Buy it for life sunglasses
Are you currently in the search for the best sunglasses out there for you? For a day out exposed to the rays of the sun for activities such as driving, hiking, lounging at the beach — or for any other possible reason — you surely need a pair to protect your eyes!
Sunglasses are not just mere fashion pieces for your look. Sunglasses are essential to your eyes just as much sunscreen is essential to protect your skin from the sun. This is also the exact reason why it’s important to invest in a BIFL pair of sunglasses.
From hundreds of brands that manufacture sunglasses on a daily basis, we gathered a list of popular brands in the market today.
Costa Del Mar
Created by the beach for beach lovers nearly 40 years ago, Costa Del Mar is providing the best polarized sunglasses in the world! Costa is known to offer advanced polarized lens technology in on-trend, beach-ready sunglass styles that are inspired by ocean life and structures.
Seeing a need in the market for technology that could combat intense glare and harmful UV while bringing the brilliant colors of the island to life, Maui Jim engineered polarized lenses in 1980. The company started out small on Ka’anapali beach in Lahaina, Maui with 7 classic designs — which now evolved into 125!
Smith was founded in 1965 with the invention of the first snow goggle featuring a sealed thermal lens and breathable vent foam. It’s widely known today as a pioneer in advanced eyewear and helmets that incorporate dynamic technologies, optimized performance, and clean styling to fuel fun beyond walls such as thrilling experiences in snow, surf, bike, fish, and peak performance outdoor adventures.
In 1973, two immigrants embarked on their American Dream in building the world’s finest sunglasses. Nearly five decades later, their very techniques and expertise to handcraft frames are all still being used. With a background in engineering and some serious skills, they set out to build an eyewear company with their bare hands purposely built for the US Department of Defense (a.k.a. the military).
American Optical (AO)
Probably the oldest and the earliest form of sunglasses were made by American Optical way back in 1876. It was during this time when glasses were fitted with a variety of tinted lenses in blue, smoke, pink, and amber shades. Fast forward to 1913, AO secured the rights to Crookes glasses (invented by a British scientist, Sir William Crookes) and that the study of UV protection became an exact science. The Crookes glasses sold then were either clear lenses or various darker shades, obviously for extended outdoor usage.
It was in the 1930s when airplanes allowed people to fly higher and farther and many US Air Force pilots were reporting that the glare from the sun was giving them headaches and altitude sickness. Ray-Ban as a brand was then born — a new kind of glasses was introduced with green lenses that could cut out the glare without obscuring vision. The original glasses featured a plastic frame and eventually evolved with the now classic Aviator shape.
Oakley is among the leading product design and sport performance brands in the world. It is most often chosen by world-class athletes to compete with. Oakley is a holder of more than 850 patents and it’s also known for its innovative lens technologies including PRIZMTM. Oakley extended its position as a sports eyewear brand into apparel and accessories, offering men’s and women’s product lines specifically for sport performance, active, and lifestyle consumers.
Back in 2003, Tifosi Optics was set out to create eyewear that stood for quality, style, function, and value. With the support and passion from both their partners and customers, Tifosi has grown to become a recognized, relevant, and a trusted brand in cycling, running, outdoor, and golf. The producers surely design, test, and torture their products to enhance any sport — regardless if you’re running a 5k, riding your first century, or playing 18 holes.
Bolle launched its first sunglasses in the 1930s and quickly became the pioneer of molded Nylon which enabled them to create products that meet the highest standards of safety. Ski goggles were also first marketed by Bollé. Leading the industry in product innovations, the brand took the business from a small cottage to one of the world’s most prominent manufacturers of premium eyewear.
Native Eyewear was founded in 1998 with its performance-designed polarized sunglasses. The brand has developed a stable loyal customer base in its first ten-year history. Native’s technologies, integrated into its frames and lenses, have been firsts in industry developments. Native is also one of the firsts to introduce its line of interchangeable polarized snow goggles.
Best brands for different uses
Crowd favorite: Maui Jim
We’ve gone through tons (and tons!) of reviews in the comments section only to find this constant name in the competitor list! These sunglasses just tend to feel better on anyone’s face because of their quality hinges and lenses, not to mention that they feel so lightweight there’s no need for you to worry if they’ll fall off your head or your face when bending over. Maui Jim sunglasses are pretty expensive — but as they say, you get what you pay for.
Best polarized sunglasses: Ray-Ban
Ray-Ban is one of the classic brands when talking about sunglasses, and it’s a fact that we simply cannot just ignore. Ray-Ban’s Clubmaster, has a lightweight but sturdy aluminum frame, a thick shatter-resistant metal-rimmed glass lens that keeps it timeless among the best of the bests. Fit for any occasion, its overall materials and build make it an easy, nearly indestructible choice for people constantly on the move under the sun.
Best sunglasses for driving: American Optical
AO sunglasses have been endorsed by the US Army, so you just know right away that you’re investing in a decent pair. With American Optical’s classic Aviator style (Flight Gear Original Pilot sunglass), the dark gray lenses are the ideal match for bright driving conditions, and they shouldn’t distort color either. With a strong, steel alloy frame, they may even survive if you accidentally sit on them.
Best sunglasses for cycling: Tifosi
Designed by cyclists for cyclists, Tifosi Optics is the number one selling brand of cycling sunglasses in specialty bike stores for their technical features and racing appeal. Each pair of Tifosi sunglasses provide heavy-duty protection in a light-weight package with frames of durable, high quality Grilamid TR-90 and scratch-resistant, shatterproof lenses. Adjustable ear and nose pads are wrapped in hydrophilic rubber which increases grip the more you sweat. Most models are prepared for rides any time of day with either interchangeable lenses or transitioning lens tints, always with 100% protection from harmful UV rays.
Best sunglasses for the beach: Costa Del Mar
Costa Del Mar is known for their seafaring shades and they have a special addition that makes them even better for water use. There are several different lenses and frames you can pick from. However, the flagship model is designed to block out yellow and blue light to help with clarity when in water (or when fishing). By reducing these colors, Costa Del Mar gives us some sunglasses with polarized lenses that are purposely built for staying under the sun. There are both shaded and mirrored lenses available. All of them are 100% UV coated to protect the eyes which is even more important on the water where rays are reflected.
Best sunglasses for hiking: Smith Optical
Smith Optics lens technology filters two wavelengths of light that cause color confusion, while the brand’s array of lens tints is designed to cover every kind of light condition you might face in the great outdoors. Its eco-friendly frame material includes a grip embedded into the temples and nose pad. Smith’s Chromapop lenses also help in boosting contrast, enhancing details on the trail.
Best sunglasses for all-around skiing: Oakley
When it comes to sunglasses, nobody beats out Oakley. The brand has spent years making high-quality eyewear, and the Holbrook and Jawbreakers are perfect for the slopes. While they don’t come cheap, their ample features make them worth the price. Oakley’s sunglasses come with polarized iridium lenses, and 100% UV coating to ensure that our eyes are fully protected from the reflection of the sun as you carve down the hills. They also have a unique 6 base lens curvature that provides you a great view of what’s lying ahead. Oakley sunglasses are durable with impact protection that keeps them intact during a fall or crash.