Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Hiking around in style with Knockaround's sunglasses

Do you ever feel naked without a certain piece of gear? That's me when it comes to not having a solid pair of sunglasses.

But when it comes to sunglasses, especially in an outdoor recreation setting, I refuse to spend more than $30 because I ultimately know they will get smashed in my backpacking pack, or lost at sea while kayaking, or scratched by a low- hanging pine tree branch. I can guarantee that will happen. However, it's hard to find a pair of comfortable, lightweight and stylish pair of shades that won't completely fall apart after a few uses, for that budget-friendly price point. And I love my sunglasses as you might be able to tell by the photo tagged to my blog's "About Me" section. That's where Knockaround slides in with a perfect solution.

Based in San Diego, California, Knockaround's been making sunglasses since 2005 that radiate colorful, hip, and fun designs for all types of wearers, without having to hustle a few extra hours for more cash (some of their shades start for as low as $15). Knockaround offers a full online catalogue of shades, allowing one to shop by frame color, lens color, and style. They even have customizable aviators that look nothing short of bad-ass. The names of their shades are cool too, like "Green Moonshine Mile Highs" or "Smoke Paso Robles." Take it a step further and more wild, with special release sunglasses with themed designs taking inspiration from everything like Hot Wheels and Shark Week, to crocodiles, Paris, and Fat Tuesday. You can even fully customize and build your own shades to exactly your taste.

Recently they mailed me two of their latest pairs, which I got to choose, to try on during a backpacking adventure to Wisconsin's remote Rock Island State Park. Of the duo, I opted to bring the Matte Black Sunset Fort Knocks with me. The first observation I immediately had sliding them out of its protective soft case was an awe over the sunglasses' finish: durable matte black arms with raised gold cursive "Knockaround" branding, and lens radiating the warm hues of a sunset you'd see exploding across the sky. The lenses themselves are both polarized for UV 400 protection (which you can opt to have not) and mirrored, a style I lust for.

I was curious to see how these fly-looking Knockarounds fit on my head, being they're on the lower end of the price scale. To my delight they fit perfectly, absolutely perfectly, and snug too. They never slid down my nose or bounced around when hiking for miles at a time on bumpy terrain, and the Knockarounds are so light, that at times it feels as if you don't have a pair of sunglasses on.

Overall I dig these super comfortable, solid sunglasses and its dash of that added Cali swagger. For $30, I can see exactly why Knockarounds are growing in popularity both on the trail and off. It begs the question again of why spend more on a pair of shades when you alternatively could pocket the savings for another plane ticket to a new national park or a campsite reservation? That's a vision I can live with.


Price: $20-$30

[Disclaimer: Knockarounds mailed me a few of their newest baller sunglasses to review on my blog.]