Posts Tagged travel sunglasses
There are a couple schools of thought on sunglasses: buy the cheapest you can find because you’ll eventually lose or crush them, and buy decently-priced performance sunglasses because you want to treat your eyes well. (I’m leaving out the school that advocates buying the highest-priced performance or stylish sunglasses.) Native Eyewear’s Linville and Perazzo styles are new in 2014, and two of my favorite sunglasses.
The Linville is ideal for folks on the move, as the Rhyno-Tuff Air frames (made of high-performance thermoplastic material) can withstand the temperature extremes and occasional drops or smashing that’s likely to occur with travel sunglasses. The frames also incorporate a grippy molding into the plastic, so they’re not likely to slide off when you get sweaty.
Exhaust vents enhance airflow to lessen fog and condensation, which help when you’re really pushing yourself. Cushionol nose pads and temple boots work together to keep your sunglasses on, despite your athletic involvement, or for when you happen to look down into the water (oops).
The Perazzo is the more stylish of the two models—for when you’re done with a serious outdoors excursion, and you just want to chill at a sunny café. Or, perhaps major adventure vacations aren’t your preference, because you just love wandering around a new city. The frames are just as tough, the nose pads just as grippy, but these sunglasses are less likely to work well with a helmet.
Both models feature N3 Polarized Lenses, which have up to 40 percent infrared reduction, UV protection, and blue light filtering. The optical-quality, impact-resistant lenses block 100 percent of harmful UV light and eliminate. Polarized Reflex lenses provide superior glare reduction and enhanced styling.
For the Linville, style colors range from metallic fern (green), to asphalt (black), to wood. Polarized lenses are either brown or silver reflex lenses. For the Perazzo, style colors are iron (black), blonde fade, or metallic gold. Polarized lenses are either gray or brown.
The Linville sunglasses list for $129 (or $149 for the Reflex version) on the Native Eyewear website, and $129 on Amazon. The Perazzo sunglasses list for $109 (or $129 for the Reflex version) on the Native Eyewear website, and $109 on Amazon. You can also check prices at Moosejaw, Zappos, and REI.
I’m not sure how I didn’t know about Eyefly sunglasses until recently. $94 gets you any pair, prescription or non-prescription, in any style. And these are seriously stylish glasses. I tried Eyefly’s Sunset Boulevard sunglasses in honey, and have been wearing them all winter while driving and while outdoors in snow.
$94 is a decent price for high-quality sunglasses, but the fact that they can be upgraded to prescription glasses at no extra cost is worth talking about. If you’re looking for optical glasses (not sunglasses), those can be found on Eyefly as well. It’s easy to order a pair either way: I don’t need a prescription, so upon check out, I simply clicked the appropriate box. Should I have wanted prescription glasses, I’d just upload my Rx in the space provided. I’ll be purchasing a pair for my husband, who doesn’t always like wearing his contacts when traveling.
Choose between just under 40 optical or sunglass styles for both men and women on the Eyefly site, with multiple color options for each. Trust me, you’ll be there a while deciding on the right pair for your personality and needs. You can upgrade to polarized lenses for about $50 more, but I found no need. My Sunset Boulevard sunglasses have met all my needs (and have made me look significantly cooler than I am on numerous occasions). I know it’s hard to select sunglasses without trying them on, but no worries: Eyefly offers free shipping and free returns on all glasses. Given enough time, you could try and return as many pairs as you like before making your choice.
Many travelers I know lack prescription sunglasses, settling for the standard offerings when in the sun, and I love that for the price of a quality pair of shades, the prescription comes included. I’m thinking an Eyefly gift card would make for a great travel stocking stuffer for the nomads in my life next holiday season.
The Sunset Boulevard sunglasses I tried out come in four colors, including the honey I recommend, black, light tortoise, and dark tortoise. The retro style is fun and hip, and works in almost all the travel situations I find myself in. Every purchase comes with a travel-ready glasses case. Pick up a pair of your own for $94 at Eyefly. Due to the prescription-based ordering system, Eyefly sunglasses can’t be purchased elsewhere to my knowledge.
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.