Some clarity and a review: Revo Headway sunglasses

Finally I’ve made some headway on my previously ill-fated review of a new pair of Revo sunglasses that I’d been mulling over for some time. My mulling led to despair as last week I talked of how I’d been blind-sided by Sanders over at Up the Poudre because the idea I had for a review was apparently very much similar to the idea he had for his review. It’s all good though–Sanders was the early bird and got the worm.  I hope he enjoyed the taste.

Let me first state the obvious: Angling types need sunglasses for protection against errant casts, UV rays and glare from the water’s surface. I realize a lot of people don’t want to spend a lot for their eye protection, and that’s fine. I used to feel the same way until I purchased my first pair of quality sunglasses years ago. The difference was night and day. Clarity of the optics is noticeably better with quality lenses, and the glasses last a lot longer, as well they should. No matter what you spend on a pair of sunglasses, you want polarized lenses which cut the surface glare so you can see that fish as it refuses your offering. Without polarized lenses you may think there are no fish in the water. With polarized lenses you realize the fish are there, they just don’t like your presentation.


I selected a pair of Revos with the Headway frames. This model is new for 2012 and there are a couple cool things to point out before I get to the meat of the review:

1. Revos are made in the USA. As an American, that’s a huge plus.

2. The Eco-Use™ frames are made in part from the seed of the castor bean plant as an alternative to entirely petroleum-based nylon frames. Any way to cut down on petroleum-based products is a good thing, so we have more gas to burn in our cars.

One thing to note is that these sunglasses have glass lenses, not some sort of non-glass, plastic type material. I’ve always been fond of glass lenses because they don’t scratch as easily, but that typically comes with a downside: weight. You do not want the bridge of you nose to be toting a heavy load while you’re on the water all day. Fortunately, these Revos feature a very lightweight glass lens that is much lighter than a lot of other models out there. So light are they that I had to confirm they are indeed glass. They are.

With and without the Bronze lens

The lens color I chose is “Bronze”. I find that this color lens does a good overall job on the waters I fish, which are mostly rivers. At times, however, a bronze lens can be a bit too dark. After I broke an old pair of glasses with a bronze lens a couple of years ago, I bought a pair of Smith Optics with their (at the time) new lens color called “Ignitor”. It’s a light, rose-colored lens that makes it much easier to see under low-light conditions. The problem is that during times of the day when the sun is high and so is the glare, this lens doesn’t quite offer the protection during very bright conditions, in my opinion. Enter Revo’s bronze lens, which appears to be just about perfect for those long hours between long shadows. Revo offers other lenses to suit your needs. These suit mine, and since this is my blog, it’s really all about me.

The Headway frames are very comfortable. That’s a big improvement over the Smith’s I own, which grind on my ears after all day long. The Revos do not. They’ve got padded inserts where the frames rest on your ears and nose. These pads improve comfort and prevent slipping, and we all know how a greasy nose can be a slipperly slope for the wrong pair of glasses.

A PFD for your glasses

OK, so we’ve got lightweight glass lenses in a good color, and a comfortable frame. That’s all I really need in a pair of glasses, but Revo has added another cool feature worth mentioning: a leash and buoy. I always use some sort of strap/tethering device to prevent my glasses from falling into the water, or to let them hang around my neck while I reach into my pocket for my reading glasses so I can see to tie on the size 20 Adams. Revo’s integrated leash system is pretty slick: the frames have a small hole into which you insert a peg on the ends of the leash. Clean, simple, and low profile solution.  No bulk of a slip-over type retaining strap.

Quick-connect integrated leash system.

For an added measure of security should you still manage to drop the glasses into the water even though the leash is attached, a foam flotation buoy will make sure that the glasses don’t sink. If you drop them in a river, at least you’ll be able to watch them as they bob downstream in the current. I hope you’re able to retrieve them, but if not, the lucky angler who does find them will be very pleased with the Revos.

The retail price for these Revos is nothing to bat an eye at ($209), but that’s not out of line with what you’ll pay for other premium glasses. And when you’re on your 11th pair of cheap, $20 glasses you’ll wish you’d bought the Revos.


  1. Fishing Blog

    The PFD is a nice touch! These look pretty sweet.

    • Kirk Werner

      I agree- the PFD is a great feature, and I’m surprised I haven’t seen this type of device before. Maybe someone else has offered something similar, but I don’t get out much so I may have missed it. Thanks for the comment!

  2. Sanders

    A fine review, despite me stealing some of your thunder…

    Revo makes some good glasses for sure.

    • Kirk Werner

      I’m glad to give up a little thunder to you, my friend.

  3. Donald

    I really liked your review of the Revos and up until now I honestly hadn’t heard of them or maybe I just overlooked them. I have always gone by the thought that cheaper pairs of sunglasses are just as good a expensive ones. That was until I bought my first pair of Costas however they are at the bottom somewhere off the coast of Florida. I think I am going to invest in a pair of Revos and appreciate the review. Thanks again and great post!

    • Kirk Werner

      I recently made the leap to prescription glasses and this had to do the same with regard to sunglasses. I had my Revo frames fitted with Rx lenses because they’re so comfortable.

  4. Jeff MacRae

    I purchased these in June of 2012 and one year later I noticed the screws have rusted and will eventually rot,these are marketed for use in water. When I contacted customer support the reply was unbelievable. They said that they were not stainless steel screws and without proper cleaning they would rust. So I called to get the definition of “proper cleaning” and was told that wiping them with the microfiber bag was proper cleaning which is something I do ALL the time. Revo knowingly used screws that they knew were going to rust and yet if I want new ones I have to mail them in and go through a process that would take 3 plus weeks. They were quick to take my money and now I have to be inconvenienced for over 3 weeks because of their mistake? The unfortunate thing is I really love the glasses. I thought that spending the extra money on what I thought was a quality product and what I thought would have been better customer service was a good idea………..I couldn’t have been more wrong. And for those who don’t know Oakley owns Revo ,buyer beware

    • Kirk Werner

      Always good to hear feedback, good or bad. Bummer you had that sort of experience. I haven’t had any issues yet but I’ll watch for the screws rusting. Thanks for the comment.

  5. Walker

    Caveat Emptor!!! Revo customer service is horrendous, and many find that their poly lenses scratch incredibly easy. They also don’t have any (and I mean ANY) replacements for cases, leashes, etc… I lost my leash (sans buoy) and bag cruising on the coast, and have tried to get another leash and bag. No luck, at all. Just a flat “n0”

    I’ve heard they have serious problems getting shades serviced in a reasonable amount of time… Unacceptable, the other big brands beat their socks off

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