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Best Hiking Sunglasses

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Best Hiking Sunglasses

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This is a gear review about the Best Hiking Sunglasses for 2022.

A good pair of sunglasses are worth the money. If you are anything like me you usually buy cheap pairs that don’t last long and end up regretting it later. A good pair makes better sense.

You need a pair of sunglasses that will protect your eyes and are comfortable to wear. Well, I’ve done all the work for you, in this article we will be looking for the best pair of hiking sunglasses for 2022.

Best Sunglasses for Hiking 2022

The Best Sunglasses for Hiking in 2022 are:

Best Hiking Sunglasses 2022 – Overall

Oakley Flak 2.0

Oakley Flak 2.0

Lens Width: 59 Millimeters
Lens Material: Polycarbonate
Pros:

> Durable
> Full UV protection
> Unobtainium Grips
Cons:
> Price

The Oakley Flak 2.0 XL Sunglasses are known for their durability, as they are made from high-quality materials. They are made with a stress-resistant and lightweight thermoplastic frame material. It also comes with Unobtainium nose pads and earlocks which helps keep these sunglasses feeling comfortable to wear all day.

The lenses on these glasses offer 100% UV protection, including UVA, UVB and UVC rays, while also protecting your eyes from blue light. However, with these sunglasses, you have a low light transition level of 11%. This means the sunglasses will be quite dark in low light and shadow conditions. 

The refraction on the Oakley Flak 2.0 glasses is very close to real life. Thus, how close up or far away objects are when wearing these sunglasses is much closer to real life. Some sunglasses change the depth perception sometimes, while the Oakley sunglasses keep things truer in real life.

They are rather expensive but also have the advantage of having replaceable lenses, if you scratch a lens you can buy another one rather than throw the sunglasses away. For those with a big head, they have the Oakley Flak 2.0 XL.

Overall, these are popular and one of the best sunglasses for hiking.

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Best Trekking Sunglasses for Mountaineering

Julbo Explorer 2.0

Lens Width: 130 Millimeters
Lens Material: Polycarbonate
Pros:

> Full UV protection
> Eye shields to reduce internal reflection
> Comfortable
> Anti-fog lens
Cons:
> They don’t fit everyone

The Julbo Explorer 2.0 offers you the ultimate protection against direct sunlight and any harsh glares. The frame material is made of nylon and really do their best to stop any light coming in, which could cause reflections, thanks to its side shields.

These are extremely comfortable to wear thanks to their soft nose grip and adjustable temples that adjust in every direction. This not only allows for comfort but creates a very secure fit. These glasses won’t be sliding off your nose. 

The Julbo Explorer 2.0 sunglasses come with photochromic lenses that are ideal for bright conditions. The lenses are polarized to reduce glare from any sunlight.

Finally, these lenses have an anti-fog and reflective coating so nothing can affect your vision while wearing these sunglasses.

Overall, these are one of the best backpacking sunglasses on the market.

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Best Sunglasses for Backpacking

Smith Lowdown 2

Smith Lowdown 2 sunglasses for backpacking

Lens Width: 55 Millimeters
Lens Material: Polycarbonate
Pros:

> Good Quality Lens
> Comfortable
> Polarized lenses
> Full UV Protection
Cons:
> The nose bridge can annoy some people when hot and sweaty

The Smith Lowdown 2 Sunglasses are right up there with some of the best backpacking sunglasses on the market in 2022.

They offer a couple of frame colors and lens styles. The Chromapop polarized lenses protect against all UV rays.

They also have the Smith Lowdown XL which is a larger size for this with a big head. There is also the Smith Lowdown Slim for those who have a smaller-sized head.

Overall, the Smith Lowdown 2 is one of the best sunglasses for backpacking.

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Best Quality Sunglasses

Maui Jim Haleakala

Maui Jim Haleakala

Lens Width: 66 Millimeters
Lens Material:
Glass
Pros:

> Lightweight
> Scratch resistant Lenses
> Protection against all UV
> 2 Year Warranty
Cons:
> Price
> No ear grips

The Maui Jim Haleakala Sunglasses are polarised so you can deal with bright and direct sunlight. Made with a nylon frame and with MauiPure and SuperGlass lenses.

The lenses have good scratch resistance and will protect your eyes from UV and blue light rays. While also being scratch and shatter resistant, alongside water and oil protection. These are durable glasses that are still lightweight to wear. 

These sunglasses will offer protection from the sun and glare. They also come with a two-year warranty, in case you aren’t happy with your purchase. These are expensive sunglasses but you are paying for quality, which should last you a lifetime.

