I have owned a half-dozen pairs of Peak Vision Sunglasses for more than 10 years. I also own quite a collection of other pairs of other high-end sunglasses, and I wear them all from time to time depending upon my mood of the day. The Peaks, though, are the glasses I wear when I play golf and when I am shooting photographs. I also wear my Peak Vision Sunglasses for driving. Why so?
The answer is several-fold. 1: they do not seem to restrict the light which, because my eyes are not what they were, is extremely important to me. I find I can see just as well with them on as with them off; not so with standard sunglasses. 2: It may or may not be an optical illusion, but I can see better with them and this, so I’m told, is because the amber portion of the lens increases contrast, while the upper grey area reduces glare.
So, let’s take a quick look at the science behind the Peaks:
“Dual-Zone™ Light Management:”
“The bright sky generates over 80,000 LUX units. Simultaneously, the turf reflects only 4% of the ambient light. Solid-tint lenses (amber or gray) cannot optimize vision across these lighting extremes. That's why most golfers wear standard sunglasses on their hats - they can't see effectively!”
Peak Vision’s “patented Dual-Zone™ light filtration integrates two unique filters in the lens.” ]/p]
- 20% transmission gray Upper Zone manages overhead glare while maintaining accurate distance perception.
- 60% amber Lower Zone spectrally increases contrast. On the green, this helps you read topography & grain better.
“In a 2006 study conducted at the University of Utah, 52 golf professionals were evaluated for UV-related eye disease. In the study's population of professional golfers, the incidence of sunlight exposure-related eye disease were alarming:”
- 51% had some form of UV eye disease
- 48% had pterygia (shown above right)
- 400% increased prevalence of pterygia compared to the general population
- 4 to 26 times as likely to develop some form of UV-related eye disease as the general population
Ok, so that’s the official line. Now, how do they measure up?
It’s well known that I’m something of a gadget freak. I love neat things: cameras, phones, computers and, yes, sunglasses. Many years ago I spent a year on an island in the Indian Ocean, slap bang on the equator where the sun was as intense as it gets. Since then I’ve traveled the world and have been exposed to more sunlight per year than most people see in a lifetime. Consequently I've been exposed to many brands of high-end, sports eyewear. Some of them live up to the hype; some I wouldn't wear if I was paid to do so; some are downright dangerous. And that is why I feel it’s so important to make sure the brand I wear is safe and effective, not just another pair of sunglasses. After all, one pair is much like another, right?
Absolutely not, and that being so, I put my Peaks to the test as laid out in my own guide: "Four Tips On How To Buy A Pair Of Sunglasses." Here's the result:
- Ultra Violet Light: - "UV rays are particularly hazardous to our eyesight. They cause cataracts, macular degeneration and host of other ailments including skin cancer." The lenses incorporated into Peak Vision sunglasses provide 100% UV400 protection.
- Polarization: "Polarized lenses permit only vertical light rays to pass through them, not horizontal, and thus they reduce glare.” Peak Vision sunglasses are not polarized. I was a bit bothered about this at first, but it did not effect my vision one bit. In fact, I think for wear on the golf course it might be a bit of an advantage.
- Color of the Lens: "Most sunglasses have grey lenses. That’s not an accident. Grey is THE neutral color: it does not distort color or effect contrast." Peak Vision’s “patented Dual-Zone™ grey and amber lenses seem to incorporate a unique, light enhancing quality. It’s really strange to put on a pair of sunglasses to find I can actually see better. Again, that may be just an illusion, but it’s a real advantage as far as I’m concerned.
- Frames: "There are several things to consider here – weight, durability and style." I have a pair of Peak Vision SL8s which, so I understand, is their most popular model. They are also extremely strong, featuring a sport frame produced from a magnesium/aluminum alloy (I sat on mine in the car and bent them. I straightened them out and they are as good as new). They are also comfortable – I leave mine on all the time. I can even keep them on when looking through the camera viewfinder, which is amazing. And, of course, they look very good.
Finally, high-end sunglasses are expensive - I've seen some brands retailing for prices in excess of $500. I just don't believe any brand of sunglasses can be worth that kind of price tag. Peaks are not so aggressively priced. You can purchase a pair of SL8s online at Peak Vision Sports for $169. If you do a little browsing, you can find them on sale for as little as $125.
Rating:I rate my Peaks very high. I enjoy wearing them, they are safe, durable, and they look good. Highly recommended!
To find a retailer near you, please go to the Peak Vision Sports website.
Check out the Paula Creamer Sundog Collection of Sunglasses.