Protecting your eyes should also be a priority during winter. You should never underestimate snow glare, especially if you’re mountain climbing, skiing, and doing other similar activities. The best sunglasses for snow glare will provide ample eye protection without impeding your vision. It’s an indispensable accessory to prevent snow blindness.
I love mountain climbing during winter, but I’m not fond of wearing bulky skiing goggles or visors. To keep me comfortable and stylish at the same time, I opt for a pair of sunglasses. Below, I reviewed eight of my favorite pairs that you can also get for your next adventure:
How to prevent snow blindness and how toblind prevent it?
Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you’re safe from the wrath of sunlight. In fact, the reflection of sunlight from the snow is very dangerous to the eyes. Without protection, it can cause snow blindness and even burn your eyes!
If you’re squinting your eyes, it’s a sign that you need to wear eye protection. If not, you’ll suffer from sunburned eyes or photokeratitis. This happens when too much sunlight damages and inflames the cornea.
Some of the signs of snow blindness are a gritty and burning eye sensation, blurry vision, eye pain, seeing halos, and sensitivity to light. Once you experience this, it’s important to go to a low-lit area to allow your eyes to rest. You should also seek immediate medical attention to prevent further eye injuries.
Most of the time, the treatment for snow blindness is rest. It would help if you stopped wearing contacts while avoiding too much sunlight exposure. A doctor can also prescribe an eye drop to keep your peepers moisturized and clean.
8 Best Sunglasses For Snow Glare
OUR #1 CHOICE
OUR TOP PICK: Oakley Men’s Radar EV Path Sunglasses
Product Name: Oakley Men’s Radar EV Path Sunglasses
Product Description: When it comes to the best sunglasses for snow glare, nothing beats Oakley Men’s Radar EV Path Sunglasses. This has non-polarized Plutonite lenses with UVA, UVB, and UVC filtering to block blue light up to 400 mm. It’s also equipped with PRIZM Lens Technology that boosts the contrast and color of the surroundings. This will let you see clearly even if there’s an intense snow glare. Overall, it has a VLT of 13%, which is optimal for eye protection. Moreover, these sunglasses have the patented high definition optics and O Matter thermoplastic stress-resistant frame. This makes the pair durable and lightweight at the same time.
Offer price: $$$
Value for Money
Aside from that, these sunglasses have an interchangeable lens system to let you customize the settings based on the environment. However, you’ll have to purchase the additional lenses separately.
For added comfort, these Oakley sunglasses have earsocks and nose pads. It also adds grip to the temple area whenever you sweat or move.
Overall, you’ll enjoy super-crisp optics with these Oakley Men’s Radar. So far, these are my favorite of all Oakley sunglasses in the market. It’s stylish, easy to wear, and can replace other lenses I like.
PRIZM Lens Technology
13% VLT for optimal eye protection
A bit stiff at first
Under Armour Igniter Oval Sunglasses
Another pair I recommend for snow glare is the Under Armour Igniter Oval Sunglasses. This is made with an ultra-light ArmourFusion Grilamid frame. It also boasts of Multiflection polarized lens coating that prevents smudges and scratches from blocking your vision.
Aside from that, these sunglasses have the proprietary UA AUTO GRIP temples to keep the sunglasses in place without squeezing your face too much. This is paired with an adjustable nose pad for added comfort.
These sunglasses also have a UV protection coating and a co-molded rubber nose pad for optimal fit. It also keeps the sunglasses in place even as you move around.
Overall, these sunglasses have a 60 mm lens width and 20 mm bridge. It has a 135 mm arm and 37 mm lens height suitable for most face sizes.
Moreover, the Under Armour Igniter is also available in 65 mm sizes and brown and gray lenses to suit your liking.
Overall, these are great sunglasses, but I hope they also made small lenses for those with narrower faces. Other than that, I still love these sunglasses, be it for summer or winter use.
Ray-Ban Predator 2 Polarized Sunglasses
For Ray-Ban fans, the Predator 2 Polarized Sunglasses are great options. This pair has polarized lenses that offer 100% UV protection. And since it’s made of glass, it’s guaranteed to be scratch-resistant.
Aside from that, this has an acetate frame that remains durable and lightweight to wear. Overall, the frame has a 130 mm arm length and a 19 mm bridge. Meanwhile, the lenses are 35 mm tall and 62 mm wide.
The Ray-Ban Predator 2 has a gray tint for optimal glare protection. You can also get this in green, brown, and blue tints to suit your preferred style. The lenses are also available in prescription versions if you have poor vision.
