12 Best Sunglasses for Driving in 2017
As nice as it is to drive around on a warm summer day, there are a few things that will quickly turn your smile upside down. Rain is one of them, but so is its polar opposite – the sun. An errant sunbeam can blind you in an instant and if we are being realistic, you don’t always have time to flip down the visor if you’re coming around a corner.
Our list of the best sunglasses for driving consists of shades for both men and women. There are some unisex models as well, so whether you prefer the classic wayfarer look or want something with more of a cat eye angle, you’ll find what you need to protect your peepers while you’re on the road.
Top 12 Sunglasses for Driving Comparison Table
|Design||Name||Gender||Lens Options||Rating (1-5)|
|1. Costa Del Mar Sea Fan Women’s Polarized Sunglasses||Women||13||4.8|
|2. Maui Jim Kahuna PolarizedPlus 2 Sunglasses||Men||2||4.7|
|3. Ray-Ban Womens 0RB4227 Square Sunglasses||Women||2||4.7|
|4. kate spade new york Paxtons Rectangular Sunglasses||Women||No||4.5|
|5. Serengeti Velocity Sunglasses||Men||No||4.5|
|6. Maui Jim Red Sands 432 Sunglasses||Unisex||19||4.5|
|7. Costa Del Mar Blackfin Polarized Sunglasses||Men||40||4.5|
|8. Oakley mens Bottle Rocket OO9164-14 Polarized Sport Sunglasses||Men||3||4.4|
|9. Serengeti Martino Sunglasses||Unisex||3||4.4|
|10. HD Night Driving Glasses Polarized Anti-glare Rain Day Night Vision Sunglasses||Unisex||No||4.3|
|11. kate spade new york Women’s Akira Polarized Rectangular Sunglasses||Women||3||4.0|
|12. Fiore HD Night Driving Sunglasses Aviator Sport Wrap Glasses||Unisex||No||4.0|
Driving Sunglasses Buyers Guide
Everyone wants to look good, but you can be stylish and safe if you follow these buying tips for the best driving sunglasses.
While we know you plan to drive in your new pair of sunglasses, where you reside? If it’s in Seattle or London, there’s a good chance you’re going to be dealing with plenty of rain which can directly affect which lens you want to roll with. The same goes for areas that get an extreme amount of sun. Having a “universal” pair is also something to consider, as many will work for driving and the great outdoors. Nobody wants to lug two pairs of sunglasses around either.
On the flipside, if you drive more at night than during the day, there are specialized sunglasses for night driving. These always have a Yellow lens and are amazing at killing off glare from oncoming traffic, snow or simply heading out at sunset when the sky hasn’t quite settled down yet. Think about when you drive the most before proceeding to our next section.
This one comes down to taste. As mentioned, we tried to cover a wide variety of styles which should suit everyone’s face. Whether you are a male or female, you face shape defines the types of sunglasses that will look best on you – even in the car. We won’t go through the types of sunglasses for each face shape but will talk briefly about the styles.
- Wraps – These would be our top choice for blocking out the sun behind the wheel. Wraps usually have thicker arms which can kill rays coming in from the side, and look good several face shapes. They are generally worn by Men and tend to fit snug against your head.
- Square or Rectangle – This style works for both men and women, and it varies from oversized rectangular shades to the classic Wayfarer. The design also helps reduce the sun as they are typically wider than most. When in doubt, go this route.
- Rounded & Oversized – Hippy glasses did not make the cut as they don’t block out anything from the side or offer up extra coverage. That said, sunglasses with oversized rounded lenses are a great choice for women. They are stylish and generally have larger arms to go along with those big lenses.
Sunglasses can come with a variety of lens colors, but not all are suitable for driving. That means different hues may affect your vision, so you need to think carefully about lens color before settling on the perfect frames. For the road, your best bet is Smoke colored, Gray, Green or Brown. These will cut down on the sun, and won’t affect the way you see the road. In some cases, it may actually improve things.
Polarized lenses are a must for some consumers considering they are built to cut back on any glare, but you will want to think twice about any glasses with photochromatic lenses. These are the style that changes color with the daylight but doesn’t work in cars as UVB rays don’t go through windshields.
