I’ve tried a number of sunglasses from all the top companies over the years: Smith, Oakley, Scott, Ryders, Julbo and others. Each one offers something unique and is made to fit different size faces or made to serve a specific function. Lately, I’ve noticed a trend towards offering more and more polarized lenses.
As such, I’ve had a number of polarized sunglasses and goggles come my way. Polarized lens technology has been around for a long time, but some do it better than others and some lens materials are better suited to it than others. I had a chance to sit down with Derek Newton, the local Kaenon Polarized sales rep while at Outdoor Retailer. He showed me a thing or two about the Kaenon Polarized lens that blew me away.
About Kaenon Polarized Lenses – SR-91®
I approached Kaenon Polarized like the many other sunglasses I’ve seen in the past–they’re all high quality, they all block the sun’s rays and they all offer protection, but why Kaenon? As it turned out, the lens story is pretty much a no brainer. When it comes to polarized lenses, the best lens is a glass one. But, that doesn’t always work for all activities because glass lenses can shatter, they are heavier and you have a limited amount of frame styles that you can mount to a glass lens.
Looking at a standard polycarbonate polarized lens through a bright light, you could see the distortion around the edges–something I’ve seen before with polycarbonate polarized lenses. But, with the Kaenon SR-91 lens, there was no distortion. On top of that, the standard vertical flip of the lens should yield a blackout lens (showing the polarization at work). With the polycarbonate lens, it didn’t totally black out, but wit the Kaenon SR-91 lens it did.
On top of the pure optical quality that is next to glass, the SR-91 lens is nearly scratch-proof, shatter-proof, bullet-proof and flexible. The material isn’t stiff like glass or polycarbonate, so it absorbs shock when dropped.
Kaenon Polarized SR-91 Lenses Feature:
- Radically new, proprietary lens material
- Optical clarity as crisp as glass (a “40” rating on ANSI Z.87.1 scale… the highest rating possible)
- Lightweight and flexible lens
- Highly scratch-resistant (on par with glass)
- Impact-proof to exceed ANSI Z.87.1 standards
- Material is capable of being drilled for frameless designs, etc.
- Learn more
Kaenon Kore Sunglasses
With so many styles to choose from, I zeroed in on the sport-specific styles. The two frame styles that stand out here are both the Kore and Hard Kore. Each one features a sport-friendly wraparound design with open frame designs and rubberized nose and temples.
In the past, I’ve been mixed on polarized sunglasses–mainly because of the lack of optical clarity. I also live in Utah and don’t spend much time on the river or at the beach. Though every time I go home to Seattle, I appreciate the polarized lens technology as I goof off on the Puget Sound. But, with Kaenon’s lens technology, optical clarity and light weight, the potential is there to have the perfect sunglasses for all conditions that just happen to be polarized.
The Kore is their original cycling and skiing-friendly sunglasses and is available in a variety of frame colors, lens tints and lens sizes (S, M, L). MSRP is $209. Read my Kaenon Kore review.
As mentioned above, Kaenon Polarized sunglasses are available in many frame styles. They focus on providing a high-quality lens in a fashionable design. With all that variety, there’s bound to be one that suits your tastes and activity.