100% S2 Review
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|Price||$159.99 at Amazon|
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|Pros||Super breathable, neutral fit, secure||super comfortable, quality frame, great optics, two lenses included||massive coverage and protection, two lenses included, good optics||Inexpensive, three lenses included, good optics, good dust and debris protection||Very inexpensive, comes with 3 lenses, good coverage, available in multiple frame colors|
|Cons||No fit adjustment, dust protection||dust protection||large fit, stability issues on smaller faces||Difficult lens swaps, can fog easily when stopping||Minor lens distortion, do not increase contrast|
|Bottom Line||A solid, durable and good looking pair of sunglasses with great fog management||Super comfortable with great coverage, two lenses, and a stellar all-around performance||Goggle-like performance, great optics, and retro style in a comfortable, breathable package||An impressive value with high-coverage, high-performance, and three lenses included at a reasonable price||You get a lot for your money with these very inexpensive shades|
|Rating Categories||100% S2||Smith Wildcat||100% Glendale||Tifosi Sledge||X-Tiger Polarized|
|Lens Quality (20%)|
|Fit and Comfort (20%)|
|Frame Quality (15%)|
|Field Performance (25%)|
|Specs||100% S2||Smith Wildcat||100% Glendale||Tifosi Sledge||X-Tiger Polarized|
|Number of Lenses Included||2||2||2||3||3|
|Lens Tested||Soft Gold Mirror, Clear||Chromapop Red Mirror||Yellow||Smoke, Clear, AC Red||Clear/Mirrored/Polarized|
|Ideal Lens Light Conditions||Clear: Low light
Smoke: Medium to bright light
|Chromapop Red Mirror: bright Light Clear: low light||Soft Yellow: Medium to low light Smoke: Low light||Clear: Low light
Smoke: Bright light
AC Red: Medium to bright light
|Clear: Low light Mirrored: Bright light. Polarized: Bright light/water|
|Visible Light Transmission (VLT)||not specified||Chromapop Red Mirror: 15% Clear: 89%||Yellow: 68% Smoke:12%||not specified||not specified|
|VLT Protection Index||unknown||cat 3||Yellow: Cat 1 Smoke: Cat 3||unknown||unknown|
|Ideal Activity||road/mountain/gravel biking||Mountain biking, running, road cycling||Running, mountain biking||road/mountain biking, running, backcountry skiing, golf, fishing, hiking||road/mountain biking, running, fishing, backcountry skiing, golf, hiking|
|Polarized||No||No||No||No||1 of the three lenses|
|Lens Material||polycarbonate||plastic - Carbonic||plastic - polycarbonate||plastic- polycarbonate||"highly flexible resin lens"|
|Neutral/Contrast||Neutral||Increased contrast||Increased contrast||Increased contrast||Neutral|
|HEV/Blue Light Protection||Unknown||100%||100%||Unknown||Unknown|
|Protective Coatings||Hydrolio coating||Hydroleophobic coating||Hydrolio coating||None||not specified|
|Case Included||Rigid zippered case and soft cleaning/storage bag||Rigid zippered case and soft cleaning/storage bag||Rigid zippered case and soft cleaning/storage bag||Rigid zippered case and soft cleaning/storage bag||Rigid zippered case and soft cleaning/storage bag|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Though they're a relative newcomer to the high-end cycling sunglasses market, 100% has consistently produced some of the best models available over the last few years. Their eyewear can be found on some of the highest-profile athletes in both road and mountain cycling, and their product line seemingly expands by the month. The S2 represents a newer addition to their lineup geared towards everyday high-end performance at a slightly lower price point than their most expensive models.
The S2 comes standard with two lenses. Depending on which option you select they offer a range of lens colors and light filters, but the second lens included is always clear for low-light situations. We tested the Matte Black frames that come standard with a Soft Gold Mirror lens along with the spare clear lens, and we found the two to be a great combination. 100% doesn't provide light transmission info for the Soft Gold Mirror lens, but we found that it worked well in bright to medium light conditions.
The S2's cylindrical lenses feature a 5.5-base curvature and provide great peripheral vision. All of their lenses protect from 100% of UV rays and include a HYDROLIO coating to repel water, dirt, and oil—think Rain-X. We found that the protective coating worked as well as any of 100%'s competitor brands, but it only goes so far. Eventually, with enough sweat, rain, or mud you'll have to take a second to clean off the lens and clear your field of vision.
With most high-end sunglasses it can be difficult to differentiate lens visual quality. Most of the glasses we tested offer crystal clear vision with minimal glare, and the S2 is no different. We had no complaints about the S2s optics out of the box, and we found that the lenses held up well to scratching during our test session. In the name of thorough testing, we aren't exactly the most responsible lens owners. Despite a couple of t-shirt cleanings and being dropped on the ground more than once, we didn't have any noticeable scratches by the end of our testing.
