|Walleva Replacement Lenses For Oakley GasCan Sunglasses - Green|
I had never heard of them before they contacted me. So, I took a close look at their web site. It's easy to navigate and looks well done. They ship internationally and communicate well in English. They also seem nice. I took a look at their domain and other public information that's easy to find, and they seem legit. Google seems to think they are legit, and is giving them some good search traffic. As always, feel free to send me any feedback about your experiences with this company.
Official Specs (From Walleva)
The lenses are:
Lenses with polarization are etched with a laser to create horizontal lines in the lenses. The lines are very close together, and what happens is that the light from glare that comes in at an angle is decreased, while light from straight ahead stays the same, which reduces glare and increases clarity of whatever you looking straight ahead at.
For loose lenses like this, it just takes a couple seconds to verify that they are correctly polarized. I created a quick little video below.
Note: Another interesting aspect of polarized lenses is that the colored ones can look like a completely different color at different angles, or lose their color together. This makes it very challenging to get decent photography for these kinds of lenses. Below are the mirrored green ones, which doesn't come across in the video.
Wow, four pair of polarized lenses for my Oakley GasCan sunglasses. At the same time I thought "I heart sunglasses" and "this is going to be a lot of work." I do my best to give a fair review, and that means not cutting any corners.
I pulled out a random box, and mounted the mirrored green lenses to my Oakley GasCans. I always like to take a random pair of lenses from a new brand and hold them together, turning them to test the polarization, just for giggles. This green pair had nice, snappy effect, so I made a Youtube video of the test, which is linked in this review.
Opening up the other pairs of lenses gave me the same feeling that I was getting a good product. I like seeing my review samples shrink-wrapped like this, so it's more likely I'm getting random stock off the shelf and not something cherry picked.
Notes On Specific Lenses
These lenses perform identically for the most part, but I had some thoughts related to each pair of lenses.
Green: These are the only pair in the bunch that say "mirrored" I believe. The other ones are just "coated." Sometimes they look a little blue-ish on the outside, which you can see a little in the photos below.
They have a rose colored tint looking through them, as you can see in the photo below. They are not quite as dark as I would like, but they make up for it by looking awesome. They look fantastic on my brother. In the pictures, you can see these are the most mirrored.
These green lenses don't seem to have a perfectly uniform coating. I'm not sure if that's on purpose, but I took out a random pair of Revant lenses, and they weren't perfectly uniform either, so it probably is intentional. Just looking through them, the tint changes a little as your eyes look toward the corners. Most people wouldn't notice this issue/feature.
Purple: These are coated instead of mirrored, and I like the look. It's really subtle. The purple are probably my favorites. These ones have a greyish-green tint looking through them. Like the black ones, these are a little darker, which I also like.
Blue: These have a grey colored tint looking through them. I held them up next to the Revent Elite blue lenses I have. The Revant lenses have a brownish tint and are a little darker looking through them, compared to the grey tint on the Walleva. The Walleva lenses are a little thinner, but they seem close to the Revant in quality, though the Revant have better clarity.
These blue lenses have a perfectly uniform coating, unlike their Revant Elite counterparts. Again, the "dithered" coating on some of my lenses is probably intentional, though now that I've noticed, I think I like the uniformity better.
Black: Simple, black, polarized lenses: I like these almost as much as the purple, because there's no annoying logo and they are almost as dark as I like my lenses. These have the same grey tint looking through them that the blue lenses have. These are the lenses that my stock Oakleys should have come with.
I spent about a week with each pair of lenses and probably put at least a couple hundred miles on each pair. The more somebody loads me up with stuff for review, the more skeptical I am, and the more scrutiny I give the product.
Day to day, these are good performers. I normally like my lenses a little darker since I have sensitive eyes, but they are certainly acceptable. These four pair of lenses mostly have a neutral viewing tint. A much better tint than any other polarized sunglasses or lenses I own. The black and purple ones are a little darker than the green or blue ones. The black ones are probably the darkest. I like my black lenses really dark, and these are pretty close to how I like them.
The clarity on these lenses is a notch down from the high end ones, but those cost 3-4 times as much. These are plenty good to drive with, which is the use case where I want the most clarity. I almost like them more walking the dog than with my more expensive shades, because I'm soaking in the world without a heavy green, brown or rose colored tint.
The real usability test is how the coating holds up to the kind of daily abuse it's going to see with me as its owner. The stock Oakley lenses lasted about 3 months of hard use, if that, so Oakley sets the bar pretty low. My blue Revant lenses are finally looking like they're not brand new after 3 months of hard use, so it won't be long before I have a better feel for how these are going to hold up.
These are good replacement lenses for the money. They aren't quite as high quality as the high end lenses I own, but Walleva is selling these at budget prices. "Value" to me is the relationship between quality and price, and so I think these are a really good value.
I like these lenses better in some ways, like the neutral viewing tints these have. The Walleva lenses aren't as clear as my Italian-made, polarized Ray-Bans Wayfarers, but those have a sickly-green tint to them. The super-clear lenses seem to give you an obnoxious tint as the price for your clarity, so I think these Walleva lenses are a fair trade-off of tint versus clarity.
Overall, I like them. Right now the purple ones are mounted in my frames. It's always fun doing my testing and trying to involve my friends and family.