We are quite impressed with the performance of the featherweight Hinano sunglasses from Costa. With lenses that block 100% of blue light and are one of the few 100% polarized lenses we tested, they perform admirably in high glare situations and are a great choice for water sports. They're durable, stay put during activity, and provide high-level contrast and clarity. The Hinanos are smaller than average glasses, posing some issues for those with medium to larger faces, and their style wasn't a crowd pleaser among our testers. But their quality, utility, and comfort are top-notch, and we think worth their hefty price.
Costa Hinano Review
Cons: Not very stylish, lighter tint suffers in bright light, copper lens distorts colors, too small, expensive
Manufacturer: Costa del Mar
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|Pros||Good contrast, superb clarity, excellent protective coatings, stay in place, lightweight, all-day comfort||Excellent eye protection and coverage, durable design, great contrast with minimal color distortion, superb case||Excellent optics, good wind protection, 2 lenses included, easy lens changes, quality storage case||Great lens clarity, universally flattering style, surprisingly comfortable, durable build, good eye protection||Excellent optics, storage case, modern style, good eye protection|
|Cons||Not very stylish, lighter tint suffers in bright light, copper lens distorts colors, too small, expensive||Heavy, large overall size and fit, expensive||Expensive, you have to take off arms to put them in their case||Not polarized, heavy, large, case not overly protective, expensive||Expensive, only comes with one lens|
|Bottom Line||These incredibly lightweight glasses have high quality lens and perform well, especially for water-related sports.||The Kahis are a high-performing pair of shades with great coverage and exceptional lens quality.||The Smith Attack Max checks all of our boxes and takes home our Editor's Choice Award.||These shades are protective, clear, and very cool.||The Oakley Flight jacket has a unique style, excellent optics, and good coverage.|
|Rating Categories||Costa Hinano||Maui Jim Kahi||Smith Attack Max||Vuarnet District Medium Round||Oakley Flight Jacket|
|Lens Quality (25%)|
|Frame Quality (15%)|
|Style And Versatility (10%)|
|Specs||Costa Hinano||Maui Jim Kahi||Smith Attack Max||Vuarnet District...||Oakley Flight Jacket|
|Lens Tested||Copper 580P||HCL Bronze||Chromapop Red Mirror||Brown Lynx||Prizm Road|
|Ideal Activity||everyday||everyday||road cycling, mountain biking, running||everyday||road cycling, mountain biking, running|
|Ideal Lens Light Conditions||Low to bright light||Medium to bright light||Chromapop Red Mirror: Bright light Chromapop Contrast Rose: Low to Medium light||Medium to bright light||Medium to bright light|
|Polarized||Yes||Yes||No||No, but it is available||No|
|Visible Light Transmission (VLT)||12%||15%||15%||9%||20%|
|VLT Protection Index||cat 3||cat 3||cat 3||cat 3||cat 2|
|HEV/Blue Light Protection||100%||95%||100%||97%||100%|
|Infrared Protection||0%||"infrared effective"||0%||93%||0%|
|Number of Lenses Included||1||1||2||1||1|
|Neutral/Contrast||Increased contrast||Increased contrast||Increased contrast||Increased contrast||Increased contrast|
|Lens Material||plastic polycarbonate||glass - "SuperThin Glass"||plastic - Carbonic||glass - mineral glass||plastic - "Plutonite" polycarbonate|
|Protective Coatings||Anti-scratch, oil repellent, water repellent, naturally scratch resistant||Anti-reflective on front and back||Hydroleophobic coating||Anti-reflective back, silver bi-shade mirror||Iridium coating|
|Can take prescription lens?||Yes||Readers only||No||No||No|
|Case Included||Rigid zippered and cleaning cloth||Hard rigid clam case and soft/cleaning bag||Rigid zippered case and soft cleaning/storage bag||Semi-rigid flex case and cleaning cloth||Rigid zippered case and soft cleaning/storage bag|
Our Analysis and Test Results
We put these sunglasses to the test on Caribbean beaches, sunny boat rides, poolside lounge sessions, and snowy drives. To find out exactly how and why the Costa Hinanos impress us so much, keep reading through all the metrics and tests we performed.
