Built for Life and Wherever It Takes You: The Costa
||Costa Del Mar
Total Score: 8.33 - GREAT
Introduction: Costa offers a wide range of frames tailored for
anglers, including hybrid and lifestyle options suitable for both water-based
and everyday activities. While I have primarily explored Costa's
performance-oriented frames, I was curious to assess how their lifestyle frames,
specifically the Aransas, fared. The Aransas frames have recently undergone a
makeover, incorporating more eco-friendly bio-acetate materials. In this article,
we will delve into the Aransas frame design and examine the impact of these
updated materials on the frame's construction and overall user experience.
Aransas 580G Lens
Available Lens Options
Frame Color Tested
Lens Color Tested
Salt Marsh -
The Aransas is part of Costa's
lifestyle oriented Del Mar Collection. Here we compare the original plastic
version (top) in Shiny Ocean Tortoise pattern with the newer bio-acetate
version (bottom) in the Salt Marsh pattern
after the sole town on Mustang Island, where Spanish horses roamed freely, the
Aransas frames draw inspiration from a barrier island lifestyle. I chose these
frames due to their resemblance to one of my favorite Costa models, the Spearo.
The Aransas frames share a square frame and lens shape with the Spearo but lean
more towards a beach-inspired style.
I became interested in the Aransas
after seeing styling similarities with the Costa Spearo, one of my favorite
They strike a balance between traditional
and modern aesthetics, featuring oversized lenses and sculpted temple arms. Part
of Costa's "Del Mar" lifestyle collection, these frames are available in a
variety of eye-catching patterns and textures. I was particularly drawn to the
Shiny Ocean Tortoise frames, which stand out from the typical matte black frames
seen on most fishing sunglasses.
Over the last year the Aransas has
been with me on all my travels including fishing trips coast to coast and even
international trips to Japan
Real World Tests:
Equipped with copper polarized glass (580G) lenses, the Shiny Ocean Tortoise
Aransas frames became my go-to choice for fishing. Later, in mid-summer, Costa
provided an updated pair of Aransas frames in the Salt Marsh colorway. The
primary difference was the use of the company's new bio-acetate. As part of the
lifestyle collection, I aimed to incorporate these frames into my daily routine,
using both pairs extensively over twelve months, including fishing trips across
the country, targeting smallmouth in Upstate New York, navigating Manhattan, and
even during international travel to explore JDM tackle in Tokyo.
The Aransas in Tokyo. These frames
are lifestyle oriented and seem to fit every occasion
Operation: The entire
experience with Costa's Aransas frames differed from their performance frames,
starting with the unboxing. Unlike the performance frames that come with a
semi-soft case and travel-friendly cleaning cloth, the Aransas frames are
packaged with a square cork case that can be folded flat and a sock that doubles
as a cleaning cloth. This combination exudes a more beach-oriented vibe.
Upon inspecting the Aransas
frames, I immediately noticed their weightiness. They exude a high-end feel,
thanks to a combination of metal frames encased in plastic acetate. The Aransas
frames feel exceptionally sturdy.
Each Aransas comes with a cork
lined case and soft sock which doubles as a cleaning cloth
With their large form factor,
the Aransas frames provide excellent sun coverage, thanks to their oversized
lenses. Unlike many performance frames with adjustable nose bridges and pads,
the Aransas frames have fixed nose bridges and pads, requiring professional
adjustment or the use of a heat-adjusting device. Fortunately, I found minimal
adjustments necessary for a comfortable fit. Costa describes the Aransas as
having a "High Bridge Fit," offering a secure and comfortable fit for those with
a high nose bridge and lower cheekbones.
The hard case can be folded flat
when not in use
During field tests, I used
both the Copper Polarized Glass and Gray Gradient Polarized Glass 580G lenses.
Both offered exceptional optical clarity and held up well over time. However, I
did notice some minor scratches on the lenses due to contact with my camera
equipment when I carelessly tossed them in my backpack, highlighting the
importance of storing them in a case, especially when packed tightly during
Under the plastic acetate shell
you can see the metal reinforced sub-frame
Between the two lenses, the
Gray Gradient lenses performed well in bright conditions and open water fishing,
as well as during daytime drives, effectively reducing glare in harsh sunlight.
On the other hand, the Copper 580G lens felt more comfortable in variable and
low-light situations, such as dawn or sunset fishing. If I had to choose a
single lens for various activities, the copper 580G would be my preference.
A look at the Salt March frame
which featured the new bio-acetate plastic and fitted with Grey Gradient 580G
After experiencing the Shiny
Ocean Tortoise Aransas frames made from traditional plastic, I was eager to
assess the feel and performance of the newer bio-acetate frames. Costa's
derived from castor plant seeds, processed into castor oil, and used to create
bio-based plastic resin for some of the company's performance frames. This shift from traditional
petroleum-based materials reduced emissions and Costa's overall carbon
footprint and was introduced in 2016. The new Bio-Acetate introduced this year
takes things to the next level
and are 68% bio-based from vegetable-based plasticizers and responsibly sourced
wood pulp from FSC forests which replace non-renewable fossil-based materials.
The Aransas looks clean and
stylish in design. One of the big differences between the Aransas and Costa's
Performance frames are the lack of side shields which lock out more light and
Next Section: How the bio-acetate