Jun 01, 2016

Your New Favorite Sunglasses: An Under $10 Pair that Fits Every Man, Every Time (and How to Make Them Better)

created at: 05/31/2016

There's definitely a case to be made for the investment pair of sunglasses. That classic, quality pair that works with everything from a tuxedo to swim trunks and sandals. That pair that you're a little hesitant to spend the money on at first because you're used to losing your gas station glasses all the time, but find, once you own them, that you actually seem to keep track and take care of them at all times

We love that pair of sunglasses. But we also know that summer brings a lot of real adventures. Like, if you're doing these long days and warm temps right, there are actually dozens of times where a high-end pair doesn't make sense. Like any time you're in the woods, a mountain, the desert, on a bicycle or other human-powered transportation, or any time you're moving about near, on, or in a large body of water.

That's when you just need the everyday pair of glasses. A go-to, a standard, an option you can get in both brown and black and a slightly ambitious color for when you really want to embrace the season. That pair that you don't want to lose, but will gladly take on a backpacking trip or roller coaster. That pair that costs only $10ish bucks, but looks like they were made to fit on your face.

So, gentlemen, here's your new pair of standard, inexpensive sunglasses: the Gammy Ray Cheaters. They're polarized, styled after the classic Wayfarer design, and available on Amazon Prime with two-day shipping. I first learned about them last summer on Primer, and having spent a year with them, I've since ordered three more pairs. They're thicker, more comfortable, and way more stylish than the generic pairs you'll find at the discount store. 

And? They come in more than twenty different colors, styles, and combinations, and they cost under $7.00. That's right. You can get three pairs in a variety of colors for about $20. Sure, they're made in China, not Italy, but the proportions are great, they'll fit almost any face shape, and did I mention they cost $6.94?

Except there's one problem: in an effort to make them Ray Ban-alike, there's a bit scripty, metallic "Cheaters" emblazoned on the side.

For many of us, that's not a big deal, cause who's looking that close at your sunglasses anyway? But for those for whom branding is always a little annoying, you can fix it. Here's how: 

created at: 05/31/2016

You can take off the decals with mineral spirits. Easily, and with no harm to the plastic itself. Mineral spirits are a standard petroleum distillate that any ManMaker can find a use for in the workshop. So if you don't already have some, it's worth picking up a can next time you're at the hardware store. 

created at: 05/31/2016

Just soak a paper towel in them a bit, and start rubbing away. It'll take a minute for the spirits to get inside the recessed logo, but you'll notice when the ink starts to disappear. Continue until gone.


created at: 05/31/2016

Once the gold or silver is gone, you'll still be able to see the etched logo a bit, but it's much less noticeable, especially after these start to get scratched up a bit with regular wear. And even if you can see the etching, it's definitely not gold, and that's good with me. 


created at: 05/31/2016

On this colorless pair (as opposed to the high contrast black), it's nearly impossible to make out what it says. And even if you can, who cares? For those of use less interested in drawing attention to our accessories, you simply end up with a classic look for $7 that you can risk if you happen to end up on a kayak or standup paddle board or high dive this summer. Which, if you're playing your cards right, you most certainly should. 


created at: 05/31/2016

ManMade Recommended: Gamma Ray Cheaters Polarized Sunglasses: ~ $7.00 on Amazon Prime



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bruno on May 27, 2017:

@michael - thanks for the tip! I need to order another pair of these, so I'll check back in and let you know if I find the same thing.

Michael on May 25, 2017:

Ordered these a year ago upon your recommendation. Loved them. Just received a second pair today and the quality has dropped off unfortunately, fyi. Let me know if you or anyone else finds otherwise.

bruno on Jun 22, 2016:

@Jacob - thanks for the update! Good to hear others have found them to be as good as we have.

Jacob on Jun 21, 2016:

Ordered three pairs after reading this to take to the beach last week as our whole family is always breaking and losing sun glasses.  I'm really impressed with the quality so far.  Much less stressful wearing these out in to the waves vs. my real ray-bans, and for polarized glasses, you can't beat the price. The lenses on previous cheap polarized glasses i've purchased always seemed to get ruined, but these held up really nicely in the salt water.  Definitely recommend.  Now you guys need to do a post on opinel knives - French made, under $15 bucks, and the same classic style used by the likes of hemingway, etc.

Dylan on Jun 03, 2016:

Heads up, I think they changed the logo paint job - because Mineral Spirits didn't work for me. However Goo Off took them off quickly. Thanks!

bruno on Jun 02, 2016:

Yes. I have two pair of these and they're great. They fit my face, don't look stupid, and if I lose a pair (or sit on them), it's not a big deal. For a chronic sunglasses-misplacer/abuser like me, that's a really good thing.