If you’ve been paying attention to the world of optics, you’ll know a trend is crafting frames from wood. We got a pair in-house for a wear test.
A quick web search pulls up 20 or more brands that sell the wooden sunglasses. This week, we tried out the Portsmouth shades, made by Earth Wood, to see what the good wood craze is all about.
These glasses are built from an African tree called zebrawood, giving them a made-in-the-woodshop look. The frames are incredibly sturdy; see our attempt with a multitool saw above — the wood was difficult to cut. Even though they are wood, the frames can take a beating in the outdoors.
The pink/orange mirrored, polarized lenses looked a little goofy. But they did a decent job knocking down the UV rays. The company advertises them as being 100 percent UV-protected, which is a standard any decent sunglasses should attain.
You gotta be confident to rock the wood look! Many of the people we put these glasses on just couldn’t keep a straight face with the chunky, grainy, varnished design. Narrow nose bridges caused them to sit askew on a few people.
Wood frames don’t flex and lack adjustment options; the bows cannot be bent into place, nor were there movable nose pads on the Earth Wood model. For a technical sunglass, we didn’t find any advantage to the wood; they are made for fun and style, not performance and fit.
Buy now? If you want to jump on the wood wagon, try out the Portsmouth. They cost $75 at Campmor.com.