There are a few things that I have an obsessive love for, t-shirts are one, sunglasses are another.
At Outdoor Retailer, I got a chance to meet with the folks at Switch, makers of some rather nice sunglasses with a unique twist on the whole interchangeable lens system.
Okay, if you looked at the above logo, you know what their hook is. Instead of the standard warping the frame to almost force the lens in, or dealing with some hinge or pivoting lock system, Switch uses a magnetic interchange system.
When I first heard about Switch, I was initially skeptical, discounting them as a low-quality gimmick, that the lens would fall out of at the first sign of any bump. In fact, the parent company - Liberty Optical - has been in the lens-making business for over 85 years. They know their stuff.
As far as the lenses falling out, it ain't gonna happen. I've been wearing my pair for the past month, in all situations - including a high-speed jet boat ride down the Rouge river in Grant's Pass, OR - and they didn't budge. They use high-energy rare earth magnets embedded in the frame and the lenses and precisely shaped lens channels to securely hold the lenses in place.
And, since they are interchangeable lenses, they come with a second set of lenses, and a handy case to store your second set of lenses in, using the same magnetic system to keep them safe and scratch free.
Switch offers 21 different frame styles, from half frame styles that would look at home beneath your helmet, to full frame styles that honestly don't look like they would have interchangeable lenses. They also have several different lenses, from anti-glare polarized lenses, to sun readers (a section in the bottom of the lenses have a higher magnification power to help with reading maps, GPS, etc...) Prescription lenses are also available.
A Switch Kit - frame, two lenses (one polarized, or non-polarized, and one low light rose-amber lens) lens pod, and a microfiber cleaning cloth/bag will set you back $149. Additional lenses are $69.
Additional information can be found at www.switchvision.com.