When it comes to their gear, hikers think about every last detail. They worry about how much protection their shorts offer them, how much traction they’ll get with a particular pair of boots and how much water their hydration packs will hold. However, one area in which some hikers don’t pay enough attention to is their eye protection.
Hiking sunglasses are a piece of equipment that every hiker should think carefully about. Not only does this piece of eye-wear protect their vision from UV damage but it also determines just how well the hiker can see. Therefore, it’s of vital importance that a hiker should purchase the best hiking sunglasses possible. Below are the top ten models currently available.
Best Hiking Sunglasses – Reviews
10LVXING Men’s Polarized Sports Glasses
These glasses are like owning 5 different pairs of sunglasses in one convenient design. Each of the lenses can be used for a specific purpose and can be conveniently placed into the frames or taken out. For people who need UV protection for their eyes, the black lenses are UV resistant and the rest are good for a variety of other situations. For instance, the blue lenses are good for around the shore, the yellow lens is good for low light conditions and the clear lens is good for overcast days. These glasses are also lightweight and shatterproof and are a blend of fashion and function.
9Dudma Polarized Unisex Sports Glasses
These lightweight and durable sunglasses feature UV400 protection against harmful UV rays – which means they block up to 99% of such rays. And the lenses are scratch resistant and designed to be impact resistant as well. This makes them ideal for not only hiking but for any outdoor activity including running, biking or camping. Their TR90 frames are light enough to make them barely noticeable on your face, yet strong enough to withstand impacts and bumps. They are so durable, the manufacturer has even included a lifetime warranty on them so if they break they are covered. These glasses have quickly made a name for themselves in the world of sunglasses.
8Julbo Sharpa Spectron 3+ Lenses
These mountaineering sunglasses are perfect for anyone who needs a little bit of extra eye protection. They are curved and wrap around the temples to ensure that they fit comfortably and have side shields to protect the side of the eyes against debris. Of course, the side shields are fully removable, if the user deems it necessary and if they aren’t, they are fully breathable. The entire pair of sunglasses is lightweight yet durable and is designed to hold up even under extreme conditions. While it was originally designed for the mountain trail, it can be used by anyone who wants to be out on the road or the trail.
7Dudma Polarized Sports Sunglasses for Men & Women
These ultralight sunglasses are designed to protect the wearer’s eyes against all forms of sunlight. They are polarized so that they easily fend off the reflective and scattered light and offer the wearer the ability to see true colors. It also provides UV protection and protects against 100% of harmful UVA and UVB light ways. These sunglasses also feature a durable frame that’s made from a flexible composite material that allows them to bend and not break while under stress. All of these features allow these glasses to be a compelling choice for any hiker looking for adequate eye protection.
6SHTORZ Polarized Unisex Sunglasses
Designed for just about any outdoor enthusiast who wants to protect his or her eyes from the damaging rays of the sun, these sunglasses have all of the features that make it a useful tool in just about any hikers arsenal of tools. They feature a lens that consists of seven independent layers that not only make them scratch and shatter resistant but also allow them to block out 100% of all UVA and UVB rays. One of these layers also make the lenses polarized, so scattered light is cast off allowing for true color crystal clear images to emerge. They are ideal for anyone who needs to keep their sense of sight protected and as sharp as possible.
5Lonew Polarized Outdoor Sunglasses With 5 Lenses
Each of the lenses that comes with this shatterproof sunglass frame is designed to take on a specific environmental challenge. For example, the black lens is polarized and is designed to not only protect against reflected light but to also off UVA and UVB protection. The yellow frames offer extra clarity in low light conditions. The gray lenses offer fatigue protection and true color perception. There is also a blue lens, a silver plated lens, and a multicolored lens. All of these lenses can be swapped out for one another in just about a minute and make these sunglasses useful for just about anything that might be encountered out in the wilderness.
4Duduma Polarized Fashion Sunglasses
These TAC polarized sunglasses have lenses that are made up of a variety of different layers. The top layer is a layer that’s polarized and protects against scattered or reflected light, the next two layers are designed to increase durability and the fourth and fifth layers are specially designed to absorb UV light. The final two layers are made shatterproof and enable the lenses to endure tough conditions. All combined, all of these layers make sunglasses that are designed for outdoor use and to protect the wearer’s eyes against a variety of different threats. And to be lightweight while doing it.
3Torege Polarized Unisex Glasses with Interchangeable Lenses
These sunglasses are designed to be durable and to protect the wearer’s eyes against the harmful rays of the sun. It comes with five interchangeable lenses that each have a UV400 protective coating that makes effective for protecting the wearer’s eyes against UVA and UVB solar rays. The black lens is also polarized to cast off reflected rays and the yellow lens is great for low light conditions. Each of the other lenses has a purpose that makes them ideal for the hiker looking for sunglasses. These glasses also have a soft rubber nose pad and are designed to be impact resistant.
