Costa Del Mar Sunglasses are extremely popular where I live in Southwest Florida, and are easily becoming more and more well known in the area. Marketed for fishing and outdoors, Costa Del Mar is the perfect fit for any Floridian who loves to bask in the sun, the beach, and anything else where the sun spreads it’s majestic beams down onto our golden brown tans. At least, coming from a man who bypasses the whole tan and instead gets a sunburn, I like to think this is the perfect brand for this area.
Now, for any fishing captain worth his salt, it is important that they be able to know what they are looking for in the water, and also that they have a pair of sunglasses that help enhance the colors they are looking for as well as being polarized. To sight fisherman, this is their most important asset, for if they can’t see what they are looking for, they will be guessing. Most captains I know are able to read barometric pressure and tide charts and immediately know some possible hot spots to fish. And they’d be right on the money (or salt).
It should be noted that every pair of Costa Del Mar’s are polarized. Don’t know what polarized means? Please check my article on polarized shades here!
Before purchasing a pair of sunglasses, and this goes for any brand, it is important to know the different technologies the brand offers. Costa Del Mar’s patented 400 & 580 lenses are what they are known for, and are a primary reason many fisherman choose them for fishing. I will breakdown these lenses and help the average sunglasses wearer with choosing their next pair:
The “P” and “G” in 400P, 400G, 580P, and 580G: This one is very easy. “P” stands for plastic or polycarbonate (durable plastic) lenses, and “G” simply stands for glass lenses.
400 Lens Technology: To summarize the intricate technology behind the 400 lenses, 400 stands for the light on the light spectrum. 400 is where, on the spectrum, the UV light is eliminated. Thus, you have sunglasses that eliminate harmful UV rays caused by sunlight.
- 400P: This lens is Costa Del Mar’s oldest lens. It is a basic plastic lens and suites people who need a pair they can wear during their workouts or driving. Plastic is very durable, but it easy to scratch. You only want to wipe these with microfiber clothes.
- 400G: This is Costa Del Mar’s first glass lens and really took the brand from obscurity into a coveted brand for people who love sunglasses. Glass lenses are extremely hard to scratch and can even be wiped with a shirt without fear of scratching. The biggest selling point for 400G lenses is that because they clean off so well, looking through the lenses are the same way as when you first buy them. With plastic lenses, over time, the scratches affect the way a person sees through the lenses because the eye is no longer seeing through a clear lens and causes distortion. The only flaw for this lens is that it can break. It has a safety shatter, so if it breaks, it’s like a car windshield and just spider cracks.
580 Lens Technology: The 580 lens is the high definition lens of Costa Del Mar, to put it shortly. 580 on the light spectrum is just before ultraviolet light and is a pure white light that eliminates yellows. What this means is that what you see when looking through the lens is the purest color. Reds, greens, and blues will be vivid and easier to spot amongst shades of black and gray. These may look brighter because the colors are more vivid.
- 580P: 580P technology was introduced in 2010 and is Costa Del Mar’s most durable lens to date. It was made for high impact resistance and is better suited for an individual who rides a motorcycle, plays sports and can even be used to protect your eye from flying debris while fishing (a hook flying out of the water). It is reinforced with the ANSI Z87 lens that is known to Oakley and Wiley-X wearers whose brands build all of their lenses with the technology. If you are rough with your sunglasses, these are the pair for you. However, they can still scratch.
- 580G: The cream of the crop. The best lens technology and material combined, makes for an awesome lens for fishing or the for person who wants the best visuals possible. 580 glass lenses are not impact resistant at all. However, they still have the same scratch resistance as its 400 counterpart. This lens is the lens preferred by captains who want the best for their eyes, and to have the best visuals when looking into the water. Some perspective: Charter Captains are paid to take their customers to fish and have a great experience. It says a lot that these people put their trust in this brand to give them the best possible advantage.
Costa Prescription Lenses: Frame curvature withstanding, Costa offers every lens technology in a full prescription. Their website provides information for locating local dealers that sell their sunglasses, or you can fax your prescription directly to Costa and they can build you a pair at varied prices depending on bifocal, trifocal, progressive, etc…
Frame Designs: If you haven’t caught on, Costa is geared heavily toward fishing, and their frames are no exception. The idea behind Costa Del Mar is to provide the best coverage for your eyes. A rule of thumb: the less light entering the frame, the better you see into the water. That being a guide, almost every frame is designed to wrap and cover the peripheral view of the eyes and hug the brow line, and getting as close to the cheek without touching it as possible. If it rests on your cheek, the lenses will fog up do to their not being enough room for ventilation. Costa offers their frames in two materials: Nylon and Metal.
Warranty: Costa Del Mar has a reputation for standing behind their warranty. They were one of the first brands to introduce a lifetime warranty with their sunglasses. Break your sunglasses into a dozen pieces? No problem! Costa will repair anything, but it will cost a certain amount depending on what is broken. Frames are generally pretty lenient and you shouldn’t be out of more than $20. Lenses vary normally between $45 – $112 depending on the lens technology. Best of all–no receipt required. You have to fill out the form online, print out the shipping label, and send them to Costa Del Mar in Daytona Beach, FL., where they are located.
In Conclusion: Costa Del Mar is an awesome brand for anyone who is serious about what they see visually and loves a good warranty. When it comes to quality, Costa is hard to beat in quality and has the track record to back them.
Authors Note: I just want to say thank you to Captain Jon Fetter of Catchfishnow.com Captain Daniel Andrews of AndrewsCharters.com, and Captain Josh Greer of XXL Sportsfishing Charters for providing photographs and for being so forthcoming with information. And a big thank you to my close friends Michele and Trey for providing me the photo of them sporting their shades. You all have been a big help and I wish you all the best!