Your sunglasses say a lot about your style, but their most important job is to protect your eyes from UV rays, which can cause cataracts, retina damage leading to blindness, and astigmatism.
The National Eye Institute recommends wearing sunglasses that block out 99 to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB radiation. Winter, spring, summer, or fall, these lenses offer the right amount of style while fully functional. Read more about sun protection for skiers here.
Electric Nashville XL $100
Designed in California and made in Italy, the new Nashville XL frame from Electric is a vintage-inspired pair of polarized sunglasses that straddle the line between function and fashion and offer 100 percent UV Protection. If you look for more coverage or have been told you have a large head (hopefully by a friend), these frames are made 20 percent larger than Electric’s other models.
The Nashville XL sunglasses are lightweight (just 28 grams) but don’t feel flimsy and the contoured fit at the bridge of the nose and in the arms kept them snuggly in place through any activity we put them through.
Julbo Resist $110
New from Julbo, the Resist wraparound sunglasses were designed specifically for women (or anyone with a smaller face shape). Curved through the lens and arms for an ergonomic fit, they sit flush against the face to ward of UV rays from all angels. Ideal for biking or paddling, these lightweight polarized frames have gripping material through the nose bridge and arms to keep them in place despite sweat or splash. Should they take a tumble, we found them to be shock resistant and flexible.
Native El Jefe $109
Large lenses and a wraparound frame make these sunglasses a first-round pick for the active user. El Jefe blocks up to 4X more infrared light than regular polarized lenses and by reducing blue light, they keep your view of the single track crisp and bright. These are the cool-guy/girl shades that will make you look as sporty as you are.
Pit Vipers Exciters $69
We get it—you want to write these guys off, but you can’t. We’re with you. The classic frames are great for the skin track (yes, we’re serious), and this new interation of a ’70s-era classic is no different. It’s okay to look absolutely ridiculous in the Exciters when they’re providing a plenty-wide field of vision, side shields to protect your eyes on the glacier this summer, adjustable arms, and a solid pair of tie-downs to hold them in place when things get weird.
POC Know $130
Most quality sunglasses have rubberrized nose pads on the bridge, and these are the best we’ve found. While sweating through a half marathon this summer, they never budged. We opted for the all black version of these ultralight frames, but they’re available in an array of bright colors too. Modern and style-conscious, the large round frames make these an ideal pair of sunglasses for transitioning from the trail to town.
Smith Crusader $139
Our favorite thing about these new sunglasses from Smtih is the weight. On the heavier side, they just feel good in your hands, without being too bulky on the face. The signature ChromaPop lenses make the world a little brighter—something we could use, eh? And while the Crusader has a chic and stylish look for men and women, they’re capable of hanging tough on most outdoor adventures.
Sunski Manresas $68
We dig these polarized sunglasses for their style and price point, but our favorite feature is that they are from Sunski’s new line of sunglasses made of 100 percent recycled plastic. Looking for a smaller frame to fit your face? These durable Manresas are it.
Vuarnet 02 in Crystal $240
Worn by founder Jean Vuarnet when he when he won at the Winter Olympics in 1960, the 02 in Crystal in an opaque cat-eye frame is as timeless as it is modern. The mineral glass used by Vuarnet offers 100 percent UV protection and these French-made sunglasses are some of the most scratch-resistant we’ve tested. Right now if you buy one pair of glasses from Vuarnet, they’ll donate a pair of eye protection to someone in a community of need.