Among fisherman, Costa is one of the most sought after brands. From the Pacific Northwest to the Florida Keys, anglers love their Costa’s for the glare reduction and all-day optics. The Hamlin is a new style for Costa and is available in the full slate of polycarbonate and glass lenses. I’ve had the 580P Copper lens in a clean, white frame for review and while I’m no angler, I have an eye for what makes a good pair of sunglasses.

Costa Hamlin Sunglasses Features:

  • Large frame
  • 580P polycarbonate lenses (also available in 400G and 580G)
  • 100% UV blockage and 100% polarized for superior clarity
  • Costa C-WALL™ coating repels oils, water, dust, & scratches
  • Patented technology blocks blue & yellow light for better clarity and color
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Prescription-ready
  • MSRP: $169 (tested) to $249

Costa Hamlin Sunglasses Review - 580P Copper Lenses

Costa Hamlin 580P Delivers Excellent Optics

In a previous life, I sold sunglasses — so I’d like to think I know a thing or two about what makes a good pair of lenses. Polarized optics can be absolutely terrible, if executed poorly. Thankfully, Costa doesn’t cut corners and because of that, their polarized polycarbonate lenses are on par with the best glass lenses on the market. With poly lenses, you get lighter weight and significantly-reduced cost ($169 vs. $249)

Over the years,  I’ve heard plenty of great things about Costa’s high-quality optics. As I’ve used the Hamlin’s, I’ve found both the quality of the polarization and the optical clarity to be comparable to the best I’ve tested (Kaenon’s SR-91 lenses). One of my favorite attributes of quality lenses is for your eyes to experience that “ahhh moment” when slipped on. The Hamlin’s deliver that type of experience as my eyes immediately felt relaxed and all tension went away while the overall sharpness of objects at all distances and colors were enhanced.

Costa Hamlin Sunglasses Review - Trail Running

While the Hamlin’s are aimed at anglers who spend hours facing constant water glare, I was determined to see just how these frames would fare when pushed to their athletic limits. With such a large lens surface, wind protection is solid. High-speed road bike descents resulted in perfect eye protection and clarity. While I don’t usually opt for full-frame designs for road or mountain biking, the large lenses minimized the frame interference.

When worn with a helmet, on top of a beanie or with a running hat (The North Face Stormy Trail hat, for example), the Hamlin’s stayed put very well. Minimal adjustments were necessary with those items helping keep the glasses in place. The nose piece is splayed a little wider than my nose bridge needs and when worn without a hat or beanie, these had a tendency to slip downward on my nose and reduce nasal airflow just slightly. After about 10 min of wear, I’d have to shift them back upward. Perhaps a little gripper nose pieces could help keep these in place better.

The Copper 580P lenses have maintained a high level of scratch resistance and are easily cleaned. I elected to test the copper-colored lens because most of the terrain here in Utah is brown. As a rule of thumb, pick your lens tint based on the type of terrain where you spend the majority of your time. Fishermen will appreciate blue or green lenses. Grey lenses are excellent for snow and browns are excellent for dirt or desert terrain.

Costa Hamlin Sunglasses Review - Riding a Fatbike

Another validation of the lens quality is having distortion-free vision at every viewable angle. Sometimes, poor-quality lenses will become distorted at the edges of the lenses. When looking through the lenses at such a wide angle, you have to look through more lens thickness, thus magnifying issues endemic with lesser-quality lenses. Additionally, the polarization quality of Costa’s lenses results in rainbow-free vision as well. Poor-quality polarization becomes a liability on high-speed road or mountain biking and the 580P’s exhibited nothing but excellent vision at low and high speeds.

I could wear these glasses all day. The rubbery flex in the temples and overall fit makes for a comfortable pair of sunglasses without pressure-points. Larger heads or more girthy nose bridges will fit this frame a little better than me so get to a local Costa dealer and try on a pair.

The Good

  • Optical quality of 580P lenses are outstanding
  • Cuts down glare without obnoxious polarization rainbows
  • Nice crispness in short and long distances
  • Lightweight design
  • Large lenses offer wide coverage

The Bad

  • Nose pads aren’t grippy enough, resulting in slipping with wear
  • Nose pads could be grippier

The Bottom Line

Costa 580P lenses deliver some of the best optics I’ve tested. And the Hamlin offers large coverage in a comfortable, all-day fit that can be used for a variety of adventures.

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About Author

A Seattle native, Jason developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 --sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.

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