Kaenon X-Kore Sunglasses Review

Kaenon X-Kore Sunglasses Review

If given a choice in eyewear, 9 times out of 10 I will select any number of Kaenon sunglasses I have accumulated. Every pair features industry-leading polarized optics that simply blow away everything else I’ve tried. I’ll toss the new X-Kore into that same group as they have been fantastic throughout my extensive testing.

Kaenon X-Kore Sunglasses Features:

  • Frame Material: Lightweight, flexible Swiss-made TR-90 frame material
  • Lens Base Curve: 8 base curve
  • Hinge: Internal stainless steel pivot joint
  • Lens Material: Kaenon SR-91® Polarized Lens
  • Lens Tints: Grey (G12, G28), Copper (C12, C28, C50), Yellow (Y35)
  • Face Size: Medium to full
  • Nose Pads: Hypoallergenic recessed Variflex™ nose pads
  • Temple Pads: Variflex™ ear grips
  • Case Type: Hard case and soft micro-fiber cleaning bag
  • Manufacturer Warranty: 1 year, Lifetime SR-91® Lens Warranty
  • Designed in California, Made in Italy
  • MSRP: $249

Kaenon X-Kore Sunglasses Review

Kaenon X-Kore Adds to Sporty Collection

Several years ago, I first tried on a pair of Kaenon sunglasses. I’ll call it my “Blue Blockers” moment. You remember those commercials where a $10 pair of glasses made people on the street go, “WOW”? If you don’t, YouTube it, my friends. For those who are with me on this, you know that no $10 sunglasses can even come close to the real “WOW” you get when slipping on a pair of Kaenon’s.

The SR-91 polarized lens offers unsurpassed optical clarity and comes in a variety of lens colors for just the right amount of light transmission for your chosen adventures. It’s no wonder that many Major League Baseball players are choosing Kaenon on the field and in the batter’s box — the optical clarity is simply unmatched. Put on a pair and you’ll instantly feel your eyes relax and experience an extra level of clarity you’ve likely never had before.

Kaenon X-Kore Sunglasses Review - Graphite/Yellow C12

Several years ago, I recall mountain biking with a pair of polarized sunglasses from another big-name brand. After a single ride, I swore never again to ride with polarized sunglasses. The “rainbow effect” was horribly distracting and made it difficult to focus on the twisty, turny singletrack I was riding. Shortly after that, I got my first pair of Kaenon polarized sunglasses and have since changed my mind — at least for Kaenon’s.

The X-Kore rounds out the Kore lineup at an even four models (Kore, Hard Kore, Soft Kore and X-Kore) and adds a little more shape to the line in addition to the largest lens coverage of the bunch. Like the Hard Kore, the X-Kore features straight temples. This is great for most activities and provides a secure fit (particularly with a newly-shaved noggin), but does interfere with helmets and running hats.

Kaenon X-Kore Sunglasses - Road Biking

X-Kore’s are Great for Multiple Activities

I split my time wearing the X-Kore between trail running, mountain biking and road biking. Each discipline was well-suited to the lenses and fit of these glasses. Once situated, they stayed put throughout my rides and always delivered crisp optics. I will say that you can’t completely eliminate the polarized “rainbow effect” under all conditions and I did find that just after rain or when riding past a shiny patch of tar, it would appear. Outside of those conditions, I enjoyed the benefits of polarized lenses without noticing they were polarized.

On one occasion, I went to a nearby creek to check out a fishing hole. These cut glare on water extremely well. If you regularly participate in water activities, you’ll most certainly appreciate the crisp optics and anti-glare of Kaenon’s SR-91 lens.

The full wrap of the 8-base lenses provide exceptional coverage — even when pushing full-tilt. The anti-fog coating on the inside does a fair job at reducing fogging, but doesn’t eliminate it when pushing hard under the right conditions.

The frames in particular have been very durable and have maintained their fit after repeated use. I’m a fan of half-rim sunglasses for cycling because of the improved peripheral vision and these fit that requirement nicely with a wide field-of-vision. The scratch-resistant coating has also staved off scratches that would otherwise reduce optical clarity.

I tested the G12 lenses and typically find that lens tint to be a little darker than I would prefer. These were great in most conditions, but my preference is the C28 lens for all-around mountain biking, road biking and trail running here in Utah.

The Good

  • Once again, SR-91 lens shines (tested G12)
  • Some of the best optical clarity you’ll experience
  • Excellent wrap-around design offers full coverage
  • Grippy rubber keeps things put

The Bad

  • Straight temples can interfere with helmets and hats
  • Love it or hate it styling

The Bottom Line

Expanding the Kore lineup to include a full-coverage lens makes sense. With three varieties of lenses, the X-Kore comes in as the best choice for cycling — if your helmet obliges. I’ve yet to find a pair of polarized lenses that offers the optical clarity and color enhancement you’ll find with Kaenon’s SR-91 lens.

Buy Now: Visit Kaenon.com

Written By

A Seattle native, Jason developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 --sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground. Follow Jason Mitchell on Google+.