Cycling - Gear/Equipment

Best Mountain Biking Sunglasses: Gear up for the Ride

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Imagine it’s your week off from work and you notice that the weather is just perfect to get your bike out and go for a long ride. What is an essential piece of equipment that you would need as a cyclist? Well, it’s the cycling sunglasses of course, as not wearing sunglasses is definitely not an option. Why is it so? It is because each and every grain of sand can cause damage to the eyes which are very sensitive and this kind of damage is irreparable. This is why we have listed down the best mountain biking sunglasses which you can choose from.

If you do not wear sunglasses during cycling, there are high chances that your eyes would get injured which can at times cause diminishing of your vision. We always protect our bodies with protectors and helmets and it is the same thing with the eyes. Most people complain that they don’t wear sunglasses because it tends to fog up but you know that isn’t a sensible reason right?

Most people complain that they don’t wear sunglasses because it tends to fog up but you know that isn’t a sensible reason right?

What to Look for in a Pair of Cycling Sunglasses?

So before we move ahead, let’s see what to look for in a pair of cycling sunglasses.

1. Fit

Fit has to be one of the most important things that you need to consider when choosing the best mountain biking sunglasses. When purchasing one, you would have to see as to how it fits on your face and under your helmet.

Frames having straight-back temples are one of the best options when it comes to compatibility with the helmet. With straight back temples, you can easily replace or remove the frames whenever necessary. Try on different models to see which one fits you the best.

2. Protection and Coverage

All the best mountain biking sunglasses are about the protection and coverage. The wrap around the frame design is what matters as more wrap means more coverage.

When a sunglass has more coverage, you are ought to feel more protected. If you have a high prescription. There are certain brands that can accommodate those needs too so that you can see clearly when you ride.

3. Grip

You would notice that the best sunglasses have nose and temple grips so as to make sure that the fit is secure. These grips are made of rubber material and help in maintaining an accurate optical alignment always. This is, in fact, one of the highly recommended features for prescription cycling sunglasses.

4. Lightweight

If you think you are going to be fine in a pair of heavy sunglasses, let me break it to you, “No, you wouldn’t be”. Any weight is just going to hold you back. When you get a lightweight pair of sunglasses, it would be less evident that you have something on your face.

5. Dark vs. Light Lenses

You also get the chance to choose between light vs. dark lenses. It all depends on what you feel comfortable with. Most people believe that it is best to go with lightly colored lenses.

But, why so? Because according to them light colored lenses helps in seeing clearly and thereby prevent any accidents. However, the best option would be to test out and try both kinds of lenses ones so as to see which you are comfortable with.

Best Mountain Biking Sunglasses: Select the Right One!

Now that you know all the things you need to consider before buying sunglasses, let us take a look at some of the best mountain biking sunglasses.

1. Oakley Radarlock Path

Want value for money sunglasses? Then this is the ‘it’ brand you should invest in.

Then this is the ‘it’ brand you should invest in.

The brand Oakley is considered as the benchmark amongst opticians when it comes to optical accuracy and impact resistance. And this is why the Oakley glasses are a tad expensive but is totally worth each and every penny that you pay.

 Best Mountain Biking Sunglasses

The build of the Oakley Radarlock Path is absolutely amazing, has great lenses with rather a little distortion. You can also choose to replace the glasses easily. They are comfortable and have rubber coated arms and a rubber nose piece. They are resistant to scratching are durable and you also get the chance to choose from a variety of reasons. After all, it’s considered as one of the best mountain biking sunglasses for a solid reason, right?

2. Adidas Evil Eye Halfrim

Considered as the best cycling sunglass of 2017, the Evil Eye provides a distortion free view.

You would notice that the lenses are heavily formed and would cover a large part of your eyes which are quite beneficial in mucky conditions.Available in three sizes, it fits perfectly on most people and has an adjustable nose piece.

Adidas Evil Eye Halfrim
Adidas Evil Eye Halfrim

It comes with over 20 different types of lenses for the Road Conditions which have varying tones that you can choose from. All of these lenses come in varied tones and can optically make quite a big difference. For instance, you can choose the mirror lenses that offer adjustment to every situation of light.

