We are fortunate to be able to get a close look at new products and we’re given the time to review them in real world applications for extended periods of time. Anyone can read a press release and regurgitate its content in another form and call that reviewing product. But we pride ourselves on not writing reviews unless we’ve taken the products to the water to get a full personal experience and understand what it does well and does not do well.
We’ve been testing the Costa Fantail sunglasses for about 3 months now. If you’re familiar with the Corbina and Blackfin frames from Costa, then you might consider these frames their younger brother. They have the same basic styling as the Corbina frames with wide arms at the hinge that tapers. Now the Fantail tapers much more and doesn’t offer quite as much side flare protection. But it also makes the frames a touch lighter.
These frames feature co-molded arms and nose pieces. Because the frames are lighter than a lot of frames out there they are already comfortable on your face. The co-molded arms feature a soft no slip surface on the bottom that lays comfortably on the face and keeps the shades tight to your head without have to have extremely tight arms that can pinch and bind on the temples.
The frames come in matte black (tested) and tortoise shell. They are offered in wide variety of Costa lenses including their introductory level 400 and 400P polycarbonate lenses all the way up to the high end 580 glass lenses that offer the best visual acuity we’ve seen in a pair of sunglasses. The lenses you choose will change the price of the sunglasses significantly. The higher grade glass will cost more money but can also keep your eyes from fatiguing from straining to see into dingy water.
We’ve done a bit of looking for fish in the shallows, to just spotting stumps with our 580 lenses in the Fantail frames. These shades offer enough side protection to make looking for contrast in the water fairly easy. The reduction of glare is significant and we’ve not had any issues with the lenses fogging on hot or cold days. We caught a lot of fish lately around shallow cover just under the surface. The ability to find those just subtly darker spots in the water has paid big dividends with these frames.
Another nice feature is that because these frames are light and have the no slip on the bottom of the frames, they didn’t have to make them too tight and they easily fit up on a head above a visor or over a hat. The arms bend and flex well and retain their same basic shape. Putting shades over a hat is something that can sometimes tear up frames so always proceed with caution.
So overall we’re extremely happy with the Faintails from Costa. As per usual, they didn’t disappoint with this set of frames. This is a good set of frames for a medium size face and head. And they offer these frames with prescription lenses for those that require that.
The frames and lenses range in price from $149 to $249 depending on lens choices. We saw a pair on Tacklewarehouse.com with the 580 lenses for $168.99.
You can also find the frames at Costadelmar.com or at major outdoor retailers.