That is the backbone for the philosophy behind Zeal Optics’ power… and powerful it absolutely is!  You may recognize Zeal or their soon to be iconic bold “Z” from some badass young snow-dude blazing past you on the hillside, and you would be absolutely correct.  Zeal has created a name for itself as one of the premiere snow goggles at the creme-de-la-creme slopes across the country.  What else can you expect from a company born out of the blinding snow of Boulder, Colorado?  Then, they logically transcended the snowscapes of America to the dirt trails of our greatest back-country hills by way of motocross and hard-core manpowered bikes.  They leaped ahead of the competition when they introduced to the world our very first GPS-equipped snow-goggle.  That’s right… GPS people!!!  How insanely genius is that?!?!?!  (You can check out the newest version of this brainchild, the Transcend GPS, HERE).  Then… back in October (as in last month October), just when the world thought Zeal had achieved perfection, they evolved again.  This time… they are taking on Sunglasses.

I do want to say that before trying out Zeal Optics I had only heard of their snow goggles.  When I found out they had sunglasses I moved forward with hesitation… I mean, they are newborns in a game of optical excellence that has been going on for decades.  However, I am really glad I did give them a try.  It was, indeed, an incredible surprise!!

The two styles that I tried out were the Re-Entry ($139) and Ridgeline ($119).

Re-Entry (L) & Ridgeline (R)

For starters… let’s talk about style.  There are few accessories in life that truly express who you are as an individual quite like sunglasses!  That’s a very bold statement, I agree… but one that I think you can all agree with.  We all dress a certain way for work or around family… maybe even just around the house or with friends at a BBQ.  We hide behind many of life’s standards for what we should look like in certain occasions.  But, Sunglasses!!!  Sunglasses are the one thing that we keep across all of life’s adventures.  We, with some rare exception, all wear the same sunglasses at work… at home… on the weekends… to the beach… on the mountain… etc. etc. etc., it is a true representation of our inner-style.  Our hidden fashionista.  The true you just busting out.  The people at Zeal… they get it.  These are not your normal dulled-down blah blah blah fashion accessories!  Zeal Sunglasses are a way for you to get your freak on… well, your fashion freak anyway, but not so much that nobody can take you seriously.  The curves, angles, ridges and modest logo on every pair of Zeal optics I have seen can easily be worn hillside while sipping hot cocoa with a few snow-bunnies… or, tossed on with shirt & tie while walking out the door to your next pimpin power-point presentation  (Hey, I can only try so hard… power-points are just boring bro).  They are truly awesome enough to cross the difficult-to-cross line between work and play… and without making the play part all lame.  Style points… A+

Let’s talk briefly about tech… Zeal takes style and makes their sunglass nerds work double-time to make sure it’s just as genuinely badass behind the scenes!  “How” you ask?  “Ecological Responsibility” Zeal replies.  Instead of using the yucky, air-poluting, crude oil that most manufacturers create their sunglasses with… Zeal is 100% behind using the Earth friendly resin of the castor bean to create these optical works of art.  That’s right… the crap that Grandma & Grandpa had to suck down as kids has made it back into our lives as an earth friendly alternative for badass sunglasses.  Who’d a thought.  If you don’t see the happy little eco-arrows like on Zeal’s specs… you’re not part of the solution!

Now for the 2nd most important thing with sunglasses… comfort!  I’m not sure if it’s a by-product of the technology behind it… or if it was really done on purpose, but I was genuinely surprised at how light-weight and comfortable these friggin things were when I first put them on.  I mean seriously… at this point I am pretty much TRYING to find something about these specs that piss me off.  But… I can’t.  Their exclusive My Fit Nosebridge™ technology keep my sunglasses snugly on my face, but without irritatingly being stuck to my nose… Hypoallergenic ProFlex Rubber™ makes these bastards hang on for dear life through all of my tomfoolery, but without bugging my skin or rubbing… Hyperion high-definition clarity (which I honestly thought was a load of bullshit until I put them on), and with polarized lenses too.  I mean COME ON!!!!!  can they please suck at least a little so I can hate on them a bit.  Sadly… no, these really are completely awesome.  Hell, they even come in prescription lenses if you want to look like the dopest cat in the office… and actually see the girls checking you out too!

On top of the style… the technology… and the comfort, Zeal optics includes a very solid card-case AND soft-pouch/wipe-cloth to keep them safe when not adorning your awkwardly shaped noggin.  How nice of them!

The DAY I started wearing my pair of Re-Entrys I had people I knew (and a few I didn’t) comment about how cool they were.  THE DAY I started wearing them people.  How’s that for an endorsement?!?!  When it comes to style… I’ve learned that sometimes you have to work hard and simply own it.  With Zeal Optics… it’s just easier to look awesome.  (Hmmm… I wonder if I can sell that to them as their new slogan?)

Final Thoughts… there is no reason for you to pass these up!  They are truly amazing… and affordable compared to most sunglasses out there at the same level of greatness.  Maybe it’s because we got lucky and found these early on… maybe they’ll stay affordable for ever.  Either way… I’d jump on them now!  Here’s a little video they’ve put together to speak more towards their idea of a perfect sun-bathed society… and Check out the other picks below that we took at camp WGUB (click to enlarge).