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Reviews > Eye Protection and Binoculars > Sun Glasses > Costa Del Mar Cape Frame Sunglasses > Test Report by Jamie DeBenedetto

Cape Polarized Sunglasses

by

Costa Del Mar

Reviewed by Jamie DeBenedetto


Report Contents

INITIAL REPORT
September 24th, 2018

FIELD REPORT
November 30th, 2018

LONG TERM REPORT
Expected January 2019

Reviewer's Information

Field Tests

Collective Use and Field Conditions

Product Information & Description

Pros and Cons

Long Term Findings

Arrival Condition

 

Final Thoughts

First Impressions    

 

 

Initial Report
September 24th, 2018


Reviewer's Information

Name Jamie J. DeBenedetto

Me and the Saguaro

Age and Gender Female, 45 years old

Height 5' 11" (180 cm)

Weight 175 lb (79 kg)

Head Circumference: 22 in (56 cm)

Email JamieD1005-at-gmail-dot-com

Background/Experience

I spent many hours of my youth fishing, rafting, creeking, and day hiking in the wild places of Arizona. I caught the backpacking bug in high school. Primarily I'm a day hiker with the occasional family camping or overnight backpacking trip mixed in.
I prefer hammocks over ground sleeping and I gravitate toward multifunctional gear that enhances my comfort level with minimal fuss and weight. My total pack weight is typically less than 30 lbs (14 kg).


Location Phoenix, Arizona - The Grand Canyon State - USA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Product Information Back to contents

Manufacturer URL http://www.costadelmar.com
Model Year 2018
Made in Appears to be Florida, USA
MSRP $209.00 USD
Frame Fit Large
Frame Color Shiny Steal Grey Metalic
Lens Color Copper Silver Mirror
Lens Type/Material 580P Polarized Coated Polycarbonate & Trivex
Listed Weight None listed
Specifications Frame Width - 134.6mm / 5.35 in (I measured: 140 mm / 5.5 in)
Bridge Width - 17 mm / 0.67 in (Confirmed)
Lens Width - 67 mm / 2.64 in (Confirmed)
Lens Height - 44.2 mm / 1.75 in (Confirmed)
Temple Arm Length - 115 mm / 4.5 in (I measured: 120 mm / 4.72 in)

Care Instructions None listed
Warranty Limited Lifetime
Included Accessories Zipper case & Lens cleaning cloth

(Above: Taken from the Manufacturer's Website or Packaging)

(Below: Observed by Tester as Received)

Weight (taken with a digital office scale) Glasses only: 1.2 oz / 33 g
Glasses with case and cleaning cloth: 3.8 oz / 109 g

 

Product Description Back to contents

Costa del Mar's Cape Sunglasses offer a large frame fit in a lightweight, impact and scratch-resistant package. The pair I received have been coupled with 580P lenses in Copper Silver Mirror. The "P" stands for Polarized Coated Polycarbonate & Trivex, materials Costa claims are the "lightest and most durable" options for lenses. The Copper Silver Mirror tint is supposed to provide natural contrast and is best used in variable light situations. The copper color is very subtle unlike some of the other lens choices. I didn't even realize it was copper until I held the glasses up to backlighting.
The frame is thick and wraps around my face somewhat. Apparently it's made from an earth-friendly bio-resin that keeps the weight down but gives the frames good resistance against heat and cold and increases its durability. The latter 75% of the temple arms are slightly flexible with a grippy material running along the inside. This proprietary rubber is called Hydrolite. At the end of each arm is a little rectangular hole. Not sure what that's for. The bridge of the glasses also has two nose pads made of Hydrolite rubber as well.
Costa included a couple of nice extras with the glasses: a semi-hard-shell zipper case and a lens cleaning cloth. The case is clam-shell style in all black with the exception of the Costa logo in blue on top. The cloth is also blue and measures 7 x 7 in / 18 x 18 cm.

Arrival Condition and Informational Material Back to contents

All components arrived defect free and undamaged by shipping.

Included in the box was a little thank you card from Costa and a small tag with details about the 580P lenses as well as the company's Limited Lifetime Warranty. The box also offered a few helpful nuggets of information, mainly about the 100% UV protection and build quality, "built by hand using the best materials". I found all info useful but most of the information I gathered for this report was from the website. Had I been a customer looking at this product in a store I certainly wouldn't know about the company's commitment to eco-friendly materials, which I think is a cool selling point. I'm also questioning why they don't promote the fact they are made in the USA more. All indicators point to them being made in Florida, USA but that point of pride, which is generally stamped on packaging is curiously omitted, leaving me puzzled.

Expectations and First Impressions Back to contents

I was leaving for a weekend in the Arizona high country when the package arrived so I stuffed the whole box in my daypack and tossed it in my trunk for later exploration. When I finally had a chance to check out the Cape's, I was pleasantly surprised to see the stoutness of the case Costa had included. I didn't really pay close attention to the picture on the website so I just assumed the case would be a cheap open-ended foam style thing. When I opened the case the first thing I noticed was how wispy the glasses were. Don't get me wrong, they aren't flimsy, just very light in the hand and even more noticeably on my face. With the larger frame style I thought they might also be clunky or heavy on my nose, thankfully they are not. The website lists the Cape style only under the men's section but I was informed they are also unisex. I personally think they are too big for my face, which is on the slimmer side but they don't look horrible so I'll make them work for testing.

