Melon Optics Alley Cat 2021 Mountain Bike Review

Melon Optics Alley Cat 2021

Reviews / Glasses

Melon Optics 63,177

At a glance

In the past few years we’ve seen the revival of the neon fluorescent flash fashion of the 90’s. Especially in the world of sunglasses there has been a comeback of big, bright goggle-like eyewear to protect your eyes from that ball of fire in the sky. The guys and gals at Melon Optics have been in the game since 2013, kicking off as a small startup tricking the founders father into shipping the goods, while founder James went to do ‘product research’ in Morzine. Although a suspicious move at first sight, it definitely paid off in the end. After some more conventional sunglasses and some good looking goggles they launched their Alleycat glasses in the winter of 2019. Launching sunglasses in winter isn’t the most logical move, but if you want to do things properly it always takes longer than you think. Manufactured in a family owned factory in Italy, they keep the carbon footprint in check by not shipping stuff needlessly around the globe. Although that’s a nice touch, this is all we could find on their stance regarding sustainability and the environment.

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The Alleycat

Melon sells their products mainly online so giving them a try is not always an option. However they do offer a 30 days returns policy if they turn out different then you expected. Ordering, payment and dispatch are a mega smooth experience, and the website gives you plenty of info on which lens to get for which situation.

Once the box arrives, you’ll find some slick packaging for the quality carry case which is included in the price. Besides a lens of your choosing, you’ll also get a low light/clear lens free of charge, together with a microfiber bag to stash your glasses in when on the go. Nice detail is that the carry box has room for another spare lens.

We went with the Silver Chrome lens, which should work on overcast days as well as bright sunny days. Besides the ability to use it in a lot of different types of light, the mirror lens gives that ultimate Miami Vice look.

Verdict

Out on the trails the Alleycats did exactly what they mentioned on the package. A comfortable fit made me forget I was wearing them after a minute, and the Zeiss lens is amazing. Switching from bright sun blue skies to wooded singletrack sections was not a problem at all. Even when the sun took a day off, I didn’t feel the need to switch to the low light lens.
With a retail price of 120 GBP/135EUR/150 USD they’re a quality deal, and it’s no surprise that they’re often sold out.

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This review was in Issue 64 of IMB.

For more information visit Melon Optics

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By Jarno Hoogland
Jarno's life has revolved around two wheels ever since he swung a leg over his first BMX at age 4. After a BMX and DH racing career, he moved on to work for bike shops, distributors and brands before ending up in the editors seat at IMB. Based in the ultimate testing ground in the Swiss mountains, he runs his guiding operation and makes sure every IMB issue is filled with top notch content.

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