Over the past couple of months we have tested a pair of LiP Typhoon sunglasses in a range of bright, Southern Hemisphere summer conditions. While many sunglasses claim to be versatile enough for watersports like surfing or kiteboarding, few live up to the promise. The Lip Typhoon is a different beast.
These sunglasses look and feel sturdy. You can tell that the designers spend a lot of time in and around the water because the shape and accessories really do work. From the drainage vents to the safety necklace you can rely on this product to protect your eyes whilst enjoying a range of extreme water activities from windsurfing to sailing and – yes – even surfing.
Before we launch into the details we believe one key observation is worth highlighting. These sunglasses have the best lenses we’ve tested in 20 years of reviewing products. Manufactured by Zeiss (creators of the best glass for camera lenses), the LiP Typhoon sunnies transform the world into a sharper, clearer, less reflective place.
Table of Contents
Who are Lip Sunglasses for?
LiP create performance sunglasses for surfers, watersports and leisure. One of my favourite use cases was teaching my daughter to surf. This involves being in the shore break, holding her hand, pushing her into waves. The LiP Typhoon is truly amphibious. Water splashes are no issue. If you have to dive under a wave or two the water flushes quickly out. If a few drops remain on the Zeiss glass, simply dip the glasses under the water and the oleophobic (anti-water) coating quickly dispels lingering droplets.
What makes LiP Sunglasses unique?
From our perspective, these sunglasses are unique in their form factor. The wraparound design means that glare is substantially reduced and your eyes will be protected from side rays. They are super lightweight – incredibly so considering the rugged design. The lenses are polarized, meaning that you can see through the water surface to what lurks beneath. The clip-on safety leash is simple to attach yet strong and the necklace is comfortable and flexible.
In fact, we attached surf hats to the LiP necklace and it served a perfect dual purpose. One day I attached a surf hat and a head-mounted GoPro to the necklace with no problems. I really like it.
Vortex vent system to counteract fogging & reduce heat
8 base curve radius lenses for excellent peripheral vision
FAILSAFE leash & retainer system preventing loss 100%
100% UV protection
Clip-on safety leash
Silicone rubber retainer necklace
EVA case & microfiber cleaning bag
3 YEAR Manufacturers Warranty
Where do you use LiP Sunglasses?
These glasses are perfect for surfing, kitesurfing, windsurfing, sailing, going on a fishing trip or just playing with kids in the surf. They’re stylish enough that if you’re into wraparound sunnies you can just wear them as your everyday sunglasses. After experiencing the lens quality you may find it hard to return to other models anyway.
About LiP Sunglasses
Li Chen and Dirk Michielsen
What do they make?
Sunglasses, prescription sunglasses and headwear
Who are their brand ambassadors?
Mark Berezny, Andy Bubble Chambers, Philipp Schonger, Willem Hooft, Olivia Mew, Lee ‘PASTY’ Harvey, Jaka Komocar, Dmitry Evseev, Hou Jia Lin – ‘KAREN’, Mars Gersbach
What are their values / mission statement
“Protecting your eyes from the sun’s glare, wind, and ocean spray is not just about letting you ride better, longer, and harder. LiP is committed to bringing sunglasses of the highest quality and functionality to style-conscious watermen/women and outdoor enthusiasts everywhere.”
Reviews from the web
LiP makes excellent watershades for any water sport you’re involved in. If you have money for sunglasses in the $80-200 range, you can’t go wrong.
I’ve used them for 2 years now, a major record for me, and the comfort, purity of vision and confidence that I won’t lose them have made them a great investment. I was previously taking 2 spare pairs of cheap shades with me when I went to sunny destinations, but now I know I don’t need to. And wouldn’t want to.
What LiP Sunglasses say
“The TYPHOON is fitted with decentered injected polycarbonate (PC) or Nylon (PA) polarized lenses by ZEISS, featuring a hydrophobic and oleophobic coating, high impact resistance, superior scratch resistance and elimination of glare for improved vision.
ZEISS Tri-Pel PC lenses combine the outstanding, easy to clean, oil and water repellent features of the Ri-Pel coating, together with the technical performance of the Tri-Flection patented mirror series, offering an exceptionally long-lasting anti-smudge anti-scratch mirror treatment.
