At least, so far as I have found, the Solar Comfort brand has proven to withstand my daily use. Before discovering these sunglasses I would go through about four to five pairs a year. I would purchase them at various drugstores for anywhere from $9.99 to $17.99. I then purchased an expensive (for me) pair of Oakley’s which worked good enough. Yet, I was always losing them, and at $100 that was not a good thing. I spent more time looking for them than wearing them.
Yes, I tried the cord and the case and everything else except Velcro. So, the expensive sunglasses did not break but caused me an equal amount of stress. Assuming one can actually become stressed over a pair of sunglasses.
I am rough on glasses. Here is why:
- I yank them off my face by grabbing one arm and pulling real hard. Not good for the arms.
- I put them on my face usually with one hand, catching one arm on the side of my forehead and then stretching the arms apart to push them over my eyes. Not good for the arms.
- I walk back and forth between buildings for meetings so am constantly putting them on, taking them off, putting them on, taking them off. Not good at all.
- When indoors but not in my home building, I stick one arm of the glasses inside my belt on my right side so I can carry them there, hanging. If the arm of the glasses is not made from one solid piece, part of the arm will be pulled off when I yank them off my belt.
- The lens, be it real glass or plastic, will always pop out.
- The nose guard would become so twisted that they would just become inoperable.
Several months ago I accidentally discovered this brand, which appears to be quite rare among the drugstores in my neighborhood. They fit me perfectly in so many ways:
- UV Protection.
- Screws, actual screws hold the lens into the frame! No more popping out.
- Solid noise guard that never moves or becomes misshapen.
- Solid arms, so nothing to separate when I slide them in and out of my belt.
- Cheap enough that I can purchase a few pairs.
- They come in my favorite style.
They generally go for $19.99. Hard to find, so once I do locate a place that has them, I buy as many as I can.
Caution: As with every topic today, there seem to be only radical opinions about sunglasses. Some people say you must pay $500 for sunglasses in order to have real UV protection, proper glass construction and so forth. Some people swear by Oakley’s. Others by Ray-Ban. Some Brooks Brothers. What they do not know is that a company in Italy, Luxottica, makes 70% of the brands of sunglasses in the world. Including Oakley and Ray-Ban and dozens of other well known brands.
Generally speaking, after you remove the cost of manufacture, shipping, packaging, advertising, and business lunches, there still is about a 52% mark up for these designer glasses. If they cost you $200 you are paying about $100 just for the fancy brand, which as we’ve discovered, is not all that special since they are all made by the same company.
In fact, my now favorite brand, Solar Comfort, is actually owned by a bigger company, Dioptics which manufactures over twenty brands of sunglasses.
But wait! Dioptics is actually owned by FGX International, who manufactures brands such as Foster Grant®, Magnivision®, Gargoyles®, Anarchy®, Corinne McCormack® and plenty of others.
But wait even more! FGX is a subsidiary of Essilor International!
OK, OK, but are cheap sunglasses actually harmful? If you do not buy ones with the proper UV protection they can be. Do you really get more for your money? Doctors seem to think so, to a degree. The lens and the UV protection are often somewhat better than your $9.99 pair. But then again, there are many cheap sunglasses that are doing a good job.
I am not recommending anything. I am just saying I found what works best for me, I am not a ship captain on the water in the sun 10 hours a day or in some other profession where my eyes are exposed to bright sunlight all of the time. I wear mine while driving and walking between buildings at work. So, they spent more time sitting on my desk than sitting above my nose.
A Wall Street Journal article from July 2010 discusses the pros and cons of expensive glasses. It is a good read if you are interested.
Some Blogging Guy