30 South trail RX Review | Lightweight, best ultra running sunglasses

30 South Trail RX Review30 South Trail RX Review | Lightweight, best ultra running sunglasses?

Here’s a quick overview of my review of 30 South’s Trail RX running sunglasses and if you scroll further down there are some more details. Let’s see if these can live up to the aspirations from 30 South to produce the best trail runner sunglasses

Verdict: 30 South Trail RX
  • Price - 90%
  • Build Quality & Design - 85%
  • Comfort - 95%

30 South Trail RX Sunglasses Summary Review

30 South Trail RX ReviewBold colours and an unusual, hinged arm were what initially struck me about 30 South’s new Trail RX running sunglasses. Both of those aspects of the design are great and the price is excellent when you factor in the free lens pack with 2 extra lenses..

Targetted at longer distance (trail) runners, the Trail RX delivers comfort on both the nose bridge and side arms where they rest on top of the ears. They grip nicely…but not too much. Add an ultralight 26g weight into the mix and these won’t bounce as you run.

The lenses seem pretty good and clear to me with some good colours and choices that included photochromic or polarised properties to reduce reflected light, adapting quickly to changing light conditions. Handy for the trees, brightness and water ie Handy for those long outdoor trail runs.

Ultra/Trail running seems to be going through a renaissance at the moment and the trendy brigade are getting in on the act, consequently, you need to keep up with appearances. I’d say the Trail Rx have an on-trend, modern look with full-frame support for a medium-sized wrap around lens. The colour combos of frame, lens and arms are ‘bold’ and I normally don’t like that but I do like how 30 South have not gone overboard with boldness and I’d definitely wear these myself.



  • Price
  • Design
  • Interchangeable lenses
  • 2 free, extra lenses! (3 in total)
  • Variety of lens choices
  • Appears durable
  • Great for running
  • A lifetime manufacturer guarantee


  • Hinge – as always with glasses, the weak point is the hinge.
  • For cycling, I’d prefer a slightly larger lens

Original Version: Feb 2021

30 South Trail RX Review

30 South Trail RX Contents

You get the sunglasses, a cleaning cloth-cum-drawstring recycled bag and a good-quality, semi-rigid case.

Along with the main lens, there’s also a free spare clear lens and free polarized lens both of which are UV400 to give full UV protection.

30 South Trail RX Review

30 South Trail RX Specifications, Features & Lens Quality Review

The frames use a flexible thermoplastic nylon (TR90) that is increasingly used in performance sports and hiking sunglasses because of both their light weight and flexibility.

VLT: Visible Light Transmission

All RX Trail lenses are classed as High-Definition Optics (HDo), meet 100% UV400 standards and are either CAT0 or CAT3 (see image to right). Add in some anti-glare and your lens is good to go on the longest trails.

30 South also claim the lenses to be ballistic-grade shatterproof, hydrophobic and scratch-resistant. If you look closely at the specs for the lens construction you can see it comprises 9 layers covering scratch resistance, UV, strengthening and various protective layers including polarizing and UV layers.

They are further classed as wraparound lenses with good peripheral vision. I’d say the frame gives great peripheral vision and the frame/lens combo probably covers 70% of the peripheral vision, so some errant light might get in but not much. I’d say this is about right for running sunglasses but for cycling, I’d prefer more wraparound and more of the peripheral vision covered by the lens.

There are two, more interesting features of the sunglasses. Firstly the open-ended flexible ‘loop’ at the end of the arms sits on top of your ear. This doesn’t provide any kind of noticeable ‘suspension/spring’ but the softer rubbery material is much easier on the ear when worn for extended periods. Bottom line: it’s more comfortable.

Secondly, by squeezing in the nose piece, it rides higher on the nose and creates more ventilation should you need it to improve airflow when sweating and hence better avoid misting up

The frame dimensions are broadly 143mm x x55mm x 130mm as shown in this diagram


30South Trail RX Product Options

There are 5 frame colour options as shown above, so that’s a yellow arm+blue frame, a black arm+orange/brown frame and so on.

Perhaps the biggest differentiator with 30 South is a free pair of additional lenses that come in a lens pack. In total you get these 3

  • free non-polarized mirror lens (CAT3, UV400)
  • free grey polarized lens (CAT3, UV400)
  • free clear lens (CAT0, UV400)

For an extra £17 you get a PhotoChromic lens that continually adapts to changing light conditions

Receiving a free polarized lens is unusually good and 30South have to be commended for providing a SINGLE sunglasses solution that will cope with any light conditions even rainy days. The further option for a relatively cheap photochromic lens is one of the best things to add that’s normally something reserved for more expensive trail running sunnies.

