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Best Sunglasses for Hiking

Just like running, and climbing, hiking is outdoor sports that require your eyes to be fully protected. The protection from the suns glare, falling objects and other events that could harm your eyes requires best sunglasses for hiking that are up for the game.

Best Hiking Sunglasses For Backpackers In 2019

Oakley Men's OO9208 Radar EV Path Shield Sunglasses, Matte Black/Prizm Road, 38 mm
Soft vault sunglass case and Microbag included to clean and store your Oakley sunglasses.
Native Kodiak Polarized Sunglasses
Full frame, N3 lens style with interchange Sportflex lens; Cam action hinges; Fits Medium face
Costa Del Mar Blackfin Sunglasses, Black, Blue Mirror 580 Plastic Lens
100% polarization kills reflected glare and reduces eye strain.

Best Hiking Sunglasses Under 100

From cliffs scaling to state park exploring, a professional hiker knows that the difference comes from the right sunglasses choice. These sunglasses will protect you from anything mother nature waves your way, from debris to tree branches hence keeps your focus on the vital — engulfing yourself in the beautiful scenery like a real hiker supposed to. A hiker’s life is embroiled in safety and hopes of going back home without any injuries or bruises. However, how often do we always care about our eyes? Do you care about having the perfect hiking sunglasses? Well here is the catch.

From ergonomics to frame materials and modern age lenses, it is very sophisticated when it comes to the sunglasses technology! Being a hiker who is tech savvy here is intrusive research that will guide you as a buyer to getting your best hiking sunglasses.

It is a trivial matter when it comes to choosing the perfect sunglasses pair. Since the eyes are very vulnerable and a flexible body part, investing in a protective eye device makes a lot of sense.

best sunglasses for hiking

What is hiking sunglasses?

Informally known as shades, Sunglasses are protective eye wear made mainly to protect the eyes from intense bright light, and any other forms of accidents that could destroy the orbs. Sunglasses can also work as a visual aid spectacle that has colored, darkened or polarized lenses. In the past, these glasses were referred to sun cheaters which has been an American slang in the past years.

The American Optometric  Association(AOA) has recommended hiking glasses since they help prevent your eyes from the ultraviolet radiation more so when you are hiking in the sun. These glasses are also beneficial after eye surgery like LASIK.

The lenses have also been used in extremely dusty areas as well as areas commonly attacked by sun dunes and desert winds. The reason for choosing the best material is that most dark glasses that cannot prevent UV radiation is not suitable for the eye. This is because they only enlarge the eyes for more light to pass through.

Why go for sunglasses during hiking?

When it comes to improving your visual clarity and visual comfort, sunglasses are the perfect tools for preventing too much glare passing through your eyes. These glasses are also used by patients getting eye drops. If you are under any eye medication then going hiking without a sunglass is a risky affair.

The polarized sunglasses lenses minimize the suns glare that is mostly reflected on shiny surfaces, like water. The person wearing these glasses can easily look ahead into any object without the fear of reflected light bouncing hard on their eyes. Sunglasses give hikers protection from too much light exposure, including the invisible and visible components.

The glasses are not just used because of their fashionable attribution, but rather it is an epitome of hiking and can't miss in your hiking gear. The UV radiation is hazardous more so to the vulnerable eyes. If you don’t protect your eyes during hiking, you could suffer from long or short term ailments like snow blindness, cataracts, photo keratitis or even eye cancer. So it is essential to carry your hiking sunglasses whenever you go hiking.  

Medical experts say that the best hiking sunglasses should almost filter about 99% of the UVB or UV light. To get this type of sunglasses you have to look at the labelling that usually is "UV400". As compared to the EU standard, these glasses offer more eye protection from the dangerous radiation. Nonetheless having these hiking glasses on does not mean you can now look directly into the sun.

Things to consider while buying the best hiking sunglasses

Staying healthy of your eyes while hiking is vital and this can only be achieved through getting the perfect sunglasses. Getting the best glasses for your hiking activity is essential. So here are some of the useful things to look out for in sunglasses.

1. Lightweight Frames
2. Durability is key factor
3. Comfort is relevant
4. Polarized lenses do the magic
5. The curves are equally important

Lightweight Frames

Lightweight sunglasses are the best, so when settling down for sunglasses, you will need to pick the ones with plastic frames. You wouldn’t love the feeling of carrying a heavy thing more so on your face, and it is very discomforting. When you go hiking, a lot of energy needs to be preserved, and it is tiresome to add something that is heavy more so on a hot hiking day.

Durability is key

Plastic frames have the capability of handling a bit of tear and wear.

This is essential especially should you be embarking on strenuous or long hikes where you possess higher risks of getting your sunglasses damaged.

Squinting when it is hot has never been a good experience for hikers. So having sunglasses that can match your activity level is vital.

