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Kaenon Sunglasses Review

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Introduction

 

Is there any accessory that's cooler than sunglasses? Methinks not. However, smart golfers know that sunglasses aren't just for looks; they're an essential part of your golfing equipment. Protecting your eyes from the sun is every bit as important as protecting your skin.

 

With all this in mind, I have done all of my golfing over the last two years in a pair of Oakley Half Jackets. I've loved them. I've told many people that it's the one piece of equipment that I'd replace at full retail price if it ever broke. However, in looking for equipment to review, I came across Kaenon. I had never heard of them before, but I was intrigued by the story behind their proprietary SR-91 lenses. I called and asked to test them, and the fine people at Kaenon quickly sent out three pair for me to try. Will I have a new favorite piece of equipment in the bag, or will I continue to sing the praises of my Oakleys? Read on, spies…

 

 

 

 

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From the Manufacturer

 

Glass wasn't strong enough. Polycarbonate wasn't clear enough. Neither material allowed for adequate customization of tints and Light Transmission Levels. So we set out to develop our own, completely new polarized lens material. Kaenon's proprietary SR-91 is the only polarized lens that combines the superior optical quality of the finest glass and the lightest weight, strength and impact resistance of polycarbonate. Only the best properties. No compromises. No short-cuts.

 

Kaenon Polarized isn't restricted by many rules. However, one strict rule has remained unbroken since Kaenon's inception – only the best polarized lens can be housed within a Kaenon frame. SR-91 is the only lens material on the planet that exceeds Kaenon's standards. The fusion of the SR-91 lens material and our proprietary Glare 86 polarizing element create an uncompromising combination of crisp optical clarity, up to 99.9% glare reduction, ultra-light weight, strong impact-resistance, and superior scratch-resistance. The unique result is a polarized lens that delivers accurate depth-perception, true color representation, and enhanced detail definition.

 

http://kaenon.com/sr...Comparison.html

 

 

 

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Style – 20 Points

 

If you check out the Kaenon website, you will see that they have enough different styles to make just about everyone happy. For this review, they sent the Jetty, Hardkore, and Spindle S3 models to show this variety. The Jetty has a thick plastic frame, the Hardkore has a similar frame without any plastic around the bottom of the lens, and the Spindle S3 is a super lightweight wire-rim frame.

 

Since aviators have been my day-to-day shades for the past year, I expected to favor the S3, but ended up really loving each of them for different reasons. I'll get more into the performance elements of each later on, but I could be very happy wearing any of these three on the course or out with friends. For offering such a wide variety, from familiar to out-there, Kaenon gets at A+ on style.

 

Score: 20/20

 

 

 

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Comfort – 20 points

 

Comfort might not be the first thing you think about with sunglasses, but it should be near the top of the list. I imagine that everyone has had those sunglasses that pinched their head in that “this doesn't hurt but it's really annoying” way. And what happened to those sunglasses? They're probably in the trash, which doesn't do much for protecting your eyes.

 

With that said, the very first thing that I, and everyone else, noticed about all three of these frames is the extraordinary level of comfort. Part of that comes from the weight: the heaviest of the three (HardKore) weighs a mere 44 grams while the S3 tips the scale at 30 grams. Weight is not everything, however, because my Oakley Half Jackets weigh less than the Kaenons, but feel heavier. Clearly there's something else at work, but I don't need to understand it to appreciate it. On my big head, the Kaenons simply felt better.

 

A couple comments on each model specifically. The Jetty was definitely the smallest of the three. It came the closest to that pinching sensation, but was still very comfortable. The Hardkore are simply the best designed athletic sunglasses I've ever seen. They fit my big head (and the heads of others, varying shapes and sizes) comfortably, but they also seemed to hug the head securely. One Peanut Gallery tester put them on and shook his head violently and the glasses never slipped. The S3 is super lightweight and very comfortable. Like the Hardkore, it seems more designed for bigger heads. My only gripe was that the ear pieces did put a little pressure on the tops of my ears, but when worn with a hat they are utter perfection.

