We've been riding a fair bit of 100% product in recent times, and their S3 Sunglasses are another impressive offering from the American brand.
Words: Will Shaw
Images: TBS, Matt Staggs
I’ve been spending plenty of time in the 100 Percent S3 sunglasses recently. The Matte White frame with a HiPER mirror lens offers 100% UV protection, and its 14% light transmission is perfect for sunny days. The lens is also water repelling and scratch resistant.
The glasses come in a nice square hard case, with a second nose piece that’s a touch smaller, a glasses bag, and a clear lens. There’s also another slot for a second spare lens. Swapping out lenses and nose pieces is about as easy as it gets, with the nose piece, bottom section of the frame and lens all pulling out with relatively little effort. I’ve swapped the lenses over many times and there doesn’t appear to be any damage to where the lenses slot into the frame, which is nice to see as I find myself swapping between them relatively frequently.
The S3 sits firmly in the ‘bigger is better’ aesthetics camp, and a benefit of the big lens is the wide field of view it provides. The S3 are the lovechild of 100 Percent’s lower profile S2 glasses, and their flashy Speedcrafts modelled to the world by one Peter Sagan. Aesthetics aside, the large lens on the S3 allows for great peripheral vision, and keeps more air out of your eyes despite the half frame design.
The fitment of these glasses is superb. There’s no arm adjustment, but the combination of nose piece and rubber arm grippers do a great job of keeping the glasses put. Normally I’ll be waiting for a mellow section on a downhill to push my glasses back up, but with the S3 that wasn’t an issue. That alone has me sold! Whilst every head is different, speaking with others who’re riding these glasses returned the same feedback. Aside from everyday riding, this is a huge perk when racing, as you’re not constantly worrying that your close to $300 glasses are going to fall off your head at a key moment.
I rode a variety of conditions in the S3s, and the light had to get pretty low before I was taking them off. They’re great when transitioning from full light to tree cover, and the contrast of trail features is really useful when picking lines. As I mentioned before, the airflow is quite good despite the large lens. This airflow is provided by the open frame to the side and bottom of the glasses, as well as the 2 vents located below the nosepiece.
The dreaded fog up does happen with these glasses if you go from a full steam effort to a complete stop, but a few seconds of airflow as you set off dissipates the fog, or you can use a glasses wipe to get rid of it. I’ve never ridden a set of glasses that haven’t fogged in that situation, so until a brand cracks that code it’s not a major drawback for me.
At $279 the 100 Percent S3 are them in direct comparison with the juggernaut of the sunglasses world - Oakley Jawbreakers. I’ve spent a ton of time in Jawbreakers with the Prizm Trail lenses, and I’ve got to say I prefer the 100 Percent S3. It could be as simple as them actually staying put on rough sections of trail, but the comfort, vision, and durability thusfar are also big ticks for 100 Percent.
- Secure fit, with different nose pieces available
- Excellent lens clarity
- High airflow
- Premium eyewear