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Reviews > Eye Protection and Binoculars > Sun Glasses > Costa Del Mar Tag580P Sunglasses > Test Report by Dawn Larsen

Costa Del Mar Tag 580P Sunglasses
Test Report

Initial Report 23 June 2011

Field Report 25 August 2011
Long Term Report 1 November 2011

Name: Dawn Larsen
Age: 50
Gender: Female
Height: 5' 4" (163 cm)
Weight: 175 lb (79 kg)
Email address: vicioushillbilly AT yahoo DOT com
Florence, South Carolina USA

Backpacking Background:
I used to backpack in college a zillion years ago and just in the last few years have backpacked some private trails in Tennessee, Missouri and most recently South Carolina. I have been an avid car-camper for twelve years and I have kayak/canoe camped for five years, both in South Carolina, Tennessee, Missouri and Arkansas. I use a lot of the same equipment for both. I hike hilly/rocky trails especially in Missouri (my home state) and Arkansas. I live in South Carolina and am busy checking out the terrain here with my seventeen year-old son.

Product Information

Manufacturer:  Costa Del Mar


Model: Tag 580P

Color of Frame:  Matte Black

Lenses:  Gray 580 P (polycarbonate), ML eye coverage

UV protection:  100% A/B/C UV protection

Frame Fit:  Fits small faces

Manufacturer Weight: NA

Tested Weight Sunglasses: 1.0 oz (28.35 g), case 1.9 oz (54 g)

Model Year: 2011

MSRP: $169.00

Lifetime warranty

Initial Report

Initial Impressions

I received a matte black frame with gray lenses.  Included was a semi -hard shell case for storage, a polishing cloth and literature about the product.  These of sunglasses are also available in three different frame colors (silver, matte black and shiny tortoise) and a host of lenses including both glass (copper, gray, and blue, green and silver mirror) and polycarbonate (amber, copper and gray) selections. They can also be fitted with prescription lenses.


Technical Information

The 580P lenses are glare-resistant polarized polycarbonate.

The lenses are lightweight and impact resistant. They meet or exceed many ANSI (American National Standards Institute) regulations.  According to the information I received with the glasses, the 580P lenses eliminate much of the yellow light while raising the red, blue and green areas in light transmission. This is patented by the company. This offers purer vision, deeper colors and sharper contrast. The lense color is no fade and offers a 100 percent protective ultraviolet ray shield.

Patents are listed in the enclosed literature.

The hinges are corrosion resistant stainless steel, which are flexible so they keep their shape and adjust to my head.

The temple ear pieces have Hydrolite inserts. Hydrolite allows the frame to grip ears and temple so that the glasses stay in place. The earpieces are flexible and taper in width from the temple back towards the ears.

The nosepads are built so that, according to the website, "the harder you sweat, the stronger we stick."

It says in the literature andon the website that they are "built by hand."


The glasses have a lifetime guarantee against manufacturing defects. According to the website, they should be cleaned with a neutral dishwashing liquid such as Dawn (PH 6.5) or a lens cleaning solution. A premium micro fiber cloth is best for drying. The manufacturer suggest, to protect the anti-reflective coating, the sunglasses should not be subject to a PH higher than 8 or lower than 6.

The sunglasses should be stored in their protective case when not in use and they should not be stored in an area exposed to extreme temperatures. The manufacturer also suggests tightening the screws if they are loose and not to buff any scratched areas as the latter would distort "visual acuity of the lens."

Though they say they are built in the US, there is a marking on the inside of the frame that says: CE TAIWAN 10.  Weird.  I don't know what that means.

and Initial Impressions

I immediately (meaning before I read any of the literature) put them on and went to my niece's and nephew's softball games.  It was a very sunny afternoon and the bleachers were directly across from the western sky, meaning the setting sun was right in my eyes.

I immediately noticed how well I could see!  The color of light was changed to a blue cast, making the sun easier on my eyes.  I still squinted a little, but my vision was definately more comfortable, more clear with better contrast in the sunlight.  I shared them around with family and friends on the bleachers and they were the hit of the game for a time. Everyone that tried them on remarked about how well they could see and how clear their vision was.

They also fit my face very well.  They don't pinch or slide.  They are a little wide for my temples, but the temple/earpiece grips so that they don't slide off of my face.  I also noticed that the lenses are curved so that even if they are pushed up all the way on my face, my eyelashes don't brush the lenses.  This is a fabulous feature for me as with other sunglasses, expensive or not, I usually end up wearing them down on my nose because otherwise my eyelashes constantly touch the lenses.  That is really annoying to me!

I also like that the nose pieces are not separate. I have long hair and my hair doesn't catch when I put them on top of my head.  I really like that!

I also think they look good.  I was worried, when I didn't receive the requested silver frames, that they would look like "man" glasses.  I don't think they do because of the shape of the frames.  


So far I have worn them to drive, watch softball, and check out kayaking sites (I was looking at water with sun reflecting in my eyes).  I really love them! I'm looking forward to hiking with them to see if sweat makes them slip and to kayaking with them.

What I like
I LOVE the way I can see through the lenses.  I love the blue cast, contrast, and clarity.
I like that the lenses are curved so that my eyelashes don't brush the lenses.
I like that my hair doesn't get caught in the nosepieces when I put them on top of my head.

What I don't like
Nothing so far.

Field Report
25 August 2011

I LOVE LOVE LOVE these sunglasses!!!!..I just had to get that out...and now on to the more formal style of reporting.

Field Conditions

I wear these glasses every day.  I have worn them hiking, biking, kayaking, swimming, inner tubing, driving, walking, the only time I don't wear them is at night (no Corey Hart).  I have been on 3 kayaking trips and 5 hikes.

