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Drivewear Polarised glasses

Discussion in 'Barbel Talk' started by Pete Marshall, May 25, 2012.

  1. Pete Marshall

    Pete Marshall Senior Member

    My old (prescription) polarised glasses have now got more scratches than actual viewing surface, so replacements are needed. I have seen the Drivewear ones at Optilabs which change colour in response to light levels, sounds like a great idea. However I am always distrustful of miracle claims (particularly when it involves me spending extra cash), so any one here use them? Are they worth the extra cash. Do they really give better viability in lower light conditions in a way that would benefit an angler, i.e. watching a float or a fly?
  2. Chris Jones

    Chris Jones Senior Member

    I've had prescription Drivewear lenses (not from Optilabs) for about a month and they are fantastic. I like using polarized glasses when fishing but got fed up with the limitations of a single tint being too dark or too light in so many situations. The Drivewear lenses have put a stop to that palaver. I really don't understand why these lenses haven't been aggressively marketed to anglers. I find them even more useful for fishing than I do for driving.
    For those that would prefer not to have to deal at distance with Optilabs, Specsavers are also doing the Drivewear lenses. You may have to give the sales person a nudge in the right direction as more than the odd one or two are barely aware of them.
  3. Stephen Scaysbrook

    Stephen Scaysbrook Senior Member

    Chris how does the price compair to the Optilab ones.
  4. Chris Jones

    Chris Jones Senior Member

    Stephen, it's a little hard to tell exactly as the Optilabs listings all include at least a basic frame. The cheapest Optilabs set up, comparable to what I got, looks to be about the £240 mark.

    I bought frames on the net from Pretavoir, and had Specsavers put the lenses in. IIRC the frames cost around £85 (about half the price I'd have paid on the high street) the single vision drivewear lenses £109 and they rob you up to £40 for re-lensing (i.e. we didn't sell you the frames so we'll extract some extra cash from you another way!).

    So, I reckon to have paid around the same price, smidge less perhaps, as the basic Optilabs. However, I have the frames of my choice rather than the rather limited Optilabs choice and I can walk into a high street shop if I have any problems with the lenses. I'm content that I did ok on the whole deal. If Specsavers didn't apply the re-lensing charge (and they sometimes haven't in the past), I'd have been quids in.
  5. Stephen Scaysbrook

    Stephen Scaysbrook Senior Member

    Thanks for the info Chris
    I might pop in to my local Specsavers and ask for a couple of quotes. Ie with and with out frame. Feed them a bit of bull and see what they come up with. I wouldn't mind just having a normal frame and not the sports type frame any way then I could use them as normal sun glasses so it might work out cheaper if I have one of there frams.
    I'll keep you posted
    Thanks again.
  6. Pete Marshall

    Pete Marshall Senior Member

    As far as I can see there are hundreds of different lenses on Optilabs, you can have the drivewear lenses in any of their frames, not just the ones they recommend for fishing. I certainly won't be going for an obvious "sports" frame as on a man of more mature years they look as stupid as a baseball cap. I like the look of the Jaguar frames as jags are resolutely unfashionable cars (with the exception of E Types), so I hope the frames will be as well:) If only the did "Old Holburn" frames, I'd be well in.

    I would guess all the different companies use exactly the same frames )from a factory in China), lenses and everything else...just put different labels on them. Must admit that Optilabs seem a little more expensive than some other on line sites, but the other sites don't list Drivewear lenses.
    Last time I was in an opticians to have my eyes checked (a Boots) they tried to convince me of all the "benefits" of buying from them. High pressure selling by sales people on commission I can live without. The joy of doing it on line is that I won't have to deal with these people;)

    Thanks for the info Chris. I expected more people to have given these a go...perhaps we are "new adopters":)
    Last edited: May 26, 2012
  7. Chris Jones

    Chris Jones Senior Member

    That may well be true for the budget frames. However, you'll find that an awful lot of the "designer" brand (even if the brand isn't Italian) frames are made in Italy. That was certainly true for my old pair of Armani frames and both sets of Rayban carbon fibre frames I am currently using.

    I did find this an interesting read when I was researching the Drivewear lenses. A bunch of bored opticians arguing like we might on here!;):D

    Looks like FramesDirect are also doing Drivewear now
    Last edited: May 26, 2012
  8. Wayne Glossop

    Wayne Glossop Senior Member

    Other than prescription polarized what's Are the ESP ones like? Any info would be appreciated thanks.
  9. Simon Lush

    Simon Lush Senior Member

    I have the Optilabs Ultra 2000 lenses which are vari-tint which are a very good compromise, can anyone tell me what the difference is between them and the drivewear ones ?
  10. Chris Jones

    Chris Jones Senior Member

    Looks like Ultra 2000 is just Optilabs name for Drivewear.

