What is the most essential piece of sun protection you own? Sunglasses. We put together a list of the best sport sunglasses for recreating outdoors. Sunglasses aren’t just worn in the summer anymore, the sunglasses listed below work great year-round.
The serious outdoor recreationalist never underestimates the sun- choosing the right set of shades for your sport du jour is key to a good day
Best Sport Sunglasses
Costa Del Mar sunglasses are produced with the water recreationalist in mind. The Costa Del Mar Rincon Sunglasses offer the classic beach culture style with a large face protecting frame. Featuring a choice of lens material- the Costa Del Mar Rincon 580G (glass) or 580 P (polycarbonate). With a polarized film layer and Costa’s C-Wall coating to increase scratch resistance.
The 580 G’s have two layers of glass giving these lenses very high clarity and a mirrored layer. The frame material is a castor plant-based resin with spring hinges. Most notably, the Costa glasses offer seven (7!) lens colors for a range of light conditions from Blue Mirror for bright light on open water to Sunrise Silver Mirror for low light activities. The company will mix and match your preferred frame color with any of the seven lens colors.
For the high alpine mountaineer and summer skier, the classic Vuarnet Glacier Sunglasses are still the standard. These are the best mountaineering sunglasses on the market. The frames are made of a beefy acetate and steel combination. The removable side shields are soft leather and attach to the temples via magnetic fixtures.
The Vaurnet Glacier Glasses are available with a choice of 9 lens colors. Look for the SkiLynx lens- this is the legendary Vuarnet lens for a reason. These have the best light protection, protection against sudden and bright glares and increase contrast in low light or foggy conditions. The Grey Polar lens is also a good choice featuring Vuarnet’s highest anti-glare lens with hydro- and oleophobic surface treatments.
For the aerobically inclined, check out the Smith Attack Max Sunglasses. The Attack Max’s are the performance glasses for runners and bikers. The semi-rimless frames are made of TR90, a highly engineered thermoplastic that is strong, light and flexible.
The polarized lenses come with Smith’s ChromoPop technology and are interchangeable with other Attack Max lenses. Additionally, when you purchase these you will receive an extra set of lenses. The cut-away shape of the lens allows air to circulate while you are active reducing fogging and sweat build up. For the long-distance trail runner or triathlete, these shades will be well worth it.
The next glasses to check out are from a new company named Ombraz. These unique armless sunnies answer a couple of the issues many summer athletes struggle with- namely managing your eyewear as you are managing your layers (hoody on, hoody off…) and the poorly timed sunglasses drop. The lightweight barely-there acetate frames are just there to hold the lens; the lenses, in turn, are held in place by a custom woven soft polyester cord that tightens onto your head.
The frames are held snugly and securely on your face. The lenses feature Zeiss optics and are both hydro- and oleo-phobic which makes them highly smudge resistant. Ombraz offers three lens colors to answer varying conditions. All are polarized. The secure fit and low profile of these glasses make them ideal for climbers and white-water boaters that are always in danger of losing their eyewear.
The Slack Tide model, in Costa’s Sport Performance line, boasts added frame end vents and template channels to keep fogging at bay and sweat out of your eyes. If you are spending your leisure time casting from a boat or from the surf’s edge, grab a pair of Costa’s.
Anytime a company is making products from plant-based materials we take note! Zeal gets it, the company has been making environmentally friendly sunglasses in Boulder, Colorado since 1997. The Zeal Range Sunglasses come with a mirrored polarized lens, are really lightweight, full-frame and look great on and off the trail. You no longer have to drive to the trailhead wearing a second set of sunglasses!
The polarized lens is even RX prescription ready. Making this one of the best running prescription sunglasses.
If you are tough on your eyewear, check out the new STNGR brand. Durability is what sets these apart from other glasses. The frames are constructed of an ultra-durable, near-indestructible Memory Flex Nylon. The lenses carry the same hard-working ethic- they are shatterproof, scratch-resistant, and anti-reflective.
These glasses are ANSI rated- which means they qualify as Personal Protective Equipment for workplace eye protection. Your peepers are safe. They offer three lens colors and all are polarized. STNGR currently has two models- the Alpine and the Ridge. The primary difference is size and shape. Find the model that fits your accident-prone noggin best and get outdoors!
Sport Sunglasses Price Comparison
- Costa Del Mar Rincon Sunglasses – ($249.99)
- Vuarnet Glacier Glasses – ($640.00)
- Smith Attack Max Sunglasses – ($249.00)
- Ombraz Sunglasses – ($140.00)
- Zeal Range Sunglasses – ($148.95)
- STNGR Sunglasses – ($135.00)
- Costa Del Mar Slack Tide Sunglasses – ($189.95)
- Optic Nerve Amino Sunglasses – ($96.95)