Maui Jim Keanu Sunglasses

Who’s ready for Spring? Today is officially the first day of that season the northerners are so happy to see, so put on some shades and head outdoors.

Sunshine, warm weather…and Maui? Sounds like a good combination, so these Maui Jim sunglasses make you smile before you even put them on. The nice case they come in is textured to look like a woven basket. Pop it open and there’s felt inside with a Maui Jim logo in gold.

These are high-end sunglasses, so it doesn’t stop there. You also get a soft carrying pouch that doubles as a lens cleaner and it’s got a tropical Hawaii theme going with red flowers and palm trees.

My first impression when I put these on was that they weren’t dark enough to do the job. My go-to pair of sunglasses in Florida has been the polarized Costa del Mar pair I’ve had for two years now. These Maui Jim ones have lighter lenses, but that’s kind of misleading for how well they work. Sure, you won’t trip over something when you walk indoors because you can still see, but they do block out an impressive amount of glare.

Turns out my pair came with Maui Jim’s Maui “High-Transmission” lenses, which work better for overcast days or the beginning/end of day instead of peak sun time. They offer sharper contrast and more vibrant color, so that “low light is perceived with new vibrancy.”

After I wore these around home on the morning school drop-off and then took them on a road trip across three states, they grew on me. They’re a good all-around pair for changing light conditions and for going in and out of buildings. Of course you can get them with another darker lens choice if you’ll be in very bright sunlight most of the time. There’s a cool lens comparison feature on their website with how the view changes here: see the difference.

These Keanu sunglasses are extremely comfortable, thanks to soft rubber nose grips, flexible ear stems, and a springy hinge where the stems connect to the frames. They’re made with quality in Italy.

As with every pair of Maui Jims you get their patented, color-infused polarized lens technology that reportedly wipes out 99.9% of glare and 100% of harmful UV rays.

This was my first experience with Maui Jim sunglasses and I have to admit the $279 list price gives me pause, but they do come with a two-year warranty—not a common thing for sunglasses. If you will be traveling in a climate with variable sun conditions, this Keanu pair with HT lenses would be worth packing in its nice case and taking along. Or if you live in the Pacific Northwest, they’ll probably do you all year long.

By the way, these are named after a Hawaiian word meaning “cool breeze over the mountains,” not the actor…

Get them direct from Maui Jim, at retail sunglasses stores, or online from Zappos.

Tim Leffel

Tim Leffel is founder of the Practical Travel Gear blog, as well as the Cheapest Destinations blog and the narrative webzine Perceptive Travel. He is the author of The World's Cheapest Destinations (now in its 4th edition), Make Your Travel Dollars Worth a Fortune, and A Better Life for Half the Price.