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goodr Circle Gs Polarized Review

A neat throwback style, though not our preferred version of it, as they're a bit too small
goodr Circle Gs Polarized
Photo: goodr
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Price:  $25 List | $25.00 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Polarized, good light protection, very lightweight, retro style
Cons:  Inwardly reflective lenses, narrow frame, less versatile fit
Manufacturer:   goodr
By Maggie Brandenburg ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Jun 9, 2021
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42
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#13 of 15
  • Lens Quality - 30% 4
  • Comfort - 25% 4
  • Style and Versatility - 20% 4
  • Frame Quality - 15% 6
  • Coverage - 10% 3

Our Verdict

The goodr Circle Gs are another pair of small, circular shades lacking in a few details. They have polarized lenses with solid protection against bright and harsh lighting. We love how lightweight they are, and their matte finish helps to hold them tight on the head. However, the lenses are exceptionally reflective on the backs, reflecting our facial pores back at us when wearing them. They're also very narrow, even on our most slender-headed testers. And the tortoise frame we tested is so dark it almost looks black. Still, there are other colors available and their low price makes them a tempting option for lovers of very small shades.

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Pros Polarized, good light protection, very lightweight, retro styleGreat lens quality, excellent gradient, very comfortable, versatile style, good caseGreat contrast, comfortable, easy style to loveProtective lenses, good contrast, secure fit, versatile use across lighting and activitiesBold style, great narrow fit, adjustable nose pads, good protection, sturdy build, cool case
Cons Inwardly reflective lenses, narrow frame, less versatile fitNot polarized, may be loose on top of headA bit small, translucent frame magnifies light, expensiveMay be tight, mirror lenses collect smudges, case is a poor cleanerNarrow fit, not great directly into sun
Bottom Line A neat throwback style, though not our preferred version of it, as they're a bit too smallExcellent quality shades that are protective and stylish, offering top-notch quality for a reasonable priceThese are great quality sunglasses with excellent contrast and a superb face feelA sporty yet chic pair of cute, comfortable shades that can keep up with you from casual brunches to afternoon hikesA great set of aviators for smaller faces with good protection and a brazen style
Rating Categories goodr Circle Gs Polarized Ray-Ban Erika Maui Jim Honi Smith Caper Chromapop Costa del Mar Fernandina
Lens Quality (30%)
4
8
9
8
7
Comfort (25%)
4
9
8
8
7
Style And Versatility (20%)
4
8
8
8
9
Frame Quality (15%)
6
9
7
8
8
Coverage (10%)
3
8
8
7
4
Specs goodr Circle Gs... Ray-Ban Erika Maui Jim Honi Smith Caper... Costa del Mar...
Lens Tested Nine Dollar Pour Over Grey Gradient Blue HCL Bronze Opal Mirror ChromaPop Green Mirror 580P
Polarized Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Fit Narrow Standard Narrow Medium Narrow/Small
Weight (grams) 19g 22g 35g 27g 32g
UV Protection 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
Visible Light Transmission (VLT) Not specified Not specified 12% 15% 10%
VLT Protection Index Not specified Cat 3 Cat 3 Cat 3 Cat 3
HEV/Blue Light Protection (claim) None None "HEV reduction" None 100% HEV blockage
Infrared Protection (claim) None None None None None
Neutral/Contrast Increased contrast Neutral Increased contrast Increased contrast Increased contrast
Lens Material Triacetate cellulose Polycarbonate SuperThin glass Carbonic Mineral glass
Impact Resistance Yes Yes No Yes No
Protective Coatings Anti-scratch None Anti-reflective, anti-scratch, hydroleophobic Anti-reflective,hydroleophobic resistance, mirror coating C-WALL (anti-scratch and hydroleophobic), mirror
Can take prescription lens? No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Hinge type Standard Standard Flex Standard Standard
Case Included Yes; microfiber bag Yes; semi-rigid snapshell case and microfiber cleaning cloth Yes; rigid triangular collapsible case, microfiber cleaning cloth Yes; microfiber bag Yes; cork box, microfiber bag

Our Analysis and Test Results

We tested the goodr Circle Gs with the Nine Dollar Pour Over lenses. They're a Narrow fit and come with a microfiber drawstring case.

