The H-Wall was named for a steep, mogul strewn black diamond ski run in Tahoe, that was nearly impossible to see when the late afternoon sun dropped behind the mountain. After a quick switch to a contrast maximizing yellow Ski lens, the run, and its deeply carved moguls, became quickly visible again. H-Wall’s face-form chassis and 8-base lenses prevent light leakage. Vented nose pads enhance airflow to minimize lens fogging. The temples are anatomically shaped and encased in rubber to ensure a secure and comfortable fit, whether you’re carving through moguls or running hard on a cross- country trail.
- Magnetic Interchange Face Form Chassis
- 8-Base Lenses
- 1 pair of Polarized True Color Grey lenses
- 1 pair of Low-light Rose Amber Lenses
- Lens Pod
- Microfiber Cleaning Pouch
- Vented nose pads
- Anatomic Temples
- Temples are encased in rubber
- Best Fits: Medium to Large
- Measured weight – 25 g (0.9 oz)
- Retail – $180
Switch Eyewear started from finding a solution to clumsy interchangeable sunglasses. Back in February I was contacted by Switch eyewear. Up to that point, I had never heard of the brand but was curious to what they were about when I realized they had a magnetic based lens interchange system. I had never seen this built into a pair of sunglasses, so I worked out a review of the H-Wall.
I tested these sunglasses, mainly on my runs. I did use them on a couple bike rides and one hike for variety. Here in the high desert we definitely need sunglasses as the sun is bright and there is a lot of glare.
The H-Wall Sunglasses are made to do it all. They are a half framed glasses that come with several lenses to be able to adjust to the conditions. The ones I tested are the dark bronze color and came with Polarized Grey and Rose-Amber lenses. They also come with a lens pod and microfiber lens cleaning pouch. The lens pod is magnetic and is made to carry the extra lens. It is contoured with magnets to hold the lens in place and a separator to protect them. Switch lenses are made with lightweight, optical grade, shatterproof polycarbonate and are coated with TriGuard. TriGuard is a patented, thin-film coating that withstands rough handling, causes water to bead up and run off, and is easy to clean. The reflection mirrors, and lens substrates have the tested color balances and light transmission for the varying light conditions encountered in different sports. In fact, there are up to 14 lenses available from Switch Vision. The Polarized True Color Grey Lens that came with the H-Wall is for extreme glare and intense sun. They block 90% of visual light and 100% of UV. The Rose Amber Lens is for haze, as well as moderate, low, and changeable light. They pump up the light by removing a high percentage of blue light. The Rose Amber Lens block 72% of visual light.
The frames are made with a tough, thermoplastic nylon to be durable and long lasting. Embedded into the frames are the high-energy magnets that have a strong attraction with the lenses. These magnets allow the user to quickly and easily swap out the lenses as light conditions and activities change. Switch lens will literally jump into place when brought close to the frame, but will stay put once the lenses have snapped into position. They have been designed not to pop out for drops up to six feet or the constant jarring of skiing, snowboarding, running, or cycling.
The nose pads have been designed to enable air flow into the eye chamber and therefore, minimize fogging. For fit and security, the contact surfaces of the temple and bridge have specially formulated TPR rubber to increase the grip. I was not able to locate any information on the sustainability of the materials used in the sunglasses, and I do know they are made overseas. For that reason, I gave them a zero in sustainability. As a new company it takes some time to get off the ground before some of these aspects can be addressed.
Comfort Next to Skin (25%)
Eye Coverage (30%)
Head Sizing (30%)
The H-Wall Wrap Sunglasses are medium size. I have a smaller head, so I have always preferred smaller sunglasses as the big ones just don’t look right on me. After talking with Switch, we landed on this pair, and they are a good size for my face. I have a picture of them on so you can make that judgment for yourself. The rubber material that they used on these glasses in nice and comfortable on the skin. The sunglasses seem to have a good balance to them making them more stable and exhibiting even pressure at all points of contact. The nose pads are also very comfortable. The soft rubber type material is much better than the plastic that some other manufacturers use. The eye coverage is good but I wish they did not have the dip in the front over the nose. This slight dip brings the frame down into my vision slightly. It is much more noticeable when on the bike as compared to running. If I want to, I can actually look over the frame. The other thing I notice is missing from the sunglasses is the ability to make any personal adjustments to the fit. The nose pads and temples are both not adjustable. Fortunately, I did not need to change anything up.
Ease of Lens Change (20%)
The Switch Vision H-Wall Sunglasses have been a fun test. The magnets do make the lens really easy to switch out. They are so attracted to the other magnets that the lenses snap into place with ease. On occasion, you may need to wiggle the lens to get it into the proper spot. On my running and rides, I have not had any issues with the lens falling out. I dropped them over a dozen times on the hard carpets of my work and only once did one of the lenses pop out, and that was when it bounced off the arm of a chair first. The drawback I have noticed with the magnets is the frame seems to be somewhat thicker than others, especially between the eyes. I wish this section could be slightly thinner for me, but others may disagree. While I found the nose pads to be very comfortable, it was tough to tell if they kept the fogging down. It is really dry here in Bend so fogging is not normally an issue.
I liked both lenses that came with the sunglasses. They both were very clear and through all my testing, neither got scratched nor showed signs of being vulnerable. The sunglasses seem well-made and sturdy. They do not feel flimsy in any way, on the contrary, they feel quite solid. I also like the fact that Switch Vision has a variety of other lenses that you can buy separately depending on the sport or conditions you need them for. The Lens pod is really cool. There are magnets inside it to hold the spare lens in place, and you do not have to worry about them getting scratches as the pod is hard plastic. It is small enough to stuff into any pocket if you need to. My only drawback with it is when I want to store the sunglasses and pod in the enclosed pouch. I am afraid the pod is going to scratch them up there, but I do not like to store them separately when I am not using them because they can be separated. Maybe if the pouch had two pockets, this would solve this dilemma, just an idea.
Overall, I liked the H-Wall Sunglasses. I would love to try on a couple of the other styles to possibly find one that fit my face a little better as the dip in the top of the frame was something I would have noticed if I had tried them on before testing them. This aside, the magnet technology really did work. The lenses are very easy and quick to swap out. Since you do not have to bend or mess with the frame to get them out I imagine that there will not be any loss of performance over time like there is occasionally with my other glasses. Changing lenses on my other glasses has been known to weaken parts of the frame over time or the lens will not want to stay in as well. With the magnet system, they should not have this problem. Switch Vision sunglasses may be new are a bit difficult to find, but they are worth a look if you are in the market for adjustable lens sunglasses. The H-Wall Wrap retails for $180, which puts them up there with some of the higher-end brands. As always, your mileage may vary.
- Easy & fast lens swap
- Lots of lenses available
- Comfortable fit
- Stay in place while running & cycling
- Lens pod protects extra lens
- Not able to adjust contact points
- Top of frame dips into my vision
- Slightly wide frame between the eyes
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