Sunglass Shootout:

5 reasons you shouldn’t skimp on your shades

The Freewaters Trifecta:

A Different Kind of Sandal

POSTED BY DAVID BOLLER | MAY, 26 2018

I have a confession to make. I used to never wear sunglasses. If I had a pair, they were usually free or I paid less than 10 dollars. I figured sunglasses were sunglasses...

I have learned since that time, and I am a little more careful about what I put on my face. Honestly, I am a little surprised I wasn’t more careful earlier in my life. When Native Eyewear sent me some of their shades to try out, I realized I had the perfect chance to share what I have learned.

I have put together a kind of sunglass shoot-out. Cheap vs Quality. Think of it as a 5 round boxing match. In one corner, we have a pair of shades I picked up at a local gas station. In the other, Native Eyewear has a tag team of contenders ready to tango.

Before we go on, I would like to make a point of clarification. In the world of sunglasses, as in life, more expensive does not automatically equal better. Buy based on quality. There are great options out there (like Native) that won’t break the bank. That being said, you are unlikely to find all of the features your eyes deserve on eyewear you snagged at a gas station (spoiler alert).

So, let the battle begin.

Round 1: UV Protection

Polarized lenses are essential because they block UV light. Your eyesight is very important (obviously), but it’s also more fragile than you might think. UV light can prematurely age your eyes, and long-term exposure can lead to cataracts or macular degeneration. Non-polarized lenses, like the ones on my gas station shades, can actually make these negative effects worse. This is because they block visible light without blocking UV. As a result, your eye will dilate (due to the reduced visible light), allowing in more damaging UV. No bueno.

Non-polarized lenses can actually make these negative effects worse. This is because they block visible light without blocking UV


Make sure you buy your lenses from a brand you can trust. A lot of glasses say “polarized,” but if they aren’t made by a reputable brand, you have no guarantee they are blocking all UV light. Native lenses are certified to block 100% of UV light, while also filtering out over 4x more infrared light than the industry standard.

Score:
Gas Station: 0 | Native: 1

Round 2: Safety & Construction

Safety is a factor I don’t think many people consider. Which is a little surprising considering we are putting then right next to our eyes… Cheap or poorly made lenses are more likely to shatter or become dislodged in the case of an impact. In the same way, poorly made frames are more susceptible to impact. In either case, sharp edges can be headed towards your eyes at a high rate of speed. If you are adventure prone, (you probably are if you are on our site) this is serious concern. You can see the results of our almost scientific "stomp test". Yikes.

Sunglasses that are made to higher standards help reduce the risk to your face. In the case of Native, their lenses are made of a shatter-resistant polycarbonate and are designed to eject away from your face. Their frames are not only made of more durable materials, but also feature a multi-layer construction that adds strength without adding weight.

If you do manage to break them, they come with a Limited Lifetime Warranty. The benefit of buying a better product is that the company that makes it will usually stand behind it. I think the choice here is obvious. I don’t know anyone who likes pointy objects getting stuck in their eyes, and then paying for the broken sunglasses.

Gas Station: 0   Native: 2

Round 3: Optics

I know that sunglass lenses seem simple. A fancy piece of plastic. Most aren’t even corrective lenses, right? Well, that’s both true and not true. Cheap sunglasses, like our gas station friend, do have lenses that are little more than fancy plastic. That’s not a good thing. Even though sunglasses are not prescription, they affect your vision. Either for better or for worse. The cheap lenses are in that latter category.

Higher quality lenses, like those our Natives are sporting, feature a lot of technology to improve your vision. Features such as de-centered construction that puts the optical center of the lens in your natural line of sight. This reduces eye-strain and distortion. Natives also filter certain types of light that cause color distortion. They also cut out glare, and have scratch resistant coatings that keep them clearer for longer.

Cheap lenses reduce your visual acuity. Good ones improve it. Simple math.

