10 Best Hiking Sunglasses of 2022 • HONEST Advice

Have you ever hiked through treacherous climates and rough terrain without a reliable pair of hiking sunglasses? Have you ever dealt with glare and snow or uncomfortable sunglasses that fall off your face?

It’s not fun to hike without sunglasses for protection from the blinding snow; nor is it fun to constantly adjust your perpetually sliding sunglasses.

Point blank, a reliable pair of hiking sunglasses will give you the extra comfort and reliability needed in the backcountry.

In this guide, we’ll review the best hiking sunglasses for every type of adventure, and answer riveting questions like, what sets hiking sunglasses apart from normal sunglasses? When should you buy polarizing sunglasses? What is the latest technology for sunglasses, and why is it important?

From frame materials, lenses, polarized colors, style, and budget, we’ll help you ask the right questions when it comes to protecting your eyes.

SunGod sunglasses for beach
Hiking sunglasses protect your eyes from the sun!

While sunglasses may be a hiking gear afterthought, choosing the right pair of sunglasses will be the difference between a comfortable hiking experience and potential snow blindness.

Your eyes are one of the most fragile parts of your body, and I think we can all agree that it is important to protect them.

Sometimes hefty prices can deter us from investing in reliable hiking sunglasses, but in the end, it’s worth it; though don’t worry, my list will include affordable hiking sunglasses, so you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to protect your eyes.

Below I will cover our picks for the 10 best hiking sunglasses and why they stand out from the rest. The first section will explain the difference between lens and frame materials, which glasses are best for specific activities, and what you should look for when purchasing sunglasses.

Quick Answer for Best Hiking Sunglasses:

Our Favorite Hiking Sunglasses


best beaches mauritius


Abaco Polarized Hiking Sunglasses

  • > Durable
  • > Affordable
  • > Customizable

How to Choose the Perfect Hiking Sunglasses

Before we dive into the technical considerations for choosing a pair of hiking sunglasses, take a second to consider what type of hiking you do most often.

Are you purchasing sunglasses for day hikes or trail runs? Do you need sunglasses for the snow, in which case protection against glare is critical?

Do you prioritize style? Budget? Do you need an “all around” pair of hiking sunglasses, or something more specific for running or biking?

These are the types of questions you should ask yourself before you go out and buy a pair of hiking sunglasses.

hiking sunglasses in sunny Zion
Protect yourself from the sun on any hike!

Hiking Sunglasses Lenses: What to look for

Before we get to the frame, let’s talk about lenses. Among all of the different options, lenses are the most important part of your sunglasses since they are the piece that reflects light, UV rays, and blue light.

There are a few different types of lenses to consider, and I’ll discuss the difference below.

Lens Types:

VLT (Visible Light Transmission) – This is the most basic type of lens, and basically means it will reduce the amount of light transmitted to your eyes. Sunglasses with a high VLT are not common, as they are mostly for overcast conditions. Sunglasses with a low VLT are useful in bright conditions since they block out most of the light getting through the lens.

UV Protection: You want to buy a pair of sunglasses with UV protection. There are three types of UV lights: UVA, UVB, and UVC. While there is no need to worry about UVC, it is UVB that is associated with skin cancer risk. UVA is still under debate, but you are better safe than sorry.

Polarized or Not?

You may be wondering what are polarized sunglasses? While not a must-have for everyday activities, I personally can never go back to non-polarized sunglasses. Polarized lenses are designed to filter out reflected light and reduce glare. By doing so, colors become richer and depth of vision is improved.

Basically, polarized lenses make your surroundings look better. With polarized sunglasses, you can look down at the water and see what is below the surface, rather than a glaring white from the sun. You can also look out into the sunset and see what’s on the horizon.

Furthermore, polarized lenses are crucial if you are spending time in the snow, or hiking near large bodies of water since light becomes “polarized” when it reflects off a surface like water or snow.

Polarized Lens Color mostly comes down to a matter of preference, though I personally like grey or brown. Grey is the most neutral color, so things appear mostly real. Brown give your surroundings a crisp, vintage look.

Others may prefer blue or green or pink. Ultimately, the color is mostly a matter of opinion, though certain colors will let more or less light in, and may not be the best choice for overcast or darker conditions.

