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From hiking up snow-topped mountains and dealing with intense snow glare, to scaling steep climbs in strong sunlight, any experienced hiker understands the importance of high-quality sunglasses. If you are a hiker, you know there are a lot of things to think about before you begin your venture – comfortable and suitable clothing, safety equipment, and more.
It’s also vital to not slack on choosing the right pair of sunglasses for your type of trip and your personal needs. Taking care of your eyes is just as important as taking care of the rest of your body when hiking. In many hiking terrains, the direct sunlight and glare can be particularly dangerous for your eyes. You don’t want any eye strain when you are trying to admire those amazing views!
When choosing the best hiking sunglasses, there are many things to consider. Your perfect pair needs to be comfortable so that you can wear them for the long periods you’ll be out in nature. Durability is a huge factor, too. As many of us hikers know, hiking can be extremely active, and at times treacherous, so you will, therefore, need sunglasses that can withstand this!
Choosing the best hiking sunglasses can be a huge task. Do you choose polarized or non-polarized? Light frames for comfort or heavy frames for maximum durability?
With so many price ranges and features to choose from, where do you begin? Luckily, we have done all the hard work for you. Below, we have narrowed that enormous list down to the seven best hiking sunglasses. We have even detailed all the features included, so there will surely be a perfect pair of hiking sunglasses for everyone on this list. Read on to find the best pair of hiking sunglasses for you!
View The Best Hiking Sunglasses Below
1. Under Armour Igniter Sunglasses
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First up on the list are the Under Armour Igniter Sunglasses. These hiking sunglasses have the classic rectangular lens style that’s so popular among men’s sunglasses these days. The lens material comes in four various colors to choose from, and includes polarized lenses in each one of them, meaning this style would suit anyone’s fashion needs.
The frames are made from polycarbonate and titanium, ensuring these glasses are lightweight, while also being extremely durable. The optical clarity on the Under Armour’s is excellent, providing a clear and crisp view, even on those very sunny days! They include a co-molded rubber nose pad and temple arms. This means there is no chance of them slipping off your face during that long and strenuous hike! The Under Armour’s provide 100% UV protection from harmful rays and are marketed to include a polarizing anti-glare effect. This pair is perfect for those long hikes as they are incredibly comfortable and durable.
+ Stylish colorful lenses
+ 100% UV Protection
Why We Like It – The lightweight lens material of polycarbonate and titanium ensures these hiking sunglasses can be worn all day comfortably.
2. Julbo Vermont Classic Glacier Sunglasses
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Number 2 on our list is, without a doubt, the most unique and trendy style of sunglasses. The Julbo Vermont’s have the classic ‘mountaineering lens’ look, with leather side shields and a leather nose piece. A cool feature is that these side pieces and the nose piece can easily be removed, depending on your personal preference! One thing to keep in mind with this style is the limiting of peripheral vision due to the side pieces.
But as have are removable side shields, you don’t have to worry too much about this issue! This pair blocks 95% of visible light and 100% of harmful UV rays. The lens material includes an anti-reflective coating, so you can rest assured there will be no glare when wearing the Julbo Vermont sunglasses!
Reviews have noted that even when hiking on glaciers during strong, direct sunlight, these sunglasses protect against glare tremendously. As these glasses are incredibly lightweight, they are comfortable to wear all day, even in hot temperatures.
+ Very trendy!
+ Removable leather side shields and nose piece
+ Great protection against glare
Why We Like It – These sunglasses are incredibly stylish and trendy! We love the fact that they feature removable side shields
3. RIVBOS Polarized Sports Sunglasses
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Next up are a fantastic option if you’re looking for a budget pair of hiking sunglasses. The RIVBOS polarized lenses are lightweight, yet durable, and are perfect for those that will be hiking for long periods. The RIVBOS’s offer 100% protection from UV rays and harmful blue light.
Wearing these sunglasses will supply a clear and crisp picture, with no distortion, even in direct sunlight. The orange ‘rainbow’ lens material diminishes yellow tint and allows blue colors to shine through more prominently. Reviews of the RIVBOS pair have even mentioned that this budget pair may even be better than Oakleys!
