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Question by brettminer. Uploaded on May 26, 2010
I've been working on an answer to this question for years. Problem is I always break the cheap ones and lose the expensive ones. The polarization seems to work well enough on the cheap ones, so here's my working theory: 5 pairs of cheap ones last about a year at about $100 per year; 1 pair of good ones lasts about 6 months at about $125 each-or $250 per year. So I suffer with the cheap ones. I realize that I'd come out ahead if I could make the good ones last 2 years, but that's crazy talk--I'm not going to change who I am just to save a few bucks on sunglasses. LOL
Polarized sunglasses definitely have the advantage over "cheap sunglasses" especially when on the water. It is amazing how much glare they cut out.
You should get what you pay for, and the more expensive polarized sunglasses should be optically better (little or no pinpoint or barrel distortion) across the lenses.
yes, growing up on the coastal waters I've owned Costa's, SPY, Serengeti's, Vuarnet and Bolle to name a few. Costa Del Mar for example has a seven layer film on some of thier glasses. Try wearing a 200.00 pair of Costas for a day on the water then go back to a 20.00 pair and see the difference. Look into the specs of Costa De Mar glasses as well as the layers they apply to their glasses.
Completely agree with every one else You definitely get what you pay for.
I had cheap sunglasses and then saved up and bought Costa De Mar and that are amazing colors pop where they used to be dull and cuts through glare like butter. I would only get them if you fish clear water though if you will be using them for fishing only. But if you use them daily they are worth it.
I have a $5 pair of polarized Berkley sunglasses from Wal-Mart, my wife has a pair of $250 Maui Jims. Mine are more comfortable and the difference in the lenses is absolutely not worth $245. When I lose or break the Berkley's, I am not out much either.
Funny you should ask. I took 4 pairs of polarized shades to a local trout stream this morning to compare them - a cheap set of yellows, a pair of older Maui Jim coppers, a pair of Orvis HVO coppers (glass lens), and a new pair of Costa Del Mar silvers (courtesy of F&S). The last 3 each retail well over $200.
All three of the $200+ shades allowed me to see more of the bottom with much better clarity than the cheap pair. But the (older) Maui Jims made colors look flat. The Orvis and Costa brought out more colors and allowed me to see the bottom better. Slight edge in clarity go to Orvis with the glass lens. Slight edge in color goes to Costa. I am happy with both.
So, I see a difference based on cost, at least with these lens, and I also see differences between the higher priced shades. But I'd rather be on the water with a cheap pair of polarized lens than none at all. I also have a set of clear non-polarized lens for night fishing - just to deflect any errant flies from my eyes.
Ray-Bans are the original, and are still used by police dept & Pilot's I buy my Prescription glasses with Photogrey lenses they work well also.
More info than you probably want.
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Ray-Ban Logo ray ban.jpg
Type Subsidiary of Luxottica Group S.p.a.
Founder(s) Bausch & Lomb
Headquarters Italy Agordo,, Italy, Formerly Rochester, NY
Products High End Eyewear and Sunglasses
Ray-Ban is a manufacturer of high-end sunglasses, founded in 1937 by Bausch & Lomb. They were introduced for the United States Army Air Corps. In 1999, Bausch & Lomb sold the brand to the Italian Luxottica Group for a reported $1.2billion.
Ray-Bans were created in 1937. Some years earlier, Lieutenant John MacCready returned from a balloon flying adventure and complained that the sun had permanently damaged his eyes. He contacted Bausch & Lomb asking them to create sunglasses that would provide protection and also look elegant. On May 7, 1937, Bausch & Lomb took out the patent. The prototype, known as Anti-Glare, had an extremely light frame weighing 150 grams. They were made of gold-plated metal with green lenses made of mineral glass to filter out infrared and ultraviolet rays. Pilots in the United States Army Air Corps immediately adopted the sunglasses. The Ray-Ban Aviator became a well-known style of sunglasses when General Douglas MacArthur landed on the beach in the Philippines in World War II, and photographers snapped several pictures of him wearing them.
* 1 Formula One Sponsorship
* 2 Sundance Film Festival
* 3 See also
* 4 References
 Formula One Sponsorship
In July 2004, Ray-Ban officially became partners with the BAR Honda F1 Team. The Ray-Ban logo was featured in a prominent position on the helmet visors of race drivers Jenson Button, Rubens Barrichello, and third driver Anthony Davidson. For the 2006 season, the distinctive Ray-Ban signature also appeared on the cockpit sides of Honda Racing’s RA106 race car. Honda Racing F1 Team members wore the Ray-Ban 4075 sunglasses model from its spring and summer 2006 sun collection.
On April 19, 2009, it was announced that Ray-Ban would continue its sponsorship of the Brawn GP team which was formed following the exit of Honda from Formula One. The distinctive Ray-Ban logo continued to appear on the helmet visors of Brawn GP’s race drivers Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello since the Chinese Grand Prix weekend. The Brawn GP team members wore Ray-Ban sunglasses from the brand’s 2009 range. 
I agree with a lot of what's been said above about the better glasses (Serengeti, Bolle, Costa, etc.). I tend to disagree about the cheaper ones equating to the better ones. As for losing them I found that when I spent hard earned money on them and got a lanyard I started keeping glasses until lenses started showing wear instead of making Foster Grant rich.
My analogy would be cheap optics on a rifle you depend on (your eyes being the rifle) vs. the good stuff that rewards you with quality. B!+c# about the $$$ later. My eyes are priceless to me. I'm the only person in my whole family to make it past 40 and not have to have contacts or prescription lenses of any kind. If you are young and you drive a lot, fish a lot, or fly, get the good stuff, and the payoff will be less eye strain and fatigue.
