Several years ago, I was part of a special project working with Zeiss lenses. From that time, I’ve been enamored with their brand and the quality it represents. Koo Eyewear is a relative newcomer to the sunglasses space, but they chose to partner with Zeiss for lenses and produce their frames in Italy. So, from the outset, Koo has made, in my opinion, two great choices and what’s awesome is that their frames don’t cost what you’d expect. Quality optics and frames at a still-approachable price makes the new Koo Demos quite the package for cycling or running.
Koo Demos Sunglasses Features:
- Zeiss polycarbonate lens for optimum clarity
- Single-lens frame design for superb panoramic vision
- 4 vent ports to reduce fogging
- Anti-slip MEGOL temple and nose bridge
- Folding nose piece for proper fit
- Available in a variety of lens/frame colors (blue with turquoise lenses, 11% VLT tested)
- MSRP: $159-$169
Demos are big, huge and beautiful
I’m a fan of big, shield lenses for cycling. And, most of the time, I also prefer semi-rimless frames so nothing interferes with my vision and obstacles in my way. But, when the lenses are large enough, full-rimmed glasses can still make it on my nice list and the Koo Demos have done just that. As a new model, the Demos sits between the huge, angular Spectro and the semi-rimless Open Cube frames. My personal opinion is that the Demos sits right in that perfect Goldilocks sweet spot of lens size for proper coverage, protection and style.
The rage today is to have big, huge lenses for cycling. There’s little wonder why because the reasons are obvious. Those shields offer great eye protection from wind, sun and glare and offer a wide range of vision beyond what you’ll find with more traditional-framed or sized glasses.
For starters, let’s cover the foundation of Koo’s sunglasses. All models feature Italian-made frames and Carl Zeiss lenses. Zeiss lenses are renowned for optical clarity, quality and durability. When working on a project for Glasses.com years ago, we worked exclusively with Zeiss for our high-end eyeglasses. I have toured their factory and met their team and came away very impressed. Since that time, Zeiss lenses have remained at the top for me in regards to the best optical quality available.
While I’m personally sold on Zeiss lens tech, it didn’t take long for me to fall in love with the lenses that Koo has selected for the Demos. The blue testers feature the turquoise lenses with 11% VLT. They are dark enough for the brightest days, but not so dark to prevent their use on early morning adventures. Yes, ideally, I’d prefer something with a higher VLT for mornings, but overall, they remain an excellent choice — especially as the sun rises more fully.
Optical quality is impeccable from every conceivable angle and zero distortion even at the fringes of the lens. The lower rim is visible in your peripheral vision, but it’s not distracting and never interferes with the needs of high-speed mountain or road biking. Once on, they tend to disappear. In addition to road, gravel and mountain biking, I’ve been rocking the Demos for trail running and they are equally at home there as well. The best feature of the Koo Demos is that they stay put and simply disappear. I don’t think about them at all and that’s a sure sign of a great set of sunnies.
Additionally, the straight temples offer super grip and are just the right length to work well with a variety of helmets and running hats. Further, the adjustable nose pads are easily-adapted for various nose shapes. You can even add different pads for Asian fit or swap on the nose bridge that’s included, if that helps provide an improved fit.
Anti-fog performance is superb. I tend to be a fog machine and can fog up just about anything, but not these. I can generate a touch of fog right in the middle between my eyebrows, but even the slightest of movements eliminates that fog almost immediately. For the most part, the air movement allowed by the 4 vents is perfect, but on the coldest of mornings, my eyes have watered slightly due to the air movement. Honestly though, the fog-free performance here is worth it.
- Large shield design offers killer coverage
- Lens quality is superb (optics and anti-scratch)
- They clean up very easily with included cloth (or other soft cloth)
- Grippy rubber ensures they stay put
- Adjustable nose pieces for a personalized fit
- Almost 100% fog-free
- Frame helps protect lens edges
- Eyes can water on the coldest morning descents
- Like all large glasses, they can tap on the underside of your helmet brow on rough terrain (secure that lid properly, folks)
The Bottom Line: Koo Demos Sunglasses
Italian frames are the pinnacle of sunglass quality and performance. And, Zeiss lenses are some of the most renowned lenses on the planet. Combining those two, the Koo Demos sunglasses are a great option for wide field-of-vision and optical quality that stays put for road, gravel, mountain biking or trail running. And, they look on point — all at a reasonable price point.
Buy Now: Find them on Amazon