+ Budget price
+ 100% UV protection
+ A crisp picture even in direct sunlight
Why We Like It – The unique ‘rainbow’ lenses provide excellent clarity in sunlight.
4. O’Neill Men’s Harlyn Polarized Sunglasses
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Another excellent budget pair on our list of the best hiking sunglasses is the O’Neill Men’s Harlyn polarized sunglasses. Boasting a classic ‘ray-ban’ style, these are perfect for those looking to combine budget pricing with chic style!
Reviews have noted that these pairs are best for people with larger facial structures, as the square lenses offer a slightly bigger than average sizing. The lightweight frames will ensure that you can wear these all day during a trek, while also remaining comfortable. There’s no chance of them slipping off your face!
+ Budget price
+ Classic ‘ray-ban’ style
Why We Like It – These glasses are designed specifically for those with larger facial structures.
5. Oakley Men’s OO9164 Bottle Rocket Rectangular Sunglasses
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Number 5 on the list are the Oakley Men’s 009164 Bottle Rocket sunglasses. One of the more expensive pairs on our list, the Bottle Rocket’s have an unusual brown/bronze color of frames and lenses, making them a unique choice for hiking! As they are more on the expensive side, they have a larger number of benefits compared to some of our cheaper choices.
The clarity when looking through these lenses is flawless, with perfect lighting that ensures it’s not overly dark. These sunglasses don’t include just any kind of polarized lenses; the Bottle Rockets have iridium polarized lenses, which are rated to a much higher quality, with a more crisp view than the average, plain polarization. These sunglasses even cut out UV light to normalize levels on any sunny day. Although these are marketed as men’s sunglasses, many females have raved about these also!
+ Extremely durable
+ Perfect clarity
Why We Like It – They include unique iridium polarized lenses.
6. DUCO Men’s Sports Polarized Sunglasses
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The DUCO Men’s hiking sunglasses come in an amazing range of 11 different colors to choose from! The shape of these frames is incredibly stylish, boasting a large rectangular shape that’s very popular right now. These are also the best pair for you if you’re searching for budget glasses. The included UV400 protection assures that you have protection against even the most harmful UV rays.
The lens material on the DUCOs visually restores true color and even eliminates reflected or scattered light. Another great feature the DUCO’s include (that no other glasses on this list has), is scratch-resistant lenses. So if you’re prone to replacing sunglasses regularly due to accidental scratching, this is the best pair for you! The DUCOs are lightweight with AL-MG alloy designs, meaning they are also strong enough to withstand long periods of use.
The hard metal frames make this pair of hiking sunglasses one of the most durable on the list; these will last a long time, even when hiking in difficult terrain! Many customers are confused about the price of this pair of sunglasses – the budget price for such a high-quality pair of hiking sunglasses shocks them!
+ 11 different colors of lenses to choose from
+ Budget Price
Why We Like It – The DUCOs include scratch-resistant lenses, which is a unique and worthwhile feature. These are the best pair for those that are a little careless with their hiking sunglasses!
7. Hulislem S1 Sport Polarized Sunglasses
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The Hulislem S1 hiking sunglasses are currently listed as a best seller on Amazon, and we can see why. Their style is unusual, with seven different colors to choose from. The Hulislems have a light polycarbonate frame, ensuring maximum comfort while wearing them. Reviews have even mentioned that sometimes you forget you’re wearing them!
With UV 400 mirror flash coating on the lenses, the Huliselms limits the amount of light that enters your eyes. No more eye strain from direct sunlight with these glasses! They give you complete protection against UV harmful rays and also blue light. Marketed as ‘stress-resistant,’ the Heliselms are extremely durable, so you never have to worry about breaking them while out on a hiking expedition!
+ UV400 protection
Why We Like It – The Huliselms are ‘stress-resistant’, making them one of the best hiking sunglasses if you’re concerned about durability. Make sure to pick up a pair!
Hiking Sunglasses Buyer’s Guide
When preparing your equipment for a hiking expedition, the most obvious things that come to mind are a perfect pair of boots, comfortable and weather-appropriate clothing and a great backpack that holds all the essentials that you will need. However, many people miss hiking sunglasses from that important list of necessities.
