First Impressions: POC Devour Glasses
They're supposed to look like that
-Clear lens included
-Adjustable arm length
-Top-notch lens quality
-Nearly goggle-level coverage
-Easy lens swapping
-Won’t fit all faces
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I like big glasses. I want to be able to just fit my whole head in there like a pair of VR goggles. Speaking of which, I hate goggles. I’ll wear them at a bike park, but 50 percent of my reasoning is because I’m also wearing a full-face helmet and I don’t wanna get cancelled for wearing glasses in a full-face. I need something in between. I need … gloggles. Enter the POC Devour glogg- I mean glasses.
The first time I saw these, I thought they might be sort of a joke geared toward the motorcycle crowd. The pitbike version of race goggles. “Look, I can clip my goggle’s replacement lens into this contraption and now I’m all moto all the time!” Before you hold them and try them on, the construction actually looks sort of cheap, and the Harbor-Freight-safety-glasses-style adjustable arm length doesn’t help. They seem worlds apart from the very clean, very fashionable, very Swedish approach POC normally takes to eyewear.
But these are no joke. The Clarity lens is every bit as high tech as any of POC’s less polarizing (pun intended) glasses. Those adjustable arms may look clunky, but there is zero flex or wobble in the system. The nosepiece can be adjusted to two positions for higher or flatter nose bridges, and they come out of the box with both the POC Clarity lens and a clear lens. Oh, and they’re $250.
I was not the first person to get the Devours to review. I should have known better, but they first went to a tester who is probably 5-foot-6 and wears a size-small helmet. From the photo she texted me to say she would not be reviewing the Devours, she looked like she was wearing a set of VR goggles. They’re big, and probably unnecessarily so for some people.
I wear a size-large helmet, and although I wouldn’t feel right wearing these anywhere without an action-sports context, they at least fit my face. And they’re comfortable. They’re surprisingly light, though I wish there was some extra pinch-force adjustability to the arms back at the temple and maybe a height adjustment as well as width on the nose. More on that later.
The position the lens takes on my face is unique, and I didn’t like it at first. It’s tilted outward slightly, fitting flush near my cheeks but sitting away from my forehead a bit. Lacking top and bottom connection cost them some of that “gloggle” sensation. But it made for something pretty remarkable on the trail.
These glasses absolutely will not fog up. Along with the vents on the lens and the relief in the frame behind them, that bit of a window for heat to rise out of kept moisture from building up inside. It also made them comfortable to wear in the heat. I could feel a little bit of flow from the gap between the frame and lens down at the cheekbones, up past the lens and out the top.
I’d almost say I wanted to keep them on the whole ride, but for me, they did like to slip just out of their sweet spot with the top of the nose pad flush all the way against the bridge between my eyes. Arms with positionable wire embedded in them might have helped them hold on a little tighter.
And I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I wish they were bigger. Specifically, taller. On long climbs, I keep my head down and my eyes up. It’s easier on the neck. But the vents and the top of the frame are right there at the top of my field of view. When my head’s in the right position, they block what’s about 30 feet in front of me. Of course, I don’t climb fast enough to need to see that far ahead. And to be fair, I’m particularly sensitive to this. If my visor is in my field of view, it bugs me. The top of these are no more intrusive than a reasonably placed helmet visor.
And more importantly, when I’m descending, head up, I rarely thought about it. Even if they crept out of that sweet spot, there was still plenty of coverage. And from a protection standpoint, I appreciated the flush fit against my cheeks, preventing all but the most accurate of debris from shooting up into my eyes.
The Clarity lens works well in dappled light, my ultimate standard for a shaded lens. When going in and out of the trees, I sometimes even forgot I wasn’t wearing a clear lens, apart from the fact my corneas weren’t burning when the trail went wide open. Assuming that you’re comfortable shopping in the $250-sunglasses department, these will feel no less worthy of their price tag than similar options from Smith, Oakley or one of POC’s own less unorthodox offerings.
Still, I liked the clear lens if I was in the trees for half or more of my descent. Switching lenses is slightly less clumsy than it is on other replaceable lenses. For my first day on them, I would go through the process and then check that I didn’t miss anything and think “Oh, was that it? I did it all right on my first try again?” Part of that is thanks to the unapologetic styling of the Devours. You look at them, and you know exactly where to stretch and pop. They’re not trying to hide the tabs that hold on to the lens. They’re not trying to hide anything. They are the definition of function over form. They are purpose built for protection and comfort. In other words, they are gloggles.
POC also released the Kortal and Kortal Mips helmets today. Check out our first impressions.
Find more about the Poc Devour here.