The Best Sunglasses For Outdoor Activities

Ah, the weekend’s here and it’s the perfect weather for packing your golf clubs or fishing rod and going for a drive in the country. But first, it’s important to have the best sunglass lenses for protection and performance. 

Driving on country roads is far more pleasurable when you’re not squinting so polarised lenses are ideal. They help reduce glare which is paramount for sunny days and they’re also the best fishing lenses. Fishing is unique in that you need crystal clear vision of what’s beneath the water and so will benefit from as much glare reduction as possible. 

When you’re playing golf, you need to be able to see the ball, so an adaptable lens is best. 

Polycarbonate lenses and polyamide lenses are made from tough plastic that will survive the hardiest of activities and makes them great for tennis and other high intensity activities and they can be polarised too.


UV protection in a nutshell

Whatever activity you’re doing, it’s important to choose the best sunglass lenses with adequate ultraviolet (UV) protection. Why? UV radiation is estimated to cause 20 percent of cataracts and other vision-impairing conditions such as macular degeneration. 

But popping on any old pair of shades isn’t the answer. You’ll need lenses that meet strict guidelines in order to keep your peepers healthy. Fortunately, the British Standard for lenses – EN1836:2005  – is continually being revised and is an indication of UV protection. Look out for the CE logo on the arm of your sunnies - it stands for Conformité Européenne and is the indicator that your peepers will be protected.

Be aware: if you’re considering buying those knock off sunglasses in Malaga – don’t. They’re cheaply made and are unlikely to meet UV or shatterproof standards. It’s a short term saving with a long-term consequence and your eyes deserve better. 

Here's how you can learn to spot the differences between real and fake designer sunglasses.

     

Different sunglass lenses and features to consider

Whether you’re teeing off a shot, or waiting to hook your next catch, clear vision is key. The best sunglass lenses eliminate almost all UV rays but if reducing glare is what you’re after, then you need polarised lenses. 

Keen Anglers will know that pulling the line at the right moment can be the difference between the dinner you caught and fish and chips at the pub. Polarised lenses allow you to see clearly enough through the glare of the water’s surface so you can catch that fish. 


Polarised lenses

Polarised lenses have a special coating that offers anti-blur and anti-haze protection, which allows for greater comfort and visibility in the sun. 

In short, polarised lenses eliminate unwanted glare from roads, water and windshield reflections. However, the technology that reduces the glare from the sun can also black-out the LCD display on your dashboard or flight instruments. Not that you’d be wearing sunglasses at night (unless you’re Kanye West), but the distortion of LCD displays on the dashboard is the reason you’ll never see a pilot wearing polarised shades.

Learn more about how polarised lenses work.


Who polarised lenses are recommended for

Because they block glare and reduce the sun's reflection off the water, polarised lenses are widely regarded as the best fishing lenses and boating lenses because they allow you to see clearly at greater distances and water depths. Polarised lenses are also ideal for drivers, as they reduce the impact of horizontal rays of light reflected from the road on bright, sunny days.


 


Lens Materials

There are three main types of lens material: polycarbonate, polyamide and glass.

Polycarbonate lenses provide complete protection from UV rays and are up to 35% thinner than glass. Polycarbonate lenses are up to 10 times more impact resistant than glass or standard plastic lenses which makes them perfect for sports such as tennis, beach running, rock climbing and other vigorous activities.

The downside of polycarbonate lenses is that they're relatively 'soft' and therefore may scratch more easily.  The flexible nature of polycarbonate lenses is what allows them to absorb impact without fracturing but makes them susceptible to scratches. A solution is to add a protective scratch-resistant coating.

Even lighter than polycarbonate lenses is Polyamide or CR-39 lenses which are made from a type of nylon. They are the lightest of all the sunglass lenses and maintain an exceptionally high optical quality similar to glass. Again, you can add a scratch resistant coating to protect mirrored lenses. And, like polycarbonate lenses, they're great for an active lifestyle and sport.

Glass is excellent in terms of visual quality but is heavy and expensive. Brands such as Ray Ban and Persol use glass lenses but you can replace them with lighter lenses if you want to wear them for fishing or playing golf. It is important to remember, glass lenses are not shatterproof and therefore not recommended for sports activities. 


Lens colours 

When it comes to outdoor sports, coloured or tinted lenses can be useful for seeing better in difficult lighting environments. Grey and green lenses can help prevent colour distortion whereas blue lenses will diminish red tones – not good when you’re driving.

For golf, darker lenses such as amber, copper or brown are best as they heighten the contrast between the grass, fairways and sky and make it easier to follow the ball. At Sunglass Fix we pride ourselves on offering 13 different lens colours to choose from Other benefits of coloured lenses include relieving eye strain.


Layered features

That’s the base material covered, now let’s talk about customised coatings.

    Hardened coatings – a hardened protective top coating gives your sunglasses the ultimate life extension. The final outer layer is a tough, scratch-resistant coating that helps wick away sweat and makes cleaning a breeze.

    Polarised layers – the reduced  glare provided by polarised lenses allows you to wear them longer with reduced eyestrain. Some users claim they even reduce the onset of migraines and headaches.

    Mirrored Lenses – as well as looking ultra-cool, mirrored coatings reduce the amount of light that passes through your sunglasses lens. They reflect the light away from your eyes which is why they’re so popular for water and snow sports. As the mirror is traditionally softer, adding a scratch-free layer will provide extra protection and make your lenses last longer.

     



How to choose the right sunglasses for your face shape

It’s easy to dismiss the shape of your shades in favour of their performance, but when you look  good you feel good. It’s pretty easy to choose frames that will suit you best by considering your face shape. As a general guide stick to the below:

    Oval or round: Square, narrow or angular frames will help lengthen the face and provide greater balance.

    Square or oblong: You can easily balance a rugged jawline with sunglasses that have rounded or soft corners.

    Heart shaped: Angular frames will look better on people with a narrow chin. Stay away from big frames that can accentuate a larger forehead.

    Diamond: Choosing sunglasses that are rimless or have oval frames to balance a diamond shaped face.

When choosing the best sunglass lenses, you might also consider how they complement your skin tone, hair and eye colour.  


Sunglass Fix: A sustainable alternative 

Now you have all the info you might want to upgrade your sunglass lenses to match your activities. Alternatively, do you have an old pair of sunglasses you don’t wear anymore? Upgrade your lenses and they’ll be as good as new.

At Sunglass Fix we specialise in high-quality Polyamide lenses. All of our lenses meet British Standard EN1836:2005, and all other known regional quality and safety standards. They come in an extensive range of colours and styles that fit more than 130,000 different frame combinations.

Replacing old lenses or putting in new ones is easy. All lenses from Sunglass Fix are affordable, easy to install and meet 100% UV protection requirements.

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