Best Sunglasses for Hiking

Protecting your eyes is an important thing to do any time you venture outdoors, and even more so when you are performing an activity where you need to see clearly. When you are outside hiking, you want to make sure you have the protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays so that you don’t incur any eye problems or headaches. Also, having sunglasses that can block out glare and prevent temporary sun blindness can not only help you have better vision when you are outside, they can also help prevent injuries that could occur when you aren’t able to see clearly if you’ve been blinded by the sun.

A good pair of sunglasses meant for hiking will bring you all the durability, glare, and UV protection you need so that your eyes stay protected, and you won’t need to worry about any adverse issues that could affect the way you hike. Not only will you be able to protect your eyes to prevent vision problems, but you’ll also be able to prevent injuries or other issues that could happen, based on how the sun can temporary affect your eyes, or affect your eyes in the long-term. Also, getting a good pair of sunglasses when you are outside will mean you’ll have sunglasses with the durability necessary to perform all of your outdoor activities, so they can handle being dropped or mishandled.

Last Updated: March 18, 2018
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By Mackenzie Jervis:

Sunglasses out on the trail are a must. We've updated our list to give you some more options to keep stylish out on the trail while also having great protection for your eyes.

Oakley Flak 2.0
  • Oakley Flak 2.0
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Nice ear grips
  • Comfortable nose grips
  • Price: See Here
Maui Jim Haleakala
  • Maui Jim Haleakala
  • 4.9 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Lightweight
  • Impact resistant
  • Price: See Here
Oakley Holbrook
  • Oakley Holbrook
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Stylish
  • Durable
  • Price: See Here

10 Best Sunglasses For Hiking

 

 

Oakley Flak 2.0

Oakley’s Flak 2.0 XL sunglasses bring you a lot of protection from the sun’s harmful rays and will also give you protection from the glare. You won’t need to worry about the sun affecting your hiking activities, and you’ll be able to use these sunglasses for a long period of time. They are very strong, and have an excellent structure since they are made by a great manufacturer.
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Lenses:

The lenses on Oakley’s Flak 2.0 XL are comprised out of Oakley’s Plutonite, which means they are both HDO Photochromatic and polarized. These lenses will easily block out the harmful glare and UV light rays that can damage your eyes and make it difficult for you to see. You won’t need to worry about getting temporary sun blindness or any headaches when you are outside wearing these lenses.

Frames:

The materials on the frames of these sunglasses are designed to be very lightweight, and also can resist stress easily. Even though the frames are light, they are durable, and they can handle abuse and dropping or other mishandling without breaking.

Features:

These sunglasses are great for hikers who need lightweight sunglasses that are very versatile and will stay on their faces while they are active. The unobtanium earsocks on these glasses plus the three points of contact designed in the frames means they stay in place, and won’t get bounced around. Also, these sunglasses look best on people who have medium to large faces.

Value:

Considering the durability behind their design, these sunglasses are made very well, and give you everything you need to block out the UV’s harmful rays and glare. They bring you a lot of protection and are built to last, so you’ll get a lot of use out of these sunglasses, which are priced in the average range for sunglasses offering this level of protection.
Pros
  • Lightweight

  • Nice ear grips and nose grips

  • Good vision

Cons
  • Frames won’t fit everyone

  • Lenses run large

 

Maui Jim Haleakala

Maui Jim, as a brand, has been known for making high-quality sunglasses for years. If you are looking for some great sunglasses that are designed from some of the best materials available on the market, then you might want to consider these sunglasses. They bring you polarized lenses that will protect your eyes and help you on your hikes.
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Lenses:

Maui Jim’s Haleakala Sunglasses are designed with polarized lenses, so they are designed to help protect your eyes from UV glare. Also, these lenses will help block out glare, so that you don’t have to worry about any temporary sun blindness affecting you while you are out on the hiking trails. Comprised out of HCL Bronze, these lenses are very durable and made from great materials.

Frames:

The frames on these sunglasses are very durable, and designed from a high-quality glass and polycarbonate material that’s built to last. They do a great job of holding in place through the ear and nose area, so you won’t have to worry about the sunglasses sliding or falling off. And even if they do fall off, they are still strong enough to take the impact.

