Comparison of Polycarbonate vs NXT
Posted on February 15, 2019
We often get asked what the major differences between Poly and NXT are, and why we choose to use NXT lenses in our sunglasses. Here are the reasons:
NXT lenses can be most closely compared to glass or mineral lenses when it comes to offering superior optical quality, but a lot of us know how expensive and fragile glass lenses can be which is why we use NXT. Polycarbonate lenses ten to be more prone to glare and poor visibility in varying light conditions.
Aside from offering better visual clarity than polycarbonate, NXT is also stronger, lighter and more impact resistant than polycarbonate, making it the perfect lens for outdoor adventures. Not to mention, NXT’s resistance to stress and cracking makes for a durable lens material when it comes to combatting the normal wear and tear sunglasses experience in everyday life.
So, in short, if you're looking for better clarity and vision than polycarbonate lenses—NXT is a great choice.
How They Are Made
A big difference between poly lenses and NXT is their manufacturing process. Polycarbonate lenses are injection molded. It is a quick process, resulting in a weaker material more likely to crack under stress. While NXT is made from a casting process, the material is filled into a cast and allowed to cure over time, several hours, before being removed.
This process of casting and creating NXT material was first developed by the military as an advanced plastic to be used as a visual armor in helicopter and fighter jets; the requirements for a new visual shield were to be extremely impact-, temperature- and chemical-resistant while providing optimal clarity, which is why we chose to switch to NXT from Zeiss poly lenses back in 2018.
After a decade of testing and development in the military aircraft field, the NXT material made its way into the eyewear industry, first in safety glasses and eye protection because of its impact and chemical resistant properties and then into the sport and fashion sunglasses world.
What About Glass?
It goes without saying that NXT is more impact-resistant than glass, which is important especially when it comes to sports sunglasses. But that's not the only benefit that NXT has over glass lenses. There are a few reasons to skip glass lenses in favor of NXT. Learn more about the difference between glass and NXT lenses for sunglasses.
Why We Choose NXT
Because of these superior attributes, Breakline Optics has chosen NXT as our standard lens. Combined with our polarization process and our anti-fogging technology, NXT lenses are the best lenses in the sport, fishing, and active lifestyle eyewear industry. And as an active-lifestyle eyewear brand, Breakline was created to put together the toughest (and best looking) shades on the market, while still providing the optical clarity required for not just UV protection, but to actually enhance your visual performance.
Since NXT lenses are lighter than polycarbonate lenses, we think that they're more comfortable to wear all day—and that's not just, like, our opinion, man. Check out reviews of Breakline sunglasses to hear what others have to say.
Some might say that the drawback with NXT lenses is the cost, but that’s not the case with us. NXT is our standard lens, we don’t sell polycarbonate as a base lens and then upcharge for this unique and superior material. We don’t hide NXT from our customers or act like we invented it and give it a special name. Side by side, NXT is clearer and stronger than polycarbonate, period, and that's why we use it. From snobby, glass-wearing fly casters, take our word for it and give it a try.
More Questions About NXT Lenses
Are NXT Lenses Scratch-Resistant?
Like most premium sunglasses, our NXT lenses feature a scratch-resistant coating. BUT now is the perfect time for us to remind you that there are NO sunglasses out there that are completely immune to scratches. Poor handling is the number one cause of scratches and our blog post How to Take Care of You Sunglasses can help extend the life of your sunglasses—because they're a vital piece of equipment that needs to be treated as such.
Do Polycarbonate or NXT block UV Rays Better?
Polycarbonate and NXT lenses both block 100 percent of the sun's UV rays.
Are NXT or Polycarbonate Photochromic lenses?
Both NXT and Polycarbonate are photochromic, meaning that they adjust to the lighting around you. HOWEVER, the downside to photochromic poly lenses is that because of the poly material the photochromic qualities only last for a year or so, while NXT's photochromic qualities last as long as you are taking proper care of them.
What factors go into sunglasses that are optimized for fishing?
If you're looking for the best sunglasses for fishing, you'll care about a few key factors: fit, lens technology, frame technology, and brand promises. Our article Mirrored vs. Non-Mirrored Lenses: What's Best For Fishing covers a lot of that but we think that our sunglasses, made with top-notch technology and made with front-facing and peripheral vision in mind are the best sunglasses on the market, especially for the price.