The Best Flip-Up Sunglasses for 2022


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Do you dream of mastering the transition from bright light to dark shadow? It’s time to enter the sunny (or shady) world of the best flip-up sunglasses.

The best flip-up sunglasses

Best athletic flip-up sunglasses: Franklin MLB Deluxe Flip-Up Sunglasses

  • Impact-resistant constructionfranklin mlb deluxe flip up sunglasses
  • Blue/purple/gold-tinted lenses
  • MLB branding

Pros

  • Durable
  • Comfortable tint
  • Babe magnet

Cons

  • Can introduce problematic sexual tension

This lightweight plastic pair features an impact-resistant polycarbonate frame and a blue mirrored lens, which fades to royal purple and gold. They also protect against UVA and UVB rays.

During the testing period, I was pretty happy with Franklin’s MLB Deluxe flip-up sunglasses. They made me look like such a badass that nobody wanted to fight me and I managed to shoot a pretty good round of golf while I was wearing them. Testing to determine whether those events were connected remains unclear.

The flipping action was snappy and confidence-inspiring. The slick little MLB logo in the corner looks good and the tint did effectively cut the glare of a blinding Las Vegas summer afternoon. Stuffing the glasses into a pocket didn’t scratch the impact-resistant lenses, and they always sprung back to shape when I whipped them out. The MLB Deluxe even comes with a soft case and a set of chums. Read the in-depth review here.

See Franklin MLB Deluxe Flip-Up Sunglasses on Amazon

See Franklin MLB Deluxe Flip-Up Sunglasses on Walmart

Most kind-of-a-waste-of-money flip-up sunglasses: J&L Retro Steampunk Flip-Up Sunglasses

  • Round lensesj&l retro steampunk flip up sunglasses
  • Clear lenses under tinted lenses
  • Multiple colors and styles

Pros

  • Match your outfit

Cons

  • Unbalanced
  • Unnecessarily tight hinge
  • Bad tint (doesn’t help block light)

J&L’s retro steampunk flip-up glasses only have it one way: bad. The glasses look cool enough, especially with the lenses flipped down. But my review showed that the balance was all messed up, the hinges were way too sticky, and the tint was trash.

I was encouraged when I got the J&L glasses out of the box. I tested the gold design with the straight top bar. I figured they’d work just as well with a black suit as they would with hippie rags. Either of those things may be true, but I’ll never find out. Why? Because wearing them sucks.

The tint might as well not exist and I found that the hinges were far too tight — so that the leverage of flipping the lenses was uncomfortable. Flipping them down made the earpieces walk up the sides of my head. Flipping them up made the earpieces dig into my ears. Finally, the glasses were weighted noticeably toward the lenses, so they constantly felt like they were about to fall off my face.

See J&L Retro Steampunk Flip-Up Sunglasses on Amazon

Best clip-on sunglasses: Wangly Polarized Unisex Clip On Flip Up Sunglasses

  • Rubber-tipped clips work with a wide range of frameswangly polarized unisex clip on flip up sunglasses
  • 400UV
  • Polarized

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Versatile
  • High tint performance

Cons

  • Some users find them big or awkward (see above)

Wangly’s clip-on flip-up sunglasses boast a stout 400UV rating, meaning they block 100% of UVA and UVB rays. They’re also polarized to minimize glare.

The glasses clip on with rubber-coated tips to protect your Rx lenses. The hinge unit looks beefy, but it doesn’t add too much profile to the frame to be offensive (in our opinion). We’ll admit, the sizing looks better on the male model’s bigger, more rectangular face. But the female does look pretty killer in the mirrored pair.

Overall, they’ve got a good reputation. It’s pretty hard to argue with 400UV polarized sunglasses at this price point.

Wangly’s clip-on flip-up sunglasses for men and women work with a wide variety of frame shapes and come in four colors, including a yellow tint for night driving. They’re a versatile option with a solid performance guarantee that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

See Wangly Polarized Unisex Clip On Flip Up Sunglasses on Amazon

See Wangly Polarized Unisex Clip On Flip Up Sunglasses on Walmart

Best flip-up sunglasses for hipsters: COASION Vintage Round Flip-Up Sunglasses

  • 400UV ratingcoasion vintage round flip up sunglasses
  • 2in circular tinted and clear lens
  • Spring stems and hinges

Pros

  • Good UV rating
  • Look cool

Cons

  • Perhaps big for some wearers

Like the hipster look? If so, you’ve found the right sunglasses. As a bonus, they also happen to be UV400 rated.

