The balance between style and function has long been a conversation point that many outdoor enthusiasts debate over and over again. In terms of gear, the idea of having as many technical features as possible with complete disregard to style was the norm for many years. Thankfully this is rapidly changing as creative minded brands such as Native Eyewear are turning the page on how one can look while still benefiting from the industry’s leading technical innovations.
Much of my gear these days performs a hybrid use I would much rather have tools that perform multiple functions well rather than one that specializes in each possible category of activity. The Native Eyewear Flatirons can take you from a day on the trails to a day in the city without hesitation. How is this humanly possible might you ask?
It begins with Native’s well-respected N3 polarized lens that has been engineered to block up to four times more infrared light than a generic polarized lens. We were fortunate enough to find a pair of their Green Reflex lenses, which definitely stand out in a crowd in a very good way. With these lenses in particular you will also notice a significant reduction in glare and enhanced visual clarity even on a cloudy or overcast day. By reducing blue light and selectively filtering UV rays you see a much greater contrast among color through the N3 lens.
Here in coastal Southern California we have incredibly bright days where the clouds will be hovering around making the glare much worse than normal. While wearing the Flatirons we weren’t affected by the intense glare and lack of clarity from the sun as our highly mirrored lenses did the work for us. On the same note this enhanced visual distinction of colors and over clarity of vision has allowed us to photograph our daily adventures with much less difficulty. After an entire day under the sun the last thing you want is a throbbing headache from all of the damage that you did to your eyes. With this model from Native you no longer have the excuse that you brought the wrong shades. Get them dirty on the trails or in the sand and clean them up for all of your other daily routines.
It’s the distinctive yet humble flat browed style that allows these shades to pair well with casual outdoor outfit or workout attire as well as your extra special button down and pair of cuffed denim. Fortunately you can decide the frame and lens color to best fit your lifestyle.
Since their inception Native has excelled at manufacturing sturdy shades that were not only advanced in design but also durability. Even though the Flatirons are considered lifestyle sunglasses it’s refreshing to see all of the same techy features that make their performance sunglasses so effective. We used ours on the trails as well as in the sand, which led to more than average abuse being placed upon them. The salt water was no match for the very light and corrosion resistant Ryhno-Tuff Air Collision Resistant Thermoplastic frames. After repeatedly dropping the frames in the sand and attempting to body surf with them on we expected to see quite a bit of wear. With some clean water and a soft cloth we had them polished back to new in a few minutes.
For the time on the trail we most appreciated the cush temple grip and nose pads that helped reduce any rubbing or irritation against the skin. When things get sweaty they most often also become uncomfortable and fortunately this was only a minor problem with these larger frames. Due to their less aggressive frame design and larger lenses you shouldn’t expect them to channel sweat like a running or cycling specific pair would do. Let’s be honest with each other, if you are wearing your performance cycling shades when off the bike you need to invest in a pair of lifestyle shades anyways. All in all the Native eyewear Flatirons are a force to be reckoned with no matter what our environment demands. You will look just as sharp on the beach or trails as you will in the city and on campus.