Features:

These lenses are very lightweight, which makes them very easy and comfortable to wear. Also, they offer you frames and lenses that can take impact if they are dropped, since these sunglasses are built to last.
Value: These sunglasses are priced in the average range, and considering how durable they are and how much eye protection you will get, they are a great value for the price. You’ll get a great pair of sunglasses that are built to last while protecting your eyes.
Pros
  • Lightweight

  • Resists impact

  • Good vision enhancement

  • Look great

Cons
  • Edges of frame can block vision

 

Oakley Holbrook

Oakley is a staple name in sunglasses, since they are known for making some very high-quality and durable products. Oakley’s Holbrook Sunglasses are made for hiking on the trails, and are built to be strong and durable enough to take any mishandling that might happen while you are active. They also come with ample eye protection, and will look fashionable and stylish when you wear them.
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Lenses:

These sunglasses are made from polycarbonate lenses, which makes them very strong and durable. While the lenses can block out the UV rays well, you don’t get polarization built into these lenses, so you won’t get the anti-glare capacities that are offered by some other sunglasses on our list. However, remember, some people prefer polarized glasses while others don’t, so it’s up to a matter of personal preference.

Frames:

These frames are made in the O-matter design, which makes them very comfortable and durable. They’re made to fit and stay on whenever you place them on your face, so you don’t have to worry about them slipping down or falling off.

Features:

The frames on these lenses are made to be both durable and strong, so even if you do drop the frames, you’ll be fine and your glasses will be in great shape. Also, these glasses are designed to be very stylish, so you’ll love the way they look and feel.

Value:

These sunglasses are very affordable considering how much you’ll get for the price. You’ll wind up with great eye protection and plenty of durability, and you’ll be able to use these long-lasting sunglasses for quite some time.
Pros
  • Simple look

  • Stylish

  • Durable frame

Cons
  • Not polarized

  • Could cover eyes better

 

Julbo Trek

Julbo Trek
Julbo’s Trek sunglasses are designed to be very durable, and with their versatility, they can be used for a wide variety of outdoor activities. You’ll get some excellent, lightweight frames that are built to last, and lenses that are made to block out the sun. Plus, with the flex nose design and adjustable frames, you’ll get exactly what you need with these glasses.
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Lenses:

The lenses on these sunglasses are made to block lateral rays from extreme glare, and can also ventilate your eyes. They also block out the UV lights and give you detachable shields. With the polarization these lenses offer, you’ll stay well-protected from the sun every time you are outside.

Frames:

The frames on these sunglasses are made from polyurethane, and are built to be very durable. Also, the frame itself has adjustable temples that you can use to ensure your sunglasses will stay in place and never slide or fall off. The fact you can adjust these sunglasses is a real benefit, since you can always ensure they fit your face.

Features:

Featuring a removable sweat blocker and adjustable cord, you’ll get a lot of bonuses with these sunglasses. Plus, the lenses also feature a flash finish and anti-reflective coating, which will help you avoid the sun’s harmful rays.

Value:

These sunglasses are affordably priced for what they offer you, and their excellent durability means they are built to last. You’ll be able to protect your eyes well and adjust these sunglasses whenever you need to, which is a real bonus.
Pros
  • Frame adjusts

  • Strong lenses

  • Removable sweat barrier

Cons
  • Can seem dark when light is low

Julbo Bivouak

Julbo Bivouak
Julbo’s Bivouak sunglasses would be great for any hiker who wants versatility and a lot of all-around protection while experiencing the great outdoors. These sunglasses are designed to be lightweight and durable, and provide a lot of protection from the sun whenever you are outside. Plus, you won’t have to worry about them breaking if you drop them.
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Lenses:

Made from polyurethane, these lenses come polarized and offer a lot of protection from the glare and the UV rays while you are outside. You’ll also like the wide Chameleon lens style, which offers a lot of protection from the sun. Plus, if you need more protection, you can add magnetic protection wings as well.

