Home Technology The Best Sunglasses for Everyday, Outdoor Adventures, and More

The Best Sunglasses for Everyday, Outdoor Adventures, and More

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Like any eyeglasses, different sunglasses offer different coatings that can dramatically change the way they protect your eyes and how you perceive the world around you. Here’s a breakdown of some of the most common types of coatings and how they work.

Anti-Reflective

A common coating on eyeglasses, an anti-reflective coating reduces the amount of light that reflects off of your glasses on both sides of the lens. This increases the overall light transmission of your lenses, which is especially important for prescription lenses. This coating might reduce some environmental glare (reflections off water), but the primary purpose is to improve light transmission and reduce glare off of the lenses themselves.

Polarized Lenses

You’ll see polarized lenses on a lot of sunglasses designed for different sports, but they’re a great option for anyone spending a lot of time out in the sun (or in the snow!). Polarized lenses filter light in such a way that they dramatically reduce or eliminate the appearance of bright light reflecting off of just about any shiny surface (like water, ice, snow, glass, or metal). Through polarized lenses, the world around you looks a bit sharper, and a bit dimmer than you might expect. They do make electronic screens look pretty weird though.

Preventing this light from entering your eyes helps protect them in these very bright environments, but polarized lenses do not automatically provide protection against UV light, so make sure you look for a label that still lists UV protection. Every pair of polarized lenses on this list though, provides both layers of protection.

UV Protection

Sunglasses should be protecting your eyes from more than just bright light, they should be protecting them against ultraviolet light as well. UV exposure is generally just something to avoid and protect against, it contributes to long term vision problems that include cataracts and some eye cancers. The American Academy of Opthalmology strongly recommends UV protection for your eyes.

With the right coating or materials they can provide near complete protection from UV light. Polycarbonate lenses offer protection from UV light without an extra coating, but you should always look look for a sticker that says “100 percent UV protection,” or UV400 protection, to confirm that your sunglasses’ UV protection factor has been tested. All of the sunglasses on this list provide 100 percent UV protection.

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