Product Review: Rudy Project Rydon Carbonium

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Rudy Project Rydon Carbonium sunglasses to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!

For me, sunglasses are a necessity for running, especially in the summer. I hate squinting in the sun. I hate having to worry about bugs in my eyes. And I like that when I’m wearing sunglasses, no one can see the pain in my eyes as I suffer through a 10 mile run. Just kidding! No, but really, it’s nice not to have to worry about what my eyes are saying when I’m tired and hungry and just ready to be done. I can just smile and wave at other passers-by and they never know that I’m dying inside.

Unfortunately, I have a really bad track record with sunglasses. I lose them. I break them. I scratch them. I also have high cheekbones, so many times, sunglasses are too large, sit on my cheeks, and fog up like crazy when I get sweaty. Or, they’re too tight around my head and give me headaches.

When I found out I’d been selected to try the Rudy Project Rydons, I was VERY excited. Over the summer I had purchased a nice, moderately expensive pair of sunglasses, and broken them within a month. After that, I bought a cheesy pair of $10 specials from Walmart, which were not ideal, but the price was right. I had never had a really “nice” pair of sunglasses before, and was excited to see if they made a difference.

About the Rudy Project Rydons


The model I received is the Carbonium Impactx-2, with photochromic lenses that go from clear to “laser red.”

  • Photochromic transition lenses
  • 88 oz in weight
  • “Unbreakable” lenses
  • Prescription lenses available
  • Adjustable nose piece with anti-slip lock
  • Adjustable temples
  • 2 year warranty

They came with both a hard case and a soft drawstring bag, which is great. As I said above, I’m none too gentle with sunglasses, and the hard case means I can just toss them in my bag and go.

Photo Nov 23, 4 47 50 PM

My Experience with the Rydons

I will start by saying I’m amazed at how light these sunglasses are. It hardly feels like they’re there at all. They sit well on my face–they don’t rest on my cheeks, so I haven’t had any issues with them fogging up. I was worried that the straight stems would mean that the glasses wouldn’t stay put, or would slide off my face, but even bending over to tie shoelaces or stretch out, they stayed put.

My only criticism is that the stems are VERY long; so long that when I wear a winter hat with the glasses, the stems poke back awkwardly, and the hat actually almost pushes them off my face. However, I haven’t tried any adjustments to the temple pieces, and I may be able to minimize this issue with a few tweaks.

I will say, though, the transition lenses make up for any fault, real or imagined. It is SO convenient that the glasses can be used in a variety of conditions. One of my first runs in them was one of those days where the sun keeps sliding in and out from behind clouds. One moment, it was bright and sunny, and the next it was dark and gray. The transition lenses meant that I didn’t have to keep putting sunglasses on and taking them off to adapt to the different light levels.

Photo Dec 04, 8 52 34 AM

Right: Just stepped outside. Left: After a sunny day run.

The transition lenses also mean that I can wear the glasses in low light conditions just for protection from wind, rain, or bugs, and still be able to see clearly. I’ve used them not only for running, but for driving and just walking around, and they’re pretty excellent.

Unfortunately, these sunglasses are not cheap. Retail price is $274.99, and to be completely honest, I probably never would have purchased them for myself. Now that I own them, though, I’m pretty spoiled, and hopefully I’ll never have to replace them, because I LOVE them. As long as I take care of them, they will likely be the only sunglasses I’ll need for a loooong time.

If you’re on the fence, check out what my fellow BibRave Pros have to say about the Rudy Project:

Heather | Bonnie | Katherine

Do you wear sunglasses when you run?

6 thoughts on “Product Review: Rudy Project Rydon Carbonium

  1. allisonfiorini says:

    I wish they were a little cheaper! I NEED good sunglasses for running and biking. I have a cheap pair that are okay for biking but they are not great for running. In triathlons, I always want sunglasses on the run. I will add these to my wish list!

  2. Anna @ Piper's Run says:

    Those look sleek! I’m usually a non-sunglasses wearer when I run. I’ve even thrown my sunglasses to my husband before because I just couldn’t run with them. I’ve asked for a new pair for Christmas but they are mush less expensive then these ones 😉
    I’m looking forward to wearing them while I bike too – hate bugs in my eyes/face.

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