Wowsun Polarized Gradient Review
Cons: Distracting back-reflection, very long bows, lenses are loose
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Wowsun Polarized Gradient
|Price||$11.89 at Amazon||$153.00 at REI|
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|$249.99 at Amazon|
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|$152.12 at Amazon|
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|Pros||Polarized, good contrast, lightweight, easy to wear, solid case, numerous accessories||Great lens quality, excellent gradient, very comfortable, versatile style, good case||Great contrast, comfortable, easy style to love||Protective lenses, good contrast, secure fit, versatile use across lighting and activities||Bold style, great narrow fit, adjustable nose pads, good protection, sturdy build, cool case|
|Cons||Distracting back-reflection, very long bows, lenses are loose||Not polarized, may be loose on top of head||A bit small, translucent frame magnifies light, expensive||May be tight, mirror lenses collect smudges, case is a poor cleaner||Narrow fit, not great directly into sun|
|Bottom Line||A budget-friendly version of a cool retro style that unfortunately doesn't follow through in performance||Excellent quality shades that are protective and stylish, offering top-notch quality for a reasonable price||These are great quality sunglasses with excellent contrast and a superb face feel||A sporty yet chic pair of cute, comfortable shades that can keep up with you from casual brunches to afternoon hikes||A great set of aviators for smaller faces with good protection and a brazen style|
|Rating Categories||Wowsun Polarized Gradient||Ray-Ban Erika||Maui Jim Honi||Smith Caper Chromapop||Costa del Mar Fernandina|
|Lens Quality (30%)|
|Style And Versatility (20%)|
|Frame Quality (15%)|
|Specs||Wowsun Polarized...||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|
(tested 55mm width)
|Visible Light Transmission (VLT)||Not specified||Not specified||12%||15%||10%|
|VLT Protection Index||Not specified||Cat 3||Cat 3||Cat 3||Cat 3|
|HEV/Blue Light Protection (claim)||None||None||"HEV reduction"||None||100% HEV blockage|
|Infrared Protection (claim)||None||None||None||None||None|
|Neutral/Contrast||Increased contrast||Neutral||Increased contrast||Increased contrast||Increased contrast|
|Lens Material||Plastic (composite)||Polycarbonate||SuperThin glass||Carbonic||Mineral glass|
|Protective Coatings||Anti-scratch||None||Anti-reflective, anti-scratch, hydroleophobic||Anti-reflective,hydroleophobic resistance, mirror coating||C-WALL (anti-scratch and hydroleophobic), mirror|
|Can take prescription lens?||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Case Included||Yes; semi-rigid zippered shell, microfiber bag, microfiber cleaning cloth, double-sided screwdriver||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 Wowsun Polarized Gradient with Brown lenses — that have no gradient. They come with a semi-rigid zippered case, a microfiber drawstring bag, a microfiber cleaning cloth, and a double-sided keychain screwdriver.
Despite having the word "gradient" right in the name, not all of the lenses from Wowsun actually have gradients. The Brown lenses we tried do not. They are polarized, but not uniformly so, with less polarized regions on the left sides of both lenses. They're okay in medium light and a little brighter but are light enough that our eyes get tired from wearing them all day in the bright sun. The specific shade of brown is quite red and significantly alters color perceptions.
- 100% UV Protection
- Unspecified Visible Light Transmission (Category 3)
- 0% HEV/Blue Light Blockage, 0% Infrared Blockage
- Color: Brown, Material: Plastic (Composite)
- Impact Resistant, Anti-Scratch
We strongly dislike the amount of reflection we got from the insides of the Wowsun lenses. They are obvious, glaring, distracting, and were frequently directly in our field of vision, making them very challenging to actually wear in the sun. Additionally, our lenses had numerous significant distortions right in the middle of the field of vision, causing us to feel unsteady and woozy when moving our heads quickly. All in all, not great lenses.
Weighing 21 grams, these glasses are pretty lightweight among the models we tested. Their matte finish is smooth with just a hint of friction to help keep them in place. However, they have exceptionally long bows, which are a bit much for us. They're a bit narrower than some similar-looking models, as well as slightly less flexible, resulting in just an "okay" wearing experience.
Style and Versatility
Another pair of copycat shades, mimicking a style we love for a price far lower than the originals they're modeled after. They're not bad, though a little smaller than we want this style to be, which also makes them slightly less versatile on the full range of human head sizes. The metal bows look pretty neat, we think, though the specific shade of Beige we tested is more of a light peach color that we don't like as much as we thought we would.
The Wowsun frames are a composite pair, made of plastic fronts and bow caps, and metal bow arms. The plastic portions are reasonably flexible, but not remarkably so. Standard three-barrel metal hinges on each side are narrow but fine, though ours seemed to wear in uneven patterns, with one loosening while the other stays the same. However, the lenses in our pair were barely held in place and actually rattled when we shookthe sunglasses. Not exactly a ringing seal of endorsement to their ability to withstand regular use.
These medium-sized lenses in a medium-sized frame offer a reasonable level of coverage. They're taller than some others, helping to close the bottom gap against the cheeks, but still leave plenty of room on the sides for sunlight to sneak in. The matte finishing and tighter fit helps to keep them in place pretty well, though we're not sure it's worth the cost in comfort for that extra level of tightness.
These sunglasses come with an array of accessories as if to make up for the lackluster performance of the glasses themselves. We like their semi-rigid zippered clamshell case, with a handy loop on one end to clip onto or just inside our bags. They also come with a medium-thickness microfiber double-drawstring bag and a matching, medium-sized microfiber cloth. If that's not enough, this pair of sunnies also comes with a small double-sided screwdriver on a keychain.
Despite coming with a slew of accessories and at one of the cheapest prices of any model we tested, the lenses themselves and the security within their tight-fitting frames leave us unconvinced they're worth even this low cost. Perhaps if you're dead set on the look and don't mind the distracting lens glare and subpar construction, but we're not impressed.
The Wowsun are an underperforming, underwhelming pair of sunglasses that just can't quite measure up. Though we like their style and price, the actual experience we had while wearing them — with their intense glare, lenses threatening to fall out at every turn, and a too-tight fit — just don't convince us they're worth even a low investment.
— Maggie Brandenburg