2AKASO Polarized Sports Sunglasses
It doesn’t matter if the wearer is out on the water or hiking their favorite trail, these sunglasses are designed to protect their eyes against sunlight. They are lightweight and very comfortable to wear and feature lenses that give 100% UV protection. They also have rubber nose pads and are ideal for anyone who likes to spend a lot of time outdoors. These glasses also offer clear contrast and completely glare-free vision. And the frames are impact and shock resistant which makes them perfect for active people. These glasses also come with a case and a cleaning cloth for keeping the lenses fingerprint free.
1J+S Active Plus Outdoor Sun Glasses
These glasses have polycarbonate lenses that offer 400UV protection to the wearer’s eyes. They are designed to be durable, to be resistant to scratching and to offer optical clarity that’s unparalleled by other sunglasses. They can be bought with traditional black lenses or can be bought with different colored lenses – each lens being good for a particular type and level of light. This makes these glasses ideal for outdoor enthusiasts who might need several different pairs for different environmental conditions. These glasses are designed to fit the profile of most people and have rubber tips which ensure a tight yet comfortable fit.
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Choosing the Best Hiking Sunglasses
While sunglasses are often overlooked by hikers, they are an important piece of equipment. As important as a good pair of boots and a backpack, in my opinion. They can keep distracting light out of the hiker’s eyes and can protect their eyesight from damaging UVA and UVB rays. They can also offer a little additional protection against objects such as stray tree limbs scratching the eye. And that’s why it’s important to take a few moments to really look at sunglasses before you buy them. Below are some of the considerations hikers should take before they purchase their next pair.
The first thing that needs to be thought about is the frame. Sunglasses nowadays have frames that are made out of a variety of different materials – everything from metal to plastic. While this may present somewhat of a quandary to most people, for the hiker the choice should be obvious. Plastic lenses are the way to go. Why? That’s because they have the features that hikers need. They are lightweight, so they aren’t going to be weighing down on the hiker’s face and they will keep their shape better than metal frames. A lot of them are also shatter-resistant, which is an added plus in my book.
UV Resistance is Important
You should choose a pair of sunglasses that has adequate UV resistance. Too many of the fashionable models and the cheaper models offer no UV protection whatsoever but some of the “sports” sunglasses also offer inadequate protection. So it’s important that the hiker makes sure that their lenses are at least 99% UVA and UVB resistant, with 100% protection being even better. Sunlight destroys a person’s vision over time, according to how much exposure their eyes receive, so people who spend a lot of time outdoors are more prone to having their eyes damaged by UVA and UVB rays.
Just because a pair of sunglasses offers UV protection doesn’t mean that it offers polarization. Nonetheless, polarization is important because it reduces glare and prevents scattered light from interfering with your vision. Be sure to get a pair of sunglasses that offers both UV protection and polarization.
Scratch & Impact Resistance
Scratch resistance is another feature to consider. After all, if you’re going to be out on the trail, then your glasses are going to be hit with a few objects. They may get hit by tree branches or get dropped on the rocky ground. Therefore, it’s important that they aren’t easily scratched, otherwise, the hiker will be buying a pair every other week. And while scratch resistance is being considered, so should impact resistance. Hiking can be tough on equipment and sunglasses are no exception to that rule.
Curved frames are important because UV rays that are reflected off of water or other surfaces can reach your eyes through the sides. Therefore, people who pursue active lifestyles should try to get sunglasses which has somewhat of a curve to them. This will protect those rays from reaching the eye and will also protect the eye against dust and debris.
Sunglasses With Additional Colored Lenses
Another thing to take into consideration is whether you want a traditional pair of sunglasses or you need a pair which comes with additional lenses. If you just want a traditional pair of sunglasses, then simply buy one but if you want one with additional lenses you need to take a few things into consideration. First, you have to make sure that each lens offers UV resistance. Some sunglasses companies make all of the lenses UV resistant and others simply make the black lens UV resistant. Why choose a pair with additional lenses of different colors? Because each color can be used for a specific quality of light and for a specific purpose. Below are some examples.
Green-Green lenses can be used in rain or sunny conditions and are good for any outdoor activity. It tends to brighten shadows and dims glare as well.
Brown-Brown lenses are good for partly cloudy to sunny conditions and are good for any sport where distance needs to be judged. It improves depth perception and contrast.
Yellow-Yellow lenses are good for dawn and dusk activities. They filter out blue light and are good for low light conditions.
Gray-Gray lenses are good for overcast days and for driving. They provide true color perception and reduce glare.
Red-Red Lenses are ideal for most weather conditions. They are good for cycling and enhance visual depth.
Black-Black lenses are usually the only lenses that are polarized and are good for a variety of different outdoor activities.