The Best Polarized Sunglasses Of 2022 For Outdoor Adventures

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Whether you spend long days on the water or in the mountains, you need a high-quality pair of polarized sunglasses. Sure, those cheap sunglasses can do the trick for a bit, but dealing with scratched lenses, glare, and frequent replacements can take a toll. It can even be dangerous to go without sunglasses — not wearing them consistently exposes you to the sun’s harmful rays, which puts you at risk for eye strain, cataracts, and macular degeneration.

Maybe you’re wondering how polarized sunglasses work or why they’re so much better than non-polarized lenses. Polarized sunglasses reduce glare, especially off water or snow, by absorbing the light from one direction. Polarized sunglasses only let light in from a vertical direction, thus blocking glare.

If you’ve ever looked at a lake reflecting something back at you, if you put on polarized sunglasses, you’ll be able to see under the surface of the water and through the reflected light. Because of that, polarized sunglasses are a must-have for anyone who likes to fish. But they’re also similarly necessary for skiing and while driving as they get rid of dangerous glare.

The best polarized sunglasses

Editor’s choice: Sunski Dipsea Polarized Sunglasses

  • Recycled superLight polycarbonate frameSunski Dipsea Polarized Sunglasses
  • 100% UV-protected lens
  • Interchangeable lenses
  • Lifetime warranty


  • Affordable yet high quality
  • Easy to switch up your look with the interchangeable lenses
  • Lightweight and comfortable


  • Scratched lenses are not covered under warranty

Sunski’s have been my go-to sunglasses for years for a few reasons. First, they are affordable for high-quality polarized sunglasses, starting at about $50. Second, you can buy new lenses for them without purchasing a whole new pair of sunglasses. And, you can switch up your look with interchangeable lenses.

The Dipsea is my favorite style for my face, but pretty much any pair of Sunski’s will be high quality, attractive, and come with many different lens colors.

Another great aspect of Sunski’s sunglasses is the materials they use. They created their own superlight recycled material to make their frames. I can say from experience that it’s light and comfortable, and I love knowing it’s recycled. Plus, all Sunski’s come with their Lifetime Warranty which protects your glasses from pretty much any damage (except to the lenses). Yes, that includes getting eaten by your dog or dropped off a cliff — they’re designed for adventure and the lifestyle you live. So, if you’re looking for a new pair of fairly cheap polarized sunglasses that you’ll use for a lifetime (with maybe a few lens replacements), try Sunski. Read the in-depth review here.

See Sunski Dipsea Polarized Sunglasses on Amazon

See Sunski Dipsea Polarized Sunglasses on Sunski

See Sunski Dipsea Polarized Sunglasses on REI

Runner-up: Bajio Cometa Sunglasses

  • Sturdy yet light bio-based nylon frameBajio Cometa Sunglasses
  • Scratch-resistant and oleophobic coatings
  • LAPIS™ lens technology
  • Non-slip rubber nose pads
  • Hidden rubber temple tips


  • Excellent color-enhancing protection
  • Greatly reduces glare
  • Durable, lightweight, and comfortable frame
  • Scratch-resistant lenses


  • Expensive

The Bajio Cometa Sunglasses are a stylish and functional addition to anyone’s arsenal. These water-loving sunglasses feature polarized lenses, high-quality frames, and a variety of lens and frame options. Our tester has the Rosa Gloss frame and blue mirror frame combination for everyday use, and it’s perfect for fishing, paddleboarding, and river days. Our tester also suffered a major concussion shortly after receiving these glasses and they’ve been excellent in keeping her sensitive eyes protected during recovery.

We love the sturdy but lightweight bio-based nylon frame. This set looks like it should be heavier than it is but sits comfortably on the face. We also love the nose pads, five-barrel hinges, and hidden rubber temple tip.

