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Reviews > Eye Protection and Binoculars > Sun Glasses > Costa Del Mar Bay Frame Sunglasses > Test Report by Gail Staisil

Author on Lake Superior
Costa Del Mar
Bayside Sunglasses

Test Series by: Gail Staisil, Marquette, Michigan

Initial Report - September 15, 2018
Field Report - December 10, 2018
Long Term Report - February 7, 2019             

Initial Report:

September 15, 2018

Tester Information

Name: Gail Staisil
Age: 66
Gender: Female
Height: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
Weight: 160 lb (73 kg)
Location: Marquette, Michigan USA
Email: woodswoman 2001 AT yahoo DOT com

For the last 20 years, backpacking has become a passion. I am a four-season backpacker and an off-trail navigator. Although I do take yearly trips to the American West or Southwest, the majority of my trips are in Michigan. My pack weight varies considerably but my base weight is below 18 lb (8 kg). I am primarily a Tarptent camper who averages more than 50 nights a year backpacking in a huge variety of weather conditions including relentless rain, wet snow and sub-zero temps.
Product Information

Manufacturer
https://www.costadelmar.com
Model Bayside
Color
Tortoise/Copper Lens
Size
Medium
Material
Lens - 580P
Tested Weight  1 oz (28 g)
Manufacturer's Weight
NA
 Cost $189. US (website), $199. US (box)

Initial Impressions and Product Description 

The Costa Bayside Sunglasses arrived in the frame color of Tortoise featuring Copper Lens. There are four frame choices and six lens colors available. I would describe the frames as being medium in size with a large coverage area (rounded eye shape). The website gives all the exact Bayside Sunglassesmeasurements for the glasses so it is nice to know what shape will fit a face. My face has a narrow temple so these are important measurements to consider.  
 
Frame Fit: Medium Fit (measurements from the website)
  •   Frame Width 137.0 mm (5.39 in)
  •   Bridge Width 18.0 mm (0.71 in)
  •   Lens Width 56.0 mm (2.20 in)
  •   Lens Height 45.0 mm (1.77 in)
  •   Temple Arm Length 125.0 mm (4.92 in)
The Bayside sunglasses came with a nice hard-sided case with a zipper closure, a cleaning cloth, a small brochure describing the attributes including a Limited Lifetime Warranty and a Costa sticker.

The copper lenses are reportedly best for variable light and driving. I normally use gray lenses so the lighting is surely different. I wore them while I was driving to a trailhead to mountain bike. They made the world look brighter but they didn't cause me to squint. The leaves are starting to change color here, I noticed how bright red it made the ones that are just really light red when viewed with the naked eye. I noticed this right away before I got home and had the chance to read that the lenses eliminate almost all yellow light and boost reds, blues and greens. Fall color season is going to be amazing!

I have sensitive light-blue eyes so wearing sunglasses is a daily occurrence for me no matter the sky conditions. The sunglasses fit comfortably with no pressure points. These are probably the largest lenses coverage-wise that I have ever worn so I am looking forward to seeing how they work for me. I often wear frames made for small faces.

The sunglasses feature 100% polarized lenses made with coated polycarbonate (580P). The manufacturer claims they are lightweight, impact resistant, have high clarity and 100% UV A/B/C protective. The lenses are made by layering several different components. The five layers are a C-wall molecular bond layer, a polycarbonate layer, a polarized film layer, another polycarbonate layer, and another C-wall molecular bond layer. The sunglasses are also available in a glass version and are prescription ready.

The Bayside is one model of the sunglasses that Costa offers where the frame is made out of a Bio-resin material. This material is made with castor oil to reduce the plastic impact in the world. 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
Small ventilation ports are barely noticeable on each temple arm of the glasses.  These are just tiny rectangular openings which are part of the design on the arms. Hydrolite nose and temple pads are made with a hydrophobic material. It has both the qualities of being slip-resistant and soft. Feels good against my skin. The temple arms each feature a pin hinge which can be tightened.

 
Summary

The Bayside Sunglasses appear to be a well-fitting and comfortable pair of sunglasses. I am looking forward to wearing them in a variety of light conditions.


