20% Off Lenses, 40% Off Sunglasses – No Code Required

Polycarbonate vs Glass Lenses

By Kirsti Smouse

October 19, 2015

Polycarbonate vs Glass Lenses

By Kirsti Smouse

October 19, 2015

When it comes to lenses, you’ve got options: tinting, mirror coating, gradient, transition, polarized or non-polarized, and, of course — lens material.

For some clarity on which lens material is best for you, let’s have a little face-off between the generations-old glass and the (relatively) young upstart polycarbonate.

Glass Lenses

The veteran of optic materials, glass has been in the game for 1,000 or so years. Although an increasingly less popular option, glass still has merits that justify its staying power.

Advantages:

  • Its resistance to scratches is off the chart. Like most objects, glass is still susceptible to scratching, but its inherent qualities make it hard to scratch and therefore doesn’t require an additional scratch-resistant coating for protection.
  • Glass is considered to be the most optically clear material available, which is why it’s still used in other tools that require precision clarity such as camera lenses, microscopes, and binoculars.

Disadvantages:

  • Glass is heavy and can be uncomfortable to wear for sustained periods of time.
  • While it may be resistant to scratches, it has no such claims to cracks and shattering. Glass has very little impact resistance and could prove to be very dangerous if hit.
  • Glass offers very little protection against harmful UV rays, which can destroy your eyes. An additional UV coating needs to be applied in order to make glass acceptable for sunglass use.

Polycarbonate Lenses

In 1953, two scientists working independently on opposite sides of the world developed polycarbonate within 1 week of each other. Initially used for electrical and electronic applications such as distributor and fuse boxes, polycarbonate became a popular lens option in the 1980s.

Since then, polycarbonate lenses have become the standard for safety glasses, sports goggles and children's eyewear, and its popularity shows no signs of diminishing.

Advantages:

  • Polycarbonate lenses are highly resistant to impact, won’t shatter, and are 10 times stronger than glass or standard plastic, making them ideal for children, safety lenses, and physical activity.
  • Lightweight and thinner than glass lenses, polycarbonate is more comfortable to wear for long periods of time.
  • Polycarbonate inherently blocks 100 percent UV rays without needing a special coating.
  • Due to the light weight and flexibility of polycarbonate, these lenses are easier to remove and install than glass lenses, and are available in more styles of sunglasses that cannot accommodate heavy glass lenses.

Disadvantages:

  • Polycarbonate is susceptible to scratches and requires scratch-resistant coating for durability.
  • Although a great option for most people, a small percentage of the population complain that they do not see as clearly through polycarbonate lenses.

Depending on the individual and their use of sunglasses, one lens type may be more preferable than other. While some diehards swear by glass, the greater majority opt for the more impact resistant polycarbonate. Whatever you choose, as long as you’re sunglassing it up, we’ll call it good.

Which do you prefer? Give your vote in the comments below.

You might also like

Google+ Pinterest
  • https://www.revantoptics.com/blog/6-ways-to-remove-scratches-from-sunglasses/ 6 ways to remove scratches from sunglasses | Revant Blog | Revant Optics

    […] window.fbAsyncInit = function() { FB.init({ appId : '818668961504058', xfbml : true, version : 'v2.3' }); }; (function(d, s, id){ var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) {return;} js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk')); window.shareFBLink = function(url) { FB.ui({ method: 'share', href: url, }, function(response){}); }; Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Email […]

  • http://ttschristensen.xyz/2016/06/04/how-to-remove-scratches-on-polycarbonate-lenses/ How To Remove Scratches On Polycarbonate Lenses | Ttschristensen

    […] Polycarbonate vs Glass Lenses | Revant Blog | Revant … – Polycarbonate vs glass lenses — what are the pros and cons to each lens type and what choice is best for your sunglasses […]

  • http://pallavidev.com/six-types-of-sunglasses-you-should-never-use/ Six Types of Sunglasses You Should Never Use - PallaviGupta

    […] you are using plastic or glass lenses, then keep in mind that they absorb some UV light. Manufacturers can improve the absorption of […]

  • http://audacious.it/six-types-of-sunglasses-you-should-never-use/ Six Types of Sunglasses You Should Never Use - audacious.it

    […] you are using plastic or glass lenses, then keep in mind that they absorb some UV light. Manufacturers can improve the absorption of […]

  • http://nifymag.com/six-types-of-sunglasses-you-should-never-use/ Six Types of Sunglasses You Should Never Use | Nifymag.com

    […] you are using plastic or glass lenses, then keep in mind that they absorb some UV light. Manufacturers can improve the absorption of […]

  • http://megapersia.com/six-types-of-sunglasses-you-should-never-use/ Six Types of Sunglasses You Should Never Use - Mega Persia

    […] you are using plastic or glass lenses, then keep in mind that they absorb some UV light. Manufacturers can improve the absorption of […]

  • https://orangid.com/six-types-of-sunglasses-you-should-never-use/ Six Types of Sunglasses You Should Never Use | OrangId

    […] you are using plastic or glass lenses, then keep in mind that they absorb some UV light. Manufacturers can improve the absorption of […]

  • http://arkay.ir/?p=20915 Six Types of Sunglasses You Should Never Use | آرکای

    […] you are using plastic or glass lenses, then keep in mind that they absorb some UV light. Manufacturers can improve the absorption of […]

  • http://www.makemoneywithedmund.com/2016/09/six-types-of-sunglasses-you-should-never-use/ Six Types of Sunglasses You Should Never Use | Make Money with Edmund & Megan

    […] you are using plastic or glass lenses, then keep in mind that they absorb some UV light. Manufacturers can improve the absorption of […]

  • http://www.officialwebnews.com/six-types-of-sunglasses-you-should-never-use/ Six Types of Sunglasses You Should Never Use | Official Web News

    […] you are using plastic or glass lenses, then keep in mind that they absorb some UV light. Manufacturers can improve the absorption of […]

  • 노상기

    Are all the revant lenses made of polycarbonate?

  • Richard J Sunkle

    I choose glass

  • A. Dey

    Glass all the way. Plastic, no matter by which name, polycarbonate, et al, are hazy at best. Having tried just about every plastic lens type (due to the insistence of the different optometrists) I keep returning to glass. There's a reason better camera, binocular and other lenses are still made of glass. When clarity is of utmost importance one will never find any sort of plastic lens utilised.

  • Ilko

    Could you be so kind to provide a source to your claim that "Polycarbonate inherently blocks 100 percent UV rays without needing a special coating." . And even better, with UV rays do you mind both UVB and UVA?

Most Recent Articles

Subscribe

Join our mailing list

We do not sell or trade contact information to anyone for any reason.

To learn more, please read our Privacy Policy.

Subscription Successful!

We will send you an email to confirm your subscription.

Look for exclusive discounts and the latest Revant news coming your way!

Subscription Error

There was a problem with the subscription: This email address is already assigned to another user.

Outdoors for All

The mission of Outdoors for All is to enrich the quality of life for children and adults with disability through outdoor recreation. 100% of this donation will be transfered to the Outdoors for All Foundation.

See more at: https://outdoorsforall.org