Our eyesight is one of the most precious gifts we have – it allows us to see all the beauty the world has to offer. Going on a hike is a great way to give your eyes something real and magical to look at, rather than the computer or phone screen.
But something people tend to forget is that we need to take care of our eyes and protect them from the harmful rays of the sun, especially while out hiking. That is why it is important to look for the best sunglasses for hiking that can endure the adventures that you are planning to go on this spring of 2017.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT LENS
The truth is, there are tons of sports sunglasses that you can buy – and I mean, tons. While you may be tempted to just opt for the cheapest one you can find, there are certain qualities that take an average pair of sports sunglasses to something extraordinary. Remember that these things are meant to protect your eyes from damage, so don’t put a price on that and go for the right investment.
They say that eyes are a window to the soul – but the only thing that will protect that soul while it is outside is a good set of lenses. There are many different types of lenses out there, but for now, we’re going to focus on just four: mirror coated, polarized, yellow/amber tinted, and Transition/photochromic lenses.
Mirror Coated Lenses
Mirror coated lenses have a type of reflective coating on the outside of the lenses that makes your sunglasses look like little mirrors. This type of lens is great for use in very bright conditions because the mirror coating can cut down glare from the sun by around 10%. A great way to maximize protection from the sun even more and provide better comfort for your eyes, is to mix the mirror coated lenses with color tinted lenses. Mirror coating is often used together with lens color tinting, which together, can cut out most of the glare even further to around 65 to 70%.
Mirror coated lenses are very popular among winter-sport athletes or enthusiasts such as skiers because the mirror coating helps protect them from the blinding glare of the snowy white powder.
A great example of a product that uses a special type of mirror coated lenses (Revo) and colored tinted lenses is this F. Morys MS038
(https://www.gogglesnmore.com/f-morys-ms038-white-orange/). It also makes use of an impact resistant polycarbonate lens making it perfect for all your hiking and outdoor adventures.
It has some other pretty cool features like extra air vents on the side of the lenses to help minimize fogging as well as moisture absorbing material for the temple tips and nose pads so your sunglasses won’t fall off while you move around during your hike.
If you typically need glasses and need prescription lenses to be fitted into the sunglasses, it can also be made-to-order so you don’t have to worry about not being able to see clearly while you’re out on the trail!
Polarized lenses are another type of lens that can reduce glare. It makes use of a special filter to block the light that is reflected from shiny surfaces such as water and snow. A great thing about polarized lenses is that they also enhance the contrast between snow, water, and other reflective surfaces.
There are times, however, with polarized lenses that it reacts with the tints of windshields, creating some blind spots. Other times, LCD screens get a bit less visible as well. An alternative to polarized lenses is the mirror coated type of lenses.
Polarized lenses are favored among those who enjoy water sports because the lens improves the visual contrast but will also reduce the glare from the water. Sports fishermen like using these polarized lenses since the lenses can help them actually see the fish and what’s happening in the water!
Another great product to check out if you are looking for sunglasses with polarized lenses is the Liberty Sport “Switch” Pathfinder
(https://www.gogglesnmore.com/liberty-sport-switch-pathfinder-shiny-black/). It has a very simple black design that also has a removable activity guard which protects your eyes from minor debris and the wind.
You probably know how annoying it can get when you are focusing on hiking through some tough, rocky terrain when all of a sudden dust starts blowing into your eyes and blinding you momentarily!
You can also try lenses with a colored tint to them. One of the popular colors to use is yellow/orange as well as amber. These color tinted lenses are best used when there is an overcast, or during low/flat lighting.
Yellow/orange tinted lenses bring out the shadows in objects and increase the contrast because blue light is filtered out, resulting in sharper focus. This is perfect for overcast conditions.
Yellow/orange tinted lenses are great for activities like cycling, hunting, snow sports, indoor basketball, handball, and tennis.
Amber tinted lenses, on the other hand, can increase the contrast during sunny and partly cloudy condition. This gives you a better depth perception but can be a bit disorienting at first because it can cause some color distortion.
Amber lenses are great for cycling as well, along with fishing in sandy lakes or stream beds, hunting, snow sports, and water sports.
You can try checking out the pretty cool looking Fuglies RX07
They do not come with yellow lenses as a standard but they are available as an optional extra to give your shades that extra pop of color and better contrast to your eyes.
One cool thing about this product is that it can float on water. So if you get wiped out on your jet ski or it accidentally falls off while fishing, you won't have to worry about it being lost forever as it will stay afloat for retrieval. This is also great if you are hiking in areas that have a lot of water as well.
The last type of lenses we’re going to talk about are the Transition/photochromic lenses. Almost like magic, photochromic lenses will automatically adjust to the changes in light intensities and different lighting conditions. The lenses get darker during bright days and they also get lighter when conditions get darker.
It is important to note however, photochromic lenses don’t work while driving a car because UV rays don’t penetrate modern windshields.
This can be great when going on a long hike with lighting conditions that often change like when you pass through heavily shaded forests and then suddenly walk out into a very bright and open field.
The F. Morys MS038 in black
(https://www.gogglesnmore.com/f-morys-ms038-black-with-grey-mirror-lenses/) is a great set of sunglasses that you can buy an extra pair of interchangeable photochromic lenses for. When you do get your photochromic lenses, you can use your sunglasses for all your different activities at any and all times of the day.
EYES ON THE PRIZE
It is important to have sunglasses with the right set of lenses for the activity you plan to use them. You can also see what other features your sunglasses may have because you may even be able to adjust the nose clips or bend the entire frame so it can fit you more comfortably and won’t be distracting you during your activity.
Remember that one of the best ways to get a really great set of sunglasses is by first of all selecting the right lens type for you and the activities you plan to use them for. From there, you can check out the different materials for the frame and other features that the glasses may have. Keep your eyes protected during your activities and have a happy adventure!