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New sunglasses help, please?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

I only wear goggles when its snowing; and I don't wear a helmet. I am in the market for a new pair of prescription skiing sunglasses and am not sure where to start; what features to look for and what manufacture is best. What say you? Thanks..

 

Note: Please withhold the editorials regarding helmets and goggles. It gets old...

post #2 of 23

Vuarnet are great, more of a retro thing though, hard to find a place that still does prescription Vuarnets though. 

 

 

 

I have a couple pair of Oakley prescription lens shades.  They work pretty sell for skiing.  They were like $400 bucks but I was burning the rest of a HCRA that we had remaining when my wife got laid off a few years ago.  That means I pretty much got them for free hahaha..

 

post #3 of 23

I like Maui Jim.  Great glass w/ many lens choices, non-reflective lens backs, great UV protection, polarized, & progressive.  Don't know how they compare to more ski-focused sunglasses, but when I've worn mine skiing, they've been great.  

 

Goggles are better for keeping your eyes clear, though.  Someone was making ski glasses, or something like that, which were high-coverage sunglasses for spring skiing.  People seemed to like them.

post #4 of 23

I am also in the market for a good pair of prescription sunglasses that will work well for skiing (eg good coverage, some wrap, and excellent optical clarity). 

 

In my experience, your options will be dictated by a three factors:  how bad your eyes are; how much you're willing to spend; and, whether or not you want the option of interchangeable lenses (this combines the previous two factors strength of prescription and cost).

 

if your eyes aren't too bad (2.50 or so) and you want interchangeable lenses, bolle has a variety of options.  the older ones being the parole and vigilante; they use a prescription insert keeping the cost down.  They have a treatable newer model too called the vortex.

 

Rudy Project also has some frames nicer than the bolle's in my opinion that also utilize  a prescription insert.  Again most of them work best for distance corrections that are not to strong.  however, they do have the genetyk that will work for a higher prescription b/c the insert is flatter or less curved than the others.  I like this option best for me because i can use high-index lenses in the insert, have them digitally made so prescription is made to work well with the curved lens to avoid distortion, have interchangeable prescription lenses, and avoid the higher cost of the next option.

 

Rudy project will also make individual prescription lenses to fit into their frames and i believe you can even get them digitally made for excellent optics at higher corrections.  Maui Jim as said above makes glasses/lenses with excellent optical clarity and colors that work well for skiing, although they may be a little less skiing-specific.

 

if you have other questions ask, i've spent a fair amount of time figuring what's available with prescription lenses. 

 

dave

post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 

I went shopping today with my daughter for Maui Jims and the price with a melded RX was between $500-$600...gulp.

post #6 of 23

Even though I do have a couple pair of mildly scripted shades I don't typically wear glasses for anything but reading.  What I do know is that "good" prescription shades are insanely expensive.  What are the downsides of someone just wearing contact lenses under off the rack shades?

post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post
 

Even though I do have a couple pair of mildly scripted shades I don't typically wear glasses for anything but reading.  What I do know is that "good" prescription shades are insanely expensive.  What are the downsides of someone just wearing contact lenses under off the rack shades?

 

When skiing, you are always afraid of one of your lenses popping out, or the air drying out the contact onto your eyeball and losing your ability to see well.

When I was wearing contacts, I would only feel safe in the semi-protected environment under goggles.

post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by raytseng View Post
 

 

When skiing, you are always afraid of one of your lenses popping out, or the air drying out the contact onto your eyeball and losing your ability to see well.

When I was wearing contacts, I would only feel safe in the semi-protected environment under goggles.

 

 

I wear contacts all the time -- gas permeables -- and I never worry about losing them.  Skiing without goggles makes my eyes water crazily, so I don't ski w/out them, but I'm not worrying about losing a contact.

 

(Since my contacts are set up "mono-vision" to correct for reading -- left contact for reading, right for distance -- I revert to my old left contact for depth perception, and can see the bar code on a gnats wing at a hundred paces.  Trail maps are hard to read, though.)

post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GaryO View Post
 

I went shopping today with my daughter for Maui Jims and the price with a melded RX was between $500-$600...gulp.

