ThinOptics reading glasses – lightweight, compact, thin
Along came this new thing called ThinOptics reading glasses, just launched in early 2014. I latched onto a pair of readers in a thin case to test and it wasn’t long before I was shouting, “Yabba-dabba do!”
As the company says, they are indeed “insanely” thin, tiny and light – about the size of two snack crackers side-by-side, not much thicker than a credit card (about 1/8th of an inch), and only about 0.5 ounces (15 grams).
There are no earpieces to fuddle with, unfold, and try to slip over your ears to get to the all-important seeing part. This is just the front eyeglass section – think of those vintage glasses on a stick from the old days but without the stick. The nosepiece is flexible and springy so you simply find the right place on your nose where the glasses sit well and push them down. The spring between the lenses holds them in place (usually … but more on that later).
You can easily slip the ThinOptics in their case into a pocket of most any kind, in the side pocket or strap pocket of a pack or in the tiniest of purses or bags. The lenses come in two strengths, with a range of .50 on either side: low (1.75) and high (2.50).
Cell phone cases (with a slot for the glasses on the back) are available for Android, Samsung and iPhone with the glasses, though we did not test those. There is also an eyeglass pod you can stick on the back of your own phone case that we also didn’t test. Now about my comment that the spring holds the ThinOptics glasses on your nose … “usually.” Don’t try it when you are really sweaty, either from activity or the heat. The glasses just slither right off the nose faster than a kid flying down a water slide. Sure, you can still hold them so that works for sweaty moments but don’t try it standing on the edge of a cliff or buh-bye glasses. We did also wonder why the pod has the opening on the long side instead of the short side. If it were on the short side, you could put the readers in the case and the case in your pocket but only have to pull out the glasses when you needed them. Now you have to retrieve both glasses and case then find a place to put the case. One additional idea would be to add the tiniest little eyelet molded into a corner of the case so you could hang it on a lanyard or secure it in a pack. NEW! As a follow-up to the tiny “nose-pinching” readers, ThinOptics in 2018 came out with super-thin regular glasses with arms, called the “Front Page Collection.” We tried out one of the two designs available in 2019, called the Brooklyn, and indeed they are super thin and extraordinarily light as a feather. Not only that, they are a fashion statement, so you don’t feel quite as, well, dorky with them on. You can slip them in their sturdy metal case into a side cargo pocket on tight pants, and nobody will even know you have them there. The styling is superb, and they also make wonderful travel readers or just-in-case reading glasses. Despite being practical take-alongs to slip into a pocket, the 4mm-thin case can still be a little difficult to open. In addition, there is a tiny bit of distortion around the edges so I would not want to wear them for more than quick reads, such as a menu in a restaurant. Designers also magnetized the case so the glasses pop back in almost on their own or they stick to the back of smartphones, but there is one problem with this feature: The case can demagnetize cardkeys, as happened to me at a hotel. So, keep your credit cards and hotel cards away. Available in two styles, several colors and four strengths.
All in all: Wonderful, thin, “just-in-case” ThinOptics reading glasses that don’t demand a second thought to take along on any adventure or just around town and are good enough without question to receive our HITT Seal of Approval.