Review: 100% S3 Sport Sunglasses
Loud and proud, 100%'s new S3 Sport sunglasses provide ample coverage and comfortable fit with aesthetics for those who aren't too shy.
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I giggle a little bit every time I put these glasses on. I can’t help it; they’re bright pink and massive. 100% tends to get away with this look, which has taken over cycling, and I’m happy it has. We can all stand to take ourselves a little less seriously, can’t we?
The S3 Sport Sunglasses jump all over the “look at me” aesthetics. They own it, in fact. And while they may look flashy for flashy’s sake, the S3 Sports also pack in a lot of the features that make 100% glasses useful: lots of coverage, low bulk, and slick lenses that make road features pop. Okay, so they look like glasses I’d love to hate; but I love them, despite myself.
If the S3 Sport glasses look familiar to you, that’s because they’re essentially an amalgamation of the S2 glasses and the Speedcrafts. The Italian-made frames mate to the top of the lens. A lower frame attaches to the bottom of the lens over the nose, creating venting similar to that of the Speedcraft. The nosepiece itself isn’t adjustable, but it’s plenty flexible to accommodate any nose shape or size.
The earpieces look and feel identical to those on the S2 sunglasses. And while the top of the frames looks similar to the S2 frames, the S3 Sport frames extend vertically a bit more. Gone, too, is the plastic bridge that runs from the top of the S2 frames to the bridge of the nose.
Like other models in the 100% lineup, the S3 Sports include an Ultra-HD lens. Our test glasses came with 100%’s Hiper lens, which helps draw out contrast so you can see road obstacles better. This is a worthwhile upgrade; while Oakley’s Prizm lenses remain the gold standard here, the Hiper lenses perform admirably. Cracks and divots pop more with these lenses and transitioning from light to shadow presents less of a problem through the Hiper lenses.
Despite the big footprint, the S3 Sports are pretty light at 33 grams. That’s only two grams heavier than the S2 glasses.
While the S3 Sports appear to be the largest glasses when compared to the S2 and the Speedcrafts, they don’t feel that way when you’re wearing them. In fact, the Speedcraft glasses feel much bigger and bulkier, largely due to the full wrap frame. You’ll notice the bottom part of the frame on the Speedcrafts while you’re riding; there’s nothing to see down there with the S3 Sports. And while the top of the frame on the S3 Sport is about as bulky as that on the Speedcraft, it sits closer to your forehead, which means you’re less likely to notice it when your head is down in an aggressive riding position.
The drawback to that frame position close to the forehead, however, drips into view when it gets hot outside. Sweat from my helmet dripped onto the lenses frequently, since there’s really nowhere else for it to go. The top of the frame is high on the forehead and close, so you’re likely to get these smudged up at some point during your ride.
That’s a bummer, but certainly not a dealbreaker. Like other manufacturers in the space, 100% uses a hydrophobic and oleophobic coating on its lenses. That means the lenses should repel water and oil. And like other manufacturers in the space, these glasses only do that to a certain extent. I’ve yet to come across a pair of sunglasses that truly repel water and oil to a useful degree.
Still, the aesthetics put a smile on my face. They’re light and comfortable, and the lenses draw out contrasts beautifully. If you’re looking for some flash, not to mention massive amounts of coverage without the distraction of a full-frame design, the S3 Sport sunglasses are worth a look.