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Hulislem S1 Polarized Review

An inexpensive wrap-style pair that just can't offer the coverage or comfort we want
Hulislem S1 Polarized
Photo: Hulislem
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Price:  $20 List | $19.97 at Amazon
Pros:  Good side coverage, nice case, inexpensive
Cons:  Pointy nose pads, unfinished edges, bad counter reflection, not very dark
Manufacturer:   Hulislem
By Maggie Brandenburg ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  May 27, 2021
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29
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#14 of 14
  • Lens Quality - 30% 3
  • Comfort - 25% 2
  • Frame Quality - 20% 3
  • Style and Versatility - 15% 4
  • Coverage - 10% 3

Our Verdict

The Hulislem S1 Polarized are a pretty affordable pair of wraparound shades with solid side coverage and a zippered case. However, they have oddly shaped, pointy nose pads that aren't comfortable and prevent them from being pushed up far enough to block incoming wind while you're on the go. They also have pretty intense facial reflections, which prove to be distracting. Additionally, harsh light is a little too much for these fairly light-tint shades. They do come with a decent case though, and just might be the right price for certain uses.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Hulislem S1 Polarized
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award 
Price $19.97 at Amazon$209.00 at Amazon$178.93 at Amazon$78.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
$54.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Good side coverage, nice case, inexpensiveGreat clarity, excellent contrast, minimal color distortion, very comfortable, look good on pretty much everyoneGreat color retention, superb coverage, quality construction, fits many face sizes, great case and cleaning clothLightweight, comfortable, stable, good on many faces, nice caseLightweight, comfortable, secure, good balance, versatile, look good
Cons Pointy nose pads, unfinished edges, bad counter reflection, not very darkPeripheral coverage not ideal, can still bounce a littleHeavy, large lens "look", weird inside reflective patchNot overly stylish, run small, temple grips could be cleaner cutHinges loosen, brown lenses are yellowy
Bottom Line An inexpensive wrap-style pair that just can't offer the coverage or comfort we wantExceptional lenses in impressively comfortable frames that manage to be extremely functional while still looking casualTop-notch coverage and superb color retention make these large-fit shades well-equipped to protect your eyes from water-reflected lightThese sunnies are light and comfortable for your face and eyes and a bit easier on your walletA solidly versatile pair of comfortable shades that are easy to wear and a great price
Rating Categories Hulislem S1 Polarized Kaenon Clarke Costa Del Mar Rincon Native Eyewear Wells Suncloud Rambler
Lens Quality (30%)
3
9
8
7
5
Comfort (25%)
2
9
8
6
7
Frame Quality (20%)
3
9
9
7
7
Style And Versatility (15%)
4
9
8
7
9
Coverage (10%)
3
7
9
8
8
Specs Hulislem S1... Kaenon Clarke Costa Del Mar Rincon Native Eyewear Wells Suncloud Rambler
Lens Tested Smoke Ultra Brown 12 Grey 580P Crystal Grey Brown
Ideal Lens Light Conditions Medium light Bright light Bright Light Medium to bright light Medium to bright light
Polarized Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Fit Medium Medium-Full XL/Wide Large Medium
Weight (grams) 29g 29g 33g 26g 25g
UV Protection 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
Visible Light Transmission (VLT) Not specified 12% 12% 12% 15%
VLT Protection Index Not specified Cat 3 Cat 3 Cat 3 Cat 3
HEV/Blue Light Protection (claim) None None 100% HEV blockage 90% None
Infrared Protection (claim) None None None 40% None
Neutral/Contrast Neutral Increased contrast Neutral Neutral Increased contrast
Lens Material Triacetate cellulose Plastic - "SR-91" polycarbonate Polycarbonate Plastic polycarbonate Plastic polycarbonate
Impact Resistance Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Protective Coatings Anti-glare Anti-reflective back, hydroleophobic, anti-scratch C-WALL (anti-scratch, hydroleophobic) Anti-scratch, hydroleophobic Anti-reflective
Can take prescription lens? No Yes Yes Yes No
Hinge type Standard integrated Standard/barrel Spring Standard/barrel Standard/barrel
Case Included Semi-rigid zippered case Semi-rigid zippered case, microfiber bag Semi-rigid zippered case, microfiber bag, microfiber cleaning cloth Semi-rigid zippered case, microfiber bag Microfiber bag

Our Analysis and Test Results

We tested the Hulislem S1 Polarized with Smoke lenses. They're a medium size and come with a semi-rigid zippered clamshell case (with plastic carabiner) and a very small microfiber cleaning cloth.

