Sunglasses aren't just a "cool shades, bro" type of thing. Sure, they've evolved and we demand that we look good in our sunglasses but the fact is that they're as important as sunscreen and bug repellent on a hike or camping trip.
Sunglasses protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. They protect your eyes from dirt, branches, flying debris, and even bugs. Lastly, they maintain proper focus and reduce squinting so as to greatly limit eyestrain. They're muy importante, peeps!
Sunglass Fitting Tips:
Sunglasses for hiking aren't just the ordinary pair of shades that you throw on during a short drive. These sunglasses need to fit and fit well. When doing things like hiking, surfing, ziplining, etc. there's a lot more jostling and more elements to consider.
- They should comfortably and have a "snug" feel on the nose and your temples/ears area. However, they shouldn't pinch.
- Evenly distributed weight will ensure that there is no excess friction on certain areas of the face.
- If you flutter your eyelashes (you flirt!) then they should at no time make contact with any part of you eyeglasses.
Some Features to Look For in Hiking Sunglasses
Here are the features we think are the most important when deciding on which sunglasses you want for hiking
: Some sunglasses come with the interchangeable lens feature. This allows you to tailor your lens color and protection type based upon your conditions…and yes, even match your outfit. This is a great option for people who have a wide variety of interests and take part in different outdoor activities such as hiking or surfing.
: Being sensitive to glare is a lot of people issue with hiking in strong sun. It's never really the issue of looking directly at the sun, right? It's always glare off of water, sand, snow, etc. Polarized lenses substantially reduce glare.
: Some call these "transitionals". They automatically darken or lighten depending on the conditions. On brighter days they'll be much darker than on gloomy days. Keep in mind that they don't work in cars as the UVB rays don't penetrate the windshield.
: This is usually our choice for sunglasses as long as they have polarized lenses, like the Rheos line of shades, for instance. These sunglasses serve us well whether we're hiking, beaching it for the day, surf fishing, and ziplining. (More on Rheos below.)
Now, onto the fun stuff!
Top 3 Picks for Outdoor and Hiking Sunglasses
These are some of our current faves...
RheosOur #1 pick is any of the Rheos lines of sunglasses. Why? They float and at a decent price so you really can't go wrong.
When I say floatable…I mean floatable. I'm a big snorkeler and surf fisher, as well as hiking and camping, and I've tried to sink these sunglasses and I just can't do it. I even put then in about 4 feet of surf and stepped on them lightly to push them into the wet sand. A few seconds later, they popped back up. I don't recommend doing this as anything can go wrong to include they float up about in a different spot and you can't find them, but you get the point.
I've been wearing a pair for a while now and I'm really happy with their performance.
The Rheos sunglass line had different styles for fashion and activities. They fit well and they're polarized with U400 protection, scratch-resistant, and 3 inch wide lenses for excellent coverage.
Above and beyond all, though, you just gotta' love the story of about how Rheos was founded by Jake Berton. And they offer free returns.
I'm wearing a pair of these Eddies currently (well, not right now while I'm typing but in my outside time…lol).
Duco Sports StyleWhile the Duco sports style sunglasses are great for everything outdoors and a really good looking pair of shades. if they come off in the surf or fall of a canoe or kayak…they're probably gone. However, other than that, they offer UV400 protection, polarized lenses, and pretty durable. Also, the Duco has a pretty large, loyal base of users. There are great reviews on Amazon for these sunglasses. You can check them all out here.
Warranty: Lifetime on frame and lenses and a 30 day money back guarantee.
I really like the silver frame/gold lens make of these sunglasses (pictured here below).
YufenraLastly, we've gotten some great usage out of our Yufenra sunglasses as well. Again, this particular make is billed as an outdoor sunglass and they're great for hiking, fishing, etc. The fit is great and the lenses are polarized, have 100% UVB400 protection. AGAIN, though, if they hit the water they sink.
The last thing we want to point out is that the Yufenra have a limited selection of styles and colors to choose from. Other than that they're a solid pair of outdoor sunglasses with a good price point.
Jublo VenturFor those of you who don't paying a little extra for a pair of quality outdoor sunglasses then the Jublo Venturi shades might just be what you're looking for. The only thing that I'd be wary of, in this case, is the limited amount of reviews on Amazon. It makes sense, though, as the higher cost does limit purchases and lead to a higher expectation.
- Photo chromatic lens gets darker or lighter with light intensity, blocking 20-84% of visible light; Built-in anti-fog coating prevents condensation
- Polarizing filter eliminates glare; External hydrophobic coating prevents finger marks and facilitates removal of water
- 100 % A,B,C UV Protection
- Wrap around frame with full front venting, curved temples and 3D Fit Nose
- Protective Case included
So there you have our guide to out picks of the best sunglasses for hiking and general outdoor shenanigans.
Our picks vary from the very affordable to the er not so, but somewhere in there you should find a pair that is within budget and fits your face nicely