See Bajio Cometa Sunglasses on Bajio

Best classic style sunglasses: Oakley Holbrook Iridium Sport Polarized Sunglasses

  • Lightweight and durable synthetic frameOakley Holbrook Iridium Sport Polarized Sunglasses
  • Prominent Oakley logo
  • Polarized Prizm, Iridium, or prescription lens options
  • Three-point fit system designed for comfort


  • Durable construction
  • Prizm lenses enhance colors
  • Comfortable and stylish


  • Expensive

Oakley’s Holbrook sport-style sunglasses are built in a classic Wayfarer shape known and loved by many. These sporty, retro sunglasses look good on most faces and were inspired by movie heroes from the 50s, 60s, and 70s. So if you’re looking for a timeless design, these lightweight frames will protect you for years to come.

The frames are made of Oakley’s O Matter material that is stress-resistant and offers a secure and snug fit, perfect for athletes who need their sunglasses to stay put. With the option of polarized Prizm, iridium lenses, or even prescription lenses, these Oakley Holbrooks are stylish lifestyle sunglasses for every occasion. They offer complete Ultraviolet light protection filtering of all UVA, UVB, UVC, and harmful blue light up to 400mm. Choose gray lenses for all-purpose use and to reduce eye fatigue, amber or brown lenses to improve contrast and depth perception (great for fishing), or blue lenses for misty, snowy conditions and awesome style.

See Oakley Holbrook Iridium Sport Polarized Sunglasses on Amazon

See Oakley Holbrook Iridium Sport Polarized Sunglasses on Oakley

See Oakley Holbrook Iridium Sport Polarized Sunglasses on Backcountry

Best polarized aviator sunglasses: Ray-Ban RB3025 Large Aviator Polarized Sunglasses

  • Metal framesRay-Ban RB3025 Large Aviator Polarized Sunglasses
  • Genuine Ray-Ban logo on lens
  • Case and microfiber cloth included
  • Scratch-resistant lenses made of glass


  • Possibly the most stylish sunglasses out there
  • High-quality construction with excellent UV protection
  • Scratch resistance


  • Expensive glasses
  • Glass lenses can break

Are there sunglasses more classic than the Ray-Ban Aviator Classic? Propelled to popularity in 1980 thanks to the movie Top Gun, Ray-Ban is arguably the world’s most iconic sunglasses brand, and the Ray-Ban Aviator is their flagship pair. Originally designed for pilots back in 1938, they’ve stood the test of time and have retained their popularity. The thin metal frame with that instantly recognizable inverted teardrop lens has spawned a host of imitators — none of which live up to the quality and style of the original.

With over 40 different variations of sizes, lenses, and frame colors to choose from, this is a design that pretty much suits any face shape. The mirrored polarized glass lenses improve clarity and contrast while reducing glare and providing UV protection. Plus, they come with a case and cloth to wipe away fingerprints or dirt that will inevitably accumulate over time.

See Ray-Ban RB3025 Large Aviator Polarized Sunglasses on Amazon

See Ray-Ban RB3025 Large Aviator Polarized Sunglasses on Ray Ban

See Ray-Ban RB3025 Large Aviator Polarized Sunglasses on Walmart

Best budget aviators: J&S Premium Military Style Aviator Polarized Sunglasses

  • UV 400 protectionJ&S Premium Military Style Aviator Polarized Sunglasses
  • Choice of lens color
  • Lightweight, metallic alloy frames
  • Adjustable silicon nose pads
  • Case and cloth included


  • Lightweight and comfy
  • Great style
  • Affordable


  • Some reviewers had quality issues

If you love the look of classic Aviator sunglasses but don’t have the budget to splurge on a pair of Ray-Bans, then you’ll love these aviation-inspired polarized lenses from J&S Premium. Under $20 for a super stylish and slick-looking pair of shades that offer UV 400 protection, what’s not to love? They feature lightweight yet tough, scratch-resistant polarized lenses that minimize glare and increase clarity. This makes the J&S polarized sunglasses an excellent choice for every day or sport-specific activities.

Designed with a metallic alloy frame, they feature spring-loaded hinges along with adjustable silicone nose pads providing a blend of comfort and flexibility. Stylish, durable, practical, and super affordable.

