Are you trying to decide between a pair of Costa sunglasses or Maui Jim? If you’ve got your eyes set on a new pair of sunglasses for fishing, you really can’t go wrong with either one! While there are many brands on the market to choose from, these two brands stand out above the rest. And depending on who you ask, you’ll get a different answer as to which brand is the best. I personally prefer Costa over Maui Jim! In fact, I was really suprised at how cheap I was able to buy the Costa Tuna Alleys (my favorite pair) from the listing on Amazon.
However, it’s not because I think that their lenses are so much clearer or anything like that. In fact, I won’t even be comparing the clarity (or lack of clarity) of each of their lenses. I have worn both Costa and Maui Jim sunglasses and feel that they are pretty much equal when it comes to how clear their lenses are.
In this article, I’ll try to answer this question not solely based on my personal experience, but rather hard evidence. I’ll be looking at their warranties, return policies, price, and selection. I’ll even compare how many positive reviews each has on Amazon.
Maui Jim vs Costa
Have you ever heard the saying “different strokes for different folks?” That’s how I would describe the debate over who makes the best sunglasses when it comes to Maui Jim and Costa Del Mar.
If I were to ask 100 different people which brand they liked best, I can almost guarantee you that about half would say Costa and the other half would say, Maui Jim.
I personally like Costa!
It’s not because Maui Jim makes a bad pair of sunglasses, it’s just that Costa was the first pair of expensive sunglasses that I ever owned, they fit my big head, and have never let me down.
Regardless of who your preferred sunglasses are, there is some hard evidence that might help to sway your mind in one direction or the other.
Let’s take a look!
Oh, and if you are in the market for a new pair of polarized sunglasses, make sure to check out this article that I wrote where I outline which lens colors work best for different fishing conditions as well as water colors.
How Do Their Lenses Compare
When it comes to lenses, each brand uses fancy terms in order to explain why their lenses are the best. For instance, Maui Jim claims that their lenses are infused with three rare earth elements, which boosts color and improves their clarity.
Costa on the other hands raves about their 580 sunglass lenses!
Here is what Costa claims in their own words: “Made through a high-tech beam ion deposition process, these multilayered thin film coatings make for the most scratch resistant mirrors out there. By bouncing reflected light away from the eye, they deliver superior contrast and color while enhancing visual acuity.”
I honestly don’t have a clue as to what any of this means, or even if it’s legit. All I know is that both Maui Jim and Costa’s lenses are polarized lenses, blocks your eyes from the suns harmful rays, which in turn limits eye strain, allowing you to keep fishing all day long.
Both also cut out the glare, which allows you to see things more clearly, even the fish that you’re trying to catch.
Each sunglass manufacturer also has a number of different colored lenses for different weather scenarios and fishing conditions.
Costa Del Mar Lenses
Costa Del Mar has a total of 7 different lens colors, each matched to a specific need from everyday use to sight fishing on the flats and deep sea fishing in blue water.
Their lenses come in both glass and polycarbonate.
Here is a video of Costa Del Mar making their case as to why their lenses are the best.
Maui Jim Lenses
While Maui Jim doesn’t have as many lens colors to choose from as with Costa sunglasses, they’re 4 different colors of lenses seem to cover most light conditions.
Maui Jims also offer a glass and polycarbonate lens as well as their relatively new MauiBrilliant lens technology.
Here is Maui Jim’s video showing why they feel they have the superior lens.
While I’ve used both brands of sunglasses while out on the water and in their respective colors, I honestly couldn’t tell a difference. In fact, if I’m being completely honest, I couldn’t tell a difference in clarity or color when compared to a cheap pair of Ozark Trail polarized sunglasses.
I’m not an eye doctor, so I can’t argue whether or not the claims that each has made are valid or not when it comes to their lens technologies and how they affect the health of your eyes.
All I can argue is what I saw (or didn’t see) when I wore them!
With that being said, as far as who makes the best lenses for fishing, I’m going to have to go Costa Del Mar on this one.
The main reason is that they have more of a selection when it comes to the color of their lenses and I feel that overall, they make their sunglass lenses with fishermen in mind whereas Maui Jim does not.
How Do Their Frames Compare
Just like with their lenses, both Maui Jim and Costa Del Mar have their own technologies when it comes to their sunglass frames.