3. Rudy Project Ergomask

When we talk about Rudy sunglasses, the quality and sharpness of it are worth mentioning.

This one-piece wrap lenses provide unobstructed vision to the wearer. This is great for people who do not wear glasses as they feel they tend to fog.

Rudy Project Ergomask
Rudy Project Ergomask

This glass has a bumper on the bridge which keeps the glasses off the face and thereby prevents fogging. Also, the nosepiece is fully adjustable and even though it has a dark tint, it works absolutely fine even in the dullest and dimmest of days.

4. Oakley: Flak Jacket XLJ

The Oakley Flak Jacket XLJ seems to make the reality clearer than it actually is. It feels like suddenly everything has changed into High Definition. This makes it the wearer able to notice even the smallest of details. With these glasses, you would be able to notice the irregularities of the trails far more clearly.

Oakley: Flak Jacket XLJ
Oakley: Flak Jacket XLJ

The photochromatic lenses of these glasses are rather sensitive and allow just enough light to reach your eyes even at the time of dusk. Even in dark conditions, you can see nicely. The frames are very light and would go almost unnoticed on your ears and nose. You aren’t going to feel any weight at all.

Livingit Tip
For people who have sensitive eyes or use contact lenses, this might just be the perfect mountain cycling sunglasses for them.

5. Madison Recon

When weather can’t stop you from enjoying biking, why should your sunglasses?

Madison Recon is known for their perfectly constructed cycling sunglasses and is therefore considered as one of the best mountain biking glasses for winter. The brand has been able to create that one-piece arm which hugs the head of the wearer without being too tight.

best mountain biking sunglasses
Madison Recon

There are six vent slots in the glasses which work wonderfully in preventing any fogging. Also, there are rubber grippers present on the inside which helps in preventing slipping of the glasses. The coverage is excellent, nose piece is flexible and soft and the field of vision uninterrupted. All of these features definitely make it one of the best mountain biking sunglasses.

Find out the Essential Gear Required for Long Distance Cycling

6. Spiuk Arqus

Foggy sunglasses is the last thing that you want during your thrilling mountain biking. Don’t you?

The Spiuk Arqus has four vents in the lens which offer an increased airflow and thereby prevent fogging, making it one of the best mountain biking sunglasses. They come with a total of three polycarbonate lenses: orange, dark smoke and clear and the glasses stay in place without feeling loose, wobbly or too tight.

The nose piece is flexible, the glasses provide a decent amount of coverage and that has an impressive field of vision. You can also choose the photochromatic lenses if you want.

best mountain biking sunglasses
Spiuk Arqus


7. Tifosi Podium XC Fototec

Unable to find the best sunglasses for your small shape face? Tifosi Podium XC Fototec is at your rescue!

The Tifosi Podium XC Fototec is basically the smaller version of Podium and therefore fits a smaller face easily. The glasses have a frameless design which means that there is nothing that would intrude your field of vision. This also makes the glasses a bit more flexible and thereby they fit comfortably.

The lenses are photochromatic and can quickly adjust to different conditions of light. You also get the prescription option if you want it. The nose piece is adjustable which makes the glasses very secure.

Tifosi Podium XC Fototec
Tifosi Podium XC Fototec

8. Adidas Evil Eye Evo VARIO

The Adidas Evil Eye Evo VARIO comes with a large frame that is sturdy. The lenses in these glasses are photochromatic and quickly adapt to the lighting conditions.

Adidas Evil Eye Evo VARIO
Adidas Evil Eye Evo VARIO

It has a sliding lock mechanism which makes replacing the glasses very easy. The frame is stiff and has quite large glasses. All of these provide for excellent optical clarity and absolute minimal distortion and therefore has been able to make it to the list of best mountain biking sunglasses.

These glasses also work really well with the helmet. It also has a removable sweat brow, slim arms, and movable nose piece. The ventilation isn’t as good as the other glasses but once you begin moving, the water droplets also begin to clear fast because of the hydrophobic coating on the lens.

9. POC Crave

Do you enjoy mountain biking in rains?

POC Crave is your buddy for rains.

