An extremely lightweight and functional pair of sunglasses aimed at those looking for serious performance based eye-wear.
A smaller more slimmed-down version for smaller faces.
The new and improved design seems to be just that...new, and more importantly, improved.
We brought you a first look of the new Hypermask Performance from Interbike way back in September. When we spoke to the guys at Rudy during Interbike about the problems with the Sportmask and it's fragility, they were very much aware of the problem. The Rudy guys assured us that the new design addresses the durability issues and they were excited to get a sample out to us for testing. Lo and behold a couple of weeks later a box arrived at TriBomb from the fine folks at Rudy Project containing our Hypermask Performance. The shades also come with a nice hard case and soft bag.
Since then, we have been using and abusing the new design and our sample has held up way better than the old version. We wanted to actually give the new design a real test, not in the we wore these for five minutes and they are great, sense that some use, but an actual test. So, after about 3-4 months of use we are happy to report that we have not had any issues with the new design.
Rudy Project Hypermask Performance
In case you didn't know, the new Hypermask and Hypermask Performance are the new version of the old Sportmask. The problem with the super lightweight minimal design of the original Sportmask was plain and simple...durability, or a lack thereof. The new Hypermask continues the very lightweight tradition of the Sportmask and its frameless design. Weighing in at less than an ounce these sunglasses basically disappear in terms of weight and overall noticeability. The rimless frame design of this "mask" is very functional, and one you will surely appreciate, especially from an aero position perspective. If you've ever struggled with the obstructed view of a traditional pair of sunglasses this design will be a welcome one.
The new Hypermask is available in two models the Hypermask and Hypermask Performance (the Performance model basically gets the addition of a brow interface). The two models are available in a rainbow of frame and lens options. Frame options include Crystal, Frozen Ash, and Black Gloss for the Hypermask. The Performance model comes in Silver Gloss, White Green, Yellow Fluo, and Black Gloss. Lenses include Multilaser Red, Multilaser Green, or Multilaser Purple, and Smoke Black for the Hypermask and Photochromic Laser Racing Red (our favorite), Multilaser Blue or Green, Laser Black, Transparent, and Yellow in the Performance model. You also get Rudy's Lifetime Replacement Lens Guarantee and 3 year frame warranty, which in our experience, is one of the best in the business. Any issues we've had with Rudy have been handled quickly and painlessly.
The Hypermask Performance incorporates a "brow interface" that is designed to provide airflow and prevent fogging.
There's also an adjustable nosepiece that you can basically bend into whatever position you choose.
The brow interface has taken a little getting used to, but it seems to do its job of keeping things fog free. It also seems to help keep sweat from running directly onto the lenses. At first, the brow interface felt like it put the glasses too far from our face, but a little tweaking of the nosepiece and we were able to dial our fit in just fine. It does help to keep the lenses far enough away from your face so that the lenses don't touch your forehead and your eyelashes don't brush up against them. If you don't like the brow interface altogether, it pops off pretty easily (or just buy the regular Hypermask).
One thing to note, and it's not really a complaint but just something to be aware of, the Hypermask has a pretty wide profile (blockheads rejoice). It hasn't been a problem with any of the helmets we've tried them with but we think it's worth mentioning. While this works great for cycling (and is probably the most aero design) people with narrow faces might not like the wide stance of these glasses. The frame sticks out quite a bit from your face.
That being said, you can see how the profile of the Hypermask follows the shape of a helmet quite nicely.
While the overall profile is fairly wide, the glasses stay in place very well. They wrap around and hold the back of your head for a good snug fit, the anti-slip pads seem to help as well.
Even while running, theses shades have stayed pretty much glued in place, due in part, to their super lightweight design. They don't flop around like some sunglasses tend to do when you are on the move.
What it's all about. Right? These shades have been true performers in our testing. The best part about the Hypermask is the unobstructed view it provides. Could this be the perfect solution for riding aero? Perhaps...it seems as if the fragility of the old design has been lost.
Obviously, we aren't photographers or models at TriBomb, but here's a shot out on the road and you can see how the glasses fit and how the view is unobstructed even while riding down in the aero position.
The lenses of our Hypermask seem to be high quality. The clarity is great and light transmission of our sample seems to be right on for our taste. Both Hypermask models will have the ability to accommodate interchangeable lenses for varying conditions. The lens option we recommend is the new Racing Red photochromic lens option. This lens features ImpactX technology. These lenses are lightweight and unbreakable (always a good quality in a pair of sunglasses that will probably take a beating) and are excellent at adapting to different light conditions. So, if it's cloudy out when you start you ride, and ends up being bright and sunny by the end, you have a lens that works for the duration.
Very good. Even on long rides, the Hypermask has proven to be very comfortable. The wraparound design and adjustable nosepiece make it pretty easy to get a good fit. The featherweight design of the Hypermask makes it feel like you are simply wearing a helmet with a visor, only much cooler.
After a good 3-4 months of use we are happy to report the new Hypermask has performed flawlessly for us.
A couple of shots of the attachment points of the lenses and the frame.
The Hypermask is towards the upper end of the price range of comparable designs.
TriBomb Bottom Line
We love this "mask" for flying low and aero. The absence of any frame material obstructing your view and the lightweight design are a winner, winner, chicken dinner in our book.