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Sungait Designer Gradient Review

Some low cost classicly styled shades that are easy to wear but lack quality performance when facing into the sun
Sungait Designer Gradient
Photo: Sungait
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Price:  $50 List | $14.99 at Amazon
Pros:  Classic retro style, easy to wear, versatile fit, lightweight, inexpensive
Cons:  Not great in direct light, back reflection, extreme gradient
Manufacturer:   Sungait
By Maggie Brandenburg ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Jun 9, 2021
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46
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#12 of 15
  • Lens Quality - 30% 3
  • Comfort - 25% 5
  • Style and Versatility - 20% 6
  • Frame Quality - 15% 5
  • Coverage - 10% 5

Our Verdict

The Sungait Designer Gradient are a tempting pair of sunnies with a cool, retro look that's easy to love. They're comfortable to wear and fit a wide range of faces. Their low weight and matte finish help them stay put and their reasonable price makes them fit more easily into most budgets. We're less wowed by their performance in the head-on sun, as they become challenging to see through due to glare and internal reflections. We also don't love their extreme gradient, which is too dark on top and too light on the bottom. But if you're into the look and don't mind the lackluster lens performance, they may be for you.

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Pros Classic retro style, easy to wear, versatile fit, lightweight, inexpensiveSecure 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 fitTruly oversized lenses, unique look, good for low light
Cons Not great in direct light, back reflection, extreme gradientMay be tight, style doesn't work for everyoneNot a bold style, unimpressive case, minor longevity issuesOn the narrow side, some distracting reflections, uninspiring stylePerhaps too large, not overly protective, scratchy metal bits on the frame
Bottom Line Some low cost classicly styled shades that are easy to wear but lack quality performance when facing into the sunA 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 comfortableBig lenses on large frames give a specific style vibe though sun protection is limited
Rating Categories Sungait Designer Gr... Native Eyewear Acadia Shady Rays Classic... Suncloud Loveseat SojoS Round Vintage
Lens Quality (30%)
3.0
8.0
6.0
6.0
5.0
Comfort (25%)
5.0
5.0
7.0
7.0
6.0
Style And Versatility (20%)
6.0
4.0
6.0
5.0
4.0
Frame Quality (15%)
5.0
8.0
6.0
6.0
5.0
Coverage (10%)
5.0
9.0
7.0
8.0
6.0
Specs Sungait Designer Gr... Native Eyewear Acadia Shady Rays Classic... Suncloud Loveseat SojoS Round Vintage
Lens Tested Brown Gradient Brown Grey Polarized Sienna Mirror Brown Gradient
Polarized No Yes Yes Yes No
Fit Medium
(tested 55mm width)
Medium Medium Medium Large
(tested 60mm width)
Weight (grams) 22g 27g 27g 20g 30g
UV Protection 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%%
Visible Light Transmission (VLT) Not specified 13% Not specified Not specified Not specified
VLT Protection Index Not specified Cat 3 Not specified Not specified Not specified
HEV/Blue Light Protection (claim) None 94% HEV blockage None None None
Infrared Protection (claim) None "up to 4X more than regular polarized lenses" None None None
Neutral/Contrast Increased contrast Increased contrast Neutral Increased contrast Increased contrast
Lens Material Plastic (composite) Crystal carbonate Plastic Polycarbonate injection molded Polycarbonate
Impact Resistance Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Protective Coatings None None None None None
Can take prescription lens? No Yes Yes No No
Hinge type Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard
Case Included Yes; microfiber bag, microfiber cleaning cloth, double-sided screwdriver Yes; semi-rigid zippered shell, microfiber bag Yes; microfiber bag Yes; microfiber bag Yes; microfiber bag and cleaning cloth

Our Analysis and Test Results

We tested the Sungait Designer Gradient with Brown Gradient lenses. They're a Medium fit and come with a microfiber drawstring case, microfiber cleaning cloth, and double-sided screwdriver.

Performance Comparison


Wandering through town in the Sungaits.
Wandering through town in the Sungaits.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Lens Quality


The Brown Gradient lenses we tested are among our least favorite lenses. They have reasonable clarity until you're in direct sunlight, in which case they have very heavy reflections on the insides of the lenses that are distracting and directly in your field of vision. They're not polarized and in challenging lighting (like golden hour, when the light comes directly across the horizon), they appear almost cloudy, making them difficult to look through.

Brown Gradient Lenses
  • Not Polarized
  • 100% UV Protection
  • Unspecified Visible Light Transmission (Category 3)
  • 0% HEV/Blue Light Blockage, 0% Infrared Blockage
  • Color: Brown Gradient, Material: Unspecified Plastic
  • Impact Resistant

While the right gradient can actually help you see better in variable lighting conditions, this one is too extreme for our liking. The top is too dark, the bottom is too light, and it shifts too quickly from one to the other. As a whole, these lenses are very distracting and not overly pleasant to wear when you really need to see — like when driving.

Their gradient is a bit too extreme for our liking.
Their gradient is a bit too extreme for our liking.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Comfort


The Sungait have a fairly smooth matte finish that helps them feel pleasant on the face and adds a little bit of grip to the frames. They weigh just 22 grams, which is on the lighter end of the spectrum among the models we tested. They don't touch too much in unpleasant places and have a pretty good balance.

The Sungait shades are fairly light and not bad to wear.
The Sungait shades are fairly light and not bad to wear.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Style and Versatility


One of the biggest appeals of the Sungait being able to get this look for less money. They're very similar to some other sunglasses we tested, but lacking in some of the details of proportion. Still, they're not bad and look pretty good across the full range of face sizes we tested.

They may lack some details, but their overall look isn't bad.
They may lack some details, but their overall look isn't bad.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Frame Quality


The portions of these frames that are made of TR90 material are flexible plastic. The metal bows aren't very flexible and are attached by standard metal three-barrel hinges that are fairly narrow. They're decently sturdy but not outstandingly so. We had none of the issues with lenses falling out or bows breaking that we read about online. Lacking any rubber sections, there are also fewer pieces we worry about detaching — always a plus.

The fronts are flexible while the metal bows are not.
The fronts are flexible while the metal bows are not.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Coverage


The lenses of the Sungait are on the larger side of average, lending them a little extra coverage. Their style includes pretty flat frames, leaving plenty of space around the edges and even the bottoms for sunlight and glare to creep in. The matte finish gives them a little extra grip when you're sweaty, in lieu of any rubber or silicone padding to keep them in place.

Decently sized lenses help make up for the flat shape.
Decently sized lenses help make up for the flat shape.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Case Quality


These sunglasses come with a simple microfiber bag with a double-sided drawstring. Also included are a good-sized microfiber cloth and a dual-sided mini screwdriver for hinge tightenings.

Plenty of microfiber accessories and a keychain screwdriver.
Plenty of microfiber accessories and a keychain screwdriver.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Value


The Sungait Designer sell on the high side of what we feel they're worth. We're not fans of their lenses and we're underwhelmed by their style.

Conclusion


The Sungait Designer Gradient are inexpensive shades meant to replicate a throwback style for less. However, we find their gradient to be subpar and their back reflection to be intensely distracting. We're bigger fans of their overall look, but not quite sure it's worth living with a substantially lowered lens quality.

Checking out the Sungaits in the challenging light of golden hour.
Checking out the Sungaits in the challenging light of golden hour.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Maggie Brandenburg