- High quality Zeiss lenses for superior clarity
- Adjustable arm lets you dial in fit
- Slider vent at brow line opens to reduce fogging
- Interchangeable lenses
- Zeiss® anti-scratch technology for durability
- Anti-reflective coating for better visibility in bright sunlight
- 100% UV protection
- Prescription lens compatible
- Can’t easily attach rear view mirror to temple
- For price expect a hard case, not a mix of soft and hard
- Comes standard with only one lens
Colors: 14 color combinations and a variety of corresponding lenses
How obtained: Sample from company
RBR Sponsor: No
High-quality Zeiss Lenses for Better Visibility
Koo is a brand of high-performance sporting eyewear developed by KASK, the Italian helmet manufacturer. It’s been some time since I reviewed their first pair of sunglasses (KOO Open) which launched at Interbike 2016. In late October 2018, KOO released Orion, their latest model of cycling sunglasses.
The Orion model uses the same high-quality lenses manufactured by Zeiss, as the KOO Open. They provide clear, sharp visibility, which is crucial when cycling. An anti-scratch coating ensures durability, while the anti-reflective coating provides better visibility in bright sunlight. According to KOO, the coating eliminates reflections from the front and back surfaces of the lens, improving contrast and definition as well as reducing eye strain. As with the Open version, I find the Zeiss lenses provide outstanding visibility even when riding in and out of shadows.
New Design for Fit and Comfort
Some of the features that KOO introduced with the new Orion model include active anti-fog ventilation and adjustable arm length. There are sliders on the frame by the brow line that open and close. When open, the vents are exposed, increasing airflow and reduces fogging. I found that I needed to leave the vents open at all times. Also, the vents work independently, so when putting forth effort on the bike and you need ventilation, the sliders must be moved one at a time. For me the sliders were not needed, and I rode with the vents always open.
New to the Orion model are adjustable arms, allowing the wearer to lengthen or shorten the arm to dial in the perfect fit. There’s a 15 mm length adjustment in three 5mm steps. I found this feature helpful in getting the right fit. Just set it and forget it.
The Orion comes in a variety of 14 colors that appeal to men or women and with different lenses to fit your riding style. For those that wear a prescription, the Orion is RX compatible and contact wears will find the curvature of the frame protects your eyes from debris.
If you ride with a rear-view mirror, note that the arm is too wide to attach most mirrors. I was not able to use my style of mirror on this model.
Inside the Box
Most sunglasses in this price range come with a hard-shell case. The Orion has a unique case that’s 2/3 cleaning cloth and 1/3 hard shell. Not sure it is practical to have a small portion hard shell as it doesn’t really protect the whole frame. However, when the sunglasses are inside, the case sits upright which is helpful if you store in a car cupholder.
Koo’s Orion sunglasses incorporate Zeiss high-quality lenses as with previous models, but redesigned the frames for better fit and performance. While I never needed to close the active anti-fog venting system, the adjustable arms made for a custom fit. With 14 color variations to choose from, you are certain to find one to match your style.
Sheri Rosenbaum regularly contributes articles and reviews products for RBR. She’s an avid recreational roadie who lives in the Chicago area and a major advocate for women's cycling, serving on the board of directors and volunteering with the Dare2tri Paratriathlon Club. Click to read Sheri's full bio.