The large lenses on the POC Crave help in offering an unprecedented field of vision. The optical quality of the glasses is fantastic and is undoubtedly one of the best that you can purchase. Replacement lenses are also available and you can choose from a variety of colors to see which one suits you the best. The venting might be very little but the hydrophobic coating minimizes the problem of and helps in reducing any of the water droplets.

Best Mountain Biking Sunglasses
POC Crave

There are thin rubber grippers present which make sure that the glasses are secure even when they are sweaty. The arms in no way interfere with the helmets as they are low profile and thereby flexible which makes them extremely comfortable. Although the glasses do not have an adjustable nose piece, it is surprisingly soft and provides great fit and comfort.

10. Smith PivLock Arena Max

Are you someone who is looking for a switchable lens?

Then Smit Pivlock is the sunglasses for you!

This is again one of the best mountain biking sunglasses for mountains and the roads that you can spend your money on. These glasses have a frameless design which means that are ultra light. It wouldn’t seem like you are wearing glasses at all.

All You Need to Know About Best Mountain Biking Sunglasses
Smith PivLock Arena Max

The styling isn’t overbearing at all. The purple colored Sol-X mirror lens makes it the perfect option for those mid-afternoon rides. You can also replace the lenses with the area or clear one depending on what you like better. Switching the lenses is super easy and the glasses also come with an adjustable nose piece making it a perfect buy.

Want to know about Cycling Shoes in detail? read Cycling Shoes Buying Guide: How to choose Bike Shoes

11. Ryders Face Anti-Fog Photochromic

These sunglasses have oversized lenses which are curved in shape. This means that it is going to fit your face snugly and provide ample amount of coverage. The rubberized nose piece isn’t adjustable but does fit perfectly and prevent the glasses from falling. Also, it has a design that suits almost each and everyone.

All You Need to Know About Best Mountain Biking Sunglasses
Ryders Face Anti-Fog Photochromic

These sunglasses, just as the name suggests became quite popular for its anti-fog feature. This feature works really well by preventing the formation of steaming and causing the moisture present in the air to bead off. However, people who have tried these glasses claim that the orange tint seems to make the things a bit too bright. These would be perfect when you decide to go biking on a rather rainy day.

12. Tifosi Wasp Prescription Cycling Sunglasses

Want to know why these are considered as one of the best mountain biking sunglasses for women?

These are rather versatile glasses and can easily adapt to different training conditions. The frames are sleek and yet durable and have been made from Grilamid TR 90.

 Best Mountain Biking Sunglasses
Tifosi Wasp Prescription Cycling Sunglasses

These are also Rx-able which means that you can quite easily maintain a healthy and active lifestyle despite the requirements of your vision. When talking about adaptability, these sunglasses have interchangeable lenses as well as adjustable hydrophilic rubber nose and ear pieces.

These provide complete coverage which means that your eyes are going to be completely safe from any outside damages. It is definitely a good investment and would last you for a really good period of time.

13. Bolle 6th Sense Cycling Sunglasses

Imagine if your sunglasses wouldn’t provide the right clarity! Scary right? But that’s why we suggest the Bolle 6th Sense Cycling sunglasses.

Bolle 6th Sense Cycling Sunglasses
Bolle 6th Sense Cycling Sunglasses

Having B-Max technology along with ergonomically components, these pair of glasses adjusts perfectly to the position of racing. The glasses extend the field of vision making it the perfect pair when mountain biking.

They also provide complete coverage which means that your eyes are going to be completely protected so you do not have to worry about that and can focus on your cycling completely.

14. Alpina: Eye-5 VL+

Deep down we all want sunglasses that fit our budget. Don’t we?

All You Need to Know About Best Mountain Biking Sunglasses
Alpina: Eye-5 VL+

The Alpina Eye-5 VL+ is a budget friendly sunglasses that have a full framed lens which can provide ideal protection to the wearer in case of a crash. It also has a pretty good field of vision. The frame is quite slim and lightweight making it rather pleasant to wear. It also has a photochromatic adjustment which works fine.

Recommended Features for the Prescription Cycling Sunglasses

Finding it difficult to choose the perfect glasses? Especially if you are someone who needs prescription lenses?

You can now easily choose from the list of best mountain biking sunglasses as most of them do allow the wearer to opt for prescription lenses. Also, there are certain features which seem to work better than the others especially when you are choosing to customize.

