The Best Sunglasses For Driving – 2019 Review & Guide

In Reviews by Magnus SellénLeave a Comment

Most sunglasses are made to protect your eyes from ultraviolet light while helping you look cool.

Driving with glasses boost your visibility when driving during the day and protect your eyes from Ultraviolet light.

Due to popular demand, driving glasses have evolved to incorporate various colors and styles.

Here is our list of the best sunglasses for driving.

The Best Sunglasses For Driving

NamePriceLensUV Protection
William Painter Aviator Check PriceNylonYes
Costa Del Mar Loreto Check PriceGlass / PolycarbonateYes
Island Sol Rimless Check PricePolycarbonateYes
Persol P03152S Check PriceCrystalYes
BMW B6513 Aviator Check PricePolycarbonateYes
Maui Jim Wiki Check PriceMauiPureYes
American Optical Original Check PricePolycarbonateYes
Santos De Cartier Check PricePolarizedYes
Ray Ban Flat Oval Check PricePolarizedYes
Ray Bans RB4147 Check PriceMirrorYes

1. William Painter Aviator

This has to be a new entrant in the sunglasses category. William Painter started the brand and it has grown to become a reputable brand in the luxury glasses category. If you have some spare cash for durable driving sunglasses then these glasses are an ideal choice. The William painter aviator driving sunglasses are made from titanium and this contributes to its high price.

The titanium material is both lightweight and durable. At the base, the manufacturers have added a layer of nylon. The coating is also made from titanium and this means you are protected from scratches. Besides, the lenses are polarized, protecting your eyes from both UVA and UVB rays. The manufacturers have marketed the lenses to offer 100% protection.

Key Features

  • Made from durable titanium with nylon coating
  • Due to the material used the sunglasses are expensive
  • To prevent scratches that lenses and frames are coated with titanium

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Special coating to prevent scratches
  • Protection from UV light

2. Costa Del Mar Loreto

Sunglasses With Polarized Lens

These sunglasses are ideal for someone who is interested in both fashion and function. You can wear these cool sunglasses while fishing or driving. The brand has carved a niche in the luxury sunglasses market and it is no surprise that you may spot one of your favorite celebrities adorning the sunglasses.

The downside is that while the brand is powerful the sunglasses are not that durable. Firstly, they are made from a component called Monel – which is an alloy in the same category as nickel. Monel is a great material when you are surfing as it protects your sunglasses from corrosion caused by the seawater but it makes for soft and lightweight sunglasses. If you have a big face you will find that the frame is a bit small meaning you are not completely protected from sunlight.

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We give the sunglasses a hand up for the lenses. You have an assortment of cool colors to choose from. You can choose from either polycarbonate lenses or glass lenses. This lets you choose a lens that compliments your style. The lenses are polarized and this protects your eyes from glare.

Key Features

  • Frame made from Monel making them resistant from seawater corrosion
  • An assortment of lenses made from either polycarbonate or glass
  • The frame is small hence not suitable for big-bodied people

Pros

  • An assortment of styles to choose from
  • Lens are polarized
  • Protection from seawater corrosion

3. Island Sol Rimless Sunglasses

Rimless Driving Sunglasses

If you are looking for a more refined look then you can go for this pair of rimless driving sunglasses. The frame is high quality and this is reflected in the price. The best thing about this pair of sunglasses is that users have a wide choice to choose from. You can have them either polarized or non-polarized. Polarization offers protection to your eyes against the glare. The sunglasses are well crafted and this is reflected in the design. The frame is made from plastic which means it is lightweight while the lens is from poly-carbonate.

Key Features

  • Rimless, cool driving sunglasses
  • Premium frame made from plastic with polycarbonate lenses
  • UV protection

Pros

  • Classy sunglasses that compliment your style
  • Option for either polarized or non-polarized
  • Lightweight and durable

4. Persol P03152S

The sunglass manufacturer has sets of glasses for both athletes and pilots. You will also find some pop idols adorning these cool sunglasses. Firstly, Persol uses a different material on the frame than traditional sunglass makers. Cellulose acetate composite is hypoallergenic as it is derived from cotton. This makes the frame durable while at the same time being lightweight. The lens is unique as it is made from ground crystals. It resembles glass and this offers great optics. You also do not have to worry about UV light destroying your eyes as it filters this.

