Our Favorite Sunglasses Built for Outdoor Adventure
These shades are built to endure all manner of adventures.
There are two items I consistently botch on just about every trip I take. First, what feels like at least 95% of the time, I unpack only to discover I’ve forgotten a belt. Fortunately, that can be remedied on most excursions by compensating with the sort of outdoor pants that operate just fine without one.
Second is sunglasses, and unfortunately, there aren’t many facial modifications that can be made in lieu of glasses, to my knowledge, to shield our eyes from our solar system’s star.
More from this issue:
- 3 Cabins, 3 Styles: Is This the Ultimate Forest Hideaway?
- These Road Trips Aren’t Just Epic, They Can Be Done in an Electric Car
- Bikepacking 101: Why You Should Try It and How to Get Started
- Feeling the Heat? Try These Drought-Tolerant Plants in Your Garden Now
- Go Ahead, Forage Your Own Food. But First Know the Rules
Forgetfulness, however, is just one aspect of my perpetual sunglasses battle. Many times I do remember to bring a pair only to realize they were not built to withstand two factors paramount to continued success: the unforgiving environments of which I am fond, and the unforgiving size of my head.
I’ve gone the cheaper sunglasses route on many occasion, understanding along the way that each pair from a chain skate shop or gas station would only be of service for so long until an area around the lenses cracked from the ongoing stress of hyperextending around my planetary dome.
Of course, a habit of purchasing cheaper sunglasses that amount to rentals can get old pretty fast. So, why not throw money at something that can withstand both the environment and colossal cranial dispositions?
In that spirit, here’s a quick list of some durable shades I’ve enjoyed—and continue to enjoy, thanks to their longevity—in all manner of travels.
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Anon Optics Winderness
First a goggles and helmet arm of Burton snowboards, Anon Optics recently launched its Winderness sunglasses model to match the fast-paced lifestyle unique to its parent company. Designed to be worn any time the goggles are off, these frames are made for active lifestyles in the mountains. Soft plastic molds on the nose and temples keep the glasses secure to your face, while the frame’s low-volume temple design makes you forget you’re even wearing them. As a bonus, an extra low-light frame is included for cloudy conditions. Grab yours here.
Like its counterpart above, and aptly named for the 1,500-mile island chain in the Caribbean, the Antille frame is built for adventure on open water and is just as durable in any other environment. Vented nose pads add extra comfort, while the pair’s polarized lenses are built with a coating that offers additional scratch resistance and a barrier to everything the outdoors can kick up. Lastly, 97% to 100% of the frames’ makeup is constructed using recycled fishing nets, so you’re shopping sustainably. Grab yours here.
Rain or shine, keeping things out of your eyes with a sturdy pair of sunglasses is always a good idea. I recently used a pair of Costa Lido glasses that handled a day of whitewater rafting and inclement weather with ease thanks to protective side shields and lenses that filter reflective glare. The pair’s adjustable, non-slip nose pads, meanwhile, are designed to maximize fit and stabilization. They did just that, never budging once despite the intensity of rapids and wind. And better yet, the pair’s flexible, hyperextending frame hugged my head with ease. Grab yours here.
Dragon Alliance Baile LL H20 Polar
Brought to life courtesy of a collaboration between Dragon and three-time world champion surfer Mick Fanning, the Baile sunglasses are constructed with lightweight durability in mind. An injection of lower density thermoplastic keeps the glasses afloat even in choppy waters, while the pair’s hard coating is designed to withstand scratches, oil, dust, and water in any environment. Like the Costas, Dragons can do it all without sacrificing anything in the style department. Grab yours here.
Dragon Alliance Clover LL Ion
It’s hard to go wrong with any frames made by Dragon, and these sunglasses for family-friendly adventure and everyday wear are no different. The Clover frames are part of the company’s Upcycled Collection, which uses five single-use plastic bottles to construct each pair. The initiative is designed to keep plastic bottles out of our oceans while repurposing them into what I consider one of my favorite pairs to take with me on the road, camping, fishing, or just cruising around town. Grab yours here.
Tifosi Swank XL
Tifosi offers all the durability and style of the other pairs on this list without breaking the bank, and the Georgia-based company’s Swank XL pair is emblematic of that approach. Shatterproof and scratch-resistant polycarbonate lenses keep these sunglasses going in all environments, the brand’s glide technology ensures a secure, anti-bounce fit for days of intense activity, and thanks to hydrophilic rubber nose pads, grip is actually increased the more you sweat. Plus, a ton of color combos are available. Grab yours here.