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RIVBOS Polarized Review

Inexpensive, lightweight wraparounds with wide lenses and all the accessories to get you going
RIVBOS Polarized
Credit: RIVBOS
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Price:  $22 List | $21.98 at Amazon
Pros:  Good coverage, lightweight, many included accessories, inexpensive
Cons:  Not very dark, bad glare, odd fit and feel
Manufacturer:   RIVBOS
By Maggie Nichols ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  May 27, 2021
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38
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Lens Quality - 30% 3.0
  • Comfort - 25% 4.0
  • Frame Quality - 20% 4.0
  • Style and Versatility - 15% 4.0
  • Coverage - 10% 5.0

Our Verdict

The RIVBOS Polarized are a lightweight pair of wraparound sport sunglasses with a low price tag. Their wide, mirrored lenses provide good side protection while rubber nose pads and the fully rubber back halves of the bows help keep them in place when you're bouncing along the trail. They're not great in overly bright light though and have a pretty intense back-glare, as well as kind of an odd fit. However, multiple cases, a cleaning cloth, and even a leash all come included in this inexpensive package, which might just be the budget-friendly accessory you've been looking for.

Our Analysis and Test Results

We tested the RIVBOS Polarized with Black Mirror lenses. They're a Medium fit and come with a zippered semi-rigid clamshell case, a microfiber storage bag, and a microfiber cleaning cloth.

Performance Comparison


RIVBOS Polarized sport sunglasses - the rivbos are inexpensive wraparounds that do alright but lack...
The RIVBOS are inexpensive wraparounds that do alright but lack proper coverage.
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

Lens Quality


We tested the Black Mirror lenses, which, despite being grey (which tend to offer more bright light protection) and having a mirror coating on the outside (which reflects away even more light), these glasses don't offer as much respite from the bright sun as we want. They're an almost yellowy shade of grey that appears fairly neutral, rather than contrast-enhancing.

Black Mirror Lenses
  • Polarized
  • 100% UV Protection
  • Unspecified Visible Light Transmission (Category 3)
  • 98.9% HEV/Blue Light Blockage, 0% Infrared Blockage
  • Color: Grey, Material: Polycarbonate
  • Impact Resistant, Mirror

The backs of the lenses are exceptionally reflective though. Even with light coming through the fronts, we could clearly see the reflections of our own faces in these lenses, which is highly distracting and difficult to look through. The mirror coating also seems to be perpetually smudged and fingerprinted from even just hair blowing across it in the breeze.

RIVBOS Polarized sport sunglasses - the mirror lenses aren't quite dark enough for super bright days.
The mirror lenses aren't quite dark enough for super bright days.
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

Comfort


We found these not totally uncomfortable to wear, at just 25 grams, but fairly awkward. Pushed all the way up to where they're more effective causes more eyebrow sweat than almost any other model we tested while leaving a shockingly large gap underneath the lenses for light to bounce right in. The rubber nose pads and rubber back halves of the bows do help them stay in place — to a point. But the nose pads feel a bit too sticky (especially when sweaty) and the rubber arms have intense diagonal ridges all the way along their length that take away from their comfort. They also got so stuck on our skin and hair that they raised WAY off our faces when smiling.

RIVBOS Polarized sport sunglasses - the back half of the bows is a solid rubbery piece that's fully...
The back half of the bows is a solid rubbery piece that's fully flexible with intense ridges.
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

Frame Quality


These plastic frames with rubber components are lightweight and okay but not confidence-inspiring. The plastic integrated hinges are an easily adjustable standard style. We had no durability issues during our testing but read scores of reviews online from other customers reporting broken pieces, things falling off, distortions, scratches, and even stretching out of the rubber bows. Though none of these things happened to us during our several months of testing, our careful inspection doesn't inspire a ton of confidence.

RIVBOS Polarized sport sunglasses - the only glasses to come with a leash.
The only glasses to come with a leash.
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

Style and Versatility


These wraparound shades have mirror lenses that are on the wide side of average, which we prefer. They're obviously sporty but it's not a terrible look. However, you can see through the mirror coating and we find the glossy black frame and visible rubber pieces to be less to our liking.

RIVBOS Polarized sport sunglasses - perhaps not the most stylish, but they could be worse.
Perhaps not the most stylish, but they could be worse.
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

Coverage


The wider lenses offer decent side coverage even for a wraparound model. They also connect with the eyebrows for good top coverage. However, the RIVBOS have a weirdly huge gap underneath for most of our testers, taking them down several notches in the overall ranking. Their rubber patches help them stay on, but they still bounce quite a bit — far more even than many of the non-wraparound models we tested.

RIVBOS Polarized sport sunglasses - wider lenses add coverage.
Wider lenses add coverage.
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

Case Quality


These come with a semi-rigid zippered case with a small plastic carabiner attached to one end, as well as a microfiber drawstring bag and a medium-sized, thin microfiber cleaning cloth. They also include a simple sunglasses leash to wrap around the back of your neck.

RIVBOS Polarized sport sunglasses - the rivbos come with two types of case, a microfiber cleaning cloth...
The RIVBOS come with two types of case, a microfiber cleaning cloth, and a sunglasses leash.
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

Value


For a simple wraparound pair of glasses that come with plenty of accessories and do an alright job, these aren't a terrible purchase. We're not expecting them to be the shades you'll wear for 30 years, but at least if something does happen to them, they're less costly to replace.

Conclusion


These inexpensive wraparounds are an okay choice for cheap glasses of this style. If you want something you can throw on quick when heading out for a run — and don't want to wear the same ones later to the beer garden — they might be what you're searching for. They're best for infrequent use and low expectations.

RIVBOS Polarized sport sunglasses - running in the desert.
Running in the desert.
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

Maggie Nichols

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