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Sailing Sunglasses Buyers Guide

If you're looking for sailing sunglasses, then kudos to you! You understand their importance and value. Therefore, we are going to help you find the best sailing sunglasses available in the market. No, you can't just go around and buy almost any pair of sunglasses claiming to be suitable for sailing.

There are specific considerations you have to make. Do you have to get too in-depth in the technical details and science? No, this guide aims to keep it simple for you to make a quick decision. With some tips and answers to some common questions, you can get the perfect pair.

Whether it's sunny, foggy, or overcast, you can always rely on these pairs. Hence, we aim to bring you the most versatile choice. You can conveniently personalize them to meet individual requirements. Are you worried about the budget? Then you will find some information on how to cut the cost!

So without further ado, let's begin!

Benefits of buying a pair of sailing sunglasses

If you're still confused and don't know whether you should invest in sailing sunglasses, here are some points for you that will help clarify the reasons.

If you sail regularly

For regular sailors, sailing sunglasses become pivotal as they will get exposed to the sunlight beaming them from various angles. This leads to damage to the eyes that could be irreversible. It could start with weaker eyesight, cylindrical problems, and whatnot. However, it can accelerate to be highly uncomfortable and distortion that you might even lose your sight or have impaired vision.

Care for your eyes

You can apply sunscreen to any part of your body but not the eyes. There's no point, and it will sting. So how will you protect your eyes from the UV rays and other sea or beachside problems? That's correct. You will need sailing sunglasses.

These provide the same sunscreen-like protection for your eyes. If you already know the problems UV rays can cause, you understand the importance of these sunglasses. Many people think that improper diet is the leading cause of eye problems. It's UV light exposure.

To enjoy the view

Proper sailing sunglasses will enable you to see everything with utmost clarity. You can choose different colors for sunglasses that suit you. However, you can't disregard the fact that sunglasses help you get better clarity.

As you reduce the beam of light, exposure, and glares from reaching your eyes, you can better open your eyes. You don't have to worry about the damage. Thus, you can see everything clearly and cherish them. Using polarized sunglasses often brings you HD quality of vision as it evens out the light rays everywhere for a better view.

If you're sightseeing or want to admire the vast waters and scenery, it becomes pivotal to get the right kind of sailing sunglasses.

Eliminate migraine or nausea

If you're seasick, it's another thing entirely. However, the leading cause of nausea and migraine in the water is the consistent exposure to the light beams. They travel and hit your eyes from different angles. You might even look in a particular direction, and too much light can strain your eyes.

Excessive brightness will undoubtedly make you squint your eyes and call strain. All of this builds up to migraines and headaches. If you don't want these problems, getting a pair of sailing sunglasses becomes paramount to enjoy the view.

For safety reasons

Of course, we humans depend on our vision primarily to navigate and find things. Our depth perception, vision clarity, and everything assists us. Hence, we seek light for the darkest areas and regions. Otherwise, we feel helpless and lost.

But let's not get into that. The point here is, using the right sunglasses will enable you to sail and navigate without any hindrance. You will be able to distinguish between various obstacles and objects conveniently.

As there won't be any glare, you won't end up hitting other boats, and you require less rest for your eyes. You can travel better. If there are people you want to spot in the water, fish, and whatnot, you can easily track them with the right tint.

Overall, marine-grade or sailing sunglasses can be an invaluable asset. They seem like a simple tool but offer such a wide range of benefits. We didn't even cover most of them. We helped you scrape through the fundamental reasons. In short, these are great for your health, eyes, performance, and to have a fulfilling experience while sailing.

Factors to consider when buying sailing sunglasses

So you're ready to grab your perfect pair of sailing sunglasses! However, there are too many brands with their marketing pitch. Some claim better clarity; others bring you a better fitting, and so on. How can you find the best sailing sunglasses for you?

Follow through with this guide. As you do so, you will learn everything you need to know about sailing sunglasses. As a pro-tip, once you consider these factors and aspects, always make sure to try your sunglasses. Don't just buy them if it meets all of these criteria, perfect fitting and right visibility can only be determined after testing them.

With that being said, let's look into the primary factors to consider:

The lenses aspect

Primarily, lenses are responsible for the protection of your eyes. For once, you can forget about the design, style, and appeal, but lenses should be a priority. You can't buy just any lens available in the market. If you genuinely want proper protection and a fun experience during sailing, here are the factors for lenses to consider:

The material of the lens

You will find acrylic sunglasses as the most common choice almost anywhere, including the waters. However, these won't provide the best clarity, and they may distort the light's flow. In simple words, as these are the cheapest, they don't offer much.

It's better to get 'fiber' or 'plastic' lenses that use polycarbonates or polyurethanes. These will offer you optimum clarity, and some of the cutting-edge lenses are available in this spectrum. As acrylic doesn't provide much for visibility, you can match glass lenses if you go for higher grade plastic lense.

