Sunglass Seminar #3: Maui Jim

Ho'okipa with Natural Grey lens

Think Hawaii and it’s only natural to think about sunshine and golf. The bright sun that bathes the 50th state led to the creation of Maui Jim sunglasses nearly three decades ago, and in the years since golf has been the driving force behind a number of lenses and frames from this high-end optical company.

Maui Jim turns out a wide variety of designs, more than 70 styles and nearly 200 different products: rimless, rimmed, metal, nylon, flexible, colorful, adjustable. There are shapes and sizes to fit any head and any sport, with island-inspired names like Honolua Bay, Hapuna, and White Cap.

Canoes with Maui HT lens

But don’t let the laid-back, Hawaiian sensibility fool you: Maui Jim is serious about sunglasses, particularly lenses. They all feature the company’s patented PolarizedPlus2 technology, which enhances colors while offering 100% protection from UVA, UVB, and UVC rays, and 99.9% protection from glare and squinting. Lenses are also lightweight, resist scratching and breaking, and are available in a choice of colors: Neutral Gray—with the most glare reduction, for full sunlight; Maui Rose—for low to medium light and action sports; HCL Bronze—with enhanced contrast, for hazy, overcast, and foggy conditions.

Big Beach (beta-ti) with Maui Rose lens

The newest lens, the Maui HT (High Transmission), is touted as the best choice for golf. Designed for low-light conditions—think early morning and late afternoon rounds—the palm-green hue boosts color, contrast, and depth perception, sharpening your vision all over the course, especially on the greens. They’re also great for driving (your car, that is) when the sun is low in the sky and in your face.

HT lenses, and most of Maui Jim’s products, are available in prescription models. Four new rimless metal frames were recently introduced, made of beta-titanium with a choice of colored nylon temples. There’s even a line of sunglass reading glasses. And I can tell you from personal experience that with a little care, Maui Jim sunglasses will last for years.

Retail prices range from $179 to $299. Check out the frames and lenses on the website, which also features very candid user comments on each style.

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