 

About 1/2 that price at Costco. Yay...

post #10 of 23

Vuarnet 

post #11 of 23

I'm thinking that ten years ago Maui Jims weren't that spendy.  Haven't really been paying attention though.  I have WAY too many pairs of good shades.

post #12 of 23
You really should wear goggles when skiing. A decent crash could leave you with a bloody nose and pieces of your sunglasses in your eye. I know you don't want to hear that, and that's ok, it's your choice. If you insist I'd avoid anything with glass or wires, including Maui Jim. Look at cycling sunglasses, they are designed to withstand some wind and stick relatively well to your face. Oakley Radar is a classic, but there are others as well.

Btw, Modern goggles are not hot, fit well, and are well ventilated. Ditto about helmets. If you intend to win a Darwin Award, be my guest.
post #13 of 23
I wear Ray Ban Daddy O prescription sunglasses for biking and skiing. They are a rubber like material and don't slip when you sweat. Perfect for sports.
post #14 of 23

Goggle lenses can also split and lacerate people's faces and eyes when people crash or clip tree branches...

post #15 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexzn View Post

You really should wear goggles when skiing. A decent crash could leave you with a bloody nose and pieces of your sunglasses in your eye. I know you don't want to hear that, and that's ok, it's your choice. If you insist I'd avoid anything with glass or wires, including Maui Jim. Look at cycling sunglasses, they are designed to withstand some wind and stick relatively well to your face. Oakley Radar is a classic, but there are others as well.

Btw, Modern goggles are not hot, fit well, and are well ventilated. Ditto about helmets. If you intend to win a Darwin Award, be my guest.

Couldn't resist, huh? Good that I have your permission...

post #16 of 23
Not so much with good modern goggles. I'd take a polycarbonate goggle over a glass wireframe sunglasses any time. One face plant onto a hard surface makes you a believer in helmets and goggles in no time :-)
post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by GaryO View Post

Couldn't resist, huh? Good that I have your permission...
No, I could not. I've crashed in sunglasses on a bike. I definitely won't want to do it on skis. Of course, people never learn from someone else's mistakes. Smart people learn from their own mistakes, the rest never learns. End of sermon;-)
post #18 of 23

I wear goggles when downhill skiing except in very mild conditions. For one thing, my eyes water too much otherwise.

 

However, I did go through the whole prescription sunglasses thing for cycling and nordic skiing. (Tried contacts and couldn't make them work for a variety of reasons, primarily that I just could not get the crisp distance vision focus that glasses give me.) I'll wear them for alpine, too, on a spring bump day or similar.

 

Anyway I ended up going with Oakley Half Jackets. I've had them for a couple of years. They're all plastic and rubber, partially addressing alexzn's point about safety above. This choice has worked out well. I'm not brand loyal, and am not saying that Oakleys are "better" than any particular other brand; just reporting my specific experience with the glasses. (My experience with Oakley as a company is slightly less clearcut, as you'll see if you read on.) The optical clarity seems excellent, notwithstanding a few scratches that are more or less inevitable if you mountain bike, as I do. The best decision I made was to go with photochromics. This mostly resolves the "how do I deal with lens swapping prescription lenses without going to the poorhouse?" question. Really the only downside is that they don't work in the car (I have other, older, cheaper ones for that). As someone who frequently starts a bike ride in the sun after work and then ends up riding into deep evergreen trees and back out again, or simply rides into deepening dusk, the auto-tint feature is a Godsend. 

 

One heads up is that the vision plan I have through my workplace, "VSP," covers some portion of any prescription eyewear (with a bunch of very complex rules, of course), but I had to fight tooth and nail to get (partial) coverage for these expensive glasses. (I think the list price all in was something like $400, and I ended up paying $250 or so out of pocket so it wasn't even that great a benefit.) Interestingly, the problem was not with the insurance company. They actually were fairly helpful and understanding. The problem was with the opticians. Basically when they agree to honor the vision plan, they sign a contract that says that they will give any customer enrolled in the plan the correct discount, just like any other medical provider. Meanwhile Oakley apparently makes all their dealers sign a different contract that says they won't discount Oakley products. In short, an optician really has no business signing both of these contracts: They can be a VSP provider or an Oakley dealer, but not both. Two different local Oakley dealers who were also VSP providers refused to honor the insurance plan and give me my discount. I complained to VSP, even going so far as to get them on conference calls to take my side with the opticians, but basically we lost the fight. I would like to think that these opticians lost their VSP contract, but I'm skeptical it went that far. :mad Such is the power of big brand names, I guess. Ultimately they did find me a third optician who was willing to ignore their agreement with Oakley for my sake ... and they now have a regular customer.