    Ultra 2000 (Drivewear)


    Why they feel the need to have two different listings on the same website, for what looks to be the same thing, is beyond me.
  11. Chris Guy

    Chris Guy Senior Member

  12. Pete Marshall

    Pete Marshall Senior Member

    The difference between the two is explained less than clearly on the site
    The cost is the same and you can order either version on the site with the same frames in most cases.
    Last edited: May 29, 2012
  13. Chris Jones

    Chris Jones Senior Member

    Strange how there doesn't appear to be different types of lenses on Drivewear's own website. The low light tint on the full blown Drivewear lens is also olive green. The only difference in the Optilabs listings I can see is the reference to still changing tint behind a windscreen. As you say though, it's clear as mud. Perhaps the Ultra 2000 is only two stage photochromatic rather than three. The fact that the prices are the same still makes me suspicious.
    Last edited: May 29, 2012
  14. Graham Elliott

    Graham Elliott Senior Member

    Wayne. They are excellent IMO. Although the Cord often become detached.

    I need to some glasses for driving at night...the glare is getting too much. Are these prescription glasses everyone is talking about - for driving etc.?

    but...the price is frightening.

  15. Chris Jones

    Chris Jones Senior Member

    mine are prescription glasses, though you can also get them without any correction.
    I'd talk to your optician if you are having problems driving at night. As I understand it, driving with sunglasses at night is a big no no. I have seen a suggestion of a minimum light transmission requirement. No idea what the figure is or even if there's any truth in it.
  16. David Gauntlett

    David Gauntlett Senior Member

    Hi Chris,

    When you say 'fantastic'....does that apply to their performance in eliminating glare as fish spotting aids specifically, or more in general terms? What I am getting at is that I have polarised prescription sun glasses which I had made for me by Specsavers a year or so back, and frankly they are pretty dire all round. They are far less efficient at eliminating glare than some of the cheap fishing glasses I have had in the past , and also pretty naff as ordinary sun glasses. As you can imagine, this left me bitterly disappointed, considering the cost and my initial expectations.

    As far as I know, these do not have the Drivewear lenses you mention, in fact that is something I was not aware of at the time. Question is, are these lenses REALLY that good? Do they truly make a very noticeable difference performance wise, particularly at glare elimination....that being the critical area for me?

    If so...I feel a visit to Specsavers coming on :p

    Cheers, Dave.
    Last edited: May 31, 2012
  17. Chris Jones

    Chris Jones Senior Member

    I mean fantastic all round. I am using them for fishing as much as anything else though. It's a little hard to quantify how good they are from a fish spotting/fishing point of view. They are the best polarised glasses I've ever used. However, I'm not talking anything flash, military issue stuff, flip up clip ons and some wrap around shielded over glasses.
    As for spotting, all I can go on is the amount of times I spot fish earlier than other anglers wearing polarised lenses.

    Have a rake around the net for reviews and opinion. Then have a trip to Specsavers and wait for the blank looks when you mention Drivewear.;):D
  18. David Gauntlett

    David Gauntlett Senior Member

    Chris, I didn't notice your reply at first...just one of an increasing number of brain malfunctions recently :D Many thanks anyway mate, I will look into things and give them a try, as and when.

    Cheers, Dave.
  19. Craig Shildrick

    Craig Shildrick Senior Member

    On the subject of polarised glasses, does anybody know of any reasonably priced polarised glasses for someone with a rather large cranium? My big head is a nightmare with slim fit sports shades, wondering if anyone else has found any decent frames before shelling out for a pair of expensive larger frames?


    Craig A.K.A Billy big bonce:D
  20. Jim Foxall

    Jim Foxall Senior Member

    Rayban and the other big names have a range of custom bins to fit any shape or size of head. You can literally dial up whatever you want. If you were to order them from Specsavers, you can send them back if you are unhappy with them. Bear in mind the custom builds are getting on for double the price compared to off the shelf glasses. But, it might be worth it, I'd like to know how many pairs of polarised glasses that we have spent a fair bit on and are now lieing around at home because they weren't quite right. Might be better to splash out on one decent pair. As Chris Jones has mentioned, don't go to Specsavers expecting them to have a great deal of knowledge outside of their comfort zone. You'll have to be insistent. A friend of mine managed to have a polarised monocle made but it was a struggle to get the tint he wanted.