COCOONS OVERX POLARIZED SUNGLASSES
BY KATHLEEN WATERS
November 9, 2010
Canon City, Colorado, USA
5' 4" (1.60 m)
125 lb (56.70 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: Live Eyewear, Inc.|
Year of Manufacture: 2010
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.liveeyewear.com
MSRP: US $44.95
Listed Weight: N/A
Measured Weight: 1 oz (28 g)
Styles Available: Streamline, Slim Line, Mini Slim, Wide Line, Aviator & Pilot
Style Reviewed: Mini Slim
Colors Available: Black, Tortoiseshell, Sand, Slate and Burgundy
Color Reviewed: Burgundy
Lenses Available: Gray, Amber, Copper or Yellow polarized lenses
Lenses Reviewed: Gray
Sizes Available: Six different sizes, from small to extra large
Size Reviewed: Small
Frame Construction: Ballistic nylon
Lenses: Scratch resistant polarized Polare lenses
Included Accessories: Protective neoprene case and a lens cloth
Limited Lifetime Warranty.
|Picture Courtesy of Live Eyewear|
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
I love going to the Outdoor Retail (OR) Show in Salt Lake City twice a year! I get to see all the new gear and stuff, develop major cases of tent/sleeping bags/snowshoe envy and create long lists of things I just gotta have! Even more fun is the "Demo Day" before the show actually begins where I can actually USE fun stuff!
This past August, I had the good fortune to stumble on the Live Eyewear booth at the OR Demo Day and tried on their Cocoons OveRx polarized sunglasses. Mind you, I didn't WANT to try them on because only "old people" put sunglasses over their prescription glasses. And I'm not THAT old - am I? As I was protesting to my husband, he guided me over to a very nice rep who explained how Cocoons "are designed to securely and comfortably fit over a wide range of prescription eyewear frame sizes and shapes" and "feature the Polaré lens system that exceeds the highest level in lens quality" and how they "eliminate 100% of damaging UVA and UVB light while cutting through harsh glare."
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I get it. They're very good, but I still resisted. At least, until I tried them on! Almost immediately, I was a convert! The Cocoons are light, almost weightless. They fit on my face perfectly thanks to the Flex2Fit frame customization. My prescription glasses were nested inside the Cocoon frames so as to be rendered invisible. Thanks to the polarized lenses, the glare off the lake was reduced dramatically. I could see clearly without squinting. And the conversion was complete when I glanced in the mirror. Hey, these things look great!
So, right then and there, my prescription sunglasses got stashed in my backpack. Having the Cocoons immediately made life easier at the show. Instead of having to constantly switch glasses from sunglasses to clear glasses when going in and out of shaded vendor booths, I just flipped the Cocoons up and down. Neat!
|Cocoons In Colorado||Since then, I've worn the Cocoons literally every time I've been outdoors whether for casual, everyday activities or more rugged pursuits such as swimming, hiking, backpacking and biking. Because of my compromised eyesight - I have a progressive retinal disease - I literally do not go outdoors without sunglasses, even on mildly cloudy days.|
Since I purchased my Cocoons directly from the Live Eyewear sales rep, I didn't have to "customize" my frame by bending the ear pieces. However, the frame is flexible and on a recent visit, my 18 month-old grandson tried to customize mine to fit the cat (!), so my Cocoons needed some attention. While it was fairly intuitive, I checked the Live Eyewear website and found a graphic set of instructions on how to adjust the frame. Within a minute, I had my Cocoons back to normal. This is a very useful feature as I tend to lose things in my backpack or under my sleeping bag and the next thing I know - whoops!
Scratch-resistant as the lenses may be, I have managed to pick up a slight one, not enough to be a problem though. It could have been caused any number of things - errant branches, the zipper on my case ... who knows. I have to admit, I'm not the most careful person, so I certainly won't hold the scratch against the Cocoons!
Most importantly, my Cocoons really do a stellar job of softening the bright sun, reducing glare and all-round soothe my eyes. The grey lenses are dark enough to put my mind (and eyes) at ease with the knowledge I am protecting my vision, but not so dark as to make my environment unnatural. I am pleased to report; I have no distortion from looking through two sets of glasses at the same time. And when it is too dark for sunglasses, I just flip the Cocoons up onto my head or tuck them in a pocket until they are needed again. No more switching from prescription sunglasses to regular glasses and back again, ad nauseam!
|Because of the brow "shade" and the side "windows", I have added protection from the sun which is really cool, too!|
Speaking of cool - as in temperature - the Cocoons are surprising cool. I was initially worried the close fit combined with the wide sides and brow shade would cause fogging in heat and humidity. A rigorous testing of that occurred on a trip to Florida where every time I would go from an air conditioned building to the almost liquid air outside could have caused an immediate haze. I have had that happen with regular sunglasses many times. Not so with the Cocoons; they remained clear.
As for cool - as in style - again, surprising the Cocoons look good! My Cocoons cover my prescription glasses in such a manner they (the prescription glasses) rendered "invisible". I don't look dorky - or at least - not because of the Cocoons anyway!
1.) The convenience of being able to not have multiple glasses on the trail.
2.) Total protection from UV rays from peripheral light as well as from the brow and underside of the glasses
3.) Lightweight and comfortable
4.) Stylish, not dorky and old-fashioned.
1.) I've scratched one of the lenses!
Since I bought my Cocoons in early August, I have worn them nearly constantly to the exclusion of all other sunglasses - no kidding! My $300+ prescription sunglasses have been languishing in their cases on a shelf. I absolutely love the Cocoons!
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5
Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.
They are so lightweight, I can't tell I'm wearing two pairs of sunglasses. And with the overbrow and underrim "nesting", no one else can tell I'm wearing two pairs of glasses either!
With my eyesight, I need to really be careful with my eyes and I'm more than satisfied with the optical clarity and performance of the Cocoons. I fully expect to pick up additional Cocoons in the future. Maybe one in each color!
My thanks to Live Eyewear for converting me to Cocoons!
Kathleen (Kathy) Waters
Read more gear reviews by Kathleen Waters