Sunglasses are sunglasses right? Not so, and in our maui jim vs ray ban vs oakley comparison, we aim to explain why. Most people make sure to slather on the sunscreen when they get on their boat, or head to the beach for some fishing, but did you know that you could be neglecting your eyes?
Your eyes can actually take heavy damage from UV rays, and spending a lot of time outdoors could quickly impact your health if you’re not careful. What’s worse is that most sunglasses are made for fashion purposes and not for health reasons. So, your protective shades could be a big dud!
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 protect you from these dangers, allowing you to enjoy hours of fishing, boating, and beach time 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.
PS. We’ll also provide some of our top picks for each brand!
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. When it comes to maui jim vs ray ban, the Maui Jims are a far better choice for UV protection.
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
Recommended Rayban Models
If you’ve got your heart set on a pair of Raybans (who can blame you!), then we’ve prepared a little section to highlight some of their best models. Our top pick is for the Rayban Clubmaster, it’s a hugely popular model that has come back into fashion, and it’s our favorite frame style from them. Make sure to get the polarized version for vision protection, and then choose your favorite style. These attractive frames come in many colors and patterns like flat black, brown, and our favorite, the tortoiseshell variety!
However, Ray Ban has some other great styles too, and our second favorite frame is the timeless classic, the Aviator. This awesome style has been featured in countless movies, and is the favorite of celebs like Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, and Beyonce.
The Aviator model also comes in a lot of great colors and styles. Including base colors, gradients, prescription models, and more. It’s probably one of Ray Ban’s most diverse models, and there’s something for everybody. Plus, these sunglasses look fantastic on people with heart shaped faces, or strong features.
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
Recommended Oakley Models
If you’re interested in adding a pair of Oakleys to your wardrobe, then you’ve made a great choice! These fantastic shades have a lot to offer, and they’re one of the few brands that offer complete wrap around protection if you’re more focused on reducing glare and protecting your eyes during sports than with fashion.
Oakley even has dedicated categories for each activity to make shopping for sunglasses a little easier, whether you need them for biking, surfing, snowboarding, golfing, or any other sport, this extreme sports and outdoors focused brand has you covered.
One of their most popular models is the Split Shot. This excellent, and still stylish wrap around model is excellent for boating, fishing, and other activities where water glare is an issue. The technology in these sunglasses works to block glare and improve your performance, which is welcomed by any angler or outdoorsman.
Looking for a more unique and futuristic look? The Oakley Batwolf is a unique choice that many people love. It has one continuous lens and a big wrap around frame that looks really good on people that have larger heads and faces which make tinier frames look comical.
These frames still feature Oakley’s best technologies which improve color and clarity, and there are many opportunities to upgrade the look. You can choose from a variety of lens colors and styles, making this one a real head turner that’s as fashionable as it is functional.
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, which means you can get the best of all three if you compare maui jim vs ray ban vs Oakley when making your choice.
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, because wrap around sunglasses just aren’t our style.
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. When comparing the features of maui jim vs ray ban, it’s clear that Ray Ban is more about fashion, and the Maui Jim sunglasses are serious protective eyewear for outdoor activites.
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 in our maui jim vs ray ban vs oakley research.
- 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
Recommended Maui Jim Models
Maui Jim’s glasses come at a premium price tag, but they also some of the best features on the market when it comes to performance sunglasses. They’re the best choice for fishermen that are seeking a quality pair of sunglasses that will provide adequate UV protection, durable frames, and superior performance in the face of water glare, a persistent problem when fishing on your boat.
If you’re unsure about what model to get, no worries. We’ve got a few great picks for you. One of the best being the Maui Jim Red Sands. These attractive shades offer a profile that most people will be familiar with from other fashion brands like Rayban, but when comparing these maui jim vs ray ban sunglasses, you’ll find that the features are what set them apart. You can also choose from a variety of nice frame colors and lens colors, including a special Manchester United one that’s quite attractive if you’re a fan.
Our second pick is for the Maui Jim aviator models, which also come with tons of options and an attractive frame style without sacrificing UV protection and quality like other fashion brands do.
They also come in a variety of colors and styles, such as silver, gun metal, blue lens, brown lenses, and others, but we’re particularly sweet on the stunning gold frames model, which you can see in the picture to the right.
These attractive shades offer all of the traditional style of common fashion brands, but they do a much better job where it counts. Mainly when it comes to longevity, protecting you from UV rays and lessening glare from the water or even snow.
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.
Maui Jim vs Ray Ban vs Oakley Conclusion
In closing, while sunglasses are a matter of fashion and personal preference, in some cases you really want to go with a brand that has substance over style. If you’d prefer a more fashion-friendly choice, like the Ray Bans, then we’d advise even purchasing multiple pairs of sunglasses!
There’s nothing wrong with keeping a casual pair of fashion sunglasses like the Rayban Wayfarer in your car, and then keeping some higher quality Maui Jims on your boat or in your beach bag, or some Oakleys with your snowboarding gear. This gives you the best of both worlds, and it allows you to protect your eyes in situations where you really need it, like on the water, or on the mountain.
However, when it comes down to maui jim vs ray ban or even Oakley, if you can only afford to purchase one pair of sunglasses, then we’d go with the Maui Jims all the way. They just offer quality and protection that the other brands can’t match.