Best sunglasses for sailing on bright days - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 31 Old 09-07-2015 Thread Starter
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Best sunglasses for sailing on bright days

Last summer I bought a pair of Maui Jim sunglasses with the polarized lenses. I bought them because I heard so many good things about them and they looked "cool." I have to say that I really don't care for them. At the end of a bright sunny day my eyes are very tired and feel strained. They are a medium sized frame and I know that is part of the problem as some light is coming in on the sides. I am looking to replace them with something different. I am looking for a great pair of sunglasses and looking "cool" is no longer a requirement. I just want a polarized lens with good color representation and dark enough to handle the brightest days. I am probably going to go with something that has a more substantial side coverage. I'd like to keep the cost under $200. What glasses do you love?
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post #2 of 31 Old 09-07-2015
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Re: Best sunglasses for sailing on bright days

Originally Posted by krazzz View Post
I know that is part of the problem as some light is coming in on the sides.
Supplement your sunglasses with a nice wide brimmed hat, and you can sit out in the sun all day. :-)

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Re: Best sunglasses for sailing on bright days

I love my Maui's for some days, when things get really bright I wear my Ray-Ban Wayfarers with polarized lenses. More than 200$.
I'm very picky about my sunglasses, I get migraines triggered by bright sunlight.
Some slightly overcast days I go for my Ray-Ban drivers glasses with the copper lens, once again full UVA and UVB protection.
I also usually wear a Tilly hat onboard, not one of the outback ones, Gilligan style!
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post #4 of 31 Old 09-07-2015
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Re: Best sunglasses for sailing on bright days

The best sunglasses I've used for sailing have been prescription sunglasses. I think the brand is irrelevant, other than finding ones that fit properly, but they were Carribean Sun, I believe.

Here's what I did... I found frames that fit snug, and wrapped around my head properly, and sat comfortably on my ears (a big deal for me, cause most wrap around glasses crush my ears).. Then the lenses have to be large enough to cover the whole eye .

Polarized is a requirement, not an option. Trust me the glare on the water is what gets you the most.

Finally, its REALLY hard to get dark polarized glasses. Most regular sunglasses are darker than the typical polarized glasses... so I was after customized darker...

So I ordered glasses with gray polarization, and blue metalized mirrored lenses. The result was a nice dark set of glasses, that reduced glare properly. Sadly I lost them 2 years later.

They were close to $300 when I was done, as they were also my own eye prescription... my eyes aren't real bad so it was a light prescription, but it really helped bring in focus the whole view.

Finally Tanski is right, a good wide brimmed hat helps with glare from directly above (noon day sun).

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post #5 of 31 Old 09-07-2015
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Re: Best sunglasses for sailing on bright days

I work offshore as a mate in the Gulf and I have always had Costa del Mar sunglasses. Nothing comes close to their shade and polarization and I have put on other people's polarized glasses. Nothing comes close. I like Maui Jim, they're more of a stylish brand and their polarization is nice too but not as good as Costa. Maui Jim does have a awesome warranty though. I have heard stories from people who work at eye doctors and sunglass retailers that were unbelievable. One of them a guy sent his glasses in to get replaced because his dog chewed on them, they sent him a new pair with a chew toy and a note that said, "next time your dog wants to chew give him this." and another story some guy sat on his glasses and they sent him a new pair with a tiny tiny note that had 'I will not sit on my glasses' over and over again. Just awesome customer service.

But if your looking at staying on the water sailing all day, Costa del Mar hands down.

Be kind to your eyes, buy quality glasses! I have 2 pair of them, would like to get another pair (I have given thst frame to the lake twice already)

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post #6 of 31 Old 09-07-2015
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I find my Costa del Mars, Bolles, and Oakleys to be all fairly similar. I like the fit and coverage of my Oakleys the best, but that is an individual thing. They are the model they made for the alinghi crew that I got on deep discount.
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post #7 of 31 Old 09-07-2015
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Re: Best sunglasses for sailing on bright days

For sailing, a wide side/temple is an absolute requirement. I can't stand them when driving a car, so I leave them on the boat. I have an expensive pair of Kaenon and an inexpensive pair of Suncloud. The expensive pair fit a little better, but I truly think that's coincidence. They both work well.

My Maui Jims are for the car only, simply because they have narrow temples. I do like them.

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post #8 of 31 Old 09-07-2015
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Re: Best sunglasses for sailing on bright days

Maui Jim's "grey" lenses are not as god for varying ocean conditions. The Bronze seem to work for me.

Sunglasses can be a very personal choice. What one person thinks is the greatest thing, someone else might be less impressed with.

I think Maui Jim's are some of the best and they have a huge selection of frames. The price tag is a bit over the top though...

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post #9 of 31 Old 09-07-2015
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Re: Best sunglasses for sailing on bright days

Most of the moderately expensive sunglass lenses are made by the same company, Luxxotica if memory serves. This include Maui Jims. I have Maui Jim in bronze with a wrap around frame and quite like them since they fit well. Not cheap though, although well under $200 at Costco.

After the refit we have decided to sell Ainia. We want something smaller that would be could for the light summer winds of Lake Ontario, although we plan to spend at least a couple of winters in the Caribbean before heading north.
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post #10 of 31 Old 09-07-2015
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Re: Best sunglasses for sailing on bright days

I have found that glacier glasses, used for mountaineering, are the best for intense reflected sunlight. There are no polarized glasses as strong that I know of. I've had situations going directly into the sun where I've had multiple glasses on. Sometimes I think welding glasses might be useful:-) For looking for coral heads, definitely polarized with sun overhead but for heavy duty eye protection something stronger is needed.

For WAY cheaper than designer glasses you can have glasses that will protect your eyes 100% and actually stay on:
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Last edited by smurphny; 09-07-2015 at 11:28 AM.
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