What is needed in Aviation Sunglasses?

Aviation sunglasses should not be polarized, for two reasons.

Firstly, polarized lenses can interfere with viewing some of the glass panels of the modern instrument panel.  Secondly, pilots need to see traffic, and so do not want to eliminate the reflected light from the wing or fuselage of that potential traffic.  Polarization is becoming/has become the common standard used in today’s eyewear industry. Aviation has therefore become a “niche market” with its need for non-polarized lenses.

What is the difference between lens materials?

Elite Glass Lens Sunglasses

If you are like most people, cleaning your glasses on your shirt, then these lenses are for you…both acrylic and polycarbonate lenses, even with a scratch resistant hard coat, will develop thousands of micro-abrasions over time when they are cleaned without a proper wetting solution and microfiber cleaning cloth.  Glass—denser/harder than plastic—really is a scratch resistant, easy-to-care-for material.  We do recommend some extra care cleaning the reverse side of the lens, to preserve the anti-reflective coating. 

Lenses are made with distortion-free, precision ground and polished optical glass, giving you the highest visual clarity available.  You will absolutely notice the difference in the optical clarity of glass over today’s more commonly used polycarbonate lenses.

Our most scratch resistant lenses, chemically tempered for strength, drop ball tested for impact resistance.   Please note that if it breaks, glass will shatter.  For activities where the eyes need extra impact protection (e.g., playing baseball, skiing, motorcyling, lawn mowing, etc., please see our shatter-proof Polycarbonate Lens catagory).

These lenses block virtually 100% of UVA and UVB rays, protecting your eyes from damaging ultraviolet sun rays. 

Anti-reflective coating on reverse side blocks glare and back reflections.  A plus when you are on a flight with the sun at your back.

Frames made from nickel silver—the most widely used frame material in the eyeglass industry, an alloy of nickel and copper—corrosion resistant, lightweight, and durable.

Adjustable nose pads.

Spring-hinged temples.

Comes with a Hazebuster hard case, a microfiber cleaning cloth, and a neck cord.

Polycarbonate Lenses—lightweight, good optical clarity, high impact resistance/Shatterproof

Blocks virtually 100% of UVA and UVB rays.

Up to 10 times more impact resistant than plastic or glass. The absolute best choice for activities that carry a risk of eye injury, e.g., playing baseball, skiing, motorcycling and bicycling, mowing the lawn, etc.—any pursuit that poses a threat of an impact to your lenses.  Polycarbonate will not shatter like glass or acrylic, thereby reducing the possibility of eye trauma. Tradeoff for the extra safety is that the optical clarity, though acceptable, is not on the level of acrylic or glass.

The metal frames are made from nickel silver—the most widely used frame material in the eyeglass industry, an alloy of nickel and copper—corrosion resistant, lightweight, and durable.  Our 6760 child-sized Aviator and our retro 1004M Aviator frames have standard hinged temples. The balance of the metal frames has spring hinged temples. All the metal frames have adjustable nose pads.

Acrylic Lenses—lightweight, high visual clarity, good impact resistance, reasonably priced.

Most sunglasses today have Polycarbonate lenses, a shatterproof material.  We choose Acrylic (shatter resistant) lens material for these to provide better optical clarity to our clients.  Refer to our Polycarbonate Lens Bifocal Category for a shatterproof lens with a reader.

These lenses block virtually 100% of UVA and UVB rays, protecting your eyes from damaging ultraviolet sun rays. 

Most frames made from nickel silver—the most widely used frame material in the eyeglass industry, an alloy of nickel and copper—corrosion resistant, lightweight, and durable.  Exception—our 221 frame is Stainless Steel.

Reader placement: picture an imaginary horizontal line running just below the temples. We measure down from this line to the top of the reader portion placement.

Adjustable nose pads.

Most frames have spring hinges; some have standard hinges.  Individual frame descriptions will note these features.

Comes with a Hazebuster soft pouch, a microfiber cleaning cloth, and a neck cord.

What makes Hazebuster so special?