Frames:

The frames on these sunglasses are designed to be adjustable, so you can make them easily fit your face whenever you wear them. Also, the adjustability helps to ensure that the sunglasses won’t slide out of place or fall off your face. With the 360 degree adjustable temples, you’ll always have the perfect fit.

Features:

These sunglasses offer full coverage to protect your eyes from the sun, with the bonus addition of their magnetic protective shields. Plus, they also feature a front venting system and excellent grip technology, all of which help add to their quality.

Value:

These sunglasses are very affordable considering what you’ll get if you purchase them. Their durability and quality materials mean they are built strong, and you’ll have a great pair of sunglasses you can use for a long period of time.
Pros
  • Frames adjust

  • Lightweight

  • Durable

Cons
  • Lenses are slow to transition

  • Not always great in very bright light

     

Oakley Radarlock Path

Oakley Radarlock Path
Oakley’s Radarlock Path Sunglasses are another viable option for hikers that want a lot of versatility and durability when they purchase their sunglasses. Designed to be lightweight and affordable, if you don’t want polarized lenses but still want UV protection, then these glasses have just that. Plus, they can handle a lot of abuse when you are on the trails, which is another bonus.
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Lenses:

Oakley’s Radarlock Path sunglasses are designed with durable plastic lenses that are also comprised of non-polarized iridium. They also have a 100% UV protective coating on them, so you’ll be safe from the sun’s dangerous rays while you are outside. Plus, the lenses are also prescription ready in case you need to add prescription lenses into them.

Frames:

Made with tough plastic frames, these frames can handle a lot of wear and tear while you are playing outside. They are very lightweight and meant to handle just about anything. While these frames aren’t adjustable, the sunglasses themselves are designed to stay on your face.

Features:

If you purchase these sunglasses, you’ll get a bonus extra case for additional protection when you aren’t wearing them. Also, you’ll get a nice range of view with these sunglasses, and frames that are built to last.

Value:

These sunglasses are priced in the average range, and do give you a lot of value considering what they offer. They will last quite awhile and also perform well when you are hiking and active outside.
Pros
  • Good range of view

  • Lightweight

  • Removable lenses

Cons
  • Runs small

  • Might not fit everybody

Costa Del Mar Blackfin

Costa Del Mar Blackfin
Costa Del Mar’s Blackfin Sunglasses bring you a stylish pair of sunglasses that offers glare and UV protection when you are hiking outside. You’ll get a lot of durability with these glasses, which also offer a lightweight frame design. Although these sunglasses don’t offer an adjustable fit, they are made to fit all face types and sizes.
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Lenses:

Costa Del Mar’s Blackfin Sunglasses are made with high-quality polarized lenses that offer 100% UV protection while you are outside. You’ll get some great lenses that are meant to protect your eyes from the sun, and that are also able to block out glare. Plus, they help boost your vision and provide you with a very clear view.

Frames:

The frames on these sunglasses are made from polycarbonate, which makes them very durable and able to handle misuse. These frames are not adjustable, but they do provide a great fit that will stay on your face and not cause you many issues with slipping or falling.

Features:

The manufacturer offers a one -year warranty on these sunglasses, which is a great sign that this brand stands behind its product. Also, these sunglasses are unisex, so they are designed to look great on all face types. The rubber nose pad and temple tips will also help give you the fit and feel you need when you are active.

Value:

These sunglasses are priced affordably for what they offer, and they’ll give you the durability and performance you need while you are active. Also, you’ll get plenty of protection from the sun and a high-quality pair of sunglasses that is built to last.
Pros
  • Good fit

  • Good sun protection

  • Reduces glare

Cons
  • Can fog up easily

  • Could come in more colors

     

Smith Pivlock V2 Max

Smith Pivlock V2 Max
Smith’s Pivlock V2 Max sunglasses offers you a set of interchangeable lenses in sunglasses that are designed to be very durable. While these sunglasses don’t offer polarized lenses, the lenses still block out the sun’s UV rays. Plus, the frames on these sunglasses are very durable and lightweight, so if you purchase these sunglasses, you’ll have something that will last you a long time.
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Lenses:

Smith’s Pivlock V2 Max comes with three interchangeable carbonic TLT lenses so that you can adjust the color and vision as you see fit, and as you need to. The lenses on these sunglasses are not polarized, but the do offer a lot of UV protection so you’ll get the safety you need for your eyes. Also, these lenses are designed to be larger, so they bring a lot of extra coverage to your eyes.

