Native Eyewear is a relatively new optics company with a dedication to polarized technology throughout their line of sunglasses and goggles. Eyewear companies committed to polarized lenses are not new, but Native is coming to the scene at a palatable pricepoint with a myriad of styles. I’ve been able to use the Gonzo sunglasses long enough now, lets see how they stack up.

Native Eyewear Gonzo Sunglasses Features:

  • Double Snap-Back™ Interchangeable Lens System
  • Rhyno-Tuff™ Air Frames
  • Venting
  • Cushinol
  • Cam Action Hinges
  • Mastoid Temple Grip™
  • Anti-Ocular Intrusion System™
  • Colors: Maple Tort, Asphalt, Iron (tested)
  • MSRP: $99/$119

Native Eyewear Gonzo Sunglasses Review

It took awhile for me to get the right pair of Native sunglasses. It appears that many of their glasses are made for wider noses. My narrow nose made for an uncomfortable fit which resulted in the glasses sitting way too low on my face. The Gonzo’s are borderline, but ended up working well overall.

During my typical activities of mountain biking and running, I was able to use the Gonzo’s with much success. While I don’t usually like full-frame sunglass designs for cycling and running, the large lens profile offered a wide field of vision with minimal frame interference. I will usually get annoyed by the lower frame, but not so with the Gonzo’s.

Nose pieces provided excellent grippage under all conditions. I wore these all day, multiple days on a cross-country drive and found them to be very comfortable. While out running and biking, they never interfered with visors or helmets and stayed put extremely well. Optics are solid with no notable distortions and a perceptible improvement around water due to the polarized lens technology. Speaking of polarization, I experienced no annoying rainbow artifacts that can plague other polarized lens designs.

The lens interchange system is simple and the way it’s built, you never feel like you’re going to break the frames in the process of swapping lenses (seems all-too-common with many sunglasses).

The Gonzo isn’t perfect, so here are some of my criticisms. The glossy Iron frame has a bit of a cheap feel and the hinges could be improved so as not to feel so difficult to close/open. As far as fit goes, keep in mind that these are better-suited for wider noses. Give them a try and see for yourself — my needle nose will fit differently than yours.

Good Gonzo

  • Comfortable to wear
  • Large lenses give you a wide field of vision for mountain biking, running, etc.
  • Interchangeable lenses are easy to switch and don’t seem to compromise the frame
  • Ultra-grippy nose rubber
  • Polarized optics are great
  • Excellent coverage all-around
  • Styling is great

Bad Gonzo

  • Frame feels a little cheap
  • Nose width is pretty wide (glasses sit lower on my face than I’d like)
  • Non-adjustable nose pieces

Bottom Line: Native Eyewear Gonzo Sunglasses

At $119, the Native Eyewear Gonzo is on the lower end of the polarized sunglasses price spectrum, but the overall package is great quality. I’ve been impressed by the polarized optics and the feel of these glasses and like the changeable lens system — kudos there.

Buy Now: Search for Native Eyewear at

About Author

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jason quickly 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.

1 Comment

  1. I would agree with all of Jason’s review with two exceptions.

    1) I have the Tortoise frames, and a buddy has another style in woodgrain, and the frames are not cheap looking or feeling.

    2) Regarding the fit issue, Native has a Size Guide on their website that lists all frame styles with a recomended head size, from small to extra large. The Gonzo’s are listed as Lg-XL and judging from Jason’s picture I’d guess he’s a Medium. I’m a bigger guy at 6-2, with a 7&5/8 hat size and the Gonzos fit me fine. Jason needs to find a frame more suited for his head.

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