Comfort is relevant

When it comes to comfortable sunglasses, then plastic ones are the ones to go for. This is very important when getting yourself sunglasses for a hiking trip. Being distracted while hiking has never been something you can ask for more so when your feet are swollen, and you have irritating glasses on your face too!

Polarized lenses do the magic

Polarized lenses are the best asset for any hiker. An additional green tip when you are selecting the best hiking glasses is purchasing one that possesses polarized lenses. These polarized lenses can shield your eyes off the rocks, sand and snow glare.

The discomfort caused by the suns harshness can give strain to your eyes which can cause you a headache during your hike. Your main hiking agenda is to enjoy so getting yourself polarized lenses.

When it comes to impact-resistance, polarized lenses play a significant role.

The curves are equally important

Your face shape should determine the type of hiking sunglasses you are purchasing. The variety of frames that slightly curve at your face is a perfect choice. The curves give protection and comfort to the hiker.

It is also important to say that getting a wraparound type of sunglasses will protect you from the suns glare on both sides. This will in return give you the comfort and courage to hike without a distraction.

Essential Design features of sunglass for hiking

1. Fit
2. Shape
3. Tint
4. Material


Sunglasses are supposed to fit for them to be attractive or look better. How they provide can also play a significant role in how they will offer protection to the dangerous UV rays while hiking. A perfect-fitting sunglasses are right when they snugly fit onto your face without a struggle or discomfort. Your eye and lens should be aligned at the Centre.  The sunglasses frame should be narrow to protect your eyes from the rays that might pass through the sides.


When it comes to shape, you can't fail to get one that fits your need because there are many sunglasses shapes available. These include the wayfarer, wraparound, cat eye, and aviator. It is an aesthetic decision for any shape that you select. Always get sunglasses that correspond with your face. However, some occasions require a particular type of sunglasses to protect the eyes of imminent danger.


The tints of sunglasses work in different ways when it comes to filtering light. Most tinted grey lenses cut the light brightness without messing with the color of the objects. Such glasses are suitable for sightseeing and even driving. Brown and amber reduce glare and blue light. Gradient lenses that fade light and a darker top can be compared to the windshield of your car. These sunglasses can block sunlight without affecting whatever you are seeing.


Plastic is the most commonly used material to make sunglasses more so the lenses. Nonetheless, it is important to note which type of plastic the sunglasses are made of. The kind of plastic determines durability, strength and how heavy or light the sunglasses are. When a sunglass is made of heavy plastic, it is most likely to withstand tension and may not break during an aggressive hiking moment. It is not safe for the eyes when sunglasses shutter; the outcome can be drastic.

Description of different parts of hiking sunglasses

If you are an outdoor person, then you would be aware of the dangers you expose your eyes to the bright light from the sun. Sunglasses aren’t just about the dangerous rays, but they protect your eyes from the everyday eminent dangers that could harm your eyes.

Pad Arm

The arm pad is found at the nose pad, and it is crucial when it comes to adjustments to fit well on your face.

Nose pad

At the bridge of the sunglasses, there is a nose pad under it. It is the somewhat dull plastic object that is used to position the sunglasses on to your face. It gives comfort and a tight fit on the front of the wearer.


These glass material objects act as the visual point of the wearer. They are not only glass made but also polycarbonate material and plastic. Some lenses can be incorporated with materials that can protect your eyes from the dangerous rays.

Top Bar

At the lenses, there is a high bar which gives the glasses the extra support. However, some lenses don’t come with the top bar.

End Piece

This frame is found at the end of the lenses connecting the lenses to the temples.


It is a small fastener metal that is at the hinge and joins the frames to the temples. They also assist in tightening or holding the nose pad firmly.

The pros and cons of hiking glasses

The pros 

  • Reasonable price and high quality
  • Ears and nose grips made of rubber
  • With warranty
  • The resistant impact is high
  • Excellent lens technology
  • Very comfortable
  • Suitable for snow and mountaneering
  • Anti-fog and shock resistance technology
  • Side shields are removable


  • Not advisable for extreme sports
  • Invisible lenses in situations of low light
  • Obstruction of vision by the frame edge

Final verdict

Taking care of your eyes is the most viable thing any hiker can do. It not only helps protect your eyes but also gives you a lot of chances for more hikes to come. An injury to the eye can be very devastating and should be avoided at all cost since our eyes are the most vital body part. You should also remember that despite their names being sunglasses that they are only of use on sunny days. No, that is not the case. They are essential every day as long as you have hit the trail. Whether the day is clear or cloudy sun rays can always penetrate through even on a rainy day. Reflection and glare are very disturbing. It is therefore essential to have your sunglasses intact. Do have a beautiful hiking time and remember your sunglasses everywhere.

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