Spring has nearly sprung, folks, and it’s high-time you upgrade your sunglass game. We took the liberty of rounding up a heap of shades this month (hey, somebody’s gotta do it) and after extensive testing, we’re pleased to share with you our favorites of the bunch. These here 16 shades come with our big, fat stamp of approval; they mix style and performance, allowing you to look and feel good through this spring and summer’s greatest outdoor moments. Have at ’em.
$58 — available in three colorways
Sunski makes a promise to you: Polarized lenses come in every pair; the brand’s flexible frames will fit like a glove; every sale supports the planet; and each pair comes with a lifetime warranty. If you don’t like the fit, feel or color, you can return or exchange ’em in the blink of an eye. These are a stylish, high-quality sunglass at an incredibly affordable price point. There’s a lot to love, here.
$149.00 — available in four colorways
Eco friendliness and damn good looks collide in the Windsor, by Zeal. This beaut’ is made from plant-based Z-resin (a byproduct of castor beans, which is a non-crop competing plant) and with eco-friendly e-llume lenses. The Windsor packs light and will turn heads with its striking shape and unmistakable keyhole bridge. ProFlex Rubber on the nose and temple tips ensure the Windsor is ready to stand up to the fiercest of spring skiing adventures.
$173 — available in six colorways
A new addition to Oakley’s Latch family, this bad boy features a stainless steel underwire for a faux semi-rimless look and also boasts a hidden latch at the hinge; the latch conveniently clips to your shirt allowing you to live life on the fly, unimpeded. PRIZM lens technology provides a boost in contrast and detail and also enhances color. (If you haven’t at least walked into a store to demo PRIZM, you’re nuts.) Adjustable silicone nose pads on the lightweight frame provide stellar comfort and the glasses come in size M, L and RX to accommodate many faces.
The Tune is the latest addition to SCOTT’s sunglass line-up and it’s designed with a seamless blending of performance and lifestyle in mind. A no-slip nose pad along with flexible hinge construction and rubber coating along the arms of the glasses provides optimized grip, allowing you to get buck wild (as always) without worrying about your glasses flying off of your mug. Meanwhile, the stylish frame design sports a large lens for increased eye protection and bold looks.
For all y’all high altitude enthusiasts who know damn well that sunlight and reflective light in the alpine can be punishing, POC’s Did Glacier is one to want. Developed with input from POC athlete and world-class snowboarder Jeremy Jones, this sunglass boasts an exceptionally dark Carl Zeiss lens (5.5% VLT) backed by goat skin side panels, minimizing light penetration and maximizing retinal pleasure. The grilamid frame is slim, lightweight and easily packable, too. Don’t skimp on eye protection; snag a pair and you’ll know you Did the right thing.
$189.95 — available in six colorways
For the go-getters who will be go’gettin’ no matter the weather conditions, Julbo offers the Renegade. Beyond the stellar grip, snug-wrap design and wide field of view, the lens is the real star of this story: Julbo’s REACTIV photochromic lenses (available with some, but not all colorways) adapt to the ever-changing lighting, ensuring you’ll be at your best whether you’re hot-dogging through the slush bumps or rip-roaring down the single track. Keep an eye out for Julbo’s polarizing cat. 3 lenses, too, suitable for all types of activity at sea or in the mountains.
$69 (non-polarized), $99 (polarized) — available in five colorways
A member of Bollé’s lifestyle collection, this sleek shade masterfully walks the line between style and performance. A keyhole nose design and angled lenses provide the looks while Thermogrip rubber inserts on the nose pads and temple provide stellar fit and grip. Additionally, an 8-base wrap provides strong coverage and top-notch optics keep the view of your world oh-so-fine.
$160 (non-polarized), $200 (polarized) — available in seven colorways
The brainchild of two-time Olympic gold medalist, Ted Ligety, and materials engineer, Carlo Salmini, (the men behind Shred & Slytech) the Stomp is built for life in motion. Shred’s NOWEIGHT™ frame is über lightweight for packability and comfort; NOSLIP™ construction entails rubber pads on the nose and temple tips for a rock-steady fit; and CONTRAST BOOSTING LENS™ tech provides mighty sharp definition, strong contrast and dreamy color boosting. A base-six curve means the overall appearance is on the flatter side, providing smooth styling to the performance package.
$203 — available in three colorways
Ideal for small to medium-sized faces, the Split Time is an everyday stunner that won’t let you down. A no-slip Unobtainium nose piece keeps them comfortably in place while integrated side shields combat sneak attacks by the dreaded glare monster. The temples were also designed to fit seamlessly while wearing a hat. Rounding things out, PRIZM lens tech provides a magically-awesome contrast, detail and color enhancement.
