The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

POC DO Half Blade Review

POC's Do Half Blade boasts quality optics by Zeiss with ample coverage and wind protection for high velocity applications.
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Price:  $260 List | $207.96 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Good coverage, lens suitable for a wide range of light conditions
Cons:  Expensive for one lens, weird case
Manufacturer:   POC
By Jeremy Benson ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Feb 22, 2019
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81
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#5 of 11
  • Lens Quality - 25% 9
  • Comfort - 25% 8
  • Coverage - 25% 8
  • Frame Quality - 15% 8
  • Style and Versatility - 10% 6

Our Verdict

The Do Half Blade is a quality performance sunglass for high-velocity activities made by the Swedish company POC. It has a half-frame design with ample coverage and a wrap around style that provides excellent eye protection. They are lightweight and comfortable with hydrophilic rubber on the arms and the adjustable nose pad that holds them in place quite well. POC has teamed up with Zeiss for their spherical polycarbonate lenses that provide excellent optical clarity with no distortion and wide field of view. The Brown/Electric Mirror lens we tested has a 21.7% VLT which we found to work well in a range of light conditions. There was little we didn't like about the Do Half Blade except for the price. They are the most expensive model we tested, and they come with only one lens. That said, if you're looking for a pair of glasses for mountain or road biking to round out your kit, we think these are a great option if you can justify the expense.


Compare to Similar Products

 
This Product
POC DO Half Blade
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award   
Price $207.96 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$249.99 at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
$241.99 at Amazon$245.00 at Backcountry$223.00 at REI
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Pros Good coverage, lens suitable for a wide range of light conditionsExcellent eye protection and coverage, durable design, great contrast with minimal color distortion, superb caseExcellent optics, good wind protection, 2 lenses included, easy lens changes, quality storage caseGreat lens clarity, universally flattering style, surprisingly comfortable, durable build, good eye protectionExcellent optics, storage case, modern style, good eye protection
Cons Expensive for one lens, weird caseHeavy, large overall size and fit, expensiveExpensive, you have to take off arms to put them in their caseNot polarized, heavy, large, case not overly protective, expensiveExpensive, only comes with one lens
Bottom Line POC's Do Half Blade boasts quality optics by Zeiss with ample coverage and wind protection for high velocity applications.The Kahis are a high-performing pair of shades with great coverage and exceptional lens quality.The Smith Attack Max checks all of our boxes and takes home our Editor's Choice Award.These shades are protective, clear, and very cool.The Oakley Flight jacket has a unique style, excellent optics, and good coverage.
Rating Categories POC DO Half Blade Maui Jim Kahi Smith Attack Max Vuarnet District Medium Round Oakley Flight Jacket
Lens Quality (25%)
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Comfort (25%)
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Coverage (25%)
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Frame Quality (15%)
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Style And Versatility (10%)
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Specs POC DO Half Blade Maui Jim Kahi Smith Attack Max Vuarnet District... Oakley Flight Jacket
Lens Tested Black 10.0 HCL Bronze Chromapop Red Mirror Brown Lynx Prizm Road
Ideal Activity road cycling, mountain biking everyday road cycling, mountain biking, running everyday road cycling, mountain biking, running
Ideal Lens Light Conditions Medium to bright light Medium to bright light Chromapop Red Mirror: Bright light Chromapop Contrast Rose: Low to Medium light Medium to bright light Medium to bright light
Polarized No Yes No No, but it is available No
Fit Medium-Large Large Medium-Large Medium-Large Medium-Large
Weight (grams) 30 40 32 37 33
UV Protection 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
Visible Light Transmission (VLT) 21.7% 15% 15% 9% 20%
VLT Protection Index cat 3 cat 3 cat 3 cat 3 cat 2
HEV/Blue Light Protection Unknown 95% 100% 97% 100%
Infrared Protection Unknown "infrared effective" 0% 93% 0%
Number of Lenses Included 1 1 2 1 1
Neutral/Contrast Neutral Increased contrast Increased contrast Increased contrast Increased contrast
Lens Material plastic - polycarbonate glass - "SuperThin Glass" plastic - Carbonic glass - mineral glass plastic - "Plutonite" polycarbonate
Lens Type spherical unspecified spherical unspecified spherical
Impact Resistance Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Protective Coatings anti-fog & ripel coating Anti-reflective on front and back Hydroleophobic coating Anti-reflective back, silver bi-shade mirror Iridium coating
Can take prescription lens? No Readers only No No No
Hinge type standard/barrel Spring/flex standard/barrel Standard/barrel standard/barrel
Case Included Hard plastic case and soft cleaning/storage bag Hard rigid clam case and soft/cleaning bag Rigid zippered case and soft cleaning/storage bag Semi-rigid flex case and cleaning cloth Rigid zippered case and soft cleaning/storage bag

Our Analysis and Test Results

POC has been making quality eyewear for a number of years and has been steadily growing their product offerings and market share. The POC Do Half Blade is one such model which, according to POC, is designed specifically for road cycling.

