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Suncloud Rambler Review

A solid, versatile pair of comfortable shades that are easy to wear and pretty inexpensive
Suncloud Rambler
Photo: Amazon
Best Buy Award
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Price:  $55 List | Check Price at Amazon
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Lightweight, comfortable, secure, good balance, versatile, inexpensive
Cons:  Poor case, hinges loosen, small flaws in polarizing layer, no Rx available
Manufacturer:   Suncloud
By Maggie Brandenburg ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  May 13, 2020
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63
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 of 14
  • Lens Quality - 30% 6
  • Comfort - 25% 7
  • Frame Quality - 20% 5
  • Style and Versatility - 15% 7
  • Coverage - 10% 7

Our Verdict

The Suncloud Ramblers are a shockingly lightweight versatile pair of shades that cost a lot less than most of the competition and win our award for Best Buy on a Tight Budget. Their flexible bows provide a secure and comfortable fit, while classic rectangular lenses look good on just about everyone. The polycarbonate lenses aren't the most impressive around and have some flaws in the polarization layer, but we can't tell while wearing them. They offer great contrast and clarity that make them as useful in the car as on the water. And with a price tag that's just a small fraction of many others, these sunnies come with some great value.

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Suncloud Rambler
This Product
Suncloud Rambler
Awards Best Buy Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award  Top Pick Award 
Price Check Price on Amazon
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$209 List
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$141.71 at Backcountry
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$249.99 at Amazon
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$265 List
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Pros Lightweight, comfortable, secure, good balance, versatile, inexpensiveGreat clarity, excellent contrast with little color distortion, flexing frames, works for most facesExcellent protection, great clarity, extremely comfortable, good for active endeavors, good for many facesExcellent eye protection and coverage, durable design, great contrast with minimal color distortion, superb caseGreat lens clarity, universally flattering style, surprisingly comfortable, durable build, good eye protection
Cons Poor case, hinges loosen, small flaws in polarizing layer, no Rx availablePeripheral coverage not ideal, cleaner bag a little stiff, may be sporty-lookingDeveloped a slight lens defect, fit is less secure, coverage could be betterHeavy, large overall size and fit, expensiveNot polarized, heavy, large, case not overly protective, expensive
Bottom Line A versatile pair of well-performing, comfortable shades that are easy to like and fairly inexpensiveA top-notch combo of versatility, functionality, and styleExcellent protection and great comfort, though not totally perfectA great pair with excellent coverage and top-notch lens quality, but a bit heavyNot only do these sunglasses provide good eye protection, they also have swagger
Rating Categories Suncloud Rambler Kaenon Clarke Costa Del Mar Spearo Maui Jim Kahi Vuarnet District Medium Round
Lens Quality (30%)
6
9
8
9
7
Comfort (25%)
7
8
9
7
7
Frame Quality (20%)
5
9
8
8
8
Style And Versatility (15%)
7
7
7
6
9
Coverage (10%)
7
7
7
8
7
Specs Suncloud Rambler Kaenon Clarke Costa Del Mar Spearo Maui Jim Kahi Vuarnet District...
Lens Tested Brown Grey 12 Pacific Blue Mirror Blue Mirror HCL Bronze Brown Lynx
Ideal Activity everyday water sports water sports everyday everyday
Ideal Lens Light Conditions Medium to bright light Bright light Bright light Medium to bright light Medium to bright light
Polarized Yes Yes Yes Yes No, but it is available
Fit Medium Medium-Full Medium-Large Large Medium-Large
Weight (grams) 25g 29g 29g 40g 37g
UV Protection 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
Visible Light Transmission (VLT) 15% 12% 10% 15% 9%
VLT Protection Index cat 3 cat 3 cat 3 cat 3 cat 3
HEV/Blue Light Protection (claim) not specified not specified 100% 95% 97%
Infrared Protection (claim) 0% 0% 0% "infrared effective" 93%
Neutral/Contrast Increased contrast Increased contrast Increased contrast Increased contrast Increased contrast
Lens Material plastic polycarbonate plastic - "SR-91" polycarbonate glass - 580 Polarized (polycarbonate available) glass - "SuperThin Glass" glass - mineral glass
Impact Resistance Yes Yes No No Yes
Protective Coatings Anti-reflective Anti-reflective back, hydro-oleophobic, mirror Anti-scratch, hydro-oleaophobic, mirror Anti-reflective on front and back Anti-reflective back, silver bi-shade mirror
Can take prescription lens? No Yes Yes Yes No
Hinge type Standard/barrel Standard/barrel Spring/flex Spring/flex Standard/barrel
Case Included Soft/cleaning bag Rigid zippered and soft/cleaning bag Rigid zippered and soft/cleaning bag Hard rigid clam case and soft/cleaning bag Semi-rigid flex case and cleaning cloth

Our Analysis and Test Results

We tested the Suncloud Ramblers with Polarized Brown lenses designed for easy everyday use. They're a medium fit and come with a microfiber storage bag/cleaning cloth.

Performance Comparison


We're fans of these easy-to-love, inexpensive shades.
We're fans of these easy-to-love, inexpensive shades.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Lens Quality


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.

Polarized Brown Lenses
  • Polarized
  • 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

Polycarbonate lenses often don't offer as much clarity as glass lenses, but instead are impact resistant and lighter weight. Comparing these lenses to glass versions of other models we tested, we couldn't tell a difference in clarity and noticed no imperfections in the lenses that cause waves or any other visual distortions.


