Polarized sunglasses suggestions?

Hello, folks! Based on all the good information I’ve gleaned here in the past, my wife has asked me to post a question about sunglasses and get some feedback. My wife is responsible for the bow chores and obstacle avoidance, and finds that a pair of polarized glasses help her perform her duties better (I never fuss at her, even though she says I do- G!).

She seldom keeps track of a pair from year to year, and they are often scratched up by the end of the year anyhow. Keeping in mind these are semi-disposables, are there any particular things to keep in mind while shopping for these? Are the $10 Walmarts as good as the $30 Walmarts as good as the $130+ name brands? In your experience, are the gray-tinted the best, or do the reddish tinted and/ or “blueblockers” work best?

My prescription glasses tint automatically, so I don’t have these worries. She sure would appreciate some suggestions; any input? Thanks a lot, happy paddling, Regan

I like the $10-$12 pairs from walmart. Seem to all work be it ruby tint or blue tint. I got a neopene case for $1.50 to store em in.

I use bolle polarized from campmor
and pay about $30. Got no knock on walmart. I also use chums and a floation dongle, available at west marine or where you find it.

i second the wally world ones. Go to the fish-en section and take a look.

gray lenses will give truer colors and less eyestrain, definatly get a cord

The Wal-Marts are as good as anything else, provided theyreally are polarized. The quick way to find out is to line up two lenses from two pair of sunglasses. Rotate one pair 90. You should not be able to see thru them if they are polarized.

“Blue blockers” IMO are a waste…and the color distortion can be very misleading.

Regarding your bow paddler as the obstacle observer: Sometimes they really can’t see! Obvious things above water are easy. It’s when the obstacle is a rock barely beneath the surface in flat water.

Maybe it’s the angle, maybe it’s because the stern paddler has the boat in front for perspective, but 9 times out of 10, the bow paddler just does not spot that rock, even with polarized glasses.

I third them.
Wally World or other $15-$30 ones will easily suffice and you won’t cry nearly as hard when someone sits on them. Wrap-around style is the most protective for your eyes. I do find a bit of quality difference between the absolute cheapest ones and the next grade up. I don’t find much difference between that grade and the expensive ones.

According to the fishing “experts” the brown tint is best.

Like you I’m stuck with glasses. Your prescription glasses aren’t likely to be polarized. You’d be shocked at how big of a difference it makes. You might want to try a pair of cheap clip-on polarized lenses too. IMO there’s a BIG difference.

I like a brown/amber lens to warm things up a bit on an overcast day or in winter, and a gray lens when there’s full summer sun. Overall I prefer the brown because it does seem to enhace contrast.

Lost Two Pairs of $300 RayBan
I lost a $300 pair of prescription RayBans in a dump on the North Fork of the American, and another pair got stolen from my truck. I am now using a $20 pair I got at a shop in Capitola.

I passed my driver vision test without glasses, so my vision is not that bad without the prescription.

There is a lot to be said for cheap sunglasses.

Dollar General. . .
IF you’re only looking at something to just shield the eyes from the sun.

NC Cal

still too much!
why spend even a dollar on sunglasses? hell, i found a couple of old bones in the dumpster and made me some good ol’ Inuit sunglasses, with a tiny slit in each bone to let in the light. duct tape 'em to the back of my head and i’m good to go. no goddam yuppie glasses here!

Am going to water trial a pair of Sea
Specs. I need Rx lenses, dark gray seem to work best offshore, brown on the flats. I came close to losing a pair of Costa del Sol in a dump-despite the floating Croakies. The integral headband on the SeaSpecs look like the ticket.

Native Eyeware
If you do want to buy something a little nicer than Wally-world, try Native Eyeware’s Nano or Nano2 (squared). Very nice and higher quality. I bought some Wally-worlds that are exactly (and I mean EXACTLY) like my Natives. But after less than a year of normal use, the Wally-world models lenses are starting to look cloudy and the frames are “flaking”. The Nano’s are still perfect.


My Nano’s were about $50.

Swimming upstream here…
Spend the money on your head, not your feet. Strong vote for Maui Jim sunglasses…

For optical clarity, glass lenses with multiple coatings are just easier on your ( or your wife’s )only set of eyes in the long run… whats more important than that ?

Go to one of those sunglass warehouse places on a sunny day and really try some different ones out. Look at the lenses from an angle, if they are wavy, IMO you are going to get a headache after 30 minutes .

After using almost every Brand on the market,

( Hobie and Ray Ban g-15 grey being 2nd and 3rd favs.) I went for the MJS and I can honestly say, I could feel the difference the inside coatings make on light that passes or bounces through, then off my haole face- off the lense and back into my eyes… the MJS cut down noticeably better on refracted glare on and off the water. Get some chums and take care of them. Not the place to winge on price.

Can wear them because I like the cheap flip flops the best too. :slight_smile:

I also got the $30 Bolle’s from
Campmor. I have some S & W tinted safety glasses ,but after a few hours on the water, my eyes feel fried for a day or 2.

I wear
Maui Jim, Costa del mars, fishing and kayaking revo h2o driving all over $200 but worth it. They last for years very clear vision and color sharpness. On the other hand if you are not going to take care of your glasser $15 fishing glasses will do the trick. But way you pay a couple of hundred for sun glasses you will take care of them. I’ve had my revo’s for 8 years my maui jims for 6 yrs. Costa del mar’s for 1 year wear them every day and they are all like new. You get what you pay for.

for the help, folks. A lot of good information here. JoeLD, I was a LITTLE tongue-in-cheek about the obstacle avoidance; we all know what it’s like to hit something that NOBODY has seen. The straps are a must, and something we already use, every time. We travel with our two kids (9 & 13), and they would lose glasses every other trip if not for the straps. Yak-a-lou, thanks for the tip about the polarized clip-ons; I didn’t realize such a thing was available. I’ll try to scout them out.

I’m still interested in hearing other experiences and opinions, as well. Thanks again, Regan

I used to buy the cheap-o

– Last Updated: Apr-19-04 11:01 PM EST –

Bill Dance, Walmart, or Bass Pro Shops $6.00 to $10.00 a pair sunglasses but found they scratched very easily. The vision quality was variable from pair to pair and they wouldn't last more than two or three months.

Then I tried my cousins Costa del Mars, and $130 and three years later I'm sold on them. I wear them boating, driving, and even working in the yard. And I find since they cost so much, I take much better care of them than I did the cheap-o's. With a pair of higher $$ glasses, you've got to use straps though. I lost mine once in a shallow pond, and had to dive in running my hands back and forth along a muddy bottom for a couple of hours until I found them!

I would recommend spending the extra $$$ for a nicer pair. After all, you only have one pair of eyes!!


Zebco made flip-lens polarized fishing
glasses. Not too dark, just right, and if it got temporarily cloudy or the lenses got splashed, I could just flip the lenses up. They were cheap, and roomy enough for a smallish wire frame pair of prescription glasses underneath.

I got them a long time ago at Sports Authority, near the fishing gear. I put a safety loop around the flip-up hinge to prevent the glasses from slipping off the frame unexpectedly.