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Had a call earlier today from a gentleman looking for an option on polarized lenses. Of the sites I cover on GlassyEyes, only one carries true prescription polarized lenses as an option -- 39DollarGlasses. If you work your way through the lens choices, Package 'E' appears for an additional $49.90.

It's going to take a standard pair of their glasses up to just South of a C-Note, but if you are into fishing or just plain like polarized lenses, you'll realize that this is still a pretty solid deal.

There are polarized clip-ons available elsewhere (Walmart, Sams Club, Costco) for less money, but as far as eyeglasses go, two pieces is rarely as good as one.

(PUBLIC) NOTE TO SELF: Might be time to try out the Drivewear lenses -- probably work pretty good on the slopes, and Transitions are useless in the car.

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At February 12, 2009 at 7:59 AM Matt W said...

That's interesting to know. I'm curious, though, as to what the not-quite-polarized lenses the other companies sell are.

At February 12, 2009 at 9:25 AM Ira said...

@Matt W,

Thanks for asking that question. I meant (and added the word) "prescription" in that statement. Others may have clip-on polarized shades to go over your standard prescription lenses.

At February 12, 2009 at 9:28 AM Anonymous said...

Optical4less do have a "mirror coating" option (it's at the bottom of their tints section) but they dont seem to provide a great deal of information about it and i haven't purchased with the option to be able to comment further.

At February 14, 2009 at 4:08 PM Anonymous said...

There is has always been confusion on the difference between polarized lens and tinting with UV coating.

The way I see it, polarized lens is nothing more anti-reflective and anti-UV compound mixed in with the optical resin in the case of CR39 lens. What most retailers won't tell you is that if you chose polycarbonate lens, there is no need for a UV coating as the polycarbonate material is an inherent anti-UV material by itself. Online eyeglasses retailers have been able to tint lens and then add UV and anti-scratch resistant coatings for the same effect in glass and CR39 lens. AR coating is not used on sunglasses for the simple reason that the darken lens will show smudges with an AR coating, but better sunglasses will have AR coating on the inner side of the lens to eliminate reflection entering from the back and side of the glasses.

At February 14, 2009 at 5:41 PM Yuliya said...

It looks like the polarized polycarbonate lenses cost $88. I wanted to point out that polycarbonate polarized lenses at Costco are "only" $80. Of course, all the disadvantages of shopping at a store are present, but it may be a good option for those who have the membership.

At February 14, 2009 at 8:09 PM Ira said...


I think a quick read on what polarized lenses REALLY do might be in order. They're completely different than the "way you see it." You are absolutely correct about the inherent UV filtering in a polycarb lens -- something I can't stress enough.

NEVER buy UV protective coating for polycarb lenses.

At February 14, 2009 at 8:09 PM Ira said...

Here's a link:

At February 16, 2009 at 7:06 AM Anonymous said...

Basically, lines of horizontally placed iodine crystals in your lenses, blocking horizontal glare-light off a car hood, sun on the water, etc. Because the crystals have color, you can't get clear polarized, and because they are horizontal, you can tell if your lenses are cut right by looking at other polarized surfaces. If you can still see through them, they are correct; if they go super dark, they are cut 90 degrees off axis.

At February 16, 2009 at 6:12 PM Anonymous said...

Would it be a good idea to add anti-reflective coating on a polarized lens? Or is that unnecessary?

At February 17, 2009 at 11:47 PM Steve said...

Last month, I chose 39dollarglasses for a pair of polarized bifocals for driving. ADD +1.75 worked for me to see the GPS and instrument cluster.

I chose one of their Rimless frames ("Rimless 3"), and with AR coating and polarized lenses, it cost $209.

Not cheap, but they're great! The fit and finish is first rate, and they feel like they'll last a long time.

It looks like the polarizing material is a film bonded to each side of the lens, which gives the lenses a clear edge, and I like the look.

If you start with sunglasses, instead of regular glasses, you end up paying more. Maybe you end up with polarizing film over tinted lenses instead of clear. I'm not sure.


At March 28, 2009 at 4:39 PM Anonymous said...

Ira & others-
Have others tried the Drivewear lenses available through
I've got transitions and as you noted they don't quite work in the car as it depends on UV light to enable the 'darken' feature. Apparently with Drivewears this is not the case. Are there other types similar? I noticed one can get Serengeti prescriptions elsewhere but they're not available with my -5.x prescriptions


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