by Shawn Skipper - Wednesday, October 18, 2017
I've worn glasses my entire life. I didn't quite come out of the womb with them on, but it didn't take long for my family to realize that—much like dozens of my relatives before me—I had below average vision. A trip to the optometrist later confirmed that I'd be a regular eyeglass owner for the remainder of my life. That was nearly 25 years ago, now, and my eyes haven't gotten any since. In that time I've donned frames and lenses from countless companies, in a bevy of styles. Some have worked with my active, outdoor lifestyle. Others haven't. And for years I'd struggled to find a set of prescription sunglasses that I was happy with. That changed recently, when I had the opportunity to work with the folks from SportRX.
SportRX is an online eyewear retailer that’s based in southern California. It was founded in 1996 by a group of opticians that enjoyed the great outdoors—they rode bikes, ran races, went skiing and so forth. And they struggled to find eyewear that could stand up to an active lifestyle. If you’re a hunter that wears glasses, you’ve probably run into the same problem. I know I have. I found it refreshing to work with a company that was founded by folks with very similar concerns—it allows for learned, empathetic service.
At its core, SportRX is a retailer with a very specific purpose. The company offers eyewear from 45 different brands on its website, with an endless array of options when it comes to lenses and the like. No matter how specific your need may be, odds are SportRX will be able to set you up with the right gear. Where the company separates itself from the pack, though, is in its customer service.
Every order that goes through SportRX is directly addressed by an optician—an optician that is ABO (American Board of Opticianry) certified, at that. That happens no matter how you may submit your order. If you call SportRX, you’ll be connected to an optician directly. If you use the website’s live-chat feature, you’ll be talking to (you guessed it) an optician. If you simply enter your information into the website’s order form, your order will be flagged for optician approval before being submitted to the lab. SportRX handles orders in such a hands-on way in order to ensure maximum quality. If the reviewing optician spots anything that could be problematic (like a prescription that seems wonky), they’ll make note of it and reach out to the customer. It’s an excellent quality control measure, and one you’re not going to get with many companies.
When I placed my order with SportRX, I worked directly with an optician. Coincidentally, I’d recently had my annual eye exam, so I was able to provide my optician with my prescription, straight away. I then detailed exactly what I was looking for—sunglasses that were an ideal fit for a hunter. I needed something tough, but also lightweight. Frames that were subtle and wouldn’t produce a glare if the sun caught them the right way. The last thing I needed was a bird or big game animal being spooked by my eyewear. And I needed lenses that would help me see through early-morning light, but weren’t dark enough to keep from me from maybe missing an antler tine in the brush. It was a tall order, but the optician I worked with was happy to hear me out.
The end result is pictured above: Frames from Randolph Engineering, paired with what SportRX calls its “Hunter” lenses. They often recommend amber or yellow tint when working with hunters, and my sunglasses are no different. I’ve found them to be an excellent fit for all field conditions.
With 45 brands available, there’s no shortage of frames to choose from. That said, I have a rather extreme prescription (my eyes are awful), so I had a bit of a limited selection to work with. That’s on me, though. The average eyeglass wearer will have plenty of frames and lenses to pick from. SportRX often recommends Randolph Engineering and Wiley-X to those looking for prescription sunglasses to wear when going hunting or shooting. Both brands are built to survive whatever outdoorsmen and women might throw at them.
When it comes to eyewear when hunting, that's no real perfect fit. We can't always control the conditions we're hunting in. But if you're looking to get as close to perfect as you can get, SportRX is a good place to start. Excellent customer service and a broad selection of products make for a winning combination.
For more information, go to SportRX.com.
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