When travelers go hiking, most come well-equipped with gear and accessories to keep everything convenient, secure, and protected. One thing that gets less attention? Your eyes. Hours under the blazing sun can do more damage to your eyes than you think, which is why sunglasses for hiking have some pretty complex technology.
At A Glance: Our Top Hiking Sunglasses
From space-age frames and lenses to cult favorite, here are some of the best hiking sunglasses to keep your eyes protected and your hike comfortable throughout the day.
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The Oakley Flak 2.0 XL is a great all-around option for hiking sunglasses. It’s very lightweight with its plastic frame, which also hugs the face comfortably it doesn’t get dislodged when going through rougher physical activity.
Flak 2.0 is a standard size frame with enhanced lens coverage. The polarized lenses are optimized with high definition optics and patented XYZ optics for razor sharp clarity.
The frame has a rubber coating for extra grip, but can be difficult to clean especially after being coated with sweat and grime. Dirt tends to stick to the sides, but a bit of patience will keep the sunglasses good as new. The lenses can also stand wear and scratches for more active travelers.
The lenses are also coated with black iridium, which provides a mirror-like reflection. It’s not only stylish but also adds protection for the eyes. The tint is also dark enough to take to outdoor activities but still allows you to go through your daily routine without having to take them off even inside a tunnel.
You can get great hiking sunglasses for about $20. The Rivbos shades are proof of that; they are lightweight, have polarized lenses and come with a lifetime breakage warranty.
The glasses offer 100% UV protection and even protection from harmful Blue Light up to 400nm. They eliminate all reflected light, as well as scattered light, in order to protect your eyes.
Additionally, the frames of the Rivbos hiking sunglasses are designed to be unbreakable. They are very bendy, and in case you ever manage to break them, just contact customer support. The manufacturer promises to replace any pair of broken sunglasses, as per their lifetime warranty.
These shades are available in a variety of different color combinations, and you can choose the color of both the frame and the lens. That’s pretty cool since it allows you to pick a pair of sunglasses that is just perfect for you. And at an affordable price tag!
These glasses fit both small and larger heads, thanks to the flexible materials. And they look good on both men and women. Since you can choose the exact style you want, you can actually get sunglasses to wear virtually everywhere.
With the Vermont Classic hiking sunglasses, you can choose from three types of lenses. I recommend the Spectron 4 (black sunglasses), as this type of lens is the best for hiking. It’s popularly known as the mountaineering lens, because it blocks 95% of visible light. It’s also a very dark lens, so it is not recommended for driving.
The sunglasses are very lightweight, but have excellent impact resistance. They won’t break easily, and they should last you a really long time.
Spectron 4 lenses offer 100% UV protection from UVA, UVB, and UVC rays. And they are flash treated, which improves visible light filtering with the mirror effect on them. They also have an anti-reflective coating, which provides relief from the glare off the back of the lens.
What makes the Vermont Classic unique are the side shields and middle leather shields. The one above the nose bridge is removable, thanks to the button. The side shields are not removable, but they will hardly bother you while you are wearing the glasses.
The Julbo hiking sunglasses are a pricier option, so they’re definitely not for everyone’s budget. But, they are very high quality, and if you wear them frequently you will get really good value for money.
If you don’t have USD 100 to spare, you still have some great options. The Duduma Tr90 retails under USD 30, but still provides decent protection for hiking sunglasses.
The simple design features wrap-around frames and polarized lenses, and it’s also lightweight. The frame is a strong polycarbonate material, with Japanese 7-layer TAC polarized lensesto avoid peel off. It doesn’t offer many other features, but for basic hiking or beginners, that’s all you’re going to need.
It’s also simple and stylish enough for all-day or regular use. The frame sits comfortably on the face and doesn’t have too many other features that would look silly on your trip to the mall.
The frames and lenses are supposed to be unbreakable. As a testament to this, the manufacturer offers a lifetime breakage warranty on frames and lenses.
These polarized hiking sunglasses by Duco have a rimless design. Their frames are made from TR90, so the are very durable flexible and lightweight. The lenses are all made from polycarbonate.
