Suncloud Rambler Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Lightweight, comfortable, secure, good balance, versatile, look good
Cons: Hinges loosen, brown lenses are yellowy
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|Pros||Lightweight, comfortable, secure, good balance, versatile, look good||Lightweight, comfortable, stable, good on many faces, nice case||Lightweight, true to color, minimal face touching, not super sporty-looking||Large lenses, decent coverage, cool mirroring, good fit for large heads||Good coverage, lightweight, many included accessories, inexpensive|
|Cons||Hinges loosen, brown lenses are yellowy||Not overly stylish, run small, temple grips could be cleaner cut||Run small, fairly specific style, large edge gaps||Silicone details aren't the best, intense back-lens reflections, odd feel||Not very dark, bad glare, odd fit and feel|
|Bottom Line||A solidly versatile pair of comfortable shades that are easy to wear and a great price||These sunnies are light and comfortable for your face and eyes and a bit easier on your wallet||Lightweight shades that stay solidly in place without looking as sporty as most of the rest||Oversized shades that are a good fit for wider faces but not our favorite performers||Inexpensive, lightweight wraparounds with wide lenses and all the accessories to get you going|
|Rating Categories||Suncloud Rambler||Native Eyewear Wells||Tifosi Swank SL||goodr BAMFGs||RIVBOS Polarized|
|Lens Quality (30%)|
|Frame Quality (20%)|
|Style And Versatility (15%)|
|Specs||Suncloud Rambler||Native Eyewear Wells||Tifosi Swank SL||goodr BAMFGs||RIVBOS Polarized|
|Lens Tested||Brown||Crystal Grey||Brown||Beelzebub's Bourbon Burpees||Black Mirror|
|Ideal Lens Light Conditions||Medium to bright light||Medium to bright light||Bright Light||Medium to bright light||Medium to bright light|
|Visible Light Transmission (VLT)||15%||12%||Not specified||Not specified||Not specified|
|VLT Protection Index||Cat 3||Cat 3||Not specified||Not specified||Not specified|
|HEV/Blue Light Protection (claim)||None||90%||None||None||None|
|Infrared Protection (claim)||None||40%||None||None||None|
|Neutral/Contrast||Increased contrast||Neutral||Increased contrast||Neutral||Neutral|
|Lens Material||Plastic polycarbonate||Plastic polycarbonate||Polycarbonate||Triacetate cellulose||Polycarbonate|
|Protective Coatings||Anti-reflective||Anti-scratch, hydroleophobic||Anti-scratch||Anti-scratch, mirror||Mirror|
|Can take prescription lens?||No||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Hinge type||Standard/barrel||Standard/barrel||Autolocking integrated hinge||Standard/barrel||Standard integrated|
|Case Included||Microfiber bag||Semi-rigid zippered case, microfiber bag||Microfiber bag||Microfiber bag||Semi-rigid zippered case, microfiber bag|
Our Analysis and Test Results
We tested the Suncloud Rambler with Polarized Brown lenses designed for easy everyday use. They're a medium fit and come with a microfiber storage bag/cleaning cloth.
The Suncloud lenses are made of polycarbonate, a type of durable plastic, and work quite well. We tested them in Polarized Brown and they are rated 100% UVA/UVB blocking with 15% visible light transmission — about average among similar glasses. They offer excellent contrast, in part because they're a touch on the yellow side of brown. While we don't think it's overdone or distracting, it's noticeable when viewing something obvious like clouds.
- 100% UV Protection
- 15% Visible Light Transmission (Category 3)
- 0% HEV/Blue Light Blockage, 0% Infrared Blockage
- Color: Brown, Material: Polycarbonate
- Impact Resistant, Anti-reflective
Many brown lenses tend to have slightly lower VLT rates to offer added comfort for your eyes in particularly bright light. With a VLT of 15%, the Rambler's still do just fine midday on a bright day and only struggle where nearly every pair of sunglasses we've ever tested struggle — that golden hour when the sun is shining directly across the horizon into your eyes. During this time of day, we also noticed that with the sun behind us, there's an occasional red glare spot flitting around near the outside edge of the lenses.
