Buy Polarized Lenses
At the right angle, looking at a lake or ocean through polarized sunglasses will allow you to see past most surface reflections and through to the water below. Polarized lenses make some of the best sunglasses for fishing and boating activities.
buy polarized lenses
Polarized lenses' anti-glare and increased contrast traits also can help people who suffer from light sensitivity, although the benefit can vary depending on the strength or darkness of the lens.
Polarized sunglasses can be a lifesaver during sunny daytime driving, especially when sunlight hits at just the right angle to interfere with your vision. Polarized lenses filter the sunlight that reflects off roads, snow and windshields, neutralizing most or all of it. The result is a safer driving experience, free from the distraction and discomfort of glare.
It should be noted that driving with polarized sunglasses in certain snowy or icy conditions can be less safe than using a non-polarized alternative. Any patches of iced snow or black ice, which are already barely visible, may become even harder to see without surface reflections.
Our most advanced goggles with a cylindrical lens, the NFX2 has all the bells and whistles: Swiftlock Lens Changing System, patented frameless design, armoured venting, premium injection moulded lenses, 200-percent stronger Super Anti-Fog coating and more.
Polarized sunglasses have a chemical applied to them to help filter light effectively. These lenses feature vertical openings to filter incoming horizontal light. This chemical allows the lenses to block horizontally traveling light while vertically traveling light passes through.
UV-protected sunglasses protect your eyes from harmful light rays that lead to eye damage and cataracts. Your sunglasses should have 99 or 100% UV protection. Many polarized sunglasses have UV protection, so make sure your preferred lenses include this feature.
Besides these benefits, polarized lenses are customizable like other sunglasses. Many colors are available, such as gray, which helps images retain their true color, and brown, which enhances greens and blues.
Besides the color of your lens, you can get prescription or non-prescription polarized lenses depending on your needs. If you want to block even more light from entering your eyes, mirror coatings are available for your sunglasses.
The benefits of polarized sunglasses for certain activities are undeniable. The glasses help to reduce glare and reflection, improving your vision. They also help improve clarity in brighter situations.
You may think of polarized sunglasses as the domain of anglers and other outdoor enthusiasts. While that is somewhat true, anyone who wears sunglasses can benefit from polarized lenses. I spoke with two ophthalmologists, Drs. Lisa Park and Natasha Herz, who explained the benefits of these types of lenses that block out polarized light, AKA glare, that's created when light bounces off surfaces like water or a car hood and enters the eye horizontally. They both explained that polarized lenses do not provide protection from ultraviolet light, but do help significantly reduce glare.
According to Dr. Herz, the clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology, polarized lenses can help make your eyes feel less tired, prevent associated headaches (especially when you're on or near the water), and make your surroundings appear sharper. For people who are especially light sensitive, Dr. Herz recommends wrap-around style sunglasses.
Dr. Park, an Associate Professor in the Department of Ophthalmology at Columbia University Medical Center in New York, said the polarized lenses are especially good for driving. She recommends larger frames, since they provide more eye coverage. For more on my conversations with these two doctors, see the FAQ section below.
This guide provides a variety of polarized sunglass styles and price points. All the selections also provide protection from the two types of ultraviolet radiation, UVA/UVB, above and beyond the benefits of polarization. The sunglasses in this guide are unisex, but will look bigger or smaller on you depending on your face shape and size. Look at the dimensions of the sunglasses for an idea of how they might fit. Learn more about how Insider Reviews tests and researches style products.
The American Optical Saratoga sunglasses are back after being unavailable for decades. Beautifully designed and with outstanding lenses, it's no wonder they were JFK's favorite shades.
While the lenses aren't quite on par with a brand like the much pricier Maui Jim, they are excellent, especially for the price point. They completely wipe out glare, offer 100% UVA protection, and are scratch and shatter resistant. Plus, Tomahawk Shades offers a stellar lifetime warranty. If you damage, break, or even lose your sunglasses, the company will replace them up to two times for a small fee ($10 to $20 depending on the style, a bit more for international orders) plus shipping. The Ranger Class shades have a mid-century aesthetic with square lenses and elegantly tapered temples. They're made from cellulose acetate with an internal steel frame. The Watsons are a particular favorite with their semi-transparent dark-yellow frame and dark gray lenses.
