Polar Eyes Sunglasses

Outdoorsy types know the benefits of wearing polarized sunglasses: they knock down the haze and glare of reflected sunlight, thanks to a special filter on the lens. They’re pretty much a necessity for water and snow sports. They’re also just a plain-old good idea for anyone who spends a lot of time outside in the sun.

The biggest downside to polarized sunglasses is the price. If you’re in the market for a pair, that usually means kicking down a third of your paycheck for some high-end face candy, or spending $10 on a pair that’ll either blind you or fall apart when you look at them funny.

Neither proposition is exciting, so here are a few pairs of shades that are tough, effective, and well under $100.

Ryders Eyewear Uzi

Sporting a hard-edged version of the classic aviator style done up in a nickel-alloy frame, the Uzis make you look like a badass even if you’re not waving the namesake weapon around while hanging from a helicopter.

The weightiest of the three glasses tested, the Uzis feel sturdy enough to survive a few drops (which they did, admirably), while lounging around outside of Starbucks or commuting to work on the roadie. But their weight, combined with hard plastic nose pieces, gives them a tendency to slide down your face during shakier pursuits. In a bike or a car, however, these work great. Any glare reflected from other cars or puddles was cut down by the polarized lenses, while spring-loaded hinges and fully rubber earpieces made them plenty comfortable and sturdy enough for a casual bike ride.

WIRED Great styling. Glare reduction is effective.

TIRED Heavier frames can lead to sore spots. Have a tendency to slip.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Suncloud Optics Profile

A subsidiary of Smith Optics, Suncloud knows a thing or two about sports sunglasses. The Profile’s polarized lenses did a great job of cutting down glare reflected off of cars during cycling sessions, and their frameless design allows for a wide range of peripheral vision, which comes in handy when you’re cycling and you feel a car sneaking up on you. The open design also means a lot of air motion, which makes lens fogging nearly nonexistent.

During some bouncy trail runs, the super-lightweight design prevented any sore spots on the ears, and the grippy rubber on the nose and earpieces kept them on my face despite the copious amounts of sweat I was oozing. The Grilamid plastic construction is tough yet flexible, allowing the frames to bend (and not break) when you take a dive over your handlebars or faceplant on a downhill.

The only complaint I have about these shades is that they look terrible in any nonathletic situation. I couldn’t wear them anywhere near a man-made structure without looking like a douche-bag “sports guy.”

WIRED Lightweight and comfortable. Great peripheral vision. Open design curbs fogging.

Ideal Eyewear Sun Shield Fit Over Sunglasses with Polarized Lenses - Fit Over Prescription Glasses (Black Frame / Smoke Lens with Case)
Shoes (Ideal Eyewear)
  • Sun Shield Polarized Fit Over Sunglasses by Ideal Eyewear (Microfiber Pouch Included)
  • Polarized lenses to eliminate glare. Blocks 100% of ultraviolet rays.
  • Comfortably fit over most small to medium sized prescription glasses.
  • Polarized side windows to reduce glare from the side.
  • Head Size: Adult Medium (fits most adults).

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Dioptics Solar Shield 52 Rec 19 Gray Polarized lens Ultra Light frame Clip on Sunglasses
Health and Beauty (Dioptics)
  • Polarized Solar Shield Sunglasses
  • Clips over your regular glasses
  • Blocks 100% UVA/UVB
  • Ultralight Frame
  • Carrying case
Dioptics Inc Solar Shield 52 Rec A Polarized Clip On Sunglasses
Health and Beauty (Dioptics Inc)
  • Polarized Solar Shield Sunglasses
  • Clips over your regular glasses
  • Blocks 100% UVA/UVB
  • Storage Case
  • Full Frame
SMITH SPORT OPTICS Suncloud Zephyr Polarized Sunglass (Black Frame/Gray Polar Lens)
  • Universal Fit
  • Polarized lenses for the best in sunglass optics
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Microfiber cleaning/storage bag included
  • Megol nose and/or temple pads
Solar Shield Fits-Over Solar Shield Square Lite Fits Over Sunglasses - Smoke
Apparel (Solar Shield Fits-Over)
  • Discounted Price
  • Top Brand for Post-Cataract and Light Sensitive People
  • Polarized Lenses and 100% UV Protection
  • Flexible Temples to Ensure Fit
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