Monday, December 8, 2008

Maui Jim Sunglasses Sports Styles Lehua and Kula

Aloha and welcome to the world of Maui Jim.  The maker of Hawaii’s premium sunglasses brand has released a number of new items and is ready for the world to have a peak.  Now is your turn.   

If you don’t know much about Maui Jim, let me tell you about them.  They started over 20 years ago in Hawaii and they’ve grown to be a respected fashion brand and polarized lens masters.  Every pair of sunglasses they make come with polarized lens (more on that later).  They began with more classic models such as the aviators, but have branched out from there.   

These new models are an interesting mix of sports and fashion.  While clearly a lot of focus is on the fashion end, I tried them cycling and running.  The models I tested were the Lehua and Kula, seen below:

I'm saving up for a new camera.  Sorry.

This is the whole set

One-piece lenses are tough to pull off

Very nice case

The first thing that is immediately clear is the quality of the polarization and optics of the lenses.  Experiencing a clear field of view without headaches, I tested out the polarization on various surfaces.  Polarized light (click for more info on polarized light) is not only painful on the eyes, it is distracting and dangerous.  The polarized filter in the lenses of every pair of Maui Jim sunglasses takes care of that.  Look at the three pictures below of Lehua to see how the filter takes away the polarized light (light off a monitor is polarized, and yes, it is a crude example).

This is the Lehua in action

Lights out

Features: The most striking feature is of course the standard polarized lenses on all Maui Jim lenses.  Without them, you are exposed to glare.   

Testing: These sunglasses don’t immediately strike me as good for sports, because of the lack of rubber and venting, even though they are quite lightweight.  However, they did hold up well while casually cycling.  The lenses are impact resistant just like an Oakley lens would be so you don’t have to worry about harming yourself while wearing them if you come into contact with a flying projectile.   

Packaging: The packaging for both models really stands out.  For the Lehua, the hard box is quite thick and heavy, so protecting your sunglasses will not be an issue.  For Kula the case is softer, but does have a decent body to it.  Both look very slick and eye catching.   

Cost: Lehua retails for $200 and Kula for $280.   

Conclusion: These sunglasses are very risqué.  They are not plain looking and you will be noticed with them on.  Both of them have great lines and lens shapes, especially Kula.  The one-piece lens has a shape unlike anything I’ve seen from some of the more classic fashion brands such as Prada or Gucci.  They did not fit the face of many people who try them on (not shape-wise, but style-wise), but when they do work, they look fantastic.  You really just need to try them on for yourself.  Although not designed specifically for sports, these sunglasses will hold up strongly in light activities as the polarized lenses will protect your eyes from glare you might encounter on the water or snow.  The only complaint I would have about them is that they are pricy, but this sort of pricing has become common-place and is not far off from what you would expect for this kind of craftsmanship.

Maui Jim Sunglasses available at Frames Direct:

Source: Maui Jim

1 Responses to “Maui Jim Sunglasses Sports Styles Lehua and Kula”

actioneyewear said...
July 1, 2009 at 1:55 PM

It seems like a great deal. I was actually looking for something similar, so thanks.

Post a Comment