UV Protection for my eyes.
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Wyatt Hanks
(rideforthebrand)

Locale: Red Desert
UV Protection for my eyes. on 10/12/2009 20:37:40 MDT Print View

Let me start off by saying I absolutely LOATH sunglasses and goggles. I don't like everything I see to be a different color than it is in real life, I don't like it to be darker, and I don't like my eyes to feel like they are drying out or suffocating. I like to hike and ski and otherwise enjoy nature in bright sunlight and I enjoy the way the world looks in its own tint and color. (I can't even stand tint on my car windows).

That said, I get the feeling its not a good thing when I come back from desert hiking or snow skiing and I have a red stripe across my eyeballs and they burn like crazy. It can't be good for me. But I know nothing about sunglasses or goggles, so school me, since I obviously need to do somthing.

Where should I start looking for some non-tinted, super breathable eyewear that will protect my eyes and put up with tons of abuse? (I'm hard on gear)

Can I even come close to my ideal?

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
UV Protection for my eyes. on 10/12/2009 20:47:13 MDT Print View

Good idea to wear them, my eye doctor told me my eyes were so sun damaged, I would be the first person in my peer group to have cataract surgery. Can't help you with a brand, but any name brand quality sunglass will work.

Hart -
(backpackerchick) - MLife

Locale: Planet Earth
No problem on 10/12/2009 20:57:57 MDT Print View

MANY MANY sports sun glasses with interchangeable lenses -- there is always a clear option with UV protection! And it is nice to have in driving rain, snow.

I prefer smith eyewear. www.smithoptics.com/Performance-Interchange_Category_30.html?fl=true They have a large selection of interchangeables. If the one you like does not come with a clear lens, you will find it in "need replacement lenses" in the middle of the page for each item. I like the ones that do not have a frame along the bottom. I find them more comfortable and cooler, less easily fogged. They will put up with LOTS OF ABUSE! If you manage to break a lens, you can order a replacement.

Oakley and others have these interchangeable systems as well. Clear seems to always be available in these systems.

Edited by backpackerchick on 10/12/2009 21:09:31 MDT.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: UV Protection for my eyes. on 10/12/2009 20:59:37 MDT Print View

"Can I even come close to my ideal?"

The hard part will be coming up with sunglasses that put up with tons of abuse. I'd check with an optometrist if I were you. All of the brands I know take a bit of babying to avoid scratching the coating(s).

Hart -
(backpackerchick) - MLife

Locale: Planet Earth
redundant on 10/12/2009 21:01:34 MDT Print View

:)

Edited by backpackerchick on 10/12/2009 21:03:48 MDT.

Lyan Jordan
(redmonk)

Locale: Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
UV Protection for my eyes. on 10/12/2009 21:05:51 MDT Print View

At $15 for prescription sunglasses, and incredible customer service, I've become a huge fan of Zenni Optical. They are based in San Rafael, Ca, but have a web site too.

Edited by redmonk on 10/12/2009 21:07:11 MDT.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: UV Protection for my eyes. on 10/12/2009 21:14:25 MDT Print View

Wyatt,
I'm not a big fan of Oakley - a lot of hype, very expensive, not that much better than the others. However take a look Here to get an idea of what is possible. (I think some of the shading is a little bogus.)Ignore the BS, learn the technology and the terminology.

Keep in mind that the color of a lens is what is reflected back to you and not how the world looks from the inside. Some lenses give you an advantage in a particular environment.

For instance, on snow, handling the blue will let you see shadows and contrasts that would otherwise look flat. Those lenses may look 'amber' but the snow is still white. Some tints will make a huge difference in low light situations in the woods.

If you wear glasses now you will want to pay attention to the curvature of the lenses - the 'base curve'. Ideally they will be the same. Typically they will differ. But minimizing the differences will make the transitions back and forth much easier.

Pay attention to warranties. Smith has a 'lifetime' warranty on frames, but not scratched lenses. This business is one of 'fashion' and frames models go away pretty quickly, meaning that stack of interchangeable lenses are now worthless. Pick a company and a frame that will be around when you finally torque your favorite pair.

Visit a cycling or hunting or golf or outdoor store carrying 2 or 3 of the major brands and chat up the salesperson to learn even more. Do it a couple of times. Then pull the trigger.

Take your time getting there.

Edited by greg23 on 10/12/2009 21:37:30 MDT.

Hart -
(backpackerchick) - MLife

Locale: Planet Earth
French Fried Eyeballs on 10/12/2009 21:36:57 MDT Print View

"Take your time getting there."

What? You're from Colorado?

Having spent years in the mountains of Colorado and years in Australia (where I incidentally spent some time in one of the world's more noted melanoma units), I'd say don't waste a moment. Get something now! Even if it's cheap and upgrade later if you need to.

As for frame styles changing, if you only want clear (which incidentally isn't really clear) order several replacements -- those are the cheap colors.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: UV Protection for my eyes. on 10/12/2009 21:46:00 MDT Print View

Tom K. mentioned - "All of the brands I know take a bit of babying to avoid scratching the coating(s)."

Most of the scratches on lens come from "cleaning" them. Use your water bottle to flush the grit, then a clean cloth (and that's the hard part out there) to wipe off the grime. Flush them in a stream or lake. Use your hydration system. Just get rid of the hard stuff before you wipe them down.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
UV Protection for my eyes on 10/12/2009 22:04:18 MDT Print View

Watch Steep and Cheap. They have deals on Smith's all the time with interchangeable lenses. I've got a few pairs.