Upon closer inspection, the polarized layer of these lenses isn't perfectly applied and some distortion can be seen around the edges of the lenses, though this isn't noticeable when wearing. They have an anti-reflective coating that helps cut down visual distortion caused by reflections of objects around you, doing about an average job of preventing you from clearly seeing the reflection of your own face. The Rambler doesn't say anywhere that they have any anti-scratch coating but during our several months of testing, despite not always treating them very well, we didn't pick up any scratches.
The Rambler's are lightweight, well-balanced, and comfortable to wear. Tipping the scales at just 25 grams, they're on the lighter end of average among sunglasses we tested. They're a versatile medium fit that's a touch small for some but (in our experience) never in a way that took away from their comfort. They have small textured Megol nose pads that grip your nose even when you're not sweaty. The bows are thin and flexible, easily accommodating many face shapes, from narrow to wide. With rectangular lenses, they lightly touched the cheeks of most of our testing team, but not in a way that was particularly annoying.
These sunglasses are light, with a balance point that's just behind the hinges, helping them to sit comfortably on the face without feeling like they're pulling on the ears or sliding down the nose. They manage to feel light, bendy, balanced, and just right so that you can forget you're wearing them. Despite being on the smaller side, we were pleasantly surprised at how many different sizes and shapes of faces find them to be comfortable for long days in the sun.
Our Rambler pair came in the color "Blackened Tortoise", made of TR-90 Grilamid, a type of injection-molded nylon. The bows are impressively flexible while the main body of the frame is much less so. They're not the sturdiest frames we tested, but they're not terrible. However, we have some concerns.
The Megol nose pads in the pair we tested aren't quite as well-placed as we'd like to see, and make us a bit worried they might come out over years of use and abuse. We're also not impressed by the hinges, which are made of plastic, not metal. The bows are flexible, which helps take some of the pressure off the hinges when worn on wider heads, but it's not our favorite combination of attributes.
We've now had these sunglasses for a couple of years, and the hinges repeatedly work themselves loose in a lopsided fashion. With just regular use and normal folding and unfolding, the hinges need tightening every few weeks. We read numerous reports online of other users encountering the same issue with theirs. Perhaps this is more of a nuisance than an actual issue, but it could easily lead to a lost screw and certainly makes us lose some faith in the integrity of these frames.
Style and Versatility
Just about every person who put these glasses on was at least "okay" with wearing them. The majority of our testing crew really liked how they look and would happily wear them as everyday casual shades. They seem to work just as well on narrow or wide faces as angular or round faces, which is a solid achievement for a pair of sunglasses.
The Rambler is less sporty-looking than a lot of other sports sunglasses we tested. We think they look just as at-home driving a car as a boat and as good lounging on a beach as fishing from a kayak. They may not be the glasses you'd wear to a red carpet event but they offer a pretty wide appeal for most everyday uses.
The Ramblers offer pretty solid coverage for a pair of non-technical sunnies. Their base curve of 6 is a fairly typical shape that very slightly curves around the face, offering more protection than a flat pair without being as stifling as a full wraparound set. The rounded rectangular lenses measure 57mm wide and 45mm high, which is a medium-large lens. The bows don't add a ton of coverage but also don't block peripheral vision.
We had several testers put these sunglasses on and shake their heads vigorously to see if they could dislodge them and found that they stay on fairly well. They may not be an optimal pair to wear on a run or a super bumpy mountain bike ride, but they're not bad. They sit close enough to the face to offer decent protection from the sun and even moderate protection from dirt without making you feel like you're wearing goggles.
Though we don't score this metric, it's always good to know what comes with your sunglasses before you buy them. In this case, we're not impressed. The Rambler comes with just a simple microfiber storage bag/cleaner bag with a drawstring closure, and that's it. Even worse, we aren't impressed with the bag's ability to clean the lenses. It mostly just shifted grease around the glasses, and we almost always had to grab a different cloth to actually get them clean. If you want a hard case, you'll have to buy that separately.
The Suncloud Rambler is one of the less expensive sunglasses we tested, but they offer better performance than many more expensive models. Even among competitors costing up to 6 times as much, these shades hold their own when it comes to clarity, feel, and performance.
The Ramblers are a fairly comfortable, decently performing pair of sunglasses. They're lightweight and easy to wear while managing to look good on an astonishing variety of facial shapes and sizes. Though they're not the most amazing pair we tested, they're a great choice for sporty glasses you can also wear every day, and are pretty affordable to boot. In fact, we'd happily pay more for these glasses, making them a great value buy.
— Maggie Brandenburg