Real Kids Sunglasses

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Only a few sunglasses manufacturers featured in last summers test (July 2009) offer childrens sunglasses, and those shades are usually just scaled down versions of the adult kind.

Real Kids Sunglasses

After experimenting with several different styles for kids ages 3-13, we found that the younger children, ages 7 and under, were a tough bunch to fit. Harder still were kids ages 3 and under. Uncomfortable ear pieces were a common complaint.

Enter the wrap-around goggle-style glasses from Real Kids Shades. The lenses meet our criteria for glare and UV protection (100 percent UV 400), and they fit. The tiny Extreme Element are sized for children 3 years or younger, while the Extreme Sport come in two sizes, ages 3-7, ages 7-12. The larger size is also available with polarized lenses.

The sunglasses have no ear pieces, only a neoprene and webbing band that easily adjusts for fit. (The Element band is just neoprene.) They have a closed-cell foam cushion surrounding the inside of the frame, blocking any light from entering at the sides; vents prevent fogging.

While we suspected the foam is vulnerable to wear and tear, after three months of use, the glasses have held up well. We have seen no foam deterioration from exposure to sunscreen or water.

For $20, you get the sunglasses and a microfiber cleaning bag. Money well spent, in our book.

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Practical Sailor has been independently testing and reporting on marine products for serious sailors for more than 45 years. Supported entirely by subscribers, Practical Sailor accepts no advertising or any form of compensation from manufacturers whose products we test. Testing is carried out by a team of experts from a wide range of fields including marine electronics, marine safety, marine surveying, sailboat rigging, sailmaking, engineering, ocean sailing, sailboat racing, and sailboat construction and design. This diversity of expertise allows us to carry out in-depth, objective evaluation of virtually every product available to serious sailors. Practical Sailor is edited by Darrell Nicholson, a long-time liveaboard sailor and trans-Pacific cruiser with more than three decades of experience as a marine writer, photographer, boat captain, and product tester. Before taking on the editor’s position at Practical Sailor, Darrell was the editor of Offshore magazine, a boating-lifestyle magazine serving the New England area. Darrell has won multiple awards from Boating Writer’s International, including the Monk Farnham award for editorial excellence. He holds a U.S. Coast Guard 100-ton Master license and has worked as a harbor pilot and skippered a variety of commercial charter boats.

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