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There is not a lot of coatings on the frame so you need to store your sunglasses carefully to prevent unnecessary scratches. The ground crystal lenses are heavier than the other sunglasses in the market but this is compensated by the lightweight frame. The downside is that the sunglasses are not polarized meaning, you will have problems seeing where there is excess glare but your eyes are protected from UV light.

Key Features

  • Lenses made from ground crystal while framing from cellulose acetate composite
  • The sunglasses are not polarized
  • You have a wide variety of styles to choose from

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Protection from UV light
  • Available from a wide range of options

5. BMW B6513 Aviator

Yes, the sunglasses are named after the renowned car maker. If you are familiar with BMW then you know that they are known for excellence and high-performance cars. What better way to ride your coupe’ than with a pair of BMW sunglasses. Firstly, the sunglasses stand out because of their durability. You should have then on for the next couple of years. Stainless steel has been used on the frames while the lens is made from polycarbonate. Stainless steel is one of the most durable materials for sunglasses.

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The downside to using stainless steel for your sunglasses is that it makes the glasses a bit heavier. This can be uncomfortable. The glasses are also available in only one size. This means if it does not fit then you cannot buy them.

Key Features

  • Made from stainless steel making the sunglasses heavy
  • You can use them for your prescription lenses
  • Lenses are not polarized

Pros

  • Durable
  • Affordable
  • Change lens for prescription ones

6. Maui Jim Wiki Wiki Sunglasses

Sunglasses Made With Durable Titanium

Firstly, you do not need to be familiar with spelling the name for these sunglasses to purchase them. The brand name Maui Jim is renowned for producing good quality sunglasses that are unisex. You can wear sunglasses as you do your shopping or when driving.

The lens is polarized, so you are protected from glare. You also get to choose from grey or bronze colors. But, it is the frame that make this sunglasses worth your money. They are made from titanium, which is known to be both lightweight and durable. However, this comes at the expense of the sunglasses being a bit pricier than the competition.

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The lens material is plastic and this contributes to the sunglasses being lightweight. Maui Jim sunglasses can be used by both males and females. But the downside is that they are too big for people with small faces. They do not have a variety of sizes to choose from.

Key Features

  • The Frame is made from durable titanium with plastic lenses
  • One size for all
  • Lens available in both grey and bronze

Pros

  • Lightweight sunglasses
  • Made from durable titanium
  • Stylish design – can be worn casually or for driving

7. American Optical Original sunglasses

Sunglasses With Steel Frame

If you missed out on your childhood dream of becoming a pilot, do not worry, you can still have a feel of what flying is all about. These aviator sunglasses are popular with pilots. Firstly, the US Army endorses them. Pretty cool! But, this does not mean that they get short-changed when it comes to functionality.

The frame material is made of steel. This means they are durable as sunglasses can get. Secondly, you have glass lenses ideal for driving in bright weather conditions. Your eyes are protected from UV light but the lenses do little to protect you from glare. The lens is dark grey which is ideal for driving. You may be wondering since they are endorsed by the US army they must cost a lot. The glasses are reasonably priced and should set you less than $100.

Key Features

  • Glasses endorsed by the US Army
  • Made from a steel frame with a glass lens
  • Dark grey color lens

Pros

  • Protection from UV light
  • Durable sunglasses
  • Great for bright weather conditions

8. Santos De Cartier Sunglasses

Sunglasses With Gold Trimmed Frames

If you are looking for something that oozes with class and comfort then look no further than this pair of sunglasses. Made by French fashion label Cartier, the Santos De Cartier sunglasses come with gold-trimmed frames that complement your style. You also have a leather padded nose for extra comfort. These are the kind of sunglasses that let you make a statement.

