For 25 years, Costa Del Mar has been creating sunglasses that are unparalleled in the coastal-fishing scene. Its cutting-edge design and crystal clear, UV-blocking lenses have made this brand of sunglasses the leader for fisherman, both fresh and saltwater. But, with the creation of its newest lens, Costa Del Mar is now a viable option for the shooter.
Last year the company debuted its newest lens, the Costa 580 silver mirror lens. The clarity provided by this lens is unmatched. For the past several months, I’ve been wearing one of Costa’s new frames, the Caballito, with the new 580 silver mirror lenses. In order to test the new glasses, I had to stow away my trusty pair of blue mirror lens Costas that I’ve worn for more than eight years.
Immediately, I could see the difference, with better light transmission, colors such as red, blue and green are extremely vivid and clear. My blue mirror lenses are designed for intense sunlight, such as on the open seas, and aren’t as effective in reduced-light settings such as dawn and dusk. But the silver mirror allows more filtered light in, making colors and images jump out and letting you wear them during these low-light periods.
Like all Costas, the silver mirror lens cuts UV for unsurpassed visibility when looking across the water’s surface while fishing. But they also cut the glare of bright sunlight when you’re concentrating on sporting clays at the range. I recently shot an entire day of sporting clays with the 580 silver mirror lenses, and my eyes were relaxed and comfortable all day. My wife even has a pair of the new lenses in the Permit frame. She says she will never wear another pair of sunglasses, especially while driving, because of the clarity of the lenses.
The silver mirror lens is built on a high-contrast, copper-based glass, similar to Costa’s green-mirror lens. But even more so than other mirror-lens options, the silver lens’ higher light transmission is built to accommodate the lower-light conditions as mentioned earlier. This enables the wearer to shoot with the same glasses all day, whether in a shaded clay-target stand surrounded by trees or in the middle of a bright, sunlit field shooting 5-stand.
The lens cuts yellow light from entering the eye, which allows the wearer to see with clearer vision, better sharpness and reduced glare. The superior 580 lens technology features anti-reflective coating and the strongest embedded UV protection available to help prevent eye fatigue and sun damage to the eye. The bottom line is that this new lens is a superior alternative to many shooting glasses on the market. It’s far more than a piece of glass or plastic protecting your eye. It actually improves your vision and keeps your eyes relaxed and focused on your target.
Glasses after the Jump
Costa Del Mar sunglasses are already part of an outdoors fashion trend in the U.S., especially in the South where I live. Costa's shades are popular among many outdoorsman — college-aged and older. The costal-fishing crowds along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts wear them, and today it's a common sight to see the stylish sunglasses fashioned by young ladies as well. This is due to the quality of the glass used in Costa Del Mar sunglasses, as well as the large selection of frames offered. Below are five of the 14 new frames offered by Costa for 2009.
Note: Every pair of Costa Del Mars have 100 percent polarization and 100 percent UV protection and a premium glare-absorbing, anti-reflective coating. The water-repellent coating will shed all moisture, while scratchproof encapsulated mirrors will protect the lens from damage.
Caballito invokes a "retro surfer" look, with a hard, rectangular shape and thicker temple design. It's available in shiny tortoise and black and, later in 2009, a combination white and black. Each pair is built with a nearly indestructible nylon frame, flexible integral hinges and no-slip Hydrolite nose pads. This is the frame I’ve tested for the past several months and I have been extremely happy with the comfort and fit. And with the new style, my hunting and fishing buddies now refer to me as "Hollywood," which might be an insult, as I live in Alabama. Oh well. I'm not trading in my style or functional sunglasses.
Howler is Costa Del Mar's reinvention of its classic Deep Blue frame, giving an old-school favorite an updated yet still retro-cool look. Its wrap shape provides superior peripheral protection from glare, dust and wind, making it a top choice for avid outdoor enthusiasts. Howler's stainless steel spring hinges allow this sunglass to comfortably fit a variety of medium to large size face shapes and, like Caballito, features no-slip Hydrolite nose pads for a forget-they’re-on fit. Frame colors include shiny tortoise, black and new in 2009, driftwood.
Similar to one of Costa's most popular sunglasses, Fathom, the new Zane features no-slip Hydrolite nose pads and frame vents to alleviate lens fogging: Two important features for serious anglers and outdoors enthusiasts. The sunglasses are available in black, tortoise and silver frames, and its integral hinges allow them to fit a wide variety of face shapes.
Fisch has Costa's signature three-hole venting system on the frame front to eliminate lens fogging. The sunglasses earned the name "Fisch" from Chris Fischer, an angler from the television show Offshore Adventures. Last year, he commandeered a 125-foot decommissioned crabbing vessel to sail around the world for epic fishing adventure and research. The sunglasses are built to fit medium to large face shapes and have integral hinges for a flexible, comfortable fit. I would consider myself to have a medium-sized face and the Fisch frames fit me well. They don't slip and hold tight to my face for comfort.
Corbina is named after the hard fighting Pacific West Coast species of fish and features sharper angles and wide temples for an updated, stylish look. Corbina is available in tortoise, black or silver frames. The sunglasses are built to fit medium to large face shapes and feature integral hinges.
To learn more about Costa Del Mar, view pricing or to check out some of its other frames, including the release of the seven remaining 2009 frames, visit a local Costa retailer or visit Costa Del Mar's website or call (800) 447-3700.
* Stock images courtesy of Costa Del Mar.