Ronstan Windshift Sunglasses | Expert Review

NOTE: These sunglasses are no longer available. Check our our selection of other sailing sunglasses here.

Annapolis Performance Sailing APS Ronstan Floating Windshift SunglassesThe Aussies take sun protection very seriously, and the Melbourne-based marine company Ronstan is no exception. Introducing the brand new (and well thought-out) Windshift Sunglasses!

What makes these ‘sunnies’ stand apart from the rest? The TR-90 frame is tough. Despite having a stiffness that gives the frames a quality feel, they have a high flexural fatigue threshold. The glasses come in two colors: White/Blue or Black/Gray.

Annapolis Performance Sailing APS Floating Windshift Ronstan Sunglasses LensesThe amber lenses are polarized and photochromatic. This means they darken as it gets sunnier for ultimate protection from UVA/UVB rays. Plus, they float in even the most turbulent waters.

Ronstan brought on Aussie-based Barz Optics to manufacture the new glasses. Below, you’ll see an exclusive APS video shot at the 2011 Annapolis Boat Show. Ronstan Sales Manager Ben Moon hands the spotlight over to Barz Optics founder Kevin Barr to discuss the technical features of the Windshift Sunglasses.

Want some info that’s a little more personal? APS Customer Service Rep Matt F. tried out the Windshifts. Here’s what he has to say:

I had the opportunity to use these new Ronstan sunglasses sailing on a race from Annapolis to Baltimore last weekend. And although I don’t think I can quite pull off the white frames (even if I’m from Jersey), I really liked them.

It was a fairly overcast day which was perfect for the Ronstan amber tinted lens. They had the ability to seemingly to brighten the day. I think this allows you to read more subtle differences in the water, particularly on days that are overcast. When the sun did come out, I didn’t really notice the photochromaic (color changing) lens, but I still found them dark enough to work well in bright light conditions.

Considering I lost my last pair of sunglasses overboard only a weekend before (because my “Bowman’s croakie” (read: 3M rigging tape) broke during a scheisty gybe), I really appreciated the fact that the back of the arms are drilled out for a home-made Marlow Excel Pro croakie. Some of the guys around the shop drill out their glasses to do this but I could never bring myself to put a drill to my $100 pair of sunglasses.

A friend of mine was wearing Kaenon Pinos with the G12 lens, which I was able to swap out for a bit to compare with. Aside from the differences in tint, the Ronstans provided as much if not more clarity for reading wind shifts and puffs off the water, which for the price difference is actually pretty impressive. For what it’s worth, I think these lens are the best you can get for the price. The frame doesn’t feel as sturdy as the Kaenons or as Costa del Mar’s do, but you’re also not spending Kaenon or Costa del Mar money either.

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