Sunglasses are essential to any trip, whether heading to the concrete jungle or the beach. Even in rainy climates, the sun comes out eventually; when it does, you’d better be prepared! We’ve compiled a list of the best sunglasses—from those designed for rugged sports like skateboarding to models without arms. Whether you're on either end of the spectrum or somewhere in between, there’s a pair of good sunglasses for you!
Before diving into the list, you must decide what you want your sunglasses to do. Will they live in your sling or daypack until you need them on super sunny occasions? Or will you be wearing them 24/7, from your morning workout to sunset over the bay? Just like you wear different outfits for different occasions, some sunglasses fit better for particular things, and some attempt to do it all. Most entries on this list are unisex; however, a few are tailored to be the best sunglasses for women.
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Hopefully, by this point, you’ve thought about it and know what you want from the best sunglasses for you. Let’s dive into this list!
- ROAV Eyewear Franklin Sunglasses
- Foldies Polarized Folding Classics (V2)
- Sunski Avila
- Knockaround Premiums Black on Black/Smoke
- Nooz Optics Cruz
- ThinOptics Menlo Park Sunglasses
- Crap Eyewear The Dropout Boogie
- Ombraz Viale
- Shady Rays Classic Black Timber Polarized
- Smith Guide’s Choice Sunglasses
- Distil Union Folly Sunglasses
- Ray-Ban Wayfarer Folding Classic
- Maui Jim Kawika Polarized Classic Sunglasses
- Oakley Latch Sunglasses
- SUNGAIT Vintage Round Sunglasses
- Heat Wave Visual XL Vise Z87 Sunglasses
Why We Like It: The folding design saves space and weight.
What You Should Know: Not the most comfortable glasses for all day wear.
We’ve seen a few unique designs for folding sunglasses here at Pack Hacker; however, the styling of the frames is typically the same. The ROAV Eyewear Franklin Sunglasses buck that trend, offering a fine-tuned metal-framed pair that will look good no matter where you end up. They’ll fold up to fit in your pocket, which is excellent for those trying to save space in their pack or everyday sling.
These are a pair of sporty sunglasses that you will want to run a marathon with—but they’re comfortable enough for your morning workout if push comes to shove. If you have a larger head, they might not be the most comfortable, but their size and style shouldn’t be overlooked when searching for the best sunglasses for your next trip.
Why We Like It: Fit into the palm of your hand when folded.
What You Should Know: The case isn’t very small.
Many of the folding options we’ve found in our research to find the best sunglasses around are higher on the price scale. However, you don’t have to sacrifice your hard-earned money for a pair of foldable glasses worth discussing. The second iteration of the Foldies Polarized Folding Classics are durable, stay put on your face, and come with a hard travel case.
The look is somewhat sporty but they aren’t of place at endless mimosa brunch after a night out. The case it comes with is durable and will protect the glasses; however, it isn’t the smallest, which feels counterproductive for packability. We like to stow it in a travel backpack while not in use and only grab it when we aren’t using the glasses for an extended period. That way, they’re within reach at a moment’s notice!
Best for: Relaxed Travelers
Why We Like It: Recycled frames.
What You Should Know: Don’t feel super durable.
The Sunski Avila feature recycled frames, are budget-friendly, and stay comfortable all day. The design is sporty enough for a workout or a day at the beach but works for lunch with a new friend, too.
Some users have reported durability concerns; however, the set at Pack Hacker HQ continues to perform at 100%, which is great for a pair of cheap sunglasses. The lenses are polarized, which makes them a great shout for the beach or fishing on a sunny day. How can you catch the fish if you can’t see them through the glare of the sunshine?
No matter where you end up, your eyes (and wallet) will thank you if you bring a pair of Sunskis for the ride.
Best for: Frugal Travelers
Why We Like It: A durable, budget friendly option.
What You Should Know: They look a bit sporty.
If you want a pair of good sunglasses that will work for every occasion and won’t break the bank, look no further than the Knockaround Premiums. Even though they’re cheap sunglasses made of plastic, we’ve found them surprisingly durable, and there are dozens of colorways to choose from on Knockaround’s site.
Their look isn’t for everyone—they’re semi-sporty but don’t look out of place while crossing the city, hiking across the next trail, or hitting the beach. The polarization works well for environments close to the water or in a modern cityscape with glass towers everywhere—a bonus you won’t think about until it's too late. Who wants to squint all day? Not you!