I have purchased trendy expensive glasses and cheapo 7-11 sunglasses. my favorites are found in the hunting/fishing section of walmart. although the paint is wearing off of my current ones they have still work fine whether I'm driving, fishing or pretty to pay attention in class
"pretending" whoops I had a senior moment
Recently I found a set of Serengeti glasses at the Bushnell factory outlet in Lenexa, KS that I love. They were on closeout sale so I bought 2 sets. Bushnell also owns Bolle but the Serengeti's fit like a glove, look great and don't slide down my nose. The frames are rubber coated.
I'm sure the pricier ones are better, but I go cheap. My luck w/sunglasses is horrible, and my budget runneth under.
Good optics will cost you, but instead of cringing when you spend the bucks on good stuff, you ask yourself why you waited. My first good sunglasses, my first good binoculars, my first good modern scope - all expensive yet very rewarding experiences that blew away the old gear.
Senior moment S.G. you cant be over 30?
Well I have always been taught you get what you pay for. So if spend a dime on a diamond ring chances are you've gotten a diamond ring not worth a dime! I am not saying you have to spend your childs school fund, but You are always better off getting something that will last you, if you take care of them, then to replace them with cheap every season. Good luck and Good hunting
ha moishe, I turned 27 last month thankyousomuch for reminding how close I am.
I'm always losing my sunglasses and I'm a wicked penny pincher so for a long time I bought only very cheap glasses. I finally bought a pair of L.L.Bean glasses with a leather shield on each side of the lens and cable frames. For whatever reason I still have these glasses and they are excellent. I have a horrible time ,especially in the winter snow, with glare and these glasses have totally eliminated this particular problem.
I have Oakley Square Wire Polarized Fishing Sunglasses Pewter/ Shallow Blue 12-754 for $148.89..It has serve me well through my fishing endeavor and my boating event..
Moishe, I have plenty of Ray-Bans and Thank you for posting information on this!!!
For some reason any expensive pair of glasses I buy something horrible happens to them in less than 5 months. If I buy a cheap Bass Pro special for $20 then it last forever...I'm cursed.
I am alarmingly destructive of my glasses (sit on them, lose them, walk away from them, etc.) and the expense of replacing them is an occasional burden, but I recently ordered a pair of prescription sunglasses that were no more expensive than some of the better frames & lenses, and they've served me well. I now use a nylon cord (purchased at REI) that allows them to hang from my neck when they're not in use or if I'm indoors, so I haven't walked away from them, and I keep these in a hard case that offers them better protection. We'll see how long these last!
Thanks Everyone. I bought my first pair of polarized fishing glasses a few weeks ago. I must say that I was surprised how much better I did fishing. But on a bright overcast day I still couldnt see anything.
So the brands I got from you all were:
Ray ban (nice report moishe)
Costa Del Mar (sounds like this is the best?)
I am pretty much sold but I would like to hear everyones favorite three brands. I am looking for a pair that is stylish to wear day to day. Should I look at sunglass hut? I would like to be able to try em on.
S.G. don't worry, I am only a year behind ya. 30 is kinda scary looking isnt it! Still just a number and only means something if ya let it lol.
As much as I like my Ray-Bans I find that obtaining replacement parts such as the nose pads that seem to fall off often are difficult to locate. Not ever the B & L web site offers much. A couple local opticians told me that B & L no longer has traveling reps at least in this area of the country. If anyone knows where to get the replacement nose pads please let me know.
I've had Oakley Eye Jackets (Crap, weak frames)
Rayban (lost 2 pairs in a row)
WIley X both good ballistic non polarized
Berkly best cheap ones you'll get 10 bucks!
100 bucks is about my limit on glasses. I will agree you get what you pay for but I shoot Leupold not Zeiss!
im to cheap so i always use my dads he gets these fancy ones from work that can protect you from electric flashes and are polarized
I've bought from Ebay and Academy sports. Some times you can find mark downs at Academy. I lost my pair of Costa Del Mars at an inlaws garage sale. MY bro inlaw sold them for a buck while I went inside, We dont speak anymore!
A good pair of polarized Oakleys will allow you to see more in the water and redice teh glare
as long as they are polarized they will work if you check most all are made by the same companies just sold under differant names, save your money and buy more bait.
Late to the discussion, but quality does vary greatly and cost does tend to go up as quality increases. In researching polarized sunglasses myself, here is what I was able to discern. First big consideration is what the lenses are made of: glass is optically the clearest, the commonly used plastic polymer CR 39 is next and is good, and the also common polycarbonate is behind both in optical clarity. Some other companies have their own proprietary high end polymer materials they've developed that are very good, many claiming to be near the clarity of glass but more shatter and scratch resistant. Though glass is ultimately the clearest, it also breaks more easily as opposed to the more shatter resistant plastics. Aside from lens material, the methods used to polarize the lenses also vary. Cheap glasses tend to apply a film to the lens, whereas others "sandwich" a super-thin polarization layer within the lens. You can look at sunglass makers' websites to find out about their methods for polarizing their products and adding other treatments to the lenses (water-shedding, scratch resisting, etc).
I personally am a fan of Kaenon sunglasses. The are made of the company's own proprietary polymer and offer great scratch resistance, great anti-glare (a big advantage of good polarization), superior clarity, and I like their general approach to frame styles. A great resource for good polarized shades on the cheap is the website steepandcheap.com - it's a one-deal-at-a-time discount website that offers a fairly regular rotation of Costa Del Mar, Kaenon, Oakley, and other brands of sunglasses at deeply discounted prices.
One word. YES.
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