Reviews You Can Rely On

Native Eyewear Acadia Review

A blend of sporty and stylish, these secure fit shades offer great protection and great value
Native Eyewear Acadia
Photo: Native Eyewear
Best Buy Award
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $79 List | $60.05 at Amazon
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Secure fit, great lenses, padded frame, excellent coverage
Cons:  May be tight, style doesn't work for everyone
Manufacturer:   Native Eyewear
By Maggie Brandenburg ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Jun 9, 2021
  • Share this article:
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
66
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 15
  • Lens Quality - 30% 8
  • Comfort - 25% 5
  • Style and Versatility - 20% 4
  • Frame Quality - 15% 8
  • Coverage - 10% 9

Our Verdict

The Native Eyewear Acadia ride the line somewhere between sporty and stylish. Large lenses add coverage, boosting contrast and resisting backward reflection. Embedded nose and bow pads add extra security to these snug-fitting sunglasses as well. Their intensely curved bows are flexible but did prove to be a little too tight for some of our team. Not everyone appreciates the particular look these shades have to offer, but for many who tried them, they were in love. If sport performance is what you're after but you're not ready to sacrifice a certain level of style — or amount of money — these high-value shades might be right up your alley.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Native Eyewear Acadia
Awards Best Buy Award Editors' Choice Award  Top Pick Award Top Pick Award 
Price $60.05 at Amazon
Compare at 3 sellers
$138.00 at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
$249.99 at Amazon
Compare at 3 sellers
$152.40 at Amazon
Compare at 2 sellers
Check Price at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
Overall Score Sort Icon
66
84
82
79
73
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Secure fit, great lenses, padded frame, excellent coverageGreat lens quality, excellent gradient, very comfortable, versatile style, good caseGreat contrast, comfortable, easy style to loveProtective lenses, good contrast, secure fit, versatile use across lighting and activitiesBold style, great narrow fit, adjustable nose pads, good protection, sturdy build, cool case
Cons May be tight, style doesn't work for everyoneNot polarized, may be loose on top of headA bit small, translucent frame magnifies light, expensiveMay be tight, mirror lenses collect smudges, case is a poor cleanerNarrow fit, not great directly into sun
Bottom Line A blend of sporty and stylish, these secure fit shades offer great protection and great valueExcellent quality shades that are protective and stylish, offering top-notch quality for a reasonable priceThese are great quality sunglasses with excellent contrast and a superb face feelA sporty yet chic pair of cute, comfortable shades that can keep up with you from casual brunches to afternoon hikesA great set of aviators for smaller faces with good protection and a brazen style
Rating Categories Native Eyewear Acadia Ray-Ban Erika Maui Jim Honi Smith Caper Chromapop Costa del Mar Fernandina
Lens Quality (30%)
8
8
9
8
7
Comfort (25%)
5
9
8
8
7
Style And Versatility (20%)
4
8
8
8
9
Frame Quality (15%)
8
9
7
8
8
Coverage (10%)
9
8
8
7
4
Specs Native Eyewear... Ray-Ban Erika Maui Jim Honi Smith Caper... Costa del Mar...
Lens Tested Brown Grey Gradient Blue HCL Bronze Opal Mirror ChromaPop Green Mirror 580P
Polarized Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Fit Medium Standard Narrow Medium Narrow/Small
Weight (grams) 27g 22g 35g 27g 32g
UV Protection 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
Visible Light Transmission (VLT) 13% Not specified 12% 15% 10%
VLT Protection Index Cat 3 Cat 3 Cat 3 Cat 3 Cat 3
HEV/Blue Light Protection (claim) 94% HEV blockage None "HEV reduction" None 100% HEV blockage
Infrared Protection (claim) "up to 4X more than regular polarized lenses" None None None None
Neutral/Contrast Increased contrast Neutral Increased contrast Increased contrast Increased contrast
Lens Material Crystal carbonate Polycarbonate SuperThin glass Carbonic Mineral glass
Impact Resistance Yes Yes No Yes No
Protective Coatings None None Anti-reflective, anti-scratch, hydroleophobic Anti-reflective,hydroleophobic resistance, mirror coating C-WALL (anti-scratch and hydroleophobic), mirror
Can take prescription lens? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Hinge type Standard Standard Flex Standard Standard
Case Included Yes; semi-rigid zippered shell, microfiber bag Yes; semi-rigid snapshell case and microfiber cleaning cloth Yes; rigid triangular collapsible case, microfiber cleaning cloth Yes; microfiber bag Yes; cork box, microfiber bag

Our Analysis and Test Results

We tested the Native Acadia with Polarized Brown lenses. They're a Medium fit and can be fitted with some prescription lenses. They come with a semi-rigid zippered clamshell case and a microfiber drawstring bag.

Performance Comparison


We love the fit, protection, and price of the Acadia.
We love the fit, protection, and price of the Acadia.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Lens Quality


The Polarized Brown lenses we tested are some of our favorites. They have a touch of increased contrast, making greens just a bit brighter and helping retain clarity everywhere you look. They're well-suited to both bright light and patchy lighting when the clouds roll in. Their Visible Light Transmission of 13% strikes a good balance of protecting the eyes without dimming the surroundings too much.

