How to Choose Polarized Sunglasses

Love the outdoors, but hate the glare? It’s time to switch to polarized sunglasses.

Sunglasses have a key purpose: To make you look cool. Secondarily, they also protect your eyes from intense light. And compared to traditional tinted lenses, polarized lenses both look fashionable and let you see more easily in fast-moving, glare-heavy circumstances.

Polarized lenses scatter the light reflecting from smooth surfaces, like placid water or the highly polished car in front of you as you’re driving to the beach, making it easier to see and react. Here’s how to pick the right set for you.

Framing your face

Fantail Sunglasses
Costa Del Mar’s Fantail Sunglasses.Amazon

Start with the frames. Look for glasses where the arms move smoothly and that rest on your ears and nose without pinching. Metal will be slightly heavier than plastic, which may be handy if you've got your face to the wind.

Color us impressed

ChromaPop Polarized Sunglasses
Lowdown 2 ChromaPop Polarized SunglassesAmazon

Lens finish counts, even if you're not a state trooper. Exterior finish can help reflect certain wavelengths of light, and the tint of the lens, such green or amber, can increase contrast, making it easier to see moving objects like the frisbee you need to catch.

Follow your blockers

Kaupo Gap 437
Maui Jim's Kaupo Gap 437 SunglassesAmazon

Check for UV protection. Polarization doesn't block UV rays, which can damage your vision with long exposure, just scatters them. If you're going to spend a lot of time outdoors, good UV blocking will reduce your risk.