Hands-on Gear Review

Native Kodiak Review

High performing shades in a stylish package
By: Max Mutter and Steven Tata  ⋅  Aug 22, 2017
Price:  $150 List  |  $128.95 at MooseJaw - 14% Off
Pros:  Comfortable, work well for various activities
Cons:  Hinges feel somewhat fragile
Manufacturer:   Native
75
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 9
  • Eye Protection - 25% 7
  • Comfort - 25% 8
  • Lens Quality - 20% 7
  • Frame Build - 20% 7
  • Case Quality - 10% 9
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Our Verdict

We liked these sunglasses so much that they were very nearly our Editors' Choice Award winners. The Native Kodiak provided top notch comfort and and eye protection in our testing, while just barely falling behind the Editors' Choice Award winning Oakley Flak 2.0 XL in frame construction quality. Still, we were more than happy using the Native Kodiakfor everything from High Sierra rock climbs to fast paced singletrack. And they look stylish while doing it.


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Our Analysis and Test Results

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The Native Kodiak provides great all-around performance and will work well in almost any outdoor pursuit (scuba diving being one of the notable exceptions).


Performance Comparison



Eye Protection


The Native Kodiak earned a 7 out of 10 in our eye protection testing. The lenses are not particularly large, but the frame and lens design creates a close fit on most faces that seals out wind and dirt. Most of our testers had no problems wearing these glasses as second or third in line on a dusty mountain bike descent. However, this fit isn't quite as good for large faces. Our large faced testers had a small gap below the eye when wearing these glasses that made it easier for wind and dust to get in. That is the only drawback that kept these glasses from earning a top score.

The Kodiak provides good protection  unless you have a large face.
The Kodiak provides good protection, unless you have a large face.

Comfort


The Native Kodiak shared the top score of 8 out of 10 in our comfort testing. The low profile, plastic nosepieces have a small dab of rubber to keep them from sliding around, and the temples have a gentle curve that adds stability without providing a squeezing pressure. The vast majority of our testers found these glasses very comfy, with only those with particularly large heads dissenting on that opinion.

Lens Quality


The Native Kodiak did well in our lens quality testing, scoring just one point behind the leaders with a 7 out of 10. These lenses had a slightly lighter tint than most of the glasses we tested. Despite this they did a decent job at reducing glare and ambient sunlight, but in both cases it felt like they let in a bit more light than some of the darker tints.

The Kodiak's lenses have a somewhat lighter tint.
The Kodiak's lenses have a somewhat lighter tint.

Frame Build


Again just off the top scorers, the Native Kodiak scored a 7 out of 10 in our frame build testing. The frames themselves feel very solidly built, with just enough flex that they would likely bend rather than break under moderate pressure. It lost some points because the hinges, while study, feel like they could wear out over time.

Case Quality


Native provides a great case with all of their glasses, and it shared the top score of 9 out of 10 in our case quality testing. The case is rigid enough that it can protect your glasses when you shove them into your carry on bag, but light enough that you won't be tempted to leave the case at home.

Native always provides a high quality case when you buy some of their glasses.
Native always provides a high quality case when you buy some of their glasses.

Value


The Native Kodiak's list price of $150 is fairly standard for high end sunglasses. Seeing as the Kodiak delivers high end performance we feel that it's a fair price, and thus a good value. If you're looking for a bargain, check out the Tifosi Dolomite 2.0.

Conclusion


The Native Kodiak offers all around performance in a stylish package. Though we feel the Oakley Flak 2.0 XL is just a hair better, we doubt anybody will be disappointed with the Kodiak.

Max Mutter and Steven Tata


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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: August 22, 2017
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
  • 1
  • 2
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  • 4
  • 5
 (5.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
 (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 100%  (1)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)


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