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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
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Price:  $79 List | $55.90 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
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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 Best Buy Award  Top Pick Award  
Price $55.90 at Amazon
Compare at 3 sellers
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Pros Secure fit, great lenses, padded frame, excellent coverageSolid protection, look good on most faces, comfortable, well-priced, great warranty/exchange policyLightweight, great coverage, flexible bows, secure fitVery lightweight, great contrast, good in low light, flexible frame, neat styleTruly oversized lenses, unique look, good for low light
Cons May be tight, style doesn't work for everyoneNot a bold style, unimpressive case, minor longevity issuesOn the narrow side, some distracting reflections, uninspiring styleNarrow frame, small lenses, not great in bright lightPerhaps too large, not overly protective, scratchy metal bits on the frame
Bottom Line A blend of sporty and stylish, these secure fit shades offer great protection and great valueGood quality, inexpensive shades with a classic style that works well for just about everyoneLightweight and less expensive, these secure shades may not be fashionably adventurous but they are comfortableNarrow fit shades that offer good contrast and funky style in a flexible, less expensive frameBig lenses on large frames give a specific style vibe though sun protection is limited
Rating Categories Native Eyewear Acadia Shady Rays Classic... Suncloud Loveseat Sunski Dipsea SojoS Round Vintage
Lens Quality (30%)
8.0
6.0
6.0
5.0
5.0
Comfort (25%)
5.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
6.0
Style And Versatility (20%)
4.0
6.0
5.0
7.0
4.0
Frame Quality (15%)
8.0
6.0
6.0
6.0
5.0
Coverage (10%)
9.0
7.0
8.0
5.0
6.0
Specs Native Eyewear Acadia Shady Rays Classic... Suncloud Loveseat Sunski Dipsea SojoS Round Vintage
Lens Tested Brown Grey Polarized Sienna Mirror Brown Brown Gradient
Polarized Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Fit Medium Medium Medium Small-Medium Large
(tested 60mm width)
Weight (grams) 27g 27g 20g 19g 30g
UV Protection 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%%
Visible Light Transmission (VLT) 13% Not specified Not specified 15% Not specified
VLT Protection Index Cat 3 Not specified Not specified Cat 3 Not specified
HEV/Blue Light Protection (claim) 94% HEV blockage None None None None
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 Plastic Polycarbonate injection molded Triacetate cellulose Polycarbonate
Impact Resistance Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Protective Coatings None None None None None
Can take prescription lens? Yes Yes No No No
Hinge type Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard
Case Included Yes; semi-rigid zippered shell, microfiber bag Yes; microfiber bag Yes; microfiber bag Yes; microfiber bag Yes; microfiber bag and cleaning cloth

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