The Julbo Venturi is a pair of sunglasses specifically created for trail running and mountain sport activities. Julbo incorporated input from their world class sponsored athletes to ensure that the Venturi would perform optimally on any terrain and in any conditions. The design of the Julbo Venturi starts with fully vented lenses that provide a wide field of view. The lightweight frame of the Venturi utilizes grips on the ear stems and has a moldable nose piece to minimize movement. I’ve been wearing the Julbo Venturi as my primary option for eye protection over the last few months, and will document their performance in this review.
*The Julbo Venturi comes with three different lens options. Make sure to read my Julbo Lens Comparison if you’re not sure which lens is the right one for you. I chose the Spectron 3 CF, and this is the lens that will be covered in the review.
- Venturi with Spectron 3CF: 12% light transmission and a flash finish
- Venturi with Zebra Light: 16-80% light transmission, photochromic
- Venturi with Zebra: 7-42% light transmission, photochromic
Buy The Julbo Venturi: Amazon | Zappos | Backcountry
The Julbo Venturi comes in at 1.06oz (30g), with 4.6in (117in) ear stems, a .62in (16mm) nose bridge, and a 2.7in (69mm) lens width. For reference, I have a larger than average head and wear a US size 7 7/8 hat. For this reason I had to buy the Julbo Explorer XL instead of the Julbo Explorer. The Venturi fits my head and face very well, without any pinching, rubbing, or spot aches after long days on the trail.
The Venturi frames connect to the lens via an insertion point at the top. The lenses are pretty easy to remove, which is something I look for in athletic sunglasses. Being able to fully rinse and clean a grimy lens helps prolong the life of sunglasses quite a bit. The bottom of the lens protrudes lower than the frame. This is a really nice design feature for mountain sports because the sun doesn’t reflect as much light under the lens. There is also no lower framing to inhibit vision.
The Venturi is made of polyurethane and is molded in a ‘wraparound’ style. The top of the frames fit flush with my eyebrows and don’t allow any light in from above when I’m not wearing a hat. The ear stems are straight and flat which really helps for all day comfort. The ear stems are flexible, but not moldable. They have a slight texture, but not a rubberized grip. This has been an issue for me when running and hiking downhill with a lot of body movement and impact, as the frames slide down on my nose a bit. I think having a moldable ear stem or a grippier ear stem would help with this. The culprit for this movement could also be the 3D Fit Nose piece which I’ll cover next.
The nose bridge for the Venturi is a flexible and lightly moldable ‘3D Fit Nose’ piece. The 3D Fit Nose is a great idea, but the execution on the materials here leaves a little to be desired. The 3D Fit Nose always seems to work itself back into a neutral position after I’ve adjusted it. This is fine for me as my nose fits the 3D Fit Nose fairly well, but that might not be the case if your nose is really wide or really narrow. The other issue I have with the 3D Fit Nose is that it allows a bit of light to sneak in through the bridge if the frames aren’t flush against my face.
Aside from the issue of the Venturi sliding down my nose a bit, the performance and comfort of these frames has been very good for hiking, walking, trail running, and travel.
Spectron 3 CF Polycarbonate Lens:
The wide panoramic coverage provided by the lenses on the Venturi is the highlight of this review. To start, I’ll get into the details of the Spectron 3 CF. The category 3 lenses allow 12% light transmission and have a flash finish coating to improve the filtration of visible light. The blue flash finish is also pretty stylish in my opinion. The lenses are shatterproof and made from the same materials used in helicopter windshields. This is great for the unexpected rock or branch, or if you leave them in your pack and sit on them. The one area I think Julbo can improve their lenses in is regards to scratch resistance. I own numerous pairs of Oakley and Julbo athletic eyewear, and although I think the performance of the Julbos is far better for mountain sports, they do scratch a little easier than my Oakleys. I’ve managed to keep my Venturis blemish free so far, but my Explorers, Dusts, and Bivouacs have seen better days.
While in action, the lenses on the Julbo Venturi perform pretty flawlessly. The optics are crystal clear and provide nearly full coverage of my field of view. The Air Link temple attachment provides a decent amount of airflow, and I have yet to have these lenses fog up. I do live in a very dry climate though, your miles may vary on this one.
The Spectron 3 lenses are perfect for 95% of the activities I participate in. The mountain trails here in Southern California are mostly granite and pretty exposed. I have Julbos with the photochromic Zebra (7-42%) and Camel (5-20% polarized) lenses, but don’t find myself wanting the photochromic ability very often. The 12% is plenty dark, but not so dark that I need to take the Venturis off at late dusk/early dawn or in light tree coverage.
Buy The Julbo Venturi: Amazon | Zappos | Backcountry
The Julbo Venturi is a nice pair of sunglasses for hikers, trail runners, and mountain bikers looking for a pair of functional eyewear. The Spectron 3 lenses on this frame are pretty close to perfect. The Venturi isn’t a perfect fit for my face, as they slide down my nose when moving fast. They may fit your face better than mine. It may sound like I’m being a little critical of the Julbo Venturi frames and their lack of customizable fit features. This very well may be the case, as I also own the Julbo Dust, Bivouac, Explorer XL, and Explore 2.0, all of which stay tight and snug in all conditions. The comfort of the Venturi makes up for the fit though, and the lenses are enough to push me to give the Venturi a recommendation for readers to at least try them on.
This pair of Venturis with Spectron 3 lenses retails for $129.95 and the Venturi with Zebra Photocrhomic lenses retails for $189.95. These prices are a bit too high in my opinion for what you’re getting, so unless the Venturi fits you perfectly, I would suggest other models in the Julbo lineup.
- Lens coverage and performance
- Fit and customization lacking on the frame