The Costa Hinano sunglasses have some of the best quality lenses of any of the models we tested. They are impressively protected, provide exceptional protection, boast superb clarity, and are lightweight to boot. The Hinanos are the only shades in this review that are 100% polarized, which gives them an edge on the water. They're also one of just two pairs that provide 100% protection from HEV or blue light. (The other pair is the Oakley Holbrooks.) These two qualities help the Costas provide excellent and comfortable eye protection on the water.
- 100% Polarization
- 100% UV Protection
- 12% Visible Light Transmission (Category 3)
- 100% HEV/Blue Light Blockage, No Infrared Blockage
- Color: Brown/Amber, Material: Plastic, Polycarbonate
- Not Impact Resistant, Anti-Scratch, Oil and Water repellant coating
Costa makes these lenses water-ready by coating them with scratch resistant, oil repellent, and water repellent layers. This helps to keep the lenses clean and free of oils from your hair and water from surf spray. Costa also claims their 580P lenses score a 7+ on the Bayer Abrasion Test, a frequently used metric for ranking the scratch resistance of lenses. A score of 4 is considered a high-quality lens, so 7+ is exceptional!
Not only do their plastic polycarbonate lenses provide incredible clarity, but the Copper lens color also enhances contrast, colors, and depth perception of the world around you. While the Copper lenses enhance contrast, they also are a bit redder than other brown lenses we tested, and therefore distort colors of reality more than say, the Native Highlines or Maui Jim Kahis. However, we didn't find this distortion to be distracting, just noticeable when comparing the glasses side by side.
Costa lists the Hinanos as having a VLT (visible light transmission) of just 12%. We found that their lighter color lenses are less comfortable in bright, direct sunlight. They don't darken our view as much as the other glasses. This does, however, make them an excellent choice for dawn and dusk or in variable lighting. Compared to similar brown lenses we tested that have higher VLTs like the Highlines, with a VLT of 13% and the Kahis, with a VLT of 15%, the Hinanos felt brighter. Overall though, we love the exceptional quality lenses of the Hinanos.
Weighing just 25 grams, the Hinanos tie with the Oakley Holbrooks for the lightest pair of everyday glasses we tested. In addition to being super light, the Hinanos are also one of the best-balanced pairs of sunglasses in this review, making it easy to forget you're even wearing them! They have cleverly incorporated grippy pads both where they touch your nose and on the backs of the arms, which helps keep them on your face and on the top of your head.
Flexible optical spring hinges also aid in the Hinanos' comfort. They easily overextend to accommodate your face while the soft pads at the backs of the arms ensure their grip doesn't create uncomfortable pressure points. Helpfully, they also have a small hole at the back of each arm. This is a secure attachment point for a pair of Croakies to keep them firmly on your head even in rough waters.
As well-designed as we find the Hinanos to be, they are a fairly small pair of sunglasses, which many of our testers with medium and larger faces found to be less comfortable over longer periods. A couple of testers also reported their eyelashes touching the lenses when the glasses were pushed all the way up, which makes blinking an odd feeling. At the end of the day though, we found the Hinanos to be a pretty darn comfortable pair of shades to rock all day in the sun.
The Hinanos earned their lowest score in our coverage tests, though they still provide about an average amount of eye protection. They're slightly curved, which helps them to hug the wearer's face more than a straight-framed pair like the Ray-Ban Clubmasters do. They also stay in place quite well, providing protection during all kinds of activities.
And yet, these are small glasses. They're relatively narrow, with smaller lenses than the other glasses we tested, so they naturally provide a bit less coverage than larger pairs, like the Maui Jim Kahis, give you. Additionally, the khaki-colored back of the Driftwood/White/Khaki pair of Hinanos we tested were more distracting than the darker and neutral colors of the other sunglasses, making them seem even smaller. Overall, we weren't blown away by the coverage the Hinanos give us.
We read online reports of people returning their brand new Hinanos because they felt the frames were too light that they felt cheap. In contrast, we found the Hinano frames to be well-built and able to withstand a lot of wear and tear. Made of acetate, these frames have a decent amount of natural flex to them. Combine that with the optical spring hinges, and you have a surprisingly flexible pair of shades! This flex adds to our confidence in how well they handle being smashed and tossed around and used on a daily basis, rather than detracting from it.
We didn't have a single issue with the durability or usage of these sunglasses during several months of testing. Additionally, Costa protects these sunnies with a lifetime warranty against all manufacturer defects. If you do happen to break them, you can send them in and pay for Costa to repair them.