Performance Comparison


Trail running in the Hulislems - not our favorite pair to wear.
Trail running in the Hulislems - not our favorite pair to wear.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Lens Quality


These smoke lenses are grey, but appear almost blue-tinted when looking through them. Though we couldn't find what amount of visible light they let through, they feel lighter than almost every other pair of shades we tested, making them a poor choice for difficult times of day (like golden hour) or even particularly bright situations like driving on a cloudless day.

Smoke Lenses
  • Polarized
  • 100% UV Protection
  • Unspecified Visible Light Transmission (Category 3)
  • 0% HEV/Blue Light Blockage, 0% Infrared Blockage
  • Color: Grey, Material: Triacetate Cellulose
  • Impact Resistant, Anti-Glare

The Hulislem S1 also has an intense amount of back glare on the lenses, pretty clearly reflecting our face back into, well, our faces. They claim to have an anti-glare coating, but in practice, this doesn't seem to make any functional difference.

The glare on the backs of these lenses is intensely distracting...
The glare on the backs of these lenses is intensely distracting while out for a run.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Comfort


For testers with narrower nose bridges, the S1 proved to be extremely uncomfortable. They have pointed nose pads that are at just the right angle to jut directly into tear ducts when pushed up. Their wrap style grabs behind the ears, easily letting them lift off the face when smiling. And their plastic frames are unrefined, with sharp plastic edges all over that slice into the tops of the ears and sides of the head. We do not enjoy wearing these.

The nose pads on these sunglasses are pointy and jut out too far...
The nose pads on these sunglasses are pointy and jut out too far, stabbing some of our testers in the tear ducts.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Frame Quality


The S1 are made of TR90 plastic. That's all fine and well, but our issue is their pattern of construction. They're made of a ton of different pieces, all joined together. None of them look particularly well-designed or solidly combined and left us wondering how long they'll stay all in one piece. Though nothing fell apart or started peeling during our several-month testing period, we read a ton of reviews reporting all kinds of durability issues — not exactly bolstering our already wavering confidence.

The plastic bows are made of several pieces with unfinished edges...
The plastic bows are made of several pieces with unfinished edges that feel sharp and unpleasant on our heads.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Style and Versatility


Even as a wrap-style pair of shades, the look of the S1 proved controversial. Some testers think their patchwork style of frame looks unfinished, cheap, and careless. Yet others think that same pattern looks technical, sporty, and expensive.

We're not so sure this partial frame pattern is a good look - or the...
We're not so sure this partial frame pattern is a good look - or the right durability choice.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Coverage


While wraparound sunglasses are meant to provide excellent coverage, the Hulislem S1 fall far short of the mark. Their awkwardly angled, protruding nose pads prove to be their downfall, keeping them far enough away from your face that they leave large gaps on both the top and bottom of the shades. Their wider lenses offer decent side coverage, though.

Despite being wraparound glasses, the Hulislems have rather large...
Despite being wraparound glasses, the Hulislems have rather large gaps that let light in.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Case Quality


These shades come in a semi-rigid zippered clamshell case with a non-removable plastic clip on one end. They also include a small microfiber cleaning cloth, all of which are easy and comfortable to use.

The Hulislems come with a zippered case and cleaning cloth.
The Hulislems come with a zippered case and cleaning cloth.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Value


As one of the least expensive sport sunglasses we tested, we hoped these would prove their value. Unfortunately, their lack of coverage, uncomfortable fit, and unimpressive sun protection leave us wishing we'd saved the cash.

Conclusion


The Hulislem S1 sport sunglasses are a polarized, wraparound style that just can't quite measure up to the competition. They fall well below average and far below expectation when it comes to comfort, light blockage, and coverage. Though they'll surely save you money compared to many others, we think that money is better spent elsewhere.

As much as we like their price, we're not the biggest fans of their...
As much as we like their price, we're not the biggest fans of their performance.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Maggie Brandenburg