Gear Review: Ray-Ban New Wayfarer
The greats (Like the Blues Brothers) have been rocking the Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses since 1952, so it should be no surprise that our generation should have their own version. New Wayfarer® sunglasses are the newest interpretation on the most famous style of sunwear in history.
When Ray-Ban designed the Wayfarer, it was a revolutionary breakaway from the metal eyewear of the past. Wayfarers have graced the faces of some of the greatest musicians, actors, and everyday lads for the last six decades. Since the mid-2000s, the sunglasses have been enjoying a steady increase in popularity. Wayfarers have been cited as the best-selling design of sunglasses in history (although Ray-Ban Aviators have also been credited with this achievement) and have been called one of the classic fashion icons of the 20th century.
Seen on men ranging from Sammy Davis, Jr. to Bob Dylan, few can argue how classic the Wayfarer style is. In fact, we really don’t need to explain much about something that has proven victorious time and time again.
Fast forward to today and the New Wayfarer® sunglasses are a slightly smaller interpretation on the most famous style in sunwear. The iconic Ray-Ban Wayfarer is immediately recognizable anywhere in the world.
The New Wayfarer vs. the Original Wayfarer:
- The New Wayfarer has a softer eye shape than the original in these key areas:
- more rounded lenses.
- less slant to the lens. (Original frame had a tendency to actually touch your cheeks on both sides)
- Shorter vertical lens profile.
- A sculpted nose and lens profile. (Original was more rigged and straight)
- The New Wayfarer is offered in both classic and brighter hip color options.
- It is offered in both a regular lens and a polarized option that we highly recommend shelling out the extra cash for.
- Holding true to the Wayfarer style, it has the Ray-Ban signature logo displayed on the sculpted temples in the classic metallic script.
- And last on our short list, the New design hugs your face better and doesn’t fall off as easily as the Original more rigid designed optics.
I have a lot of PROS to talk about, but only one real CON:
- While other bug-eyed, goggle-like eyewear is bulky and must be stored in large cases, the Wayfarer folds flat and slips easily over the edge of a V-neck or in a pair of jeans.
- If you happen to drop these babies as you fight your way into a wetsuit, you can count on the frames surviving a moderate skid across asphalt. (They are tough.)
- Hinges are relatively bomb proof and require only minimal adjustments over time.
- They hug your face really well, despite not being crazy sporty.
- Ray-Ban polarization offers great protection to your face.
- Lots of color options to choose from to match your style.
- Lots of lens color options and variations for the style conscious and helping with blocking/adapting to differing lighting situation.
- Lanyard compatible temple tips. (I suggest the small elastic cloth croakie lanyard.)
- Comes in different sizes to fit your face.
- Temple material is easily heat formed to better fit any face.
- I have experienced a fair amount of lens distortion on the inside lens coating as a result of exposure to high heat. It looks like a light cloud with distinct edges almost like water marks. I experienced this permanent lens distortion while out sailing out of the Boca Grande pass in the Gulf of Florida. I guess it just got really hot while out on the water and the lens coating distorted. I still use the glasses despite the distortion and may try to check on the factory warrantee (*SunGlass Hut said it wasn’t covered).
These sunglasses allow the wearer to enjoy a classic, celebrated style while adding their own individuality. And best of all, if you don’t have that iconic chiseled jaw structure that was needed to sport the original, the New Wayfarer is more forgiving and flattering to a wider range of facial shapes.
Styles from the ever expanding sunglass brand selection come and go with each season, and materials change as new plastics and coatings are developed, yet the Wayfarer endures. It is the choice of the surfers, rockers, and the movie star alike. And while it may go in and out of favor occasionally, Ray-Ban’s Wayfarer sunglasses always return with their timeless simplicity.
My opinion is that the New Wayfarer is a foolproof way of making an outfit shine with minimal effort and is a great all around pair of shades! Just don’t get them crazy hot, or you could melt the lens coating.
Product: Ray-Ban New Wayfarer
Price: $119 – $175