ROAV is a new company making some cool-looking glasses. They just released their Franklin sunglasses, made with lenses by the German company Rodenstock, which also produces high-quality lenses for Leica cameras and other high-end products. Roas’ first sale was on May 17th this year as part of the IndieGoGo campaign, where they raised over $950K in less than 24 hours. But if you missed out on getting your pair of these fantastic shades early, there’s still hope because I got my hands on them!

If you don’t want to be squinting or covering your eyes with your hand every time you go out the door, you’ll need a good pair of sunglasses when traveling the world. But, of course, it’s much easier said than done.

Fashionable sunglasses are frequently oversized and breakable, particularly when thrown into a bag hastily. And a lot of travel sunglasses are designed to seem like, well, travel sunglasses.

ROAV, a startup that started on Kickstarter in 2017, is seeking to fix this issue with their travel sunglasses, which are sturdy, fashionable, and fold up tiny enough to carry in your pocket. While we have some concerns about how reflective the sunglasses are, we must state that ROAV is mostly successful.

Let’s get started with the ROAV Sunglasses Review.

Aesthetics & Materials

Foldable sunglasses might easily be mistaken for “clip-on” sunglasses, best reserved for emergencies (from experience). Fortunately, ROAV avoids this issue and, as of this review, has over 16 designs that we believe are rather fashionable. On their website, the manufacturer offers recommendations for which designs suit various face and nose types, so have a look before you click “purchase.” In addition, most models are available in multiple colors, so you should be able to pick a pair that you like.

ROAV Franklin Sunglasses ROAV Franklin Sunglasses

We’ll be looking at the Franklin for our ROAV review since it features basic, rectangular frames and an athletic attitude.

When you initially get your hands on the glasses, they seem fragile. They’re under 20 grams, which is a significant feature, but we were first concerned that we’d break them in half with a half-thought.

But have no fear! We’ve been testing the Franklin for three months and have had no issues with its durability.

ROAV Franklin FramesFranklin Frames ROAV

The frames are made of stainless steel and are thus rust-free. Of course, it should be typical (after all, what sort of hideously designed sunglasses would rust?). So we’re not blown away, but it’s nice to know.

A vapor deposition procedure is also used to cover the frames. We searched “vapor deposition process,” studied several scientific kinds of literature, and can now tell you that it’s a broad word that refers to any method that changes materials from a vapor to a solid state. You need to know that it typically improves corrosion and abrasion resistance in the coating.

The nose and temple cushions on the ROAV sunglasses are silicone and comfortable.

ROAV Franklin LensFranklin Lens ROAV

The lenses themselves are TAC, which means they’re very light, polarized, and completely block UV and IR radiation. We’ve avoided shattering our TAC lenses so far, though we haven’t actively tried (and we don’t advocate you try either—but if you do, please let us know what happens). ROAV claims that its TAC lenses are “shatter-resistant,” and we’ve resisted destroying ours so far.

It’s worth noting that these lenses are pretty easy to smudge with a simple sweep of your finger. This isn’t a big problem since they’re just as simple to clean, but some people find imageability (not a word, but you see what we mean) irritating.

If you require prescription sunglasses to avoid the clip-on, ROAV claims that its frames are “prescription-friendly,” which means that although they won’t fit prescription lenses on their own, your local optometrist should be able to swap them out for you. However, we haven’t tested it ourselves, so your results may vary.

ROAV Franklin Folded With PhoneFranklin, ROAV, Folded With Phone

The Franklin sunglasses fold down to approximately a third of the size of an ordinary smartphone, making them easy to slip into your pocket or the tiniest of purses or bags.

ROAV describes how they employ screw-less hinges to make the sunglasses fold as compact as possible, which means “the hinges/joints are produced between the two neighboring metal pieces.” Since these “micro-hinges” are a patented technology, we can only say so.

Warranty claims made by ROAV If your sunglasses deconstruct owing to defective micro-hinges, you may send them in for repair with no questions asked. However, we have yet to put the warranty to the test.

ROAV Franklin Side FoldFranklin Side Fold ROAV

The sunglasses are packaged in a modest, watertight silicon casing that serves its job well. It’s simple to put on and take off your ROAV sunglasses, they’ll fit in your pocket, and they seem to preserve the frames effectively.

ROAV Franklin Sunglasses In Pocket

We’ve found that the top corners of the sunglasses sometimes slide and hook onto one another in the case, rather than resting perfectly next to one another. Although, after three months, this did not affect the wear.

Testing & Durability

Our Franklin sunglasses have been a reliable travel companion for the last three months. You can’t go wrong with these glasses since they’re light, thin, and compact.

We’re constantly seeking methods to minimize space and weight as fans of one-bag travel, so these sunglasses are worth buying just for that.

ROAV Franklin Nose PadsFranklin Nose Pads ROAV

And just because ROAV sunglasses are little doesn’t imply they’re fragile. In reality, the reverse is true. We haven’t had any issues, except some wear on the nose pads, which ROAV says they’ll repair for free if necessary. There are no scratches or bends in the metal and nothing substantial to mention.

We believe the ROAV sunglasses are pretty fashionable, albeit they do wear a little differently than “regular” sunglasses due to the flat lenses. But not in an unpleasant sense, and we rapidly became used to it.

ROAV Franklin Side ReflectionROAV Franklin Reflection on the Side

On the other hand, the flat lenses have a peculiar feature: you can see the reflection of what’s happening behind you while wearing them. And let us tell you, seeing the thought of someone strolling behind you in your sunglasses is an odd experience (creepy cue music).

Overall, we believe that the advantages of having a great pair of sturdy, trendy sunglasses outweigh the fact that it is strangely reflecting.

ROAV Franklin FoldedFranklin, the ROAV, has folded.

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