Kabin Sunglasses by Kaenon Polarized

These high-style, high-performance shades will improve your view of the racecourse (if not your place therein). "Gear Up" from our January 8, 2007, /SW eNewsletter/

GUKaenon368

Kaenon Polarized

Seeing as my last pair of sailing sunglasses came from a Convenient Food Mart (the one across the street from Vermilion Boat Club, to be precise), my basis for evaluating the new Kabin sunglasses from Kaenon Polarized may be a bit off. I was impressed just to find that the Kabin shades came with their own carrying case. The absence of a plastic tag affixed to the nose bridge was another touch of class I noted right off the bat. That the $199 Kabins surpass my $4.99 aviators is no great feat; the fact that they don't give me a headache is, however, a minor miracle. In the past, every pair of sunglasses I tried--high-performance or not--always pinched my temples, where the slightest pressure built to painful crescendo in minutes.The Kabins, on the other hand, fit my head perfectly. The ear stems avoid the usual pressure points, and hidden Variflex nose pads secure the glasses in place. Wide sides and a close (but not Bono-close) fit help block light from the periphery, while the use of TR-90, a nylon-based material, makes the frames lightweight, flexible, and surprisingly sturdy. In hand, the Kabins feel substantial; in use, they're almost imperceptible. Kabin frames come in tortoise or black. The polarized lenses, made from Kaenon's proprietary SR-91 plastic, are available in grey or copper tint. Both tint options block 88% of visible light and filter out UV and blue light, but Kaenon recommends copper for watersports. I find that the copper tint both enhances contrast in low light and reduces glare in bright conditions. Wearing the Kabins, I can look in the direction of the sun and recognize details in ripples on the water. When it's overcast, the lenses tone down the ambient glare, revealing the lines of objects otherwise obscured. And as the sun sets, the glasses seem to amplify the remaining light. The Kabins truly perform in all light conditions, which poses an entirely new danger for the wearer--turning into one of those creepy, wears-their-sunglasses-all-the-time types. www.kaenon.com