Posts Tagged travel sunglasses
If you’re looking for a pair of polarized travel sunglasses that will work on a bike, on a paddleboard, and around town, these Bolle Swift shades are a good bet.
Bolle is best known for being the king of the slopes when it comes to ski and snowboard goggles, but they like the summer too. We’ve reviewed a number of Bolle sunglasses here in the past. They may not have the cachet (or high price tags) of some of the high-end brands, but they’re usually reliable and comfortable. They’ve been doing this for 60 years and offer a one-year warranty.
This Swift sunglasses model is a sport edition that’s meant to stay in place on your face and be aerodynamic when you’re whizzing down the hill on a bike or have the wind in your face on a boat. They’ve got grippy “Thermogrip” parts on both sides of the nose rest and also on the end of the ear stems. These will actually absorb moisture instead of getting slippery when wet.
The spring hinges have a lot of give and combines with a flexible frame, these adjust to a lot of different face shapes and are easy to get on and off in a hurry.
And most of the Bolle Swift lens choices are polarized, giving you better contrast in bright light and less glare from snow or water surfaces. Naturally you get the full UV protection you can expect from quality sunglasses. They come in five different frame colors, including the two pictured here.
I’ve worn these biking by the water in Tampa, kayaking on the water, and walking around town in high-altitude Guanajuato, Mexico. They’ve performed well in all conditions and enabled me to see more detail around me than I would have with a lesser pair of shades.
These Bolle Swift sunglasses vary a lot in price depending on what lens configuration you get, but as is common with many sunglasses. what you’ll actually pay is a good bit less than the $80-$130 list price—especially after summer is over. Check the Bolle site, but they’re currently running $54 to $85 on Amazon, which is a great deal.
Named after a stretch of deep water favored by migrating tuna off an island in the Bahamas, these Costa Tuna Alley polarized sunglasses naturally work great when scouting for fish. If you’re going to be anywhere near the water, however, including just lying on a beach, these shades will perform at a high level while looking great too.
I don’t normally get too crazy with my travel sunglasses, but after noticing almost all of them in all of my photos were black or a very dark tortoise shell color—for years on end—I decided to give these Tuna Alley ones a try. They’re white and they’re flashy, yes, but that’s backed up by some serious performance cred.
I’ve yet to try out a pair of shades from this brand that I didn’t like and we’ve reviewed quite a few models of Costa sunglasses between us on this gear blog. If you live anywhere there are lots of boats and fisherman, you’ve probably seen their logo quite a bit. (If you haven’t, start looking around at marinas and docks and I bet it won’t take you long to spot it.)
This Tuna Alley style has all the Costa signature benefits, including about the best lenses money can buy, with 100% polarization and 100% UV ray blocking. The scratch-resistant lenses deliver the kind of clarity you can’t believe if you’re using to cheaper glasses. You also get a lifetime warranty and a nice zippered case to carry them in.
I like these glasses because they fit well on me and stay in place. The frames are two materials molded together: hard plastic for most of the surface, then softer rubber at the places where the glasses need to grip. So around the nose, the bottom of the eyes, and around your ears. So besides them being good around-town sunglasses, they have also held up well when I’ve been riding fast on a bicycle or cruising along on a windy boat ride. There are also three small ventilation holes on each side to let a little air flow through.
The Tuna Alley style comes in five frame colors (including some more sedate ones) and multiple lens colors in three overall styles of glass or polycarbonate. List prices range from $170 to $250 depending on the combination. If you’re going to be paddling on the water or just want some good-looking sunglasses that will protect your eyes while making the world look better, you’ll be very happy when you put on these Tuna Alley ones.
These high-performance Native sunglasses occupy that sweet spot where superior functionality comes in a package well shy of $150.
For the last few years I’ve lived in two places that get warm sunshine well over 300 days a year (no I’ll never live in Seattle), so even when I’m not traveling I’m wearing sunglasses nearly every day. When I’m going boating, biking, or skiing though, it’s good to try something meant for more than running errands and driving my daughter to school.
On a recent 8-day biking trip through sunny Portugal, Donna and I were sporting some new sports shades courtesy of samples from Native Eyewear. This was my first experience with the brand and I was quite impressed. Neither of us will be putting these back on a shelf to collect dust.
The Native Eastrim ones I wore for all eight days of the trip, plus some kicking around in Lisbon time. They were super-comfortable thanks to the adjustable nosepiece and frame design, and lightweight due to the polycarbonate lenses. When I was on the bike speeding down a hill, I really appreciated the venting at the top so the air could flow through. This also minimized the fogging up when I left an air-conditioned hotel. Thanks to the grippy ear stems, they stayed in place too without being uncomfortable.