The lens material is glass with a brown color. This is great for driving. The lens is also faded which gives you a cool look while still enabling you to see ahead. The upper half of the lens is more faded to protect your eyes from UV light while the lower side enables you to view the dashboard clearly. These are the right sunglasses for that man who is concerned about class. The only downside is that the lenses are not polarized.

Key Features

  • Gold trimmed flames
  • Padded leather nose for extra comfort
  • Faded lenses to protect eyes from sunlight

Pros

  • Classy sunglasses
  • Brown color lens for enhanced visibility
  • Durable frames

9. Ray-Ban Flat Oval Sunglasses

Sunglasses With Glass Lens

These Ray-Ban sunglasses feature oval lenses that ooze with style. You have a variety of lens colors to choose from – yellow, turquoise and grey. If you plan on using them for driving we recommend going with the grey color. The frame material is made from steel and this makes the glasses durable. The lens material is glass so you need to be careful how you handle the glasses.

The Ray-ban glasses will offer your eyes protection from UV light while helping you see the road ahead when driving. The frame is thin and this contributes to the sunglasses being lightweight. They also have a flash coating to reflect light hence offering you visibility during sunny weather conditions. The sunglasses are universal meaning they can be worn by both males and females.

Key Features

  • Variety of colors to choose from
  • Made from durable steel with glass lens
  • Flash coating to deflect glare

Pros

  • Lightweight sunglasses with a thin frame
  • Protection from UV light
  • Classy oval-shaped lenses

10. Ray Bans ORB4147

UV Protection Sunglasses

The sunglass manufacturer has built a reputation for quality shades. You will find Rockstars, Pop idols or outriders adorning various designs of Ray Bans sunglasses. This particular model is ideal for driving courtesy of its large lenses that protect your eyes from UV light.

The sunglasses are affordable due to lower grade plastic used for the frame. The lenses have mirrored and this is great for short rides. The lenses will keep your eyes from glare. However, the glasses are not polarized and this means they are not that effective in keeping away glare. The gradient at the top is darker than at the bottom.

Key Features

  • Made from low-grade plastic
  • Branded with the Ray-Bans logo
  • Protection from UV light

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Mirrored lenses for sunlight protection

What factors to consider when purchasing driving sunglasses

The reason you need driving sunglasses is to protect your eyes from glare and UV light. It is hard driving at night – especially with incoming cars blazing at full lights. It is at this time that you can lose control of the vehicle. Here are a few tips you need to keep in mind when you are purchasing driving sunglasses.

Frame material

The frame is the one that holds the lenses and is made from a variety of materials. When purchasing a frame ensure that it is made from materials that are both durable and lightweight. It should also offer comfort around your eyes and ears.

Plastic: Of all the materials used for sunglasses, plastic tends to be the most used. It is also the cheapest. Plastic sunglasses lightweight making them comfortable to wear but they are not durable. It is not uncommon to find that your cool pair of sunglasses is broken a few months after purchase.

Stainless steel: Glasses made from stainless steel are durable, affordable and hypoallergenic. But, the downside is that the glasses are heavier than the rest and can become uncomfortable on the eyes.

Aluminum: The other option for stainless steel is aluminum. These glasses are lighter, more expensive and still durable.

Titanium: Higher-end sunglasses are made from titanium. This offers a blend between the strong stainless steel and the lightweight characteristic of aluminum. Of all the materials mentioned titanium sunglasses tend to be the most expensive.

Polycarbonate: This material is used for constructing sunglasses because it is lightweight, durable, and affordable. However, it is not strong enough and is susceptible to breakages when bent. People prefer sunglasses made from polycarbonate because they are relatively cheap. 

Other materials: Acetate has been used for making sunglasses instead of plastic because it is stronger but has the drawback of being less comfortable. It is also heavy, and this brings challenges when driving. Nylon has been used as a better option because it is lightweight while being flexible and durable. It is also cheap.

