We’ve bemoaned the unnaturally high attrition rate of sunglasses with The Watercraft Journal before. In fact, it was back in January that we decried the quickness in which we cycle through shades on the account of wear-and-tear, and of course, the occasional gust of wind ripping them from our face and into the lake. A smart person would reply, “Well, if losing sunglasses is such a problem, why don’t you get some floating shades?” To which, we reply: “We still haven’t found a pair that doesn’t feel like we’ve glued kitchen sponges to our face, and frankly, none of those guys are willing to put their shades up to the WCJ test.” And to this date, that statement holds true.
The avid weekend warrior typically cycles through sunglasses at an alarming rate. On the flip side, many riders insist on wearing the same old scratched and discolored pair because they’re the most comfortable pair they’ve ever had. Personally, we’ve still got a heavily weathered pair of Arnette Catfish wrap-arounds we still love although visibility through the damaged lenses is almost nil. Why? Because they’ve never fallen off, even after several spills, waves washing over the bow or heavy winds. That is quite the feat considering the nearly two dozen pairs of cheap gas station sunglasses we’ve cycled through.
A few months ago, we were approached by Amevie, a self-described “Canadian lifestyle and sun-care brand that cares.” The company prides itself on its ecological “sustainable” methods and charitable endeavors, as the brand follows the same pattern famously made popular by Tom’s shoe manufacturer, providing a pair of eyeglasses to a child in need through its charitable partner, Seva Canada. Amevie also prides itself on a high quality assurance, guaranteeing customer satisfaction with each purchase touting a very customer-friendly return policy that rivals companies ten times their size.
Soon, a pair of Amevie’s Bamboo Wayfarer Sunglasses in Laguna Black arrived. While geared more towards casual boating and waterfront lifestyle than actual on-the-water personal watercraft riding, we opted not to take these $70 a pair shades out on rides. Rather, these were more of our casual glasses, which even then, were nicer than our typical sunglasses. Designed after the same “Wayfarer” Rayband design made famous by Don Henley’s “Boys of Summer” (no really), the shape is a unisex design for men and women. The lenses are smokey dark grey, CAT3, polarized, and provide 100% UV protection.
Yet, the big draw are the arms. The Amevie’s brown bamboo arms are smartly shaped, stained, engraved, and waterproof. The high quality hinges are polished and double spring-loaded, allowing some flexibility. Unfortunately, the frames are flat, thick and notably heavy. They rest naturally on the nose, but after an hour or two of wearing them, you’re still very much aware that you’ve got a stout pair of glasses on. The Wayfarer design is classic, yes, but allows so much sun and wind in from the sides, that they offer minimal protection from anything not coming straight at you.
Part of your $70 purchase is a very nice triangular folding case, microfiber pouch and cleaning cloth, as well as a tight-fitting box. The additional items make for a nice package, and the company’s model is chocked full of positive, earth-friendly sentiments, but the final product is more gimmicky than innovative or user-friendly. Visible wear marks on the bamboo are readily visible even after a few months’ use, and again, we’re only wearing these Amevie’s Bamboo Wayfarer Sunglasses “around” when we’re not on the water, which for a personal watercraft magazine, is kind of a deal-breaker.