Costa vs Oakley: Who Makes Better Sunglasses?


There are so many sunglasses on the market these days, but Costa and Oakley are the big brands that everyone wants to buy. They both make high-quality polarized sunglasses that put those cheap budget shades to shame.

They’re both competing for active men who like to work and play outside, with Costa owning the fishing and boating market.

It’s true, whether you prefer Oakley or Costa, it is in fact Costa that remains the most popular brand among the fishing and boating crowd. Their sunglasses are superior for handling the UV rays and light reflection from the ocean all day. It’s what they were designed to do, and they do it better than Oakleys ever can.

Round 1: Costa

Background on Costa Sunglasses

Costa is a renowned eyewear brand that has earned a stellar reputation for its high-quality sunglasses. The company was founded with a passion for exploration and a dedication to protecting the environment. Costa’s story began in the early 1980s, making it one of the pioneers in the sunglasses industry.

Costa Del Mar Men’s Pescador Rectangular Sunglasses

Inception of Costa Sunglasses

The inception of Costa sunglasses can be traced back to 1983 when a group of fishermen and outdoor enthusiasts came together in Florida. Driven by their love for the water and a desire to create sunglasses that could withstand the harshest elements, they embarked on a journey to design the perfect pair of sunglasses.

Drawing inspiration from their coastal surroundings, the founders recognized the need for sunglasses that not only offered superior optical performance but also provided exceptional protection from the sun’s harmful rays. With a clear vision in mind, they established Costa Del Mar, which later became popularly known as Costa.

Innovative Features

From the very beginning, Costa’s commitment to innovation and quality has set them apart in the sunglasses market. They focused on creating sunglasses that catered specifically to the needs of water enthusiasts, anglers, and adventurers. This dedication to serving a niche market allowed Costa to develop cutting-edge features that appealed to their target audience.

Costa’s sunglasses are crafted with the highest quality materials, providing durability and comfort during long hours spent outdoors. Moreover, they are equipped with lenses that offer 100% UV protection, ensuring eye safety even in the most extreme environments. The brand’s dedication to optical clarity and color enhancement has made them a favorite among anglers who rely on their eyesight to spot fish beneath the water’s surface.

Round 2: Oakley

Background on Oakley Sunglasses

Oakley is a globally recognized and iconic eyewear brand known for its cutting-edge technology and performance-driven designs. The brand was founded in 1975, setting the stage for a revolutionary approach to sunglasses and eyewear.

Oakley Fuel Cell OO9096 Sunglasses For Men
Oakley Fuel Cell Sunglasses
What year did Oakley sunglasses come out?

In 1984, Oakley made its debut in the sunglasses market with the launch of their inaugural eyewear model, the “Factory Pilot Eyeshades.” These sport-oriented sunglasses bore a resemblance to goggles and proudly displayed the distinctive “Oakley” logo on their strap, setting the stage for the brand’s iconic identity.

The following year, in 1985, Oakley further expanded its collection with the introduction of the “Oakley Frogskin.” This casual style, crafted in Japan, catered to a broader audience, seamlessly blending fashion with functionality.

Over the years, Oakley’s success and popularity soared, culminating in the company going public in 1995. During its initial public offering, the brand managed to raise an impressive $230 million, cementing its position as a significant player in the eyewear industry.

Inception of Oakley Sunglasses

The journey of Oakley began in 1975 when James Jannard, a young innovator and entrepreneur, started the company out of his garage in California. Drawing inspiration from his passion for motorcycling and a desire to create better grips for motorcycle handles, Jannard began crafting motorcycle handgrips with a unique material he called “Unobtainium.”

Expanding his horizons, Jannard quickly realized the potential of his innovative material in other applications, particularly in eyewear. In 1984, Oakley launched its first pair of sunglasses, the “Factory Pilot Eyeshades,” setting a new standard for performance eyewear in the industry.

Technological Advancements

What sets Oakley apart from many other eyewear brands is its relentless pursuit of technological advancements. Oakley has consistently pushed the boundaries of innovation, investing heavily in research and development to create state-of-the-art eyewear.

One of their notable breakthroughs was the introduction of High Definition Optics (HDO) technology. This innovation revolutionized how lenses are manufactured, offering unparalleled optical clarity and sharpness. Oakley’s HDO lenses provide distortion-free vision, precise optical alignment, and impact resistance, making them a preferred choice for athletes and outdoor enthusiasts alike.

Performance-driven Design

Oakley’s commitment to performance-driven design is evident in every aspect of their sunglasses. They cater to the needs of athletes and outdoor adventurers, creating eyewear that excels in various sports and activities. Whether it’s skiing, cycling, golfing, or surfing, Oakley offers specialized sunglasses that optimize performance and protection.

Spotting fish with Costa and Oakley sunglasses is EASY! They completely take the reflection off the water and you will see all the fish clear as day! This is the benefit of premium polarized sunglasses, and both brands win here.

Fashion and Style

Apart from their focus on performance, Oakley sunglasses have also made a mark in the fashion world. Their iconic designs and striking aesthetics have attracted a diverse customer base, ranging from sports professionals to fashion-forward individuals seeking a blend of style and functionality.


Are Oakleys More Durable Than Costa Sunglasses?

This is where Oakley beats the competition – durability. Costa sunglasses are great for being out on the boat and spending a day fishing. However, Oakleys are great for being out working on the farm, hunting, hiking, skateboarding, playing volleyball at the beach, etc. This is because Oakley sunglasses were designed for active men and women who play sports.

Are Costa Sunglasses Scratch Resistant?

Yes. They are actually more scratch-resistant than Oakley sunglasses. Even though Oakleys are more durable, they are more prone to scratches than Costa sunglasses.

Conclusion: Personal Preference, Both Brands Make Great Sunglasses!

Oakley sunglasses are more durable, with slightly better lens tech – Costa sunglasses are more scratch-resistant, with better comfortability and protection when outside on the water all day. Both are so similar in the grand scheme of things, that it really just comes down to personal preference.

If you want to be like everyone else, then get Costas just because you like to go fishing on weekends. Wear Oakleys because you have a lifted truck. Who cares?

Here’s our favorite pair of sunglasses by each brand:

Oakley Gascan: Matte Black Camo/ Prizm Deep Water Polarized – $174

This pair of sunglasses is great for daily usage and it’s great for durability, comfort, and style! Oakley GASCAN sunglasses are more lightweight than their other pairs, making them the perfect pair for you if you need something to wear for hours at a time.

Costa Permit Polarized Sunglasses: Black/Blue – $267

There is a big price difference here, but Costa sunglasses are typically more expensive. As you can tell, we’re a big fan of the blue lens and black/dark frames. This pair of sunglasses features a timeless look, and they’re incredibly comfortable. They block out more sunlight than other pairs, making them great to wear while spending a day on the boat – especially if you’re going into the ocean for an extended period of time.

One comment

  1. I wear my costa shades when I’m out on the boat, but Oakleys at work. I’m a mechanic and work outside most of the day. The oakleys are tough, don’t doubt that.

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