By Jason B.
Native Eyewear has been around since 1998, and they make numerous lifestyle and performance sunglasses. In addition to sunglasses they make a line of performance googles. They have an easy to navigate website with large pictures of their product offerings. A couple things stood out as I learned about the company. The first is their frames are made of biodegradable resin made from Castor Beans. I also thought it was interesting to note that they source parts from around the world, but their glasses are designed in Colorado and hand assembled in Daytona Beach, Florida.
The Catamount sunglasses are new to the Native line up this year. Native describes them this way: “Inspired by the iconic mountain lion of the American West, this style embodies a competitive spirit that won’t stop pushing the limits. This semi-rimless frame is feature packed with co-injected cushinol, adjustable cushinol nose pads and ensures your vision is poised for the win.”
The Catamount is available with five different lens and frame combinations. I chose the Dark Crystal Gray frames with Green Reflex lenses. The sunglasses come with a hard and soft case and SportFlex Interchangble lenses.
The Green Reflex lenses are Native’s N3 lenses. From the Native website the “N3™ lenses block up to 4X more infrared light than regular polarized lenses, pass Z87.1 testing, provide UV protection up to 400nm, and by significantly reducing blue light and selectively filtering UV, they deliver high contrast, crisp definition, and peak visual acuity.”
The SportFlex™ Lenses are a second set of lenses that come with the glasses. Native describes them this way: “SportFlex™ non-polarized lenses are made to perform in a wide range of low-light conditions, including early mornings and cloudy days.”
My first impression when I took the glasses out of the hard case was, man these are super light glasses. They are light as a feather. I also really like the styling of the glasses. The green and gray frame really pop and stand out. I expected the lenses to be green like the picture on the website, but they are not that green. They are more purple and green; however, if I catch them in the light just right they are the same green as the picture on the website.
The visual acuity is great with the lenses. The polarization makes items jump out. I have done a few walks on the Mississippi River Levee by the house and even though it is muddy, I could clearly make out the entire body of a turtle swimming by. I also like that the lenses do a good job of shading the view, but they are not so dark that I lose visibility transitioning from bright light to shade.
I generally consider the following criteria when reviewing sunglasses – comfort, durability, visual clarity and protection. I will be using the glasses for running and hiking here in the southern US. This concludes my initial review.
Native Eyewear Catamount Sunglasses Final Update – June 12, 2018
Over the past two months, I have worn the Native Eyewear Catamount Sunglasses daily. In addition to casual wear, I wore them for daily hikes and runs on the Mississippi River Levee which has no shade, hiking at the Woodlands Conservancy in Belle Chasse, Louisiana, hiking and camping at Grand Isle State Park, LA, running the Q50 Sunset Half Marathon, running the Crescent City Classic in New Orleans, hiking and camping at Buccaneer State Park on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and while running the Oklahoma City Marathon. Temperatures have been hot and humid with highs in the 90s and nearly 90% humidity in late May and June. Most of my experiences wearing the glasses have been in full sun exposure with little shade. I tried to hike some in the shade at Buccaneer State Park nature trails, but the Black Flies were horrendous and I didn’t last very long before I retreated to the white sand beaches.
I am very light sensitive so sunglasses are a must for me when I am in full sun exposure. I almost feel like a vampire when I go outside without sunglasses, I have to squint and try and use a hand to shade my eyes so I can see. For sunglasses to earn a permanent place in my quiver they have to be comfortable, durable and actually help me see.
The Catamount glasses are off the charts comfortable. As I mentioned in my initial thoughts, they are very light. I push them up on my head or put them on my ball cap when I go indoors and I forget that they are up there. Their low weight also means that they sit nicely on my face and they don’t bounce while running, even over uneven terrain like the trails at the Woodlands Conservancy.
The lite weight also means that they are comfortable for all day wear. I have worn glasses that leave marks on my nose and temples after wearing them all day, but not the Catamount. I wore them for 5 plus hours of running during the Oklahoma City Marathon with no issues. I also wore them for over 12 hours while caddying the 9th hole for Birdies for the Brave during the Zurich Classic Pro Am.
I like that the nose piece is adjustable to fit various nose sizes. I did have to adjust the nose piece to be a little wider than how the glasses arrived. My only small nitpick is that they are a little bit tight when I first wore them. They are not tight, but I would say that they are snug.
The durability of the Catamount glasses has been off the chart. I started out using the hard case and being gentle with the glasses, but that is not my style. I eventually treated them like I do all my other glasses. I shoved them in a work pocket, put them in the cup holder in my truck, just hung them on a peg at the door to the house. No babying. They still look brand new.
The Castor Bean resin frames appear to be as strong and durable as any other type of plastic resin. The lenses are still clear and surprisingly have no scratches. When they get smudged, I wipe them with whatever relatively dry cloth is available, and that seems to do the trick.
My final characteristic is visual acuity. The polarization on the glasses is great. I can see clearly whether I am looking in muddy Mississippi River or clear beach water looking for Black Drum fishing on the Gulf Coast.
The glasses have good airflow. I didn’t have any issues fogging up the glasses while running as long as I was moving. I did fog them up if I went from a run to a walk, but that is expected. They would clear on their own as soon as I started running again.
Overall, I am very pleased with the Native Eyewear Catamount sunglasses. They have definitely become my go to glasses.
Thanks to 4alloutdoors.org and Native Eyewear for providing the Catamount Sunglasses for this review.