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Introducing Advanced Multisport Optics, better known as AMO

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AMO HIGH QUALITY SUNGLASSES

Tim Hallworth is a perfectionist. He’s also an accomplished triathlete and, his latest addition to his resume now includes AMO co-founder. Tim is a “gear geek” who uses the latest cutting edge triathlon equipment. Tim also appreciates good equipment that works as advertised. But, one piece of critical gear was functionally lacking … Sunglasses. Tim mentioned that his go-to sunglasses slipped down his nose, the lenses fogged easily and the clarity was just not there. Not being satisfied with what his options were, he decided to developed his own! … Introducing Advanced Multisport Optics, better known as AMO.

Tim’s goal was to create “a better brand of sports sunglasses.” For three years, Tim spent all of his free time and money visiting factories and testing every type of sunglasses to better understand the technical aspects. As Tim states “AMO sunglasses contain all of the many features needed by multi-sport athletes, not just some of the features as is the case with others [brands]. I believe AMO sports sunglasses are the best sports sunglasses on the market. I am passionate about sunglasses and, because of my eye injury, I find myself a natural tester of my products.

Just in case you do not believe me, we offer a 14 day ‘no questions asked’ return policy, where we will return the cost of the sunglasses (less shipping costs) if you do not like them. I hope you like them and give me some feedback so I can continue to improve them…”

The bottom line is that Tim has put A LOT of thought into the design and the materials to support true functionality. Tim wants to make sure that the AMO brand lives up to his expectations, so, the real question is do these sunglasses meet MY expectations?

The answer is ABSOTIVELY!

 

DESIGN & FUNCTIONALITY

The 4 main themes running through all of the AMO sunglasses are

  1. High quality frame material
  2. High quality, optically perfect lenses
  3. Fully adjustable nose piece to prevent sunglasses from slipping down nose. Nose piece should be impervious to sweat and UV.
  4. Fully adjustable temple/ear pieces to hold sunglasses comfortably firm on the head and face.3

FRAMES – AMO sunglasses can be identified by their three frame styles, Typhoon, Thunderstorm and Transformer.

AMO uses EMS-GRIVORY Grilamid®TR90. A lightweight, resistant to stress cracking, resistant to material fatigue and stands up well to UV exposure and extreme temperatures (i.e., weathering).

NOSE PIECES – TPR: Fully adjustable in all dimensions for the perfect fit; custom fit to the width of the nose, adjustable height, and adjustable distance away from the face. This soft thermoplastic rubber actually gets stickier when exposed to heat and sweat. TPR is defined as Thermo Plastic Rubber with properties of plastic that can be shaped as well as exhibiting elastomeric behavior (i.e., rubber) that is soft to the touch.

TEMPLE ARMS – DuPont® Hytrel®: Fully adjustable temple arms are designed to bend to the shape of and molded to fit the head improving comfort and preventing rubbing and movement.

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AVAILABLE LENSES

All AMO lenses meet the highest optical quality rating (optical class 1) without distortion. So why does this matter? Cheap sunglasses, you know, the ones sold to tourists at every convenience store, have a lot of distortion and, wearings these types of lenses for many hours can lead to loss of balance, exhaustion, headaches and even long-term eye damage.

For each of the three frame styles, two lens options exist.

  • Shatter-proof Premium PolyCarbonate (PC) CARL ZEISS lens
  • Trivex® NXT which was originally developed for the US military and is used in the Apache helicopter where optical clarity is required.

All of AMO’s lenses have a hydrophobic coating which repels moisture, water, sweat, skin oils and other contaminates. All lenses also have a scratch resistant coating which is nearly as hard as glass. All lenses give 100% UVA/UVB protection up to 400nm.

OPTICAL CLARITY

AMO lenses are rated by both NBS pattern resolution and the ABBE clarity value.

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NBS PATTERN RESOLUTION

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Fig. 3. NBS pattern scores

For optical clarity, both lenses measure 28 on the NBS pattern definition test! (see Fig. 3).

How does the NBS test work? The pattern in Fig. 1 is printed on a piece of glass. The pattern is viewed through a lens to be tested via optics hooked up to a computer which gives a value. The value of 28 is actually in the second/smaller grouping of Fig 1, enlarged as Fig.2.

Referencing Fig.2, the first set of vertical lines represents the 2.4 resolution grade in Fig. 3. The first set of horizontal lines is 2.8. Second set of vertical lines is 3.4, and so on. To see what an NBS value of 28 looks like, starting from the 2.8 horizontal grouping of lines in Fig.2, count 9 sets of horizontal lines towards the center, which actually puts you 3 sets of horizontal lines into the next inner chart – that’s not only small, that’s a very small set of lines that is still clear!

