What To Look For When Buying Polarized Sunglasses
Before you start shopping, know your budget. Santini warns that quality glasses will not be inexpensive. That being said, a cheap pair will still get the job done. So if youre hard on glasses or have a tendency to lose them, opt for a pair that wont break the bank.
Youll also want to think about purpose. Are you looking for a stylish, everyday pair of sunglasses or something activity specific? For instance, if youre an athlete, you may want sunglasses with a wrap fit as opposed to something super stylish that can slide off your face.
Once youve selected your frames, its onto lenses. Some brands offer a choice between glass or polycarbonate lenses. Santini calls glass lenses the high standard. Glass lenses offer the best clarity and they wont scratch or warp. Polycarbonate lenses, on the other hand, are more impact-resistant, meaning they wont shatter if dropped, making them the better option for athletes.
Best For Hiking: 7eye Airshield Ventus
Courtesy of 7Eye
Eye cup won’t let in dust, dirt, or wind
Doesn’t fit larger faces
Foam is tough to clean
Dr. Plowman recommends 7Eye frames for how they protect your eyes. They “wrap nicely around your eyes,” he says. “They keep out dust, debris, pollen, and wind. This means your eyes won’t get sore while hiking or skiing.” The brand also has a collection of sunglasses made just for people with dry eyes, which should block out air and hold in moisture. Best of all, you can get them in polarized and prescription variations on most models.
Price at time of publish: $119
Lens Width: 61 millimeters | Nose Bridge Width: 16 millilmeters | Polarized: Yes |Unisex: Yes
What Sunglasses Look Best On My Face Shape
Look for frames that are proportional to your face, says Dianne Vavra, founder of the lifestyle shop Vavra New York in Huntington, NY, and a collector of vintage sunglasses. The most important thing when choosing a new pair is your shape face, she says. Once you determine this, the rest is easy. Her tips:
If you have a round face , Vavra recommends rectangular or square frames to balance your oval shape. Square face shapes, with a strong jawline and broad forehead, do best with round, cat-eye or Aviator-style sunglasses to soften the angular lines. If you have a heart-shaped face, with a wider forehead and narrow chin, go for round, Aviator-styles or pairs that are wider at the top than bottom. Oval faces, that are long and narrow, look great with a classic Wayfarer style , in addition to cat eye and oversized shapes, so as theyre not too wide than your face.
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If You Wear Prescriptions
Gear editor Julian Chokkattu loves JINS. He says that even after years of use, the original pair he got in Japan is still pristine. Now he has used and recommends the Switch systemthanks to the tinted, magnetic toppers, you’ll have sunglasses when you need them and regular glasses when you don’t.
The two magnets on each end of the frame are strong. Chokkattu says they never detached until he purposefully took them off, so you don’t have to worry about them falling off. When you don’t need sunnies, slip them into their little pouch. He says he wished the pink pair he tried had a darker tint, but they still provided adequate protection from the sun.
Recycling Note: The JINS Revive program allows you to send in your old eyeglasses to get the lenses replaced with any purchase without additional charges, so fewer frames are being tossed. While you can’t get sunglasses made this way, the offer is still available if you’re purchasing these frames we like. Just make sure to click Add Revive at checkout.
Why You Should Buy Sunglasses
On top of the aforementioned reasons causing an increased popularity for sunglasses, there are some specific reasons to consider sporting a pair regularly.
Help prevent cancer and disease. Brissette said long-term exposure to UV radiation in sunlight is linked to cancers of the eye either on the eyelid, around the eye or on the eyeball itself as well as other conditions like cataracts, macular degeneration and a painful sunburn around the eyes called photokeratitis.
Reduce squinting and protect sensitive eyes. Our eyes’ natural defense against bright rays is to squint. According to Brissette, squinting itself isnt harmful but it can cause tension or fatigue around the eyes, as well as potentially trigger a headache or migraine around the eye region. She also notes that those with lighter-colored eyes tend to experience more sensitivity so they will especially benefit from sunglasses or tinted lenses. Sun exposure and prolonged squinting can lead to wrinkles in the skin around the eyes, she explained, so another good reason to wear sunglasses.
