Most people make sure to slather on the sunscreen when they get on their boat, but have you been neglecting your eyes? Your eyes can actually take heavy damage from UV rays, and if you’re out on your boat all day then this could spell bad news for your health.
Sun damage can raise your risk of cataracts, growths on the eyes, and even cancer. The good news is, that’s it’s easy to pick up a pair of sunglasses that will easily protect you from these dangers, allowing you to enjoy hours of fishing worry free.
However, not all sunglasses are created equal, and in this article, we’re going to do an in-depth review of three popular brands of sunglasses. Your sunglasses are not just a fashionable accessory, they’re an investment in your future vision, and we’ll find out which manufacturers have your health in mind.
Our sunglasses showdown will focus on comparing Maui Jim vs Oakley vs Rayban! We’ll talk about polarization, durability, value and lens quality to help you make an informed purchase and choose a pair of sunglasses which will last you for years to come.
Ray Ban Sunglasses
Ray Ban makes a ton of desirable sunglasses styles, and they’re a well known manufacturer, but are their products all looks and no substance? Let’s dig a little bit deeper and find out, shall we?
First off, if you’re looking for a pair of sunglasses that will provide you the most protection from the sun, then Ray Ban will fall short here. That’s because none of their styles really offer any protection from the sides.
If you’re looking to get a pair of sunglasses for fishing, snowboarding, or any other activities where glare is a serious problem and impedes your performance, then you might want to move on to one of our other choices.
However, if you’re more looking for something stylish, then Ray Ban certainly fits the bills, and they do offer great quality lenses. Ray Bans likely won’t be as durable as another brand like Oakley though, because they have more rigid frames which can snap rather than bend. So, keep that in mind if you tend to use and abuse your sunglasses.
Ray Bans do use glass lenses though if your prefer them, in contrast to Oakley’s plastic ones. Glass lenses tend to be more resistant to scratching than plastic lenses, and they also tend to provide exceptional optical clarity. However, they are not impact resistant and will break more easily, so it’s a trade off really.
Not all their lenses are polarized either, and you’ll need to make sure that you get the ones that you need. Though you will still get 100% UV protection, non-polarized means that they will be much less effective at cutting harsh light, such as what is reflected from water or snow, making them a poor choice for many outdoor sports.
In short, if you want a great looking pair of sunglasses, then Ray Ban does make quality products. However, if you need something durable that can perform in harsh light, then go for something like the Oakley Fuel Cell or Split Shot instead, or perhaps a pair of Maui Jims if you can afford them.
Cause when it comes down to it, in the Maui Jim vs Ray Ban vs Oakley debate, Ray Ban comes in dead last for pretty much everything other than fashion, unfortunately. However, they do make some sweet styles like the clubmaster, and if your use is more casual in nature, then they will perform well.
- Glass lenses
- Scratch resistant
- Great lens clarity
- Many lens colors/styles
- Great classic frame styles
- Strong, durable frames
- 1 year warranty
- 100% UV protection
- More expensive than Oakley
- Frames aren’t flexible
- Perform poorly in harsh light
- Lenses aren’t impact resistant
- Shortest warranty
One of the biggest benefits that Oakley has to offer is that they have wrap around frames. While these aren’t quite as stylish as they once were, they do serve a very important purpose. They actually protect the entirety of your eyes.
While the Ray Bans look nice, light can still get in from the sides on most of their models. If you’re out on the water or you’re snowboarding, then the reflective glare from the sun bouncing off those surfaces can be a real problem.
Oakley’s Prizm lenses are excellent for anyone interested in outdoors sports, because they’re designed to increase your ability to pick out details in your environment. This could mean better choosing your path going down the mountain or spotting fish activity in deep water.
Basically, these lenses are engineered to work with the colors that we see naturally, increasing the contrast and improving our ability to see details, even in harsh lighting conditions presented by snow or water glare.
