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Gear Review: Julbo Rookie and Tina Kids Sunglasses

Julbo Rookie sunglasses

Julbo Rookie sunglasses

Kids Sunglasses
Julbo Rookie (boys) and Tina (girls) sunglasses
Ages: Rookie, eight to 12; Tina, 10 to 15

My kids spend a lot of time outdoors, regularly at higher elevations, where there’s less atmosphere protecting them from the sun’s UV rays. Just as much as I try to keep sunblock on them to protect their skin, I want them wearing good-quality sunglasses to protect their eyes from the damage that can result from long-term UV exposure. That’s why my 12-year-old son has worn the Rookie sunglasses, and my 10-year-old daughter the Tina, on hiking and backpacking trips from southern Utah to Idaho’s White Clouds Mountains, and will wear them on all of our family adventures until they’re big enough for high-quality adult sunglasses.

According to the American Optometric Association, exposure to small amounts of UV radiation over many years increases the chance of developing a cataract, retina damage, and macular degeneration. Children’s risk is higher because their eyes don’t block as much UV light as adult eyes. So the AOA recommends wearing a cap or hat with a wide brim and sunglasses that block at least 99 percent of both UV-A and UV-B radiation, 75 to 90 percent of visible light, are perfectly matched in color and free of distortion and imperfection, and have gray lenses for proper color recognition.

All Julbo sunglasses deliver full protection against UV-A and UV-B rays. The Julbo Rookie and Tina sunglasses provide full coverage of the eyes with wrap-around frames, and have shock-resistant, polycarbonate lenses. (They also come with polarizing lenses for $10 more.) Julbo describes them as suitable for mountain environments, bright sunshine, and on water—protecting my kids for all of our activities, from backpacking to climbing, paddling, and skiing. The sunglasses frames stay put on their small faces during activity—and my kids like how they look and want to wear them.

See all of my reviews of kids outdoor gear.

NOTE: I’ve been testing gear for Backpacker Magazine for 20 years. At The Big Outside, I review only what I consider the best outdoor gear and apparel. See all of my reviews by clicking on the Gear Reviews category at left or in the main menu.

—Michael Lanza


About The Author

Michael Lanza

A former field editor and primary gear reviewer for Backpacker Magazine, Michael Lanza created The Big Outside to share stories and images from his many backpacking, hiking, and other outdoor adventures, as well as expert tips and gear reviews to help readers plan and pull off their own great adventures.


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  1. Avatar

    Hi. Any chance you have a pic of your daughter in hers? I am having to buy some for my daughter in prescription without trying them. We are between the rookie and the Tina.

    • MichaelALanza

      Hi Lorena, no, sorry, but unfortunately my daughter lost her Tina sunglasses before I got a photo.

  2. Avatar

    Michael as usual great stuff on the sunglasses! I am so done with the cheapo one week until they’re broken sunglasses. I love the julbo looping glasses with the reversible frames!! Any feedback on hats or what sun block you and your kids use?

    Thanks a ton! You are such a valuable resource for us outdoors parents!


    • Michael Lanza

      Hi Paul, thanks for the nice words. I use the highest-SPF-rated sunblock I can find, between SPF 30 and 50, and try to reapply it a couple of times a day. Here’s a pretty good article explaining SPF at USA Today:

      We try to wear wide-brim hats to protect the neck, face, and ears, too, especially at higher elevations. A bandanna tucked under a baseball cap-style hat, hanging down over your ears and neck, works well, too.

      The thing to remember about UV exposure is that it gets higher as the sun is higher in the sky: Thus, exposure is greater during the middle hours of the day than early morning or evening, and greater in late spring and summer, when the sun is higher in the sky for more hours of the day. Water and snow also reflect sunlight, increasing your exposure (and potentially burning sensitive areas like behind your ears and–believe it or not–your nostrils. I know this from personal experience; now I always put a little sunblock on a fingertip and spread it just inside my nostrils). So even a sunny winter day on snow poses high risk of UV exposure, and you should use sunblock as aggressively as you would in July.


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Hi, I’m Michael Lanza, creator of The Big Outside and former Northwest Editor at Backpacker magazine. Click my photo to learn more about me and my blog. Click here to sign up for my FREE email newsletter. Join The Big Outside now to get full access to all of my blog’s stories. And click here to learn how I can help you plan your next trip.

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