Outdoor Gear

Zeal Optics Nucla Plant-Based Sunglasses Blend Performance and Style

If you want a pair of performance shades with a stylish look, the Zeal Optics Nucla ($149.00) are it. The polarized sunglasses come in black, plum, tortoise, and ocean. I got the color Ocean with Horizon Blue lens.

While trekking to Everest Base, I became a mega fan of these shades. I didn’t have to adjust the sunglasses on my face even once. I wore them every day. They also didn’t leave the imprint on my nose like a lot of other glasses do. These are so light and comfortable you don’t even really feel them. They’re plant-based and ultra-light weighing less than an ounce. The Z-Lite thin injection frame is made of a plant-based Z-Resin injected with microscopic air bubbles. The Z-Resin is from the castor plant replacing use of traditional plastics and significantly reducing amount of CO2 produced in manufacturing. The Ellume polarized lenses are also made from Z-Resin. The lens don’t seem to fog from sweat either. I also found the lens to be big enough to keep dust out of my eyes on windy days, while providing outstanding eye protection from intense sun at higher elevations. The slightly wider sides keep sunlight and dust from creeping in at the temples. The Nuclas are flexible and durable which is great for me as someone who likes to push my sunglasses on my head instead of putting them in a case when heading inside somewhere.

I’m an occasional sunglasses dropper too. These are impact resistant and lenses have a scratch resistant hardcoat. They’re functional enough to wear hiking, yet stylish enough for brunch and city life. Mine have already enjoyed some pool time in Texas and running around doing errands in Denver. I’ve been stopped multiple times, even from high-end luxury fashionista friends, with people asking me who makes these sunglasses. The blue color makes them stand out. My Nuclas will be my go-to sunnies this summer!

Zeal Optics is a Boulder, Colorado company. Their sunglasses are designed in USA and made in Japan. They come with a sports case and pouch.

Check out the Go Gear section for more road tested outdoor and travel gear.