Frames:

The frames on these lenses are made from polycarbonate, and feature the evolve frame material to help make them more durable. Plus, you’ll get frames that are very durable and can handle drops and a lot of abuse while you are busy hiking. You’ll also be able to adjust the nose and other areas of the sunglasses to give you a better fit overall.

Features:

These sunglasses come with a hydrophilic Megol Nose and Temple Pads, which are adjustable and will help you keep the sunglasses on your face. Also, you’ll get strong, coated lenses for UV protection. These sunglasses are designed to fit medium to large faces.

Value:

These sunglasses aren’t as affordable as some of the other products on our list, but they still offer you a good value for the durability and the options you’ll get. However, if you are shopping on a budget, these sunglasses might not be right for you.
Pros
  • Lightweight

  • Nice range of view

  • Good design

Cons
  • Can fog up

  • Might be too big for some people

Peppers Cutthroat

Peppers Cutthroat
Peppers Cutthroat Sunglasses are designed to be very durable and flexible, so they offer a lot of comfort while you are active and hiking on the trails. You’ll get plenty of eye protection with the polarized lenses that will block out both the glare and UV rays. Plus, they are also designed to hold tight to your face even if you need to wear sunscreen, which can make your face and nose slippery.
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Lenses:

Pepper’s sunglasses are made with excellent lenses that are tri-acetate and polarized. Plus, you’ll get two acetate lenses that feature a polyvinyl acetate layer for extra eye protection and durability. These lenses do an excellent job of blocking out the glare and preventing UV rays from interfering with your eyes and line of vision.

Frames:

The frames on these sunglasses are made with a grilamid frame, which gives you a lot of flexibility when you wear them, and frames that are very durable and long-lasting. They are designed to fit your face securely, and designed to wrap around the front of your eyes. You won’t have to worry about these sunglasses falling off of your face or slipping.

Features:

These sunglasses come prescription-ready, so you’ll be able to swap them out with prescription lenses if you need to. They also come with a case, which you can use to preserve them easily when you aren’t wearing them.

Value:

These sunglasses are very high-quality, and feature a lot of durability and a full range of benefits for their price. They are built to last and do offer a great value for people looking for sunglasses that they want to utilize for a while.
Pros
  • Flexible

  • Nice vision clarity

  • Blocks out glare

Cons
  • Might be too large for some

  • Could come in more color options

Duduma TR90

Duduma TR90
Dudma’s TR90 Sunglasses offer you a nice, fashionable design that brings a lot of eye protection when you are out on the trails. If you are looking for a good pair of sunglasses that can cut back on glare, and also protect you from the sun’s rays, then you’ll love what these sunglasses offer. Also, they come with a full lifetime warranty, which makes them an excellent value for their price.
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Lenses:

The lenses on the Duduma TR90 are designed to be polarized, and can block out 100% of the sun’s harmful rays with their UV400 protection coating. You’ll also get a boost in your vision and color, with some excellent lenses that help cut back on glare. You’ll get lenses that are made with 7 layers of protection, which help protect your eyes as well as the lenses themselves from abrasions and impact.

Frames:

The frames on these sunglasses are made to be lightweight and flexible, so they’ll feel very comfortable each time you wear them. They are also made to be durable and versatile, and can handle hiking as well as a wide variety of other outdoor activities. Also, the frames offer a stylish design, which makes them very fashionable to wear.

Features:

These sunglasses come with a lifetime breakage warranty on both the frame and lenses, so you’ll not only wind up with a pair of sunglasses that the manufacturer stands behind, but excellent customer service. If anything happens to these sunglasses, you’ll be able to get what you need to repair the damage. So you can rest easy and purchase these lenses knowing you have no risk.

