I’ve been looking for a good pair of fake ray ban sunglasses for a long time. I’ve owned many expensive pairs with optical glass, space age coatings, etc.
TLDR; The good: these glasses are VERY comfortable and they get the job done. The bad: the lenses can pop out of the frames. Verdict: Considering their price, value for the money is 100%, would recommend.
In my search for practical day-to-day sunglasses the things that have consistently bothered me about other glasses are:
1. Real glass is heavy. I wear my sunglasses a lot and I move quite a bit. Heavy lenses are both uncomfortable and prone to sling off your face if you move too fast.
2. The grip is too tight. To counter the tendency of heavy glasses to fall off, many manufacturers make them squeeze your head like vice grips.
3. No matter how careful you are, they will get scratched. $15 pairs, $150 pairs, $300 pairs they all succumb to scratched lenses in about the same amount of time in my experience.
4. Many lenses are too dark. I move in and out of shade as well as in and out of buildings. I need to be protected from the sun but also be able to see relatively well in shaded conditions. Also, I find interactions with other humans are far more pleasant when they can see your eyes.
These sunglasses address all these issues.
1. Because the lenses are plastic, they are extremely light. When you’re wearing these sunglasses you will barely realize you have them on.
2. The grip is very light but also very “positive”. I never feel like these are going to fly off.
3. Even though these lenses are plastic, they seem to hold up relatively well overall. If anything, they seem to actually scratch less. I think this is because, being light and secure to my head, they don’t fall nearly as often. When they do fall it seems like it’s a light bounce rather than the solid lens-down thud that front heavy, glass sunglasses almost always end up doing.
4. The lenses seem to me to be just the right shade for actual, practical use. I rarely find myself wishing they were more shaded and I can still see relatively well inside.
There are some things I don’t like about them:
1. The lenses do sometimes pop out of the frames. They are secured by an interference fit and if you push them hard enough or bend over while they’re in your pants pocket, you might notice the edge of the lens has popped out of the frame. Granted, it’s easy to pop them back in but it can be an inconvenience if you’re in the middle of something and just need to put the on quick.
2. The polarization seems to be oriented at inconsistent, arbitrarily oblique angles. What I mean is usually polarization in windows can be aligned vertically, horizontally or at a 45 degree angle. If you look at car window glass with polarized glasses you can see a pattern where your polarization interacts with the car’s polarization and you get darker and lighter areas.
The pattern is different depending on whether the two polarizations align vertically (you see through with no artifacts) or are offset from each other by 90 degrees (it looks extra dark) or are offset by 45 degrees (you see cross hatches). With these sunglasses the interaction patterns are often bizarre and almost distracting because the polarizations don’t interact in one of these standard ways. Almost like if you threw two rocks into opposite ends of a perfectly still pond and watch the waves interact as the cross each other. And with two different pairs, the polarization doesn’t seem to be consistent. One pair will be just about perfect and the next will be completely different.
So what’s the verdict in the end?
Well, the thing these sunglasses have going for them is knockoff ray bans are cheap and they work. Yes, you might say even that they’re cheaply built; they certainly aren’t made of premium materials. But that actually works in their favor. The plastic lenses make them extremely light and resistant to damage. It also makes them extremely comfortable to wear for long periods of time. And if you lose them or scratch them or sit on them, you can just buy another pair. I’ve owned many pairs; I’ve broken one and I’ve lost another. I’m on pair three right now and I already ordered an extra replacement so that when these inevitably meet their demise I won’t have to wait on the mail. But that’s the beauty of them is that for the price I would have paid for premium, glass sunglasses I can own 10 pairs of these.