If you’ve ever spent some time hiking during hot summer days, you’d know that the right hiking sunglasses are essential. After all, you’re there in the great outdoors, and plenty of stuff can get into your eyes. At the same time, you want to make sure of the clarity of your vision. That means getting an eye exam (a simple Target eye exam will do), along with the right pair of sunglasses for summer hiking.
Knockaround Premium Sport Sunglasses
Let’s start with a pair of sunglasses that offer exceptional features, while costing only $28. Knockaround is a brand that only came out in 2005, but it quickly established a reputation for churning out reliable, long-lasting sunglasses that looked great and didn’t cost a lot of money. This model maintains that tradition, and the “Premium” in the name refers to its features, and not its price.
They’re not very heavy at all at only 25 grams, as both the frame and the lenses are made with lightweight but tough polycarbonate. It’s easy enough to drop and bump sunglasses while hiking, and this pair of sunglasses won’t get damaged very easily.
You also get 100% UV protection, along with a no-fuss design that will suit any proper outdoorsman. Just get a pair, and then you’ll have the hiking sunglasses you need for many summers to come.
Smith Lowdown 2
This is relatively expensive at $139 a pair, but then you can also use this for travel, too. This version updates the original Smith lenses with new technology, while you’re able to pick colors to match your preferences and your outfit.
The lenses offer 100% UV protection, and they also repel grease and water. There’s also some anti-scratch treatment here, and this also helps to keep the lenses clean. And when you wipe the lenses off, you don’t get smear marks.
The Lowdown 2 doesn’t slide around your nose, due to the comfy nose pads. Those same nose pads also don’t make you feel itchy when you’re sweating. These nose pads offer the proper support you need along with the extra cushioning for even greater comfort.
Spy Discord Lite Polarized Sunglasses
This is even costlier at $161, and it also weighs 45 grams. The weight is due to the use of Grilamid for the frame, but that also means these sunglasses are virtually unbreakable. Dropping the sunglasses while hiking won’t do any damage. The pin hinges are also quite durable, and they work smoothly as well.
These sunglasses have the signature Happy Lens, which offer 100% UV protection. But you’ll also be really happy with the enhanced color and clarity.
The temple pads and rubber nose offer a secure fit too, even as you’re sweating in the hot weather. These work well and stay in place even if you’re running around, or even if you bump against various trees a lot.
It looks nice too, so you can wear them while just lazing around on the beach. And they’re also useful for high-impact sports.
Ombraz The Dolomite Armless Sunglasses
Instead of arms, these sunglasses have nylon cords (2 of them, in fact) to hold the sunglasses securely against your face. If you’re ever annoyed at sunglasses that slip down your nose, then this is what you want instead. There’s no temple strain, and no chance of it falling off.
The lack of arms also cut down on the weight, so you’re left with 20 grams. This will work for a wide range of sports, since the frame is made from polycarbonate while they use triacetate cellulose for the lens. And yes, you also get 100% UV protection.
Despite the lack of arms, this still costs $140. Plus, the cords do come with their own issues. For one, you need 2 hands to put them on or take them off. When you have one hand busy, it’s annoying to just drop what you’re holding to deal with your sunglasses. Also, the cords may have issues with helmet straps.
But if these issues aren’t all that important for you, then get this pair. They look fashionably unique!
Ray-Ban Original Wayfarer Classic
Yes, this may seem like a fashion item for most people who just want to look cool while getting 100% UV protection. And it’s a Ray-Ban, so it’s not exactly cheap (it retails for $161). But this timeless icon also works for hiking, just like it works for traveling and for just traipsing all over town.
This may not be as good as the other sunglasses that are specifically made for hiking, mind you. But if you already own a pair of Wayfarers, then it’ll work nicely when you’re taking a nice, leisurely hike.