A hard shell sunglasses case is a protective cover designed to safeguard eyewear from physical damage and scratches. Constructed from durable materials like polycarbonate or metal, it offers a snug fit, ensuring glasses remain in place, especially during travel or when stored in bags. Such cases extend the longevity of sunglasses and provide peace of mind.
Table of Contents
Types of Sunglasses Cases
Soft pouches vs. Hard shell cases
- Material: Typically made from microfiber or soft cloth.
- Price: Generally cheaper, ranging from $2 to $10 depending on quality and brand.
- Functionality: Primarily to protect lenses from dust and minor scratches.
- Size and Specs: Portable and lightweight. Standard sizes are around 6 inches in length and 3 inches in width.
- Lightweight and easy to carry.
- Often comes free with sunglasses.
- Does not offer protection from crushing or heavy impacts.
- Limited design options.
Hard Shell Cases
- Material: Usually constructed from hard plastic, metal, or reinforced fabric.
- Price: More expensive, ranging from $10 to $50.
- Functionality: Designed to protect sunglasses from physical damage, especially during travels.
- Size and Specs: Bulky compared to soft pouches. Average size around 7 inches in length and 4 inches in width.
- Provides superior protection against impacts.
- Many come with a form-fitting interior for better protection.
- Heavier and takes up more space.
- Generally pricier than soft pouches.
Different materials used in hard shell cases
- Cost: Moderate, with average prices of $20.
- Properties: Lightweight, resistant to many chemicals, and easy to mold into various designs.
- Durability: Generally lasts 2-5 years with regular use.
- Cost: Expensive, with prices starting from $30 and can go up to $70 for designer brands.
- Properties: Heavier than plastic, but offers excellent protection.
- Durability: Can last over 10 years if well-maintained.
- Cost: Moderate to expensive, ranging from $15 to $55.
- Properties: Can be as tough as plastic but lighter in weight. Often comes with a zipper or magnetic closure.
- Durability: 3-7 years depending on maintenance and usage.
Pros and cons of various designs
- Cost: Generally costs around $25.
- Advantages: Offers a complete seal, preventing dirt or small particles from entering.
- Disadvantages: Zippers can malfunction or break with frequent use.
- Cost: Typically around $30.
- Advantages: Easy to open and close, less likely to break compared to zippers.
- Disadvantages: Might not close fully if the case is overstuffed.
- Cost: Prices start at $20.
- Advantages: Simple design, long-lasting.
- Disadvantages: Does not offer a tight seal compared to zippers or magnetic closures.
Features to Consider When Choosing a Hard Shell Case
Size and Fit
- Small: Ideal for reading glasses or smaller sunglasses frames. Typically measures 5.5 inches in length and 2 inches in width.
- Medium: For most standard sunglasses. Average dimensions are 6.5 inches by 3 inches.
- Large: Suits oversized sunglasses or wrap-around styles. Roughly 7.5 inches in length and 3.5 inches in width.
A case with an exact fit offers maximum protection, ensuring the sunglasses remain in place and minimizing potential damage due to jostling.
Interior Lining and Cushioning
- Cost: Premium priced at around $40 for cases with this lining.
- Benefits: Soft to touch, prevents scratches on lenses, and offers an elegant look.
- Lifespan: With proper care, can last up to 7 years.
- Cost: Mid-range, approximately $25-$35.
- Benefits: Provides shock absorption, which further protects sunglasses from drops or impacts.
Locking Mechanisms or Zippers
- Cost: Generally add an extra $5-$10 to the case price.
- Lifespan: With daily use, can last up to 3 years.
- Efficiency: Offer a nearly airtight seal, preventing any dust or particles from entering.
- Cost: Cheaper by around $3 compared to metal zippers.
- Lifespan: Lasts about 2 years with regular use.
- Efficiency: Might not be as smooth as metal zippers but serve the basic purpose of securing the case.
- Cost: Adds approximately $7-$12 to the base price.
- Efficiency: Quick to open and close. However, may not provide a seal as tight as zippers.
