ZenDen is a small company run by adventure enthusiasts like ourselves. Most of their current inventory consists of stylish, ethically sourced sunglasses. I was totally enamored by the design of their Zenmaster wooden shades and jumped on the opportunity to review a pair when the company’s owner, Dylan, offered to send one to us.
My Zenmasters have been put through the wringer this month. I decided they needed some rigorous field testing, so I’ve been wearing them on all of my outdoor adventures – hiking in Sabino Canyon in the rain, scrambling over hoodoos on a 100º F day, and just splashing around the pool.
When I first put them on, I was immediately struck by how comfortable they are. I have worn glasses since I was 7, so I’m particularly sensitive to the feeling of an uncomfortable frame digging into the tops of my ears. The arms are made of real walnut, which is soft and exceptionally light. They have a gentle slope on the bottom which sits on top of your ears like a cushion. They are spring loaded for a snug fit regardless of the width of your face.
As an Arizonan that has driven into a blinding sunrise during many a commute, I won’t even touch a pair of sunglasses that doesn’t have adequate polarization. I was pleasantly surprised by how well these protected my eyes during the blinding afternoon sunshine on Mount Lemmon. According to the product specs, they also block 100% of UVA and UVB radiation, which is essential here.
The Zenmasters use a limited amount of plastic in their design and are just plain cool looking. Despite their light weight, they feel sturdy and have held up well under this month’s abuse. I was concerned about sweat soaking into the walnut arms, but the water repellant coating kept the wood grain looking pristine. These have actually managed to usurp my beloved Sunclouds as my favorite sunglasses.
These have the build quality and style of a much more expensive pair of sunglasses. At under $35, they’re a steal. ZenDen also plants one tree for every product sold, which is a nice perk. Dylan was a pleasure to work with and replied to all of our inquiries promptly.
- Color: Tortoise Walnut
- Frame width: 142 mm
- Frame height: 45 mm
- Temple length: 141 mm
- Tri Acetate Cellulose lens is scratch resistant and melt resistant in hot weather