30 South Trail RX Discounts, Pricing and Availability

Trail RX is a new model from 30 South, first sold in February 2021 and they are now available to buy directly from the manufacturer. They come with a lifetime manufacturer warranty (check details).

Use this discount code at checkout to get 10% off: the5krunner10

Price: £65.00


Buy Direct: 30South.co

or try this link instead: https://30south.co/product/trail-rx/


Disclaimer: All links pay a commission, this is a sponsored post.


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7 thoughts on “30 South trail RX Review | Lightweight, best ultra running sunglasses

  1. These look rather tempting, but I’m assuming that they ship from the UK? Post-Brexit that makes it really difficult for us EU folks what with VAT and stiff handling charges from the post or parcel service.

    1. hey
      the company is south african.
      VAT? as a consumer you’ve always paid vat on anything you bought from the UK same as the stuff you buy from austria.

      1. Not quite true. I may or may not pay VAT to the vendor, but I DEFINITELY pay *import* VAT, which is collected on behalf of the govt by whoever delivers the parcel to my doorstep. And they charge a fee for the privilege (Austrian post charges €10, DHL charges €18) which significantly increases the total cost of the purchase unless it’s something really expensive where 10 or 20 extra doesn’t matter too much.

        Example: I recently found my favourite (sadly discontinued) running shoe model on a UK website. Paid about €92 for two pairs including shipping. Import tax and DHL tax collection fee came to another €52.

        Bottom line: anything that ships from outside the EU is now something one thinks twice about buying.

      2. not quite true.
        unless agreements exist to the contrary then the exporter should not charge you domestic VAT and instead you should pay import VAT which should amount to a similar thing. if you are charged both then someone is making a mistake and there are definitely some companies doing it wrong and definitely some countries deliberately doing it wrongly.
        there are exceptions based on the value of the item but that is generally true and of course there is duty as well but we are not talking about that.
        as you know this is mostly irrelevant for businesses who reclaim VAT.

        my suspicion is that politicians are making this happen as a deliberate attempt to ‘force’ companies to set up subsidiaries in the EU if they are UK based and in the UK if they are EU based. (very bad for small companies who wont be able to do that)

      3. Not quite true (this is getting repetitive 😆 ). Sorry, I shouldn’t have taken shortcuts in what I wrote above; I should have said import VAT AND DUTIES, because we actually are talking about import duties and they’re higher than import VAT, or at least they were in my transaction. Plus, the parcel services charge a fee for collecting tax&duties on behalf of the govt.

        When I bought those shoes the UK VAT vanished after I entered my shipping address. Without UK VAT and without shipping, the shoes cost €60 for both pairs. (Shipping was €25.51.) I had to pay an extra €52.45 before my parcel was delivered, of which €12 would have been import VAT (20% in Austria) and €18 was DHL’s collection fee; the balance of €22.45 is presumably the import duties.

        You can see that just the €18 that DHL charges for collecting tax&duties on behalf of the government is a hefty proportion of the total cost of my shoes. That charge plus import duties means that all more inexpensive the bits and bobs of kit (a shirt here, a visor there) I’ve bought from the UK in recent years could easily more than double in price. I wouldn’t even have bought those shoes in these circumstances if they’d still been available anywhere else AND hadn’t been so deeply discounted that the total cost still worked out to something sensible.

        Returning to the 30South sunnies, import VAT plus import duties plus DHL charge will drive up the total cost to a level where I might as well just buy Gloryfy, regardless of whether 30South ships from UK or ZA.

        PS: Oh, and just for extra laughs: Yes, businesses can reclaim import VAT. But NOT import *duties*. And as for consumers, neither import VAT nor import duties are refundable if they end up returning the item. 😬

      4. well…now i agree with that! (people have normally given in at this point when they realised they were wrong about vat…i do a fair amount of import/export and have a more than a boringly sad passing knowledge of the tedious subject)

        you need to talk to your government about duty 😉 and yes the agent’s fees are somewhat annoying and really shouldn’t be that much for what they have to do. perhaps if Germany and the UK agreed a free trade deal we could get around all of this?
        (here’s where you say you had one 5 months ago but threw it away 😉 then you win the argument 😉 😉 )

      5. The agent’s fees do vary depending on the service. The Austrian post only charges a tenner, but it’s still a bit of a cheek I think.

        As for the free trade deal: what you said. 😁 I liked it better on all levels when the UK was still in the EU, not only for the online shopping but also because you guys tended to be pretty good about vetoing some of the stupider schemes the Eurocrats came up with. But it is what it is.

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