Hiking Sunglasses
Style matters too!

Lens Material:

Most lenses are made from materials like polycarbonate, polyurethane, and plastic.

Polyurethane is a synthetic material that fuses the best qualities of glass and polycarbonate. While the most expensive, this option is the most durable and lightest weight lens material.

Polycarbonate is a plastic with very high-quality optics and a strong, impact-resistant structure, making this lens material a great choice for hiking too. That said, it can be easily scratched if it doesn’t come with an anti-scratch coating, so take care of polycarbonate lenses.

For the most part, the hiking sunglasses below are made from polycarbonate material since it is high-quality, but not as expensive as polyurethane.

A regular plastic lens is the most cost-effective, but scratches easily and therefore is the least durable choice.

When you are choosing between hiking sunglasses, check what type of material the lenses are made of and if that material is coated with anti-glare, anti-scratch resistance or water repellent material.

Hiking Sunglasses Frames: What to look for

When it comes to sunglass frames, there are a few different materials to choose from that will affect the weight, comfort, and usage.

The most durable and flexible frame materials include nylon and nylon/plastic combinations. Solely plastic frames are not suited for tough conditions where you might drop and break your sunglasses far from civilization. Then you’re stranded without sunglasses for the remainder of your hike.

Aluminum and titanium get hot in the sun, so they are also not good options for hiking sunglasses. Basically, look for something with nylon.

Hiking Sunglass Frame Comfort and Design

The type of activity you plan to engage in will determine the best design for you. Since this guide focuses on sunglasses for hiking, I’ll start here.

You want a pair of sunglasses that are comfortable, functional, and work well. Firstly, consider the nose-piece and arms of the frame. Does the nose-piece slide-off? What about when you are sweating?

Are the arms too tight? Do they become uncomfortable after a couple hours? You will be wearing sunglasses for hours on end if you are hiking, so comfort is really important.

If you are purchasing sunglasses online, check that the company offers a warranty or return policy. You should try them on for a long period of time to judge the sunglasses’ comfort, and if they end up not fitting properly you’ll want to return them.

Next, consider what conditions you plan to hike in. If you need protection from wind and rain then a wrap-around design is an excellent choice, though this might be overkill for most hikers.

If you plan to engage in a lot of movement, like trail running, mountaineering, and rock climbing, then consider sunglasses that will not slip during these activities. There are mountaineering specific sunglasses if this is your primary activity.

Ultimately, you want your sunglasses to be one with your face. You want them to be so comfortable, you barely notice they are there until you take them off.

Should you get prescription sunglasses?

This is something I’ve been personally debating for some time. One one hand, I wear my prescription (regular) glasses pretty often, so that means I need to switch to contacts when I wear non-prescription sunglasses.

Having a pair of prescription sunglasses would definitely be convenient, but it would also mean I need a second pair for when I am wearing contacts…

Ultimately, this is a matter of preference, but if you wear contacts you’ll want to have two pairs of sunglasses.

10 Best Hiking Sunglasses

Alright, now we get to the good stuff. Below I have discussed and reviewed the best hiking sunglasses depending on style, material, activity, and of course, price.

There are a lot of great options out there that cost a lot of money, so I will list hiking sunglasses under $100 too.

1. Abaco Polarized – Best Value Hiking Sunglasses

Sungod Renegades


  • Best For: Multi-purpose sunglasses for hiking and other more strenuous activities.
  • Price: $80
  • Lens Material: Polycarbonate
  • Polarized: Yes

Abaco makes awesome hiking sunglasses for a reasonable price, which is why I’m making these sunglasses number one on our list. There are surely more technical sunglasses, but they might be overkill for the average hiker.

Suited for both sunshine and cloudy days, you can wear Abaco glasses year-round. The best part about these is their customizable colors and lenses.

You have the option to choose between polarized and non-polarized lenses as well as mix and match the lens, frames, and accent colors.

We have done a full Abaco sunglasses review elsewhere on the site but for now lets stick with the basics. Their lenses have 100% UV protection and 2mm polycarbonate lenses. This means they are durable, though not top of the line. Most sunglasses on this list use polycarbonate, though some are glass.

