View Full Version : eyewear

Mike Drinkuth
07-08-2003, 15:28
I need help finding a pair of durable and lightweight frames for prescription eyeglasses to take on the trail. Any recomendations? Oh yeah, I have a really small face.

07-08-2003, 16:05
If money is no concern- look at titanium frames. They bend and flex and spring right back into shape. Also, as we all know, titanium is very lightweight.
Any eyeglass store like Eyemasters should carry some in a variety of frame styles and sizes.

07-08-2003, 19:22
I concur with jojo. I recently purchased a pair of very lightweight Flexon by Marchon wire frames with Seiko prescription lenses. I'm not sure that they're titanium, but titanium wouldn't save a whole lot of weight given the rimless frames.

07-08-2003, 20:25
Why do the frames need to be durable? Its not like you are going to be playing racket ball. FWIW, I once had problems with non-glare lense coatings reacting to bug dope.

07-09-2003, 09:00
What about rain? Thats going to obstruct visibility, no? Surely, prescription sunglasses are also required. I saw an ad for the 'day and night' contact lenses(unless i am very much mistaken) that requires to be changed only once a month or so. Has anyone hiked the AT for long hauls with contact lenses that doesnt need frequent replacement?

07-09-2003, 10:45
The Army makes some really UGLY!!!!! but effective glasses frames for combat use. They are the ONLY frames authorized for Ranger duty. They use a black nylon lense frame held on by a rubber strap. Like I said UGLY!!!!, but effective. I think you can get them online through Brigade Quartermaster or US Cavalry.

07-09-2003, 12:20
We used contacts. My wife had the kind that was suppose to be replaced every day, I had the kind for once a month replacement. Both kind were suppose to be taken out every night, although we rarely did. Only when they were really bothering us. One night before Newfound Gap we decided to take them out. HUGE MISTAKE! I can't put mine back in because I need a mirror. My wife puts them in for me. That morning it was below 10, and she had to wash her hands, clean the lens and put both of ours in. Her poor hands were frozen by the time that was all done! The experience scarred her enough to make us go into Gatlinburg.

We also carried glasses with us, but we lost them somehere after Dennis Cove Rd when tenting in a snow storm. We kept them for town use.

We want to get LASIK for the next thru!

Gravity Man

08-12-2003, 01:32
Hmmm... I wear glasses, and I'm planning for a thru-hike next March. I haven't given much thought to eyewear-- my biggest concern has been what to do if the lenses break (answer: keep a spare pair at home, and have them mailed to me if necessary-- I can survive without my glasses for that long).

I wonder if transition lenses (the kind that go dark in sunlight) would be a good choice on the trail? That would negate the need to carry a pair of sunglasses-- but would they be too dark under cloud cover and in the shade? if they were, it could get annoying.

Or, alternatively, I'm graduating from college in December-- maybe I could convince my folks to shell out for LASIK as a graduation present. :D

08-12-2003, 09:51
Originally posted by komodo
I wonder if transition lenses (the kind that go dark in sunlight) would be a good choice on the trail? That would negate the need to carry a pair of sunglasses-- but would they be too dark under cloud cover and in the shade? :D

I used them a few years ago and I didn't think they were all they were made out to be. First, the sun has to actually hit the lens. When I was in my car, they did not darken very much. Same thing if you wear a hat with a brim.

Second, they do something strange in very cold weather. On a ski trip to Colorado, they basically turned to 'welders glasses'. They got so dark that I couldn't see through them to get down the mountain-- and that didn't improve when the clouds came out. They returned to 'normal' when they warmed up.

Third, they never get as clear as untinted glassed and that caused me some grieve in low light situations.

They still sell them, so obviously there are people that like them, but I am not one of them. If you opt for them, you might want to try them out before you take off on your thru-hike to see if they do what you want.


08-12-2003, 09:56
Transition lenses have come a long way in recent years. I really like the ones Ibought last year.

The only disadvantage that I see is that the lenses will still go dark on cloudy days. I think they change with ultraviolet rays---they aren't "smart" enough to tell if it is actually sunny or not.

Overall though, I am very pleased with them. You can specify a tint level when ordering them. I went with the very dark tint in bright conditions. They transition very quickly---maybe 30 seconds to clear when I walk indoors.

I find these lenses to be just as clear as my normal lenses.

Mike Drinkuth
08-12-2003, 18:48
switching gears for a second, I saw a pair of glasses yesterday i've never seen before. They were titanium, made of 5 seperate pieces. Not one screw in the whole design. The lenses were fused to the frames so they will NEVER come free. The retail guy bended them in ways a piece of paper has never seen and they popped right back into shape. The arms never fold down but their carrying case is flat...like as thin as an audio cassette tape: which is a testiment to their flexability. Oh yeah, these were the lightest pair of glasses I have ever held(and i've been looking and asking around a LOT)
and the frames alone were $376.00
NOT including the cost for the lenses, eye exam, any lens conditioning i.e. glare reduction, scratch resistance, etc...
YET....i'm seriously considering them.

Hell, you get what you pay for, right?
well...sometimes :-?

08-12-2003, 22:01
While not really needed on the AT. What about perscription sunglasses? Like Oakley's, etc. I assume the folks on the PCT must need these for the snow.

08-13-2003, 14:15
I agree that you get what you pay for. I have extremely poor eyesight and must have corrective lenses to function. I would recommend that you go to an independent, reliable (and recommended) optician shop instead of a chain. Independent opticians can sell from many different lines of frames and can special order stuff for you to try. The frames and lenses will cost more, but in my years of experience the additional cost is worth it. Most also know the breath of available products better than the sales guy at a chain.

Please very carefully consider antiglare coating. I find that it is difficult to maintain especially on outdoor outings. I would recommend carrying a special glasses cleaning cloth.

I might also recommend asking about a frame with "clip on" sunglasses specially fitted. I am considering this combo for my next purchase of glasses.

08-13-2003, 23:16
I just want to include my humble opinion along with the others that I think the antiglare coatings are a poor investment. I've got a pair of prescription glasses with the coating and it has rubbed off in some places and is generally impossible to keep clean. My prescription sunglasses purchased at the same time do not have this coating and they have hardly a scratch and require no special cleaning rituals. I'll not waste my money again on this coating.