With nearly 300 days of sunshine in Phoenix per year I expect to get quite a lot of use out of the Cape sunglasses. Please check back in approximately two months to read about my experiences using them in the field.

My thanks to Costa del Mar and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to be a part of this test series.

Back to contents

Field Report
November 30th, 2018


Field Tests Back to contents

SeptemberCapes on my pack

Short wander in the forest south of Flagstaff, Arizona (AZ). Elevation 6,800 ft (2,070 m). Mostly sunny day, temps in the upper 80's (31 C). This was a get acquainted hike to see how they felt. They were worn for about 2 hours off and on whenever the sun popped out.

Day hike along the Verde River, Tonto National Forest, AZ. Elevation average 1,500 ft (460 m). Weather was clear and sunny with a high of 103 F (40 C). On this hike I was on and off trail so they were used for protection from both the sun and the brush.

October

Day hike next to the Agua Fria River, Lake Pleasant Regional Park, Peoria, AZ. Elevation 1,700 ft (520 m). The temperature was around 86 F (30 C). Partly to mostly sunny.

Day hike in the Superstition Wilderness, AZ. Elevation around 2,400 ft (730 m). Temperatures ranged between 64 and 77 F (18 and 25 C). Mostly sunny with a few scattered clouds.

November

Three-day camping trip in Usury Mountain Regional Park, Mesa, AZ. Temperatures fell between the low 70's to the mid 40's (22 and 7 C). Sunny every day.


Pros and Cons Thus Far Back to contents

Living in a super sunny place like Phoenix means I wear sunglasses almost every time I go outside, particularly while driving. I was thrilled to test a pair of glasses, especially ones that look super spiffy like the Costa del Mar Cape's. Beyond the seven field uses listed above they have been used daily.

Typically when I get a new pair of sunglasses there is a short break-in period while I am getting used to how they feel on the bridge of my nose and over my ears. To my pleasant surprise this was not the case with the Cape's. They are so lightweight they were comfy right out of the box! The slight flex at the end of the arms allow them to kind of wrap around my head a bit without any pressure. Because they are a little big on my face I definitely don't feel any weight pressing against my temples or around my eyes. The cut of the nose bridge seems to fit my face well enough so that it too is not overly tight.

The little pads of Hydrolite rubber on the nose bridge provide a little cushion and help to keep the glasses from slipping when I'm sweaty. Although, since the frames are a tad big on me they sometimes do slide down my nose, most often when I'm bending over or tilting my head down a lot. This hasn't been a major issue while hiking or kayaking but it was noticeable while setting up camp. Rather than risking them falling off my face or having to fiddle with them I usually take them off if I think they will be a problem.

The slippage can't be completely blamed on the nose bridge, however. The Hydrolite is also used at the tips of the temple arms, which I think is a double edge sword. On the one hand the flex in those arms certainly allows for the comfortable fit I mentioned above, conversely, it may also be a contributing factor in the glasses not holding on to my face quite as snugly. Thankfully they have never fallen off my face completely while wearing them in their normal position over my eyes. They have fallen off a few times while on my head, however, which is where I used to put them when not needed for brief periods. Despite the durability claims from Costa, obviously repeated drops are not good for any sunglasses so I've stopped wearing them that way altogether. Costa del Mar sells retainer cords so I could wear them hung from my neck should I find this to be a problem in the future.

Functionally they have been fabulous. The Copper Silver Mirror lens color provides a nice soft change to the harshness of the full sunlit sky or the glare off the lake. They are just dark enough to shield my eyes but not so dark they can't be worn in low light situations like semi-cloudy days or while walking under dense tree cover. Additionally, the mirroring is subtle. It's not ostentatiously reflective or shinny but there's enough so that a person has to be within just a foot (.3 m) or so to be able to see my eyes through the lenses.

When not in use I have been storing them in their case and I try to clean them with the cleaning cloth regularly. In the field they have been wiped with a shirttail or bandana a few times when I've forgotten the cloth. The 580P lenses are holding up great to my few drops and all the brush I've whacked through, specifically on my Verde River hike where I was off trail numerous times.

Pleasing Aspects:

  • Immediately comfortable
  • Great sun protection
  • Soft lens color
  • Durable

Underwhelming Aspects:

  • Slightly big on my face
  • Some slippage down my nose
  • Fall off the top of my head easily

Thank you for reading. Please check back in approx. two months to read my Long Term Report.

-JJD- 2018



Read more reviews of Costa Del Mar gear
Read more gear reviews by Jamie DeBenedetto

Reviews > Eye Protection and Binoculars > Sun Glasses > Costa Del Mar Cape Frame Sunglasses > Test Report by Jamie DeBenedetto



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