I love these glasses because they actually have a removable nose piece. You can also change its shape, and make it fit your nose just right.
The Duco sunglasses come with 5 pairs of interchangeable lenses, which is pretty amazing. All lenses offer UV protection from harmful UVA and UVB rays, and eliminate reflected and scattered sunlight.
Each pair is best suitable for certain conditions; the light blue lenses easily filter blue light reflected by sea and water, and they are best for water sports. The transparent lenses are a bit useless, as their only function is to protect your eyes from debris but might suit mountain bikers in the forest, perhaps.
But the grey polarized lenses will be excellent for hiking sunglasses, as they are great at reflecting strong sunlight. The yellow lenses are for improved vision in the fog, rain, and night, and the colorful HD lenses help improve visual clarity and contrast.
So, it’s almost like you’re getting five different pairs of glasses, which you can wear with your prescription ones. And all of that for about $20 – a really good deal if you ask me!
If you want to stay stylish on the trails, you will love these hiking sunglasses. The Maui Jim Peahi sunglasses are available in four different styles, each of which features different colored frame and lenses.
But all of the lenses have one thing in common – they feature PolarizedPlus 2 technology, which even enhances the colors around you. Obviously, it also comes with UV protection. That means it can shield your eyes from harmful UVA, UVB and UVC rays.
The frames of this pair of sunglasses are made from Grilamid, a lightweight and flexible material. It is designed to be comfortable even after prolonged periods of time, and it is heat and UV resistant. The glass lenses are made from super thin material, which provides excellent scratch and solvent resistance.
Since each pair of sunglasses features different tint on the lenses, they are all best suited for different circumstances. The brown and black sunglasses have HCL bronze lenses, which are the best for changing light conditions.
Natural Grey lenses are best suited for direct and bright sunlight, while the blue Hawaii lenses offer enhancements of color and clarity.
I would recommend the sunglasses with natural grey lenses as the best option for hiking.
The Blackfin sunglasses by Costa Del Mar are another great mid-range option. They feature 580 Polycarbonate lenses, which have excellent scratch resistance. The frames are made from bio-based injected nylon, for a comfortable fit and superb durability.
Since the glasses feature stainless steel hinges, they are going to be heavier than those that are made from other materials. But, stainless steel is remarkably durable, so you shouldn’t have any issues with the hinges of the Blackfin hiking sunglasses.
Because there are a lot of options when it comes to color and type of lenses, I’m focusing on the blue mirror polarized variant here. Those are definitely the best option for hiking since 100% polarization kills all reflected glare and helps reduce eye strain.
And they feature patented technology that blocks blue and yellow light, so they’re also a really good option for fishing and water sports.
Another great thing about these shades is that they will stay put on your face. They don’t move around or slip down your nose, which is probably my biggest pet peeve with Ray Bans.
The Peppers Cutthroat sunglasses are an affordable option. They have polarized lenses that will protect you from all UV rays and that eliminate glare entirely. This increases visibility in bright sunlight by a lot, which makes them a great pair of hiking sunglasses.
The frames of this pair of sunglasses are made from Grilamid, a very lightweight and durable material. In fact, this material is frequently used in glasses much more expensive than these, so you really are getting top quality at an affordable price. The sunglasses are also really flexible, and they will fit both small and large heads comfortably.
What I really like about these glasses is that you’re getting the quality of a much more expensive product. The lenses resist scratches really well and will hold up just fine if you take care of them.
Sure, dropping them on the pavement might cause the film to peel off, but putting them back in the case after every use will help them stay new for a long time.
They are even suitable for swimming and water sports since they feature foam inserts at arms that help them with buoyancy.
You can choose from four different options for lenses – blue, brown, green, and g15. The tint is pretty much the only difference; the performance and construction of all types of lenses are the same. So, you can choose the pair of hiking sunglasses that you think are the most stylish without sacrificing any features.
Julbo Sherpa Glacier is another excellent option for hiking sunglasses. These sunglasses are a lot cheaper than the other, more stylish pair of Julbo glasses I showed you. In fact, these are only around $50, which is an amazing price point for such high quality.