Moreover, all Ray-Ban prescription lenses have the DST Technology that provides extra wide and crystal clear vision.
Aside from the sunglasses, you’ll also receive a faux leather case and cleaning cloth. While Ray-Ban sunglasses aren’t cheap, they last longer and are quite stylish as well.
Overall, these sunglasses look good and are very comfortable to wear. It also came in a sealed box, so if you’re planning to send it as a gift, you’ll never go wrong with Ray-Ban.
Torege TR002 Polarized Sports Sunglasses
If you’re on a budget and looking for polarized sunglasses against snow glare, you should consider the Torege TR002 Polarized Sports Sunglasses. For this price range, you’ll be surprised by how stylish and long-lasting this pair is.
This is made of a polycarbonate frame with polycarbonate lenses. To prevent scratches, this is equipped with a scratch-resistant coating. The lens also boasts of Torege’s Lens Technology that boosts the color and contrast of your vision.
Another thing I like about the Torege TR002 is its three interchangeable lenses. All the lenses have 100% UVA and UVB protection and UV400 coating.
Moreover, these sunglasses offer top-notch snow glare protection while keeping your vision crystal clear. Overall, the sunglasses are durable, stylish, and super light to wear.
The best thing about the Torege TR002 is its lifetime breakage warranty for the frame. If any parts of the frame break, you’re free to call Torege for a potential repair, replacement, or refund. Aside from that, this is covered by a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Overall, these are excellent sunglasses for the money. It does well in reducing snow glare, but I feel like it’s going to break anytime. A few months in, and it’s still holding up pretty well.
Oakley Jawbreaker Shield Prizm Snow Sunglasses
If the Oakley Radar didn’t impress you, the Jawbreaker Shield Prizm Snow Sunglasses might nail. These sunglasses are non-polarized, but they have a 20% VLT, protecting the eyes against the most intense snow glare.
Moreover, the Jawbreaker has the proprietary O Matter frame complete with metal icon accents. This is paired with Switchlock, which allows you to interchange lenses to suit your eye protection needs.
These sunglasses also have unobtainium earsocks and nose pads that will keep you comfy even for long hours of wearing.
Aside from that, this has Prizm lenses that boost the color and contrast of your vision. You can get this in Iridium or polarized versions, whichever you find suitable. It’s also available in prescription lenses if you’re wearing eyeglasses.
Overall, this has a 121 mm arm that doesn’t squeeze the temples too much. I also like how the lenses cover the eyes, even on the sides, which is a big plus during winter.
The only thing I noticed is that these snow glare sunglasses are a bit big. I think it borrows the concept of skiing goggles, but it’s still comfy to wear.
Julbo Vermont Classic Mountain Sunglasses
If you’re into vintage looks, you should definitely get the Julbo Vermont Classic Mountain Sunglasses. These sunglasses have a metal frame and non-polarized lenses. Meanwhile, the sides of the lenses are covered by leather, which is designed for optimal eye protection on glaciers.
Moreover, these have curved temple ends to provide topnotch grip as you move around. The temples are also flexible to provide the right fit.
Aside from that, these sunglasses have polycarbonate Spectron lenses that offer excellent shock resistance. You can also choose from five different lens tints.
For the black polycarbonate lenses, you’ll enjoy 5% VLT, which is beyond optimal against snow glare. It also has an anti-reflective coating and a flash finish. Whether you’re into snow sports or casual use, these sunglasses are timeless options.
Another thing I like about the Julbo Vermont is its lifetime warranty. Your purchase is protected against all manufacturing defects.
Overall, these are stylish and protective sunglasses. However, I wish they made it more rugged to endure harsh conditions. If you have a larger face, the arms may feel slightly uncomfortable.
Ladgecom All-Weather Sunglasses
If you want all-around sunglasses that work for skiing, cycling, and running on snow, the Ladgecom All-Weather Sunglasses might be the right choice for you. This pair has polycarbonate lenses and a frame with a mirror coating.
Moreover, the lenses have been decentered and have a reflective coating to protect your eyes. It also provides 100% UVA and UVB protection. Whether you’re into skiing, snowboarding, sailing, and so on, these sunglasses will provide top-notch protection for a reasonable price.
Aside from that, these Ladgecom sunglasses come with a neoprene bag, a microfiber cleaning cloth, and an adjustable strap. You have the option to detach the arms of the sunglasses to connect the strap to the frame. Also, you can get these sunglasses on a padded version for added glare protection.
You can also get these sunglasses in colors like blue, camouflage, orange, yellow, and silver. All of it has the same lens tints.