Alternatively, glass lenses are available for sunglasses. You can opt for them as there aren't many dangers for it to break. However, these will feel heavier on the face and might not be best for prolonged use. While there's a lack of physical dangers, it may still fall on the surface and break since heavier sunglasses won't provide a better fit.

Size of the lenses

Does the size of the lenses in sunglasses matter? Always. As mentioned before, lenses are the primary protection against sunlight and other elements. If you're using them for a show, you can surely get smaller lenses. However, if you're serious about safeguarding your eyes, you might want wide-view lenses that cover your eyes completely.

Wraparound lenses that settle around your eyes and cover even the sides of your face would be a better choice. They will prevent the light from sneaking from the side opening as that could still be dangerous. This will inevitably increase the size of the sunglasses.

But thanks to the latest fashion trends, more oversized sunglasses are going to remain cool for years to come. They have been an excellent choice for people for decades. So you don't have to worry about your looks too much as big sailing sunglasses look good on anyone.

Color of the lenses

Once you get the material and size of the lenses decided, it's time to get into another indispensable factor, the color. You might think that color doesn't have any impact. Contrary to popular belief, the lens's shades can impact your depth-perception, color distinction, and other factors. In other words, it affects your vision's abilities.

Blue and green seem to be the most popular choices. There was a time these were the only options available. Blue lenses can help you get a better idea of contours and definition, especially on sunny days.

Green lenses were most common for proper contrast and visibility. They reduce the strain on the eyes and provide better visibility overall. However, grey stands as their counterpart that brings no alteration to the colors. Therefore, if you're someone who wants to enjoy a scene (or trip) in its true colors without any impact from sunlight and whatnot, then grey is the best choice.

Correlatively, if you're a professional, then you might want to consider warm-colored tints like yellow, orange, copper, and such. These offer the best depth perception and allow you to have a clearer view of waves and other similar occurrences.

More importantly, if you're an angler, you will have an easier time tracking fishes. It also helps distinguish seaweeds and other obstacles.

Interchangeable lenses

Perhaps you can opt for interchangeable lenses if you're confused about the lenses' colors, the material, and other aspects. Many sports and marine sunglasses enable you to swap the lenses according to the day's requirements.

For example, you can have blue for sunny days and red if you're controlling the sail. Similarly, grey would give you a balanced view and whatnot. However, it could be a costly investment if you want to buy multiple lenses, especially with other qualities. Additionally, you'd have to be careful in taking proper care.

The construction of sunglasses

Once you're done with the lens's considerations, the sunglasses' second vital aspect is the physical construction. It will impact the fitting, size, and comfort for prolonged use. That's not all! For sailing sunglasses, you have to consider cushioning, impact resistance, and other aspects.

Here's a quick guide for the construction of sunglasses:

Size and fitting

To support bigger, wraparound lenses, you'd need a bigger size for the sunglasses naturally. If you get smaller sunglasses, it would be way restrictive. For the size, you have to consider the fitting of the sunglasses. They shouldn't slide off and maintain a proper grip.

You can try putting your fingers on the endpoint of the arms after putting the sunglasses on. Apply pressure on them and see if the sunglasses rise from the front. If they do so quickly, it's not the right choice. Due to the bumpy rides while sailing, these sunglasses might even fall off. It would be best if you had something that firmly holds on your head.

Don't go small or restrictive; keep it spacious. You might not feel it, but the aim is to wrap your eyes, not suffocate them. Proper ventilation and breathability are paramount for even sunglasses. You can consider the material of the frame for a better grasp. For instance, rubber coating would generally be better at providing the right grip.

Shock proofing

We won't get too much into consideration regarding the material as it breaks down to personal choice. Many sailing sunglasses have metal, plastic, even wooden frames. All of that depends on your preferences, the style you need, and whether you're allergic to something or not. Durability might vary, and each has certain perks and drawbacks.

However, you have to look past all that and find sailing sunglasses with impact resistance. As you know, the rides can't get bumpy in the water, and you would need a firm grip. However, the sunglasses might still fall, especially if you're holding or carrying them. Hence, you need some form of shock proofing.

Now the best material for shock proofing would be plastic as it is light and flexible. Your sailing sunglasses won't sustain extensive damage that could be irreversible. Some more flexible and rubber sunglasses could be a better choice if you don't mind compromising some form of stylish appeal.


Don't confuse this for shock proofing. Cushioning has more to do with the wear comfort for the user. You've already determined the size and fitting for the sunglasses. The material is perfect for you and sustainable; however, can you wear sailing sunglasses for extended hours? That would depend on your cushioning.

Sometimes, cushioning also provides buoyancy for the sunglasses to float if you drop them in the water. However, the cushioning is for comfort with your eyes, nose bridge, and temples. If you can get soft padding, it would be great as bumping rides won't impact your skin.

Similarly, added padding could provide better ventilation and prevent sweat from accumulating or building around the glasses that could lead to slippage. Gel cushioning is an excellent choice for comfort but not necessary if you are not a gel person. It can reinforce the grip of sunglasses for a better fit.

