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The choice between Polarized and Non-Polarized Sunglasses is an easy one. For a fisherman, there isn’t a choice at all. The benefits of polarized are numerous, whereas Non-Polarized only has a couple.
They both protect your eyes from UV light and protect your eyes from bright light, but that is where the similarities end.
Below I will be answering some of your most asked questions, and comparing the two to see which ones come out on top. The questions I will be answering in this post are:
- What Are Polarized Sunglasses?
- How Do Polarized Sunglasses Work?
- How can you tell if sunglasses are polarized or not?
- Are polarized sunglasses worth the extra money?
- Do I Need Polarized Sunglasses?
- What are the Benefits of Polarized Sunglasses?
- What are the Disadvantages of Polarized Sunglasses?
- What Are The Benefits Of Non-Polarized Sunglasses?
- What Are The Disadvantages Of Non-Polarized Sunglasses?
- Which One is Better?
So, let’s start with the obvious question. Polarized glasses have a special chemical filter on them that block some light as it passes through the lens.
These types of glasses are essentially beneficial when driving and on or around the water. Many fishermen will only use polarized as they help to see into the water and reduce glare.
This is particularly beneficial when looking for fish, reefs, rocks, or anything just under the surface.
All Polarized Sunglasses have a special chemical coating on the lenses to help filter out glare. This coating helps to scatter light so it isn’t reflected directly into the eye, which helps to reduce eye strain.
Usually, when light reflects off a flat surface, it hits the eye at a horizontal angle. The special coating on Polarized Sunglasses, filters out horizontal light while allowing vertical light to pass through the lenses. This helps to reduce glare, allowing you to see clearer images.
This is especially prevalent when looking at the surface of the water or any very reflective surface.
There are four easy ways to test this.
1. Check When You Buy.
When you buy your glasses, quite often they will say on the sticker that tells you if they are or not. Others will also have it printed onto the glasses themselves. (look at the arms)
2. Test them on a reflective surface.
First, find a good, reflective surface. Something that puts off a fair amount of glare when light is shined on it. Hold your glasses just in front of you (around 6 to 8 inches) Then turn between 45 and 70 degrees.
As you look through the lens, you will notice the glare disappears. If It hasn’t, then the sunglasses aren’t Polarized.
3. Compare Two Pairs Of Sunglasses.
For this, you will need a pair you know is polarized. You will need to hold one in front of the other and point towards the direct light. Make sure to have the with the questionable pair closest to you. Now, rotate so only one lens of each is aligned.
If you look at the overlapping area, and it appears darker, then the questionable one is polarized. If it’s lighter, then they aren’t polarized.
4. Check Using A screen
This is probably the easy way of telling. For this, you will need a screen. I recommend a computer as it’s bigger than a phone, tablet/iPad. With a larger screen, it will be much easier to tell.
All you need to do is put on your glasses and look directly at the screen. (it helps to be at the same level) Now, tilt your head slowly from left to right.
If the sunglasses are polarized, the screen will appear to turn black due to its anti-glare properties. Of course, if they don’t, they’re probably not polarized.
A great question, and a big reason most people turn away from polarized. It depends on the situation in which you will be using them. For just walking around in the sun, or laying on the beach, probably not.
However, if are doing any activity that involves reflective surfaces, then yes, they are. This can be anything from driving a car to going out on the water or even walking along a busy street with shops and windows.
The polarization will reduce the strain on your eyes from all these reflections much better than non-polarized can. Fortunately, these days, a pair of polarized sunglasses can be picked up quite cheaply.
To check out some great polarized sunglasses, at varying prices follow this link to The Best Polarized Sunglasses For All Budgets.
Now, if you’re a fisherman like me then a definite yes. Just look at any body of water in the sun to see just how much reflection comes off the surface.
When you’re out in a boat, they are essential. Being able to see what lays just below the surface can be vital and sometimes a lifesaver if in sallow areas, or around reefs and rocks. Without them, it’s just plain dangerous.