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Field Report:
December 10, 2018

USA Locations and Conditions

 

During field testing I have taken three Michigan and Minnesota backpacking trips totaling twelve days, and did many other day outings in Michigan. The forests included boreal and deciduous settings and lakeshore. Elevation ranged from above 600 ft (183 m) to almost 2,000 ft (610 m).
 
 
Location of Trip #1: Superior Hiking Trail, Minnesota
Length of Backpacking Trip: 3 days, 3 nights (Sept 18-20) 
Distance: 24 mi (39 km) 
Pack Weight: 23 lb (10.4 kg) 
Sky and Air Conditions: Cloudy, misty rain
Precipitation: Misty rain
Temperature Range: 49 F to 55 F (9 C to 13 C)  

Location of Trip #2: Porcupine Mountains Wilderness Sate Park, Michigan
Length of Backpacking Trip: 5 days, 4 nights (October 10-14)  Winter is here
Distance: 16 mi (26 km)
Pack Weight: 26 lb (12 kg)
Sky and Air Conditions: Cloudy, heavy rain and snow
Precipitation: Mostly rain and snow
Temperature Range: 20 F to 46 F (-7 to 8 C)  

Location of Trip #3: Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan
Length of Backpacking Trip (to rustic cabin base camp): 4 days, 3 nights (October 25-28)
Distance: 14 mi (23 km)  
Pack Weight: 28 lb (13 kg)  
Sky and Air Conditions: Cloudy, rain
Precipitation: Some rain 
Temperature Range: 30 F to 50 F (-1 to 10 C)


Trip Talk
  
During field testing I have taken several backpacking trips as outlined above. I have also worn the sunglasses daily for other activities (hiking, mountain biking, snowshoeing and cross country skiing) as well as normal outside life. All of the backpacking trips were in cloudy conditions but I never felt like I didn't need to wear them during the hikes even in misty rain conditions. My light blue eyes are very sensitive to light so wearing the glasses made my eyes feel very relaxed and not strained. Since early November it has snowed regularly resulting in a much brighter world. The glasses have been worn in mostly grayish/cloudy conditions however, as there have been very few bright sunny days. I did notice that if I combine sunny with white snow my eyes are still protected. That said I have worn the glasses exclusively with no difficulty for almost three months.

The lenses do distort my vision of color "reality" but that is not a bad thing. During the fall color season (late September, most of October) which was spectacular to the naked eye this year, the colors viewed while wearing the lenses were extra ordinary. Very vivid shades of red especially and even the golden browns were highlighted in a spectacular way.  I would often pull off my lenses for a second or two just to see the difference.

Another ski day in NovemberThe nose and ear pieces have held the glasses to my face without slipping. The only issue I have had is that if I put the glasses on top of my head for a bit they don't like to stay there like some of my other glasses do. Wearing a ski hat seems to make a difference though. For example I have been skiing for the last month (nineteen times already!) and often drive to one of many nearby trailheads. I wear the glasses while driving but then go into the warming shelter or lodge to put on my ski boots and otherwise get ready for the adventure. I keep the glasses on my hat-covered head until I head back outdoors. They have stayed on through those time periods indoors.

Most of the time I do not even realize that I have the glasses on. They have been worn many times for six-to-eight hours at a time during long distance travel, but usually it is for a few hours of skiing or hiking plus driving time to and from the trailhead. Of course I have worn them for doing chores around my over-sized yard including mowing, raking leaves and now snow shoveling.

The glasses are quite comfortable on my narrow face. The frame and lenses are larger than any I have ever worn but they haven't interfered with my line of vision so I am happy with that. Although I do not feel they are the most stylish glasses ever, I will take function over style any day. I also am aware that Costa sunglasses come in a wide variety of styles to please everyone. I normally keep the glasses in the provided case when not wearing them. They have been easy to clean with the cleaning cloth and sometimes a bit of water.

