Maui Jim Baby Beach

Maui Jim Baby Beach, Blister Gear Review.
Maui Jim Baby Beach

Maui Jim Baby Beach Sunglasses

Frame Color: Silver

Lens: Neutral Grey

Frame Material: Titanium

Lens Material: Glass & Polycarbonate

Visible Light Transmission: 12%

Weight: 0.65 ounces (18.3 grams)

Reported Measurements (mm):

  • Eye: 56
  • Bridge: 18
  • Temple: 137
  • 6-base curve

Blister’s Measured Dimensions:

  • Frame—Top to Bottom: 40mm
  • Temple to Temple (inside to inside): 123mm
  • Length of Temple: 129mm

MSRP: $279

Days Tested: 75+

Locations Tested: Travel in Nicaragua; hiking, paddleboarding, trail running and biking in Utah; biking in Wyoming; climbing in City of Rocks, Idaho

Having lived on Maui, I got the Baby Beach sunglasses hoping that they’d live up to my memories of long, lazy mornings spent on Baby Beach near Lahaina.

The Baby Beach sunglasses are classic aviator-style shades with a titanium frame. They arrived in a durable hard case with a soft cloth case that can be used for cleaning.

Fit 

The Baby Beach sunglasses are intended for women with small to medium-sized faces who want sun protection during casual use and mildly active outdoor pursuits. My head has a petite 21.4-inch circumference, so few adult frames fit me. (To put this into perspective, I wear a kid’s size medium ski helmet in the R.E.D. brand by Burton.) I’ve never had an easy time finding comfortable, fetching sunglasses.

That is, until I found the Baby Beach, a pair of high-performance sunglasses that didn’t produce the dreaded bug-eye effect. Aviator-style glasses naturally run a bit large, so it’s rare to find a model that doesn’t dwarf my face.

I’d tried on a pair of the Blue Water sunglasses by Maui Jim that were way too big for me. In addition to the Baby Beach, I also own a pair of Costa Del Mar Las Olas sunglasses, which also fit my face nicely.

(And if you’re looking for a similar style with a bit more coverage, you may want to consider the Cliff House by Maui Jim. The Baby Beach is slightly smaller and more oval in shape than the Cliff House, which has a squared-off edge.)

Maui Jim Baby Beach, Blister Gear review.
Lexi in the Baby Beach sunglasses

Nose Pads / Temples

While overall the Baby Beach fit well, I did notice that the silicone nose pads often snag my hair when I prop the sunglasses on my head. And when I took these shades trail running, the pads slipped down my nose when I started sweating—I don’t think this is an ideal pair of shades to take running. These sunglasses are better suited for casual use or more leisurely outdoor pursuits such as paddleboarding, hiking, or fly fishing.

The temples are comfortable (no headaches), and they wrap securely behind my ears. I think it’s a major plus that the Baby Beach sunglasses don’t slip off my face when I bend over. I can’t say the same for the Las Olas by Costa Del Mar.

Lens 

  • Optics

I was really pleased with the optics on the Baby Beach sunglasses. The silver frame I chose came with a Neutral Grey lens which was definitely the correct choice for Utah’s intensely sunny days. The lens provides noticeably more vivid contrast when compared to the naked eye—distant mountains and foliage had sharper outlines and colors were noticeably enhanced.

There was also much less color distortion compared to my Las Olas. The Neutral Grey enhanced reds and greens, but blues remained largely unaffected.

The polarized lenses cut down glare as advertised (Maui Jim claims 99% of glare is removed), when I took them paddleboarding.  I experienced very little eye strain and was impressed by the clarity and depth perception these lenses provided when I peered into the water. There was significantly less glare compared to the naked eye and the outlines of rocks and debris were sharper. I imagine these  shades would be awesome for fly fishing.

Since the Neutral Grey lens is intended for bright light, it doesn’t transition well in mixed light environments. The lens is simply too dark for deep shade, and I had to take the sunglasses off at dusk since they don’t work well in low light.

  • Cleaning

The oleophobic coating on these lenses is not as impressive as that on my Las Olas shades by Costa Del Mar. They quickly get oily smears and thumbprints and I have to clean them regularly (1-2 a day). Stella experienced a similar problem with her Maui Jim Blue Water shades. The coating on the Las Olas lenses repels dirt and oils more effectively, and I clean them far less frequently than the Baby Beach shades.

However, the Baby Beach glasses do repel water effectively. Beads of water slide right off, which is not the case for the Las Olas.

Durability

I’ve had these glasses for about four months, and I admit I’m not kind to my sunglasses. Old habits die hard when you’ve been using $5 pairs much of your life…

I’ve found the Baby Beach to be very durable. I’ve sat on them a couple times, rarely use the hard case, often forget the soft case and often drop them—and so far, I haven’t noticed any damage.

I am also a notorious lens scratcher (my boyfriend won’t even lend me his sunglasses), and I’m more than a little surprised that the Baby Beach lenses have no scratches after four months of abuse.

Bottom Line

This is a stellar choice for women looking for an aviator style that won’t overwhelm small or medium-sized faces.

Though the price is high, I’ve found this quality pair of shades provides much more comfort and optical acuity than an inexpensive pair.  I’ve spent most of my life in cheap sunglasses, and the Baby Beach was a game changer for me. I will never go without decent optics again!

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