Transitions Lenses Comparison
There are three main types of Transitions lenses:
1) Transitions (also known as “Transitions VI” or referred to as standard Transitions)
2) Transitions XTRActive
3) Transitions Vantage
In SportRx lingo, we call Regular Transitions Light Reactive; Transitions Xtra Active is called Light Reactive Plus; and Transitions Vantage is referred to as Light Reactive Polar. I’ve modeled the three different types in some big, goofy frames to show you how each looks at the light, medium, and dark stages.
Standard Transitions Lenses/Light Reactive
The standard Transition lenses go from clear to a medium grey or brown. These lenses are only activated by UV light, so they do not tint at all in the car behind a windshield. They don’t get very dark, but the biggest benefit is that they become completely clear at night or indoors.
Transitions XTRActive Lenses/Light Reactive Plus
The Transitions XTRActive lens is my personal favorite and is quickly becoming a tremendously popular option. It’s the type that we use in our pre-built Day & Night lenses. Transitions XTRActive goes from almost-clear while indoors or at night, with just a slight tint. However, they completely darken outside in the sun, turning into a real, legit sunglass. The main concern that people have with standard Transitions lenses is that they don’t get dark enough in the sun; so the Light Reactive Plus really takes care of that problem. Another great thing is that the Transitions XTRActive lens is activated by both UV light and available light. Therefore, they become somewhat tinted in the car, giving you more protection as you’re driving.
Transitions Vantage Lenses/Light Reactive Polar
The Transitions Vantage lens has the coolest technology. It goes from almost-clear when indoors like the XTRActive, to a medium tint like the standard Transitions. The really cool part is it becomes polarized when it tints. So it actually goes from non-polarized to polarized, which is truly unique. What this breakthrough technology does is it properly aligns the transition molecules in order to create a polarized filter. Nevertheless, because XTRActive lenses get darker and are less expensive, I personally favor XTRActive as the best option.
Which Transitions Lenses Are Best for My Sport?
This is one of the most commonly asked questions I get. For people who do water sports, the Vantage is nice because it actually becomes polarized, cutting glare from when the sun hits the water. However for most athletes, bicycle commuters, and for overall general use, XTRActive is pretty phenomenal.
Additional Tip: Something I like to do with transitions is add an anti-reflective coating, especially to the Transitions XTRActive. The anti-reflective coating helps make the lens look even clearer at night and indoors, so you can pretty much get away with using them as your everyday glasses. This way, you get an extra-wide range of light transmission.