ROKA Phantom Ti Aviator Sunglasses Review

Thank you ROKA for sending us the Phantom Ti for review.


ROKA was formed in a garage in Austin, Texas by two former Stanford All-American swimmers on a mission to build the world’s fastest wetsuit. Creating that first wetsuit ignited a fire in them to find more opportunities to innovate. As luck would have it, one of the athletes who helped them build that first wetsuit had a knack for winning very hard races in very cheap gas station aviators. And so the drive to design the Phantom aviators was born, and shortly after they were built.

ROKA went one step further with their flagship Aviators and created the Phantom Ti, running sunglasses made out of Titanium! It doesn’t get any more high-end for sports sunglasses than ROKA. If you’re on the hunt for the best sports sunglasses that money can buy, then these are for you, read on to find out why.

Design

Build Quality

The Phantom Ti sunglasses are handcrafted in Japan and it’s easy to see the craftsmanship and care that has gone into making them. Aviators, by design, are quite delicate looking, with their slim and intricate frames but the Phantoms are far from fragile due to their Titanium construction.

UPDATE 05/11/2019: As far as I can tell, the Phantom Ti Aviators are no longer made in Japan.

ROKA Phantom Ti review Trail Kale web wm 5

Frame Colors

Roka Phantom Ti Review Copper Rose Gold Mirror Roka Phantom Ti Review Matte Black Carbon Roka Phantom Ti Review Silver Carbon Mirror Roka Phantom Ti Review Gunmetal Glacier MirrorThere are four frame colors to choose from: CopperMatte BlackSilver and Gunmetal, I have the silver one which has a nice traditional look to it.

Lens Colors & Quality

There are seven lens colors/filters available too, take a look at the Phantom Ti product page to see the effect each lens has when viewed through them. I have the Thermo Polar Arctic Mirror lenses which perform really well in intensely bright and sunny conditions due to 94% reduction in infrared and elimination of high glare. They are suggested for outdoor activities where high color contrast is important, like hiking and trail running in environments with green and brown colors like fields, mountains, and trails. It’s quite fun that no one can see your eyes behind these lenses too. Stealthy!

ROKA Phantom Ti review Trail Kale web

Durability

The Phantom Ti frames are made from Titanium which provides an exceptional strength-to-weight ratio that you just won’t see on a standard pair of aviators. Titanium also offers corrosion resistance and retains tensile strength at half the weight of traditional alloys. Durability is important for any sunglasses that you plan to run with because at some point you’re likely to accidentally drop them while on the trails.


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During long runs, I’m constantly shifting my sunglasses from in front of my eyes to the top of my head, as and when I dip into forests or shaded areas. If it starts raining, I’ll probably even want to stash the shades away into my race vest for safe storage. This rearranging usually takes place while I’m on the move, so it’s nice knowing that If I drop these expensive sunglasses that they should survive the knock. This saves my heart skipping a beat when I’m trying to keep it calm and consistent during a race, haha. If this is something that may still be a worry for you then have a read of our review of Sunski sunglasses which are less expensive, so you can be more carefree with how you use them.

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ROKA Phantom Ti review Trail Kale web wm 2

Fit & Comfort

ROKA have their own patented fit and retention system called GEKO and this is a unique selling point for the brand. Inspired by the soft but amazingly sticky feet of the Gecko, the GEKO™ fit and retention system features a proprietary elastomer for nose and temple pads that are hydrophilic, chemical resistant, and supports multi-directional traction with comfort.

In other words, they stay where you put them and won’t come off during intense exercise. And in order for them to stay in place, they don’t need to be extra tight on your head, which may cause discomfort over time. Instead, the hydrophilic material used for the nose and temple pads means that they go even more grippy when in contact with water or sweat.

So, no matter how sweaty you get, and which way you move, bounce, or shake, you’ll never have to worry about slippery frames falling off your face while running or doing any other exercise for that matter.

