I don't like to think of myself as a sunglass snob. I'm still slightly scarred from my youth, when everyone who was someone had Vuarnet Cateye sunglasses and I was stuck with a pair of knockoffs I ordered through one of those giveaway cards tucked into a sailing magazine. If I remember correctly the lenses ended up being two different tints. Let's just say that realization did nothing for my social standing. They also gave me a headache.
However, when I was handed two pair of sunglasses sold by OceanRacing.com, the first thing I did was log on to the website and check the price.
Actually, that's not entirely true. I was offered any of four sunglasses from Ocean Racing, two each of two different styles. One style was a fairly standard wrap around design. The second featured side windows--you know, the extra lenses on the temples--and looked like the sort of thing you'd see being endorsed by Joe Namath an a fishing-related infomercial at 2 a.m.
"This kid don't do side windows," I said to myself and grabbed the two pair of wrap arounds. I then suggested that the other two would look great on editor Dave Reed. Unfortunately he didn't bite, I could've dined out on that photo for weeks.
The website sells both styles--the side windows being the biggest difference--for $29.50.
When it comes to sunglasses, at least in most cases, you get what you pay for. That said, I wasn't quite sure what to make of a $30 pair of shades. They would certainly be better than the $5.99 special from the rack at CVS, and weren't likely to compare to the $150 pair I usually wear sailing. But that's a pretty broad spectrum of performance.
So I threw them into my bag as I headed south for Acura Key West Race Week.
The Transpac sunglasses, which come in either amber or grey tint, are polarized and fit my face quite snugly. In fact, my eyelashes flicked against the lens, which was mildly annoying at first, but soon became unnoticeable.
The temple tips are quite close together, so that you must pry open the frame a bit to get them on. This ensures a very snug fit, which is great when dancing around in rough seas. The broad temple tips help to spread out the load and ensure that while the pressure keeps the glasses on your head it never goes to your head.
As far as the lenses go, they weren't the best pair I've ever tried, but there were adequate. The lenses are polarized and do a solid job of cutting down the glare.
Anyone with a wide face will probably find the Transpac sunglasses to be on the narrow side. But if you like sunglasses on the smaller side, as I do, I think you'll find them to be an excellent value. www.oceanracing.com