The non-polarized lens, of course, especially as it becomes harder to find a good non-polarized pair of sunglasses or clip-on sunglasses among all the polarized pairs out there in the marketplace.  But we believe, just as importantly, that the high-definition properties make our lenses special.  Our brown lenses provide great contrast/sharper images in either bright sunlight or in low light conditions, less squinting to focus, less eyes fatigue.  Little to no color distortion, aiding in distinguishing the color of navigation lights, signals, color coded maps, and instrument displays. 

Where are Hazebuster made?

They are made in Taiwan and China.

Will these scratch or break?

A glass lens is very durable and is far and away the most scratch resistant lens material.  If you are hard on your lenses, this is the right material for you.  You may even clean them with a paper towel…but remember, our Elite Glass styles do have an anti-reflective coating on the reverse side of the lenses, so get into the habit of keeping your microfiber cleaning cloth handy, and use a bit of water, to help preserve that coating feature.

Aside from actual glass lenses, the good old days of cleaning your glasses on your shirt are long gone.  Both Acrylic and Polycarbonate are types of plastic, are less dense/not as hard as glass, and these softer materials will scratch much more easily than glass.   We do recommend using a wetting solution (at least water, if not an eyeglass cleaning solution) and a microfiber cloth when cleaning them—please, no tissues or paper towels (think “wood fiber”) or swiping them across your shirt. In the case of the rear anti-reflective coating (on reverse side of the Elite Glass and the Shields), wetting solutions and microfiber cloths help preserve the coating on these products.  Bonus—-these plastics are much lighter-weight and significantly less expensive than glass.

About breakage—of course, pretty much anything can be broken.  All our lenses meet established standards for impact resistance.  The glass and the acrylic lenses offer excellent optical clarity, but your tradeoff there is that if they break, they will shatter.  Polycarbonate, on the other hand, is more impact resistant that either glass or acrylic.  And if it does break, polycarbonate will not shatter.  This “safe” material is recommended for children’s glasses (see our 6760 style) and, of course, for use during a variety of outdoor activities like motorcycling, skiing, golfing, mowing the lawn, etc.  The tradeoff with the polycarbonate lens is that the optical clarity is good, but not as good as acrylic or glass.  That being said, the safety issue is an important one, depending on your recreational/work pursuits.

You can reduce stress to the frames with a few simple habits…we recommend getting into the habit of removing your glasses with both hands, and NOT hanging the glasses on the front of your shirt, on your pocket, or on your hat. 

Will the color come off of the lenses? Why does the lens color vary slightly from one style to the next?

The brown color is in the lens material and is not a coating/will not peel off.  However, different lens materials will accept the tint differently.   And as well as the materials making a difference, we buy from several factories and that also contributes to slight differences in the brown tint.

Within the same frame style, the lens color can appear to be different from one frame color to the next, and the background it is displayed against will also make them look different from one another.   For instance, a goldtone 2080 has the same lens tint as a black 2080 but may look bit different.  And the tint on a 2080 in your hand may look a bit lighter or darker than the one on the table display, but they really are the same.

Will the bifocal reader come off?

The reader is incorporated into the lens and cannot be removed.

Are they UVA and UVB rated? 

Yes. Our lenses block virtually 100% of these sun rays, the same rays that give you a suntan and a sunburn, and, with too much exposure, can cause skin cancer.

How do I determine the right bifocal power?

There are two distances to consider, so determine your primary need. Do you want to read your panel, or do you want to read a handheld GPS, checklist, or a map? If you already wear reading glasses, the power may be imprinted on the temple. This power would be appropriate for something you would hold about 18 inches away, like a book, a handheld GPS, or a checklist. If you want to read your panel, you will need a slightly lower power--the further away you want to focus, the lower the power you will need. Not sure how to select a reading power? If you think you need a small amount of correction, start by trying on a +1.5, then try on a +1.25 (better or worse?), then try on a +1.75 (better or worse?). If you have been using readers for a while, but do not know your power, you can try a higher magnification to start with, and go on from there. If it turns out that the strength you ordered is too low or too high, we will happily exchange it for you.

Can I wear them at night?

Sunglasses, of any type, are not recommended for nighttime flying.