Review: Kaenon Sunglasses

If you want to understand someone you have to walk a mile in their shoes. But what about taking a few steps wearing their sunglasses? To the point, this is my friend last week: “No wonder you’re having a great time! Wearing these sunglasses is like being in a magical wonderland!”

This was only a half-joke. My friend was wearing my Kaenon Kanvas sunglasses, and on a bright day snowshoeing last week the Kaenons knocked down the glare and made soft colors and subtle hues pop. My friend was missing all this visual detail with her non-polarized Ray Bans.


Kaenon Kanvas

Claiming 99.9% glare reduction, the lens have Kaenon’s patented “SR-91 technology,” which is touted to combine the “superior optical quality of the finest glass with the light weight, strength and impact resistance of polycarbonate.” But wearing the Kanvas is more convincing than any marketing lingo.

Although they’re not designed as performance sunglasses, the Kanvas sunglasses do well in all but the most severe conditions. For instance, descending at 40mph on my bicycle was no problem. But descending at 20mph in a full-blown winter storm was problematic. Snow could sneak in between the glasses and hit my eyes.

The price? At $169, they ain’t cheap shades, and the Italian-made Kanvas in an entry-level model for the company. But if you’re gonna drop some money on gear, there’s a lot to be said for paying a little bit more on your optics. Having superlative clarity is about as close as you can get to seeing the world through rose-color glasses.

—Stephen Krcmar lives in California.

Posted by Sam - 03/29/2010 11:38 AM

I love my Kaenons and they truly are like seeing the world in a different light! Nice review and glad to see this brand get some proof in the pudding reviews.

Posted by Dave - 04/01/2010 10:18 AM

I’ve been wearing Kaenon the past 3 years since discovering at Outdoor Retailer. I won’t wear anything else and purchase a new pair each time in SLC!

Posted by Pieter - 04/01/2010 10:30 AM

I’m a habitual breaker/scratcher/loser of sunglasses. I’ve had the same pair of Kaenons for three years counting. They’re too good to give up. Stylish, well-designed, very scratch resistant, excellent quality, and well worth the price.

Posted by Chip - 04/01/2010 03:10 PM

$165.00 for entry level sunglasses is highway robbery. I thought the price of Oakley’s was ridiculous.

Posted by TommyOrlando - 04/05/2010 05:48 AM

When will people realize Oakley is a marketing juggernaut? Oakley isn’t about real performance, they are about mass marketing and distribution- that’s Oakley’s business model. And I disagree that Kanvas is entry level?

Posted by chris - 08/19/2010 02:10 PM

Kaenon sunglasses are simply superior than anything else on the market today. Their styles are cutting edge, and more importantly theirs lens technology is far superior to mass brands such as Oakley or Maui Jim….and oh yeah, they have an Rx program too. Found my local retailer and had the doc put in my rx with their SR-91 lens technology…Now thats cool.

Posted by Brad - 08/26/2010 10:02 AM

I know that amber lenses usually provide better “pop” than gray but how do Kaenon’s grays compare to the ambers? Do the grays pop as much? I would just get the amber but they only seem to come in the tobacco colored frames and I’d rather have darker frames.

Posted by Brian - 09/29/2011 03:51 PM

I have worn a set now for a few months. I switched back to my costa’s. They’re a good set of glasses but by far not as good as a set of 580p costa del mar. If your on a budget then these are for you but if you have the extra money get a set of costa’s even the 420’s are better. My biggest issue was fogging up out on the ocean in the heat and looking threw water for bait fish.

Posted by Ryan - 03/05/2013 01:30 PM

I am on my THIRD pair of lenses from Kaenon. The first were broken on my behalf and scratched and I replaced them ,the second experienced delam and extensive scratching of outer film and glass replaced for free, and now the third is scratched to the point of hazyness. I only used the microfiber cloth to clean as suggested. My only guess is that I used them in saltwater and the salt caused scratching when cleaning. Also Kaenon will not cover their SOFT lenses under warranty, $70 for new lenses. Back to Smith.

Posted by gibby - 03/30/2013 11:50 PM

I am so stoked to have a pair of kaenon burnet’s. I was borrowing my sons $5 thifties shade for ever. I love these things. I almost bought a pair of Maui jim’s but stopped at the last second. I am guessing maybe the costa glasses are pretty good too. All the boat people in cabo swear by them. Great barter tool. Used to be marlboros and play boys twenty years ago! Anyhow, I think I over paid? The total was about $250. Anyone know, because I can still return them? Thanks GC

Posted by Michael - 12/18/2013 11:57 PM

First of all the person who said the Costa 580p lens is better is nuts or lying. I have a pair of Kaenon Arlo in prescription in the c12 lens with the new black/tobbaco frame. They look sick and besides the best frame design in the business, they also have the best lenses in the world. The lenses sounding to good to be true on Kaenons website are nt. Everything they say turns out to be true.They are clear as glass,stronger than regular poly,super scratch resistant,and have the absolute best tint and light transmission technology in the world.Now you can compare maybe the 580g,as in glass,lenses with these but they are still not as good. I know many, many people who stopped wearing their Costa 580g immediately after trying Kaenon. Go look on some forums and you’ll see. They exceed the standards of safety glasses, equal or exceed glass clarity, and have the best timit and light transmission. Bottom line.

Even on the Costa del site in their professional review section Keanons are rated higher being selected by 100 PERCENT of the fisherman involved in the test over Costa.On COSTAS SITE!lol. And they have the best prescription leneses also. They are made in Kaenons wearhouse with the sr91 lenses. Few use the same!e technology for their prescription like Kaenon. To compare the Costa 580p cr39 lens to the Kaenon sr91 proprietary lens is a joke. At least come at Kaenon with the glass Costa.Although it will still lose. Fra!es are made in Italy BTW and have no loose rubber to fall off. There’s a reason why all the guides in the Bahamas wear Kaenon.Trust me.

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