Value:

Considering how much is packed into the design of these sunglasses, they are an excellent value. You’ll get all the eye protection you need with this pair of lightweight, well-designed sunglasses, and you’ll know you can replace them if there is any damage.
Pros
  • Great vision protection

  • Comfortable

  • Stylish

Cons
  • Polarization could be better

Searching for a good pair of sunglasses for hiking can be a difficult task, because there are so many options on the market today. To help save you time and make a good decision, we’ve broken down the top ten best sunglasses for hiking based on their performance and quality. On top of this, we’ll also break down the criteria points we used to evaluate these sunglasses so that you’ll be able to understand how to analyze what you need and make the best decision for you.

 

Criteria Used For The Evaluation

When you’re busy trying to find the best sunglasses for hiking, you’re going to want to consider a few criteria points to help you make your decision. First, you’ll want to make sure you get the lenses that are right for you. Different brands bring you a wide variety of choices as far as lenses are concerned, so make sure you know what you want before you purchase it. Some people prefer polarized lenses to protect their eyes from glare, while others do not. Because of this, we offered a few choices in polarized and non-polarized lenses. All of the products on our list also do a great job of protecting your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays.

Frames are another thing you’ll need to look into, and what you need in your frames depends on how you want the sunglasses to fit. Some of the products on our list come with adjustable frames, which can be great if you want to make sure that whatever sunglasses you buy will actually fit your face. Also, all of the products on our list come with durable frames, and they are all designed to stay in place while you are active. However, some sunglasses are designed to fit smaller faces, while others fit larger faces, so you’ll need to factor that in.

The extra features that come with sunglasses you might purchase can feature things like cases or extra pieces to help better protect your eyes. Some sunglasses give you a few lenses to snap in that can vary depending on what you need. Also, some of these sunglasses come with lengthy warranties, which is also a nice feature to have.

We also looked at value when we examined all of the sunglasses on our list. Whether you are shopping on a budget or not, value can be an important point to consider because you’ll want to make sure you get the best deal on your sunglasses, no matter what you want to pay.

To help you better make a well-informed decision on hiking sunglasses, we’ll cover each one of these criteria points in a bit more detail below. Knowing more about these criteria points should help you make a better decision when you want to purchase your sunglasses.

Lenses

Before you purchase your sunglasses, you will want to consider the types of lenses you are going to get. Many of the styles of sunglasses on our list offer polarized lenses. Polarized lenses help to greatly cut back on glare and also prevent temporary sun-blindness, which can be a real problem when you are out on the trails. Sun-blindness can also create headaches and other problems, which can often ruin a wonderful outing and make your day miserable. However, not all people want polarized lenses, and some hikers prefer to go without them. Really, polarization depends on whether you can handle it or not, and whether you are very sensitive to the glare the sun can create when you are out on the trails. Some people prefer to go without, while others like this level of protection.

Also, you want to make sure the lenses you buy block out all of the sun’s rays. All of the sunglasses on our list come with lenses that can do this, whether they are polarized or not. You’ll want all of the protection from the sun’s rays to help keep your eyes from getting damaged as you go outside and stay active. If you aren’t careful with this, you can wind up with a variety of eye problems later in life.

The strength and durability of the lenses will also matter. You want to make sure your lenses are abrasion resistant and built to handle some mishandling while you are active. Our list of products does offer you that type of protection, but just be careful if you do buy a pair of sunglasses not on our list.

Frames

Frames vary widely from brand to brand and style to style, but all of the products on our list offer frames that are durable and made of some kind of plastic. They are all able to withstand any type of abuse or dropping that might happen while out on the trails, and still perform well. Of course, you’ll want that kind of durability when you are out on the trails.

Frames also come with different features and benefits depending on brand name and style. Some of the frames on our list are very adjustable, which is a nice feature to have because it ensures that the sunglasses will fit. Others have bonus parts you can add to them, and other additional options. While adjustability is a great feature, you won’t always get frames that can do this. So, in essence, you really want to make sure your frames can fit you well.