Performance Comparison


Driving with these polarized lenses.
Driving with these polarized lenses.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Lens Quality


The Nine Dollar Pour Over lenses we tested are a fairly dark shade of brown, making them a decent choice in medium to bright lighting. They're polarized too, adding a little extra protection against glare. They add some contrast, helping brighter colors — especially greens — look even brighter.

Nine Dollar Pour Over Lenses
  • Polarized
  • 100% UV Protection
  • Unspecified Visible Light Transmission (Category 3)
  • 0% HEV/Blue Light Blockage, 0% Infrared Blockage
  • Color: Brown, Material: Triacetate Cellulose
  • Anti-Scratch, Impact Resistant

They're a tad dark for lower light situations or when the lighting is changing on a partly cloudy day. Where they really fall short though, is when it comes to reflections. They are intensely reflective on the backs of the lenses, allowing you to easily see every detail of every pore on your face. With light coming in over the tops of the lenses, we could even see the features of our own eyeballs. Despite having otherwise pleasant lenses, this level of reflection is rather disappointing.

The lenses are a touch dark but work pretty well in bright lighting...
The lenses are a touch dark but work pretty well in bright lighting - if you can ignore the glare.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Comfort


Weighing just 19 grams, the goodr Circle Gs are some of the lightest glasses we tested. On smaller faces, this lightness is appreciated and feels easy to wear. However, these Narrow frames are very narrow — almost too narrow for one of our testers who regularly has to get her glasses in children's sizes because her face is so small. Though the bows are flexible, they're also a bit slender, allowing them to dig into the skin over the ears during long-term wear. The matte coating helps them to stay in place but is a little too sticky-feeling, making them less comfortable to put on and take off.

These flexible frames fit best on narrow heads.
These flexible frames fit best on narrow heads.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Style and Versatility


These glasses lose some versatility points for how incredibly small and narrow they are. However, if the size isn't offputting to you, they offer a pretty neat blend of retro and modern. The particular color combination we tested is meant to have tortoise frames, but in most situations are so dark they actually appear black. We tested other glasses with a similar shape, and find these less appealing than the others.

Getting ready to head out on a snowy high country hike.
Getting ready to head out on a snowy high country hike.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Frame Quality


These frames are made of plastic polycarbonate and are very flexible, especially the bows. They have standard three-barrel hinges that are integrated sections of the polycarbonate frame pieces and held together by a screw. They feel pretty durable, with the extra flexibility adding a nice touch and a small boost in confidence that they'll be able to withstand daily wear.

The Circle Gs have very flexible frames.
The Circle Gs have very flexible frames.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Coverage


Small lenses in small frames aren't a great recipe for maximum coverage. The Circle Gs also sit a bit higher on the nose, allowing light to enter from just about every side of the lenses. That said, wearing them close to the face does offer reasonable overhead protection from the sun. Their combination of shockingly low weight, fairly secure-gripping frames, and nearly-sticky matte finish kept them pretty firmly planted on our faces even when sweaty.

These small glasses are a bit light on coverage.
These small glasses are a bit light on coverage.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Case Quality


The Circle Gs come with just a simple microfiber bag with a double drawstring top. It also works to clean the lenses.

They come with a simple microfiber bag.
They come with a simple microfiber bag.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Value


With a pretty low price tag, the Circle Gs are an appealing buy. However, we find them to be so small that they're difficult for many to enjoy wearing for long periods and they don't offer quite what we want in terms of actual sun protection.

Conclusion


The goodr Circle Gs are a very lightweight pair of retro-style shades. They have highly self-reflective lenses with limited coverage, making them not a great choice for quality protection from intense sunlight. Still, they offer a very small take on an interesting style for a low price that may just fit into your fashion lineup.

A bit narrow and a bit dark but an interesting style, for sure.
A bit narrow and a bit dark but an interesting style, for sure.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Maggie Brandenburg