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Reviews > Eye Protection and Binoculars > Sun Glasses > Costa Del Mar Bay Frame Sunglasses > Test Report by Christie KimberCosta Del Mar Bayside Sunglasses
October 3, 2018
Name: Christie Kimber
Height: 6’0" (183 cm)
Weight: 145 lb (65 kg)
Email address: christiekimber AT yahoo DOT com
City, State, Country: Courtenay, British Columbia (BC), Canada
Backpacking Background: I started hiking in 2015 when I moved from Saskatchewan to Vancouver Island, British Columbia. I started with day hikes and have eventually pushed myself to weekend and even week-long excursions. I am a three-season hiker. That being said, as I gather new gear and develop skills I am pushing my limits to try out 4-season backpacking and mountaineering. Vancouver Island gets a lot of rain and has a moderate climate. I also spend time in interior British Columbia in the Rocky Mountains.
Manufacturer: Costa Del Mar
Year of Manufacture: 2018
Frame Style: Bayside
Frame Color: Tortoise
Lens Color: Copper
Lens Material: Polarized plastic (580P)
Size: One size
Available Frame Colors: Bahama Blue Fade, Tortoise, Shiny Black, Matte Coral
Available Lens Colors: Blue Mirror, Gray, Copper, Green Mirror, Copper Silver, Gray Silver
Available Materials: Polarized glass, polarized plastic
Listed Weight: not listed
Actual Weight: 29 g (1 oz)
MSRP: $199 USD
Date Received: Sept 30, 2018
• Medium fit
• Frame width: 137 mm (5.4 in)
• Bridge width: 18 mm (0.7 in)
• Lens width: 56 mm (2.2 in)
• Lens height: 45 mm (1.8 in)
• Temple arm length: 125 mm (4.9 in)
• As above
The Costa Del Mar Bayside sunglasses arrived in Costa Del Mar cardboard packaging. Included in the box was a hard carry case with a zip closure, a cleaning cloth, a sticker, and a notice regarding limited lifetime warranty. Everything was received in good condition.
When I first picked up these sunglasses they felt sturdy, albeit somewhat heavy. They have a “staged” opening where the arms need to be pulled through two kind of “clicks” before they fully open. I noticed there was some padding on the bridge of the nose and the arms of the sunglasses. I did not see instructions noting the purpose, but I assume either to prevent slipping from sweat, or to provide an extra cushion at contact points.
When I put on the sunglasses I was surprised to feel how light they felt on my face despite feeling quite heavy in my hand. They fit well, although I think they look a bit large in general (more on that below).
Product Description and Construction
I received the Tortoise frames with the Copper polarized plastic lenses. The Copper lenses are said to provide natural contrast which makes me think they will be appropriate for daily use and almost all activities. According to the included pamphlet the sunglasses filter out all yellow light and increase the contrast of reds, blues and greens, while also sharpening dull, hazy images. According to the website the sunglasses are lightweight and impact resistant. The polarized plastic lenses are made of six layers:
• C-Wall Molecular bond - provides scratch resistance
• Mirror - optional, as noted above in lens colors
• Polycarbonate lens – light and durable material
• Polarized film
• Polycarbonate lens
• C-Wall Molecular bond
The polarized glass lenses are constructed a bit differently (outline is available on the website).
I also saw on the website that I am able to customize the color/lens combination. In addition, prescription lenses are available by following a three step process outlined on the manufacturer website that starts with visiting a prescription dealer.
As noted above, these sunglasses are advertised as a medium fit. I feel I have a medium face. This is not based on any particular scientific evidence; it is simply my opinion based on the fact that I find most sunglasses fit me. While these sunglasses also seem to fit comfortably on my face/nose/ears, I think they appear a bit large aesthetically. I believe they are unisex, but I wonder if they would look a bit better on a male. The lenses are wide and wrap slightly at the edges. I am unable to look “around” the lens at all. It covers both my direct and peripheral vision in all directions.
Detailed measurements are provided on the website and are accurate. This would be handy for any future online orders if I were unable to try them on in person. I did not notice any pressure points on my face when I shook my head gently and jumped up and down; the sunglasses stayed in place.
As I expected, sunglasses do not require much ongoing care. There are no included instructions regarding care. However, there are care tips under the FAQ section on the manufacturer's website:
• Avoid storing sunglasses in excessively hot or cold environments, such as your car on a hot day, to prevent possible warping.
• Store your sunglasses in the Costa case provided for protection.
• Always rinse your sunglasses with freshwater before wiping or cleaning them with a microfiber cloth.
