RIVBOS Polarized Review
Cons: Not very dark, bad glare, odd fit and feel
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|Price||$21.98 at Amazon||$209.00 at Amazon||$178.93 at Amazon||$78.95 at Backcountry|
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|$54.95 at Backcountry|
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|Pros||Good coverage, lightweight, many included accessories, inexpensive||Great clarity, excellent contrast, minimal color distortion, very comfortable, look good on pretty much everyone||Great color retention, superb coverage, quality construction, fits many face sizes, great case and cleaning cloth||Lightweight, comfortable, stable, good on many faces, nice case||Lightweight, comfortable, secure, good balance, versatile, look good|
|Cons||Not very dark, bad glare, odd fit and feel||Peripheral coverage not ideal, can still bounce a little||Heavy, large lens "look", weird inside reflective patch||Not overly stylish, run small, temple grips could be cleaner cut||Hinges loosen, brown lenses are yellowy|
|Bottom Line||Inexpensive, lightweight wraparounds with wide lenses and all the accessories to get you going||Exceptional lenses in impressively comfortable frames that manage to be extremely functional while still looking casual||Top-notch coverage and superb color retention make these large-fit shades well-equipped to protect your eyes from water-reflected light||These sunnies are light and comfortable for your face and eyes and a bit easier on your wallet||A solidly versatile pair of comfortable shades that are easy to wear and a great price|
|Rating Categories||RIVBOS Polarized||Kaenon Clarke||Costa Del Mar Rincon||Native Eyewear Wells||Suncloud Rambler|
|Lens Quality (30%)|
|Frame Quality (20%)|
|Style And Versatility (15%)|
|Specs||RIVBOS Polarized||Kaenon Clarke||Costa Del Mar Rincon||Native Eyewear Wells||Suncloud Rambler|
|Lens Tested||Black Mirror||Ultra Brown 12||Grey 580P||Crystal Grey||Brown|
|Ideal Lens Light Conditions||Medium to bright light||Bright light||Bright Light||Medium to bright light||Medium to bright light|
|Visible Light Transmission (VLT)||Not specified||12%||12%||12%||15%|
|VLT Protection Index||Not specified||Cat 3||Cat 3||Cat 3||Cat 3|
|HEV/Blue Light Protection (claim)||None||None||100% HEV blockage||90%||None|
|Infrared Protection (claim)||None||None||None||40%||None|
|Neutral/Contrast||Neutral||Increased contrast||Neutral||Neutral||Increased contrast|
|Lens Material||Polycarbonate||Plastic - "SR-91" polycarbonate||Polycarbonate||Plastic polycarbonate||Plastic polycarbonate|
|Protective Coatings||Mirror||Anti-reflective back, hydroleophobic, anti-scratch||C-WALL (anti-scratch, hydroleophobic)||Anti-scratch, hydroleophobic||Anti-reflective|
|Can take prescription lens?||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Hinge type||Standard integrated||Standard/barrel||Spring||Standard/barrel||Standard/barrel|
|Case Included||Semi-rigid zippered case, microfiber bag||Semi-rigid zippered case, microfiber bag||Semi-rigid zippered case, microfiber bag, microfiber cleaning cloth||Semi-rigid zippered case, microfiber bag||Microfiber bag|
Our Analysis and Test Results
We tested the RIVBOS Polarized with Black Mirror lenses. They're a Medium fit and come with a zippered semi-rigid clamshell case, a microfiber storage bag, and a microfiber cleaning cloth.
We tested the Black Mirror lenses, which, despite being grey (which tend to offer more bright light protection) and having a mirror coating on the outside (which reflects away even more light), these glasses don't offer as much respite from the bright sun as we want. They're an almost yellowy shade of grey that appears fairly neutral, rather than contrast-enhancing.
- 100% UV Protection
- Unspecified Visible Light Transmission (Category 3)
- 98.9% HEV/Blue Light Blockage, 0% Infrared Blockage
- Color: Grey, Material: Polycarbonate
- Impact Resistant, Mirror
The backs of the lenses are exceptionally reflective though. Even with light coming through the fronts, we could clearly see the reflections of our own faces in these lenses, which is highly distracting and difficult to look through. The mirror coating also seems to be perpetually smudged and fingerprinted from even just hair blowing across it in the breeze.
We found these not totally uncomfortable to wear, at just 25 grams, but fairly awkward. Pushed all the way up to where they're more effective causes more eyebrow sweat than almost any other model we tested while leaving a shockingly large gap underneath the lenses for light to bounce right in. The rubber nose pads and rubber back halves of the bows do help them stay in place — to a point. But the nose pads feel a bit too sticky (especially when sweaty) and the rubber arms have intense diagonal ridges all the way along their length that take away from their comfort. They also got so stuck on our skin and hair that they raised WAY off our faces when smiling.
These plastic frames with rubber components are lightweight and okay but not confidence-inspiring. The plastic integrated hinges are an easily adjustable standard style. We had no durability issues during our testing but read scores of reviews online from other customers reporting broken pieces, things falling off, distortions, scratches, and even stretching out of the rubber bows. Though none of these things happened to us during our several months of testing, our careful inspection doesn't inspire a ton of confidence.
Style and Versatility
These wraparound shades have mirror lenses that are on the wide side of average, which we prefer. They're obviously sporty but it's not a terrible look. However, you can see through the mirror coating and we find the glossy black frame and visible rubber pieces to be less to our liking.
The wider lenses offer decent side coverage even for a wraparound model. They also connect with the eyebrows for good top coverage. However, the RIVBOS have a weirdly huge gap underneath for most of our testers, taking them down several notches in the overall ranking. Their rubber patches help them stay on, but they still bounce quite a bit — far more even than many of the non-wraparound models we tested.
These come with a semi-rigid zippered case with a small plastic carabiner attached to one end, as well as a microfiber drawstring bag and a medium-sized, thin microfiber cleaning cloth. They also include a simple sunglasses leash to wrap around the back of your neck.
For a simple wraparound pair of glasses that come with plenty of accessories and do an alright job, these aren't a terrible purchase. We're not expecting them to be the shades you'll wear for 30 years, but at least if something does happen to them, they're less costly to replace.
These inexpensive wraparounds are an okay choice for cheap glasses of this style. If you want something you can throw on quick when heading out for a run — and don't want to wear the same ones later to the beer garden — they might be what you're searching for. They're best for infrequent use and low expectations.
— Maggie Brandenburg