Hart -
(backpackerchick) - MLife

Locale: Planet Earth
Removed on 10/12/2009 22:12:51 MDT Print View

:)

Edited by backpackerchick on 10/12/2009 23:02:37 MDT.

Laurence Beck
(beckla) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Prescription on 10/12/2009 22:13:58 MDT Print View

I have degenerated into prescription glasses that have the "transitions" feature so they turn into sunglasses when needed. This is what happens when you get old :)

One thing about plastic sunglasses...keep them away from REI Jungle Juice (98% deet) because it dissolves plastic.

Wyatt Hanks
(rideforthebrand)

Locale: Red Desert
re: suggestions on 10/12/2009 22:23:45 MDT Print View

Maybe they do, I don't ever pay attention. I hate the things. Just figure I ought to take care of myself.

I appreciate all of the suggestions. Keep them coming. I do understand that tint can be helpful in some situations, but I just honestly can't stand anything obscuring my vision.

Maybe its just cause I've never tried a really nice pair of glasses before. I'll have to find a store that sells good ones.

Hart -
(backpackerchick) - MLife

Locale: Planet Earth
DEET on 10/12/2009 22:31:19 MDT Print View

Hey Larry,

You are following me around. LOL Posted simultaneously. You're one of the people I'm following so that's OK. :) Wish it was more twitterish in this respect!

"...keep them away from REI Jungle Juice (98% deet) because it dissolves plastic."

Keep everything away from DEET! Recently spilled some on my tent floor. I am slowly switching to Picardin but still want to have DEET around until I have full confidence in Picardin. Picardin shouldn't strip coatings the way DEET does.

This forum is more addictive than facebook! Finally, going for a run or walk or whatever. :)

Sorry Wyatt, I was just intrigued that you were a skier from a sunny place and would put up with such PAIN. BTW -- that red stripe is sunburn. I've only french-fried my eyeballs once and gosh did hurt! Does't hurt you?

Edited by backpackerchick on 10/12/2009 22:35:29 MDT.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Re: Prescription on 10/12/2009 22:41:42 MDT Print View

I have degenerated into prescription glasses that have the "transitions" feature so they turn into sunglasses when needed. This is what happens when you get old :)

One thing about plastic sunglasses...keep them away from REI Jungle Juice (98% deet) because it dissolves plastic.
lol. Oh yes it does, doesn't it?

I just got a pair of Maui Jim's. Pricey, but they stay on my face well.

Not to disparage anyone who has had good experiences with Smiths, but I had some of the Smiths with the exchangeable lenses. I found that the darkest lens wasn't dark enough. My optometrist said that I'm getting sun damage. The "test" I've read about is that if you look in the mirror when wearing your sunglasses, you shouldn't be able to see your eyes.

I also found that the soft rubber around the end of the hard plastic ear pieces wore through fairly quickly and that the glasses were kind of uncomfortable after that.

Just my experience.

I've had snow blindness twice. OUCH. Go and get you something now.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Re: DEET on 10/12/2009 22:45:36 MDT Print View

Keep everything away from DEET! Recently spilled some on my tent floor. I am slowly switching to Picardin but still want to have DEET around until I have full confidence in Picardin. Picardin shouldn't strip coatings the way DEET does.
FWIW, I had very good results with Picardin in Sequoia a couple of months ago in bad mosquitos.

I was pretty skeptical since DEET is the only thing (before this) that I had ever found to work, but the Picardin worked and lasted reasonably well. It's a heck of a lot less nasty.

Wyatt Hanks
(rideforthebrand)

Locale: Red Desert
re: sunburn on 10/12/2009 22:51:48 MDT Print View

Yes it would hurt like CRAZY.

As a kid I grew up skiing in New Mexico and for reasons already mentioned, I never wore goggles. I tried them, and the better visibility of moguls wasn't worth the obscured tones/unnatural colors and the suffocation of my eyes. UV was the last thing I was thinking about.

In college I would go maybe once a year for spring break, ski in a t-shirt and jeans and the rest of the week be miserable with terrible sunburn and bunring eyes. I was stupid and carefree and didn't do it enough to learn.

Since then I haven't gone skiing for a few years, but I'm just getting into backpacking and hoping to do tons of winter stuff including skiing again. I've been spending tons of time on the web and gathering gear so I can . actually be comfortable, take care of myself, and be safe.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: UV Protection for my eyes. on 10/12/2009 23:50:47 MDT Print View

And now for something totally different.

Go down to your local hardware store and ask about industrial safety glasses. They are usually quite large and clear (no tint at all), and some of them are rated to stop 'all' UV light. It isn't hard to do.

They are usually quite cheap, which shows you a bit about the profit margins the brand name sun-shade companies (eg Bolle, RayBan, etc) are running.

They are also quite robust - they have to be to be accepted for industrial use.

Cheers

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Sunglasses on 10/13/2009 07:39:39 MDT Print View

Wyatt I agrre sunglasses can annoying, I don't like hats much either. I finally bought a nicer pair and love them. They don't distort things like my old $5 sunglasses did. I carry a case and take care of them so they stay clear. Eventually they kind of grew on me. Sure they make the world a bit darker but so does an overcast day.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Question on 10/13/2009 07:55:05 MDT Print View

My Native sunglasses come with yellow replacement lens. Supposedly all Native lens block all UV light. Does anyone know if this means they would be good on a overcast day on the snew? Is there anything besices UV light I need to worry about or is that what does all the damage?