Whether you're going on a summer hike or a trek up a snowy mountain, a pair of sunglasses designed specifically for hiking will stay securely on your face, shielding your eyes from the glare of the sun and its harmful UV rays. However, since there are so many different kinds of sunglasses to choose from, ranging from tinted lenses to pairs with inner padding for extra security and comfort, it can be overwhelming to pick out the best one for you.
Don't worry though! We've got you covered. After looking far and wide, we've come up with a top 10 list of the best sunglasses for hiking that we found. Topping our special selection is Oakley's Flak 2.0 sunglasses, which work in both bright and low-light conditions. They're also designed to grip onto your skin even when you break a sweat! Check out the rest of the items on our list and give our buying guide, reviewed by an outdoor guide, a read for tips on how to choose sunglasses on your own.
Costa Del Mar
Men's Flak 2.0 XL Sunglasses
S1 Sport Polarized Sunglasses
Men's Radar EV Path Sunglasses
Women's Starfish Cat-Eye Sunglasses
Men's Blackfin 580p Round Sunglasses
Slant Polarized Sunglasses
Men's Jawbreaker Shield Sunglasses
Polarized Sports Sunglasses
An All-Around Great Pair That Will Stay On Your Face
Impact-Resistant Frames With Mirrored Lenses
Tinted Sunglasses That Won’t Cause Color Distortion
The More You Sweat, the More They Grip
The Best Sunglasses for the Fashionista Hiker
The Perfect Sunglasses for Hiking Near Water
Removable Eyecups for Minimal Fog Plus a Handy Strap
Sunglasses That Adjust to the Intensity of the Sun
Adjustable Temple Length for Helmet-Requiring Hikes
Sunglasses With Three Interchangeable Lenses
|Frame material||Plastic||Polycarbonate plastic||Polycarbonate plastic||Plastic||Nylon||Resin||Plastic||Nylon||Plastic||Polycarbonate|
|Lens material||Plastic||Not provided||Triacetate cellulose plastic||Plastic||Glass||Glass||Composite||Not provided||Plastic||Polycarbonate|
This list features 10 different pairs of sunglasses designed for outdoor activities such as hiking. We chose them based on our points listed in the buying guide as well as reviewer comments. Look through the descriptions of each one to find which one will work best for you.
*Please note that these products were chosen after extensive research by mybest writers. The choices are not necessarily affiliated with or recommended by Pak Eugene. For more on our selection process, check out our editorial policy. Prices were gathered from respective EC sites on August 3, 2022.
|Frame material||Polycarbonate plastic|
|Lens material||Not provided|
|Frame material||Polycarbonate plastic|
|Lens material||Triacetate cellulose plastic|
|Lens material||Not provided|
|Frame material||Aerospace-grade TR-90|
|Lens material||Zeiss polyamide optics|
These are the first sunglasses to not have sidearms. Most sunglasses break because the sidearms don't work or are broken, but these prevent both of these issues. Instead, there is an adjustable cord that wraps behind your head, which works as sunglass straps. They are made of Aerospace-grade material and Carl Zeiss lenses.
When it comes to looking for the perfect pair of sunglasses for hiking, there are a few important things you should consider. You want to prioritize security, protection, and durability, as well as look into the lens specifications and any extras that a pair comes with.
Since the last thing you want on a hiking trip is a muddy or scratched-up pair of sunglasses, you want to look for ones that will stay on your face. A pair’s fit is a big factor when it comes to making sure it will stay on securely.
Flat frames are more open and won’t constrict the sides of your face, and are therefore sometimes more comfortable. Though this type of fit will give you more ventilation and is less likely to get all fogged up, it doesn’t offer as much lens coverage as wrap-around frames. This means that sunlight could still shine through from certain angles.
Flat frames are also less secure because of their loose fit. Though they come in more styles such as aviators, wayfarers, and cat eyes, when you're hiking, you may want to prioritize functionality over style.
If you do decide on getting a flat-framed pair, make sure that the hiking trip you’re going on won’t be a rough one. You may also want to look for a pair with extra security features that will help the frame stay in place, such as rubber nose grips.
Wrap-around frames, on the other hand, curve around your head, making them fit way more securely than flat frames. Since they curve towards your temples and cover your peripherals, they also offer more protection from the sun.
Furthermore, they serve as extra coverage from wind, rain, snow, and even dirt particles. These kinds of frames are a great fit for hiking trips that involve more dynamic movements like climbing, bending, and crouching.
Though wrap-around frames may feel tighter than flat-frames, they won't easily fall off your face. To ensure comfort while you hike, you can consider the measurements of the sunglasses and compare them to the dimensions of your face. Remember, while you want a pair that will wrap around your head, you don’t want it to be too tight!
Other features help contribute to security. Rubberized temples, for example, serve as an anti-slip feature that will make it harder for a pair of sunglasses to slide off your face, while nose pads will help keep the pair from slanting and tipping over.
No matter what season you’ll be hiking in, your eyes need protection from sunlight. A pair that has polarized lenses and UV protection will serve as a good shield for your eyes.
Sunglasses with polarized lenses have a chemical film that absorbs and neutralizes horizontal light so it won't bounce off and give off that distracting glare effect. Polarization helps a great deal with visibility, which is pretty important on a hike (especially if you'll be taking the lead).
Light can be dangerous on rough terrains. For example, the glare from ice and snow or from the surface of a body of water can disrupt your vision and affect your footing. It can also be a strain on your eyes, so make sure you get glasses with polarized lenses for a safe trek!
