Selecting Sunglasses: Which Lenses Are Best For Your Adventure?

With so many sunglasses on offer, it can be difficult to choose the right pair to suit your adventure. We’ve simplified the process for you.

Whether you are in the sunglasses market for sport frames, aviators, or cat eye styles, the key to happiness lies in matching the appropriate lens to your planned activity.

Lens Color

The lens color not only affects how much light reaches your eye, but also how well you see other colors and contrasts in the terrain. For moderate to bright conditions, you can’t go wrong with brown/gray/green lenses that will cut down on overall brightness without any color distortion. For moderate to low-level light conditions, a yellow/gold/amber lens does well to enhance your depth perception–great for skiing or mountain biking in order to enhance terrain traps in flat light conditions. Finally, rose colored lenses do indeed make everything seem brighter–perfect for low level light conditions such as skiing in cloudy weather, hiking or biking through forests, and driving on that road trip.

SEE ALSO: From Road To Trail

Mirrored vs Polarized

For water sports, polarization is a must as it cuts down on glare and reduces eye strain. These lenses are not the best, however, for driving, as they may create blind spots in your windshield and make it difficult to read LCD screens. This is where mirrored lenses come into play, as they also reduce glare but do so by simply reflecting light off the lens surface.

girl outdoors wearing sunglasses


Photochromic lenses automatically adjust to changing light intensity to offer protection in a wide range of conditions. These lenses excel in sports where you constantly move in and out of shade (mountain biking), or want one lens to handle all mountain conditions (skiing, snowboarding, climbing).


In addition to color, lenses usually come in tint categories rated 0-4. Cat 0 signifies little to no tint–basically your everyday reading glasses. Cat 4 is what most high altitude mountaineers wear to block out as much sunlight as possible. The average is Cat 2, while most water sport sunglasses or bright condition skiing goggles/glasses will come in at Cat 3.

One last thing to look out for, make sure your sunglasses filter out 100% of the harmful UVA and UVB rays. You spend a lot of time outdoors and want your eyes to remain in good health for years to come.

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