I was scrolling the Shady Rays site a couple of months ago and stumbled upon an interesting set of sunglasses I’d never seen before, the Shady Rays React Type R. The React Type R has a typical sunglass shape but allows for magnetically interchangeable lenses like many new snowboarding or skiing goggles. Having never run in that style of quickly interchangeable lenses, I was immediately intrigued. My job is to test new and exciting things and the React Type R qualified.
I pinged my contact at Shady Rays and asked if they’d be willing to submit the React Type R for a review. They seemed pretty confident in the model and said they’d love to have a review out there about the pros and cons of this particular pair.
Since receiving the Shady Rays React Type R, I’ve put them through every summer test I could imagine. Hiking in the Colorado mountains, beach running in Florida, trail running in Georgia, and a steamy Caribbean 5k. Here’s a detailed look at the performance across those varied conditions.
Note that while Shady Rays provided these sunglasses for review, no one there has any involvement in this review, didn’t receive an advance look at it, and has not attempted to influence this review.
Shady Rays React Type R
Frame Price: $90 (includes 1 lense)
Lense Info: Polarized, 100% UV Protection, Scratch & Salt Water Resistant, Hydrophobic Coating, Magnetic Quick-Swap, Available for Full Sun, All-Weather, or Low-Light
Lens Color: Blackout, Glacier, Mirage, Slate, Yellow Sky, Clear
Frame Size: 143mm (width) x 47mm (height)
Use TESTERS25 for a 25% discount
Rundown: The Shady Rays React Type R is a bulky sunglass with cost-efficient interchangeable lenses that almost never fog and work great in a myriad of conditions.
Ease of Customization. This is the killer feature of the Shady Rays React Type R. It’s so much easier to swap lenses than on sunglasses where you must remove portions of the plastic frame. I use the included microfiber bag to push on the backside of the lens (so I’m not touching it directly) and it pops out of the frame.
From there, I can slide the lens into the case, which helpfully provides slots for the frame and four lenses. I grab the lens I want and easily snap it into place thanks to the magnets. The whole process takes maybe 10 seconds. That’s insanely fast for changing lenses in today’s sunglass landscape.
For me, this made testing all the lenses extremely easy. But it also made the React Type R my “one pair of sunglasses to rule them all”. Their versatility was unmatched. A cloudy day or shaded trail run…I could pop in the yellow low-light lenses in my car before starting my run. Super bright, sunny day…I’d use the Blackout lens. Most of the time I kept the Glacier lenses in as those were my favorite.
It was so easy to swap lenses that I found myself more inclined to use the proper lens for the occasion versus my typical behavior of leaving my favorite lens in and never changing it. The React Type R is so easy to use that you’ll actually use the customization feature, something I’ve found people rarely use in other high-end interchangeable sunglasses.
Anti-Fog. Shady Rays doesn’t go out of its way to tout the fog protection of the React Type R on its website, but it should. My summer testing conditions included a bunch of hot and steamy runs and while I occasionally got a touch of fogging, it wasn’t ever a problem and went away quickly.
Few sunglasses achieve the anti-fog capabilities of the Shady Rays React Type R, especially when they have bulkier frames (which we’ll talk about later). I’d put these sunglasses up with top-of-the-line Oakleys in terms of getting rid of fog as it occurs.
Fun Factor. Easily swapping out lenses is fun and keeps things interesting between you and your Shady Rays React Type R. It doesn’t feel like one pair of sunglasses, but several. Swapping the lenses is so fast that it’s even worth doing just to match your daily casual outfit. There are literally no other glasses where I’d do that.
It’s also fun to be able to tell people who ask about your sunglasses for the second or third time that it’s the same pair they asked about before, just with new lenses. I’ve rarely seen my friends so impressed with a pair of sunglasses.
Bulk. The frame on the Shady Rays React Type R is beefy. For a bigger guy like myself, it didn’t feel like too much frame but it may feel a bit too heavy for smaller-headed folks.
The frames were done this way to provide room for both the magnets to live inside the frame and the lenses to sit within the frame. The lenses don’t move…at all, so that part worked well. However, if Shady Rays can figure out a way to reduce the bulk in future models, they’ll remove the biggest negative to these sunglasses.
Nose pads. While pliable, the nose pads on the Shady Rays React Tyle R, can’t move to customize fit. They worked really well for me, kept the sunglasses in place, and prevented any up-and-down movement, but there will inevitably be some noses for whom that’s insufficient. You likely already know who you are if non-moveable nose pads on sunglasses don’t work for you as you’ve seen this movie before. If that’s the case, grab a different pair from our best sunglasses list.
Shady Rays React Type R Summary
The Shady Rays React Type R may be the most fun sunglass on the market. True, it’s bulky, but it makes up for it in customization, anti-fog capabilities, and fun factor. The React Type R works great for running, hiking, riding, various outdoor activities, and casual wear. And with the WearTesters discount code, they’re a great value.
Use code TESTERS25 for 25% off at Shady Rays