Listed below are a few options that would help you in understanding if you should choose them or not.

1. Polarized vs. Non-Polarized

As you must be aware, polarized lenses do cut out more glare. This feature is obviously great when you are cycling on the road in rather bright conditions. But, when we talk about mountain biking, it has been recommended that riders opt for the non-polarized ones.

When you feel confused between Polarized vs. Non-Polarized, you must understand that polarized lenses are known to affect people’s perception of the depth which can be quite troublesome when you are cycling in the mountains.

2. Transition Lenses

Check these lenses out! These lenses change according to the lighting condition which makes it easier for the rider to look ahead.

Most commonly the transition lenses are available in gray; however, they have also started to be made available in brown so as to achieve the desired contrast. There are several sunglasses available of this kind that you can choose from.

3. Progressive vs. Non-Progressive

The decision to choose between Progressive vs. Non-Progressive is dependent entirely on your personal choice. If in daily life, you wear progressive lenses and seem to really like them, there is a high chance that you would like them in the prescription sunglasses. This choice depends on the likes of the person and convenience.

How to Choose Frame for Sunglasses

Wondering how to choose the frame for sunglasses for the purpose of mountain biking?

Consider the following things:

  • A frame that would go around the face far enough so as to safeguard your eyes from any external things like mud, dust, flies, midges etc and also from the sun.
  • A frame that is vented appropriately so that there would be no fogging on the lenses whatsoever.
  • A frame that has rather slim temples so that they can fit easily under a helmet.
  • You would notice that all of the best mountain biking sunglasses have all of these features so as to ensure that your ride is as smooth as possible.

Which Lens to Choose for Mountain Biking

Confused on which lens to choose for mountain biking?

You must know that there are three kinds of lenses available: the simple polycarbonate lenses (Spectron 3), Zebra and Zebra Light that are photochromic technical lenses that get darker or lighter according to the lighting conditions.

which lens to choose for mountain biking
Spectron 3 lens

When you are cycling in the mountainous areas, you would often come across completely bright areas to dark, shady woodland areas. While the photochromic lenses can adjust to ambient light quickly, the Spectron 3 lenses cannot. It is for this reason that most mountain bikers prefer photochromic lenses as they provide practicality and comfort and can deal with all weather and lighting conditions.

The Zebra lens is photochromic and can offer protection from category 2 to 4. The Zebra Light lens, on the other hand, can offer protection from category 1 to 3. Their activation speed happens to be one of the fastest ones on the market which means that the lenses would quickly be able to adapt to the outside conditions.

You can opt for this lens for endurance sports as they have an external oil-repellent coating which can facilitate water runoff and thereby prevent any sort of marking and also have an anti-fog coating. The brown color of the lenses helps in accentuating relief which is in fact rather beneficial in mountain trails.

How to Choose the Right Lens?

Can it be really difficult to choose the right lens? If you said yes, then we totally understand your pain.

You can determine the right lens for yourself by going through the type and kind of lenses available. The sunglasses mentioned in the list of the best mountain biking sunglasses are the ones that have all of the features that have enabled them to make it to the list.

For instance, consider that you have sensitive eyes and bike in an area where the sun is strong like in a desert or high altitude areas then you might want to go for Zebra lenses. They offer the highest protection and safeguard your eyes from the harsh rays of the sun.

You must remember that if you have chosen to bike for the entire day, then the weather and lighting conditions are going to vary from one place to the other.

Choose lenses appropriately as a good lens would make your whole ride memorable while a bad one can ruin the entire biking trip. Make sure to choose one that fits perfectly and can adapt to different lighting conditions quickly.

After reading the article, one thing must have been clear that is what you need in cycling sunglasses is the perfect fit. This would ensure that you have an amazing trail experience. Also, there might be times when you feel that there is fogging on your lenses. In such situations, a quick lifting of the glasses would help in clearing it up. Remember that you are looking for equipment for your eyes so be very careful regarding what you choose. The best way would be to try as many models as you can. The search would be worthwhile.

After biking sunglasses, how about reading Cycling Gear Buying Guide: An Expert Opinion

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