 

Another A+ for Kaenon on comfort.

 

Score: 20/20

 

 

 

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Performance – 25 points

 

Do you remember the first time you saw HDTV? That's what it's like putting on Kaenon sunglasses. It's absolutely a, “Wow!” moment. The first thing I was struck by was how dark the G12 lenses were. I could feel my eye relaxing instead of straining and squinting. Next, I was blown away by the clarity and contrast. Everything just looks sharper. Seeing breaks in greens and contours in fairways was not a problem whatsoever.

 

Both the S3 and the Jetty have the G12 lens which is a standard dark grey lens. The Hardkore has the C12 lens which has more of a reddish tint. I expected the C12 lens to be the better choice for golf, but if you look at Kaenon's webpage (http://kaenon.com/athlete/bio/id/130) you will see that their sponsored athletes like all different shades of lenses. I ended up liking both, but preferring the G12 because the “darkness” allowed my eye to relax completely.

 

The other performance element that I'd like to mention quickly is coverage. As with comfort, great lenses are only great if you will wear them during your round. Many sunglasses do not allow you to see the ball well at address, but this is not a problem with any of the Kaenon models. There is none of that annoying “the ball is half in the lens, half out of the lens” business. Even though these are not all necessarily “golf sunglasses,” they seem like they were designed for nothing else.

 

Score: 25/25

 

 

Value – 20 points

 

Kaenon is, without a doubt, on the upper end of the sunglass market. I found an internet retailer selling the S3, Hardkore, and Jetty are $309, $214, and $214, respectively.

 

One strong point for value is that each pair of Kaenon sunglasses comes with a very sturdy metal case. Particularly for those of us who keep their sunglasses in their golf bag, this is an absolute necessity.

 

Overall, I know there are some people who simply don't believe in buying expensive sunglasses because they think they will break or lose them. That's fine, it's not my goal to convince you to do so. I would strongly suggest to those of you who are inclined to buy high quality eyewear that Kaenon needs to be on your list. In my opinion, the comfort and performance of the Kaenon products more than justifies the extra cost relative to other high end sunglass brands.

 

Score: 18/20

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Peanut Gallery – 15 points

 

The Peanut Gallery had a strong positive reaction to the Kaenon sunglasses overall. Everyone was immediately struck by the clarity of the lenses and commented, even indoors, at how shadows and subtle details were visible. Most preferred the C12 lens, though I think that this is because the G12 is simply too dark to be worn indoors. Our most critical PGA pro was pleased with the coverage of all the models; he said that he had searched high and low to find one pair that covered the ball that well from another brand. Finally, there was unanimous praise for the inclusion of a solid metal case. One criticism was regarding the lack of interchangeable lenses; our PGA pros would have liked to swap lenses for different light conditions within a given frame.

 

Here are a few model-specific comments:

 

Jetty: One of our three PGA pros rated this as his favorite for style. Another, who has a narrow head, said they were a bit too wide for him.

 

Hardkore: Probably the favorite among the group for style and performance. The lack of frame around the bottom of the lens was universally praised, as was the fit. Testers commented that it hugged the back of their head in a very comfortable way. The frame stayed securely in please even while shaking the head violently (not recommended during the golf swing, FYI). The only negative comment was about the white frame which was a little loud for some. Personally, I would have preferred the black also, but that's just personal preference.

 

S3: One tester stated up front that he does not like wire frame sunglasses, but everyone else had positive comments. The light weight was commented on by everyone, and one of our pros said that the glasses had very good air flow and would likely be difficult to fog up.

 

Again, the Peanut Gallery was very impressed with these products. As expected, there was a bit of concern about the prices, but people were very quick to notice the comfort and the quality of the lenses.

