ProView – Native Eyewear La Reina
I tested the La Reina sunglasses while traveling with my major (Outdoor Leadership Education) based out of North Greenville University in South Carolina. The trips I took these on were seven to nine days long and all took place in the fall with temperatures ranging from 25-70 degrees Fahrenheit. Thankfully, my professor was ok with stopping the lessons every once in a while to capture a few shots of these rad glasses! During our education-filled adventures, I found out some positives and negatives of the Native La Reina sunglasses.
Native Eyewear La Reina
Product Description: LA REINA™ is tough, bold and inclusive - just like the women who will wear her. This frame celebrates an unfamiliar journey and fits on a wide variety of face shapes and sizes. This piece breaks the rules and inspires a new story that invites style to the outdoors. It was designed by badass women, for badass women.
Offer price: $129.00 MSRP
“Tough, bold, and inclusive”: these are the words used to describe the La Reina sunglasses by the Native website. This description could not be more truthful. I was drawn in by the “bold”, stylistic nature of these sunglasses and wanted to test them in a variety of different locations and activities to see if they were in fact “tough” as well. To do so, I wore them while rock climbing in Alabama, backpacking in Tennessee and North Carolina, and sea kayaking in South Carolina; truly, they served me well on all three of these trips, and I was impressed by their effectiveness in blocking light while also being feminine in style. The “inclusiveness” of these sunglasses extends from outdoor adventures to casual car rides, and I would recommend them to any active woman who needs some long-lasting sunglasses to aid in her adventures and the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
- Versatile Style
- Crisp Colors
- Solid Fit
- Bronze lenses too light for frequent snow travel
- Will fall off smaller heads
The fit of these sunglasses is perfect when worn on my face. The Cushinol and Mastoid Temple Grip technology shone during climbing, backpacking, and sea kayaking as it served to keep the sunglasses securely on my face at all times. I didn’t even take a croakie with me when on the water (although if you want to for extra security, feel free!), yet I never had an issue with the La Reina’s slipping and sliding on my sweaty face. However, the reason I gave them a 4 on the “fit” scale was because I push them onto the top of my head often, and they are not as secure there. In fact, if I am not wearing a hat, they slide right off the back of my head when I make a sudden movement. Strangely, with a hat on (I bring a five-panel everywhere I go), they stay on just fine. This might have to do with the fact that I have a small to medium-sized face, and these sunglasses are categorized for medium to large faces. As far as comfort is concerned, the La Reina sunglasses are extremely comfortable and did not ever rub or squeeze my face too tightly.
Native’s website describes the La Reina sunglasses as being “designed by badass women, for badass women”. I received the black/ tortoise with bronze reflex lenses style of the La Reina’s, and I can confirm that they are badass in many ways (but especially in looks). If you’re not the type of gal to enjoy eyewear that makes a statement, I would steer clear of this particular Native style; however, if you like something bold and flashy, this might be for you. They are big and round which is actually a huge pro because the size of the lenses blocks a lot of light (even on the bottom). I personally loved the look of the bronze reflex lenses, but they have practical use as well such as their ability to reduce glare and create increased color contrast which I will discuss in more detail in the “features” section below.
Firstly, it is important to note that these sunglasses are UV protected, but that, depending on the lens, the actual visible light transmittance (or amount of visible light allowed through) differs. For the bronze reflex lens, the VLT is 12% which is higher than a gray or blue lens; this means that more visible light is allowed through the lenses, making this particular style better suited for moderate to bright sunlight. I noticed this when testing these lenses in the shadier parts of the crag in Alabama as well as the foliage-filled trails of North Carolina and Tennessee in comparison to the direct sunlight on the ocean in South Carolina. The bronze reflex provided incredible contrast with the changing colors of the fall leaves and functioned well with the changing light of trail travel in the south (they protected my eyes on the tops of balds and open rock faces, but I could also leave them on when hiking under significant tree coverage). The reflex aspect also served well as a mirror for backcountry travel (I know I love gear with multiple functions!) I’m not one to carry a mirror with me on the trail, but I’m sure my fellow ladies know how handy it is to have a way to assess a random zit or free a piece of food from your teeth when on an extended backcountry trip. So, although this particular lens type has many pros for my use on the trail and at the crag, I would probably look for something with a lower VLT for frequent use on the water; additionally, if your regular adventures include snow travel, I would get a different lens as well to block more of that bright light.
Another feature I want to address is the Native case. The hard case is a lifesaver for me when on trips because it protects the glasses from getting stepped on, sat on, or shoved into a pack only to get crushed by a giant food bag. Personally, I don’t use the soft case because it adds an extra step when putting it away that isn’t worth my time, and it is not a good stand-alone case for all the reasons I just mentioned above.
Overall, the function and performance of the La Reina sunglasses really impressed me for all the activities I used them for. It seems hard to find sunglasses that are feminine in style but that also function well for the woman who wants to use them for more than just looking good while driving, yet I believe Native accomplished this need of active outdoor women with the La Reina’s. No, they should probably not be used on your monthly mountaineering sends or your daily whitewater rafting trips, but for regular trail travel, climbing trips, or even infrequent water and snow use, I think they are great!
According to Native, the frames are made of bio-based plant resin which is extremely lightweight and durable. Not only do these frames feel durable to the touch (literally such a huge quality difference from target sunglasses), they also have held up very well despite the frequent wear and the few times I’ve accidentally packed them poorly.
The La Reina sunglasses by Native are a perfect option for any woman who wants to incorporate style into her active outdoor and urban life. The pros include their versatility (can be worn on the trail or in the car), their durability, their clear color contrasting ability, and their snug yet comfortable fit. Some cons include the fact that they tend to fall off the top of the head and the higher visible light transmittance with the bronze reflex lenses that prevent their frequent use in the snow and on the water.