The new kid on the block is SR-91. The material is known for excellent optical clarity while remaining lightweight and durable. However, expect to spend more on the sunglasses.

Lens size

When looking for driving lenses you need to search for something that completely covers your eyes. This will keep your eyes protected from direct light. Driving glasses should not be fancy instead focus on functionality. Most of the lenses have a width of 60mm per lens. Most people will select sunglasses that are a bit oversized. This is okay as long as the lenses do not obstruct your peripheral vision. You should be able to look to your left, right, up and down easily.

Polarized lenses

When you are driving by the seaside or on wet roads you will notice that there is a lot of reflection from sunlight. This glare can prevent you from seeing clearly. Polarized lenses are not there to protect your eyes from UV but enable you to see over shiny surfaces. Too much polarization can prevent you from seeing clearly and so you need to find a balance.

UV light

UV light exists in two forms – ultraviolent bets rays and ultraviolent alpha rays. Most sunglass manufacturers advertise their products as providing 100% UV protection but this is not true. The visible light is okay for your eyes but it is the UV rays that are harmful. The most dangerous of the two is the UV beta rays which are found in abundance in snowy conditions. They are also strongest during strong summers. You should find sunglasses that protect your eyes for UV beta rays. Though none of the products in the market can offer 100% protection.

Lens coating

Lenses look bad when they develop scratches. Cheaper models are more susceptible to scratches due to the type of coating material uses. If there are too many scratches on your sunglasses then you are going to find it hard to see. If you can find sunglasses that have an anti-scratch coating the better. But, be prepared to pay extra. In this regard, you can add an anti-reflective coating to enhance visibility and block the light you do not want.

Lens Tint

Most of the sunglasses will be tinted. You can choose the color of the tint but this does not in any way affect visibility or enhance protection from UV. Some of the colors used for tint include blue, grey, green and brown. Experts have concluded that green or grey offers the least amount of distortions to the driver. When the sun is directly over the horizon then yellow/gold/amber offers the least distortions. However, the tint color is largely a matter of personal preference. Tints are classified on a scale of 0 to 4 with o being the lightest and 4 being the darkest. You should aim for a medium tint. All the sunglasses will have a tint number so it is easy to identify what you are looking for.

FAQ

What is the best color for driving sunglasses?

Find lenses that provide a natural contrast to your surroundings. In this regard, copper, brown, or amber lenses are most preferred. If you can’t find the above the other best option is to go for a grey color.

Is it necessary I get polarized lenses for my driving sunglasses?

When you are driving one of the most irritating things is incoming headlights or reflections from snowy/wet surfaces. To reduce these glare, lenses are adjusted to make them polarized. This means you do not strain a lot when you are driving. It also reduces the chances of the head-on collisions at night.

Can I just buy cheap sunglasses for driving?

The reason you purchase a pair of driving sunglasses is to protect your eyes from UV rays and glare. Long terms exposure can lead to poor eyesight. Whatever sunglasses you decide to purchase, they should offer you some level of protection.

What are the best driving sunglasses for your eyes?

When selecting driving sunglasses to ensure that they are polarized and large enough to protect your eyes from sunlight and glare. The color does play a factor so look for grey or amber colors.

How do identify the right glasses to block UV light?

When selecting sunglasses, look for one that blocks 99 to 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays. In this instance, you should look for a reading of over UV400

Conclusion

The search for the best sunglasses for driving has to be a difficult one but we have a clear winner. The William Painter Aviator stands out due to its durable frame made from titanium. The lens is polarized and this protects your eyes from UVA and UVB rays. The sunglasses are also great for shielding your eyes from glare both at night and during the day. However, the sunglasses are more expensive than the other sunglasses we reviewed. But, they are worth the cost.

Hello I'm Magnus, the owner and the writer of this website. I have been working with cars since I was 16 and I'm specialized with in-depth Automotive diagnostics. Also been driving drifting for the last 6 years. I'm here to give you answers to all your automotive questions and I hope that you enjoy our content.

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