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Sunski Yuba Review

A lightweight, more stylish pair of shades that work better on smaller faces
Sunski Yuba
Photo: Sunski
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Price:  $58 List | $57.95 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Stylish, lightweight, good color and clarity
Cons:  Counter reflective glare, run small, low coverage
Manufacturer:   Sunski
By Maggie Brandenburg ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  May 27, 2021
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54
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#10 of 14
  • Lens Quality - 30% 4
  • Comfort - 25% 5
  • Frame Quality - 20% 6
  • Style and Versatility - 15% 8
  • Coverage - 10% 5

Our Verdict

The Sunski Yuba are impressively lightweight, with a more stylish than sporty look. They have good clarity and contrast and are pleasant to look through and wear. They're a bit on the small side and therefore were better liked by our more narrow-faced testers, both in fit and fashion. They do have a fair amount of glare on the backs, somewhat detracting from an otherwise good quality lens in certain lighting. If you're after a neat-looking pair of sport sunglasses to fit a narrower face, these just might be the ones for you.

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Sunski Yuba
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Sunski Yuba
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award 
Price $57.95 at Backcountry
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$209.00 at Amazon$178.93 at Amazon$78.95 at Backcountry
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Pros Stylish, lightweight, good color and clarityGreat clarity, excellent contrast, minimal color distortion, very comfortable, look good on pretty much everyoneGreat color retention, superb coverage, quality construction, fits many face sizes, great case and cleaning clothLightweight, comfortable, stable, good on many faces, nice caseLightweight, comfortable, secure, good balance, versatile, look good
Cons Counter reflective glare, run small, low coveragePeripheral coverage not ideal, can still bounce a littleHeavy, large lens "look", weird inside reflective patchNot overly stylish, run small, temple grips could be cleaner cutHinges loosen, brown lenses are yellowy
Bottom Line A lightweight, more stylish pair of shades that work better on smaller facesExceptional lenses in impressively comfortable frames that manage to be extremely functional while still looking casualTop-notch coverage and superb color retention make these large-fit shades well-equipped to protect your eyes from water-reflected lightThese sunnies are light and comfortable for your face and eyes and a bit easier on your walletA solidly versatile pair of comfortable shades that are easy to wear and a great price
Rating Categories Sunski Yuba Kaenon Clarke Costa Del Mar Rincon Native Eyewear Wells Suncloud Rambler
Lens Quality (30%)
4
9
8
7
5
Comfort (25%)
5
9
8
6
7
Frame Quality (20%)
6
9
9
7
7
Style And Versatility (15%)
8
9
8
7
9
Coverage (10%)
5
7
9
8
8
Specs Sunski Yuba Kaenon Clarke Costa Del Mar Rincon Native Eyewear Wells Suncloud Rambler
Lens Tested Amber Ultra Brown 12 Grey 580P Crystal Grey Brown
Ideal Lens Light Conditions Bright Light Bright light Bright Light Medium to bright light Medium to bright light
Polarized Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Fit Small-Medium Medium-Full XL/Wide Large Medium
Weight (grams) 20g 29g 33g 26g 25g
UV Protection 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
Visible Light Transmission (VLT) 15% 12% 12% 12% 15%
VLT Protection Index Cat 3 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 Increased contrast Increased contrast Neutral Neutral Increased contrast
Lens Material Triacetate cellulose Plastic - "SR-91" polycarbonate Polycarbonate Plastic polycarbonate Plastic polycarbonate
Impact Resistance Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Protective Coatings None 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/barrel Standard/barrel Spring Standard/barrel Standard/barrel
Case Included 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 Yuba with Amber lenses. They say they're a Medium-Large, but fit more like a Small/Medium and come with a microfiber storage bag.

Performance Comparison


Many of our testers love the look and lightweight feel of the Yubas.
Many of our testers love the look and lightweight feel of the Yubas.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Lens Quality


The Amber lenses we tested have great clarity and contrast. They're fairly true to color, erring on the side of more reddish-brown than yellowy-brown, which we prefer. Made of triacetate cellulose, they're lightweight and easy to look through. A slightly higher VLT makes them less protective against super-intense light but more comfortable in mixed and lower lighting conditions, like partly cloudy days and nearing dusk.

Amber Lenses
  • Polarized
  • 100% UV Protection
  • 15% Visible Light Transmission (Category 3)
  • 0% HEV/Blue Light Blockage, 0% Infrared Blockage
  • Color: Brown, Material: Triacetate Cellulose
  • Impact Resistant

Considering how flat these glasses are, we wish they had an anti-reflective coating on the backs of the lenses. As they are, in certain a light, we could pretty clearly see the reflections of our own eyeballs looking back at us. We also had a harder time wearing these on extremely bright days in environments where light seems to come from everywhere — like when paddling or driving across the high desert in summer — as they're a bit light and open, leading to earlier eye fatigue.

We like the clarity and hue of the Yuba Amber lenses.
We like the clarity and hue of the Yuba Amber lenses.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Comfort


This is a mixed bag for the Yuba. Despite being advertised to fit large heads, our testers with wider faces found these too tight to be comfortable. But our testers with narrower faces loved wearing them, as they're very lightweight, with thin frames that are smooth and comfortable to slide on and off. They tend to ride a little farther from the face, making them a great choice for people who don't want their sunnies to touch their cheeks. And they have no problems staying put when laughing or smiling.

Simple, recycled plastic frames.
Simple, recycled plastic frames.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Frame Quality


Made of recycled plastic, the Yuba's are thin and flexible, but reasonably sturdy feeling. They have fully metal standard barrel hinges that can be easily adjusted if you need, though we never had to tighten them during our testing. They aren't the beefiest feeling glasses we tested, but they don't feel like they're about to break or fall apart and have no extra pieces or padding to peel off over time.

Lightweight enough to forget you're even wearing them.
Lightweight enough to forget you're even wearing them.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Style and Versatility


In general, the shape of these shades is more fashionable than sporty. We feel more at home wearing them out to grab lunch than we do on a trail run in the mountains. How well our testers liked the look of these on their own faces seemed to correlate pretty closely with how wide or narrow their heads are.

Our testers with narrower faces like how the Sunski Yubas look.
Our testers with narrower faces like how the Sunski Yubas look.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Coverage


With a base curve of just 4, the Yuba are pretty flat. They tend to sit on top of the nose, leaving plenty of space around the edges for the sun to find its way in. Despite having no rubber padding anywhere, their low weight and snug fit keep them relatively secure on the face. But if you want a pair of glasses with great side, top, or bottom coverage these aren't really great for that.

Not the best side coverage for snow sports.
Not the best side coverage for snow sports.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Case Quality


The Yuba come with a thick microfiber drawstring bag. It works well enough for cleaning the lenses and helping prevent scratches.

The Sunski bag is made of thick microfiber.
The Sunski bag is made of thick microfiber.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Value


As one of the less expensive pairs we tested, the Yuba's price tag is a little easier to swallow. If you want high-performance sport sunglasses and/or you have a wider face, these aren't likely to be a good fit for you. But if you prefer fashion first and have a smaller/narrower head, the price just might be right.

Conclusion


The Sunski Yuba are a lightweight pair of glasses that offer more fashion than function. We're unimpressed with the reflections on the backs of the lenses and wish they were a slightly larger size to better fit more faces. Yet some of our testers love how these look and feel, and appreciate their unique combination of traits at a fairly low cost.

The Smith Lowdown 2 (left) next to the Sunski Yuba (right).
The Smith Lowdown 2 (left) next to the Sunski Yuba (right).
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Maggie Brandenburg