We tested them during all manner of active pursuits, including trail running, road biking, and mountain biking over the course of several months in conditions ranging from late summer heat too early winter cold. They are a bit pricey, the most expensive model in our test, but we found them to offer excellent eye protection, good optical clarity, and a comfortable fit. Read on to see how they compare to the competition.

Performance Comparison


Testing the Do Half Blade while mountain biking in the Sierra Nevada foothills.
Testing the Do Half Blade while mountain biking in the Sierra Nevada foothills.

Lens Quality


The Do Half Blade comes with a quality spherical polycarbonate lens by Zeiss optics. Zeiss is an industry leader in lenses, and it shows in the impressive clarity and distortion free optics of the Brown/Electic Mirror lens we tested. With a 21.7% VLT, testers found this lens to be highly versatile. It's good for a large range of light conditions and even handles sudden changes from light to dark better than expected. The lens has a light reflective coating and, despite regular wear and tear on many mountain bike rides, and in transport, they look good as new with no scratches or scuffs.

Testers liked the Brown/Electric Mirror lens we tested. With a 21.7% VLT  it was versatile and handled rapidly changing light conditions well.
Testers liked the Brown/Electric Mirror lens we tested. With a 21.7% VLT, it was versatile and handled rapidly changing light conditions well.

The polycarbonate lens is impact resistant and protects from 100% of harmful UV rays. We found the optical clarity of the POC's lens quite good, but testers felt it was outperformed by the lenses of the Smith Attack Max and the Oakley Flight Jacket.

Both the Smith and the Oakley lenses do a better job of enhancing contrast thanks to their Prizm and Chromapop technologies. Testers felt the Do Half Blade's lens was of similar quality to the 100% Speedcraft and better than that of the Julbo Aero.

Comfort


The Do Half Blade is undoubtedly a comfortable pair of sunglasses. There isn't anything especially noteworthy about them, you just put them on, and they seem to fade into the background. At only 30g they are very lightweight, a couple grams lighter than most of the other performance models, but 6g heavier than the Julbo Aero. P

OC has incorporated hydrophilic rubber inserts into the ends of the arms and on the adjustable nose pad. These hold the glasses in place very well, even when wet with sweat. The nose pad is hydrophilic rubber. Inside the wings is a thin metal strip that you can bend side to side and fore and aft to personalize the fit for your nose shape.

The adjustable rubber nose pad on the Do Half Blade can be adjusted side to side and fore and aft to dial in the fit to your liking.
The adjustable rubber nose pad on the Do Half Blade can be adjusted side to side and fore and aft to dial in the fit to your liking.

The Do Half Blade has a very pronounced curved wrap around style, and they fit quite close to the face. The lens or the frame may make contact with some people's faces, on the brow or the cheeks. Our primary tester didn't have any issues, but he could feel his eyebrow hair make contact with the frame almost all of the time.

This wrap-around style and the large coverage of the lens does provide excellent protection from the wind, which enhances the wearer's comfort while moving at high speeds. Overall, testers found them to offer a similar level of comfort to that of the Oakley Flight Jacket, though they couldn't quite match the Smith Attack Max or the Julbo Aero, which have more refined fits and higher comfort levels.

Coverage


The Do Half Blade provides a high degree of eye protection. They have a wrap around style that fits quite close to the face and protects the eyes well from flying debris and wind. We measured the lens at 135mm wide and 50mm tall, which is smaller than some of the competition but still provides more than enough coverage for most applications.

That coverage combined with the wrap around style covers the eyes impressively well and doesn't allow light to shine in from the top or the sides. Like most modern lenses, the polycarbonate spherical Zeiss lenses provide 100% protection from harmful forms of UV light. They are also impact resistant.

The Do Half Blade has good coverage and a very curved wrap around style that provides a high level of eye protection.
The Do Half Blade has good coverage and a very curved wrap around style that provides a high level of eye protection.

When compared to other glasses in this review, the Do Half Blade is about middle of the pack in terms of coverage and eye protection. They are just a hair smaller than the Oakley Flight Jacket or the Smith Attack Max with roughly the same wrap around curvature. The massive lens of the 100% Speedcraft dwarfs them all, with the most coverage in the entire fleet. In contrast, the Julbo Aero has the least coverage and a lens design that promotes airflow and provides the least protection from the wind.

Frame


The frame of the Do Half Blade appears to be of good quality with a half frame design and wrap-around style. The injected Grilamid plastic frame wraps around the spherical lens from one side to the other across the top, while the lower half of the lens is frameless. The nose piece is attached to the main portion of the frame with a small bridge, and the adjustable hydrophilic rubber nose pad is affixed to the plastic nosepiece with a small screw.

The folding arms are attached to the outermost edges of the frame with simple hinges. The arms are widest where they meet the frame and taper towards their ends. The arms are also flared by the temples, so there is more room for air to circulate or to accommodate a helmet strap. The arms have small strips of hydrophilic rubber at their ends which help hold them in place even when they are wet.