Portability and Carrying Options
- Cost: An additional $2-$5 on standard cases.
- Functionality: Allows users to attach the case to belts, making it easily accessible.
- Cost: Roughly an added $3-$7.
- Functionality: Perfect for travelers or those on the go. Can clip onto backpacks, purses, or belts.
- Cost: Adds about $1-$3 to the base price.
- Functionality: Provides an easy carrying option, especially when one’s hands are full.
Benefits of a Hard Shell Sunglasses Case
Protection against Physical Damage
A typical hard shell case can withstand pressures up to 50 kg without deforming. This resistance prevents the sunglasses inside from getting crushed, even if someone accidentally sits on them or places a heavy object on the case.
Most hard shell cases use materials such as polycarbonate, which has a tensile strength of around 55-75 MPa. This ensures that the case remains intact even after accidental drops or bangs.
Keeping Lenses Scratch-Free
Inner Lining Quality
The interior of hard shell cases often features a soft lining, such as velvet or microfiber, which prevents direct contact between the lenses and any hard surface, reducing the risk of scratches.
Cases designed to fit snugly around the sunglasses ensure that the eyewear doesn’t move around when the case is shaken or dropped. This minimizes the potential for scratches or other lens damage.
Extended Longevity of Sunglasses
By using a hard shell case, users can extend the lifespan of their sunglasses by 3-5 years, resulting in a potential savings of $100-$300 over time, considering the cost of replacing high-quality sunglasses.
Protection from Environmental Factors
Hard shell cases provide a sealed environment that protects sunglasses from humidity, dust, and UV exposure, factors that can degrade lens quality and frame integrity over time.
Peace of Mind When Traveling
Ease of Transportation
With the compact design of most hard shell cases, travelers can easily fit them into backpacks, carry-ons, or even handbags, ensuring their sunglasses remain protected throughout the journey.
Security from Theft
Some premium hard shell cases come with lock mechanisms, reducing the chances of someone easily stealing the sunglasses.
Popular Brands and Models
Overview of Leading Brands in the Market
Ray-Ban, an iconic eyewear brand, offers hard shell cases that mirror the quality and style of their sunglasses. The brand has been in the eyewear industry since 1936 and is well-regarded for both its sunglasses and accompanying accessories.
- Materials Used: Premium leather and high-quality plastics.
- Average Price: $20 – $40 depending on the design and materials.
- Key Feature: Often features the iconic Ray-Ban logo, emphasizing authenticity.
Oakley stands out for its sports-oriented designs. Their cases are not just stylish but also functional, catering to the needs of athletes and outdoor enthusiasts.
- Materials Used: Reinforced nylon, rubber, and high-impact plastics.
- Average Price: $25 – $50.
- Key Feature: Many cases come with belt loops or carabiner clips for easy carrying during outdoor activities.
Breakdown of Top-Rated Models
Ray-Ban Leather Case
- Design: Classic fold-over design with a magnetic closure.
- Size: 6.5 inches in length, 3 inches in width.
- Price: Around $35.
- Special Features: Soft inner lining to prevent scratches, embossed Ray-Ban logo.
Oakley Ellipse O Case
- Design: Hardshell with a zip closure.
- Size: 7 inches in length, 3.5 inches in width.
- Price: Approximately $45.
- Special Features: Comes with a carabiner clip, making it suitable for attaching to backpacks or belts.
Customer Reviews and Feedback
Ray-Ban Leather Case
- Average Rating: 4.7 out of 5 from 1,200 reviews.
- Positive Feedback: Users appreciate the luxurious feel of the leather and the snug fit for their sunglasses.
- Areas of Improvement: Some users mentioned that the case can be a bit bulky for smaller purses or pockets.
Oakley Ellipse O Case
- Average Rating: 4.5 out of 5 from 800 reviews.
- Positive Feedback: Many users praised its durability and the handy carabiner clip.
- Areas of Improvement: A few reviewers found the zipper could be smoother in operation.