If you grew up in the 80s, you’ll undoubtedly remember two brands of cheap sunglasses being advertised on TV: Ambervision and BluBlockers. In Florida, you can never have too many pairs of sunglasses. So, when I recently spotted BluBlocker Vipers in a small red box on the shelves of my local CVS drugstore, I immediately bought them. At $14.99, the BluBlocker High Resolution Wide Angle Sunglasses were a very affordable addition to my collection.
According to the BluBlocker packaging, BluBlocker Vipers offer “quality frame construction” and are “the original BluBlocker high resolution sunglasses.” The packaging also claims that BluBlocker Vipers exceed “ANSI special purpose UV requirements” and that they block “all the sun’s dangerous UV and blue light rays.” The packaging also claims that BluBlockers adjust to “all weather conditions” and that they reduce glare and eliminate “eye strain and squinting.” While I don’t have sophisticated lab equipment to test all the BluBlocker claims, in this review, I can provide my subjective impression of BluBlocker Viper sunglasses.
First, let’s look at the style and ergonomics of BluBlocker Vipers. The box claims that BluBlockers provide “quality frame construction.” I would generally agree. The BluBlocker frames are made of a heavy duty plastic with textured black rubber pads to comfort the bridge of the nose and similar rubber inserts to pad the area where the frames squeeze the head behind the ears. BluBlocker sunglasses also have a small Philips Head screw to secure each of the hinges. The plastic used in the frames and for the lenses seems fairly rugged, but flexible, and in keeping with expectations for low-cost sunglasses. Some cheap sunglasses collect fingerprints and stains. However, the BluBlockers seemed to be fairly fingerprint resistant and cleaned easily with a T-shirt. Unlike HD Vision WrapArounds, BluBlockers are not made to fit over glasses and are not oversized sunglasses. While they fit me and they do wrap around with side windows, these BluBlockers were just a little tight on my big head. I’d recommend trying them on before making your purchase.
BluBlockers are supposed to block out the sun’s “dangerous UV and blue light rays.” As I write this, I do notice that my blue-denim couch appears all black while I wear BluBlocker sunglasses. Looking around our apartment, it is obvious that BluBlockers do indeed have the effect of blocking blue light. Outside, BluBlocker sunglasses give everything a very pronounced orange/yellowish tint. In general, this tint makes images seen through BluBlockers appear much brighter than those seen through traditional sunglasses. Since BluBlockers deliver brighter images, wearers can see more detail. Thus, I would say that BluBlockers do seem to deliver “higher resolution” than regular sunglasses. The orange/yellow tint does take some getting used to while driving. Yellow lights and yellow turn signals are not obvious to my eyes when I wear BluBlockers. However, in a bright yellow world, I don’t experience the drowsiness that dark glasses may cause.
Next, BluBlocker Sunglasses are supposed to adjust to all weather conditions. I did not find that the tint of BluBlockers changed in response to weather conditions. Inside the house, BluBlockers admit enough light for wearers to see well and perform household tasks. In overcast conditions, BluBlocker sunglasses give the sky an orange-reddish post nuclear twilight glow. In very bright sunny conditions, BluBlockers help and do reduce glare somewhat. However, in bright sunshine, BluBlockers almost admit too much light. You can wear BluBlockers under almost any weather conditions and still see. However, I don’t think that BluBlockers actually adjust to all weather conditions.
Finally, BluBlockers are supposed to reduce eyestrain and squinting. I still find myself squinting while wearing BluBlockers in very bright sunlight. While I think they are more effective than HD Vision HD WrapAround sunglasses, BluBlockers are not my first choice in my arsenal of sunglasses on the brightest of sunny days. When I wear traditionally tinted cheap sunglasses, I find that I experience less eyestrain and squinting than when I wear BluBlocker sunglasses. However, when I wear traditional sunglasses in slightly less bright conditions, I experience more dark-induced fatigue than I do when wearing BluBlockers.
In my opinion, BluBlocker sunglasses are a fairly good product for $14.99. They are a little more expensive than HD Vision WrapArounds, but about $5 cheaper than competing drugstore sunglasses and about $10 cheaper than competing name-brand sunglasses. While BluBlockers are not the best sunglasses in the brightest of conditions, they are great on partly cloudy days. Overall, BluBlocker Vipers are an affordable addition to any pile of cheap sunglasses and do prove useful in many conditions.