The frames are sort of plastic, but actually something that Oakley calls “O Matter”, which is a more durable and flexible material that some people say feels similar to nylon. The lenses also have strong impact resistance qualities, making them a great fit for extreme sports enthusiasts that need a pair that can suffer the same bumps and bruises as they do.
All of Oakley’s lenses are also ANZI rated, which means they’re good to go as safety glasses if you need something to wear for shooting as well.
They fit nicely, and they tend to be a great brand for those who have larger heads, but do yourself a favor and get a strap, because they will eventually fall into the water, and they don’t float.
So, what’s bad about Oakleys? Well, that light-weight material that they’re made of comes at a price. While they will likely survive you stomping on them, the lenses, which are made of poly-carbonate, tend to scratch easily.
If you want your Oakleys to stay looking nice, then you’ll need to keep them in a protective soft case to keep the lenses free from harm. Make sure that no dirt or pebbles get in there either or you’re going to have a bad day. However, even if you really do mess them up bad, you can easily buy replacement lenses without buying a whole new pair.
We’d recommend the Oakley Split Shot, which are perfect for being out on the water, and they come with a built in strap. However, the Oakley Fuel cell is also a great choice for most other activities where you need high-quality protection.
- Blocks light from the sides
- Flexible and durable frame
- Impact resistant lenses
- ANZI approved
- Amazing glare elimination
- Polarized lenses
- 100% UV protection
- HDO for superior clarity
- 2 year warranty
- Lenses scratch easily
- Less stylish designs
Maui Jim Sunglasses
Maui Jim has quickly become a brand which is loved by fisherman for their high performance in harsh lighting conditions, but they also tend to be much more expensive than other sports targeted sunglasses. So, do they live up to the hype, and more importantly, are they worth the price tag?
If you take a look at the specs for this product, immediately you can see that they use high-quality materials. They also seem to be an excellent mixture of our other two products.
Maui Jim combines the exceptional clarity and scratch resistance of the Ray Bans with the all of the harsh light blocking capabilities that people love about the Oakley sunglasses. They also have nice frames that are great at blocking side light, though they don’t quite wrap around, they do provide a bit more stylish of a design, which we like a lot.
They also have some really cool lens features, including a bi-gradient mirror, which “squints for you”, reducing eye strain while wearing them. The lenses also are resistant to smudging from finger grease, and water rolls right off of them, thanks to a water resistant coating.
Maui Jim’s also have flexible, yet strong frames that come in a variety of shapes and sizes. This makes it easier to find a frame that fits you if you have a small or slender face than with some other brands, and their variety makes Maui Jim one of our favorites.
- Highest optical quality
- Glass lenses
- Water and grease resistant
- Boosts colors
- Reduces eye strain
- Scratch resistance
- Great for harsh light
- Reduces reflections
- Makes frames for small faces
- 100% UV protection
- 2 year warranty
- Most expensive of the three
- Not impact resistant
Winner: Maui Jim
The Maui Jim line offers the most features with the least compromise. While they do cost more than the other sunglasses in our line up, they’ve proven to be worth the cost again and again. Most people who compare them side by side to our other sunglasses say there is no competition.
They offer optimum clarity, and they do a much better job than the Ray Bans at filtering harsh light. While the Oakleys do give pretty good bang for your buck, their poly-carbonate lenses will always be inferior to Maui Jim’s glass ones, and we don’t like how easily they get scratched up.
A nice pair of Maui Jim’s will last longer, provide you with better protection from the sun’s harmful rays, and they come in a variety of great styles.
However, if cost is an issue, then Oakley would be our number two pick. While their lenses don’t have the same longevity, or as many stylish frame choices they do have great functional benefits that might be worthwhile if you tend to break your sunglasses a lot.
If you’re after the best optical quality though, then the Maui Jim’s can’t be beat. Click here to browse their many frame styles, which are often unisex and appeal to both men and women, regardless of the size of your face. Plus, you can often get a much better price for these frames online than at stores.