Polarized Brown Lenses
  • Polarized
  • 100% UV Protection
  • 13% Visible Light Transmission (Category 3)
  • 94% HEV/Blue Light Blockage, Infrared Blockage "up to 4X more than regular lenses"
  • Color: Brown, Material: Crystal Carbonate
  • Impact Resistant

Furthering the usefulness of the Acadia for wide-ranging activities, these lenses are polarized. This makes them a good choice when glare is a factor, as when driving, out on the water, or crossing over bright surfaces like rock faces, snow, or sand. Though we didn't test specifics of light transmission, Native also advertises their Polarized Brown lenses to block up to 94% of HEV or harmful blue light. They claim they block "up to 4X more infrared than regular lenses", though we're not sure exactly what kinds of number that is meant to translate to. Either way, we enjoyed the comfortable feel of our eyes when wearing these lenses for long periods of time.


The Acadia have a very limited reflection from the back of the lenses as well. Though we found no mention of an anti-reflective coating, this lack of counter reflection is likely assisted by how closely the glasses fit against the face and the curve that leaves very little room for reflections to be created in the first place.

These Brown lenses are some we love to wear.
These Brown lenses are some we love to wear.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Comfort


The Acadia have a specific fit that's a bit difficult to define. Some of our testers found the wrap shape at the backs of the bows to be too narrow, digging uncomfortably into their heads after extended wear. Others didn't notice that at all and loved the added security of these snug-fitting bows. While it would make sense that larger heads are less comfortable in these Medium fit shades, that's not the pattern we found. Nor did we find the opposite, that smaller heads are more comfortable. Instead, the comfort of the wearer seems to be due to specific head shapes in a multitude of spots around the skull. In other words, you just have to put them on and see if you like them.


At 27 grams, the Acadia are about average among women's sunglasses we tested. They're just a tiny bit front-heavy, though this effect is effectively offset by their closeness to the face and securely wrapped bows. They feature Cushinol pads embedded both at the nose and behind the ears. These sections feel smooth when dry, sliding easily over skin and hair. Then when wet (aka sweaty), that gripping power kicks in and helps hold them to the face.

They're not a perfect fit for all our testers, but for those who...
They're not a perfect fit for all our testers, but for those who they fit well, they're secure and comfortable.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Style and Versatility


Here is another area where some really enjoyed how they looked in these shades while others didn't care for them as much. The lenses are rather large, if that's more to your style, while the roundness adds more femininity to a baseline wayfarer style. They fit fairly close to the face, which adds another layer of style that our testers had mixed feelings about.


We tested the Acadia with tortoise frames that feature a tan stripe down the middle and an olive green layer facing the inside, which we quite like. They seem to be splitting the difference between sporty and stylish and aren't solidly in either camp. Once again, you'll probably have to just try to see if you like them on your face or not.

Mixing style with performance.
Mixing style with performance.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Frame Quality


These lightweight frames are made from a bio-based plant resin with a matte texture. They have embedded Cushinol nose pads and bow grips, all of which are very well integrated into the model we tested. They're smooth and lack any mismatched edges or corners sticking out.


The hinges are formed as pieces of the frame and attached with a simple screw that's easy to access from the bottom. It did not seem to make any difference to the durability of the Acadia, but the head of the screw lies on top of the resin frame, rather than fitting inside of a small indent, like most other sunglasses. The hinges auto-lock open and closed and are simple and pleasant to operate.

The Acadia have Cushinol pads at the nose and backs of the bows.
The Acadia have Cushinol pads at the nose and backs of the bows.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Coverage


With large lenses and a close-fitting frame, the Acadia offer some of the best coverage of any women's sunglasses we tested. They have a base curve of 6, which is a pleasing face-hugging shape without being a full wraparound style. Combined with larger-than-average lenses, the sun is left with very few gaps to bother you through.


The secure wrap of the bows and fit of the frame combines with the cleverly placed Cushinol pads on the nose and above the ears to help these shades stay firmly on the face. However, they're not our favorite feel for super active sports (like running), because the tall lenses rested firmly on all our testers' cheeks. But in a pinch, they'll do, and we certainly appreciate the coverage and staying power on hot summer hikes.

Larger lenses, a good wrap, and a close fit all add coverage to the...
Larger lenses, a good wrap, and a close fit all add coverage to the Acadia.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Case Quality


The Acadia case is one of our favorites. It comes with a semi-rigid zippered clamshell case that's easy to operate. Also included is a microfiber bag with a two-sided drawstring.

We love the zippered case that comes with these shades.
We love the zippered case that comes with these shades.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Value


This is another area in which the Acadia really shine. They have a high degree of protection and build quality, for a surprisingly low cost. They're a bit specific in who they feel good and look best on, but if that's you, then rest assured you're getting a great deal on some excellent quality glasses.

Conclusion


The Native Acadia offer great quality protection for a very reasonable price. They have a fit and look that isn't everyone's favorite, but women who like them LOVE them, and that could be you. They're protective with great lenses and top-notch protection, and (for those who they fit) a joy to wear.

A solid value pair of shades that many of our women testers love to...
A solid value pair of shades that many of our women testers love to wear.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Maggie Brandenburg