GUNNAR Phenom Amber Progressive Eyewear Review – A Whole New Way of Seeing Things

Having less than perfect vision is something I have been saddled with for most of my life.  As much as it is definitely not a laughing matter, those close to me know that I make the best of things and am somewhat of a comedy act.  Between my office, home, enthusiast toys, and work, I can dig up no less than three pairs of progressives, two sets of computer readers, three other sets of readers for restaurant visits and two pair of distance eyewear for driving.  Eye correction has always been less than ideal as I could never decide on what I wanted most….perfect near or distance vision. And then along came GUNNAR…

GUNNAR and I were first introduced at  a tech event in Las Vegas when a very nice gentleman pulled me over to the GUNNAR booth and started with the sales pitch.  I had to laugh as I immediately thought back to those ‘BluBlocker’ commercials of the early ‘90’s at Venice Beach.  Every time someone tried those glasses on, they reacted in utter amazement with, “Wow, these are unbelievable!”  The problem with the GUNNAR sales pitch, of course, was that I am tied to progressives and anything else just won’t work.  And then he said, “We can accommodate progressives as well.”  So there I was…just standing there.  I was hooked.  I removed my progressives and put on my readers as I had to get a better look at the GUNNAR eyewear he was holding.


GUNNAR patents themselves as a great solution for computer eyewear.  Their primary purpose is to reduce the highest intensity blue light that reaches the retina, creating eye strain (or computer vision syndrome) that results in such things as dry eyes, blurry vision, visual stress, eye fatigue and headaches.  In worst case scenarios, long term effects can include cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. GUNNAR lenses are available in amber (65% BLPF – Blue Light Protection Factor), Liquet (35% BLPF), Crystalline (10% BLPF) and Outdoor (90% BLPF).

Something I didn’t realize until studying GUNNAR optics, was that we blink much less when working behind the computer, and also that blue-light can reduce melatonin production which regulates proper sleep.  On a personal level, I spend several hours a day behind a PC screen for outside work, my own websites and the corporation.  I understand eye fatigue all too well and have experienced blurriness when moving from the PC to watching television on several occasions. Watery eyes are no stranger as well.


GUNNAR Rx lenses can be manufactured as readers, or in my case, office progressives.  The term office progressives entailed a rather lengthy discussion after the fact as I was looking for a single pair of glasses for all purposes, while they described these as having limited distance vision, fine-tuned for an office environment.  I was made to believe these might not accommodate truly outdoor use (with respect to progressives only) and, in fact, actually suggested that our report might not assist with their ultimate marketing hopes.  They talked me into it.  They, at the very least, deserve complete credit in their product confidence as I made it very clear that our report could just as easily become a very bad published report if these glasses were any less than described.


The GUNNAR Phenom frame is constructed of a very light onyx coloured aluminum-magnesium alloy and has rubber tipped temples which hug your head rather well.  Something I particularly like about these frames is that I could very easily bend the temple for the perfect fit.  They have hidden spring hinges and I find that the springs have better support than my 5 other pair of spring hinged glasses.  The glasses have adjustable nose pads which fit perfect straight out of the package.  The fit of these glasses is the absolute best I have worn to date, this including the Oakley’s that I have favored for years now which cost alot more than these GUNNAR’s.

The GUNNAR lens’ ARE NOT GLASS which still seems to upset some but it doesn’t bother me whatsoever. We are reviewing amber lens progressives which protect against 65% of blue light and 100% of UV light.  As these are progressives, I had to list my PD, upload my prescription and sort through the various available models for the perfect fit. The lens itself has beautiful clarity and focus, and as well, my peripheral vision when in front of my 3×27” monitors is amazingly clear.  I never expected this.  The lenses offer a medium index of refraction (1.51), have higher light transmission, are anti-reflective, and have a great hardened silicone scratch resistant coating which apparently maintains optical integrity over time.

The price of the Phenom glasses ranges from  $99 all the way up to $249 for the Progressive RX version we are reviewing today.  Frame colors available include Onyx, Graphite and Earth and these are available in amber, liquet, crystalline, liquet-transitions or work-play. Check Amazon pricing now!


I have been wearing these GUNNAR Phenoms for just about a week now.  They are without a doubt the best glasses I have ever had for look, fit, feel and vision. To say that I have received a compliment or two from my colleagues is an understatement.  They have an amazing and very unique look.  Most importantly, these glasses seem to have replaced all of my other glasses, including my driving glasses which, according to GUNNAR, might not be the case as these are centered in as office progressives. 

This would be the only time I have ever included my own picture in an article.  Amazing eyewear…

These glasses are now my sole reading glasses, every day progressives, computer glasses and outdoor glasses as well. I no longer find myself switching glasses whatsoever. The color spectrum the amber lenses produces is brighter and much more appealing, especially in our Northern Ontario climate with tons of snow. My eyes feel great.  When I first stated that I understood eye fatigue and blurriness all too well, I wasn’t kidding.  I literally put 8+ hours a day behind a screen.  These glasses make everything I do much more comfortable and I don’t miss having sore eyes at days end whatsoever.  The ONLY drawback that cannot be accounted for with any pair of glasses is our inept ability to forget where we put them down last. 

 GUNNAR…. Dare me to try out another set. Great product and Editors Choice.

Check Out GUNNAR Eyewear Pricing at Amazon.

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