Thursday, March 15, 2012

Revo Bearing Polarized Sunglasses - A YGF Review

It is often said that a good pair of polarized sunglasses are a fisherman's most important piece of equipment. With good reason, most of us can't smell or hear fish under a couple feet of water. Without a good pair of polarized sunglasses, those feeding trout are hidden from the prospecting fly fisherman.

For the last couple years, I wore a schmedium-sized, substandard quality pair of polarized sunglasses. It showed. On more than one occasion (read an uncountable number of occasions), Bucko would start talking about fish stacked up in a run or riffle. I would stare at the water, through the water, to the water and saw nothing. Meanwhile, Bucko was catching and landing the beasts from what I thought was the mysterious deep.

In the beginning of the year, I received a pair of polarized glass lens sunglasses. It changed my perspective, I could see holding fish everywhere I went. The underwater world opened up to me.

Even more recently, Revo offered me the opportunity to test out a pair of the Revo Bearing Water Lens Polarized Sunglasses. I was more than happy to take the Revo Bearings out on the water.

The Revo Bearings come in three different lens tints: graphite, bronze, and water. I chose to test and review the Water Lenses. The Water Lenses allow 10% of light to transmit through the lenses as compared to the 13% light transmission associated with the graphite and bronze lenses. According to Revo, "the Water Lenses cut back blues, and allows greens and reds to come through in environments with abnormal amounts of blue making it great for ocean and deep water wear."

Here is a brief rundown of the specifications from the REVO website (check here for more detailed specs)
  • Serilium Lenses
  • Anti-Reflective Coating
  • Element Shed
  • Revo High Contrast Polarization
  • Motion-Fit
  • Spring Hinges
Test Conditions - Range of weather and water conditions that the Revo Bearings under which were tested.

In order to fully test the Revo Bearing sunglasses, I begrudgingly fished in a variety of light conditions from early February through mid-March. From cloudy and snowy to sunny with a little bit of partly cloudy weather mixed in, I fished in everything. With a couple warm and rainy days, I even got the chance to fish in some slightly off-color water on the Bitterroot.

To me, there are three things that are most important with regards to a pair of polarized sunglasses for outdoor activities, especially fly fishing: 1) the quality of the optics 2) fit and comfort and 3) durability. Here are my impressions of the Revo Bearing sunglasses after more than a month on the water and around town.

Quality of Optics
The Revo Water Lens is a blue-grey lens with a blue mirror coating. Mirror coating deflects some of the light that hits the lens as a result, some light is not transmitted through the lens. Combining the mirror coating with the 10% light transmission of the blue-grey lenses, the Water Lens should theoretically be excellent bright light condition lenses.

Blue-grey lenses with a blue mirror coating
During this first month and a half with the Bearings, the lenses lived up to the expected bright light condition performance. These glasses really "shined" during blue bird days on the water. That was too be expected. I was very surprised with the glasses performance on partly cloudy and cloudy days. I expected my polarized, copper-tinted glass lens sunglasses to outperform the Water Lenses during these lower light conditions. They didn't. In many cases, I found the Revo Water Lenses to be more effective in comparison to the glass lens polarized sunglasses during these partly cloudy and cloudy conditions.

Fit and Comfort
I have a medium-large to large sized face, depending on the brand. The Revo Bearing frames are considered mid-sized frames. They fit my face extremely well. You know how some t-shirts fit better than others? If the Revo Bearing glasses were a t-shirt, it would be my favorite, best fitting, and most comfortable t-shirt. I experienced no issues with pinching, fatigue, or the dreaded facial imprinting. The spring hinges allow the glasses to hug your face in a gentle, yet firm manner.

The glasses don't feel heavy on the face. In fact, I barely notice that they are on while fishing, driving my the car, walking around town, and applying for real life jobs.

With the spring hinges, polycarbonate lenses, and nylon frames, the glasses feel sturdy. I have yet to drop them (and I don't plan on doing so in the near or distant future), but I have a great deal of confidence in these glasses ability to hold up to a little abuse. The nylon frames are flexible, but not too flexible. They maintain their designed form, while allowing for a little give here and there.

As an aside, the spring hinges are ingenious. It is the little things that add up to something extraordinary. With the spring hinge, there is an element added durability and flexibility that I have yet to encounter in sunglasses at a variety of price points.

The aforementioned ingenious hinges hinging
I think the glasses are really, really, really, ridiculously good looking. I am not much of a "fashionista" (fashonistas out there, is that the correct usage of the term "fashonista?"), but I like the look of these glasses a great deal. They have replaced my previous everyday my everyday sunglasses.

really, really, really, ridiculously good looking? yup.
After a month and a half on the water, in the car, at work, at the flyshop, and at school, I have been very impressed and pleased with the Revo Bearing sunglasses. With an excellent set of polarized lens and a flexible and durable frame, I think the $189.00 price tag is very fair. They aren't the cheapest sunglasses by any means, but it matches up well with competing brands by price. I would recommend these glasses to an angler looking for a high quality pair of polarized sunglasses. Imaginary YGF seal of approval has been stamped on these Revos.

Do you want to see the sunglasses on the water? Check out my most recent video, The Leprechaun and the Yeti.

Here are some stills of the sunglasses. Thanks to Anthony from False Casts and Flat Tires for the images of the glasses in action.

From the side.
What I see right before I put them on.

Oh yeah, it comes with a protective case and a cloth. As any real pair of sunglasses should.

See? Uh huh.
DISCLAIMER: The Revo Bearing sunglasses tested in this product review were provided to me at no cost, but hold a retail value of $189.00. I currently hold no association with Revo whatsoever. As with this review and all future reviews, I will do my best to offer up my honest and unbiased opinion, good or bad.


Sanders said...

Nice looking shades...great review! Some smart looking glasses for sure.

DarkoV said...

Great Review.
Great looking pair of specs.
I am sad now though, as I will not be abel to make comments about your previous set of "schmedium" girly man sunglasses. These Revo's seem to come with some testosterone but, fortunately for all of us on the outside of you, not enough to push you into the testo-boy mode.

Ivan said...

@sanders - indeed they are.

Ivan said...

@darko v. - I am sorry you won't be able to hold the "schmedium" glasses o'er my head.

DarkoV said...

Guess those Revo Bearing sunglasses haven't helped you too much to see through the haze in your March Madness predictions. and Obama both predicting UNC? Hmmmm.

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