Cebe are a french company with a long history of making sunglasses. I remember my first visit to Chamonix 10 or so years ago and it seemed like the whole town had a pair. The brand’s popularity outside of the Alps has fluctuated somewhat over the intervening years. However, in 2014 Cebe still make some of the best sunglasses you buy and their range is looking pretty awesome overall.
The Ice 8000’s are Cebe’s top of the range mountain glasses. They are designed for full on mountain use in the Alps, Himalaya, or where ever you need a durable, protective pair of sunglasses with a dark lens. I’ve been using a pair for the past few months on trips to the Alps and Norway.
The first thing I noticed about the Ice 8000’s was the fit. The arms are beautifully curved and hold onto the head very well, without feeling too tight. A small retainer leash does come with the glasses for extra security, though I’ve haven’t had to use it so far.
The arms themselves rotate around so the glasses fit better into the case. It’s a little disconcerting twisting the arms around for the first time, but doing so does decrease the overall size of the sunglasses for storage. They also sit nice and flat in a pocket without their case with the arms folded, should they need stowing for a short period of time.
The mineral glass lens Cebe have used on this version of the Ice 8000 is at the dark end of category 4 and offers fantastic clarity and protection. Along with the usual 100% protection against UVA and UVB light, the lens has both an anti reflective coating and a coating to block the harmful infra-red light that is often found at high altitude. They also have a scratch resistant finish to improve durability. The lens felt great whilst splitboarding on bluebird days. I often do have tired eyes after a day in the sun, but didn’t experience any problems at all after wearing the Ice 8000’s.
I like how Cebe have addressed the problem of light ingress around the frames of the glasses; the Ice 8000’s have small flip down side shields that can be used in really bright conditions, but flipped up again should they not be needed. That way you get some of the protection of an old school pair of glacier glasses with leather side pieces, but in a style that looks ok for regular use. I’d like to be able to ‘snap’ them into place so they stay down (or up), but that’s a minor point.
Rounding off the features there’s a rubber nose with small grooves in that works well to keep the sunglasses in place if things are getting sweaty on the skin track. Plus a nice compact zipped case and a lens cloth. The Ice 8000’s come in several different combinations of frame colour and lens type, including a photochromic version with a category 2-4 lens which looks pretty interesting.
In summation then I’d fully recommend the Ice 8000’s to anyone looking for legitimate mountain eye-wear in a modern shape and style for ski touring, splitboarding or mountaineering. They fit well and are super comfortable. Most importantly they offer great protection along with feeling robust enough not to worry too much about taking a spare pair on a big trip.