Gas Station: 0 Native: 3

Round 4: Fit & Comfort

This is pretty straight-forward. Your sunglasses should fit your face. A proper fit could mean the difference between all day comfort, and watching with squinted eyes as your sunglasses sink to the bottom of some beautiful lake.

Cheap sunglasses are a one-size fits all proposition. Faces come in many sizes. I am not sure what else to add there. Higher quality sunglasses take this into account. They will either be offered in multiple sizes, or different styles will be made to fit different size faces. For instance, the El Jefe (Left) are made for a large face. I have a large face. Perfect. The Sixty-Six (right) are made for a medium face. My wife has a medium face. Again, perfect.

Nicer sunglasses also come with features such as vented lenses and fast-action hinges. They are also usually lighter on your face, which means they are comfortable for longer. Another easy decision.

Gas Station: 0 Native: 4

Round 5: Environmental Impact

This last category is much more subjective, but still very important to me (and probably you). Cheap sunglasses are cheap because they make compromises. They are made of petroleum based plastics by the manufacturer who put in the lowest bid. You don’t know the chemicals that are used to make them, how much waste is created, or how that waste is disposed of. It’s impossible to know what kind of impact they will have on our world, but it’s safe to assume that is probably not positive.

When you are buying your next pair of shades, this is a serious consideration. When you buy a quality pair, you have a better chance of buying from a quality company. For example, Native constructs their frames from a sustainable, agriculturally derived and biodegradable resin. They even go so far as to eliminate any unnecessary elements of their packaging. What does make it to you is made of eco-friendly materials such as recycled shopping bags, plastic water bottles, soy-based inks, and recycled cardboard.

While it is subjective, the choice here still seems obvious to me.

Gas Station: 0 Native: 5

Next time you need to buy a pair of shades, do your eyes a favor and don’t skimp. I will repeat myself by saying this doesn’t mean you have to pay a ton of money. You can find affordable options that have all of the features listed above. You can look great, protect your eyes, and still save some money in the long run because you will won’t be replacing them every month (unless you lose stuff as easily as I do).

Sunglass Shootout:

5 reasons you shouldn’t skimp on your shades

POSTED BY DAVID BOLLER | MAY, 26 2018

I have a confession to make. I used to never wear sunglasses. If I had a pair, they were usually free or I paid less than 10 dollars. I figured sunglasses were sunglasses...

I have learned since that time, and I am a little more careful about what I put on my face. Honestly, I am a little surprised I wasn’t more careful earlier in my life. When Native Eyewear sent me some of their shades to try out, I realized I had the perfect chance to share what I have learned.

I have put together a kind sunglass shoot-out. Cheap vs Quality. Think of it as a 5 round boxing match. In one corner, we have a pair of shades I picked up at a local gas station. In the other, Native Eyewear has a tag team of contenders ready to tango.

Before we go on, I would like to make a point of clarification. In the world of sunglasses, as in life, more expensive does not automatically equal better. Buy based on quality. There are great options out there (like Native) that won’t break the bank. That being said, you are unlikely to find all of the features your eyes deserve on eyewear you snagged at a gas station (spoiler alert).

So, let the battle begin.

Round 1: UV Protection

Polarized lenses are essential because they block UV light. Your eyesight is very important (obviously), but it’s also more fragile than you might think. UV light can prematurely age your eyes, and long-term exposure can lead to cataracts or macular degeneration. Non-polarized lenses, like the ones on my gas station shades, can actually make these negative effects worse. This is because they block visible light without blocking UV. As a result, your eye will dilate (due to the reduced visible light), allowing in more damaging UV. No Bueno.

Non-polarized lenses can actually make these negative effects worse. This is because they block visible light without blocking UV


Make sure you buy your lens from a brand you can trust. A lot of glasses say “polarized,” but if they aren’t made by a reputable brand, you have no guarantee they are blocking all UV light. Native lenses are certified to block 100% of UV light, while also filtering out over 4x more infrared light than the industry standard.