As you wear sunglasses for a longer time, they can leave an imprint due to pressure applied to bridges. If you don't want that, get the right cushioning, silicone is standard but not the best choice.

Protective features

Of course, certain aspects make sailing sunglasses different from other standard sunglasses. Now that you have the perfect fit and lenses, you have to consider these sunglasses that you have to consider strongly.

Remember, each of these features could increase your sunglasses' cost, but they are worth the price. If you're worried about damaging your sunglasses and whatnot, make sure to buy the right material and increase the shock proofing quality.

You can find these qualities as standalone or a mix with other features, so these aspects impact the cost most. The list is according to the priority. So you can choose it accordingly:

UV Protection

It's indispensable for you to find sailing sunglasses with the highest amount of anti-UV quality. You can't overlook this aspect as sailing is full of consistent sun exposure. Just like how you need sunscreen for your skin, you need sailing sunglasses for the eyes.

Often people think that polarized lenses are anti-UV, but that's not true. Photochromic lenses are not UV-proof either. Always look for the anti-UV index of the sunglasses before you buy them. The higher the number, the better the sunglasses will be.

Polarized lenses

Glares are the worst adversities you will face during sailing. Almost everything around you is reflective. Water, vinyl bodies of the boat, and other objects, even the weather itself is usually sunny. While UV is the highest risk, glare is another equally dangerous element in the water.

It impairs your vision and makes it challenging for you to enjoy the view. If you're the one in control, it can lead to accidents if you don't have a good view. Polarized lenses allow you to eliminate the glares that reflect from the shiny surface ultimately.

Along with anti-UV, if you get anti-glare or polarized sunglasses, you will mostly have the perfect pair of sunglasses for sailing.


If you're wondering about the VLT of the sunglasses and the tint colors, perhaps you could get photochromic glasses. These offer grey or black shade depending on the intensity of the brightness. In other words, according to the ambient light, photochromic lenses shift the VLT factor to provide proper shade.

It will be crystal clear in the darkness, while in intense sunlight, it will be the darkest tint possible. It eliminates the requirement to get interchangeable lenses or swap the sunglasses consistently according to the time of the day. If you want added convenience, this is the way to get it done.

Anti-mist ventilation

This factor could've been under construction guidelines. However, as it is more of a feature, it was better to have this choice here. Anti-mist ventilation prevents smoke, vapors, mist, or anything from building around your eyes. It might sound irrelevant, but it could become essential to sail in a colder or humid climate.

More importantly, anti-mist quality also ensures better ventilation and breathability for your eyes. If you want to have relaxed eyes, it could be a great choice to prevent sweat and other elements from building up.


If you've followed the guide thoroughly, you most likely have sufficiently waterproof sunglasses. However, it's never a bad idea to look for waterproof protection or coating. It is especially crucial if you're sailing in the saltwater. Even tiny sprinkles can compromise the quality of your sailing sunglasses.

Therefore, it would be great if you can find a waterproof coating. This factor is to ensure you get long-lasting sailing sunglasses. If you don't mind the damage from the water, then you can eliminate it. Most of the time, waterproof sunglasses either have a thin layer or a coating. Alternatively, they may have a rubber body.

FAQs: Best Sailing Sunglasses

Q: Can you add buoyancy to sunglasses?

A: If you can't find buoyancy for sunglasses, you can add a one-hand strap available in the market. These provide apt buoyancy, and the added reach makes it less likely for you to lose the sunglasses. It won't occupy too much space, nor would it cause any discomfort. You might find it as a 'safety strip for sunglasses.'

Q: How do polarized sunglasses work?

A: Glare is the reflected light from the shiny surface that is available in our surroundings. It could be the shiny metal or vinyl body of the boat. The water itself would reflect the sunlight too much. Thus, the angle of the light changes as it travels to strike your eyes.

The glare will blur out or overwhelm your vision and may often damage your eyes. If you have polarized sunglasses, it eliminates the glare from reaching your eyes. There are different types of polarized sunglasses available, and there can be a complete guide for it.

However, you can't compromise on the quality of polarized sunglasses for sailing sunglasses as there are just too many reflective surfaces.

Q: What is the quickest way to buy sailing sunglasses?

A: Get polarized sunglasses with UV protection and grey tint for well-versed sailing sunglasses. Alternatively, interchangeable lenses are the second-best choice for versatility and freedom of customization.


There you have it! Everything you need to know about sailing sunglasses and how can you buy the best sunglasses for sailing! Hopefully, the additional questions and tips help you narrow down the requirements and buy the essentials.

Remember that the more you invest in these kinds of objects, the better quality and features you will get. Of course, as a general rule, don't invest in a pair of sailing sunglasses just because of the brand. Many lesser-known manufacturers bring you the same quality with more features at the same price.

Therefore, it's better to always browse through options before you buy them. / - © Copyright 2020