Fit and Comfort
Some of the most comfortable glasses in our test offer fit adjustments at the nose piece and arm tips to allow a broader range of fit, but the S2 eschews that trend by offering a fixed, non-adjustable frame. Despite the lack of adjustability, we found that the S2 is remarkably versatile and comfortable. The fit is fairly neutral—more so than that of the S2's massive sibling, the Glendale—and works well for most head shapes and sizes. We had a number of friends and family try these on and didn't have feedback about pinching or tightness. The Ultra-grip nose and arm tip pads provide a soft interface between the glasses and your skin and do a great job of holding the glasses firmly in place when the going gets rough. Despite trundling down some of the roughest trails we could find, we never had issues with these glasses shaking out of place.
The only potential gripe that some users might have with the S2 from a comfort standpoint is with the frame. Most people will find that the top of the frame makes some contact with the forehead all the way across the brow. We didn't find that it was much of an issue, but over the course of a long ride, it could start to get a little bit uncomfortable for some people, especially once sweat starts to dry on the forehead and creates a rougher interface between the frame and your skin.
Like most modern sunglasses—especially those from 100%—the S2 has a massive lens that provides great face coverage and protection. They aren't quite as goggle-like as the Glendale, but the lens still offers ample eye coverage and ensures that you don't have to wince at the thought of oncoming bugs or trailside brush. The lenses are made of polycarbonate and are impact-resistant to ensure that your eyes stay protected in the event of a crash or impact to the face.
The lens has a slightly more off-the-face fit, similar to the Smith Wildcat, which means that these glasses don't give you the same peace of mind that a model like the Glendale does. The off-the-face fit means that you can feel a little bit more air moving behind the lens, and that the far edges of your peripheral vision aren't entirely covered by the lens.
Like all of the 100% models that we have tested, the S2's frame is durably constructed from high-quality materials. The bulk of the frame is constructed with a lightweight TR90 thermoplastic, and the nose piece and arm tips use 100%'s Ultra-grip rubber. The whole package is well put together and showed no sign of giving up the ghost after a month of heavy testing. The thermoplastic frame is flexible enough not to break when twisted or impacted but rigid enough to provide sturdy support for the lens.
The nose piece is the only detachable part of the frame, and we have concerns that it could be easily lost. The Ultra-grip rubber piece fits onto four small posts on the main body of the frame and is easily removable. A couple of times we found the nose piece hanging by a thread after swapping a lens or storing the glasses haphazardly. Anyone using these glasses will want to keep close tabs on that piece to avoid losing it. Fortunately, it comes with an extra nose piece if that ever happens.
When it comes time to hit the trails or the road in the S2, they won't let you down. The fit is secure and comfortable enough that these glasses tend to disappear on your face as you get into the zone. The frame across the brow does a decent job of channeling sweat away from the lens. We only noticed sweat dripping onto the lens when we were really pushing hard during testing. Any pair of sunglasses we tested will get a few sweat drips on the lens if the rider is sweating enough, so we didn't knock the S2's score too much.
Fog prevention was far and away our favorite aspect of the S2. Most glasses will quickly fog up if you stop for a break after a long climb, and some will even start fogging mid-climb. The S2's off-the-face fit and air scoops at the bottom of the lens make these the most breathable glasses that we tested. We never had any issues with lens fogging, which we see as a huge plus for any pair of cycling glasses. The airy fit doesn't come without its downsides, however. Like the Smith Wildcat, we noticed that the S2 doesn't do the best job of protecting the eyes from dust when following closely behind another rider.
100% has a reputation for bold, retro styling, but the S2 is actually one of the more understated models that we tested. Depending on your lens and color selection, some versions will stand out more than others, but we appreciated that our Matte Black test glasses didn't scream "check me out!" to everyone on the trails. Despite the more understated look, these glasses still match the current trend of large-lensed cycling glasses.
We were excited to see that the S2 comes with a rigid, zippered case with a foam insert that allows you to store both the glasses and the spare lens. We quickly learned, however, that the case leaves a lot to be desired. Its rectangular shape and large zipper mean that it can be difficult to close. The zipper teeth aren't fine enough to easily round the sharp corners of the case. As a result, we often gave up with the case only half-closed, which defeats the purpose of having a protective case in the first place.
The S2 scored higher in our test than some far more expensive sunglasses, including its sibling, the 100% Speedcraft, meaning that we think this model is a great value. If you want a pair of glasses with great protection from fogging this is one of the best values in the test.
We had high expectations for this model when we ordered it up for testing, and it delivered. The S2 offers top-shelf fog protection, comfort, and a secure fit at a reasonable price. As usual, we had a great time testing this model, and we hope our detailed review helped you make your selection.
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