Overall, these are excellent alternatives to bulky ski goggles. It’s lightweight and nice to wear, though fastening the strap has a learning curve.
Smith Parallel Max 2 Carbonic Polarized Sunglasses
My last pick for this roundup is the Smith Parallel Max 2 Carbonic Polarized Sunglasses. These are equipped with polarized Tapered Lens Technology (TLT) lenses made of polycarbonate together with a plastic frame.
Aside from that, these sunglasses perform well in both low-light and sunny conditions. It also has 100% UV protection and reduces snow glare.
These sunglasses have a Megol temple and nose pads to prevent the arm from slipping. It’s also hydrophilic in case it’s raining or snowing. Meanwhile, the hinges have an auto-lock feature for added grip as you move around.
In addition, the Smith Parallel Max 2 has a 14 mm bridge, 125 mm arm, and 41 mm lens height. It’s also available in various tints, including brown, black, jade, crystal Mediterranean, and more.
Overall, these are nice sunglasses with a great fit. However, the lenses tend to pop out easily if you don’t set it right. This has an interchangeable lens design, so you have to be careful in setting them to stop each one from popping out of place.
How to choose the best sunglasses for snow glare
When buying sunglasses for snow protection, you must consider the following points:
👓Polarized vs. non-polarized
Snow glare sunglasses are often available in either polarized or non-polarized options.
The lenses are equipped with a special coating that deflects ultraviolet rays with polarized sunglasses. It’s a popular option for those directly exposed to snow glare.
On the other hand, non-polarized lenses don’t have this specific coating. It still offers protection from snow glare, but it’s not the most reliable option against the toughest sun rays.
👓Size and fit
Another important aspect to consider is the size and fit of the sunglasses. Always measure the bridge and temple to compare it to the sizing of the specific pair you’re planning to buy.
It would be best if you also considered your face shape. The rule of thumb is that you should get a sunglasses shape opposite your face shape. So if you have an oblong face, you should consider sunglasses with defined corners.
The lens shape is also an essential aspect, especially if you consider style paramount. Here’s a quick guide on what lens shape you should get based on your face shape:
- Oval face. Those with oval-shaped faces tend to look good with almost every lens shape. You can try round, cat eye, wayfarer, rectangle, and even square. Aviators and oval lens shapes are also good options.
- Round face. With a round face, you should stick to lens shapes with pointed edges. Rectangle, square, and geometric lenses are good options. Aviators will also do.
- Square face. Those with square faces should opt for lenses with gentler shapes. Wayfarer, aviators, and cat-eye are good picks. Round lenses are also popular with people with this face shape.
- Heart face. Those with heart shape faces can choose from rectangle, wayfarer, browline, and oval-shaped lenses. Cat-eye lenses are good choices, too, if you want a bolder look.
- Triangular face. Almost all lens shapes suit those with triangular faces. However, they should steer clear of rectangle, oval, and browline lenses as these accentuate the edges of their face.
There are other lens shapes you can try. Feel free to experiment to find which one suits your look the best.
The lens tint of sunglasses for snow glare is more than just the color. It also serves a purpose in protecting your eyes against the sunlight. Here’s a quick look at sunglasses tints and which one suits your best:
- Gray tint. This color is a neutral choice, which allows the eyes to see the colors of the surroundings in its unaltered form. It helps reduce glare and brightness, but not that much if you’re exposed to snow.
- Orange/yellow. This tint boosts the contrast of the surrounding colors in hazy or low-light conditions. It’s also a good choice for snow activities.
- Amber/brown. With this tint, you’ll enjoy reduced glare while blocking the harmful blue light. It will also brighten the surroundings during a cloudy day.
- Green. A green tint is used to reduce glare while improving the visual sharpness of the surroundings.
- Rose. This is a fashionable tint that helps block blue light. It also reduces eye strain, but not much when it comes to snow glare.
Once you’ve chosen the tint you like, the next thing to consider is the coating of the lenses. It should have an anti-scratch and anti-fog coating to keep your vision clear and unimpeded. If possible, try to get a hydrophobic coating that will repel water if snow or rain gets into the lenses.
Another excellent coating to consider is a flash coating. This is usually placed on the outside of the lenses to reduce glare as it hits the surface of the lens. It also makes the lenses appear darker, so consider getting lighter tints if you opt for this coating.
👓Visible light transmission (VLT)
Visible Light Transmission or VLT refers to the amount of light that gets to your eyes. It also dictates how protective the sunglasses are against UV rays and snow glare.
Most of the time, VLT is affected by the lens tint, thickness, and material. Here’s a quick look at the VLT percentages of sunglasses:
- 80% to 90% VLT. With this level, you’ll have lenses that are very clear and perfect for night conditions.
