Cocoon Sunglasses, a field-test review
By: Frank Ross
Life has caught up with me, but that hasn't affected my lifestyle or my activities outdoors.
I've found ways of dealing with the challenge of tying line on small hooks, and the scourge of bifocals. When I had to surrender to the fact that I needed glasses to read and do close-up work, I bought a pair of glasses that are supposed to get darker in bright sunlight. After forking over the extra bucks, I found the optimal word in that phrase is "darker." They're not dark enough to do much good, and they certainly aren't polarized.
After consulting with the optometrist, I was told that the lenses would get darker with use. If they have, it isn't significant enough to matter. For a while I tried using my regular polarized sunglasses, switching to my bifocals when I needed to see something up close. That's a major pain, and after almost dropping my glasses into the water several times, I realized I had to find a better solution.
A friend asked if I had heard of Cocoons, and I thought he was referring to the movie that came out in the mid '80s that involved seasoned citizens being reinvigorated to youthful vitality by swimming in a pool with alien cocoons. I told him I'd be willing to swim with aliens to get my vision back, and he gave me a look like I was one.
As he continued to stare, trying to figure out which way was up, I tried to connect the dots. 'Cocoon,' the Ron Howard film starring Don Ameche, Wilford Brimley and Hume Cronyn," I said.
The confusion was soon settled and he explained that he was referring to the sunglasses that are worn over prescription eyeglasses. I allowed that I was relieved to know he wasn't lumping me in with a bunch of 70-year-old crustaceans, and thanked him for the tip.
As it turns out, his recommendation was sound advice, even from a young whippersnapper who wasn't even alive when the good movies were being made.
Cocoons come in 6 sizes, 3 frame colors, and 4 polarized lens tints. All I had to do was measure my glasses, pick the right size and I was in business with the ability to see well up close and with the distinct advantage of polarized lenses. The Cocoons are designed to be worn over prescription frames that range in size from 4-7/8"W x 1-3/8"H all the way up to 5-1/2"W x 2"H. The 6 sizes allow you to find the ideal fit versus settling for something too large or too small.
Polarized lenses are mandatory for sight fishing, so I set out to test them on my planned fishing trip the next weekend. First of all, they fit perfectly over my glasses as advertised. I slipped the Cocoons on after the sun peeked over the horizon and was pleased with the amber lenses I was using. The amber lenses really helped increase contrast and improved my depth perception. The Cocoons Polaré™ lenses are also available in gray for natural color definition, yellow for low light conditions, and copper for increased contrast that maintains natural color definition. Once we slid the boat into the water and started fishing, it was obvious that the quality of the polarized lenses were good.
In the clear water of early spring I was able to see several fish working the minnows along a weedline. They were swimming around 4-feet deep, so I presented my lure and watched as they reacted. My heart began to race as a fat bass moved quickly toward my plastic-tipped jig, and then my hopes were dashed as it paused, turned and moved off to find a more desirable meal. After several casts with the color combination I was using, I realized that a change of bait was in order.
I quickly reeled in, snipped the lure off and retied with ease and the satisfaction that I didn't have to pull off my sunglasses first. We worked our way around the shoreline boating several bass, and watching even more that moved to the bait but failed to strike. Even when fishing water in the direct glare of the rising sun, I was able to see everything that was happening beneath the surface.
I love sight fishing, and for that technique a good pair of polarized glasses are worth their weight in gold. Fortunately, Cocoons are available for much less than the price-per-ounce of that precious metal. The proprietary Polaré® polarized lens system features a hard coat that is extremely scratch resistant (all Cocoons feature a one year scratch resistance warranty on the lenses) to provide a high level of visual clarity throughout their lifetime. The unique frame designs feature an extended brow, underside scoops and to take care of side glare, polycarbonate side shields that are permanently molded into the frames so they will never get loose or fall out. Knowing that your eyes are properly protected (Cocoons deliver maximum UVA and UVB protection), and your visual acuity is enhanced, you can hit the water with a lot of confidence.
Fishing and boating in general can take a toll on any pair of glasses. These glasses are ruggedly engineered to withstand the demands of being on the water in all types of conditions, and the Flex2fit® temples can be custom contoured by the individual wearer providing a fit that is extremely comfortable and at the same time very secure. The manufacturer is so confident in the toughness of their ultra lightweight nylon frames they offer a lifetime warranty against breakage.
Finally, these glasses come with a custom case and micro fiber Duracloth, so you can keep them clean while protecting the lenses' surface. The case is made of neoprene, which makes it weather-resistant. It closes with a heavy-duty zipper, has a belt clip and a swivel D-ring clip that easily attaches to outdoor apparel and gear bags so you'll always have them handy. And the good news: It floats if you happen to drop the case in the water (even when loaded with a pair of Cocoons).
Our day on the water was shorter on the catching side of the equation than I would have liked, but one thing for sure – my new pair of Cocoons performed admirably. If I could only figure out how to catch more of the fish I was seeing, life would be sweet!