unk (light plastic like material)
Kaenon SR-91 Lens Material
Yellow (Y-35) and Copper (C-12)
Small, Medium, Large
For this review I am going to cover two lens colors, the Yellow Y-35 and the Copper C-12 lens.
The yellow lens was the first Kaenon lens I owned and I have fished with it extensively. This is a sight fishing lens plain and simple. When you put these on in low light you will simply say WOW! The Y-35 lens cuts out the surface glare but everything else will appear lighter, almost magnified and brighter than normal. You can wear these lenses well before sunrise on a spring morning and you’ll most likely forget you even have them on. Instead of wearing ski goggles during blast off at tournaments, you can just wear the Y-35’s because the visibility is not decreased at all. Color reproduction with the yellow lens is accurate, although greens will appear brighter and more contrasting than normal. The only down side to this lens is that it will burn your eyes out on bright sunny days. By May and June when the days are long and the sun is brighter, you will really want to switch to a darker lens because the amount of light the Y-35’s let in will be too much.
The Copper C-12 lens was the second pair of Kaenons I picked up, and they are much more suited for all around use. Kaenon rates their lenses by the amount of light they let in, and the C-12 lens blocks 88% of visible light whereas the Y-35 blocks only 65% of visible light. With the C-12 you still get incredibly crisp optics and amazing underwater visibility, but you don’t get the eye strain on a long sunny day like you do with the Y-35 lenses. Color reproduction is ok but everything will take on an orange tone with the C-12. It’s not obnoxious but it’s noticeable. Overall, this is a phenomenal lens for all around use and I rate the visibility on both the C-12 and Y-35 lenses a 10.
Kaenon has their own proprietary lens material which they call SR-91. It’s very light like a polycarbonate lens but it has very good scratch resistance like glass. You can definitely scratch this lens, but it does not get small hairline scratches in it for no reason. After 8 months, my first pair of Kaenons have just one very small scratch on them. They are very close to glass quality in that regard.
Another nice thing about the Kores is that they come in a cloth bag that doubles as a lens cleaning rag. I actually find that to be really useful on the water. I clean my glasses the night before a trip and when I pull them out in the morning I put the cloth bag in my pocket. If I need to clean them during the day, I use the cloth bag and it cleans them very nicely. You’ll get a little static on the lens on a hot dry day (funny when your eyelashes are drawn magnetically to your sunglasses) but it’s minor. I rate the lens durability on the Kore’s a 9.
I don’t have the exact details on what the Kore frames are made from but they are extremely lightweight. I haven’t had any close calls with the frames to determine how durable they are but they are so flexible that it’s probably hard to snap them outright. The tips of the sidepieces have the standard rubber grips on them which slide on and off and seem a little bit cheap, but there’s really no reason to doubt the structural integrity of the frame overall. It would be nice if the Kore came with a hard carrying case for travel in addition to the cloth bag, but I’m going to rate the frame durability an 8 for now and will update if I ever have any close calls or breaking incidents.
I mentioned at the beginning of the review that on an early morning you might forget you have your glasses on with the Kore. I have the Large size, and although it’s hard to always tell if a certain pair of sunglasses just matches your head well or if they will be comfortable on anyone, I would guess that the Kore will feel very comfortable for most people. For me they are so light, and the lens is contoured so perfectly, they really become an afterthought. I very seldom find myself shielding the side or top of the lens from the sun with the Kore, and even on days when I’m fishing 12 hours, I don’t get any fatigue on the bridge of my nose. The wrap on the Kore and the shape of the side pieces is also such that they typically never come loose or start to fall off your head. You can turn around going 70mph in a bass boat to look behind you and not worry about it with these guys. Overall I rate the wear-ability/comfort on the Kore a 10.