Review of Bigatmo Pilot sunglasses, by Flyer Magazine
“With the bright sunny days of spring and summer here already (fingers crossed), we were very happy to be sent a couple of pairs of Bigatmo sunglasses to try out. Obviously for most non-flyers (and a lot of pilots too), the most important thing about sunglasses is just how cool they make the wearer look, but if you want the sunglasses for some seriously sunny flying then optical performance and comfort considerations have a large part to play when making your choice.
Bigatmo sunglasses were developed in conjunction with the pilots of a major European airline over about 18 months, and the result of which is a range of titanium-framed sunglasses and a combination of lens specifications that should be very well suited to flying.
According to the manufacturers the Tropo sunglasses (Alutra – copper/brown lenses) have a retro shape with a modern take and the Strato glasses (Zeolite -grey lenses) offer understated elegance. That takes care of the looks and cool factor, but what about the practical side of using them in the air and in the car on the way to the airfield?
The Tropo glasses came fitted with the copper/brown, photochomatic Alutra lenses – these have a level of light transmission of three at their darkest and two at their lightest which provides a decent balance between bright skies and the darker cockpit environment. The Alutra gives the wearer a punchy, high contrast view which serves to improve visibility in hazy conditions. When you first put them on, it’s a bit of a shock (everything looks brighter and more vivid) but within a minute or so your brain has adjusted and what was perhaps a slightly unnatural outlook has faded. The titanium frames have fairly thin arms so headsets can be worn comfortably without the ear-cup seal being broken, so passive sound attenuation remains effective.
The Strato sunglasses come fitted with Zeolite grey HCNB (High Contrast Narrow Band) lenses which felt much more like ‘normal’ grey lenses. Although they lacked the wow factor that came with the Alutra copper/brown lenses, some people preferred the slightly (at least initially) easier on the eyes effect. Again the arms were thin and allowed headsets to be worn without a problem.
The Bigatmos are competitively priced against other premium brands and they’ve obviously been designed with the pilot in mind – they’re comfortable and work well in varying conditions. Our favourites are the Alutra photochromic lenses for their contrast boost and their ability to work well on those hazy pressure days. Highly recommended.”
The June 2012 issue of Flyer Magazine reviewed a selection of Bigatmo sunglasses. Here is their full independent review of our sunglasses: