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Apparel Review


“All Sports, All Polarized“ …We see just how well the Native Hardtop Sunglasses suit Anglers (continued)

 

When it comes time to clean  the lenses simply use the provided cleaning cloth that comes with the Native sunglasses. When I was fishing in saltwater getting the dried spray off required a little water. Native recommends using a mild liquid soap diluted with warm water for serious cleanings. When the cleaning cloth gets dirty you can simply hand wash it and allow it naturally dry.

 

The Cushinol nose is quite comfortable and non slip

Price & Applications: With an MSRP of 135 dollars the Hardtop is reasonably priced. I wish the Hardtop came with a brown pair of polarized lenses in addition to the black lenses. I’d easily swap out the yellow or clear crystal lenses for this option. A brown set of polarized lenses would be perfect for fly fishing applications.

The yellow lenses help bring out contrasts

Throughout my time with the Hardtop I have used the polarized black lenses about 90% of the time, with the remainder split between the Orange and Clear lenses. All lenses offer 100% UV protection but I just didn’t find too much use for the clear lenses. The orange lenses have 57% Visual Light Transmittance (VLT) and can be used in moderate to low light, like early mornings on the water. The yellow lenses have an 80% VLT for low light, good for hiking in the woods between fishing holes. The clear lenses have a 98% VLT and are only good for very low light or nighttime use. I only found the clear lenses good for wind resistance when boating near sunset.   


The Native Hardtop comes with a cleaning cloth

Warranty: Native Eyewear warrants that, if your Native sunglasses ever fail for any reason during standard use, they will repair or replace your sunglasses and incur all costs to ship them back to you within the United States. To make a claim, simply go to their site and fill out a claim form, and send it in with your proof of purchase and a 30 dollar processing fee.


Yes...I've even gone crabbing with the Hardtop

Availability: So where can outdoorsmen get a pair of Native Hardtops? Just about anywhere. Native sunglasses are sold online and are carried by many of the largest retailers including REI, Dicks Sporting Goods, and Sports Chalet. They are popular in outdoor shops because they are designed for a wide range of applications and sports outside of just angling. Since we started this field test the company has since released the Hardtop XP model into the lineup. The XP stands for “Xtra Protection,” and is a slightly larger pair of sunglasses that are optimized for larger profiles.

Ratings:

Native Hardtop Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality In terms of durability these sunglasses are very good. they may be lightweight but they sure did last. The Hardtop has seen countless hours in the sun and will likely see many more in future tests. Some anglers may find that the sunglasses do not feel like they are made of solid materials...but that's the result of weight reduction 8
Performance Overall performance was respectable minus the temples separating after time. If anglers are not careful the temple separation can result in these shades going overboard. Clarity versus a glass lens is not great, but in terms of weight the Hardtop gets two thumbs up 7
Price In terms of price the Native Hardtop is decently priced but there is a whole lot of competition out that at the sub 100 dollar price point. They may not have all the same features but they do suit anglers just as well 7.5
Features A solid set of features and nice extras including interchangeable temples and lenses. The soft case doesn't offer much impact protection but it does hold all the components nicely. Once again I wish for a special kit with lenses anglers would more likely use 8.5
Design (Ergonomics) The entire system is pretty easy to use and in terms of weight the Hardtop is exceptional. I often forgot they were there at all. Changing lenses is easier on some other shades, but the Native hardtop does hold lenses more securely than other sunglasses I have tried 8
Application While the Hardtop was good for angling applications it is probably best suited for other sports like running, biking, and hiking. The optical clarity was ok, but not as good as some anglers (especially fly anglers) will desire. If the Native came with a better assortment of tints it would be a big plus for anglers 8

Total Score

7.83


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Comfortable over your glasses L Not the most stylish
J Polar TX lenses L Doesn't hold well while the boat is traveling at full speed
J OveRx 360 degree protection  

 
Conclusion:
It has been an entire year and while the Hardtop survived the test the temples coming loose has continued to plague the sunglasses. I have found the temples coming off is really only a problem with the strapped “extreme temples” as the strap makes it so if you don’t lift up and over year head instead of pulling up and forward the temples can separate. The fact that the temples have become looser with extended use has only amplified the issue. While the Hardtop was not designed specifically for anglers it does to a great extent address the application well with the optional temples, interchangeable lenses, and overall light weight. Where the Hardtop falls a little short for anglers is the absence of multiple popular shades of polarized lenses in each kit (grey, brown, and blue), and in the durability department. Would I recommend them for anglers that enjoy a full range of sports, including biking, hiking, running? Yes. But I’d have to pass on the Hardtop if they are to be used solely for fishing. Don’t get me wrong, they are a quality pair of shades, and come with a respectable warranty, but for the price there are a lot of polarized sunglasses out there that better address the unique needs and requirements of fishermen.


                                  


 

 

 

   

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