These are a classic mountaineering pair of sunglasses, so there’s no doubt they’re suitable for all sorts of weather conditions outdoors. The leather side shields offer better grip while you’re moving around quickly, and ensure that the sunglasses stay put. They also offer peripheral protection in really bright sunlight.
But they are removable, in case you want to wear these to the mall or to work, like regular sunglasses.
The lenses are made from glass, which is heavier than plastic. But it is also a bit more durable and less prone to scratches. Additionally, the lenses are not polarized, but they do offer excellent protection from UV rays.
The temples of these hiking sunglasses are pre-curved, and flexible, so you can adjust them to fit your head best. And the end of the temples are 360 adjustable; you can move them in any direction you want. This is perfect if you want to wear the sunglasses under a helmet or a hat since they won’t interfere.
Torege sunglasses are another great option for all of you on a budget. They’re only about $20, but they perform like much more expensive hiking sunglasses. Both the frame and all the lenses are made from polycarbonate, so they are very lightweight, durable and resistant to scratches.
The nose pad on these is soft and coated with rubber. This ensures not only that the glasses feel comfortable when you’re wearing them, but also that they don’t move around.
They come with five pairs of interchangeable lenses, and each pair is best suitable for a different occasion. All lenses have UV400 protection coating, and they all block 100% of harmful UVA and UVB rays. They eliminate scattered and reflected light and protect your eyes.
Only the main black lenses are polarized, and they are my recommendation for hikes. They will really help with eliminating glare and improving visibility in direct sunlight.
The other colors that are included are suitable for different environments; the yellow ones improve visibility at night and in rain, the blue ones are best for bright light and snow, while the clear lenses have the sole purpose of protecting your eyes from debris.
Some hikers want specialized hiking sunglasses, some want all-rounders. Beginners also don’t need too many features, while advanced hikers will need extra protection to block both visible light and UV.
Define the kind of usage you want and you’ll be able to choose the right style and features to find.
Lenses are made with different materials. Some are plastic, coated with iridium, or photochromatic. While the material itself is not too crucial, watch out for the coating that provides the protection. UV protection is important and almost necessary to keep your eyes safe.
Polarized lenses also help deflect glare, and would be most useful in hikes under intense sunlight or in snow. Photochromatic lenses, on the other hand, darken or lighten depending on the external light of the environment.
While it’s difficult to check the design if buying online, it is very important when it comes to fit. Some pairs of hiking sunglasses will have removable or adjustable parts and pads to fit your face more securely.
The design also dictates some extra features that improve ventilation or grip. If you’re buying online, make sure the manufacturer has a return policy just in case you happen to purchase a pair that’s not right for you.
Can’t decide on a single pair of sunglasses for hiking? Go for one of our top choices, depending on how much money you can afford to spend!
If you’re on a really tight budget, your best bet is the Duco Polarized Sports Sunglasses. They are made from durable and flexible materials, and they come with five pairs of interchangeable lenses. This is also the only pair of hiking sunglasses that has a removable and adjustable nose piece, so you can really make them fit you well. Plus, they fit over prescription glasses!
For those of you that can afford to spend some $50 on pair of sunglasses, I highly recommend the Julbo Sherpa Glacier. They are amazing value for money because Julbo glasses are always super high quality. The lenses on these shades are made from glass, for superb scratch resistance. And the glasses have leather shields, which help your peripheral vision and protect your eyes from any debris. If you ever get caught in a sand storm, you will highly appreciate that feature.
If you can afford to spend a bit more on sunglasses, then definitely go for the Oakley Flak 2.0 XL. They are a bit sporty, but they still look good enough that you can wear them to work or the mall. They won’t look ridiculous, and they will do an amazing job at protecting your eyes from nasty UV rays. These sunglasses also work well for lots of activities other than hiking – cycling and running are other situations where these will perform very well.
And those are our top three pairs of sunglasses for hiking. Head over to Amazon to check out the prices and color variety of all of them. Just keep in mind that in some cases I wrote only about specific lens colors, as they were the most suitable option for hiking.
Read our related posts for ideas on other must-have hiking gear!