Top 5 Best Sunglasses for Driving Reviews
Some of the shades on our list scream for a specific gender, and the Costa Del Mar Sea Fan sunglasses are one of them. Again, we won’t judge a man that wants to sport these, but they are most definitely designed for the ladies. The stylish sunglasses are also perfect for the road as they are polarized with wide lenses that help block out the sun at angles. The arms are a bit thicker as well, which helps from the side.
As for the construction, they are plastic all around, so they won’t be as sturdy as some of the metal-framed eyewear on the market. The sizes are listed at “One Size” along with 56mm and Medium, so the bridge and other measurements will vary to a degree. The same can be said of the frame and the lens color as you’ll get a bit of choice with the Del Mar Sea Fan’s.
There are currently around five different frame styles with Black, White Topaz, Wood Fade, Retro Tortoise, and Pomegranate Fade. There are only two lens shades however with Copper and Grey, both of which are Polarized for your protection.
There was a time when names like Oakley and Ray-Ban ruled the roost, but along came Maui Jim and things got shook up. They are one of the more prolific manufacturers of sunglasses these days, and you cannot have a best sunglasses for driving list without featuring something from the company. In this case, we went with the Maui Jim Kahuna.
The Kahuna PolarizedPlus 2 sunglasses will keep your eyes safe from harmful rays whether you are in the car or on simply walking around outdoors. They are metal framed, so they aren’t going to snap if you sit on them and they will be light on your head to boot. That’s due in part to the composite materials used and the fact the lenses are 20% thinner than normal glass lenses. That’s right; these are glass.
While we won’t delve into the tech involved, the Maui Jim Kahuna’s sport CLEARSHELL tech which means they are scratch-resistant to a certain degree. Have a prescription lens? Not an issue as these are RX-Able according to the company, and they measure 59mm wide. The bridge measures 18mm while the arm clocks in at 135mm. They have a gunmetal frame and a Grey lens color; other options are available but may not be polarized.
If you weren’t sold on the oversized offering from Costa Del Mar, you may be interested in the Ray-Ban RB4227 sunglasses. These are called squares although they are clearly rounded up top and provide quite a bit of coverage due to their design. They don’t look like the classic Wayfarer but do look like Ray-Bans and even have the companies classic logo on the lens so the world knows as well.
Oddly enough, as long as Ray-Ban has been around, many of their sunglasses are not polarized. Well, these are with a Brown gradient polar lens. That is important to know as they Grey gradient is not polarized although they are UV coated. That means you are also locked into the frames on this model, so we hope you enjoy Light Havana as the Black frames don’t have Brown polarized lenses.
Either way, these sunglasses will look great on a wide variety of mugs due to their design. They measure 55mm across the lens with a bridge of 17mm and the arm listed at 140mm. They are made of plastic, but are tougher than most and made in the good old U.S.A.
Sometimes a name says it all. The Kate Spade Paxtons are dubbed “rectangular” sunglasses, and you can clearly see why. While they aren’t blocky by any means, they are wider than usual measuring 52mm wide x 33mm high. The acetate composite frame will be sturdy, and the arms are wide which is never a bad thing when it comes to driving sunglasses.
As for the lens color, two of the five models are polarized even through three have brown lenses. If you want polarized, you can choose between Aqua or Saffron Tortoiseshell frames while non-polarized lenses are still UV coated. They come in Tortoise Kiwi with a gradient lens, Tortoise stripe or in Black with stripes. All models measure 16mm across the bridge and have 130mm arms. They are also prescription ready and come with cases.
Rounding out our top 5 is a pair of shades that look as cool as they sound. The Serengeti Velocity Sunglasses have a moniker Steve McQueen would appreciate and are a lock for our best sunglasses for driving list. They are rectangular by design to block out rays coming in from the sides wand wide enough to feel like a wraparound. While those arms are skinny, the lenses are quite large.
The Serengeti sunglasses lens size is listed at 60mm x 48mm x 62mm. They are large but still stylish with a metal frame that helps slim things down. The only downside is these are not polarized but are glassed geared specifically for drivers with a gradient Espresso lens. These are sized at a medium/large and have an arm length of 130mm.