Best for: Full-time Travelers
Why We Like It: The case can slide into a sling easily.
What You Should Know: The arms feel a little flimsy.
If you’re looking for a pair of quality sunglasses that are stylish and take up a small amount of space, look no further than the Nooz Optics Cruz. We love the look of these glasses; they fold down to fit into a case barely larger than the frames. This makes it easy to stow them inside your pocket, sling, or packable daypack without working about them breaking.
Nooz has multiple frame options and many fun colorways, so you can find a look that matches your style perfectly. The arms feel flimsy, but after over a month of testing in Thailand and South Korea for our Digital Nomad Packing List, they made it back to Pack Hacker HQ unharmed and still look nearly brand new.
Why We Like It: Heritage aesthetic without being bulky.
What You Should Know: We have long-term durability concerns.
If you’re going for a heritage aesthetic, the ThinOptics Menlo Park Sunglasses might be the best sunglasses for you. They pair vintage styling with a lightweight design and a super-thin hard case to create a pair of travel glasses you’ll get asked about while crossing the street.
The arms feel somewhat flimsy, so they deserve extra care while out and about. However, while stowed in the hard case, there’s nothing to be worried about. Plus, the case is magnetic so you can attach it to things while on the go. The lenses have full UV protection and an anti-reflective coating, so you can see anything and everything while exploring a new city.
Best for: Sustainable Travelers
Why We Like It: Sustainable materials.
What You Should Know: The case is bulky.
For those looking for a pair of good sunglasses that check the box for sustainability, Crap Eyewear has you covered. We dig their Dropout Boogie model because of the style, and the frames are manufactured from handcrafted bio acetate, which is biodegradable and plant-based. Crap Eyewear has many designs and colorways to choose from, so if the Dropout Boogie isn’t your style, there’s probably another that is.
The case is a tad bulky, so it’s best to stow it in your travel backpack while in action. In transit, throw the glasses in the case for safekeeping. You won’t need them at the airport, after all. Well, unless you want to look cool around the clock, anyways. Happy travels, dude!
Why We Like It: The unique design ensure the arms on your glasses don’t break and they stay on your face.
What You Should Know: Can be hard to get used to.
If you have issues with sunglasses falling off your face, we’ve got you covered! Snag a set of Ombraz Viale to ensure your glasses stay where they’re supposed to be—whether on your face or in your pack. These glasses don’t have arms. You heard us correctly; instead, they use a nylon cord to wrap around your head to ensure they stay on and don’t break.
The cord on the back of the glasses is 100% recycled, which we dig. At the time of writing, there are a handful of designs to choose from, so there’s bound to be something that will work for you. The design might be too weird for some folks; however, if you want to try something new and are sick of breaking the arms on your glasses, these might be the best sunglasses for your next trip!
Why We Like It: Will be replaced if you lose or break them.
What You Should Know: The look is a bit sporty.
Are you the kind of person who has the best sunglasses around but always misplaces them? It happens to everyone, but for repeat offenders, Shadyrays are the glasses for you. If you lose or break them, the company will send you a new pair, no questions asked. Now that’s a deal! Just pay for the processing fee. You can get up to two new pairs within the first 24 months, so don’t be too reckless.
The frames are lightweight and polarized so that you can take them anywhere. The material is shatter resistant, so a drop here or there won’t make you trigger the warranty. The styling isn’t for everyone, but with the guarantee of a new pair if something happens, these might be the best sunglasses for you.
Why We Like It: The ChromaPop technology increases contrast to make your view more vivid.
What You Should Know: They run a little wide.
If other models bother you because light sneaks around the sides, the Guide’s Choice sunglasses from Smith are worth looking at. The frames have extensive coverage, so your eyes are protected at more angles. Plus, the frames use CromaPop technology, which makes everything around you more vivid and colorful without being distracting.
We have to admit that this styling isn’t for everyone. However, this offering will fit most situations you encounter while traveling. Plus, these glasses are uber durable. They have a smudge and moisture-resistant coating and are great at staying scratch-free. If you want to ensure your eyes are covered and your glasses stay in working shape, the Smith Guide’s Choice is a pair of good sunglasses for you.
Why We Like It: MagLock technology is helpful.
What You Should Know: They can accidentally stick to things.
