BP Gear Test: Costa Del Mar Blackfin Shades

These polarized glasses claim to help your chances out on the water. But how do they fare on the mountain and the highway?

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I’ll be honest: When I first put on the Costa Del Mar Blackfin polarized sunglasses ($149 suggested retail), I felt a little bit like how Bono might feel before taking his first bonefish casting lesson on Andros Island. “Sure, I could learn how to fish…but are you sure there aren’t any stadiums to be filled or Third-World countries to save first?”

Big, black and made for maximum face coverage, the makers of Costa Del Mar’s Blackfin glasses claim they eliminate the yellow end of the light spectrum, giving anglers a better chance to nab a monster fish. Problem: I don’t fish, so I’d be testing them in less watery environs like the mountains, in my car, and around the office. When I learn to cast, I’ll make sure and take them out on the water, but since it’s already a chilly November here in Colorado, that ain’t happening anytime soon.

Though the Blackfins look honking heavy, they actually distribute weight evenly across the face, and rarely feel too cumbersome or chunky. Costa Del Mar maintains that they won’t slip off your face, and true to form I couldn’t budge them on either a jittery, slippery trail run or while headbanging in traffic on my morning interstate commute. The amber tint provides solid sun protection without being too dark, and the polarized lens allowed me to see crisp definition in snow and ice on a fall hike.

Negatives: I would’ve preferred a slightly more svelte profile to the glasses, and side panels seem to cut out some of your peripheral vision. That’s fine for protecting eyes on the high seas, less so when changing lanes on a packed highway. The glasses are relatively stylish, but lean toward the thick, black style favored by heiresses and aging 90s rock icons. It probably improves for those with larger heads.

All in all, the Costa Del Mar Blackfins will aid your game on the ocean and keep you well-shaded in all your other activities. You’ll just have to get used to people yelling “With Or Without You” when you pass.

—Ted Alvarez

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