Review: Tifosi Optics Scatto FC

by Derek on February 23, 2011

in Equipment,Reviews

Tifosi Scatto FC

Are you looking for a pair of sunglasses that have high end performance but don’t have the high end price tag?  Then you need to take a hard look at Tifosi Optics.

I met with Tifosi at the PGA Show last month and walked away very impressed with their offerings and holding a pair of their Scatto FC sunglasses to review.  The bottom line is that they’re a really solid piece of eyewear.  And when you consider that the list price is $39.95, they might just be the best dollar for dollar value in the market today.

The Scatto FC’s feature Tifosi’s Grilamid TR-90 frame material.  The net is that the frames are darn near indestructible.  They’re lightweight (the glasses weigh in at 22 grams or about 3/4 of an ounce) and very flexible.  The Tifosi rep demonstrated this flexibility by bending a frame around 180 degrees and showing how it snapped back into place with no ill effects.  As somebody who has previously broken frames by stepping on them, or bending them the wrong way, this is a really nice feature.

Additionally the nose and ear pieces are adjustable.  I really like having an adjustable nose piece as it helps get the glasses positioned squarely on top of my apparently odd shaped nose.  I’ve never taken advantage of adjustable ear pieces, but one nice feature of both the ear and nose pieces is that they are covered in a hydrophilic material.  Basically moisture doesn’t cause the ear pieces to slip around.  If anything, they hold on tighter when wet.  The combination of an adjustable fit and the frames flexibility, makes for one very, very comfortable pair of sunglasses.

The Scatto FC’s that I received featured the GT (Golf and Tennis) lens.  This is an amber lens that helps you see the golf ball in the sky.  It also seems to make the greens really pop.  Previously, I’ve found that in the past I needed to remove my sunglasses in order to read putts on the greens – they just didn’t provide enough contrast.  I haven’t had that problem at all with the Tifosi GT lens.  If anything, I think I’m reading lines better with the glasses on.

The lenses are dark, but not too dark.  I would definitely go with a darker tint if I was going to be out boating, for example.  But I’ve found that they work great both on the golf course and driving home in the car.  While the Scatto FC model features a fixed lens, Tifosi offers a number of models with interchangeable lenses.  They’re even now offering Fototec lenses, which adjust their tint to match changing light conditions.  I didn’t have a chance to test them out, but they did demonstrate the speed at which the tint adjusts to changing light conditions – about 10 seconds to go from fully dark to light.  The Fototec lenses are available in the GT tint.  You can also get prescription lenses from Tifosi as well.

One other nice feature of the lenses is their impact protection.  They meet ANSI Z87.1, which means that they can shoot a 1/4″ ball bearing into the lens at 150 ft/sec without shattering.  Or, as in the video above, they can smash the lens with a hammer without damaging it.  This seems like a nice bit of insurance for your eyes when you’re smacking a little white golf ball around at 150 mph.  I bet this guy wishes he had been wearing a pair of these.

As I mentioned before, I think that Tifosi is probably offering the best value on the market for eyewear.  Their lenses are made by PPG, who makes lenses for most of the “big boys’ in the eyewear market.  And as I mentioned previously, the frames are very comfortable and durable.  I currently own Oakleys and these are easily as nice, if not nicer than any pair of Oakleys I’ve ever owned.

And the fact that I can buy an entire new pair for less than the price of a set of replacement lenses for my Oakleys is pretty sweet.  In fact, Tifosi’s most expensive model lists for $89.95 and features the Fototec lenses.   Just about everything else falls in the $40-60 range.  And every pair comes with a lifetime warranty.

If you’re in the market for a pair of sunglasses that perform really well but won’t break the bank, Tifosi is where it’s at.

Tifosi Optics

You can buy Tifosi Optics sunglasses here.  If you do, I get some beer money.  Pretty cool, huh?

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