PaddleXaminer was introduced to a new eyewear company at the winter OR in Denver called Blenders Eyewear. They are based in sunny San Diego California where you need a pair of shades almost everyday! What started out as a side hustle by the founder, selling shades out of his backpack while working as a surf coach, turned into a full-fledged company offering stylish and adventurous shades!
Paddlexaminer tested three pairs of sunglasses from Blenders:
Photo: Blenders Red Strike sunglasses.
The Spider Jet sunglasses are Blenders take on the classic aviator style, think Top Gun. Bold and black with stainless steel frame, polarized lenses, and a microfiber pouch. The Spider Jet is part of the A-series, nine in total, from Blenders which sport the aviator frames. I like this pair for running around town or on the water cruising around on a lake.
The Red Strike sunglasses are part of Blenders Canyon Collection. The black frames are contrasted by the fire-red mirror, polarized lenses. I love wearing these shades on the water while paddling at Chatfield Reservoir south of Denver. They are extremely durable sunglasses as I’ve dropped them a few times and they barely have a scratch on them!
Lastly, Black Tundra. These are exactly what you would expect. Black lenses, black frames, you can’t get more black on these sunglasses! When I first saw these shades my mind immediately went to images of The Terminator with Arnold Schwarzenegger, yes another 80’s movie! The Black Tundra comes with the popular smoke lenses. These shades are great for just about anything: paddling, backpacking, or driving around town!
None of these shades are recommended for whitewater paddling unless you are using a sunglasses strap and don’t mind losing them. Make sure the sunglasses are compatible with your helmet. The first priority when paddling whitewater is having a secure helmet. In my case my helmet fits nice and snug, unfortunately there’s no room to fit shades with my helmet. I’ve talked a number of whitewater paddlers about wearing shades or not; it comes down to personal preference. Some people like them to protect against sun glare while others find they get in the way.
I love the three pairs of Blenders eyewear I’ve been using over the last few months. I’ve had numerous people ask me where I got them and I tell them, Blenders!