 

Edit:  A while back I tried some of the ones with a prescription "insert" and I thought they were worse than useless. Primarily, the things were tiny, so peripheral vision was atrocious. They also tended to snap out unpredictably. In my view (ha!) it's worth going to the trouble to find a semi-wraparound lens (see crgildart's photo of the Oakleys, above) that is a full, true prescription lens.

post #19 of 23

Well, just like goggles glasses vary in durability and quality.  Vuarnet Skilynx and Nautilux are pretty thick and tempered glass.  I ran over a pair with a car on gravel once.  The frame broke but the lenses did not.  Oakleys are also as tough as most modern goggles.  Just like cheaper goggles, there are sun glasses that certainly aren't safe for potential impact sports. I owned a pair of Bolle glacier glasses that were recalled due to the lenses being too thin and prone to shattering on impact.  Good companies put out better stuff and stand behind their products when a problem surfaces.  Just curious, is there anyone reading this thread that has seen a Vuarnet or Oakley lens shatter?  On the downside, the better and safer glass is going to be heavier.  But, not all high quality sun "glass"es are actually still glass.  Many Oakleys are not.

post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexzn View Post

I'd take a polycarbonate goggle over a glass wireframe sunglasses any time.

 

 

I suspect anyone would..at least on the polycarbonite comment.  Most  decent sunglasses these days are poly carbonate.  Including Oakley (all Oakleys I believe) and Julbo and almost everyone else.  Maui Jim as well for the most part.

 

Actual glass lens like Vuarnet (and the glass versions of Maui Jim) are hard to find and worth the effort IMO. 

 

http://coldthistle.blogspot.com/2013/04/the-driving-testcebe-julbo-and-vuarnet.html

 

The original Vuarnet mineral glass lens are second to none in the world of sun glasses.  And a steal price wise by comparison.  I still own a pair that are now 30+ years old and going strong with only one very tiny pit from dropping in a lens first contact from 10 feet onto fresh pavement.

 

Good read on Vuarnet here:

http://www.vuarnet.com/la-charte-qualite-vuarnet?lang=_en

post #21 of 23

I'm on my third pair of vuarnets.  I lost the first pair, but they had also been run over by a car hahaha.  The second pair I had to replace the frames, the lenses fit nicely in a pair of I-Ski cat eyes so that wasn't a lot of money, and my other pair I snagged of eBay for fifty bucks shipped.  No plans of selling them and I take very good care of them now.  Still have a couple dozen other pairs of shades from Oakley and Rayban, Carrerra, a couple others and some fakes.  The Vuarnets are mu favorites by far..

post #22 of 23

Vuarnet?  One of my favorites for sure.  Went a little crazy when I found sources for frames/lens/parts.  Then found the original Cat Eye frame styles and different lens new for sale.  First pair lasted me 30+ years.  This from a guy who is hard on glasses.  Used for everything from framing houses to ice climbing and shooting.

 

Now I have a couple of p[air.  All the most recent pairs costing under $150 new.  If you look aroudn you cna go under $100 shipped from France.   Which is a steal IMO compared to what Oakley or others charge for a plastic lens that simply is not in the same catagory for long term durability or clarity of the lens.

 

Some history and contact info on where to buy Vuarnets now:

http://coldthistle.blogspot.com/2012/12/fun-memoriesand-vuarnet-cateye-sun-glass.html

 

Much as I like Vuarnet my go to outdoor sunglasses now for active sports are Julbo.  But nothing is as durable long term as a pair of Vuarnet Cateye lens.  How many sunglasses glasses can you say you have owned 30+ years?  I have a coupel pair.  All glass lens.  The Vuarnet the oldest and most trusted even though I too have broken a couple of frames.  The lens are still good to go.  The others are Bausch+Lomb‎ aviators and Galiber glacier glasses.

 

Only place I don't trust a good mineral glass lens these days is shooting.  But used the Bausch+Lomb‎ aviators for than a decade just for that purpose prio to the intro of the original polycarbonate Oakleys.

post #23 of 23

COSTA!  best lens i have ever used.  polarized green is amazing.  

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