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July 27,2010 - Visionary Lenses FirstLook...

A few days ago we picked up another pair of Oakley Juliet sunglasses on Craigslist. It was not that we needed another pair, but that we wanted an extra pair so that we could do side-by-side comparisons of replacement lenses from different vendors.

In our search for aftermarket replacement lenses for the Oakleys, we have found a few vendors (ExoVista, Caulfield) with quality products. After reading our write-ups on them, a reader told us about Visionary Lenses and recommended we take a look. We checked out the site, liked what we saw, and decided to get some lenses in house for a closer look.

All of the lenses that Visionary sells are polarized, offer 100% UV protection, and are impact-resistant to ANSI standards. The coating is made with an 8-base cure (same as Oakley's) and transmits 10-16% of the available light. The multi-layering technology used to apply the coating to Visionary Lenses results in more vibrant hues. All of VL's lenses come with a VL microfiber soft-cloth transport bag, replacement tool, and a 15 day money back guarantee.

As we now have three pairs of blue lenses (Caulfield, VL, Oakley), we can do our side-by-side bench comparison. However, because we only have two frames, we will only be able to install two of the three sets for the daily-wear test. Since our original intent was to find aftermarket options to the higher-priced OEM lenses, it made sense to put the VL iridium lenses into the new frame and compare them to the Caulfield ones.

The wear-tests are scheduled for the Fall. We are not going to start them right away because we want to check out some of the other colors (Green, Ruby) in the VL collection. Those colors did not get here in time for the VL FirstLook, but we'll install them and check their fit for the FirstUse test.

When we got the new Oakleys (new to us, but have been used for a while from the looks of the rubber parts), we noticed that one of the nose pieces was missing and the the rubber "socks" on the arms were a little worse for wear. A quick search on eBay showed a bunch of sellers with replacement parts. As we really didn't want to wait, we checked with the local Oakley store. Much to our surprise, the Oakley store prices were actually CHEAPER than eBay! The kit came with two sets (only one set shown) of nose pieces and two earsocks...all for just $10.

There are a lot of aftermarket vendors making Oakley replacement lenses. This is great because it gives Oakley owners many more options (colors, price, convenience) for maintaining, repairing, and customizing their sunglasses. Readers interested in learning more about Visionary Lenses' green or ruby lenses should keep an eye out for the follow-up article. If things stay on schedule, we hope to have it ready for you before the end of August. [Permalink] - Visionary Lenses FirstLook


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