Are Costas Worth the Cost?
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Consumer reviews of Costa Del Mar sunglasses
Polarized sunglasses are essential gear to many outdoor professionals and hobbyists, greatly enhancing their skills and successes. Insight Eyecare carries several brands of quality polarized sunglasses, but it’s the Costa Del Mar brand that sells out quickest come fishing season. Dr. Pinkerton certainly has a pair or two of Costas in his rotation. But are they worth the price? Here, we’ve rounded up some consumer reviews of their performance in the field.
580 lens technology
But first, a few words about the technology that sets Costa apart. Polarized lenses selectively block out light waves reflecting off horizontal surfaces, thereby eliminating glare. When fishing or boating, the absence of reflected light makes it easier to see into the water, beyond the surface, to detect fish as well as tree stumps and other hazards. Costa Del Mar’s 580 lenses go beyond polarization, filtering light in such a way that colors are brighter and objects appear more defined. They are available in glass (for situations that require ultimate clarity) and less expensive plastic (for more demanding applications requiring durability).
It’s fair to say that fishing without polarized lenses can reduce your ability to land the perfect catch. And according to these reviewers, it’s fair to say that Costa Del Mar, a company founded by fishermen, has earned a place in every serious anglers’ tackle box:
“Costa Del Mar stands alone. I’ve tried all of the fishing glasses out there, Mauis, Oakleys, Smith, and Suncloud. All of the small issues I had with other companies like eye fatigue, lack of style, weight, scratched lenses, and fogging just don’t exist with Costas…”
Read more at the outdoors blog Sleep When You’re Dead.
“Costa is one of the few companies out there that design sunglasses solely or primarily for fishing. While other companies have either had fishing as part of their focus for years or have grown their fishing focus rapidly in recent years, Costa is one of a select group that cares about fishermen first and foremost. And it shows. Costa’s designs are built from the ground up with fishing in mind, not adapted as an afterthought.”
Read more at Hatch Magazine.
“Costa Del Mar Sunglasses are reputed by fishermen around the globe as being the most effective sunglasses available on the market today.”
Read more at Back Country Ski & Sports.
“I am convinced that the 580 lens is the best fishing lens out there.”—Bows and Browns blog
“…the more I fish, the more I realize how subtle differences in lens materials and tints matter, big time. I’m a glass fanatic. And Costa Del Mar’s 580 Glass has become a proven standard…”
Read more at Field and Stream’s Fly Talk blog.
“…their performance is top shelf. When I was without them for a couple of weeks, sight fishing for carp without them seemed impossible … They really give you x-ray vision into the water.”
Read more at the fly fishing blog Bows and Browns.
“…nice to be able to see small fish come in and have a go at my bait. The water was murky, but I was able to make out their outlines with the sunglasses on. Without the glasses, all I could see was muck and foam, highlighted by glare. I still remain amazed at how effectively these block glare when compared to other sunglasses I have owned. I highly recommend them.”
Read more at Something’s Fishy.
Golfers, bikers, sailors, hikers…
Anglers aren’t the only outdoors enthusiasts who rely on Costa Del Mar sunglasses for optimal performance. Polarized lenses eliminate many of the distractions that interfere with a good golf game, such as glare off the water or even the hood of a passing car. Many runners and bicyclists also prefer Costas because of the protection they offer from relentless UV ray exposure as well as their snug yet comfortable fit.
These reviewers appreciate the guaranteed level of protection, the variety of frame styles to suit different face shapes, and their ability to stay put without discomfort during the sweatiest of endeavors:
“While (golfing), you need sunglasses that will give you specific protection from UVB as well to keep away the harsh elements from your eyes. The Costa Del Mar sunglasses do a fabulous job in this regard and come in various styles and colors.”
Read more at Shades Daddy.
“I’m a big proponent of owning multiple pairs of sunglasses. Different situations call for different shades. … When playing golf or anywhere near the water, I always opt for Costa del Mar. It’s what they were made for.”
Read more at Red Clay Soul.
“What I have (worn them for) is three outdoor runs of distances up 10 miles, and two outdoor pedals of distances up to 30 miles. Problems with comfort are greatly magnified when running/cycling, and I had zero complaints about the Costa Del Mar Luke for either activity. The underside of each arm has a distinctly different type of material—as opposed to smooth plastic, it seems to get a bit grippy when wet. This adds to the comfortable fit, and keeps them pretty firmly in place, even when trail running. I got truly sweaty during a really hot 10 mile trail/mixed surface run and can tell you they stayed put the entire time.”
Read more at Active Gear Review.
“They’re a bit spendy at $260, but if you spend time outside and especially on the water, that’s really a small price to pay for this kind of quality.”—SoCal Salty
“I’m pretty picky about my sunglasses, and I found the Costa Del Mar optical quality to be truly excellent. The polarized lenses did well eliminating even the worst glare, such as looking toward the sun over water. The 580 lens cuts yellow light and brings out reds, blues and greens, providing excellent color definition and contrast. They offered great definition of shallow and deep water when viewing the ocean surface from a boat—particularly helpful for divers and fishermen.”
Read more at Gear Junkie.
“Costa Del Mar’s new Cut sunglasses feature a cool retro look and premium performance watersports technology, such as no-slip nose pads, sturdy integral hinges and rugged co-injected molded nylon frames.”
Source: New England Boating.
“…Their top of the line 580 lens in grey…is a very versatile lens good for activities from driving to fishing. The clarity on these was amazing. The trade-off on most polarized lenses is some slight distortion. With these it was nonexistent. No glare, no feeling like I was a tad out of focus…very nice.”
Read more at Gear Patrol.
“(On the kayak) I appreciated how these sunglasses wrapped more around the side of my face and sat snugly on top of my cheek, offering critical protection from side and bottom-up sunlight. I also like how the frame material has a bit of tackiness on the nose bridge and temple areas. I wasn’t constantly pushing them back up on my face as I have to do with other glasses.”
Read more at SoCal Salty.
Costa Del Mar has proven they are a fierce competitor with quality products to suit many needs for many activities, so set your sights on Costa Del Mar if you enjoy being in the outdoors. Your eyes will thank you…the fish may not.
By guest blogger Shay Phoenix
[…] Maui Jim, and Oakley—are offered at higher price points, and though by most accounts they are worth what they cost, Dr. P of Insight Eyecare in Kilgore and White Oak wanted to add an affordable alternative to his […]
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