The Smith Lowdown 2 are my favorite sunglasses to run in. They're light, and the frames are large enough to fully block out the sun. They don't slip down my nose, even when I'm sweating buckets, and everything looks crisp and bright through the lenses. The frames kind of have an oversized, sporty Wayfarer look, and are made using a bio-based material that's very light but still durable. I've been abusing mine fo two-and-a-half years and they still look as good as the day I got them.
Knockaround, the So Cal brand that's been around since 2005, made its name with shades that are stylish, sturdy, and priced right (they start at just $20). The Pacific Palisades are '70s-style oversized sunnies with a key-hole bridge and rounded rectangular lenses that give you plenty of eye coverage. They come in a variety of colorways, but the Coastal Dunes are especially good looking with their glossy two-tone green frames and Polarized amber gradient lenses. Besides reducing glare, the lenses offer UV400 protection, and are impact resistant. At just $28, these are a great deal.
Raen Optics is a California brand that has continued to up the game on mid-priced sunglasses with handmade frames, timeless style, and high-quality materials, all at a decent price point. The Remmy, which comes in both narrow and medium sizes, features classic rounded lenses in frames with subtly horned temples and a keyhole bridge. Made from acetate, the temples have a wire core to which the five-barrel hinges are mounted for a stronger pair of shades. The lenses are manufactured by the German manufacturer Carl Zeiss, one of the world's leading optics companies. Besides cutting glare, these lenses also take out 100% UVA/UVB light. The Remmy comes in eight colorways, but the Honey with Green polarized lenses are a standout. Their sunglasses come with a sturdy case and great presentation package. If you're looking for sunnies that are understated yet ultra cool, and still keep the sun's harsh rays from doing a number on your eyes, you can't go wrong with Raen Optics' Remmys.
As a kid I lusted after both the Ray-Ban Wayfarer and the Aviators. As an adult, after I'd finally made the upgrade from cheaper imitations, the brand's quality and craftsmanship made me that much more of a fan. The Ray Ban Aviators are classics that have been around since the late '30s when they were designed for the U.S. Army pilots (before the birth of the U.S. Air Force). The thin, but resilient, metal frames have a double bridge for added strength. The teardrop lenses are made from either crystal or polycarbonate depending on which you choose and have an anti-reflective coating on the back of the lens preventing 99% of reflected light from reaching the eye and also providing 100% UV protection. The company's polarized lenses provide great clarity and vivid colors. The gold frames with green (G-15) crystal lenses are a favorite, but there are 11 more options to choose from.
Sunski began life on Kickstarter after the founders failed to find success with their bowl specifically designed for chips and salsa (true story). The brand offers a nice range of unique sunglass styles at a decent price, including the Topeka, a frame that bridges the gap between sporty and stylish. They have a slight wrap around design with square shaped lenses. The company makes the frames from recycled polycarbonate plastic, and they're super light, flexible, hard to break, and more eco-friendly than many other sunglasses. If you do break them, Sunski will fix or replace them for free. The lenses are made from triacetate cellulose, with the polarization layer sandwiched inside, like many higher-end lenses that helps prevent the polarization from being rubbed off. The lenses offer 100% full-spectrum UV protection. This is all for less than $70, with some of Sunskis' polarized sunglasses priced even lower.
Warby Parker, the DTC brand that changed the optometry game, offers both non-prescription and prescription versions of its Barkley polarized sunglasses. The Barkley, a contemporary take on square-framed sunnies, are made from hand-polished cellulose acetate. The Antique Shale Fade is an attractive choice with its two-tone black-and-tan colorway. The polarized, non-prescription lenses are made from a scratch-resistant plastic polymer, CR-39, while the prescription versions are made from polycarbonate, known for its impact resistance. Both types of lenses also offer 100% UV protection. The company is renowned for its Home Try-On program that allows you to pick five frames and try them for five days before making a purchase. Plus, Warby Parker has a 30-day hassle-free return or exchange policy, free shipping, and a no-scratch guarantee for their lenses (they'll replace them for free within the first 6 months). The non-prescription version of the Barkley comes in at under $100 with single-vision prescriptions at $175. 041b061a72