The Native Eastrim sunglasses come in five frame colors and various lens styles, listing from $129 to $149 depending on if you go for polarization or not. Check prices at Backcountry, Zappos, and Moosejaw.
These days there are some “table stakes” features you’re probably going to get with any pair of quality sunglasses: well-made lenses, polarization if you want it, frames with some give to them, and some kind of carrying case or pouch. Native Eyewear glasses come with all that but up the ante. Each pair comes in a hard case, but also has a soft pouch (that doubles as a lens cleaner) inside. But wait, there’s more! You also get a second set of interchangeable lenses.
My riding companion especially liked that feature in her Andes sunglasses. That’s because one day it was cloudy out, so we didn’t need dark sunglasses. I just took mine off for a while, but she switched into the lighter second set of lenses because she wears contacts and needed to keep then wind out of her eyes when zooming downhill. She also didn’t get any bugs in her eyes that way.
These are more conventional looking than the Andes ones from the front, but on the sides there are venting holes that let the air flow through. There’s a daunting list of tech specs with funny names and big trademark signs adjoining, but the sum of all that is what matters when they’re on: great fit, they stay in place, they’re flexible where they need to be, and the lenses are high quality.
Both these styles of travel/sports sunglasses come with a limited lifetime warranty: free replacement or repair within one year, a bit of processing cost after that.
The Andes sunglasses from Native Eyewear also list from $129 to $149 depending on style and lens, a good value for high-end shades with all these features. Check prices at Zappos, Backcountry, or REI.
Want a great pair of performance for a price that won’t kill your budget? Bollé, the company you probably turn to when buying ski goggles, makes great sunglasses that pack great technology in a lower-priced package, like these Vibe shades.
Sure, you can go out and spend $300 on a pair of polarized lens sunglasses, and they may well be worth it. But if you don’t have that kind of money to throw around, Bolle makes some other options that will cost you less. Take these Vibe sunglasses that you’ll often see for two figures instead.
These Bolle Vibe sunglasses come in a nice carrying case that protects them and the polycarbonate lenses are supposedly 20X more impact resistant than glass. They’re lightweight and cool looking, with designer pizazz in the look. They come in multiple colors, from bright blue to tortoise shell to black.
For my tests I used them in the super-bright Florida sun on the beach and biking, plus in Turkey while being a tourist and taking a Bosphorus cruise on the water. The polarization worked well at keeping the glare at bay and these transitioned well between various lighting levels.
These sunglasses have some give to them, but this Vibe model is probably not the best bet for people with very wide heads. With the cool-looking thick stems, it’s important to get the right fit. When they do fit right, they’re extremely comfortable for all-day wear.
You can see the various frame and lens combinations at the Bolle site, but you’ll have to drill down a bit to find this specific model as they’ve got an old-school frames website where I can’t link directly.
Sure, we like value-priced travel gear that’s practical, but when it comes to sunglasses, you’ve got to look great too, right? These Duccio shades from ultra-cool Serengeti will make you feel like you’re driving a Ferrari even if you’re just motoring along in a Camry.
Serengeti sunglasses ads generally show some chiseled man in a casually cool suit and some fashionable woman in an elegant dress, both with the confident look of people who don’t need to worry about the bills getting paid. When they wear sunglasses, they’re usually entering or exiting a nice car, or driving along somewhere like the Amalfi coast of Italy.
I can’t promise your life will match theirs if you put a pair of these Duccio sunglasses on, but you at least won’t feel like a schmuck who’s wearing $10 shades from a sidewalk vendor. These are quality, well-made glasses that match their cool looks with good technology. The lenses have Polar PHD polarized lenses that filter out glare off the water or snow and in my tests they held up to the other high-standard lenses I’ve reviewed here in the past in terms of clarity. With these on, colors look better than they do to the naked eye, with more clarity.
I like the metal earpieces of these because they’re very flat, but strong, and have hinges with plenty of give when you’re taking them on and off. They’re extremely comfortable, without the pressing behind my ears I’ve felt on many plastic frame pairs.
Naturally, they come with a quality case to put them into when they get stowed in your glove compartment or travel bag. It comes with a cleaning cloth to wipe off the fingerprints.
The Duccio sunglasses come in four lens varieties of different hue/darkness, or you can get prescription lenses from one of their retailers. Besides the gray option you see at the top, they come in black, brown, and dark brown.