GEAR REVIEW: COSTA TAG SUNGLASSES

Posted by | October 02, 2011 | Reviews | 7 Comments
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I have a small melon. Very few hat styles fit, short haircuts make me look 12, and sunglasses give me agida…until recently. On another good mail-day prior to our trip to Idaho, I received a pair of Costa Tag sunglasses. Named after the tagging initiative that folks at the Bonefish and Tarpon Trust are building, the Tags are new style in an crazy-extensive line of high-quality, good looking eyewear. And they fit.

Costa Tag sunglasses

These particular sunglasses came with their new 580P (Polycarbonate) polarized lens in copper. They’re also available in glass. Coupled with a fused nylon and Hydrolite frame, they feel lightweight but well-built. According to the folks I talked to at Costa down at IFTD, the 580 lens (a level above their 400’s) completely eliminates reflected glare, blocks yellow light and boosts red, green and blue light, the C-WALL coating repels water, oil, dust and scratches, and the copper color best-serves sight fishing, driving and everyday use. Having a long-frustrating sensitivity to light (bright daylight and headlights at night), I hoped the additional optic assistance would make a difference.

For the 10 days we were out west, the Tags (which retail for $169) performed exactly as described. The five rivers we fished all brought different conditions to the game. Cloudy and fast; deep and gin clear; wide and choppy; high and white; smooth as glass.

Even with clear blue skies and the resulting glare on the water for 90% of the trip, I rarely (if ever) had to squint or strain to see where I was wading or casting to. The wider wrap-around style blocked peripheral glare as well. Without the eye fatigue, I was much more comfortable on the water. Plus, the flexible temple-tips kept me from getting those “pressure-spots” on the side of my head–even wearing one of those hats that actually fit.

Deep and fast ain't nothin'

This glare ain't nothin' either

They fit, even with a lid on backwards

I put the “driving” benefit of the sunglasses to work as well. We spent the better part of 24 hours over the course of our trip on the road to and from water. But it was one run that sealed the deal on the value of the Tags. I fell on the sword for the four hour drive east from Boise to Idaho Falls on Wednesday morning. Looking east into a bluebird central Idaho morning sky, there was nothing but front-and-center sun. And sun like that plays hell in a couple ways: the intense glare off the windshield (and every bug, wiper drag and water mark on the windshield), and the direct brightness that burns a circle on your iris and leads a trail wherever your eye moves.

It took 3 hours for it to actually dawn on me that I hadn’t had to fight the unruly windshield glare, burned irises or light sensitivity I always have. That’s not to say I didn’t use the visor or gangsta-lean to better use my rearview mirror’s shadow at times, but again, the eye fatigue I should’ve experienced from an entire Idaho plains landcape-full of morning sun simply wasn’t there.

The road back from Stanley and the Salmon

On a mission to Idaho Falls

See the fish. Be the fish.

Nowhere to hide

All-in-all, a great pair of sunglasses that I plan on getting a lot more use out of during our other-than-fair-weather east coast seasons.

PROS:
• They fit my small head
• 580 lens eliminates glare, blocks yellow light
• Lightweight but well-built feel
• Durable Polycarbonate lens
• Flexible, comfortable temple-points
• Great on the water and on the road
• $169 is worth it for little-to-no eye fatigue

CONS:
•  Let’s see after a few seasons of use

For more information on these and other Costa optics, visit www.costadelmar.com.

 

Reviews on this site are my unpaid and unbiased opinion of gear, music, guides, books and other outdoor-related items. In some instances I may be allowed to keep what is sent to me for review, but as of right now I’m not affiliated with any company, manufacturer, publisher, or producer in any other way. I suppose there’s still hope though.


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7 Comments

  • jeremy says:

    Thanks, I have the exact same problems. I’ll check ’em out

  • Ha…I love the first part of your review, “I have a small melon.” That is my exact problem to a tee! I hate going into a sporting goods store and trying on polarized glasses, they all extend way past the sides of my eyes making me look like a five year old trying on my Dad’s sunglasses. I then get frustrated, take them off, and vow to myself that I need to gain eighty pounds just so I can look normal while I’m out fly fishing on my favorite stream. A pair of those Costa Tag’s would solve that problem. I would need some sort of security device though. I couldn’t handle losing $169, that would be bad. It might make me eat excessively and gain a ton of weight. Which, in the end, might actually solve my “small melon” problem….ha!

    • fishingpoet says:

      I think a lanyard for them is definitely a far easier, cheaper and less depressing alternative to the 80 pounds.
      Sorry I missed you guys on the water yesterday. I’ll try again another time…

  • Matt – No worries mate! Although you did miss a pretty exciting morning – lots of salmon. We will keep this trip in the queue, and move it up when needed.

  • Bailey says:

    I have a pair of glass 580 Triple Tails. I love them. A bit heavy, but they are durable, and the quality of the lenses can’t be beat.

    • fishingpoet says:

      Hey Chris, good to hear from you!
      I had figured the glass might be a bit much, considering the environs I was heading to and the length of the days I’d be wearing them.
      I don’t mind a little heft if I’m not wearing them constantly though.

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