Several years ago I bought my first pair of Native Polarized Sunglasses – the Native XP Hardtops, which I absolutely love for outdoor activities.
Native Eyewear has developed a new line of polarized sunglasses, and they offered me a pair of their Polarized Crestones to try out on some hikes. How do they stack up to the Native XP Polarized sunglasses that I have been wearing for years?
Native Polarized Sunglasses Comparison: XPs vs. Crestone
Native Eyewear’s Polarized XP sunglasses and the Crestone Polarized Sunglasses share many similar features.
- An interchangeable lens system, which I love for overcast days
- A set of polarized lenses and additional SportFlex lenses
- A semi-rigid zippered case
- Both are designed to fit medium to large profiles (yes, apparently I have a big head!)
Where they differ are in the lenses. The new Native Eyewear Crestone Sunglasses are made with Native’s N3 polarized lens. N3 lenses block 40% of infrared light, which apparently decreases eye fatigue. Frankly I find that polarized lenses in general help decrease eye fatigue after hours outside hiking in the sun. The N3 technology also offers blue light filtering and of course, 100% UV protection. (Read more about N3 technology at the Native Eyewear website).
The Native Eyewear Hardtop XPs have P.C.C. lenses (Polarized Crystal Carbonate), which also block 100% of harmful UVA and UVB light. However, this technology isn’t as advanced as the N3 Polarization. Can you really tell the difference? I noticed that with the Native Crestone’s, clarity was slightly better. I always thought my Native Hardtop XPs were extremely clear, but the Crestone’s won out.
Drawbacks of Polarized Sunglasses
If you have never worn polarized sunglasses, then you should be aware of two things.
#1 – They can be a little dark on cloudy days.
#2 – If you plan to use your phone or look at your car’s navigation system while wearing polarized sunglasses, it often is difficult to see the display. They are really meant exclusively for outdoor use, particularly on bright sunny days.
How to remedy this?
Luckily, Native Eyewear includes the additional SportFlex lenses which both the XP Hardtops and the Crestone, so you can always switch out the lenses and get a lot more use out of these glasses.
Overall, Native polarized sunglasses offer a good value for the performance, and I plan to continue to use them as my exclusive hiking sunglasses.