If you are an active person, polycarbonate lenses usually are the best choice for your eyeglasses, sunglasses and sports eyewear.

Polycarbonate lenses are thinner and lighter than regular CR-39 plastic lenses. They also offer 100% protection from the sun’s harmful UV light and are up to 10 times more impact-resistant than plastic or glass lenses. Regular glass and plastic eyeglass lens materials can shatter upon violent contact in the same way that car safety glass does, which can cause serious injuries to your eyes and face.

Polycarbonate was developed in the 1970s for aerospace applications, and is currently used for the helmet visors of astronauts and for space shuttle windshields. Eyeglass lenses made of polycarbonate were introduced in the early 1980s in response to a demand for lightweight, impact-resistant lenses.  But polycarbonate lenses are safer for eyeglasses than traditional lens materials because they aren’t brittle. If struck by a fast-moving object such as balls, racquets or BBs they usually will NOT break.  (Caution: Do not test polycarbonate lenses by firing BBs or hurling objects at them while someone is wearing them! Polycarbonate lenses are highly impact resistant, but that doesn’t guarantee they are shatterproof.)

Since then, polycarbonate lenses have become the standard for safety glasses, sports goggles and children’s eyewear. Because they are less likely to fracture than regular plastic lenses, polycarbonate lenses also are a good choice for rimless eyewear designs where the lenses are attached to the frame components with drill mountings.


  • 25% thinner than plastic
  • Impact resistant
  • Absorbs 100% of UVA/UVB
  • Standard for drilled rimless frames