ZEISS PA lenses deliver crisp & sharp vision, which when combined with the advanced water beading ‘Ri-Pel’ technology, promotes high contrast, maximum visibilty and enhanced performance whatever the conditions. PA lenses are lighter than polycarbonate with a premium hard coating
To further enhance your visual experience, the injected polarisation layer removes glare bouncing back from the surface of the water, reducing eye strain further. Last but by no means least, the hydrophobic and oleophobic coatings on both the inner and outer lens surfaces means that sea-spray and wipe-outs have no material effect on your vision. Just keep riding, and the water will disperse from the lens surfaces.
The Typhoon represents the essence of our design philosophy – to bring to the market high quality watersports eyewear that is both functional and stylish. The Typhoon incorporates the highest grade materials available in the eyewear industry: decentered injected polycarbonate or nylon polarized lenses by ZEISS, super-strong lightweight Swiss TR90 dual injected frames, and Japanese stainless steel hinge screws.
The Typhoon has excellent impact resistance with soft TPU overmolded rubber throughout the frame surround and on the temple tips to ensure a comfortable ride when you are out on the water – no matter how long your session.
The unique design of the Typhoon overcomes two core problems faced by watermen and women – 1) lens fogging and 2) loss to the ocean. Our FAILSAFE leash system will ensure that you stay connected to your sunglasses during a heavy wipeout, and any lens fogging is cleared by our patented double vortex venting system.”
Q&A with the LiP Team
We asked Graham Saunders from LiP Sunglasses some questions.
What was the inspiration for the LiP Typhoon?
The inspiration for the Typhoon was borne out of a frustrating realisation that despite the world being awash with sunglasses for all types of sports, there was not a single product on the market that really met the needs of watermen and women. Although there were some brands marketing ‘watersports eyewear’ at the time, we found these products were not fit for purpose and could be vastly improved upon both in terms of function and form. As our founders had a long history in sports eyewear design and production, we set out to realise that improvement, and ensure that anyone who wanted to protect their eyes on the water had access to quality eyewear that was designed specifically with watersports in mind. LiP’s first customers were its own founders and staff – all of whom are windsurf or kitesurfing fanatics who desperately wanted to protect their eyes in the harsh Asian sunlight.
What feedback have you received from customers?
The feedback we often receive goes something like this… “Love your sunglasses – best product by far for watersports”.
The quality of your products seems perfect for integration with smart technology. Do you envisage LiP smart wear in future?
At this time, we are concentrating on continually improving our products and also adding new models to our watershades line-up to ensure everyone has access to quality watersports eyewear. We see the addition of Smart technology further down the line.
Three words to describe LiP Typhoon
Flexible, light-weight and durable.
Would you wear them surfing?
You can definitely wear Lip sunglasses surfing. The Typhoon model drains well after duck-driving and they do not fog up when you’re getting sweaty on a long paddle out. I forgot that I was wearing sunglasses whilst duck diving and started opening my eyes as if I was wearing goggles.
Small droplets do sometimes form on the lens and this may be annoying to some. You can quickly get rid of them by dunking the glasses underwater and allowing droplets to drain through the vents.
The safety necklace is absolutely excellent modular addition to the design. Snap it on when needed, unclick when you’re cruising around town.
As a surfer, you may not want to wear sunglasses and that’s fine. However, when you consider the damage sunlight and UV rays reflecting off the water inflict on your eyes you may think twice. From healthline:
“Protecting your eyes from UV rays is the only way to avoid getting them sunburned. Over time, too much sun exposure can cause specific types of eye diseases to occur. These include:
age-related macular degeneration
The world is only getting hotter. Surf hats are becoming more common in the surfing line-up and I believe that sunglasses will become commonplace accessories for surfers who live in the tropics and places like Australia and New Zealand. Lip Typhoon are the first true surf-friendly sunnies on the market – at least that we’ve tried recently. They’re sturdy and reliable. In less than shoulder-high waves I’d be confident that the necklace and safety leash will keep the sunglasses safe. In overhead waves – anything is possible. We’ll be sure to report back after we’ve tried.
If you’re foiling, kiting or windsurfing I can’t imagine a better product.
Find out more and purchase Lip Sunglasses
These are the ultimate sunnies for serious watersports enthusiasts. They are beautifully crafted from quality materials and will deliver value to the most hard core adventurer.