Gale Sunglasses by Harken

The polarized lenses on these shades have a hydrophobic coating that resists saltwater spots. "Gear Up" from our March 18, 2008, /SW eNewsletter/

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Courtesy Harken

I've always been a bit of a sunglass snob; the more expensive the sunglasses, the better I seem to like them. My fetish started in the late '70s with Ray-Ban Aviators (black lenses, black frames) then progressed to Bolle and Vuarnet as the times and styles changed. Recently, I've been very happy with a very high-end pair of shades.

Last fall, our friends at Harken gave me a pair of their Gale sunglasses to try. I already had the high-end pair, but when I left them on an Amtrak train in December (oh you lucky conductor, you), I defaulted to the Harkens and haven't looked back. From the weak excuse for sunshine that marks our Northeastern winters, to the near-equatorial glare of the Caribbean sun, my Gale sunglasses have proven their worth.

It's not easy for me to find sunglasses (or hats, for that matter) that fit, as I have an inordinately large head. For those of us graced with large brain boxes, the Gales fit very well and provide excellent wraparound coverage. The Nylon frames flex just enough. They're also durable, chemically resistant to sunscreen, and hypoallergenic. Two pads on the nose portion of the frames prevent slippage, no matter how greased up you may be with sunscreen or sweat.

Perhaps the best aspect of the Gales are the polarized lenses, which absorb 99.9-percent of reflected glare and block 100-percent of UVA, UVB, and UVC rays. The scratch-resistant, mirror-coated lenses are made of distortion-free polycarbonate with a hydrophobic coating that repels water, resists saltwater spots, and makes cleaning easy. Even after a 12-hour day in the sun, the glasses feel great on the eyes, ears, and nose. At $95, the Gales constitute a darn good pair of sunglasses for a reasonable price.
www.harken.com