Fishing Glasses: Hobie Cruz Review

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I was genetically predisposed with the innate ability to break any pair of polarized glasses. That’s not my goal when slipping on a new pair—it’s destiny.

Then, a little over a year ago, I was asked to try a pair of Hobie Cruz glasses. The first thing I noticed was their polycarbonate lenses. Not good. Given my checkered past, I knew this test would be short-lived. I’ve never met a plastic (aka: polymer) lens I couldn’t scratch with little more than a stern look (more typically—a grimy shirt sleeve). But hey, I could be wrong, so I gave them a try. I wore them for a year of hard fishing in both fresh and salt water.

The first thing sport fishing fashionistas will notice is the Cruz’s sublime design lines. The attractively contoured frames are light, in fact, all-day light. A strategically placed soft rubber insert on the top of the frame, pad the forehead while rendering them truly fog-free.

The stark lack of other ancillary rubber inserts and unneeded over-molding adds to the ruggedness of the Cruz. Traditionally, these distracting appendages fail slowly, peeling at a glacier’s pace before eventually falling off from salt and sweat exposure. Manufacturers typically add these to hide sharp molding lines and low-quality fit and finish.

The large, integral nose piece is comfortable; sans the aforementioned rubber padding which doesn’t breathe and leads to a sweaty nose. The wide temples (arms) offer a large base onto which industrial strength hinges mount. These workhorses are easily the best feature of the glasses, with their corrosion-proof stainless steel build and internal springs. The springs allow over-exercised temples to flex (my large gourd pushed them to their limits), keeping the frames from bending and eventually breaking.

Admittedly, I’d given up on plastic lenses years ago, opting for glass because of its superior scratch resistance. Well, the Cruz’s polycarbonate lenses (dubbed “Hydroclean™ Plus Polycarbonate Lenses”) are simply fantastic.

Given my fetish for clean lenses, I’m constantly scouring them, typically with whatever vehicle is available. Shamefully, I’ve resorted to condiment encrusted drive-thru napkins, sweat soaked shirt tails, pant legs, wader suspenders, gym socks, my neighbors living room curtains (unbeknownst to them), and any number of other undesirables. After 14 months of cruel-and-unusual punishment, the Hobie polycarbonate remains unscathed. Mind-boggling.

Lastly, the Hobie Cruz impressed with their value. At a measly $80 bucks, you can buy multiple pairs for the price of one, trendier pair of polarized glasses. After years of looking for the perfect pair of polarized peeps, I may have found them.