Score:
Gas Station: 0 | Native: 1

Round 2: Safety & Construction

Safety is a factor I don’t think many people consider. Which is a little surprising consider we are putting then right next to our eyes… Cheap or poorly made lenses are more likely to shatter or become dislodged in the case of an impact. In the same way, poorly made frames are more susceptible to impact. In either case, sharp edges can be headed towards your eyes at a high rate of speed. If you are adventure prone, (you probably are if you are on our site) this is serious concern. You can see the results of our almost scientific "stomp test". Yikes.

Sunglasses that are made to higher standards help reduce the risk to your face. In the case of Native, their lenses are made of a shatter-resistant polycarbonate and are designed to eject away from your face. Their frames are not only made of more durable materials, but also feature a multi-layer construction that adds strength without adding weight.

If you do manage to break them, they come with a Limited Lifetime Warranty. The benefit of buying a better product is that the company that makes it will usually stand behind it. I think the choice here is obviously. I don’t know anyone who likes pointy objects getting stuck in their eyes, and then paying for the broken sunglasses.

Gas Station: 0 | Native: 2

Round 3: Optics

I know that sunglass lenses seem simple. A fancy piece of plastic. Most aren’t even corrective lenses, right? Well, that’s both true and not true. Cheap sunglasses, like our gas station friend, do have lenses that are little more than fancy plastic. That’s not a good thing. Even though sunglasses are not prescription, they affect your vision. Either for better or for worse. The cheap lenses are in that latter category.

Higher quality lenses, like those our Natives are sporting, feature a lot of technology to improve your vision. Features such as de-centered construction that puts the optical center of the lens in your natural line of sight. This reduces eye-strain and distortion. Natives also filter certain types of light that cause color distortion. They also cut out glare, and have scratch resistant coatings that keep them clearer for longer.

Cheap lenses gives reduce your visual acuity. Good ones improve it. Simple math.

Gas Station: 0 | Native: 3

Round 4: Fit & Comfort

This is pretty straight-forward. Your sunglasses should fit you your face. A proper fit could mean the difference between all day comfort, and watching with squinted eyes as your sunglasses sink to the bottom of some beautiful lake.

Cheap sunglasses are a one-size fits all proposition. Faces come in many sizes. I am not sure what else to add there. Higher quality sunglasses take this into account. They will either be offered in multiple sizes, or different styles will be made to fit different size faces. For instance, the El Jefe (top) are made for a large face. I have a large face. Perfect. The Sixty-Six (bottom) are made for a medium face. My wife has a medium face. Again, perfect.  

Nicer sunglasses also come with features such as vented lenses and fast-action hinges. They are also usually lighter on your face, which means they are comfortable for longer. Another easy decision.

Gas Station: 0 | Native: 4

Round 5: Environmental Impact

This last category is much more subjective, but still very important to me (and probably you). Cheap sunglasses are cheap because they make compromises. They are made of petroleum based plastics by the manufacturer who put in the lowest bid. You don’t know the chemicals that are used to make them, how much waste is created, or how that waste is disposed of. It’s impossible to know what kind of impact they will have on our world, but it’s safe to assume that is probably not positive.

When you are buying your next pair of shades, this is a serious consideration. When you buy a quality pair, you have a better chance of buying from a quality company. For example, Native sunglasses are biodegradable, and made of agriculturally-derived materials. They even go so far as to element any unnecessary elements of their packaging. What does make it to you is made of eco-friendly materials such as recycled shopping bags, plastic water bottles, soy-based inks, and recycled cardboard.

While it is subjective, the choice here still seems obvious to me.

Gas Station: 0 | Native: 5

Next time you need to buy a pair of shades, do your eyes a favor and don’t skimp. I will repeat myself by saying this doesn’t mean you have to pay a ton of money. You can find affordable options that have all of the features listed above. You can look great, protect your eyes, and still save some money in the long run because you will won’t be replacing them every month (Unless you lose stuff as easily as I do).

If you liked the glasses in this article, check out Native Eyewears website!

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