Having the best hiking sunglasses is vital to block out those harmful UV rays that you will be exposed to on those long hikes. Your glasses will be key to protecting your eyes against these rays, ensuring your eyesight remains in good condition.
Although we have provided a condensed list of the best hiking sunglasses, you may be wondering what features and characteristics sunglasses should have to protect your eyes on long expeditions. Below, we have provided a detailed list of those characteristics to assist you in your decision making.
Number one on our list of considerations for great hiking sunglasses is comfort. When you’re hiking over tough terrains for hours at a time, and sometimes over several days, comfort is key. You will be wearing these sunglasses for long periods, so they need to be comfortable! Your legs and feet will most definitely be aching from the hike, and we don’t want your face to be too!
Plastic frames are usually rated the most comfortable to wear due to the lightness. When you’re using a lot of energy, you’ll be sweating and feeling hot, so lightweight frames on your sunglasses will be the best option for these conditions.
In order to fully protect your eyes while hiking, UV protection is the most important thing to look for when purchasing a new pair of sunglasses. UV and UVB ratings on specific pairs of sunglasses are one of the most important factors to take into consideration. The lenses of sunglasses are rated from 0-4.
Lenses that have a rating of 0 let in approximately 80-100% of UV light, meaning they are not the best option if you’re going to be exposed to direct sunlight for hours at a time. The most optimal UV rating is between 3 and 4. Lenses that have a rating of 3 let in approximately 8-18% of UV rays. This is an ideal choice for those long days staring into the sunlight or dealing with snow glare.
Lenses that have a rating of 4 will block out most to all harmful UV rays, letting only 3-8% in through your glasses. This category is the optimal choice only if you are going to be in direct sunlight for hours at a time. This category is not appropriate for everyday use, like when you’re driving, as they can be slightly too dark.
Like your clothing, boots and other accessories for hiking, make sure to look for a pair of sunglasses that will withstand some wear and tear. When hiking, there’s a greater risk of damaging your sunglasses than other everyday activities, such as driving, for example. Ensure your hiking sunglasses have been rated as a highly durable pair that will last a long time.
You don’t want to be stuck on a long hike without being able to see properly due to a broken pair of sunglasses! A lot of frames will be made from either metal or plastic. Although plastic is lighter and much more comfortable to wear, metal ensures maximum durability for strenuous activities. It’s up to you to decide which is more appropriate for your expeditions.
Polarized outdoor sunglasses take usual UV rated sunglasses a step further by blocking out even more sun glare. They are particularly popular among those that spend a lot of time fishing, or skiing, due to the glare from the water and the snow being so strong. However, polarized sunglasses can be extremely helpful for hiking also, and if you find your eyes are particularly light-sensitive, then a polarized lens is a must-buy for you.
For those that love to hike among bright-colored landscapes, such as snow, glaciers, sand, or even just extremely sunny places, polarization in your sunglasses will be essential. Polarized sunglasses contain an additional filter that blocks out even more light than normal UV rated sunglasses.
However, a polarized lens can also cause your view to become much darker, making your cell phone or watch more difficult to see when wearing them. Many polarized sunglasses now come in a variety of colors, meaning you can match your lenses with your camping gear, or even purchase a pair that will be perfect for camouflage!
Many will argue that any hiker concerned about the durability of their sunglasses should invest in a pair of scratch-resistant lenses. Related to durability mentioned above, scratch-resistant lenses will ensure that even when you are hiking through tough terrain and weather conditions, your lenses will not be defeated.
Purchasing a pair of high quality, scratch-resistant lenses will ensure that when you drop them on the rocks (which will inevitably happen to most of us), your lenses will still be in perfect condition. When choosing the best lens material, we don’t advise glass for hiking conditions, due to the fragility of the material. Your best option would be to go for plastic scratch-resistant lenses.
And there you have it – our best hiking sunglasses to protect your eyes on those long strenuous journies! Hopefully, these will suit the needs of anyone about to embark on a hiking expedition! From stylish frames to polarization, comfort, and durability, you’ll be sure to find your perfect pair of hiking sunglasses here! Don’t forget our list of top characteristics suitable for when you’re hiking over tough terrain. You will most certainly not be disappointed with your choice of sunglasses!