The unique half-frame design of the Do Half Blade.
The unique half-frame design of the Do Half Blade.

The hydrophilic rubber nose pad is adjustable and can be bent to shape to accommodate for varying nose sizes and shapes. Inside the rubber nose pad is a thin strip of metal. Changing its shape is as simple as bending the wings in or out with your fingers.

The shape of the frame, specifically the length of the arms and the way they are positioned lower on the lens is designed specifically to work with POC bike helmets. We just happened to have a POC Tectal helmet on hand while testing. We found them to work well, while other model's arms made contact with that helmet by the temples.

There is minimal rubber on the arms  but it works quite well to keep these glasses where you want them.
There is minimal rubber on the arms, but it works quite well to keep these glasses where you want them.

The frame's design seems quite thoughtful, and of good quality, it doesn't feel quite as robust as the frames on the Oakley Flight Jacket or the 100% Speedcraft. It does feel more durable than the super light frame of the Julbo Aero, plus it has a more adjustable nose pad. The frame design is quite different from that of the Smith Attack Max which is virtually frameless and optimized for quick lens changes.

Style


The Do Half Blade has a distinctive look with a big spherical lens, half-frame design, and rounded edges. It's definitely sporty, but the Thaum Red frame and Brown/Electric Mirror lens we tested give these glasses a less flashy appearance than the other performance sunglass models we tested. There are other brighter in your face frame and lens combinations available, but our test model was the most subtle in our test selection.

Despite the more understated styling and colors of the Do Half Blade, they are still most at home on a bike with a helmet on your head. Of course, you can wear these glasses anywhere and anytime you want. They just have a more cycling appropriate look to them.

These are little less flashy than the competition  but they've still got a distinctive sporty look.
These are little less flashy than the competition, but they've still got a distinctive sporty look.

Case Quality


POC is known for making unique products that often have interesting futuristic designs. This contemporary design aesthetic has permeated all of their products and has infiltrated their packaging and even the case of the Do Half Blade. When you open the box that the glasses come in you may be surprised to find an oblong hard plastic case that is half white and half clear.

The case comes apart in two halves and separates in the middle by simply pulling them apart. The opaque half of the case is lined with soft, open cell foam and holds the glasses securely when not in use. In addition to this case, a microfiber storage and cleaning bag is also provided.

The unique case of the Do Half Blade.
The unique case of the Do Half Blade.

While this case is certainly eye-catching and somewhat cool looking, it's less practical than the zippered hard cases that come with competitors like the Oakley Flight Jacket, 100% Speedcraft, or the Smith Attack Max.

For basic storage purposes at home or in your car, it works just fine, but due to the ease of separating the two halves of the case, it isn't ideal for stashing them in your pack, luggage, or gear bag. If this case were to be bumped around it seems like it could shatter or come apart, leaving your glasses susceptible to damage. Our testers prefer the security and convenience of the zippered cases, especially for glasses that come with two lenses, like the Attack Max or the Speedcraft.

Best Applications


The Do Half Blade is a great performance sunglass for high-velocity activities like road or mountain biking. They have ample coverage and a wrap around style that provides good protection for the eyes. The Brown/Electric Mirror lens we tested has a 21.7% VLT, which provides excellent optical clarity and is suitable for a wide range of light conditions. If you already own a POC cycling helmet, you may also enjoy the fact that their frame shape has been optimized to fit with those helmets.

Value


At a retail price of $260 for the model we tested, the Do Half Blade is the most expensive performance model in this review. While we do think they have excellent optics, good eye protection, and provide a high degree of comfort, it is hard to call them a great value.

This becomes even more evident when compared to a model like the Smith Attack Max which has similar performance but comes with two quality lenses and a zippered hard case, plus you have enough money left over to buy yourself a post-ride six pack. If you seek the best value, then we'd suggest checking out the 100% Speedcraft, which boasts even more coverage and comes with two lenses for varying light conditions and a quality hard case and are offered for approximately 25% less.

The Half Blade's are great performance glasses. We just like the other options better.
The Half Blade's are great performance glasses. We just like the other options better.

Conclusion


The Do Half Blade is a great pair of performance sunglasses, but they were outperformed in this test. They are lightweight and comfortable with good optics and eye protection. They are also the most expensive performance model in this review. While we would be happy to wear these glasses for just about any athletic pursuit, we'd be hard pressed to recommend them before other higher performing models that cost less.

Other Versions and Accessories


POC makes a modest range of sunglasses for both casual and performance uses. In addition to the Do Half Blade model we tested, they make a Do Blade which has a very similar look but has a frame all the way around the lens. Both models are available in the standard lens we tested or with POC's Clarity lenses.

The Do Half Blade comes in six different frame color options including the Thaum Red we tested and they range in price from $230-$280 depending on the color and corresponding lens.

Replacement lenses are available and there are four options, Clear, Black, Light Blue/Electric Mirror, and Green/Green Mirror that range in price from $50-$70. There are six different replacement Clarity lenses available which range in price from $60-$70.


Jeremy Benson