This post contains affiliate links.
I didn’t set this site up to sell or promote gear, but I have no problem talking about equipment I like–particularly if it’s a good value.
If you’re like me, you don’t have an extra $300 lying around to plunk down on a pair of polarized sunglasses (and if you’re really like me, you probably wouldn’t even if you did). Last year I stumbled upon SunCloud sunglasses at my local Olympia Sports. Simply put, these are quality polycarbonate polarized sunglasses at a very reasonable price (about $50 for their basic plastic frames–a bit more for wire). I liked them so much I talked my wife into getting a pair. She loves hers, as evidenced by the fact that they’re the only pair of sunglasses she hasn’t lost or broken within a month.
After I turned 50, my near vision began to deteriorate noticeably with each passing year, to the point where I began carrying reading glasses when I went fishing. Threading 5X tippet through a small hook eye is a particular problem in low light, but has become increasingly difficult in the light of day. I finally decided to break down and buy a pair of polarized readers.
A quick trip to the SunCloud website revealed they had several options for polarized readers, ranging in price from $80 to $90—very reasonable, I thought. Because I don’t like to buy glasses without first trying them on, I visited two local dealers near me: Olympia Sports and REI. These retailers must think the entirety of their clientele is under under age 30, because neither had a pair of readers in stock. (I emailed the company, but they could not tell me which of their retailers stocked readers.) I took a chance and bought the Conductor Readers online with the +2.00 magnifiers. Standard shipping was free.
I have to say, I’m very pleased. They reduce glare while driving, and the magnifiers solve all close-vision issues. I haven’t had them on the water yet, but I’m sure they’ll be great while fishing, particularly for tying on flies.
SunCouds come with a lifetime warranty (unlike many of the more expensive brands), which you can read about on their website. Each pair comes with a red cloth bag that doubles as a lens cloth.
Just to be clear: I paid full retail for my original pair of SunCloud sunglasses as well as these readers–and I’d do so again.
Update: July 3, 2016
When I wrote that I’d pay full retail again, I didn’t expect to have to prove it so quickly. Out in Boston Harbor last week with my friend Pat Cahill in his new Contender, we were moving right along at 40-plus when one of the flies I had been using blew off the console and hit the deck. When I turned to pick up the fly, the wind peeled the glasses off my face and dumped them into our wake. Somewhere in Boston Harbor there’s a striped bass swimming around who bears an uncanny resemblance to Mr. Limpet.
My second pair of Conductor Readers is en route to my house.