Both manufacturers offer prescription-ready frames, so having your favorite sunglasses with your personal prescription won’t be a problem.
As far as their everyday frame selection, they both offer a wide range of choices. However, I will say that the majority of Costa frames seem to cater to fishermen, whereas Maui Jim seems to gear their sunglass frames more toward casual use.
I will say that as far as how they fit goes, the Costa Del Mars fit my big head much better than the Maui Jims did.
Costa Del Mar Frame Technology
Maui Jim Frame Technology
Both Maui Jim and Costa have a wide selection of sunglass frames to choose from, so finding a pair that fits your head and aligns with your style shouldn’t be a problem.
I personally like Costa frames better!
Not only do they fit my head better than the Maui Jims, but I just like their style better.
With that being said, I don’t feel that there is a clear winner here! Choose the pair that fits your face shape the best and you should be good to go.
Who Has The Best Warranty
If you’re paying several hundred dollars for a pair of sunglasses, they better have a damn good warranty, right?
However, you can’t expect Maui Jim or Costa to pay for or replace issues that you yourself caused such as dropping your glasses in Bass Pro Shop and shattering a lens because you forgot they were on your head when trying on a new hat. This was a true story that happened to yours truly!
With that being said, they should cover all issues related to poor materials and manufacturing.
Costa Del Mar Warranty
Unlike Maui Jim, Costa offers a “limited lifetime warranty”, as opposed to Maui Jim’s 2-year limited warranty.
The key to both of these is the term “limited!”
This warranty does not cover normal wear and tear, but only manufacturer defects. Here’s the kicker…they get to determine whether or not the issue is related to poor craftsmanship or normal wear and tear.
With that being said, here are the fees for Costa Del Mar repairs:
- Lens Replacement – $89.00 (Ex. Scratched, shattered or missing lens)
- Frames Repairs – $79.00 (Ex. Cracked, scratched, or loose frame. Integrated nosepad or rubber issues)
- Processing Fee – $11.95 (includes return shipping)
*The price that I listed for lens repairs is for their glass lenses. Their Polycarbonate lenses are a bit cheaper.*
The return process is pretty simple. You simply fill out an online form providing your sunglass model, issue, and credit card info.
Upon submittal, they will charge you for the processing fee, but will not charge for the repairs until they have determined whether or not they are covered by one of their limited warranties.
While you don’t have to provide your card information for the cost of repairs, it does make the whole process much faster.
When I had my lens fixed on my Costa Cortezes, it took about 3 weeks from the day that I shipped them out until I received them in the mail.
Maui Jim Warranty
I have to say that although I have never had to use Maui Jim’s warranty and even though it’s only a 2-year limited warranty as opposed to Costa’s limited lifetime warranty, I personally feel that Maui Jim wins hands down in this category.
While the process is very similar to Costa and the processing fee is about the same, that’s where the similarities end!
Here are Maui Jim’s Repair Fees:
- Lens Replacement – $75.00
- Full Frame Replacement – $50.00
- Nose Pads & Temples – Free
- Service Fee (includes return shipping) – $13.00
As you can see, not only are the cost of repairs cheaper with Maui Jim, but they even offer free nose pads and temples, as long as they have them in stock. Wow!
Although I haven’t had direct dealings with Maui Jim when it comes to repairs, I have done a little research and found that most people who have, raved about their experiences.
So, for who has the best warranty, I have to go with Maui Jim!
Who Has The Best Price
I went to Amazon and reviewed the prices of 10 different pairs of Costa sunglasses as well as Maui Jims and here’s what I found out.
The average price for a pair of Costa Del Mars with their 580g glass lens is roughly $187. In comparison, the Maui Jims average price was $209.
That’s a little over a $20 difference. In my opinion, that’s not really enough to say that Costa is the better bang-for-your-buck.
So, when it comes to price, there is no winner. They are both expensive as all get out.
Choosing between a pair of Maui Jims and Costa sunglasses is sort of like choosing between a Ford and a Chevy, or a Toyota to a Honda. You really can’t go wrong with either one! You will always have those that swear by their favorites and will never change their minds and that’s okay!
With that being said, I personally like Costa sunglasses! They were the first pair of quality sunglasses that I ever bought and have never let me down.
You will have to decide what is important to you (warranty, a variety of lenses, cost, etc) to help you make the decision of which one to go with.