Polarized Polycarbonate Lenses

I have always used my 20 year-old B&L Ray-Bans w/ glass lenses as my on-the-water sunglasses and they remain almost unbelievably scratch-free. I’ve long been wanting a pair of Polarized glasses for obvious reasons, but I’m concerned about durability, especially in the salt.

What’s been your experience? Are my concerns about scratching and/or abrasion susceptibility unfounded? Got any faves?

Prescription sunglasses
I’ve needed to wear glasses since I was kid. For years I’ve always had a separate pair of sunglasses. Since I took up paddling again 15 years ago, I’ve had polarized prescription sunglasses. I’m into my fourth pair. Durability not an issue, but my prescription has changed.

i can vouch
For coasta del mar glasses. They have any indestructible lenses. But it cost a fortune. I just go the cvs and get polarized glasses for twenty bucks and get a new pair every year.

Ryan L.

Transitions Lenses

– Last Updated: Apr-10-11 11:42 PM EST –

Been wearing prescription glasses most of my life.
Protecting eyes while on the water from the sun’s
harmful UVA & UVB rays is accomplished using
"transition lenses"


These are great for snow sports as well
- snow blindness actually hurts and is painful

I’m into my fourth pair …
“Durability not an issue, but my prescription has changed.”

I lost three pairs of regular glasses last year in the surf, rolling without croakies, etc. (on that last one, I just forgot). ;-(

Smith, MauiJim…(non-prescrip)
Both have nice lenses/coatings along with nice wrap-around sides! Smiths have the usual nice thin…BUT wide rims = more chance to successfully wipe off that accidental touch of destructive solutions(flydope, sunscreen…etc) on the lense. Get used to holding onto them at their rims helps prevent those lense-killing accidents. Good advice on the prescriptions…


They’re great on the beach too…
When I’m with my wife and pretending to read.

get readers
I got prescription polarized lens in Ray Ban frames. They asked if I wanted bifocals and thought why would I need to read on the water. Forgot about charts and GPS. If these are prescription lens and you need them to read consider getting bifocals. I have had mine for three plus years and only very minor scratching on lens and I am very hard on them

Another vote for Smith Optics
I have been through many pairs sailing, rowing and paddling. I find that Smith offers the best polarized lenses, both in smoke and rose.

Any PC lens will scratch more easily than glass, though. That’s just the nature of the material.

A vote for Bolle

– Last Updated: Apr-12-11 1:37 PM EST –

I like the $39 Bolles I get from Campmor. They're pollarized, have a scratch resistant coating, and I look good in them.;>)
20 years of use??? I get 2-3 years and I'm happy, I use, abuse, and lose.

…and the last 4 have been first 2 pair bifocals then 2 pair progressives, all polarized. One of the best things I’ve done.

Funny thing is, after wearing shades down here, I learned the utility of polarized shades only after spending my first winter in school in Iowa, when sunny days and snow made mincemeat of my old photogray lenses. I then switched to clear regular glasses and supremely dark-tinted sunglasses for outdoors. Worked very well, save for, after being on the water down here, I realized polarized lenses were the only way to go -polarized lenses cut the glint and the glare wonderfully.

Now, I won’t entertain thoughts of transitions lenses because they aren’t polarized, and always opt for both polarized and progressive lenses for my shades. I prefer aviators -akin to the original Ray-Bans -because they offer better protection and a wide field of vision. The only problems I ever have with them is cocking my head while reading dash gauges on the cars -sometimes they’ll blank the view, but I’ve grown used to accommodating that characteristic and it’s no longer a problem.

ANd they’re great on the water -I can see far and wide with no blinding glare, and still read maps and the GPS, as I


-Frank in Miami

Fishing Polarized Glasses

– Last Updated: Apr-13-11 11:04 AM EST –

I've had decent luck with WalMart purchased fishing glasses (or at least they are stocked usually in the Fishing area). At one point a couple of years ago I bought 4 pairs at $5 each. These are nice wrap-around lightweight sports-looking polarized glasses. With a $1 neoprene strap (sold there too), I still have the last pair with me. On a couple of these I had to drop a drop a super glue as the lense were not well attached to the frame - solid since.

I've lost a couple of pairs in surf despite the strap and them being floatable with the strap - just disappeared...

The $5 I have not been able to find again or I'd by a dozen. I've gotten usually the $15 versions from WalMart or other similar places. They are perfect for paddling. I also use them for skiing in sunny and not too cold weather.

They do not scratch unless you scratch them - just rinse after use or use mild soap if needed. Mine scratch from rattling in the glove box in the car more than they do from use on the water... If you don't roll or play in rough water with your head underwater occasionally, a pair of more expensive glasses may be OK, but I tend to lose mine so I'd rather have "disposables" - they are clear enough to not distract my eyesight and I have not seen any modern glasses that distort vision (old ones used to distort as you look towards the corners, new ones seem to be good about that).

Thanks to all responders.
I don’t know how or why I manage to hang on to things like sunglasses, I just do.

When my glass lenses get so salt-encrusted that I’m blind, I either dunk them or lick them and rub them dry on my t-shirt or whatever I can find that’s not saturated. The glass has not suffered from this even one little bit - the plastic frames, otoh, look like hell - but, I doubt polarized coatings on plastic will prove as resistant to abrasion.

My research indicates that different makers use different types of coatings and that some coatings approach the hardness of glass. The problem is that this type of specification is rarely available to the consumer.

With sunglasses, I’d be willing to pay a premium for durability, but, in the meantime, going the cheapo route for a season might be best. Thanks again.