The product tagline really should read:
Sunreaders: Sun protection with reading glasses
I probably shouldn’t have taken that “shortcut” through the mystery product aisles at Costco. You know those aisles, the ones that change regularly and where seasonal products are kept. I stopped to look at reading glasses; we never seem to have enough when playing board games. I picked up the card containing two pairs of Sunreaders. “Hmm,” I wondered to myself. “These might be good outside. Maybe they’d even cut the glare when reading my phone in the sun.”
I bought the set of two tinted glasses: one with a classic gray tint, the other with amber. I gave the gray pair to my husband and kept the amber, a tint I’m partial to. As it would turn out, I bought them on the eve of Tropical Storm Darby. It would be another two days before I could properly say I’d tested them out in the sun.
These particular “readers” got terrible reviews on the Costco site. The real issue, to me, isn’t that they’re a terrible product. Rather, their primary purpose isn’t magnification. Fact is, they make terrific sunglasses with the small bonus of a magnifier. At $16.99 for two pairs of sunglasses with 100% UVA/UVB protection and anti-reflective coating, they’re a good deal. Problem is, if you bought them for reading, they’re not what you were looking for.
The magnifier on these glasses is a small section of each lens, roughly the size of a nickel. It’s so discreet that with the tint I didn’t know it was bifocal-style until I unwrapped it. Personally, I can’t see through the magnifier unless I adjust the glasses manually. My husband — whose head is slightly bigger than mine — says he can see through it by looking down. Clearly, if you were hoping for readers, by now you’re already disappointed.
However, as sunglasses go, I like them. I took them on a drive around the Windward side and the tint is just right: not too dark and not too light. Because the reader portion is so small, I hardly noticed it as I drove. Just a FYI: Most sunglasses don’t fit my head. This one was no exception. However, the product comes with nosepads, a must for me. Once I attached a Croakie, it was as good a fit as I’ll ever get.
The quality is good: solid and sturdy. These are a product of DesignOptics, a Foster Grant division. My take on them: buy them if you need sunglasses and have an occasional need for far-sighted reading in the sun. Don’t buy them if what you really need is reading glasses.