Maui Jim Blue Water Sunglasses
Frame: Dark Brown Stripe
Maui Jim’s Stated Dimensions:
- Eye: 63
- Bridge: 18
- Temple: 125
- 8-base curve
Blister’s Measured Dimensions:
- Frame – Top to Bottom: 41.3 mm
- Temple to Temple (inside to inside): 136.5 mm
- Length of Temple: 124.4 mm
Lens color: HCL Bronze
MSRP: $ 219.00
Days worn: 30+
Locations Tested: Hiking, rafting, and biking in Utah (Wasatch), Idaho (Salmon River), and Montana (Glacier National Park and Jewel Basin)
I had been searching for a good looking frame well suited for outdoor activities that had a polarized lens and good UV protection. The Maui Jim Blue Water seemed to fit the bill.
Overall, the Blue Water sunglasses fit me well; they’re not too loose or too tight.
If you’re like me and wear croakies frequently, take note. I did notice that after wearing the sunglasses for about six hours while hiking in the Uintas, they began to hurt the bridge of my nose and where they sat on my ears. But when I wore the Blue Water every day on the Salmon River a couple of weeks ago, I didn’t experience either of these issues.
I don’t know if I just got used to the fit, or if the croakie I was wearing was to blame. After the hike in the Uintas, I pulled the croakie up all the way along the temple so it was touching my ear, and since then I haven’t felt any discomfort while wearing the shades.
I found that the Blue Waters tend to slide down my nose when I have sunblock on my face or am sweating a lot. The entire frame is made of high-grade injected nylon, and it seems this material doesn’t stick well to wet surfaces. I’ve owned many pairs of plastic shades, and I’d say the Blue Water slid down my nose more often than most.
I don’t have to worry about this while biking, since my helmet holds the temples in place. But this was definitely an issue when I was guiding on the Main Salmon in mid-July. Temperatures ranged from 90 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and the glasses continually slid down my nose while I was rowing, rigging, and de-rigging.
The HCL (High Contrast) Bronze lens has blown me away every day since I first tried the Blue Water on. This lens really makes colors pop. In my experience, sunglasses that make colors appear brighter tend to have a lighter tint in general, but the bronze lens still blocks a lot of light.
In bright, direct light, the lens cuts down most of the glare. It also does well in low light or variable conditions. When I’m riding in the morning or evening, the bronze tint strikes a good balance between direct sun and shade.
I tend to bike Corner Canyon at dusk during the summer in Salt Lake City. The sun is usually setting by the time I reach the top, and it’s dark when I get back to the car. The sunglasses work very well up until the point when the sun sets—I usually don’t wear them on the ride down since they’re just a little too dark.
I’ve owned a bunch of cheap plastic sunglasses with flat lenses. I’ve found that the curved shape of the Blue Water’s lens blocks out significantly more reflected light than the flat lens.
- On the Water
I’ve spent a lot of time on the water with these sunglasses. And every time, the HCL Bronze lens performed very well.
I didn’t squint even in direct sunlight with light reflecting off the water. The Blue Water sunglasses have Maui Jim’s PolarizedPlus2 technology, which allegedly cuts down 99.9% of glare and 100% of UV light. After wearing these glasses for a month, I believe it.
I was impressed by how little glare there was on the water when I wore these sunglasses—I could watch the fish rise before checking out the fly on the end of my line.
My one complaint about the lens is that it seems to accumulate a lot of oil. As a result, I have to clean it, sometimes more than once, every time I wear the Blue Water.
I usually clean the lens with the soft case that came with the glasses, but I find I just end up smearing the oil around. I have gotten mud, paint, and food on the lenses, all of which have come off fine.
I haven’t noticed any scratches on either the frame or the lens. The Maui Jim logo has faded, but everything else is in very good condition.
Two hundred dollars is a lot of money to spend on a pair of shades, so I wouldn’t shrug off the issues I had with the glasses—your experience may vary, but they initially caused some discomfort (when used with croakies) on my ears and nose, and they had a tendency to slide down the bridge of my nose a bit. I would recommend trying these shades on before purchase.
But if you’re looking for a pair of sunglasses with an absolutely incredible lens, I would also recommend spending the money on a pair of Maui Jim Blue Water sunglasses. They work really well on the water and for other athletic, outdoor activities, in almost any kind of light.