When you're in snowy terrain, it is a good idea to purchase sunglasses with side shields. Higher elevations can cause sun blindness, so maximum protection is best. There are even sunglasses that come with nose protection as well!
UV protection will shield your eyes from the harmful UVA and UVB rays, which can damage your eyes. For example, your corneas can become inflamed. Out in nature, you may be more exposed than in the city where you're surrounded by buildings and other deflectors, so it's extra important that you protect your eyes.
UV exposure is also enhanced in snowy and icy terrains since they reflect 95% of UV rays. Wearing a pair of sunglasses on a snowy hike is especially important since it protects you from snow blindness, which can occur after being exposed to too much UV light. Though it’s temporary and will go away after a few days, it entails eye pain and discomfort.
Since you’ll be outdoors and moving a lot, you want to make sure that the sunglasses you have on are durable, ready for a range of weather conditions, and strong enough to withstand being dropped by accident.
Plastic frames are lightweight, durable, and can feel more comfortable because they aren’t likely to cause any dents in your skin. However, they aren’t made for harsh weather conditions like extreme heat and snow, since such elements could contribute to a faster deterioration rate of the material.
While heat can cause the plastic to fade, extreme cold can cause it to warp. Though plastic isn’t made to withstand extreme elements, if you’re going on a short hike in calm, moderate weather, then a pair of plastic frames will do.
Metal frames are durable and sturdy, but can get really hot when exposed to the sun for a prolonged period of time. If you plan on wearing a metal pair during an easy hike with calm weather conditions, keep an eye out for additional features that work to support the metal material.
For example, some metal frames have thin padding inside their frames and on their arms that make them more comfortable. These features can also serve as an extra layer to keep the metal material from directly touching your skin.
When it comes to hiking sunglasses, materials like acetate, nylon, or combinations of the two will offer you more durability and flexibility. Acetate frames are more lightweight than plastic frames and are hypoallergenic.
Since hikes can get a little challenging, especially when the terrain is rough, you want to consider getting a pair of sunglasses with lenses that are scratch-proof, in case they end up falling by accident. This feature will also make sure that your vision is always kept clear.
Another feature to look for in sunglasses is lenses that are fog proof. This will prevent your glasses from fogging up, especially if you are doing very intensive exercise.
Though lens tints don’t affect the eye protection factor, they enhance light blockage. By matching up weather conditions with the right tints, you can enhance your vision.
Amber and brown can block off blue light, which enhances the sharpness of your vision as well as contrast, especially when you’re looking at something against a blue or green background. Though they aren’t recommended for use in low-light or fog, they do help you see more clearly on a sunny day.
Gray is a neutral tint and will give you the most natural visibility on a hike since it blocks out some brightness and glare while still allowing your eyes to see pure colors. If you're hoping to appreciate the looks and colors of plants or animals, a gray tint may be the way to go. With it, you'll still be able to spot significant color schemes without too much glare.
Rose and red lenses work well as blue light-blockers. Though these shades can cause color distortions, they enhance contrast in both cloudy and sunny weather. They can also enhance visual depth.
Since they don’t allow you to see pure colors like grey tints, you may not want to rely on these glasses if you're trying to keep away from harmful plants and animals. However, they help keep your eyes relaxed for long periods, making them great for longer hikes.
Blue and purple tints reduce glare and enhance your perception of colors. Because they reduce strain on your eyes as well, they’re great for cloudy, snowy, and foggy hikes.
Photochromic lenses, also called transition lenses, automatically change their shade when exposed to bright light. This hands-free feature is great for hiking in terrains that have shady spots such as tree-covered patches, caves, and flat plains where you’re exposed to the sun.
If you don't have perfect vision and have to wear prescriptions, getting a normal pair of sunglasses may result in you having a blurry hike, depending on how high your prescriptions are. Sunglasses with prescription lenses will shield your eyes from the sun while helping you see clearly.
Consider the pros and cons of plastic and glass lenses. Plastic lenses, such as polycarbonate, offer good optics. You can get them with prescriptions, making them a good option for hikers who usually wear glasses. Though they’re more prone to scratches than glass lenses, they’re light and impact-resistant.
Glass lenses are long-lasting and are resistant to scratches. Though they’re not impact-resistant, they offer better optics than plastic. So, you're able to get these with prescriptions, too!
Plastic lenses would be best if you'll be in the outdoors a lot. Plastic lenses will rarely ever break compared to glass lenses. Although they might be scratched, that is better than having the lens completely shatter.
Sunglasses that come with helpful accessories can enhance your hiking experience. A strap can come in handy since it allows you to keep the glasses hanging from your neck when they’re not on your head.
A protective case will allow you to store your sunglasses safely. Look for one that’s sturdy and compact, especially if you’ll be stuffing it in your hiking bag. A sturdy case will keep your lenses from breaking, while a compact one will save space in your backpack.
A special cleaning cloth will allow you to wipe off smudges, fingerprints, and dirt from your glasses without damaging the lenses. Lastly, some sunglasses come with interchangeable lenses, which can be useful if you want to use different tints!
Anti-fog spray is a good idea to take if your glasses tend to fog up. Buying a pair of sunglass straps is a good idea to prevent you from losing them or from falling to the ground.
Add some of these cool products to your shopping list for your next hike. They're bound to take your next trek to a whole new level!
This expert reviewed the contents of the buying guide for accuracy and provided factual corrections when necessary. They did not participate in the product selection process, nor are they affiliated with any of our choices unless explicitly stated so.
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