Two Size Options

I like it when I see frames with multiple size options as I have a medium/small sized head, so large frames just don’t look as good on me as someone with a larger frame. I know I’m not alone in this and I think a lot of people will enjoy having two size options to choose from. They also fit Helen perfectly, which is a shame for me because she keeps pinching them from me and wearing them herself. Whenever she does this, I just wear her ROKA Halsey ??.

I’m wearing the regular 57mm frames in the photos of this review. See below for frame size diagrams.

Regular – 57mm Width

ROKA Phantom Ti 57mm size


 

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Large – 59mm Width

ROKA Phantom Ti 59mm size

Ultra-Lightweight

At just 20 grams with the C3™ lenses, the Phantom’s titanium frames are remarkably lightweight adding to their overall comfort. Being so lightweight, I don’t get that annoying ‘digging-in’ feeling that some sunglasses with similar nose pads give. At times, I even forget I’ve got them on.

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100% Satisfaction Guarantee

If you are not 100% satisfied with your purchase, you can return it within 30 days of receipt and in new, unused condition for a refund or like-for-like exchange.

ROKA Phantom Ti Awards

Comfort9.4
Design & Function9.5
Quality9.6
Durability9.5
Price8
Visitor Rating1 Vote9.1
Pros
Stay in place when running hard over trails
Very lightweight and comfortable because of it
So many Size/Style/Function Options: 2x sizes, 7x lens filters, 4x frame colors
Super Durable (Titanium construction)
Top quality (handcrafted in Japan)
Cons
A little expensive
9.2
Overall Score

Compare Prices for ROKA Phantom Ti Sunglasses

Summary

The ROKA Phantom Ti sunglasses are a true work of art, built to the highest standard of quality. Then there’s ROKA’s GEKO fit and retention system, which holds the glasses in place, even during the most intense workouts. This is an excellent feature-set that helps these ultra-lightweight Aviators stand out from their competition. I really haven’t encountered any sunglasses that are this light before, and that’s another differentiator for ROKA. The Phantom Ti are unrivaled in quality, design and function and so it’s not surprising that they’re also quite pricey.

ROKA Phantom Ti review Trail Kale sml

If money is no object and you want the best sports sunglasses for running, cycling or triathlon, then the Phantom Ti is a solid choice that you won’t regret. While they may seem expensive to have just as running sunglasses, they are also great as lifestyle sunglasses, meaning you won’t need to buy two pairs, one for sports and one for everyday use.

$275 at roka.com

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Alastair Dixon
Alastair Dixonhttp://www.alidixon.com
Founder & CEO of Trail & Kale / Landscape & Adventure Photographer.

10 COMMENTS

  1. These are no long handcrafted in Japan. I just received a pair yesterday, they are made in China. Very disappointed in that. I will be sending them back.

    • Hi Scott, are you referring to the Phantom Ti? That would be a real shame if they have started making them in China.

      I know some of the other models are made in China but at the time of writing this the Phantom Ti were made in Japan.

      • I didn’t directly reply to you earlier but they are made in China. At least the Phantom Ti glasses I received were.

          • You’re welcome. Maybe last year’s models were made in Japan but when I received mine, I checked over and over again to make sure. I was surprised when I saw China.

  2. That’s correct. I ordered a pair about 3 weeks ago. When I received them I was surprised they were made in China. I was disappointed and sent them back.

  3. I just received and sent back the Phantom Titanium and the Falcon Titanium. They were both made in China and the quality of the sunglasses didn’t seem worthy of the price even with the 25% off anniversary sale pricing. I was very excited to get them and just as frustrated when I opened the package to see what seemed like a lower quality product.

    • Hi David,
      Thanks for your comment. Seems like such a shame that ROKA are now manufacturing the Phantom Ti in China, and not Japan. The pair I reviewed were built in Japan so I can’t comment on the China made ones unfortunately…
      -Alastair

      • One thing I do want to call out is I am having an issue with my return that seems to be the USPS’ fault. The Roka customer service team couldn’t have been nicer and more professional. That goes a long way for me and I would definitely try them again based on their professionalism alone.

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