Last Updated on September 27, 2023
Popular eyewear brand Costa del Mar (now known simply as Costa) recently celebrated its fortieth birthday. Conceived of and founded by a pair of fishermen who loved nothing more than being on the waves, the company remains true to its original values: to create the very best sunglasses for those who enjoy watery adventures and to help protect the oceans and rivers of the world.
As well as designing sunglasses packed with high-tech performance features, the brand spearheads and supports several initiatives to support marine and freshwater environments. These range from manufacturing its frames from recycled fishing nets to the company’s Kick Plastic campaign, launched with the aim of reducing the amount of single-use plastic that finds its way into oceans and waterways.
Costa’s sunglasses are loved by their legions of fans worldwide for their practicality, style, and ethical credentials. Further, most are available as prescription sunglasses, so even if you need corrective lenses, you can find the perfect eyewear for your needs. As well as the current range of shades, there are many retired shades from Costa’s previous collections that remain sought out for their features and quality. Below is our pick to look out for.
Black Pearl Prop Sunglasses
With a clear frame and polarized copper lenses, these retro-style shades from Costa were designed to keep up with your watery adventures. The TR90 nylon frames guarantee ultimate durability, and Costa’s patented polarized lens technology makes for the clearest vision possible while also cutting out glare – particularly important when you’re on the water. UV protection is also covered – as with all Costa sunglasses, the lenses block 100% of the sun’s harmful UV rays.
Costa’s eyewear is known for its toughness, and the Black Pearl doesn’t buck the trend in this regard: as well as being super durable, they’re lightweight, meaning you can wear them comfortably all day.
Tuna Alley Shades – Green Tinted Lenses
While no longer available new, the beautifully named unisex Tuna Alley sunglasses from Costa incorporate rectangular shades and polarized, mirrored lenses with a cool, oceanic green tint. If you love this style, it remains available new with lens tints in blue, but if the green tint is what you’re looking for, you’ll need to keep an eye on second-hand sites for a pair.
The Tuna Alley model features Costa’s patented 580 lens technology to filter reflective glare – which can otherwise cause eye discomfort and affect clarity of vision while on the water. The lenses are also coated with an advanced scratch-proof coating on both sides of the lens, as well as a barrier that repels oil, water, and sweat, so they’re easy to clean, too.
Gatun Polarized Sunglasses with White Frames
After a vintage pair of Costa shades? How about the Gatun, which was one of the originally-produced models released by the brand? These sunglasses have rectangular-shaped white frames with a tortoiseshell inner and dark orange-tinted lenses.
You’ll need to keep a close eye on online auction sites for the best chance of getting your hands on a pair – expect to pay around $50 to $60 for a good quality set.
The Return of King Tide
Sometimes retired Costa del Mar sunglasses make a return – as is the case with the popular King Tide model, which the brand has just relaunched.
These shades boast an award-winning frame design that incorporates removable shields, an effective venting system that almost entirely eradicates the potential for fog, and non-skid hooding. The waterproof grip of the latter means that these shades stay securely in place, no matter how extreme your adventure on the water!
The lenses were developed and crafted by Costa’s in-house team of experts to cut glare and enhance color. King Tide is perfect for anglers and those who enjoy boating in deep water. They’re best for bright, full-sun environments, both on and off the water.
Retired Costa del Mar Sunglasses: The Takeaway
Costa sunglasses are well-known and loved for their high-quality construction and ethical approach. As well as the current range of shades, there are plenty of options that are no longer produced new but remain available online via a variety of second-hand outlets.
Why not grab yourself a bargain or treat yourself to a vintage pair of Costa’s? Taking some time to ensure that you know what you’re buying and that the seller has good credentials means you can get the sort of superior quality sunglasses you want, potentially at a fraction of the price of a new pair.