of the POC Octal helmet, coming soon...
Shop the POC range at Wiggle.co.uk (Link)