$136 — available in four colorways
The rounded styling of the Hype exudes pure swagger. Backing up the coolness factor is a premium acetate frame that houses lightweight nylon lenses. The arms are reinforced by stainless steel hinges, as well, ensuring these will last through the thick and thin of your adventures. The Hype is best suited to medium-sized faces, and in addition to the Green Boulder Tortoise with Blue Sky Ion lens, pictured here, we’re big fans of the Hype colorway paired with a Golden Flash lens. You can’t go wrong with the Matte Black and its matching Smoke lens, either.
Kickstarter coming March 24
We’re dishing two, big thumbs up to this new sunglass, coming soon to Kickstarter. Born of a grassroots operation in Seattle, WA, Ombraz Sunglasses earn high marks in three key categories: unique style, durability and environmental friendliness. Right off the bat, you’ll notice these sunglasses don’t have arms. Admittedly, we were skeptical at first; but after having played with a prototype for the past few weeks, we’re pleased to report the sunglass sits snugly on your face just like any other (if not more snugly), even through your wildest and wackiest adventures. It’s all made possible by an adjustable cord that wraps around your dome and keeps the sunglasses right where you want ’em. You can adjust the cord for a tight or relaxed fit, and when it comes time to remove your shades you can let ’em hang comfortably around your neck. Rest assured, they’ll stand up to your abuse: Ombraz went so far as to steamroll these sunglasses during prototyping, and they stood up to the challenge. Finally, for every pair of Ombraz sold, the company is committed to planting 20 trees through its non-profit partner, Eden Reforestation Projects. “Enjoy our shades, while creating some yourself,” they say. Ombraz will also plant a tree each time its Kickstarter is shared, so keep your eyes peeled, peeps.
$120 — available in five colorways
We love the Pismo. With a unique keyhole bridge, round shape and fashion-forward colors, the style is on-point. The use of high-grade aluminum and acetate in addition to high-quality spring hinges ensures these puppies will stand the test of time. And beyond all of that, it’s the Happy Lens technology that we appreciate most; Spy’s formula enhances color and contrast, increases clarity, and improves mood and alertness. It’s science!
Yup, Pit Viper now offers a sunglass with side shields. Light Transmission: 25%. Attitude: 100%. Lens: ANSI Z87 Polycarbonate. Appropriately priced. Put your face between a pair.
$290 — available in seven colorways
After two years of development and drawing upon 60 years of mountain travel and sunglass-crafting know-how, Vuarnet presents the Ice, packed with Vuarnet’s category 3, tinted, mineral glass and state-of the-art materials. This French-made sunglass boasts technicals features similar to the brand’s iconic Glacier glass (like removable, protective eye shields), yet pairs that functionality with urban aesthetic for a sleek, best-of-both worlds character. The center bridge is removable allowing you to customize your look. Stainless steel spring hinges are resistant to wear and tear and adjustable rubber temple tips up the comfort factor. From the alpine to the city, Vuarnet oozes a perfect blend of class and performance.
And hey, for each pair of Vuarnet sunglasses sold, Vuarnet will donate one pair to the Shades Of Love organization in your name; the mission of this organization is to provide eye protection to people living in conditions of extreme light.
$349 – Matte Honey Tortoise
The all-new Bailer is downright chic. The distinctly oval-shaped lenses evoke heritage styling, inspired by Revo’s “Shapes” collection of the early 1990s. Yet with a keyhole bridge and a smooth, matte finish backed by high-contrast, polarized, crystal lenses, these sunnies are playing in a league of their own. The beautiful lenses are ultra scratch-resistant and ground and polished to nearly the same standard as a camera lens. I.e. with these on, you can say you’re enjoying “crystal clear vision” and mean it. As a bonus, when you buy, ten bucks goes to support those fighting for their sight via the Buy Vision, Give Sight program.
The Wind Jacket 2.0 is a big-lensed, snug-fitting pair of shades with heaps of retro flair. These puppies come with a removable strap and PRIZM lenses that enhance color and contrast. We sport ‘em while skiing, hiking, biking, paragliding, rollerblading, river-rafting, boating, soaking in the hot springs, you name it. Rest assured, they’ll remain squarely in place through all of these activities, block wind and generally enhance your experiences thanks to the power of PRIZM. This here colorway, in particular, is a part of Oakley’s Harmony Fade collection; the signature Harmony Fade look—which was unveiled last month by the many Oakley-sponsored Olympians in PyeongChang—salutes the journey and the commitment athletes make to reach the world stage of competition. Oakley chose orange “for the fire that burns inside each and every competitor” and yellow for “the sun that lights the path of athletes brave enough to pursue their dreams.”