They lack the wrap-around style ear grips so these are not so good for mountain biking

Overall, these are very popular pairs of sunglasses that are often seen on hiking trails. A good buy.

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Maui Jim Starfish

Lens Width: 56 Millimeters
Lens Material: Glass
Pros:

> Stylish
> Scratch resistant Lenses
>
Protection against all UV
> Durable and Lightweight
Cons:
> Lens doesn’t go dark enough

The Maui Jim’s Starfish are similar to the Maui Jim’s Haleakala Sunglasses that we just mentioned above.

However, the difference between them is that the Maui Jim Starfish Sunglasses have been designed for women. Made with a nylon frame material, which is lightweight and easy to wear.

The polarized lenses have good scratch resistance and shield your eyes from any glare and all harmful UV and blue light rays. Also, the lenses come in a range of colors from HCL Bronze and Maui Rose, these are ideal for sunny and overcast conditions.

The Natural Grey lens color is perfect for direct and bright sunlight but some people think the lens is not dark enough. This is a durable pair of sunglasses that will protect you from all UV rays.

Overall, these are one of the best pair of hiking sunglasses for women. They are durable, stylish, and have good quality lenses.

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Best Budget Hiking Sunglasses

Knockaround Fast Lanes Polarized Sunglasses

Lens Width: 53 millimeters
Lens Material: Polycarbonate
Pros:

> Unisex
> Lightweight
> Polarized Smoke Lenses
> Protection against all UV
> Budget Price Hiking Sunglasses
Cons:
> Inside reflection on the lens

The Knock Around Fast Lanes Polarized Sunglasses does as they say. These sunglasses come with a matte black polycarbonate frame, which makes these sunglasses incredibly lightweight while wearing them.

These sunglasses have rectangular lenses that suit most face shapes. This pair of sunglasses come with polarized smoke lenses, which decreases the glare from any sunlight, but you still maintain the true color perception of what you are looking at.

These are the perfect sunglasses for a hiker on a budget. They may be on the lower/more affordable side of the market, but they are still durable and perfect for men or women.

With a UV coating on the lenses, these sunglasses will offer protection from harmful UV rays.

Overall, these are the best hiking sunglasses for those on a budget.

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Costa Fantail Polarized Sunglasses

Lens Width: 59 Millimeters
Lens Material: Polycarbonate
Pros:

> Scratch and impact-resistant Lens
> Made from recycled materials.
> Comfortable
> Lifetime warranty
Cons:
> These sunglasses are only available in a medium frame fit. This can cause issues with people with larger or small heads.

The Costa Fantail Polarized Sunglasses are an eco-friendly option. Costa has partnered with Bureo Company, so the fishing nets that are recycled into pallets are then used to make the frames. These frames are available in a wide range of choices, depending on your style. 

Your choice of lenses is between either glass lenses or 580 polycarbonate lenses. The 580 polycarbonate lenses are the clearest lenses to find. They are also lightweight and have impact resistance.

580 lenses give you sharper and deeper colors. Compared to the glass lenses which are also very clear and also extremely scratch resistant too.

All the lenses are polarized which reduces eye strain. The Costa Fantail Sunglasses have nose pads for a more comfortable and secure fit. They come with a lifetime warranty.

Overall, these are one of the best environmentally friendly sunglasses that are comfortable and high quality and don’t forget the lifetime warranty.

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Julbo Shield

Lens Width: 130 Millimeters
Lens Material: Polycarbonate
Pros:

> Choice of lenses
> Removable side shields
> Comfortable
> Protects against all the UV
Cons:
> All made in a similar design

The Julbo Shield Sunglasses will provide you with a comfortable and secure fit. This is down to its soft nose pad and soft material placed on the end of the temples. These sunglasses also come with removable side shields, that stop any sunlight from reflecting on your glasses.

There is a range of lens options available to choose from. You have a choice of the spectron polycarbonate lenses or the REACTIV Photochromic lenses.

The spectron polycarbonate lenses are lightweight and are shock and scratch-resistant. Compared to the REACTIV Photochromic lenses that get darker or lighter in response to the light conditions that you find yourself in. These sunglasses also come with a cord attachment for extra security if it is needed.

Overall, these are seriously one of the best pair of hiking sunglasses.