See J&S Premium Military Style Aviator Polarized Sunglasses on Amazon

Best budget polarized sports sunglasses: Torege Polarized Sports Sunglasses

  • UV 400 protectionTorege Polarized Sports Sunglasses
  • Multi-layer polarized lenses
  • Sporty design rimless wrap-around style frames
  • Scratch resistant


  • Sporty design
  • Affordable
  • Great color selection


  • Some report strange fit
  • Company is not very responsive

If you prefer the sporty look and you spend a lot of time outdoors in the sun, then our next option might be for you. The Torege Polarized Sports Sunglasses feature an aluminum-magnesium alloy frame with a wide range of colorful lenses to choose from. It’s a rimless, lightweight design that allows for a clear field of vision, all the way to the periphery. The flexible arms don’t put any additional pressure on the temples. They also include rubber to keep them from slipping, making them a good choice for all kinds of active outdoor pursuits and recreational activities.

The Torege are fitted with polarized lenses that block out harmful UV rays and offer UV 400 protection. They are also impact and scratch-resistant as well as water and oil-proof. Overall, these sunglasses are rated as being comfortable and durable. They are cost-effective too, at under $20.

See Torege Polarized Sports Sunglasses on Amazon

Most protective sunglasses: Wiley X Airrage Polarized Sunglasses

  • 100% protection from UVA and UVB RaysWiley X Airrage Polarized Sunglasses
  • ANSI Z87.1 rated
  • Climate control removable gaskets
  • Prescription ready


  • Comfortable and offer great protection
  • Doubles as safety glasses
  • Extremely durable construction


  • Small fit
  • Expensive

The Wiley X Airrage are polarized sunglasses designed for the outdoors. They belong to Wiley X’s climate control series, featuring unique removable facial cavities that protect your eyes from dust, dirt, sweat, wind, and sun coming in from the sides of the glasses. If you are looking for a protective and durable pair of polarized sunglasses, these might be the perfect option.

With ANSI Z87.1-rated frames, they can double as safety glasses. They’re also an ideal choice for high-speed activities such as cycling, or you could use them as sunglasses for skiing and snowboarding due to their secure fit and full protection. The polarized lenses can be swapped for custom prescription lenses as well.

See Wiley X Airrage Polarized Sunglasses on Amazon

See Wiley X Airrage Polarized Sunglasses on Safety Glasses USA

Best sunglasses for cycling: Oakley Men’s Half Jacket Rectangular Sunglasses

  • 100% UVA, UVB and UVC protectionOakley Men’s Half Jacket Rectangular Sunglasses
  • Lightweight frame
  • Impact resistant
  • Lenses are interchangeable


  • Non-polarized and polarized lenses
  • Snug and comfortable
  • Non-slip, ideal for cycling


  • Expensive
  • Doesn’t work for all face shapes

With their O Matter flexible frames and 100% UV protection, these Oakley Half Jacket sunglasses are a fantastic choice for sporty polarized shades. The semi-rimless, stress-resistant frame is casual looking and comfortable to wear. Featuring nosepads and earsocks for grippy comfort, there’s no need to worry about these sunglasses slipping off halfway through your mountain bike ride.

They deliver optimum performance in a range of environments and the interchangeable lenses are easy to switch out. Choose from a combination of Oakley’s polarized, iridium, golf, and Prizm lenses. All Oakley lenses offer UV protection and block out harmful UVA, UVB, UVC rays, and blue light.

See Oakley Men’s Half Jacket Rectangular Sunglasses on Amazon

See Oakley Men’s Half Jacket Rectangular Sunglasses on Oakley

Best polarized sunglasses for golf: Callaway Sungear Kite Golf Sunglasses

  • 100% UVA, UVB, and UVC protectionCallaway Sungear Kite Golf Sunglasses
  • Lightweight and flexible plastic frame
  • Comfortable, sporty style
  • Adjustable nose pads
  • Case and lens cloth included


  • Comfortable and light
  • Specifically designed for golf
  • Clear vision with maximum eye coverage


  • May not be snug enough for some users

If you love golf, you will really appreciate these Izzo Golf Sungear sunglasses from Callaway. Stylish looking with partially rimless plastic frames and green mirrored lenses, these wraparound sunglasses are sporty, flexible, and designed specifically for days on the golf course. Providing 100% UVA, UVB, and UVC protection, they won’t let you down even if your putting does! They let in just the right kinds of light to deliver accurate depth perception while protecting from harmful UV rays.