• If your sunglasses have lost their shape, do not attempt adjustments; have a local eyewear professional adjust them for you.
The Costa Del Mar Bayside sunglasses have polarized lenses to provide a natural contrast. Although not particularly fashionable, I think their performance will make it worth carrying them around for the next four months!
December 8, 2018
This fall I was able to test the Costa Del Mar Bayside sunglasses in a variety of conditions and locations. I was most impressed with them during my time out in Eastern Canada. I spent a couple of weekends hiking through the Acadian forest just as the leaves were changing from green to red. This is a stunning phenomenon to see at the best of times, but with the Bayside sunglasses, I feel the experience was even more spectacular. I was impressed by how well the yellow, orange, and red colors popped. Not only did the sunglasses bring out the red colors and make them appear more brilliant, I feel it actually made my vision clearer as well. I have never experienced the feeling of sunglasses actually improving my overall vision - even compared to the other pair of polarized sunglasses I own. I was blown away by the clarity and color transformation. I felt like I was seeing things in "high definition".
That being said, back on Vancouver Island where nature tends to only exist in shades of green and blue, I did not feel as though these sunglasses were as impressive. Although they are not targeted for a particular use, I thought they performed best when in an environment with shades of red. The Bayside sunglasses still provided an incredible amount of clarity, but I didn't find blues or greens popped, and actually thought it added a bit of a red hue to everything overall.
These sunglasses provided great eye protection. I did not find any sun was getting in around the edges of the sunglasses. The lenses are quite wide and wrap around slightly at the edges, which also provides great peripheral vision. I wore these sunglasses on a very windy day and they stayed on my face in high winds, when bending over, and with head shaking.
These glasses sat comfortably on my face. They did not slip even when I was sweating and I did not notice any sweat pooling. They also did not squeeze my temples or feel heavy on my ears after a full day of use. They did not fog up in cold or sweaty conditions. The included soft cloth was easy to use to clean any dust and greasy finger smudges off with.
I had no concerns in terms of the packability. I really like the hard-sided case that is included as opposed to just a soft sock that is included with some sunglasses. I put the sunglasses in the case and then the case in my backpack without concern. The sunglasses are light weight but robust. I did drop them once from standing height and they did not scratch or get damaged.
I also only found out after the fact when doing more research on these sunglasses that the lenses are hydrophobic. I wore them during a period of light rain and did note that the water beaded and slid off the lenses. The lenses also aren't too dark to wear during an overcast day which is great, as my eyes can still be sensitive during these conditions.
Long Term Report
February 9, 2019
The last two months I have been testing the Costa Del Mar Bayside frames in winter conditions. I will admit that the only reason I was using them was to continue to test them. I am not someone who uses sunglasses in the winter. In the past I have either used my ski goggles or no eye protection. I think this is because the other sunglasses I have are metal framed, so I did not consider using them. The Bayside frames are polycarbonate and plastic. They are comfortable to wear even in very cold conditions. The frames did not collect moisture or freeze on my skin. They did fog up a bit from my breath when I was wearing both the sunglasses and face protection, but otherwise they performed well.
I found the sunglasses worked best in winter when it was sunny. On overcast days I did find them a bit dark and they did not give great definition to snow contours as a good pair of ski goggles do. This was not a big deal when hiking or snowshoeing, but I would not have worn them skiing. The polarized lenses continued to provide remarkable clarity, but beyond that I did not notice much difference between the polarized lens and a regular lens in winter conditions. I still think these sunglasses perform best in fall conditions, specifically when looking at reds and oranges; the colors really pop!
These sunglasses are very robust. They have survived a few falls with no scratches or scuffs. I really like the durable carry case that they come with and I have packed them in the carry case on every trip. I have not given the sunglasses any specific care other than storing them and cleaning them with the microfiber cloth. They still look and feel brand new. Specifically, I have not had any problems with the lenses or arms, which are usually my problem points with sunglasses.
Although I have mentioned I do not love the look of these frames on my face (personal preference), these sunglasses perform much better than any other pair I have so they will continue to see many more days of use. They can be used in all four seasons and for a variety of activities. The copper lens color is great for daily wear and "all-around" conditions.
- Pop of red colors
- Not particularly fashionable for females (in my opinion)
This concludes my Long Term Report. I would like to thank Costa Del Mar and backpackgeatest.org for the opportunity to test and review this gear.
Read more reviews of Costa Del Mar gear
Read more gear reviews by Christie Kimber
Reviews > Eye Protection and Binoculars > Sun Glasses > Costa Del Mar Bay Frame Sunglasses > Test Report by Christie Kimber