No outdoor activity kit is complete without a pair of sunglasses. Here are the three pair I find myself wearing day after day for spring and early summer activities.
Julbo Venturi ($120): For mountain biking, I really like wide range photochromic lenses, as I am constantly riding in and out of the sun and need to be able to read the trail. The Zebra Light lenses on the Venturi get darker or lighter (cat 1 – 3) depending on the conditions, taking around 20 seconds or so to make the transformation. The lenses feature an anti-fog coating and with the open, frameless design, I haven’t had a problem with fogging except on long, slow climbs in particularly humid weather. The fog clears up the minute I pick of speed, however. The Venturi are extremely lightweight and together with the extra wide lens surface, make you forget you are wearing sunglasses. For those with smaller faces, you might find that these glasses fit a bit big. Mine stay secure as long as I wear them outside of my helmet straps, but even then they often slip down my nose. But messing around with the 3D Fit nosepad often alleviates this problem. Trail runners would dig the Venturi, too.
Ryders Face ($129.99): The Face, too, are photochromic but within the cat 2-3 range, perfect for road biking where I spend most of my time in the sun. The orange lens color works well in bright light conditions and increases contrast so you can see dips, objects, or potholes in the road. I love the wrap around style of these sunglasses, as it means no sun will leak in from the top or sides. The inside of the lens is treated with an anti-fog coating–I have not had a problem with fogging but that has never really been a problem on the road bike anyway. The Face fit great on my, well, face and are comfortable to wear for hours on the bike. The glasses feel secure and at no risk of slipping or falling off when you look down to grab your water bottle.
Smith Tioga ($119): As you saw in my Yosemite backpacking essentials post earlier this week, the classic looking Tioga serve as my go to sunglasses for hiking or paddleboarding. The polarized lenses cut down on reflected glare off the water and with a cat 3 rating, protect you from bright sunlight when outside on the trail all day. The gray green lens transmits color the same way your eyes interpret color, meaning you will experience nature as it was intended.