While the polarized lenses eliminate potentially distracting glare and reduce eye strain, the frames themselves are comfortable to wear. You can customize the fit with adjustable nose pads. A carrying pouch, a hard case with a hanging clip, and a lens cloth are all included.

See Callaway Sungear Kite Golf Sunglasses on Amazon

Best unisex sunglasses: Ray-Ban RB2132 New Wayfarer Polarized Sunglasses

  • Polarized and coated with 100% UV protectionRay-Ban RB2132 New Wayfarer Polarized Sunglasses
  • Unisex acetate frame
  • Crystal Lens
  • Case and lens cloth included


  • High quality
  • Comfortable and lightweight
  • Classic, stylish design


  • Expensive

Ray-Ban Wayfarers are classically shaped sunglasses that look good on just about anyone. Multiple-sized frames allow you to pick one that will fit best on your face, plus the lens options are numerous. The lightweight and durable acetate frames sit comfortably without budging. And the legendary Ray-Ban polarized lenses provide complete UV protection while reducing glare and eye strain, and improving contrast and clarity. These crystal lenses are scratch resistant and extremely durable.

Whether you’re looking for fishing sunglasses or something to wear to a music festival, the Ray-Ban Wayfarers are a reliable, iconic choice.

See Ray-Ban RB2132 New Wayfarer Polarized Sunglasses on Amazon

See Ray-Ban RB2132 New Wayfarer Polarized Sunglasses on Ray-Ban

See Ray-Ban RB2132 New Wayfarer Polarized Sunglasses on Walmart

Best sunglasses for skiing: Suncloud Mayor Polarized Sunglasses

  • Polarized plastic lensesSuncloud Mayor Polarized Sunglasses
  • 100% UV protection
  • Grilamid frame material
  • Storage bag included


  • Great quality sunglasses at an affordable price
  • Lightweight and comfy
  • Sunglasses stay in place


  • Some issues with durability

Suncloud is another brand that offers high-quality polarized sunglasses at affordable prices. Similar in shape to the Ray-Ban Wayfarer, these don’t have the lens quality of the glass lenses but are still great all-around sunglasses. The lenses protect from 100% UVA and UVB rays and are made out of lightweight polycarbonate material.

The eight-base curve provides more of a wrap-around feel, with protection on the sides of your face as well as the front. This, coupled with the polarized lenses, is great if you’re in a highly reflective environment like water or snow. Silicone grips on the nose pads help them stay in place all day long. Overall, these are great fishing or skiing sunglasses at an equally great price.

See Suncloud Mayor Polarized Sunglasses on Amazon

See Suncloud Mayor Polarized Sunglasses on Walmart

Why trust us

Living in sunny Southwest Colorado, the sun shines more days than not, so a good pair of polarized sunglasses is a MUST. From climbing in the red rock deserts to skiing in the San Juans, we take protecting our eyes seriously. And, as someone who tends to destroy most nice things, a durable pair of sunglasses is also key.

You can trust us to bring you the best-polarized sunglasses and a comprehensive guide to choosing your next pair.

Who this is for

This is for anyone who cares about protecting their eyes from damage. Anyone can use a good pair of polarized sunglasses, whether driving to work or shredding down the slopes on a bluebird day. But especially if you spend a lot of time around water or snow, polarized sunglasses are a must-have.

How we picked

We picked the sunglasses on this list through research and testing. We wanted to make sure we had the best options for every type of sunglass wearer, from casual to sport-specific. We read reviews and tried polarized sunglasses to choose the best ones to share with you.