Abaco sunglasses are also layered with triple-layer scratch resistance protection and anti-reflective inner lens coating.

As I mentioned above, you can choose if the lenses are polarized or not. The polarized filter eliminates harsh glare and improves the depth of field, which is great for if you are hiking near snow or water.

The frame is built from their Adventureproof technology for ultimate durability and protection. The snap-lock hinges lock into an open or closed position, so you can put on your sunglasses with one hand. They weigh 27 grams.

One of the best parts is the Abaco lifetime guarantee that every pair is backed by. If they break, the company will repair your sunglasses free of charge, even if it’s your fault.

I own a pair of the renegade’s and I have never had a problem with comfort, or slippage. Their PaceBreakers model is built more specifically for high-movement sports like biking, trail running, and more, and I’ll cover those below.

Overall, this model is an all-around, high-quality pair of hiking sunglasses at a reasonable price.


  1. High quality, reasonable price
  2. Rubberized grips at ears and nose
  3. Comes with warranty


  1. Smaller lens than others
  2. Not designed for extreme sports
  3. Frame material could be more durable

2. Oakley Flak 2.0 – Most Durable Hiking Sunglasses

Oakley Flak 2.0


  • Best For: Multi-purpose sunglasses for hiking and other more strenuous activities
  • Price: $160
  • Lens Material: Polycarbonate
  • Polarized: Yes

This pair of sunglasses, or at least Oakley as a company, needs no introduction. The Ferrari of sunglasses, Oakley engineering takes performance to the next level with these ruggedly durable hiking sunglasses.

One person even said that these sunglasses survived a car tire! While the glasses were scratched, the frame was undamaged. You can’t get a more durable pair of glasses.

But let’s talk specs. Oakley claims that the refraction of these glasses – in other words, how close/far you see objects – is much truer to real sight. Many glasses change the depth of perception if even just a little. Truer visual image means your brain doesn’t need to work overtime to calculate depth.

All of Oakley’s lenses offer 100% UV protection for UVA, UVB, and UVC rays as well as blue light up to 400 nm. Keep in mind that the light transition on these lenses is quite low at 11%. This means they will be too dark in shadows and low-light situations.

You can buy separate pieces to replace say a scratched lens, but Oakley does not have a warranty that I know of. That means, if you break them, you buy them again. Furthermore, they are pricey, so you are going to want to take really good care of these glasses.

While a bit pricey, these are incredibly durable biking, running, and hiking sunglasses.


  1. Extremely durable
  2. Rubberized grips for extreme sports
  3. High-quality


  1. Expensive
  2. Smaller lens than others on list
  3. No warranty

Ombraz Armless – Most Innovative Hiking Sunglasses

Ombraz Sunglasses


  • Best For: Sunglasses with no arms!
  • Price: $140
  • Lens Material: Glass/Polycarbonate
  • Polarized: Yes

The innovative people at Ombraz realised that the Achilles heel of designer sunglasses was the breakage of arms. All too common, arms would loosen or snap of rendering your sunglasses useless. The solution to this problem is sunglasses that have ditched the flimsy arms in favour of tie around, rope straps.

Aside from being less likely to break, these beauties are also much better for active people – the rope ties around your head meaning they won’t fall down or drop off as you move. This makes them ideal for running, dancing, jet skiing or hiking. Honestly, you may not yet have realised that you need armless sunglasses in your life bit once you try them, you will never go back.

Moving on from the arms, the lenses are fully polarized, World-class, crystal-clear optics. They come in a variety of colours, styles and finishes and there is frame size to suit everybody face type.


  1. Very light-weight
  2. Top quality lenses
  3. Innovative armless design


  1. Some people just like arms!
  2. Less stylish than Abaco
  3. Not cheap

4. Maui Jim Haleakala – Most Stylish Hiking Sunglasses

Maui Jim Haleakala


  • Best For: Best lens technology, but still look ultra stylish.
  • Price: $229
  • Lens Material: Glass/Polycarbonate
  • Polarized: Yes

These men sunglasses look good on and off the trails since their modified rectangular frame complements a range of facial shapes.

