Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Review: Revant Elite Blue Mirrorshield Lenses for Oakley GasCan Sunglasses

For the last 8 months I've worn the blue regular polarized lenses from Revant on my un-retired
Revant Elite Blue Mirrorshield Product Link
Oakley GasCan sunglasses. During that time I've downsized a huge household into a single guy living in a cabin in the woods with some dogs and a good sound system. I'm abusive towards my shades on a good day, so 8 months of rough days seems a reasonable amount of time before noticing that no, it's not dirt my lenses, the coating is worn out. The stock lenses on my GasCans didn't last half that long with much less abuse, so I think their plain polarized is a good value. They've seen at least 5,000 miles of driving.

It was probably only a week or two between when I started digging through bins for another pair of lenses I reviewed, when Revant Optics emailed me about their second generation of the Elite lenses and asked me if I wanted an upgrade to the blue pair I was wearing. Hell yes I wanted the upgrade.

When I did the review of the original pair of Elite lenses, maybe I missed that they came in colors other than black, or maybe blue is a new color for their top end lenses, but I really like the blue. I won't lie and say I'm not a little vain, because these do look awesome. But mostly I spend a lot of time outdoors and driving and I prefer the blue ones slightly over the dark black ones which I have squirreled away somewhere. The black ones are good for driving, but the blue and green ones I've tested over the last year seem a little clearer. Neither are quite as clear as my Italian-made Ray-Ban Wayfarers, but those have kind of an ugly green tinge that these Revant lenses don't have.


Product Description


These are replacement lenses for my Oakley GasCan frames which have now seen several pair of their lenses. These are blue Elite series lenses which are their high end polarized lenses with the laser-etched "Elite" logo. Revant makes replacement lenses for an increasing number of high end sunglasses.




Official Specs (From Revant.com)


  • HC3® Ice Blue Mirrorshield® (high clarity, comfort, contrast) - 1 pair of lenses
  • Precision polarized for complete glare elimination and vivid contrast
  • Repel Plus™ nano-coating - withstands harsh environments and preserves color
  • 100% infused UV and blue light protection
  • Injection molded and taper corrected to eliminate peripheral distortion, ensuring accurate and comfortable vision
  • 8% light transmission - warm rose view tint
  • Superior clarity and impact resistance (exceeds ANSI Z87.1 high mass, high velocity impact standards)
  • Includes Revant Elite microfiber transport bag with tension bead for a secure closure that cinches tight






Initial Impressions


The laser-etched "Elite" logo is a little cleaner looking than the first generation. I'm not a fan of the logo on this or the Ray-Bans, or any other shades. At least not on the lenses. But I guess I'd rather see a sleeker, cleaner logo that I don't like.

Putting the lenses in on a sunny day rewarded me with very clear eyesight. The last blue polarized I had from Revant had a slightly pinkish tint, which isn't unpleasant. It's hard to describe the tint on these other than saying that these are so clear that it's hard to see a tint.



Fit and Finish


Overall, excellent. The first pair of Elite lenses I reviewed fit perfect, and this pair fits perfect. I've seen a couple of their lower end models have a lens that didn't fit perfect, though still acceptable. The first pair of Elite lenses had a logo that looked like it was etched by a Chinese kid without proper eye protection, and the logo on this pair looks much better.

2nd Generation


This is the second generation of their Elite lenses. The pair I reviewed was stealth black-on-black so it's harder to directly compare this second set, which is ice blue. One thing I remember about the first pair was that for being solid black, they had more clarity than most other pair I've own.

So these are much clearer than the regular polarized and maybe even clearer than my Ray-Bans. Revant claims they are improved and it sure seems that way to me. The cleaner etched logo also seems less distracting.

Polarized


The pair of regular blue polarized I just upgraded from had a weird visual artifact. At certain times of the day I would be driving and reflections of the sun would look pure, immaculate blue. It wasn't unpleasant but a little distracting. These lenses don't have the artifacts, and the glare protection seems really good. I won't drive without polarized lenses, though it makes looking at LCD screens harder when I'm at a stop light or stopped.

Either way, the polarization on these lenses seem like a step up from the last ones.

Impact Resistant


These lenses claim to be impact resistant. I haven't had any impacts against this pair, but the last pair probably had a thousand things kicked up from the weedwacker and such. It's always scary to hear a "thwack" on the lenses.

So for now I will have to take them at their word. I spend a lot of time in the outdoors and something will hit me in the face eventually. I have dropped them lots of times so far, but it's hard to tell if the lenses were struck. Just today they bounced on concrete.

Just a matter of time before this thing kicks something into my face

Tint


I had a hard time thinking about how to describe the tint on these lenses so I looked it up on their web site and it says rose color. I would say it leans more toward the brown side, but it's not unpleasant.

Usability


Revant has a slick web site touting all these technological advancements, but honestly I wear their products day to day because lower quality EDC gear like sunglasses just don't last very long.  People tell me "I don't wear nice sunglasses because they won't last me" but the truth is that the cheap ones are lucky to even make it home for me. Not to mention they don't protect your eyes very well, and what are your eyes worth to you?

This pair of lenses has seen about 2 weeks of solid sunny days so far. I almost want to say they let too much light in but I'm not sure. They are so clear that it's hard to tell if it's more light or clearer light.

More brown than rose, but again, not unpleasant


Is Revant Legit?


It sure looks like it to me. I don't test the lenses scientifically, and they load me up with lots of free lenses, so don't take just my word for it. All I can say is that if they sucked, they would come off my face about 10 seconds after the review because I care about my eyes a lot.

I see the search traffic trying to research if the company and its products are legit. They are close to where I am living now and we crossed paths on them giving me a tour of their building in Portland. I know their products are made in China but I still want to point my camera at them someday. They are nice to me and the few people I have talked to seem to feel the same.

Certainly I am easy to find an email if any people who have bought the lenses have anything to say, bad or good, and I welcome any comments. We did a giveaway on the budget light forum and the winner was on the other side of the world and seemed very happy.

But any time I'm a big fanboy of something I got for free, I feel ethically bound to raise my hand. It's so much easier being a Spyderco fan because I've purchased every knife with my own money to the tune of hundreds and hundreds of dollars, and I'm a bigger fan every one I buy. It's very rare for someone to give me something I would buy myself, and even then it's usually friends and family. So I'm in strange territory here.

My not-overly-enthusiastic selfie partner

Conclusions


So far I've had good luck with Revant lenses, and these look like a notch up in quality and especially clarity. As hard as I am on my shades, I'm surprised the GasCan frames have lasted this long, but they are starting to look like I might need new ones. They no longer make the frames in the USA so I'm not sure what I'm going to do. I might try to look for some used frames now that I know how easy it is to replace the lenses.

Two weeks into wearing these lenses, they fit good, they look good, and they are crystal clear without any visual artifacts. 56 bucks does seem a little steep for the lenses, but it seems more reasonable in the context of reviving older frames I paid 200 bucks for and retired because of worn out lenses. A few pair of Oakley frames got thrown away, which I'm kicking myself over.


2 comments:

  1. Good article how much do Oakley GasCans cost? I use 3M Virtuas they're cheap and they're safety glasses can't go too wrong.

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    Replies
    1. They usually run about 100 bucks. And I've been looking on eBay for an extra pair of just the frames.

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