Floating sunglasses: AirFly Retools This is how your sports glasses fit

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The Japanese startup Zygospec has released some unusual glasses on Kickstarter: sunglasses that ‘float’ over the nose, not on it. We put it to the test.

How do you test “floating” sunglasses? And I mean floating on your face, not in the water. I ponder this when I open a bright yellow DHL box with new-fangled AirFly sunglasses. The sunglasses that are shipped internationally by Zygospec, the Japanese manufacturer of AirFly, are in line with the brands of the brand Kickstarter.

It’s an interesting concept – Zygospec claims that its patented design, foregoing nose pads in favor of two small rubber cheek pads, makes the glasses more comfortable, more stable, and less prone to fogging.

As soon as I put this on AirFly, I am aware that these users will undoubtedly polarize; some will swear by it, some will only swear by it. I honestly wasn’t sure how I was feeling, but I committed to wearing the Zygospec AirFly on a few bike tours and a few runs in Denver to form an opinion.

In summary: For such an unorthodox design, Zygospec actually does what it imagines well. The glasses actually “float” over the nose without touching them.

And while the AirFly definitely has some advantages over its traditional counterparts, expect the cheek pads to be too big of a change for some users. For those who are ready to try something new, however, the AirFly offers some perks worth considering.

Zygospec AirFly ‘Floating’ Sunglasses: First Look Review

Courtesy photo: Zygospec

At first glance it is AirFly sunglasses look like many of the active lifestyle models we know. Narrow wraparound glasses create a sporty aesthetic and slim temples curve upwards over the ear.

But when you put them on, you’ll immediately notice that they don’t feel like any other pair of sunglasses. I tried them on and thought something was wrong. I intuitively waited for the glasses to touch the bridge of my nose to signal that they were on.

But that doesn’t happen with AirFly. Instead, two horizontal pads sit just below your eyes on the outside of your cheeks. This holds the glasses (along with the temples) in place and the lens never touches your nose.

If you apply enough pressure, you can of course also place the AirFly on the bridge of your nose. But it naturally hovers over the nose when worn properly.


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Adjust the fit

Zygospec includes a small instruction card with the AirFly that shows how to adjust the fit. It’s not strictly necessary as you will likely find that the cheek pads and ear pieces are made of flexible rubber that you can adjust to fit your face.

The first thing you should try on the AirFly and see how it fits right out of the box. If it slips down your face or the lenses are touching your face, it’s time to adjust!

I had to push the cheek pads in a little to make more contact and to keep the lenses away from my nose. But once I set it, I never had to change or reset it.

Stability during activity

The idea for the floating design came from the founder of Zygospec, Masaki Yoshimura, who is himself a triathlete. So these sunglasses have running and cycling in mind.

Of course, the AirFly sunglasses feel weird at first. And they feel weird for a while, but you get used to them. And what stopped me from hanging it up was the fact that it was noticeably more stable than many of my conventional glasses when I was active.

The cheek pads seem to do a better job of preventing the sunglasses from jostling and jumping than nasal pads. I found the best use here for running as there is generally less jumping in general when cycling on road or gravel.


Zygospec AirFly floating sunglassesPhoto credit: Sean McCoy

Well, this is where things start to get a little contradictory – at least for me. Zygospec commends AirFly for preventing moisture and fogging on the lenses. And in short, they do. I did not experience fogging during exercise, but I did wear this in 80-90 degree weather as well.

And yes, I was grateful that the floating design helped avoid the dreaded sweat stain I often see near the nosepiece of my traditional glasses. So point and point for the AirFly.

But there is one downside. While riding my bike, I noticed the lack of a nose pad and contact with my nose allowed air to seep under the lens and tickle my eyes. Everyone who cycles with badly fitting sunglasses knows this feeling.

However, this wasn’t a deal breaker. It is especially noticeable at the beginning of a journey, when you are just getting started. But once you get up to the pace and lean forward in a more aggressive posture with your head down, it feels like any other pair of sunglasses.

Final thoughts

The Zygospec AirFly costs $ 128. It’s not outrageously expensive, but it certainly isn’t cheap sunglasses. And with their unique design, it’s understandably a big investment just to see if you like them.

As a lover of traditional sunglasses, I can tell you that it was a small adjustment for me to get used to the feeling. I will wear them 100% for longer runs in hot weather – no question about it, they are more stable.

When cycling, I assume that I wear them sometimes, not all. For evening or morning trips, I prefer photochromic glasses, which work better in poor lighting conditions. But when the mercury is high and sweat is inevitable, I can imagine the AirFly might be a better choice for me.

You can learn more and get your hands on a pair for the early bird price of $ 89 AirFly Kickstarter here.

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