Rheos Coopers

The best value eyewear of 2021.

When we want to really put sunglasses through the wringer on land and water, we send them out with a guide. Our tester wore the Coopers while leading paddling trips in the Maine backcountry, and they proved plenty reliable for hard daily use. They’re the only floating sunglasses in the test, so we didn’t have to worry about losing the lightweight composite frames when jumping in for a dip. The Coopers’ nylon lenses (also the only ones in the test) combine the clarity and scratch resistance of glass with the lightness and durability of polycarbonate, making for a best-of-both worlds experience that helped us spot moose near Moosehead Lake. They provided ample protection against reflection on the water with 100 percent UV blocking and an Abbe value (a measure of clarity) that ranks above glass in warding off distortion and blur. A hydrophobic, oil-repelling coating makes the lenses saltwater-friendly and resistant to smudging.

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