Where the Maui Jim Haleakala really shine is the lenses. The material is their most popular MauiPure, which includes excellent scratch and shatter resistance as well as water and oil protection and combines their SuperGlass material.

Note that if you want pure superglass, you’ll need to choose a more expensive model; some around the same price but others upward of $339.

Polarized to handle bright, direct sunlight, you can choose the polarized color too. They come in a neutral grey color for rich colors and sharp contrast, HCL Bronze for a warm tint, grey fade – this offers a higher transmission so you can use glasses in lower light situations – and Maui Rose for a subtle rose ting best for overcast and sunny conditions.

The drawback about Maui Jims is the price. These glasses are by n0 means cheap, but I’ll explain what you’re paying a premium for. The lens come with either what they call a Bi-Gradient mirror, which is applied to the top and bottom of the lens, or a Multi-Gradient lens, which applies a darker application at the top that gradually gets lighter. Both are great options, depending on the primary use.

Not only are they 100% UV protected, but they also block out Blue-Light HEV, which recent research suggests can cause damage to the eye.


  1. Extremely light-weight
  2. High impact resistance
  3. Best lense technology


  1. Edge of frame can obstruct vision
  2. Not designed for extreme sports
  3. Expensive

4. Julbo Explorer 2.0 Glacier – Best Sunglasses for Mountaineering

julbo explorer 2.0 glacier mountaineering sunglasses


  • Best For: Mountaineering and winter hiking conditions
  • Price: $130
  • Lens Material: Polycarbonate
  • Polarized: Yes

Designed for extreme conditions, these glacier glasses provide exceptional coverage, removable side shields, and overall protection. Temples have 360-degree adjustable stems and soft grip tech that won’t pull your hair; the grip nose insert is comfortable too.

The frame material is made from nylon and lens material is made from polycarbonate. As for the polarized lens, the Julbo Explorers have a full-spectrum UV protection, anti-reflective coating, and a brown color.

These glasses provide protection for sunny days on the snow, but they aren’t so dark that they can’t be worn in other conditions.


  1. Really comfortable
  2. Perfect for mountaineering and snow


  1. Overkill for hiking
  2. Slightly expensive

5. Maui Jim Starfish (Women’s) – Best Hiking Sunglasses for Women

Maui Jim Starfish


  • Best For: Ultimate protection and style
  • Price: $229
  • Lens Material: ST Glass
  • Polarized: Yes

Many of the Starfish’ star features are similar to the Haleakala’s above, but these hiking sunglasses are designed specifically for women. Crafted with an injected nylon frame, frames don’t get any better than this.

This model uses the SuperThin glass lens – their most quality one. SuperThin Glass is 20% lighter and thinner than standard glass.

Like the other model, these Starfish sunglasses have polarized lenses to reduce visible glare and come in a few different options for lens color. HCL Bronze and Maui Rose are best for sunny and overcast; whereas, Neutral grey is ideal for bright and direct sunlight.

These stylish, awesome sunglasses and the reputable Maui Jim are perfect for hikers and adventurers who still want to look stylish.

Again, not the cheapest sunglasses by a mile and the SuperThin glass moves the pricepoint up significantly, but that’s what you pay for quality.


  1. Highest quality lens material
  2. Stylish and technical
  3. Extremely High-quality


  1. Really expensive
  2. Not designed for extreme sports
  3. For women (not really a con)

6. Just Human Bold Square – Best Luxury Hiking Sunglasses

Just Human Bold Square Sunglasses


  • Best For: Strenuous and high movement activities.
  • Price: $360
  • Lens Material: Polycarbonate
  • Polarized: Yes (optional)

Just Human’s Bold Square range are the best sunglasses for high spenders seeking multi-usage lenses. Like the Renegades, these sunglasses are completely customizable; you can mix and match the lens, frames, and accent colors. Choose between polarized and non-polarized too.

Lenses have 100% UV protection and 2mm polycarbonate lenses. Finally, like the other model, Bold Square come with the lifetime guarantee that every pair is backed by. If they break, the company will repair your sunglasses free of charge, even if it’s your fault.


