Aloha! This is my third style of Maui Jim sunnies - Nakalele in Rootbeer & Copper frames and HCL Bronze lenses. As much as I have been thoroughly pleased with running in my Sugar Beach sunnies, these are just as great to wear with one major difference.
First let’s talk about the frames. I’m incredibly impressed with these frames and they get 5 stars for design and comfort. These shades are actually hingeless (which to me means less parts to break). Instead of a hinge you have a super thin titanium arm embedded into the nylon piece that is attached to the lenses. See the video for more detail.
The great thing about the material is how super crazy flexible they are! Like circus freak flexible. When I was at the RNR Portland expo, a guy at the Maui Jim booth showed me these frames and I was scared he was going to break them and get fired. Because of the design, the frames have a spring-like tendency toward the closed position. This is bad for the cool, one-handed flick-and-wear move because it won’t work. Two hands are required. But, if you’re not worried about losing your swagger over how you apply your sunnies, then this design is GREAT because the frames will ever-so-gently hug your face and resist slipping/shifting.
Crazy flexible titanium frames also mean they are very lightweight. I got out my food scale to see just how light they were. The Nakalele style is only 14 grams, or less than half an ounce! My Sugar Beach sunnies, which I have bragged and bragged about because they SO light, are 15 grams. So each style is about equally good in terms of weight. Compare that, though, with my
Second, let’s talk about lenses. Maui Jim sunnies boast some amazing polarized lenses with different tints, depending on your preference. This time around I got the HCL Bronze lenses. At first, I couldn’t tell the difference between these and the Maui HT lenses on my Sugar Beach frames. Both are lighter tints great when it’s overcast and in other conditions when grey lenses would be too dark. I had to do a compare and contrast. Maui HT appears to have a cooler, turquoise tint, whereas the HCL Bronze is, as you would expect, a warmer bronze tint.
HCL Bronze lenses work well in both early morning light and midday bright. The first run I wore the Nakalele sunnies for was an early morning run, as in the sun was recently up and still casting pink onto the clouds. I did a 2 mile loop and on the last half I was headed back into the rising sun. I didn’t feel like they were too dark on the first half of the loop and I was increasingly thankful to the have them on the second half because they protected me from the glare.
The second time I wore them I went on a late morning trail run and then kept them on for my midday Crossfit beach wod when the sun was out in all her burning glory. This was literally the hottest week of the summer. For my run, I really appreciated that I could see the trail well, even the parts that were in shadow. For my Crossfit wod, the lenses were sufficient for the bright sun and sand environment. I was more appreciative of the frames that hugged my face while we bear crawled, frog leaped, and carried our workout buddy for added weight.
I think Nakalele is my new favorite pair of sunnies. I’ll be wearing them during the Hood to Coast relay. Follow me on Instagram @RunningHutch to get updates and see photos of all the Hood to Coast craziness.
If I could change one thing, it would be size of the lenses. I think they’re a bit large for my face but they do give great peripheral coverage and visibility (rimless). I wear these for being active, though, and I’m usually sweaty and not really concerned about how stylish I look. For casual wear, my next pair is definitely going to be the Baby Beach aviators. They’re smaller frames and lenses. I tried them on once and LOVE how I look in them. But I must be patient.
I should reiterate that I am a product-sponsored Maui Jim Rock Brilliantly Ambassador and received these for free. I am not required to write such detailed/positive reviews. I share because I’m excited too.
Sponsor Review: Maui Jim Sunglasses (Cliff House and Sugar Beach)