 

Score: 13/15

 

 

 

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

Well, if you guessed that I have a new favorite pair of golfing sunglasses, you are correct. My old pair simply cannot compare to the comfort and performance of Kaenon. For my money, I think the Hardkore is the best of the bunch for golfing. Though there isn't a bad choice among them, I preferred the lack of frame around the bottom of the lens. Unfortunately for me, someone else liked my Hardkores so much that he decided to steal them right from under my nose at the range. I took them off at dusk, set them next to my bag, turned around a bit later, and they were gone. As a result, I'll be golfing in the S3 this season. But please don't weep for me, spies, it feels a bit like, “My Ferrari got stolen, guess I'll have to drive the Porsche.”

 

Score: 96/100

 

Follow me on Twitter: @MattSaternus

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I think I like the pair called " The Hardcore" but knowing me they probably don't fit my face correctly. Also the price is definitely out of my price range. I wear the Bolle' Vigilante's and paid approx. 70.00 with 3 different lenses and they fit great. But I really like the looks of the Hardcore! Nice review Matt.

The Bag:

Right handed

Cobra King FLYZ+ 10.5* w/ Aldila Rogue 125 R 44.5"

Tour Issued TM M2 10.5 w/ Mitsubishi Tensi CK Pro Blue 60S

Tour Issued TM M2 15* w/ GD Tour AD 7S 43"

TM R7 17.5 HFS w/ Tour AD 7S Stiff 42"

Cobra S3 Pro's 4-pw w/ Aldila RIP Tours SLT 115 Reg. 5i 38.5"

Titleist Vokey Proto's

52*,54*,58* all TTDG S-400

TM TP5 X

Scotty Cameron SSS Tiffany 009 350 34.5" or Bettinardi BB1 DASS Proto

GHIN # 5144472

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Thanks. I definitely understand the sticker shock, but I was truly blown away by the clarity of the lenses. The HD comparison is the best I could come up with - it's the difference between seeing that there are fans in the seats and being able to identify your friend in row 6.

Follow me on Twitter: @MattSaternus

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Thanks. I definitely understand the sticker shock, but I was truly blown away by the clarity of the lenses. The HD comparison is the best I could come up with - it's the difference between seeing that there are fans in the seats and being able to identify your friend in row 6.

I have been wearing the Jetty and also have the Hard Kore for a year +. They are definitely nice and I love them! Like most expensive glasses though, they are never returned if you lose them. I would love to see a company come out with a classy name-phone # stick on that fits inside the arm so that us "losers" have a chance to get them back if they are left on the driving range, etc. They could even make this an extra customized fill after sale item. This would really make a big point with me, although I would guess it would go against the marketing angle that blank percent of sales are for loss replacements. After losing 1 pair ad forking over $175 again, I started putting a small label with my name and phone inside the arm. So far, I have not had to test this. Great work on the review.

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Nice review. I had no idea there can be such a difference in lens quality and how it can affect what you see.

 

I can't do sunglasses while golfing because of my bad eye sight though. I can't follow the ball for too long without glasses. Can there you add prescription options to these shades and how much more would that cost? Where's a good place to try them on?

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I can't do sunglasses while golfing because of my bad eye sight though. I can't follow the ball for too long without glasses. Can there you add prescription options to these shades and how much more would that cost? Where's a good place to try them on?

All of our styles/lenses are prescription adaptable. You can find more info here:

http://kaenon.com/rx/rx_lens_options.html

 

To locate the nearest authorized Kaenon Polarized dealer use our dealer locator:

http://kaenon.com/dealer

 

Hope that helps! If you have any more questions feel free and ask!