Note: Thor Labs provides the targets as well as perform tests themselves. For those who are interested, here is the link to their website and subsequent test targets. But, when researching this topic, I found a discrepancy between the numerical chart, fig. 3 and the numbering of the resolution lines in fig. 2. For example, Fig. 2 has a 10 that should be an 8. When I discussed this with Thor labs, the admitted that there was an error and is correcting these charts as we speak.

ABBE VALUE – another important test

In optics, the ABBE value is a measure of how much the light, per wavelength, disperses as it passes through a given material.24

The higher the ABBE value, the more accuracy a lens aligns the spectrum of light waves that pass through it. Lens materials with low ABBE values are unable to focus certain light waves accurately, resulting in chromatic aberration, a vision defect that appears as the distracting fringes of color around dark type and objects themselves … see figure to the right.

Some sports and occupations require a HIGH ABBE value. Shooting sports, pilots, professional photographer (camera lenses and lens filters), etc. Personally, I would add cycling to this list since sunglasses with a low ABBE value can lead to headaches on longer rides.

For those that are interested in learning more about Chromatic Aberration, please click on the following link. http://www.opticampus.com/

The AMO engineered Carl Zeiss PC lenses score between 25 and 32 on the ABBE clarity test. The Trivex® NXT scored between 42 and 45 – a value equivalent to the naked human eye! This is what sets these two lenses apart from each other and why there is a higher cost associated with the NXT lenses.

TEST SUBJECT : TRANSFORMER SERIES : PROWLER6

Tim sent me the PROWLER along with several lenses and extra temple and nose pieces to test (pictured at the beginning of this review). The PROWLER is an WHITE half-framed sunglass, the IRONCATCHER is an all BLACK half-framed sunglass. Both are perfect for cycling and/or any running sport. The reason is all of the custom adjustability. When adjusted correctly, you can’t even feel that you are wearing sunglasses, nor will they move or slip even when jogging. Yes, they are that comfortable!

There are 6 NXT and 6 PC lens options available for the PROWLER that can meet anyone’s needs (click on the table to the right). When ordering, you can easily purchase additional lenses. My sport is cycling and most of my cycling is done in the morning. Our outbound leg is usually when the sun is coming up over the horizon, returning, it’s usually very bright sun at our backs. My favorite lens for this type of cycling is the NTX Photochromic (Dark Polarized). The PC Mirror Dark is also a good choice as is the PC FLASH Red/Orange. You won’t be disappointed with any of these choices.

NOSE PIECE

After trying on the sunglasses for the first time, they felt a little loose. I was able to easily adjust the soft-rubber nose piece IMG_0474-smby slightly pinching both pieces as well as pulling the nose piece away from the sunglasses. This gave me the perfect and most comfortable fit. There are no metal wires inside. The entire nose piece is made from TPR – a soft thermoplastic rubber that can be shaped and reshaped and still hold its new shape, but also is soft and somewhat ‘sticky’ so that it will not slip down the bridge of the nose. After numerous wearings and reshapings, there is no sign of stress cracking, UV damage, or breaking.

TEMPLE ARMS

IMG_0470-smOnce the nose piece was adjusted, I tried on the sunglasses again, this time to adjust the temple arms. There were 2 sets of temple arms that came in the box, one all-white set that was installed on the sunglasses, the other was a dual white/blue co-molded set of arms that I liked better. Both sets out of the box were straight.  To change the arms, all I had to do was push in the locking tab and pull each arm away from the frame. To reattach, push the temple arm into the frame until you hear a click. For a better fit, I prefer that they have a slight IMG_0472bend-in at the ends. I held each temple arm at its center and gave the end a slight bend. After letting go, it maintained this new shape so I bent the other one to match.

ADJUSTMENT MADE EASY

It took under 2 minutes to get a perfect fit. And, after several dozen rides, these sunglasses have not slipped even when my face was completely covered in sweat. If you need to readjust, AMO chose materials that can be reshaped AND hold their new shape — SLICK!!!

FINAL VERDICT

Great styling, infinite custom adjustability, affordable price and top of the line quality frame and lens materials make these sunglasses a purchasing no-brainer!

YES! Highly recommended!

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FURTHER READING

Tim has provided some links to blogs and YouTube videos that provide for further product details.

 


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supported by:
The Parts Shoppe Bearings and Grease

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