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Other Hiking Sunglasses to Consider

Here are some hiking and backpacking sunglasses that I have either not tested yet or didn’t quite make the list:

  • Karun Outdoor Sunglasses: Karun Outdoor Sunglasses are the most eco-friendly sunglasses with polarized lenses. Made from recycled plastic pulled from the oceans around Patagonia. They will be added to the list soon. Check prices.
  • Sunski Treeline: The Sunski Treeline are very popular backpacking sunglasses that will be added to the list once they have been reviewed.
  • Smith Parallel 2: The Smith Parallel 2 are another pair of awesome hiking sunglasses that will be added to the list as soon as they have been reviewed.
  • Ray Ban Original Wayfarer: The original and the classic Ray Ban Wayfarer sunglasses. Look cool in town or on the trail.
  • Spy Discord Lite Polarized: The Spy Discord Lite Polarized are tey to be reviewed and may be added to the list at a later date.
  • Oakley Double Edge: The Oakley Double Edge with the Prizm lens are my current sunglasses that I use personally but they are not so easy to find nowadays.

Buyers Guide

When it comes to buying a pair of hiking glasses, any old pair won’t do. There are certain things you need to look for and the most important element you need to consider is what kind of lens you want. Alongside that, you need to make sure that the sunglasses are comfortable.

No one wants a pair of sunglasses that feel heavy and begin to rub your nose and ears as you begin to sweat. Below we are going to go through some key elements you need to know about and think about when choosing the right sunglasses for you.


What kind of lenses should you go for?

UV protection is one of the most important things to have on your sunglasses. This is due to the fact that UV rays can be really harmful to your eyes.

You want glasses that cover all UV protection, but especially UVA and UVB. However, having glasses that cover all three types that include UVC is really important. Especially as UVB is associated with skin cancer. 

Another lens to consider is the VLT lens which is the Visible Light Transmission Lenses. These lenses will reduce the amount of light that is transmitted to your eyes. It is all about reducing the harsh glare of the sun and direct sunlight hurting your eyes. 

Most of the hiking sunglasses on this list have polarized lenses, which is really vital when hiking in snow or near large bodies of water. Polarized lenses filter out reflected light and reduce glare massively. By doing this, colors become a lot deeper and richer.

Polarized lens colors are really a matter of preference, but certain colors are more useful for certain weather conditions. Some lens colors let more light or less light in. Grey is a pretty neutral color that works for a range of conditions. However, it really is just personal preference.


Lens Materials

Lenses are either made from plastic or polycarbonate, each has either pros or cons.

Polycarbonate is a high-quality plastic that is strong and impact resistant. These lenses can scratch if you don’t have an anti-scratch coating but they are very durable, which is ideal when out hiking. Compared to plastic lenses which are much cheaper and a lot less durable. 

When you are looking at what the lens is made from, you should be swayed more towards polycarbonate lenses than just plastic. However, you should always make sure that the lenses come with coatings such as anti-scratch or glare.


Frames

When it comes to the frames of your sunglasses, the most durable materials to look for are nylon or nylon and plastic. These frames will last you a lot longer and are suited for tough conditions. Ideally you should look for nylon frames as they are more reliable for a hiker. 

As you will be wearing these sunglasses while hiking, you need sunglasses that are comfortable to wear. Some sunglasses will come with padding to make them easier to wear. While others will have adjustable features that create a more secure fit, while also making them more comfortable to wear.

Looking at the little details of the sunglasses you want to buy will help you understand if you can wear them on a long hike. You need to remember that you may sweat while on your hike, so you want to make sure that the frames stay on your face but also don’t dig in anywhere. 

You want sunglasses that mold to your face and are extremely comfortable to wear that you actually forget that you are wearing sunglasses. 


Conclusion

The Best Hiking Sunglasses in 2022 are:

Another one of the Best Hiking Gear Reviews from BikeHikeSafari.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Do I Need To Look For In Hiking Sunglasses?

Your number one priority, when buying hiking sunglasses, is that they will protect your eyes from all UV rays and blue light rays. The style and design of the sunglasses consideration should come after you have found a pair of sunglasses that will protect your eyes.

Are Polarized Sunglasses Better For Hiking?

Polar sunglasses are really a must-have for hiking, especially if you like hiking in the snow or near large bodies of water. Polarized sunglasses give you protection from direct sunlight and glare, which is created by snow and water.

Should You Wear Sunglasses While Hiking?

It is up to you, but we recommend that you do. They not only protect your eyes from the sun, but they help you see better in all weather conditions. These sunglasses can come with colored lenses that help you see things in more detail and more accurately, than not wearing sunglasses at all.

Best Hiking Sunglasses for Backpacking
Best Hiking Sunglasses for Backpacking

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About the Author:
Brad is an Australian who has completed the hiking Triple Crown after he hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, Continental Divide Trail and Appalachian Trail. He has hiked on every continent (except Antarctica) and has cycled from Alaska to Ecuador. He is an expert on outdoor gear currently living in Chile.

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