Furthermore, they are also great when driving your car. When driving around, your eyes are exposed to a lot of reflection. From windows to the glare coming off the road. This reflection can be dangerous and make it hard for you to see.
A good pair of Polarized Sunglasses can help alleviate this. Even with the simple act of walking around, you will notice more color as they have cut down the glare.
The benefits are numerous, they include:
- Highly Anti-Reflective: Reflection can come from anywhere from on the water, to in the snow, or from glass and other reflective surfaces.
- Anti-Glare: By cutting down glare, you can see more even on the brightest days.
- See Through Water: Essential so you can see what lies below the surface and avoid it if needed.
- Cuts Down Eye Strain: By cutting down the strain on your eyes you will find them no longer getting sore. Furthermore, they will also stop you from squinting.
- Clearer Vision: These types of sunglasses are a great way to enhance your vision. This will enable you to see more, whether it be on the street, on the water, or in the bush/forest.
- Minimal Color Distortion: Not only will you have clearer vision, but you will notice a more vivid experience and see all the colors you’re supposed to.
Although Polarized sunglasses are great for most situations, they still have a couple of drawbacks. These include:
- UV Protection: Not all polarized sunglasses offer UV protection, though most do. It’s worth checking before purchasing just to be sure.
- Screen Time: When wearing in front of a screen can make it look black, making it hard to read. This is probably mostly noticed when driving and using a GPS. Can be alleviated by turning the head slightly.
- More Expensive: Quite often these are more expensive than the Non-Polarized, though this isn’t always the case.
Non-Polarized still has its place. They might not have the anti-glare, or anti-reflective properties of Polarized, but they do have their own set of advantages. These include:
- High UV Protection: Generally, the UV protection offered by Non-Polarized sunglasses is much higher than the polarized option, (not always the case so make sure to check)
- Screen Time: Some people prefer these when driving as you don’t get the blackness when looking at screens when wearing. For instence, when lookng at your GPS screen. However, as mentioned before, this can be alleviated wgen whereing polarized with a slight tilt of the head.
- Light sensitive: If you have sensitive eyes, and need to wear sunglasses inside, then non-polarized ones are probably the better option. This is because you don’t want to be forever tilting your head to see things.
- Cheaper: Usually Non-Polarized is cheaper than the Polarized option.
Non-Polarized does have quite a few disadvantages when put up against the Polarized option, as mentioned throughout my post so far. But, let’s take a look at them again in brief.
1. Not Anti-Glare: They won’t help you much with a glare until you go quite dark with the lenses, and this isn’t always an option.
2. Not Anti-Reflective: Not much help when looking into water except not as bright., even with a dark lens. Need darker to cut down reflection everywhere else.
3. Color Distortion: The darker you have to go, the less color you are going to see.
4. Clear Vision: Once again, by being quite dark, you are going to see less.
5. Can’t See Through Water: This can be a big problem if out in a boat. Even looking for fishing spots on shore can be difficult.
I think, after reading this post, you can see there is a clear winner (pun intended) Though the advantages of Polarized or Non-Polarized are numerous. However, they each have their place.
For example, if I was laying on a beach on a bright sunny day, I would be reaching for the Non-Polarized pair. The high UV protection offered by these glasses is more beneficial to me in this situation than any of the disadvantages.
The rest of the time, it’s the Polarized pair I’m wearing. This is why I only have one pair of Non-Polarized and several Polarized.
For some people, the price may be a big factor in choosing which is the better option. Luckily these days, you can still pick up a good pair of Polarized Sunglasses for a reasonable price. Follow this link to see The Best Polarized Sunglasses For All Budgets.
That’s A Wrap
I’m sure you can see where my elegance lies when it comes to choosing. For me, and in my line of work, (I take out fishing charters and also dive boats) Polarized Sunglasses are essential.
I hope you have enjoyed reading my post on Polarized V Non-Polarized (The Choice Is Easy)If you have any questions or comments regarding this post please leave them below in the comment section and I will get back to you. I also love to talk about fishing, so feel free to ask for advice. As Always
Tony, Creator Of Get Reel Fishin