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 - but only when viewed through another pair of polarized lenses, not while we're wearing these sunglasses. They have anti-reflective coatings that help cut down visual distortion caused by reflections of objects around you onto the lenses. The Ramblers don'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.

Viewed through another pair of polarized lenses (in this case, held...
Viewed through another pair of polarized lenses (in this case, held up to the camera lens), you can see the minor polarization distortion in the Ramblers. This distortion is not detectable while you wear them though.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Brown lenses are frequently recommended for high contrast vision, but not all brown lenses are the same. The Ramblers are a medium shade of brown that increases the vibrancy and contrast of the world around you without casting too strong of shadows that interfere with your vision in lower light situations. They don't offer any blue light blockage or infrared blockage but do a solid job with the visible light spectrum. They're about in the middle of the pack when it comes to how much light they let in, meaning they might feel slightly too light on ultra-sunny days on the water or slightly too dark as the sun sets during your westward drive. Overall, they're a very pleasant shade, color, and darkness to wear in most conditions.

Polarized lenses are ideal for cutting out glare while driving or on...
Polarized lenses are ideal for cutting out glare while driving or on the water and brown lenses increase contrast.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Comfort


The Ramblers are lightweight, well-balanced, and pretty comfortable to wear. Tipping the scales at just 25 grams, they're some of the lightest sunglasses we tested. They're a versatile medium fit with small non-slip Megol nose pads. The bows are thin and flexible, easily accommodating the majority of face shapes, from narrow to wide. They also provide a small level of security, slightly gripping the sides of your head without being so tight they create uncomfortable aches after wearing them all day.


Their balance point is just behind the hinges, helping them to sit comfortably on your face without feeling like they're pulling on your ears or sliding down your nose. Several testers reported they touch eyebrows and cheeks if pushed all the way up, but that they're more comfortable to wear just slightly farther down, where they don't touch the rest of your face (besides your nose and behind your ears, of course). We're pleasantly surprised by how many different sizes and shapes of faces are able to wear these shades comfortably all day.

These lightweight, well-balanced shades are easy to put on and relax...
These lightweight, well-balanced shades are easy to put on and relax in.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Frame Quality


Our Ramblers 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. Suncloud also backs these glasses with a lifetime manufacturer's warranty - though that doesn't include any scratches or breakage you may inflict, just errors in their materials or workmanship. 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 just standard, barrel hinges, and not spring or flex hinges. Since the bows are flexible, we don't hold the lack of flex hinges against these glasses, but we're still not wowed by their performance.

The Megol nose pads are much smaller than most other models we...
The Megol nose pads are much smaller than most other models we tested, though still large enough to get the job done.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

During the several months of testing, the hinges worked themselves loose - and unevenly so. Just by regular use and normal folding and unfolding, the hinges needed tightening. And in fact, we read numerous reports online of other users encountering the same issue with their Ramblers. 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.

Flexible bows rather than spring hinges keep these shades spry...
Flexible bows rather than spring hinges keep these shades spry. However, we found ourselves needing to tighten the screws much more often than we'd anticipated.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

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 actually like how these glasses look and would wear them as everyday casual shades. They seem to work just as well on narrow or wide faces and angular or round faces, which is a pretty solid achievement for a pair of sunglasses.


They are a bit on the sportier side of "everyday casual", and we think 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 Rambles have a pretty wide aesthetic appeal and are well-liked...
The Rambles have a pretty wide aesthetic appeal and are well-liked by our diverse testing team.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Coverage


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 your face, offering more protection than a flat pair without being as stifling as a full wraparound set. The Rambler's 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 your peripheral vision.


We had several testers put these sunglasses on and shake their heads vigorously to see if they could dislodge them. 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. The Ramblers sit close enough to your face to offer decent protection from the sun and even moderate protection from dirt without making you feel like you're wearing goggles.

With wide, tall lenses, the Ramblers offer solid coverage without...
With wide, tall lenses, the Ramblers offer solid coverage without compromising their stylish appeal.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Case Quality


Though we don't score this metric, it's always good to know what comes with your sunglasses before you get them. In the Ramblers' case, we're not impressed. They come with just a simple storage bag/cleaner bag, 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 the lenses clean. And if you want a hard case, you'll have to buy that separately.

The Ramblers come with just a little cleaner bag - that...
The Ramblers come with just a little cleaner bag - that, unfortunately, doesn't do a very good job cleaning off fingerprints and eyebrow grease.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Value


The Suncloud Ramblers are one of the least expensive sunglasses we reviewed, but are far from our least favorite option. Even among competitors costing up to 6 times as much, these shades are still pretty solid. They may not be the best sunglasses money can buy, but they're good enough for most everyday use - and cost a heck of a lot less.

Despite some flaws, these glasses are still pretty impressive for...
Despite some flaws, these glasses are still pretty impressive for how inexpensive they are among some very stiff competition.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Conclusion


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 solid choice for everyday glasses and are much cheaper than most the competition. In fact, we'd happily pay more for these glasses, making them a great value buy and our Best Buy for a Tight Budget Award winners.

Even your dog looks cool in these.
Even your dog looks cool in these.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Maggie Brandenburg