By September 28, 2006

Native Dash SS sunglasses review

I have a pair of Oakley Juliettes that I’ve owned for almost six years. I love them, but they have very wide arms that makes wearing them under my motorcycle helmet impossible. Last fall I went shopping for a pair of sunglasses that would fit comfortably. I had no requirements other than flexible arms and a decent amount of styling. Since I would wear the glasses with my faceshield down, I wasn’t too concerned about how they looked on my face.

http://gallery.drfaulken.com/d/550-2/native_dash.jpgThe lady at Sunglass Hut said that lots of motorcyclists choose Native sunglasses to fit under their full-face helmets. I had never heard of the brand. She said that the frames and lenses were backed by an unconditional warranty for wear, tear, and lens scratches. All I had to do was send in my glasses and a $30 payment, along with a proof of purchase. My Dash glasses came with four lenses: tint, yellow, orange, and clear, as well as a soft case and cleaning cloth. I bought the Dash for $149 plus tax; further research on the Web reveals prices as low as $119.

The Dash’s arms slide comfortably past my helmet liner. The frame is made out of plastic and has quite a bit of “give” to it, probably due to the method in which one replaces the lenses. I was a bit nervous the first time I torqued the frame in order to pop out my tinted lenses, but then I remembered the lifetime warranty and soldiered on. I’ve switched between the tint and the clear lenses quite a bit; I wear the clear lenses at night, just to keep extra wind and debris from getting onto my contact lenses. I tried the yellow lenses once and didn’t like the color distortion.

I always thought Oakley’s boasts about optical clarity was marketing hype, but my Juliettes are far superior to the Native Dash. The Dash lenses make things look just a touch distorted. Not enough to keep me from wearing the glasses, or even enough to notice most of the time while I’m wearing them. However, every now and again I realize that the optics on the Oakleys are better. Initially, I thought wearing a lens behind a lens (my face shield) was causing the distortion. I know better now, after wearing the sunglasses for about a year off and on sans helmet.

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  • Highly flexible arms and frame make these sunglasses very comfortable under a helmet.
  • Lifetime unconditional guarantee.
  • Four pack of lenses for most lighting conditions.
  • Replacing lenses does not require the use of a special tool or unscrewing the frames.
  • Very lightweight.

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  • Not as optically sharp as my Oakleys.

Native Dash SS sunglasses, I shield thee from the harmful effects of the sun with:
Four out of five STFU mugs!
full STFU mug full STFU mug full STFU mug full STFU mug empty STFU mug

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Posted in: motorcycling, review

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