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How Do I Best Style Sunglasses
Sunglasses should never take away from the outfit, finds Powell. They should feel like an extension of one. Your outfit tells a story and sunglasses should fit the theme of what youre going for. Dorsey also pays attention to color. The easiest trick is to match your sunglasses to the color of your outfit or use your sunglasses as a pop of color to contrast with your outfit.
Best For Fishing And Sports: Costa Del Mar Fantail
Anglers need sunglasses. Any amateur whos gone fishing for seven or eight hours on the ocean and ended up with sunburnt eyeballs knows a good pair of shades can save a lot of pain.
The Costa Del Mar Fantails are a bit pricey, but theyre durable and offer all the protection you need for long days in the sun, which makes them a worthy investment. If youre a fisherman or just spend a lot of time outdoors, these polarized beasts are the way to go.
What I Like
The 580g lenses are lightweight, thin, and scratch resistant. Plus, they offer heavy polarization to combat all the glare you get from staring down at water on a sunny day.
The frames are resin so they can take a beating and dont pick up unsightly scratches.
Rather than plastic lenses like most sunglasses, the Fantail uses glass, which gives you clearer and less-warped vision
What I Dont Like
Theyre on the pricey side over $150. But we consider them an investment for sportsmen and anglers.
What Other Reviewers Say
Reviewers on Amazon give the Costa Del Mar Fantail around a 4.7-star average with over 800 submissions. Thats an excellent rating, especially considering many reviewers put these frames through tough conditions. When youre on a fishing boat, youre never worried about babying your sunglasses, and if they fall offtheyre gone for good. Through all of that, the Fantail performs like champ.
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Why You Should Trust Us
GearJunkie editors have spent years learning about outdoor products, including sunglasses. We meet with brands to learn about the latest technology. Then, we research and test the best products on the market to ensure they perform in their intended environment.
Our goal is to help you find the best products for your outdoor pursuits. And well do our best to find them within your budget, too.
The lead author of this article, Sean McCoy, has worked in the outdoor gear testing industry for nearly 15 years. He began his career serving customers as a rock climbing specialist at Midwest Mountaineering in Minneapolis. He then worked at newspapers to hone his reporting and research skills.
As the former Editor in Chief of GearJunkie, he tested hundreds of pairs of sunglasses over his 10 years at the helm of the brand. Today, he oversees editorial production across multiple websites. And he still loves testing gear.
also contributed to this article. The Managing Editor at GearJunkie, Murphy puts optics to the test as an avid hiker, paddleboarder, and skier.
Revos Descend Fold Sunglasses
Introducing Revos Descend Fold sunglasses, the most polarized lenses on earth with NASA-based technology. Revo has been rooted in heritage, performance, and passion since 1985.
Since its inception, Revo has pioneered performance eyewear with its signature Light Management System and lens technology. POLARIZED eyewear from REVO is perfect for active lifestyles. With its warm, high-definition colors and contrast, the Descend Fold is the latest in Revo innovation, perfect for golf and hiking, as well as for a fashionable everyday look.
Its no secret that REVO has a unique way of doing things-Bringing together with a world-class design with the best materials, they create sunglasses that are comfortable, lightweight, and cutaway-styled, giving them a high-fashion look.
With this technology, you will get HD optics with the best glare-stopping properties. With enhanced peripheral vision and side protection, these glasses are designed to resist scratches and meet the demanding needs of everyday life.
HD optics with the best glare-stopping properties.
And secondly, enhanced peripheral vision and side protection, as these glasses are designed to resist scratches and meet the demanding needs of everyday life.
Can be worn all day.
Stylish, and supports a great cause.
Expensive sunglasses still break easily.
Polarized lenses dont work well with some LCDs.
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Prada Stalks The Catwalk
Italian luxury fashion houses help to fill out the middle order in the top selling list with Milan-based Prada, founded in 1913 and one of the leading-edge luxury fashion houses. Prada sunglasses take their cue from the catwalk with cult accessories to match each season’s theme. With standout designs that ooze elegance, Prada sunglasses set trends rather than follow them, often pushing the boundaries with alluring designs that delight in challenging taste and captivating new audiences.
