Ray Ban vs. Maui Jim Sunglasses

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Difference between Ray Ban and Maui Jim

In the world of sunglasses, Ray Ban is of course a name that needs no introduction. A true classic that has stood the test of time, Ray Ban is one of those brands that has the distinction of being a cultural icon. Maui Jim hasn't quite achieved the same status, although it is popular enough in its own right to warrant a comparison with Ray Ban, as we do here.

Ray Ban
Maui Jim


Ray-Ban is a high-end brand of sunglasses, which was developed by Bausch & Lomb in 1937. The brand was developed for the United States Army Air Corporations, and the company was sold to the Luxottica Group in 1999 for a reputed sum of $640 million.

Maui Jim is a brand of luxury sunglasses manufactured in Peoria, Illinois. All Maui Jim sunglasses come with polarized lenses that block UV rays, and most feature a sporty, ocean-based theme.


Ray-Bans were first developed in 1937, after Bausch & Lomb was commissioned by Lieutenant John MacCready to creature sunglasses that provided adequate protection and looked elegant at the same time. MacReady had previously come from a balloon-flying trip during which he claimed that the sun had caused permanent damage to his eyes Bausch & Lomb obliged, and took out a patent for the sunglasses on May 7, 1937. The company came out with a prototype called Anti-Glare, which featured a lightweight frame that weighed only 150 grams. These glasses featured the now familiar gold-plated metal with green lenses, which were made out of mineral glass that effectively filtered out infrared and ultraviolet rays. The United States Army Air Corps was quick to use the sunglasses.

Maui Jim for its part was introduced on the hotel pool decks in Maui, Hawaii. Among its most distinctive features were gray polarized lenses that did not distort color. The brand was first released in the mainland in 1988, and due to a combination of aggressive marketing and distribution soon became one of the leading brands in the action sports and optical scene.


While Ray-Ban Aviator sunglasses were widely embraced by the buying public almost as soon as they were released, it was the General Douglas MacArthur’s use of them that caused it to really take off in sales. Pictures of MacArthur landing on the beach in Leyte in the Philippines during World War II showed him wearing these sunglasses, and along with numerous other famous wearers throughout history ensured Ray-Ban’s place as a cultural icon.

Maui Jim was originally based in Lahaina, Hawaii, but the subsequent purchase of RLI Vision in December 1996 resulted in a move to Peoria. The brand has achieved a respectable stature as a product that offers excellent value for money, and has in fact been listed in Forbes Magazine as one of “100 Things Worth Every Penny”.

Similarities and Differences

Ray Ban

  • A high-end brand of sunglasses developed by Bausch & Lomb in 1937.
  • First model featured a lightweight frame that weighed only 150 grams
  • Something of a cultural icon

Maui Jim

  • A brand of luxury sunglasses manufactured in Peoria, Illinois
  • Most models feature a sporty, ocean-based theme


Discuss It: comments 8

  • Guest
  • Cheap oakleys wrote on December 2011

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I had a hard time deciding b/t RB's and MJ's. I ultimately went with RB's due to MJ's being so pricey (RB's aren't THAT much cheaper either though) but then again, MJ's are worth the price. I agree with the writer in that MJ's are more of a sporty look which also played into my decision since I was going for more of an aviator look, in fact, I think the RB pictured above is the exact ones I bought hahaha. I'm really enjoying my RB's right now but Im sure if I went with MJ that I wouldnt be complaining either. Overall, can't go wrong with both!

  • Guest
  • ND wrote on August 2015

i believe the above report about ray ban sunglasses are bias the real true is that Maui Jim USES better tech on polarization . I USE BOTH i by far prefer Maui Jim. People sold to the name and not to the tech of manufacturing the lenses , just like the Zeiss optics versus Lights optics they glamorize the Zeiss, in reality ,Lincoln Lab and MIT OF MA USES LIGHTS OPTICS for space research.

  • Guest
  • ellen radke wrote on December 2016

I have a used pair of Maui Jim ladies sunglasses. I have researched on google and tried to contact them by the # I found on google. Neither one is a current listing. They are the LEHUA design. I feel they are authenic but would like to see a photo of a fake. I also wonder if knowing the weight of the glasses would help identify them?

  • Guest
  • Brer Rabbit wrote on January 2018

Ray Bans are OK 'til you need service .

  • Guest
  • Brer Rabbit wrote on January 2018

RBs r ok 'til u need service

  • Guest
  • Richard Thompson wrote on January 2018

I purchased 2 pair Ray through Lenscrafters in Foley Al , both of their lenses bubbled-up within the year. Neither Ray Ban nor Lenscrafters denied my claim or warranty . They asked if I had been wearing them outside..in the sun . No Kidding. Witnesses.

  • Guest
  • Steven Brian wrote on November 2021

Eyes are delicate parts in our body if anything happens to them we will be useless, so we must protect our eyes by wearing cheap polarized sunglasses online in premium quality.

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