Tackle Reviews

Costa Del Mar Permit Sunglasses Review

(Photo: Walker Smith)

You'll rarely see me outdoors without a pair of sunglasses on, and I've never done it for looks. I have light-blue eyes and they've always been incredibly sensitive to sunlight. Even on an overcast day, I can barely keep my bare eyes open outside. So I've always had to rely on good sunglasses to function outdoors like a normal human being. 

To be honest, I've never owned a pair of Costa sunglasses until recently. I tried on a pair of my buddy's, however, and I immediately ordered my own pair. I decided to go with the Costa Del Mar Permits and I can confidently say that they're the best pair of fishing and all-purpose shades I've put on my face. Whenever I find a product I'm crazy about, I always want to share it with our readers, so I'll quickly outline what has impressed me most about them. 

(1 of 6)

They fit my face like a glove

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I'm sure everyone's face shape will dictate which frames work best for them, but I can certainly say that these Costa Permits feel like they're tailor-made for my face. The inside of the frame is lined with Hydrolite Polymer which creates a snug fit and very "unified" feel on my face. They stay snug, even running 70 miles per hour in my bass boat, and never slide down my nose or temples. With other sunglasses I've worn, I would often notice significant ear fatigue at the end of the day; the arms would dig into the tops of my ears and at the end of a long day, it would actually feel like I had bruises.

I have worn these glasses for 12 hours at a time and never felt any discomfort whatsoever and I forget I'm even wearing them. 

(2 of 6)

The clarity has impressed me most

Costa Permit Sunglasses Review
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It's tough to overstate the clarity these lenses provide. I chose the Green Mirror lens color and the amount of contrast is leaps and bounds above anything else I've put on my face. Whether I'm fishing in sunny or cloudy conditions, these lenses make everything "pop" and allow me to see both hidden cover and bass in shallow water. 

This color also seems to brighten your view on those lowlight days, which I've really enjoyed. I can put them on while I'm running across the lake to shield my eyes from raindrops or water droplets coming off my trolling motor without sacrificing my vision or safety. I've also been using them a lot when driving my truck in wet or rainy conditions. That might sound weird, but the polarization drastically decreases the glare from my windshield and again, the Green Mirror color brightens everything up and allows me to see clearer than I can with my naked eye. 

(3 of 6)

They're lighter than I expected

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I agonized over my lens choice for a several days before ordering these sunglasses. My research taught me that the glass 580G lenses would be a bit heavier, but have better clarity. I also learned that the polycarbonate 580P lenses were lighter, but were much more durable. After some thinking, I bit the bullet and decided to go with the glass 580G lenses and I'm really glad I did. 

These lenses are much lighter than I expected and they feel similar to polycarbonate lenses I've worn in the past; I can barely tell a difference. Like I mentioned earlier, you'll feel very little, if any, fatigue at the end of a long day on the water. If you find yourself stressing out over your lens choice, I would absolutely recommend the 580Gs.

(4 of 6)

They handle high speeds well

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You will not have a problem with the Costa Permits sliding or moving on your face. Period. 

I have put many miles on 'em at full throttle and they don't lift up my nose or shimmy as I reach the 70 mph mark. Since I've owned these frames, I haven't had to take my hand off the steering wheel a single time to adjust my sunglasses. 

(5 of 6)

Go with the side vents if possible

Costa Permit Sunglasses Review
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The Permit frames have side vents on the outside of each lens, which has turned out to be a big selling point for me. I live in Georgia and we're routinely greeted with 100-degree temperatures and 100 percent humidity, which can wreak havoc on your lenses. As soon as you walk outside during the summertime, your glasses will fog up and no matter how much you try to wipe them off, it takes 5 or 10 minutes for them to "acclimate" to the humidity. That's not convenient for an outdoorsman. 

I've found that these vents actually make a big difference in the fight against fog and perspiration. Even if you wear a sun mask while you fish, you'll spend a lot less time wiping the fog off your lenses. I don't know if I'll ever own another frame without side vents after my experience with these. 

(6 of 6)

Available at Tackle Warehouse

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Although you might have to save a little more money for these sunglasses, I personally believe they're worth every penny. I spent a solid decade replacing mid-tier sunglasses when either the lenses would chip, the frames would get too loose or the polarization would peel off the lenses. My desk drawer is full of discarded pairs, but I just can't bring myself to throw away all that money. I've spent over $500 playing that game. I'm always very apprehensive of "fads" and the Costa craze isn't a fad. They're darn good sunglasses and I'm upset that it took me so long to catch on. 

The Costa Permits are available at TackleWarehouse.com