- 40+% VLT. This lens is ideal for low-light and cloudy conditions.
- 20% to 40% VLT. This is perfect for all-around use but not for excessive glare.
- 0% to 19% VLT. This is the right choice for snow glare and other sunny conditions.
The best sunglasses for snow glare can be made of different lens materials. The following are the most common options and how they work:
- Acrylic. This is the cheapest option and ideal for casual use. However, acrylic is also prone to scratches and damages.
- Polycarbonate. A tad better than acrylic, polycarbonate lenses offers impact resistance and clarity. It’s light and affordable, but it’s still prone to scratches.
- Polyurethane. PU is an impact-resistant material that’s flexible and affordable too.
- Glass. For those who are wearing prescription glasses, glass lenses are the way to go. It can be purchased in varying grades. The best thing about glass lenses is it doesn’t shatter.
Aside from the lenses, you should also check the frame material. Here are the most common options:
- Acetate. This is a type of plastic available in different colors. It’s not too flexible, so it’s often used in high-activity sports.
- Polymer. This is a light material used on affordable sunglasses.
- Nylon. For those looking for a durable, affordable, and lightweight sunglasses frame, nylon is a good choice.
- Metal. Sunglasses can have titanium, aluminum, or stainless steel materials. It’s suitable for casual wear but not for high-impact activities.
👓Price and warranty
Lastly, always consider the value for money of the sunglasses you’re planning to buy. Always look for a decent warranty if you’re opting for an expensive pair. In the end, it’s all about the right balance of quality and price.
Tips to keep your eyes safe during winter
The winter season can be pretty harsh on our peepers. To ensure that your eyes are safe, you should keep the following in mind:
- Keep it moist. The winter air is very dry, which can make the eyes equally parched. Many suffer from dry eye, which is an extremely uncomfortable condition. You can use a humidifier or doctor-prescribed eye drops to avoid this.
- Wear sunglasses. Regardless if you’re skiing or not, wearing sunglasses will help protect your eyes from reflected sunlight off the snow. Choose one with the right tint and features for optimal protection.
- Don’t forget to blink. The risk of dry eye increases if you don’t blink enough. It’s important to keep your eyes moist by blinking. Avoid focusing too much on your gadgets, as this reduces your blinking rate.
- Regulate indoor temps. While indoors, you should regulate the temperature to ensure that it’s not too dry for your eyes. However, you shouldn’t set it too high either, as this will dry your eyes as well. Just a mild temperature should do.
- Keep your eyes clean. Proper hygiene is also necessary during winter to prevent eye irritations. Wash your face before going to bed, and make sure that there is no makeup left around your eyes.
- Stop touching your eyes. Many of us are guilty of the habit of touching our eyes too often. During winter, you have to put an end to this habit. Avoid rubbing your eyes when they itch. Instead, use artificial tears to keep it moisturized.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is it weird to wear sunglasses in winter?
A: It’s not weird to wear sunglasses in winter, especially if there’s a strong snow glare. It will protect your eyes while preventing dust and debris from irritating your peepers. Just make sure that you get one with an anti-glare or polarized lens for optimal protection.
Q: Can I wear sunglasses instead of snow goggles?
A: Anti-glare or polarized sunglasses can be used as alternatives to snow goggles if you don’t want bulky eye protection. However, it may not suit all activities, especially skiing, where you need more secure gear. But for casual wear, sunglasses would be perfect.
Q: Is it okay to ski without eye protection?
A: You should never ski without eye protection. Doing so will expose your eyes to the risk of snow blindness and other injuries. Also, the snow can get into your eyes and impede your vision. This can lead to accidents that might injure other people as well.
Q: Is polarized the same as anti-glare?
A: Polarized lenses work well in reducing glare from sunlight and bright outdoor settings. On the other hand, anti-glare is used for bright light sources indoors. These are manufactured light sources like spotlights and similar lighting.
Q: What is snow glare?
A: Snow glare is the reflection of sunlight from the snow. Aside from reflecting, snow also amplifies the UV rays, damaging the skin and eyes. This is why it’s crucial to wear protective gear if you are exposed to such rays.
The best sunglasses for snow glare will keep your eyes safe while enjoying the winter season. Whether you’re into skiing, snowboarding, or simply walking around in the snow, wearing eye protection is a must. This will save you from the pain and discomfort of having sunburned eyes. Remember, it’s best to be proactive regarding eye injuries.
What do you think of these sunglasses? Have you tried any of it before? Share your thoughts below!