 

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Long Term Report:
February 7, 2019

USA Locations and Conditions

 

During long-term testing I have taken one backpacking/sled trip totaling six days, a ski trip to the Keweenaw Peninsula and did many other day-outings in Michigan and Wisconsin. The forests included boreal and deciduous settings and lakeshore. Elevation ranged from above 600 ft (183 m) to almost 2,000 ft (610 m).
 
 
Location of Trip #4: Hiawatha National Forest
Length of Backpacking Trip: 6 days, 5 nights (Dec 29-Jan 3)
Distance: Not measured but backcountry skied most days
Sled Weight - Probably 60 lbs (27 kg)
Sky and Air Conditions: Cloudy, light snow
Precipitation: Light snow
Temperature Range: -11 F to 22 F (-24 C to -6 C)

Location of Trip #5: Keweenaw Peninsula
Length of Skiing Trip: 4 days, 3 nights (Jan 27-30)
Distance: XC ski trip - distance not measured but about 3 hours of skiing daily
Sky and Air Conditions: Cloudy/snow
Precipitation: Snow - several inches daily 4-7 in/10-18 cm)
Temperature Range: Polar Vortex -18 F to 8 F (-28 C to -13 C)



Trip Talk
   Backcountry skiing on a cold day
During long-term testing I took a backcountry trip to a rustic cabin. The cabin is located in a remote area so I pulled in my supplies with a sled for the duration of the period. At the cabin I ventured out on at least daily jaunts backcountry skiing. 

My second trip was a multi-day cross-country ski trip to an area about three hours from my home (Keweenaw Peninsula). The temperatures were below 0 F/-18 C most of the time with double-digit negative wind chills. I certainly needed lenses to keep the wind and snow out of my eyes. I also wore an anorak with a coyote ruff to keep my face protected. Face tape was applied to vulnerable areas to protect against frost bite. I was a sight but well protected!! The picture to the right (without the face tape) is from the rustic cabin trip where I also skied daily in cold conditions.

I traveled to the State of Wisconsin last week where I did some snowshoeing. Again the lenses worked well in snowy conditions. I wore the lenses every time I have driven my vehicle as well. Mostly gloomy gray conditions prevailed but I never felt like my vision was reduced by lack of light with the lenses in place.

In addition and perhaps most significantly I have worn the Bayside Sunglasses almost daily for cross-country skiing. I have already skied 58 times this season, some backcountry but mostly classic skiing on groomed trails.

I don't have much to add in the long-term report as the lenses have continued to work well. I rarely have had issues with the Bayside lenses becoming foggy. The few times I did was mostly because I over-exerted myself climbing very steep hills while wearing a Buff around my neck and it created a hot micro-climate around my head.
 
The nose and ear pieces have continued to hold the glasses to my face without slipping. I have worn the glasses in everything from fog to heavy snow conditions without incident. They have offered superb eye protection as well as clarity and excellent peripheral vision. They have been comfortable to the point that most of the time I do not even realize that I have the glasses on. They have been worn many times for six-to-eight hours at a time during long distance travel, but usually it is for a few hours of skiing or hiking plus driving time to and from the trailhead. Of course I have worn them for doing chores around my over-sized yard including mowing, raking leaves and now snow shoveling.

I have accidentally dropped the glasses a few times without damaging them. I usually try to put them in their case when not wearing them but I admit it doesn't always happen. Sometimes they just sit on my vehicles' passenger seat (in the un-heated garage) until I get in the car the next time. This means that the temps were probably less than ideal for them but it kept me from forgetting them. Durability has not been an issue, they look the same as when I received them.

In a few days I leave for a winter camping trip. I believe the finest compliment I can give a product is to continue using the item after the test period. Needless to say I will be wearing the Costa Bayside Sunglasses!

 

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Polarized lens
  • Everyday style
  • Clarity is great


 Cons

  • None

Tester Remarks 

Thanks to Costa and BackpackGearTest.org for this opportunity to test the Bayside Sunglasses. This concludes my final report and the test series.

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Reviews > Eye Protection and Binoculars > Sun Glasses > Costa Del Mar Bay Frame Sunglasses > Test Report by Gail Staisil



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