Do Cheap Sunglasses Work As Well As Expensive Ones
You can find plenty of sunglasses for under $50 that give you just as much sun protection as more expensive pairs. Make sure the lenses offer full UV protection and polarizationlook for 99% or 100% UV protection or UV400 labeling. Dont skip this step. Dr. Ravi D. Goel told us that lenses without UV protection can actually allow more damaging UV rays to enter your eyes than wearing no sunglasses at all. All the glasses we recommend are also polarized or offer that option. Polarized lenses eliminate glare and increase contrast, and thus decrease eyestrain.
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Do Polarized Lenses Provide Uv Protection
Polarized lenses differ from lenses with UV protection, Dr. Herz explained. Polarization has more to do with glare, and will help reduce your eye strain while you’re working outdoors or playing sports. It’s not medically necessary. UV lenses, on the other hand, protect the surface of your eyes from the harmful rays. “You can’t put sunscreen on the surface of your eyes or your eyelids,” she said. “Those areas can still get skin cancer.” For more information on protecting your eyes, visit the American Academy of Ophthalmology website.
Oliver Peoples: Handmade Italian Fames
Los-Angeles-based Oliver Peoples was launched in 1987, with styles inspired by a collection of vintage American-made eyewear the co-founders purchased at an estate sale. Ever since, Oliver Peoples has focused on timeless designs, meticulously made by hand with quality materials, including acetate in their signature natural tortoise shell tones. Each frame is tumbled and polished, then individually adjusted to ensure a perfect fit that wont bend or stretch out over time.
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Top 10 Product Ratings
|Incredible lenses, secure fit, great coverage
|Protective lenses, secure fit, great coverage
|Upscale style that works for most, excellent lenses, beefy construction, great coverage
|Good lens color, classic look works on everyone, very comfortable, good price
|Good lenses, secure frames, universally stylish
|Not polarized, slightly tight, expensive
|Not polarized, less exciting style, can easily see your eyes through the lenses
|Colors are distorted, can see through mirror coating
|Outstanding shades with comfortable and protective lenses, excellent coverage, and a secure fit
|Comfortable and sporty sunglasses with excellent bright light lenses and a secure wrap
|The Dude’s glasses throw down some serious vibes and have the quality lenses and exceptional coverage to back it up
|These sunnies are easy to love and look good on just about anyone, though they lack polarization or the brightest light protection
|A pretty good pair of shades that look good on most faces and that offer super-enhanced colors
|Semi-rigid zippered case, microfiber cleaning cloth
|Semi-rigid snapshell case, microfiber cleaning cloth
|Slimline, faux leather travel case and soft pouch
|Microfiber storage and cleaning bag
How Do Polarized Lenses Work
Polarized lenses are designed to reduce reflected light from flat shiny surfaces like glass, sand, snow, water and the road to increase visual comfort and a sharper image, Hoff explains. Polarized lenses have filters oriented perpendicular to the reflected light to absorb the intense beam of light, too.
So, the lens is tinted to absorb visible light. Outdoor sunglasses are designed to absorb up to 85% of visible light, she adds. We need to let some light through for safe mobility.
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The 5 Best Sunglasses For Men Of 2022
Looking for men’s sunglasses? We selected 10 pairs to test side-by-side, spanning a full range of technologies and prices. We put them through their paces on snowshoe adventures and beach days, midday beer garden hangouts, and westward drives at sunset. We checked their fit across face shapes and sizes, scrutinized their construction, and asked a full panel of our friends to judge their comfort and style. From international vacations to neighborhood dog walks, these shades saw it all. Whether you’re after the coolest glasses around, the pair that can do it all, or the budget-friendly option you’ll still love to wear, we’re here to help you find the perfect pair.
