Winter Sunglass Guide
Updated: May 21, 2019
Depending on where you are in the world, Winter can bring some pretty dramatic weather changes. The shorts get traded out for warm pants, the baseball cap for a beanie and the sneakers make way for boots. Now, how about your eyewear?
Much like your wardrobe had to change to accommodate to the cooler weather and possible rain or snow, your sunglasses should do the same. In this guide we'll go through different weather conditions and the type of sunglasses that will provide optimal visual performance.
Even if you're city doesn't get extreme winter weather, you're at the very least, likely to get rain. Protecting your eyes and enhancing your vision during rainy weather should be approached in one of two ways; during the rain and after the rain.
While the skies are grey, and the rain is falling, you'll want to avoid dark lenses. Going with an amber or light rose tint will improve contrast and make everything feel just a bit brighter. Polarized lenses add an extra element of enhancement by cutting down on the glare caused by headlights and other artificial lights bouncing off the water.
SOXICK Night Driving glasses ($29.99) offers a light amber tint and a polarized filter.
If you wear prescription glasses then you may want to look into a clip-on option like the Besgood Yellow Polarized Clip-on ($9.59). It's an inexpensive way to enhance your current glasses.
Once the rain has dissipated and the sun has come out, you'll want to go with a much darker lens. As it is, the roads will be wet, now combine that with sunlight bouncing off the water and you'll have a recipe for dangerous driving conditions.
Grey Polarized lenses will keep out as much light as possible and cut down on the glare. Mirror coatings enhance your protection even more by bouncing some light off the front surface of your lens.
Some people like to wear wrap-around shades, but depending on the style, they may impair your peripheral vision. I'm not saying you should avoid it, but just test it out first.
The Smith Lowdown 2 ($169) offers the patented Chromapop lens technology which enhances vision with a one of a kind polarized lens. Smith makes world-class ski goggles, I think they know a thing or two about cutting glare. View Details
The Maui Jim Stingray ($229) is a great choice if you're looking for a slight wrap-around frame style. Maui Jim lenses also have a patented polarized filter and they come with a mirror coating. View Details
Being out in the snow can be an adventure to say the least. You can wear a set of ski or snowboarding goggles but unless you're on the slopes, you'll want to wear something a bit more appropriate.
Your eyes should always be protected with sunglasses, but it is especially important to wear sunglasses in snowy conditions. Not only is UV radiation stronger at higher altitudes due to a thinner atmosphere, snow can reflect back up to 80% of UV. If there were ever a time to invest in premium sunglasses, it would be for snowy conditions.
Premium sunglasses can be defined by having the following features on the lenses:
Mirror coating on the front surface
Anti-Reflective coating on the back surface
It isn't to say you must have all of these options but when combined, these layers provide you with enhanced visual quality over standard sunglass lenses.
If you're looking for quality lenses without polarization, the Oakley Siphon ($163) with blue mirror coating is a great option.
As you may have noticed, polarization was the most suggested feature, and it's for good reason. Even if you don't live by the water, winter is bound to bring it to you in one way or another. You may even find that polarized lenses are more beneficial to you over the winter season than summer because of all the glare created by the rain or snow.
If you wear full-time prescription glasses, you should consider making a set of prescription sunglasses and request premium features like Polarization, mirror coatings and a back-side Anti-Reflective coating.
Sunglasses are for all seasons and any of the sunglasses listed above with dark lenses will also serve you well through spring and summer.
Thank you for reading.