We all have friends who constantly misplaces their keys, wallet, or sunglasses. If you’re that friend, we’ve got you covered. The Distill Union Folly Sunglasses have a MagLock in the arms so you can attach the sunglasses onto things and stay put when you put them on your shirt or pack.
You can stick these glasses on your refrigerator, onto something metal in your car, or on the front of your shirt when you dip inside an island shop after a long walk on the beach. Sometimes, if you stick them somewhere unique, you’ll forget where they are. However, we think this design is worth looking at, especially if you want a good pair of sunglasses that won’t go missing. Plus, the case is unique and easy to use!
Best for: Professional Travelers
Why We Like It: A classic design in a small package.
What You Should Know: You can accidentally pinch your finger.
Let’s be honest, can you get more classic than a pair of RayBans? The Italian Company has been slinging out sunglasses for nearly a century and shows no signs of stopping any time soon. However, when you invest in good sunglasses, you want to ensure they meet your needs. If you’re a frequent one-bag traveler, a pair of RayBan Wayfarer Folding Classics are right up your alley
The hinges can be a little sticky at first, but after a few uses, they’ll be ready to roll when you are. It’s the classic Wayfarer look you’re used to but in a design that fits into the palm of your hand. What isn’t to like? Be careful, though—more hinges mean more places to get pinched! For portability and style, these might be the best sunglasses for you.
Why We Like It: The nose pads are comfortable for daily use.
What You Should Know: Design isn’t great for active things.
Maui Jim is a staple for beach lovers, day drinkers, and warm-climate travelers. Their designs are fun and sleek, there are many lens color options, and their glasses are crafted at a high standard. We dig their KAWIKA Polarized Classic Sunglasses, but there’s bound to be a make and model that fit your liking (and face) on their website.
These glasses have classic nose pads, which will feel normal for you if you wear glasses but can be hard to get used to for those with good vision. We find this to be more comfortable in the long haul, but they won’t work well for athletic activities for placing on top of your head while you aren’t using them. If you don’t know why, ask your long-haired friends who don’t like having their hair pulled out! If you want nose pads, these might be the best sunglasses for you.
Why We Like It: Stick to your face even when moving quickly.
What You Should Know: Styling isn’t for everyone.
Oakley’s Latch sunglasses were designed with moving in mind. Literally—these things are made for skateboarders to not fall off their faces while wearing them. However, you don’t need to know how to kickflip to wear them; they’re super comfortable! The design feels like a modern take on a pair of heritage sunglasses, which we dig.
As mentioned above, you don’t have to skateboard to wear these glasses. Whether going on a morning run or cycling with a rental across an unfamiliar city or something in between, these are a good sunglasses choice.
If you need some inspiration, check out the video Oakley made for the release. It features skaters Eric Koston, Curren Caples, Sean Malto, and skater-photographer Atiba Jefferson and will make you want to get out there and hit the road!
Why We Like It: A budget-friendly but well-styled option.
What You Should Know: We worry about durability.
For fans of well-styled sunglasses who don’t like spending a ton on gear, look no further than the Sungait Vintage Round SGT567. We dig the design of the frames for use all day long, and the price isn’t prohibitive for those on a budget or who want to grab more than one pair.
At the time of writing, there are many colorway options to choose from, so you can find a styling that’s as unique as you are. Their durability isn’t the best on this list; however, they don’t need to be babied to stay in good shape. Find a frame you love, pick a colorway, and you’ve got a pair of good sunglasses!
Why We Like It: Every piece is replacable.
What You Should Know: Large coverage isn’t suited for small heads.
Finding the pair of best sunglasses for men with larger heads is a tough battle. You have to sort through frame styles, materials, lens colors, and design colorways. This can take time and hard work, making it even worse if they break down the line.
We’ve got good news—with the Heatwave XL Vise Z87 Sunglasses, every piece is replaceable, so you can mix and match pieces or fix the part that broke. This makes them more sustainable, considering you don’t have to replace the whole pair, and it is a fun way to mix and match to fit your style.
The design isn’t for everyone, but we dig the large coverage and that they work for large heads. That said, these might be the best sunglasses for you!
Whether you want sunglasses for your commute to work or your next trip across the globe, we think you’ll find the best sunglasses for you somewhere on this list. Here’s to sunshine, traveling, and new adventures!