  1. Made for multi use
  2. High Quality
  3. Warranty


  1. Not hiking specific
  2. Pricy!

7. Julbo Run Sunglasses – Best Sunglasses for Running

julbo run and hiking sunglasses


  • Best For: Ultimate protection from sweat, glare, and debris
  • Price: $100
  • Lens Material: Polycarbonate
  • Polarized: Yes

The trail is your playground with the Julbo Run sunglasses. They boast wide, anti-fog lenses, a curved frame, and shock resistant nose and temple pieces. The hiking sunglasses trekking model have removable side-shields that offer side protection against sunlight and debris. Let’s get into the specific and why these are great sunglasses. The photochromic lens gets darker or lighter according to light intensity. Polycarbonate lenses offer 100% UV protection, and the hydrophobic coating prevents marks, water, and condensation. These sunglasses feature impressive UV protection too.


  1. Shock resistance, anti-fog technology
  2. removeable side-shields


  1. Lenses can be dark in low-light situations
  2. No warranty

8. Zeal Drifter – Eco-Friendly Hiking Sunglasses

zeal drifter sunglasses


  • Best For: Ultimate protection and multiple sports
  • Price: $150
  • Lens Material: Polycarbonate
  • Polarized: Yes

You know what’s the mark of a great pair of sunglasses? You forget you are wearing them. Zeal’s wraparound frame is both comfortable and made of castor beans, a renewable resource that slices the weight in half while remaining impact-resistant.

These babies are 100% UVA/B/C protection and 95% HEV (Blue-Light) protecting.

The lenses are polarized to reduce visible glare. Colors come in copper and dark grey; copper lets in 14% light transmission and dark grey let’s in 9%.

Proflex rubber on the nose and temple keep sunglasses comfortably in place. Not only are they a great fit, but they’re made with plant-based resources and strive to be environmentally sustainable. We tip our hats to companies like Zeal.


  1. Environmentally renewable
  2. Stylish and comfortable


  1. Lenses can be dark in low-light situations
  2. No warranty

9. Oakley Two Face Sunglasses – Stylish, High-Quality Hiking Sunglasses


  • Best For: All-around pair of polarized sunglasses
  • Price: $140
  • Lens Material: Polycarbonate
  • Polarized: Yes

Are the Flak 2.0 a bit much for you? Well, then you’re going to love these casual Twoface sunglasses with a similar style to the Maui Jim’s above.

These Oakley sunglasses are quite different from the Oakley Flak 2.0′ above. For one, the lenses are made out of Plutonite and the style is much more rooted in the California surf and skate culture. But like all Oakley glasses, you can expect quality and durability.

100% UV filter and blue light protection as well!


  1. Stylish hiking sunglasses
  2. Very durable and good quality


  1. Not specifically for extreme sports
  2. No warranty

10. Sunski Navarro Polarized Sunglasses – Affordable Hiking Sunglasses


  • Best For: All-around pair of polarized sunglasses
  • Price: $58
  • Lens Material: Polycarbonate
  • Polarized: Yes

These uni-sex, stylish hiking sunglasses are lightweight, durable – made from polycarbonate weighing less than 1 oz. – and flexible. The Navarro Polarized sunglasses offer polarized lenses – as the name suggests – and 100% UV protection for every UV wavelength. Light transmission is around 15%, and lens tint options include an amber flare and gray-green forest.

While not the top hiking sunglasses on this list, they’re still great for multiple sports and look fashionable. Best of all, they’re really affordable and covered by Sunski’s “Forever Warranty.”


  1. Lightweight less than 1 oz
  2. Reasonable price


  1. Not the best quality on list

FAQ about the Best Hiking Sunglasses

Still have some questions? No problem! We’ve listed and answered the most commonly asked questions below. Here’s what people usually want to know:

Final Thoughts on the Best Hiking Sunglasses

Now that we’ve listed all of our favorite sunglasses, it’s time for you to decide. Stick to our guide on how to choose the perfect ones for you and you’ll be ready to start the next adventure.

Still not 100% sure which one to get? Don’t worry, if you go with our overall-best value sunglasses, the Abaco Polarized, you’ll be perfectly prepared.

Already took one of the glasses above on a trip? Let us know about your adventure and personal review in the comments below!

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button