There are few pieces of outdoor-oriented gear that we can actually get daily use out of quite like a pair of shades. Sure, they're invaluable for anglers, with polarization granting a glimpse of what's beneath the surface far better than the naked eye. That's an advantage any way you look at it. But other activities, like driving, hiking, yard work, or just hanging out by the pool also call for sunglasses, so something stylish and easy to wear, without pressure points or hefty weight, can be a big benefit.
I've had Bajio Sunglasses on my radar for some time, and finally got the opportunity to test out a pair of their fishing-centric shades. Their quality lens options, varied frame colors, and prescription availability make all their sunglasses a top notch choice. The Piedra polarized sunglasses from Bajio have continued the theme of the brand's quality products, reliable performance, and all-day comfort. I opted for the new Rose Mirror lenses, which are touted as a versatile choice that both salt and freshwater anglers will be able to ascertain. Ideal for fishing the flats, western rivers and lakes, and under tree canopies and cloud cover, the Rose Mirror lenses have satisfied through all my use. The look of them made me feel a bit like Mitch Hedberg, one of my favorite comedians of all time, when I first put them on. The pinkish hue isn't exactly a common pick for polarized sunglasses, but I can see (literally) how the light transmission of the high def lenses give an advantage. They worked great for the sessions I tested them out on the water, and have excelled in the other, day-to-day needs as well.
Bajio Piedra Polarized Sunglasses
Why We Picked Them
Having scoped out Bajio for a while, the Piedra made a great first impression with its unique Rose Mirror lens option
Flex hinge, non-slip nose and temple, bio-based durable frame material
Cool name, quality on-the-water performance, and versatility in spades
Price may be high, they don't float like some other fishing shades options
Named after a special flat in the Yucatan near Campeche and discovered by the Bajio crew as they set out to give these shades some vigorous testing, the Piedra is a solid pick for just about any angling needs. The wide temples provide light blockage and protection, but they aren't overwhelmingly large, which I like. The lenses use a proprietary blue light-blocking LAPIS™ technology, which Bajio says brings "bring clarity, color and depth to the entire experience."
I used the Matte Black frame color, but two other options exist, with a total of seven lens combinations in either polycarbonate or glass. They come with scratch resistant and oleophobic coatings so you can worry less about damaging them, and more about peering through them.
Bajio isn't just making good sunglasses and marketing them well, they're also doing quality conservation work through several initiatives, and are notably carbon neutral. Things like eco-friendly packaging, fair labor facilities, and alliances with major non-profit players are things the company doesn't have to do, but chooses to anyway. One of the more interesting things Bajio is doing to combat carbon emissions is plant-based leather cases. That's not a typo, Bajio is making sunglasses cases from sustainably sourced cactus-based leather that needs little water and is dried naturally using energy from the sun. It lasts a long time and is biodegradable in case you ever lose the case. These things make a difference to me, as they should anyone who cares about fishing and its future.
These sunglasses are an instant success in my eyes, and have taken the crown as a high-achieving pair of fishing shades that can translate seamlessly to other, more common uses. They work great for anything, and are comfortable to wear for extended periods. At $259 for glass lenses and $209 for polycarbonate, they are a bit on the high side, but have proven themselves worthy of it. While other brands might come to mind first when anglers think of the best sunglasses, Bajio is earning their keep and establishing themselves amongst the crowded marketplace. With plenty of other options available for any kind of angler, Bajio should continue on its path to mainstream recognition. Check out their website for more, and consider Bajio one of the up and coming brands doing good things in the outdoor gear space.
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