Whether we were mountain biking, climbing, or paddleboarding, we loved the Native Hardtop Ultra XP. Its protective wrap-around lense, secure fit, and stylish looks made it one of our favorite pairs of glasses to wear, no matter the activity. The only thing that kept these glasses from earning an award was the durability of the frame. While still solid, it just didn't have the robust quality of some of the other models, so we feel it may not last as long as our top performers. If you're hard on sunglasses you may want to consider the Oakley Flak 2.0 XL instead, but if you tend to baby your shades these will serve you quite well.
Native Hardtop Ultra XP Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Comfortable, decent eye protection
Cons: Feel somewhat fragile
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Native Hardtop Ultra XP is a solid, all-around sunglass. Its only minor drawback is a frame that feels somewhat less durable than some of its competitors.
The Native Hardtop Ultra XP just behind the top overall performers in our testing. Read on to find out where it shined, and where it was slightly behind the main pack.
The Native Hardtop Ultra XP has relatively small lenses that use a wrap-around style to provide decent eye protection. They don't do this as well as the lenses of the Oakley Flak 2.0 XL, and thus received a somewhat average score of 7 out of 10. However, we still felt confident that these glasses would keep the wind and dust at bay on fast mountain bike descents.
The Native Hardtop Ultra XP was one of our favorite models when it came to comfort, sharing the top score of 8 out of 10. Most of this comfort came from the nose piece, which is completely adjustable and allows for the user to get a perfect fit. The temple are also low profile and don't create any uncomfortable hotspots, even when wearing them for extended periods of time. The fit is large and can accommodate people with wide faces.
Scores were very tightly packed in our lens quality testing. The Native Hardtop Ultra XP earned a 7 out of 10, putting it right in the middle of the pack. Its lenses were quite effective at reducing glare when looking our over water or snow, but in general left us squinting a bit more than other models on very bright days. Again, most of the lenses performed very similarly, so these are only minor differences that we are noting.
Frame build is the only thing that held the Native Hardtop Ultra XP back from earning an award, as it scored a mediocre 6 out of 10, putting it towards the bottom of the score sheet. The temples are flexible, so they'll bend rather than break, but feel flexible enough that they could get bent permanently. The hinges are also somewhat fragile and feel like they would wear out over time. If you're generally pretty good to your sunglasses these would likely last away, but they feel more likely to be damaged if you're the kind of person tends to toss your glasses around.
The case provided by Native was one of our favorites. Its semi-rigid structure is more rigid than most, and we had no problem throwing our glasses into the lid of a pack when protected by the case.
With a list price of $130, the Native Hardtop Ultra XP cost somewhere near the average for high performance sunglasses. However, because they don't feel as durable as some of the other models in the price range, we don't feel they are a particularly good value.
The Native Hardtop Ultra XP is a great pair of sunglasses that feels just a tad on the fragile side. If you tend to baby your gear they'll likely provide you with many years of great performance, but if you tend to be hard on equipment you may want to look for something a bit more durable.
— Max Mutter and Steven Tata