We initially had a few doubts about these glasses snapping because they had too much flex. But after using them almost daily for months on end, we certainly didn't break them in half. And while we didn't experience any issues with the nose pads, we do have some reservations about their longevity over many years in the sun, particularly after prolonged exposure to salt water.
The overextension of the hinges, while being quite handy for their comfort and durability, is also a little concerning. They are so easy to bend outward that they also seem easy to break. The only other everyday sunglasses we tested with flexible spring hinges are the Maui Jim Kahis, which are a little stiffer and sturdy-feeling than the Hinanos. But, when all was said and done, we found the Hinano frames to be decently durable and wonderfully lightweight.
Unfortunately, this is where the Hinanos fall short among our reviewers. As much as we love the quality, design, and feel of these sunglasses, just about everyone who tried these on couldn't get behind the look of them. The khaki back and angular frames felt a bit harsh to most people's sensibilities. And the Copper lenses, so wonderful to block out harsh glare and blue light, are quite transparent and appear almost rose in the right light.
That said, Costa makes a plethora of different frames and offers a number of lens options. You should have no problem finding a pair that better suits your sense of style if the Hinanos aren't it. And hey — if it's cool to be different, the Hinanos are certainly that!
The Hinanos come with a rigid zippered case that looks just like the one that accompanies the Native Highlines but is a few grams lighter. This case isn't one you'd necessarily feel good about backing your car over, but it does a pretty good job keeping your spendy sunnies from getting squashed flat in your overstuffed bag to Honduras. (We know. We tried.) It's also fairly lightweight compared to the exceptionally durable but behemoth Maui Jim Kahi case, and only 11 grams heavier than the far less rigid cases that accompany the Vuarnet District Medium Rounds or Ray-Ban Clubmasters.
If you're tossing them into a giant beach bag, this minute weight difference may not matter. But if you're hiking the entire Appalachian Trail, every gram counts! The Costas also come with a large, thick cleaning cloth. We like that!
In general, we appreciate the functionality of the zippered Hinano case. That said, it is a bit more obnoxious to use than the simple clam-shell case of the Maui Jims or the single snap of the Vuarnets. It is less bombproof than the Maui Jims as well. If that's something you desire in a case, and weight is no object, you may find yourself searching for a new case. But overall, we think the Costa case is a good combination of weight and protection, and the large cleaning cloth is a useful addition.
The incredible clarity and protection offered by the Hinano polarized 580P sunglasses make them exceptionally well-suited for high glare situations with a lot of blue surroundings — like on the water or even on snow. Additionally, their enhanced contrast makes them great candidates for variable lighting conditions, such as a day of patchy sun and clouds or an early morning SUP session. Their light weight and ability to stay put on your face will work for everything from everyday errands to trekking up the mountain or kayaking across the lake.
Retailing for about $260, the Hinano is one of the most expensive pairs of everyday specs we reviewed. And while more money doesn't always get you a quality product, in this case, it does. We found the lens and frame quality and durability to be outstanding, and the glasses to be light, balanced, and comfortable for all-day wear. Though the small size and unique look lost these sunnies some points for coverage and style, we still think the dough you spend on a pair of Hinanos is well worth the incredible protection they provide.
The high-quality lenses and lightweight, comfortable design of the Hinano sunglasses make them a solid option, and they are excellent for water sports. Though they aren't our favorite style and their small size offers less coverage than some larger, more fitted models, these shades pack a fantastic performance. Protecting your eyes from harmful light while repelling water and oil and being phenomenally scratch resistant, the Hinano 580Ps are top performers, and we think well worth their robust price tag.
Other Versions and Accessories
The Hinanos are also available in a couple of other frame colors (Blackout and Matte Coconut Fade) and several choices of lens color including Green Mirror and Blue Mirror. Costa sells seven different combinations of lenses in green, blue, grey, brown and yellow.
We tested the 580P lenses, which are polycarbonate, but they also make 580G lenses of glass, which they claim to be scratch proof (at least the mirrored layer) and even more clear than the polycarbonates. They are a bit heavier though.
Costa also makes scores of other styles of sunglasses with the same lens technology and a few additional styles just for prescription lenses.
— Maggie Brandenburg