If you’re looking for a more feminine pair of frames, check out the in-depth testing in our women’s specific review. We also have reviews of the best budget frames, sport-focused sunnies, and cycling-specific specs. Whether you need something for the hiking trails, a a day on the water, or your next international adventure, we’ve got you covered with a lineup of the best sunglasses on the market today.
Editor’s Note: This review was updated on August 11, 2022, to include the latest selection of top-performing and most promising casual sunglasses.
How Do I Find My Perfect Sunglasses
Perfect is a subjective description and will vary by person. But, personally, I like to buy one pair of very well-made, high-end sunglasses every spring, says fashion stylist Monica Kim. I’ll wear them throughout the entire year, then take the chance to refresh my style the next year. Since shes been sticking to this habit for years and years, she says, I now have a little archive of favorite sunglasses that I can dip back into as the trends come back around. I much prefer this to having an enormous pile of cheap sunglasses that get thrown out too quickly.
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How Can You Tell If Sunglasses Are Of High Quality
High-quality sunglasses will protect against 100% of UV light, offer polarization, and feel comfortable on the face. The frames should be lightweight and solidly constructed of metal or acetate. We especially appreciate brands that offer multiple sizes so theyll fit more faces. Good sunglasses should also have smooth hinges that easily fold and unfold. We preferred full metal construction whenever possible.
Knockaround: Great Value For The Price
Why its great: If you tend to lose your sunglasses and dont want to invest in an expensive polarized pair, Knockarounds are a good alternative. They include basic amber polarized lenses, which provides full UV400 protection, and are molded out of high quality materials, so they can handle wear and tear. Key criticism: These frames are on the larger side so they might be difficult to fit in a pocket. Other options: Check out the Torrey Pines frames for a bold look or the Premiums for something more practical.
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The Best Sunglasses: Reviews & Recommendations
Oakley may be making sunglasses designed for Olympic athletes, but this popular sunglass company also designs some of the most popular sunglass styles on the market. Where to begin with these best-sellers? Besides being the epitome of cool sunglasses, they have all of the awesome technology that Oakley sunglasses are known for. The square Grilamid frames are impact-resistant, lightweight, and long-lasting. The lenses are both HDPolarized, filtering out 99 percent of reflected glare, and have a UV protection coating. These are offered in two sizes and over 30 frame and lens colors. If needed or wanted, the lenses can be swapped for prescription or PRIZM .
If youre looking for cheap sunglasses you wont be crushed to lose, these may not be for you. Yes, theyre cheap at just $8.19 for one pair, $11.98 for two pairs, and $14.98 for three pairs, but you will certainly miss them if theyre gone. You cant go wrong with the trendy cat-eye shape, offered in numerous colors. The frames are made with a sturdy-feeling, lightweight plastic but are likely not scratch-resistant. Luckily, even though these are cheap they come with a soft case to protect them when theyre not in use. These cuties are not polarized, but they have UV 400 protection.
Things To Consider Before Buying Sunglasses
A few things to look for in a pair of sunglasses are:
Although size is a personal choice when it comes to sunglasses, the bigger, the better. This is because larger frames will cover more of your face and will provide more protection for your eyes and skin. Get a close fit to your face so you get more coverage, protecting yourself from unnecessary sun damage. A close fit will also eliminate the possibility of sunlight leaking over or around the lenses.
Make sure you get a pair that has 100% protection from both UVA and UVB rays. Check the specifications for UV400 protection – this feature means that the lenses can block UV wavelengths up to 400 nanometers. This level of UV protection will stop you from squinting and get rid of any eye discomfort.
No pair of sunglasses can do it all. You can’t go cycling or run with the pair of sunglasses you wore to brunch. Unlike trendy ones, sports sunglasses are built to cover your temples, fit closer to your eyes and wrap tightly around your head. Consider your main purpose for your sunglasses purchase, as you wouldnt want to risk buying the wrong pair of sunglasses.
A polarized lens is a very necessary feature for sunglasses. Polarizing cuts the glare from water, cars, roads, snow, or mirrors. You get a clearer vision, more protection, and increased comfort. Even better, polarized lenses are always trendy.
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