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I went on the Kaenon website and it looks like the Hard Core large is my size. One question though is it not available in white frame? The lens though I'm not so sure about. right now in my Bolle's are supposedly specifically for Golf and reading the greens, but I have very very sensitive eyes to sunlight, so I'm not sure if I'd need the darker lens or the amber colored lens. It looks like the only frame color choice is either Black or Tobacco is that correct? B) I'd have to try them out before I'd throw down over 200.00, but if the lenses are as good as your saying it may just be worth it.How is this material when it comes to the minor scratches, all these companies say they are scratch resistant but is there actually a lens thats scratch proof? Who knows maybe I can get my eyes checked and get prescription lenses? OH well I'll guess I'll have to wait until I get some extra funds, but I truly like the hardcore style! :D

The Bag:

Right handed

Cobra King FLYZ+ 10.5* w/ Aldila Rogue 125 R 44.5"

Tour Issued TM M2 10.5 w/ Mitsubishi Tensi CK Pro Blue 60S

Tour Issued TM M2 15* w/ GD Tour AD 7S 43"

TM R7 17.5 HFS w/ Tour AD 7S Stiff 42"

Cobra S3 Pro's 4-pw w/ Aldila RIP Tours SLT 115 Reg. 5i 38.5"

Titleist Vokey Proto's

52*,54*,58* all TTDG S-400

TM TP5 X

Scotty Cameron SSS Tiffany 009 350 34.5" or Bettinardi BB1 DASS Proto

GHIN # 5144472

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Share on other sites

I went on the Kaenon website and it looks like the Hard Core large is my size. One question though is it not available in white frame? The lens though I'm not so sure about. right now in my Bolle's are supposedly specifically for Golf and reading the greens, but I have very very sensitive eyes to sunlight, so I'm not sure if I'd need the darker lens or the amber colored lens. It looks like the only frame color choice is either Black or Tobacco is that correct? B) I'd have to try them out before I'd throw down over 200.00, but if the lenses are as good as your saying it may just be worth it.How is this material when it comes to the minor scratches, all these companies say they are scratch resistant but is there actually a lens thats scratch proof? Who knows maybe I can get my eyes checked and get prescription lenses? OH well I'll guess I'll have to wait until I get some extra funds, but I truly like the hardcore style! :D

 

Great questions. Thanks for checking us out.

Regarding Hard Kore large, the "large" actually no longer exists (web update is underway). The only real difference was the lens size, just slightly larger. The regular Hard Kore will give you PLENTY of coverage, no problem (and it's available in white!).

 

Regarding the tint of the lens, it's really personal preference. If you want greens, browns, and yellows to "pop" more (popular with sight-fishers and some golfers) the Copper lens is great. Otherwise, most are very happy with Grey. If you eyes are very sensitive, just stick with the Grey 12 (versus 28, 50) lens which allows only 12% of essential light to your eye (versus 28% or 50% options).

 

Unfortunately, there is no scratch "proof" lens available, but our SR-91 is extremely durable and holds its own against other lens options (see comparison). Very scratch "resistant" is the best available right now. You'll have a tough time messing these guys up, they're built to take a beating, but if neglected of course they'll get scratched, so take care of them like you would a nice car.

 

Again, thanks for checking us out and please don't just take our word for it. Check out our dealer locator on www.kaenon.com, try a pair on (outside) and let your eyes decide for you.

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Wow.. those look pretty cool, I like the looks of the Kore a lot... not as flashy as the Hard Kore, but still have the frameless bottoms. I'm one of the only people I golf with that doesn't really wear a hat, but I always have my glasses on, if nothing more than to keep my eyes from drying out due to the wind.

 

My wife would kill me if I bought any more sunglasses after just replacing (well, upgrading) my polarized lenses to Oakley G40's on my Half Jackets. I love tham nad have had them for 5 years so far...

 

If/when my glasses ever do end up missing or lost though, you can be sure Kaenon will be on my list of replacements.

My Bag:
Driver - 
:cobra-small:  King F6+

3 Wood -  :callaway-small: XR16
Hybrids -  :srixon-small:  ZH45
Irons -  :mizuno-small:  JPX 850 Pro

Wedges -  :callaway-small: Mac Daddy 2
Putter -   :taylormade-small: Spider Tour Red
Bag - Ogio Grom Stand

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