In the three years that I have been testing gear with, there have been three products that I have tested that have, in my opinion, proved to be brilliant and this is one of the three!  I should also begin by saying that I immediately lost the little microfiber cleaning cloth that came with the glasses and have been using my t-shirts to clean them.  I know...but what better way to test them against scratching.

First, they remove yellow light.  Who knew that is so important for how my eyes feel after a day in the bright sun, especially if it is reflecting off water.  On a two-day, very sunny kayak trip, I wore the Costa glasses one day and my other polarized pair the next.  My eyes were definitely less tired and squinty with the Costa glasses. It is really amazing how well and clearly I can see with these glasses.  Certainly, the fact that they are polarized is helpful, but the additon of taking out the yellow light is so much better.  I had LASIK eye surgery six years ago.  Sunglasses that are too dark prove to make my eyes dilate and the scar tissue makes what I see very blurry.  I find that these glasses are perfect even in moderate sun.  It seems by making everything more "blue," they define edges rather than blur them for me.

The ear pieces grip my head very well without pinching, so even when I sweat, they barely slide down my nose.  I like the soft feel of the nose piece as well as the ear pieces.  

I also still love that my eyelashes don't touch the lenses even when pushed up on my face.  Besides that bothering me, my lashes can smudge the lenses and with these that doesn't happen.  

They don't float.  That is too bad, but I wore a neck strap when kayaking.

I still love that I can put them on top of my head to hold my hair back and the single nose piece doesn't catch in my hair.

Though I like the way they look, they don't really stand out.  That isn't a problem, but no one really says anything like, "wow, those look great!" They are very neutral looking.

The case is really the only problem.  The hard case is too big to fit in my purse. I never use the case.  I wish the manufacturer had included a little cloth sack to keep the glasses in so that I could put them in my purse.  Sometimes I just throw them in there and I know that is not good for the lenses.


I am heading to Burning Man in a few days.  I am excited to try them out in a desert environment.  I'm amazed at how well I can see with these.  I plan to keep wearing them and abusing them and we'll see how well they hold up after a couple more months.

What I like
I LOVE the way I can see through the lenses.  I love the blue cast, contrast, and clarity.
I like that the lenses are curved so that my eyelashes don't brush the lenses.
I like that my hair doesn't get caught in the nosepieces when I put them on top of my head.

What I don't like

I wish the case wasn't so big or that a cloth sack had been included so I could put them safely in my purse.
I wish they floated.

Long Term Report
1 November 2011
me Burn
my new friend and me at Burning Man....

Field Conditions
I wore these sunglasses nearly every day either camping, hiking, boating, driving, even swimming.  There were two trips that I especially wanted to talk about. The first was 8/29 - 9/5 at Burning Man in the Black Rock desert in Nevada (see picture above).  The weather ranged from 99 degrees F (37 C) during the day to 32 degrees F (0 C) at night.  The wind blew constantly.  The second trip was on 10/14 in McCormick, South Carolina.  I went sailing for the first time.

The glasses continue to perform as mentioned before, incredibly well!  I still really love how all the yellow light is taken out.  Even in the glare of the white dust in the desert, my eyes never got tired.  I also abused the glasses terribly because the alkali dust gets into EVERYTHING.  There was never a problem with scratching, when I wiped them with my T-shirt.  The hinges performed well with all the dust accumulation.  

I really loved the way the glasses performed when I went sailing for the first time.  Because it was a sunny day and we were out for 2 hours, we were in the middle of a lake, the polarization worked beautifully.  Everything was so clear and my eyes were never strained or tired. When I kayak on streams and rivers, there is always shade so I wasn't sure how they would perform in a large body of water on a sunny day.  I was not disappointed.

I noticed around mid September, that the ends of the ear pieces were wearing down (see picture).  I couldn't figure out why this happened since the glasses were either on my face or in a case.  I called Costa on 17 October to inquire about repair.  They have very extensive instructions online about how to submit a repair, including a downloadable form and instructions for mailing the glasses.  I decided to call because the Long Term Report was due so soon.  When I called the 800 number the instructions directed me to an automated message, which let me know that I should just mail the glasses in because they do not do "repair assessments over the phone."  So, I called again and made the choice to speak to a repair representative about a current repair.  She was very nice and told me that the problem would be a repair, but that she didn't know if the $11.95 processing fee could be waived because the repair is after the 90 day limit.  She said I should send them in with my receipt and they would decide if it is a manufacturer problem or normal use.  If it is a defect, they would waive the fee.  I plan to do that as soon as this test period is over.
ear pieces

One other problem is that after wearing them so long, there are makeup stains on the nose piece (photo above).  I tried to remove it with water, but that would not do it.  I didn't want to use a harsh cleaner.  It would come off if I scraped it with my thumb. That doesn't bother me too much however.

Once again, this is one of three products that I tested with BackpackGearTest that I really think is miraculous!  I absolutely love these glasses and will continue to wear them almost every day. I totally abused the lenses.  I only cleaned them with t-shirts.  I threw them in my purse sometimes without a case.  No scratches on the lenses!!!  The main problems are that the case is too big to fit in my purse and the wear on the earpieces.

What I like
Most of all, I love how the world looks on a sunny day through the lenses.
I like the curve of the lenses.
I like that the nose piece is one piece.

What I don't like
The case is too big.
The ear piece ends wore.  

This concludes my long term report. Many thanks to Costa Del Mar and for providing the Tag 580P sunglasses for testing. Fabulous product!!!!

Read more gear reviews by Dawn Larsen

Reviews > Eye Protection and Binoculars > Sun Glasses > Costa Del Mar Tag580P Sunglasses > Test Report by Dawn Larsen

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