Trivex vs Polycarbonate: What's the difference? – Optic Nerve

Trivex vs Polycarbonate: What's the difference?

Trivex vs Polycarbonate...What's the difference?

Polycarbonate Lenses 

What are polycarbonate lenses?

Polycarbonate lenses are more durable, lightweight, and offer better clarity of vision compared to a base level lens. They also offer guaranteed UV protection and are more affordable than Trivex making them a favorite option for many! 

After entering the market in the 80's, polycarbonate lenses have become the standard for all children’s and sports eyewear, as well as commercial safety glasses. Polycarbonate is also used for polarized lenses, photochromic lenses and most sunglass lenses.

Trivex Lenses

What are Trivex Lenses?

Originally used by the military for fighter jet windshields and other military applications, Trivex is famously one of the most durable materials on the market. In general Trivex performs similarly to polycarbonate in terms of their weight, durability index and UV protection.

The Difference:

The key difference that sets the two materials apart however, insofar as providing an optimum eyewear experience, is that Trivex lenses have a higher ABBE LEVEL. This is because they are made up of a urethane-based monomer, which refracts less light. Materials with a higher Abbe value provide clearer and crisper visual clarity.


What this means in real terms is; when lenses are made of materials with a lower Abbe value there can be certain aberrations depending on conditions. The wearer may notice fuzzy or rainbow halos around lights. Because of its high Abbe value therefore, Trivex lenses can offer a better optical experience than polycarbonate lenses. This is especially the case for those with higher prescriptions, as the severity of the aberrations tend to increase with stronger prescriptions.


Do you have more questions? Contact our In-House expert, Tom Fox at or give us a call at (303) 462-0444