How we tested

We tested sunglasses all over the country, from skiing in the Cascades to rock climbing in the southwest. We’ve run at 14,000ft, where the sun’s rays are more intense, and polarized sunglasses are necessary. And we’ve swam, fished, and paddle-boarded on lakes and rivers where polarized lenses help cut the glare from the water’s reflective surface.

polarized sunglasses

Features to look for in polarized sunglasses

UVA & UVB protection

Make sure to check the UV rating of your new sunglasses and the polarization. We recommend that you go for a pair of lenses that offer 99-100% UV protection (both UVA and UVB rays) so that your eyes are fully protected from the sun’s rays in addition to blocking out the effect of glare with polarized lenses. If you see that glasses have UV 400 protection, that’s the same as 100% UV protection.


Deciding what fit and style you want is important, especially if you want them for specific activities. You have two main options: sport or casual.

  • Sports glasses are typically designed with a wrap-around frame and athletic aesthetic and likely have rubber temples and nose pads to help them grip better in case you get sweaty or wet.
  • When it comes to more casual, fashion-oriented styles like the aviator, they won’t typically provide as much protection for the sides of your face. They’re unlikely to feature the performance elements that the sports sunglasses do, such as rubber nose and temple grips, and won’t deliver as snug or secure a fit. Of course, they still offer good protection, plus they’re stylish.
Frame material

The material that your frames are made of impacts the weight, durability, and style of your glasses. Metal or metal alloy frames are more expensive and not great for hot or sweaty activities. However, they are durable, flexible, and easy to adjust to your face.

Polycarbonate is cheap, lightweight, and more durable but not very adjustable. Acetate is made out of plant cellulose and is an alternative to conventional plastic. Acetate lenses are flexible, durable, and can come in many colors.

Lens material

You have a couple of options when it comes to the lens material you select, and this will affect the performance, quality, and price. There are four main types of material:

  • Acrylic is the most affordable and is very lightweight but less durable and has less than ideal optical clarity.
  • Polycarbonate is affordable and lightweight with good impact resistance and clarity but has less scratch resistance than other options.
  • Polyurethane is more expensive but provides great optical clarity and is very impact resistant.
  • Glass delivers the best overall experience but is going to be the most expensive of all the lens types. It’s also heavier than other options and can “spider” when cracked (like a windshield).

You can expect to pay around 30% more for a polarized lens than you would a non-polarized lens. The main difference is that they reduce glare, which depending on where you live or what activities you undertake, might come in incredibly useful. If you spend time on water or snow, polarization is a must. But it’s also useful while driving due to the glare on the road, which can be dangerous in certain situations.

polarized sunglasses by the sea

Polarized sunglasses FAQ

Q: How do polarized lenses work?

Polarized lenses absorb reflected light, like the light that bounces off of water, snow, or any other highly reflective surface. They reduce glare by only absorbing light from vertical directions. Imagine a slatted window blind — that’s how polarized lenses work — only allowing in light from one direction.

Q: How can I tell if lenses are polarized?

There’s an easy trick to tell if your new lenses are polarized or not. Find a reflective surface, like water, metal, or glass. Look at that surface with your sunglasses on, and tilt your head sideways about 60 degrees. If the intensity of the light changes as you move your head, your sunglasses are polarized. If there is no change in intensity, your sunglasses are tinted.

Q: Do polarized sunglasses wear off?

The polarization does not wear off but the UV protection does wear over time. So, depending on the quality and durability of your sunglasses, you will eventually need to get a new pair.

Q: Are there any downsides to polarized lenses?

Polarized sunglasses are not for everyone nor are they for every situation. Some people may feel dizzy or not like how the world looks through polarized glasses. They are also not great for looking at screens, so some folks may actually prefer a tinted lens instead of a polarized one.

Q: Is 100% UV protection the same as polarized?

No. Your sunglasses can be 100% UV protected and not be polarized, and vice versa. Polarization is not the same as UV protection. If you’re looking for polarized sunglasses, you definitely also want 100% UV protection. But polarized sunglasses reduce glare while UVA and UVB protection defends your eyes from harmful rays.


  1. What Are Polarized Lenses? – Healthline
  2. How Do Polarized Lenses Work? – Barnet Dulaney Perkins Eye Center
  3. How To Choose The Correct Lens For Your Activity – Island Retina