Sunglasses are an often overlooked piece of essential EDC kit. You will always see great pictures of pocket knives, electronics, tools and a whole host of other gadgets for “what if” scenarios, but rarely a well made pair of sunglasses- which is odd really. If you go out during daylight hours whether you are in the city, driving, at the beach, or on the water, a good pair of sunglasses- especially with polarized lenses is indispensable. After all it’s your eyes we are talking about.
Whether you are in the city, driving, at the beach or on the water a good pair of sunglasses- especially with polarized lenses is indispensable
Why polarized? Polarized lenses reduce the perceived glare as light comes off of objects such as water, car glass, snow or roads. This reduces eye fatigue and can even allow you to see things you can’t with the naked eye such as looking through the water while fishing. After having polarized lenses for a while, normal sunglasses just won’t do. But even among polarized sunglass makers there are various levels of quality, though they often still fetch a high price despite being made almost completely of inexpensive polycarbonate.
When I first saw and picked up a pair of Raen glasses I knew this wasn’t the case. These babies have a bit of heft to them. Raen makes all of their frames with acetate which is much more resilient to damage and can withstand higher temperatures than the average polycarbonate frames you see from other brands. Inside their handmade frames, the glasses have a wire skeleton which gives them better shape and allows for them to be custom fitted to your head. Acetate is also more resilient to chemicals and the frames color won’t succumb to oils and other substances such as sunscreen which can melt or cause flaking off of the finish on polycarbonate frames. The hinges on Raen’s glasses are five barrel stainless steel and like the frames, are hand fitted to tolerances of 1/100 of an inch.
The Lenox have a classic look, with a wider arm which helps block light or debris and a matte black frame color. The logos are understated, which I like, with black metal accents at the front that recall styles from the mid-century. They look good at the beach or in the city and are rugged enough for the trail.
But obviously when talking about sunglasses and especially polarized models, it’s the lenses that count. All of Raen’s lenses are made by Carl Zeiss Vision using CR-39 monomer lenses that provide great clarity, color perception and are very resilient to scratches and damage. I inadvertently put this to the test by leaving my glasses in the pocket of a hoody, which then went through an entire wash cycle. When I emptied the washer and saw my glasses in the bottom of the metal drum, I felt for sure they were done for. Upon a closer look, I saw there was hardly a blemish on them except a small scratch on one lens. I’m sure this would have destroyed most other glasses I have had in the past. Based on this “test” and their lens quality I own three pairs now.
So if you are looking for a pair of well made sunglasses that offer great performance and value while still looking good your search is over!