COASION’s vintage round flip-up features spring styling on the stems to the contoured bridge. The lenses flip up individually, giving you the option to make yourself look cavalier. However, the glasses themselves look to be a bit big. The lenses are 2in circles.

The 400UV rating does promise a modicum of performance. And the hinges are sprung, which can be a positive, tactile detail. The kit comes with microfiber cleaning cloths and a screwdriver (useful for adjusting hinges).

See COASION Vintage Round Flip-Up Sunglasses on Amazon

See COASION Vintage Round Flip-Up Sunglasses on Walmart

Best fit over flip-up sunglasses: TINHAO Men’s Polarized Flip-Up Sunglasses

  • UV400 polarizedtinhao men’s polarized flip up sunglasses
  • Fits over Rx glasses

Pros

  • Never take off your regular glasses again
  • Full modular capability
  • Pretty big

Cons

  • A little pricey
  • Pretty big

You’re in the big leagues, now: no longer will you tolerate swapping prescription sunglasses for your regular glasses. Instead, you will wear TINHAO men’s UV400 polarized flip-up sunglasses over your eyeglasses. These are polarized, to eliminate pesky glare.

See TINHAO Men’s Polarized Flip-Up Sunglasses on Amazon

Why trust us

Here at Explorersweb, we have a saying: “Never trust a jabroney wearing non-flip-up sunglasses.” (At least, now we have that saying.)

Who this is for

Anyone who doesn’t have time for temporary sunglass-induced blindness.

How we picked

We selected the best flip-up sunglasses using a carefully prepared matrix of popularity, utility, and coolness.

How we tested

Took these bad boys to the field. I shot a 93 over 18 holes on America’s birthday while testing a pair. Only took me 11 beers and 36 mulligans. Tough job but somebody’s gotta do it.

flip up sunglasses

Features to look for in flip-up sunglasses

Style

Unequivocal. Iconic. These are some of the phrases that leap to mind when a common man such as myself regards flip-up sunglasses. How can you go wrong?

Design

Generally, you’ve got options that range between cosmopolitan and athletic.

Value

Gucci doesn’t make Conor McGregor’s flip-ups anymore, but their glasses average about $500 MSRP. On the other hand, some of the humble workin’ man’s glasses that we tested only cost about $15.

Polarization

Polarization cuts glare from shiny surfaces like water, snow, or glass, but it doesn’t have a UV effect. For ultimate protection under all circumstances, use polarized shades with a 400UV rating.

Lens

Flip-up lenses stow safely away from the eyes. Flip down and your eyes are shielded from harmful rays and debris.

Some variants have a clear lens under the tinted lens — or even a slightly tinted lens under the more heavily tinted lens.

Material

Plastic, glass, or metal.

Quality

Consider that no matter what the quality of your flip-up sunglasses, they automatically have double the value of a pair of non-flip-ups. Why? Because they deliver the unity of sunglasses and not-sunglasses.

Weight

Bicep curl your flip-up sunglasses (especially men’s flip-up sunglasses) to get a deep burn and sculpt your guns. If you do over a thousand, you’ll barely be able to lift your right arm because you did so many.

Fit

Make sure your flip-up sunglasses fit your mug properly. That way, you’ll be comfortable wearing them in any situation, outside or inside.

man wearing flip up sunglasses

Flip up sunglasses FAQ

Q: What is the point of flip-up sunglasses?

To look rad and be in charge, duh. First of all, glasses with flip shades add serious cool points to any sunglass wearer’s profile.

The second relevant scientific fact is that the transition between bright sunlight and dark shadows is a hazardous liminal space in which anything can happen. The period of blindness caused by transitioning out of a sunlit area without immediately de-sunglassing makes you vulnerable to all kinds of anomalous phenomena.

Q: When were flip-up sunglasses popular?

The pinnacle of flip-up sunglass popularity was probably during the 1990s, when high-octane baseball superstars like Sammy Sosa, Jose Canseco, Ken Caminiti, and Jeff Bagwell rocked flip-ups.

Sources:

    1. Do Polarized Sunglasses Protect Your Eyes? – Consumer Reports
    2. The Evolution Of Sunglasses – Southwestern Eye Center