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Reviews > Eye Protection and Binoculars > Sun Glasses > Costa Del Mar Prescription Sunglasses > Owner Review by Kathleen Waters

with Prescription Lens

March 25, 2019



NAME: Kathleen Waters
EMAIL: kathy at backpackgeartest dot com
AGE: 68
LOCATION: Canon City, Colorado, USA
HEIGHT: 5' 4" (1.60 m)
WEIGHT: 118 lb (53.50 kg)

Living in Colorado and being self-employed, I have ample opportunities to backpack. There are over 700,000 acres/280,000 hectares of public land bordering my 71-acre/29-hectare "backyard" in addition to all the other gorgeous locations which abound in Colorado. Over the past 15 years, my husband John and I have also had the good fortune to hike/snowshoe glaciers, rain forests, mountains and deserts in exotic locations, including New Zealand, Iceland, Costa Rica, Slovenia and Death Valley. My hiking style is comfortable, aiming for lightweight. I use a tent (rainfly if needed). Current pack averages 25 lb (11 kg) excluding food and water.


Manufacturer: Costa Del Mar
Year of Manufacture: 2018
Manufacturer's Website:
MSRP: From US $269.00
Listed Weight: N/A
Measured Weight: 1 oz (28 g)
Lens Composition: Polycarbonate (+TRIVEX IN RX); C-WALL (r) - a molecular bond for scratch resistance
Warranty: Two year warranty against defects.

Hard-sided Carrying Case and a Cleaning Cloth are included
Image Copyright Costa Del Mar


AVAILABLE: FRAME AND LENS: According to Costa, "Light conditions are constantly changing. To get the most out of Costa lenses, it's important to choose the right color. We offer seven lens colors that range from low-light like dawn to extremely bright light with blinding glare."

Lens can be plastic or glass and the frame and lens color can be custom for the perfect pair.
Four Frame colors include: Bahama Blue Fade, Shiny Black, Tortoise & Matte Coral
Lens colors include: GREEN MIRROR for high contrast
GRAY SILVER MIRROR for everyday activities
COPPER SILVER MIRROR for natural contrast
GRAY for everyday activities
COPPER for variable light and driving
SUNRISE SILVER MIRROR for activities during low light
Dimensions for Frame Medium Fit
1. Frame Width 5.4 in/137 mm
2. Bridge Width 0.7 in/18 mm
3. Lens Width 2.2 in/56 mm
4. Lens Height 1.8 in/46 mm
5. Temple Arm Length 4.9 in/124 mm

REVIEWED FRAME AND LENS: Tortoise Frame with Copper Silver Mirror Polarized Glass *580 P Lens with Prescription


Over the last several months, I didn't get to go to any exotic backpacking locations - heck, with the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's holidays, I'm lucky I got in any overnights at all! Love the season, but it sure puts a dent in my outside treks!

I did wiggle in some time in the backcountry of Fremont County on the unmarked trails and primitive camping of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) acreage adjacent to my home and in southern Canon City territory though.

This means lots of dirt, rocks, scrubby pines and juniper and not much else. It means not-so-flat campsites and absolutely no shelter from trees due to their rather stunted height.

It's been mostly warmer than usual with daytime temperatures averaging in the low 60s F (16 C) during the daytime and just about freezing at night. That is, it's been mostly warmer than usual until the last couple of weeks when the daytime temperatures have been hovering at or below freezing and the nighttime temperatures in the single digits (-15 to -13 C).

Though we probably have had more snow this winter so far than the last couple of (complete) winters, I did not encounter snow on any of my overnights. However, thanks to early sunsets, I spent relatively more time in the tent than on summer outings.

The only times the Costa sunglasses were out of the state of Colorado was a 10-day trip to visit grandkids in early December and another trip to Orlando, Florida in early March. Of course, the temperatures were quite a bit warmer - though not as warm as usual - in the mid 80s (29 C). It was decidedly NOT sunny for most of that time, but still I wore sunglasses!

I also wore the Costa Bayside Sunglasses almost daily - actually whenever I was outside - as well as on several dozen day hikes of approximately four miles (6.4 km) while fetching the mail from our very rural mailbox on our very rural rutted, very hilly dirt road! (I swear, the Colorado Trail is smoother than Canon Ridge Trail - our road!)
Obviously, the most important thing about a pair of sunglasses is how well they protect eyes from the sun. And when vision correction is added to the job of sunglasses, then there are two equally important "jobs" for those shades!

Let me get the prescription part of this review out of the way first. The Costa sunglasses were easy to order, arrived in a reasonable period of time (about four weeks) and were perfectly fulfilled prescription-wise. I confess to having needlessly been worried about ordering prescription sunglasses online. What if they weren't "right"? Would the company put the onus on the doctor's prescription? Well, no worries there, I can see clearly now (the rain is gone - but I digress)!

There is no distortion, no imperfections in the lenses, no problems at all.

Now, on to the "sun protection" part. I found these sunglasses to be the sharpest, most effective lenses I have ever had. And I have had plenty over the last 40 years. Literally, dozens. The lenses are not too dark, but are dark enough to enable me to see without squinting in almost all conditions - though I do wear a brimmed hat almost all the time I am outdoors working or having fun.

I don't have tired, red eyes after a day on the trails while wearing them, either.

The frames on the Costa sunglasses are comfortable to the point I actually forget I have them on and have walked into a shaded area wondering why it's so dark out in the middle of the day! They are very lightweight and I love the slightly-grippy surface on the nose sides and the stem pieces over the ears. These rubbery surfaces give more of a cushion where the frames are resting on my skin and keep the glasses from slipping when I'm sweating.

I'm very pleased with the durability of the Costa sunglasses. I'm not the most diligently careful person and I tend to throw my glasses into a pocket or purse when they are not in use. Costa does provide a very, very nice sturdy carrying case, but it's hard-sided (as it probably should be) and way too bulky for my day-to-day use. I DO try to put the sunglasses in a little nylon drawstring case I have or at least in a soft pocket without my keys, pocket knife, or other scratchy items.

Despite this casual treatment, the Costa sunglasses are (still!) scratch-free and in excellent shape after almost six months which is more than I can say about the longevity of other sunglasses I've had. All I ever do is - with a soft provided cloth - wipe the lenses periodically.
Break Time on Temple Canyon Trail


1.) Great coverage
2.) No distortion
3.) Rugged
4.) Stylish


1.) Can't think of a single thing!


As someone who is visually impaired, I am passionate about vision health. That means I'm also passionate about sunglasses! I wear sunglasses almost all the time, sunshine or not, except at night. And I bug family and friends constantly to wear sunglasses. Our vision is so, so precious and everything possible should be done to protect it.

As the song goes, "Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone." (Big Yellow Taxi by Joni Mitchell)

The Costa Bayside sunglasses make it easy to wear them all the time, they are so comfortable I forget I even have them on. They do a stellar job of softening harsh sunlight especially on sand or snow and they are up to the task without being delicate!

I heartily recommend them, especially for prescription lenses.

Kathleen (Kathy) Waters
Co-Owner and Contributing Writer

This report was created with the Report Writer Version 1.5 Copyright 2019. All rights reserved.

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