Features

The sunglasses on our list all come with a wide variety of different features. Some of the sunglasses feature cases that you can use and get no additional money. Cases are a great way to extend the life of your sunglasses and keep them protected when you aren’t using them. So, really, you are going to need a case whether your sunglasses come with them or not, and getting a case is a great bonus.

Some of these sunglasses also come with long-lasting warranties, which is wonderful if anything ever breaks and you need to replace something on your sunglasses. You’ll be able to get a lot of use for the price if you buy something with a warranty, because you’ll be able to easily replace parts on the sunglasses as you see fit.

Value

The value you’ll get from your sunglasses has been discussed for each product we’ve listed. While it’s always important to make sure you get the most for your money, you’ll want to factor in the durability of your sunglasses before you purchase them. Make sure you check out some customer reviews on how long the sunglasses last, and how much mishandling they can take. Also, as far as other bonus features and other additions you’ll get when you purchase a pair of sunglasses, we’ve factored that into our value category.

 

Other Important Factors To Consider

When you are searching around to find the right pair of sunglasses for you, you’ll want to consider a few other things as well. One of the most important factors will be the overall durability of your sunglasses. You do want to make something that can handle some falls, impacts, and abuse, so the more durable your sunglasses, the longer they will last.

Also, fit becomes important with sunglasses. Some sunglasses are better at fitting certain types of faces than others, so make sure to pay attention to this when you select your brand and style. Also, some of the sunglasses on our list come with adjustable frames, which can really be a bonus if you are very concerned about how the sunglasses fit you. Having a pair of sunglasses fit correctly is very important, since you’ll want the sunglasses to stay on your face and not slip off or create problems with your vision. So, the better they fit, the better performance you’ll get.

 

FAQs

Q: How important is it to have polarized lenses?

Whether you need polarized lenses or not can depend a lot on your eyes and how sensitive you are to light. Some people have a lot of sensitivity to the sun as far as their eyes are concerned, and this can make it very important for them to have polarization. Polarization does take some getting used to, but it does really help prevent glare and temporary sun-blindness. So, if you do know your eyes are sensitive to light and glare, polarized lenses would be a good option.

Q: How can purchasing sunglasses with a warranty benefit me?

If you worry about the level of abuse your sunglasses might incur while you are out on the trail, then it would be a good idea to purchase something that offers a great warranty. Sunglasses that offer warranties will often let you replace broken parts with no questions ask, and that way, you won’t have to buy a new pair of sunglasses if something goes wrong. That can save you a good deal of money in the long run, which can be very beneficial.

Q: How much does price affect the durability of sunglasses?

If you are purchasing a pair of sunglasses that are more affordable, you might be sacrificing some durability as well as overall lens and frame quality. However, you’ll still be able to get a lot of use out of some affordable sunglasses that are made to help you out while you are hiking. So, really, if you are shopping on a budget, you don’t need to be overly concerned about this issue. Just know you might need to replace your sunglasses a little bit faster than if you bought something that was priced higher.

Q: Does brand matter?

It can, but not always. Some of the better known brands will give you more features, like cases, and better warranties with their products. So, depending on what you are looking for, brand may or may not matter to you. If you are shopping on a budget, it can be difficult to select the best overall brand, but that is still okay. You can still get a decent pair of sunglasses for the money.

Q: Is it better to get sunglasses that are adjustable?

That all depends on you. If you want sunglasses that will always offer the perfect fit, then go for adjustability. However, some people are just fine with frames that don’t do this, so consider your preference.

Q: Do I really need additional features with my sunglasses?

Some of the sunglasses we’ve discussed also come with additional parts or lenses that also are a nice bonus to have. Really, when it comes to features, you’ll have to figure out the bonuses you really want and need, and then make your decision from there.

 

Sources

  1. The Adventure Junkies, Hiking Sunglasses 101, Informational Outdoor Website, May 02, 2017
  2. Laura P, Best Hiking Sunglasses for Men, Informational Outdoor Website, Aug 17, 2017
  3. Travelsauro , The Top 10 Best Hiking Sunglasses, Informational Outdoor Website, Jul 15, 2017

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