These Are the Best Polarized Sunglasses for Men, According to Our Tests (2024)

Sunglasses are so much more than a fashion statement. Having the right pair can provide crucial protection from the elements and harmful UV rays. Trust us — nothing ruins a good trip faster than blinding glare from the water during a boat ride or the sunny reflection of a snowy ski slope. When it comes to sunglasses, you’ll often see there are both polarized and non-polarized options. If you’re looking for glare reduction and maximum protection from the sun’s UV rays, polarized is the way to go.

For this guide, we tested 17 products featuring UV protection over a period of six months, obsessing over the finest details of each pair when it comes to quality, fit, appearance, performance, and value. We also consulted with both an optical design expert and an optometrist to learn more about the in’s and out’s of polarized sunglasses. Read on to explore our top picks.

Our Top Picks

These Are the Best Polarized Sunglasses for Men, According to Our Tests (1)

Our Ratings

  • Fit

    5/5

  • Performance

    5/5

  • Quality

    4.5/5

  • Appearance

    5/5

  • Value

    5/5

Why We Love It

  • A rectangle lens is a versatile, flattering shape that can be worn everyday.

What to Consider

  • The style of this pair skews casual.

We love this pared-back design from Knockaround, a highly functional pair of sunglasses that is as durable for everyday use as the brand’s name would imply. “Rectangles are probably the most universal shape,” Jeff Press, the former longtime creative director of Morgenthal Frederics, said — and this pair certainly lives up to that standard. The polarized lenses themselves are even FDA approved for impact resistance. After six months of wearing, we loved the comfortable rubber nose pads that help keep these glasses in place during a variety of activities. They're made from a super lightweight polycarbonate material that won’t hold you down, but is also built to last.

The Details: One size

  • These Are the Best Polarized Sunglasses for Men, According to Our Tests (2)

  • These Are the Best Polarized Sunglasses for Men, According to Our Tests (3)

  • These Are the Best Polarized Sunglasses for Men, According to Our Tests (4)

Why We Love It

  • This pair has a unique built-in adjustable cord that keeps these sunglasses in place no matter what.

What to Consider

  • We found that the cord can pinch a little.

It can be difficult to stand out in the world of sunglasses design, but Ombraz manages to do so with a unique and useful design we’re not quite sure we’ve seen anywhere else: instead of typical arms that hold the sunglasses in place on your ears, this pair is held on to the back of your head using a custom-woven, 100 percent recycled Japanese nylon cord. You can wear these truly for any activity and rest assured they won’t go anywhere — water sports, hiking, biking, you name it. We did notice that sometimes the cord can pinch and pull your hair when tightened, and the material the cord is made of is prone to collecting and trapping sunscreen. But if you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind style that stands apart and can stand by your side for all your adventures, this is your pair.After six months of wearing for a variety of activities, they were protective and never caused any eye fatigue.

The Details: Regular and narrow sizes

  • These Are the Best Polarized Sunglasses for Men, According to Our Tests (6)

  • These Are the Best Polarized Sunglasses for Men, According to Our Tests (7)

  • These Are the Best Polarized Sunglasses for Men, According to Our Tests (8)

The 13 Best Sunglasses for Kids of 2024, Tested and Reviewed

These Are the Best Polarized Sunglasses for Men, According to Our Tests (9)

Our Ratings

  • Fit

    4.5/5

  • Performance

    5/5

  • Quality

    4.7/5

  • Appearance

    5/5

  • Value

    5/5

Why We Love It

  • This style comes in numerous colors and patterns with lots of personality.

What to Consider

  • The bridge feels a little uncomfortable on the nose when worn for long periods of time.

Some people prefer the idea of a one-and-done pair of sunglasses that can be worn on a variety of occasions, from outdoor pursuits to leisure activities. We value this high-performing pair from Tifosi for their just-right proportions that look good on a variety of face shapes and sizes. We did notice that the nose bridge started to pinch slightly when these were worn for longer periods of time. But overall, this pair scored well thanks to its light frame, no-slip fit, and shatterproof, scratch-resistant — and polarized — lenses.

The Details: One size

These Are the Best Polarized Sunglasses for Men, According to Our Tests (10)

Our Ratings

  • Fit

    5/5

  • Performance

    4.7/5

  • Quality

    4.5/5

  • Appearance

    4.7/5

  • Value

    5/5

Why We Love It

  • They’re easy to order online and return if you don't love them.

What to Consider

  • They may pinch the bridge of the nose.

Warby Parker does an excellent job of providing high-quality prescription frames at a compelling price point, and with an easy-to-use online interface, to boot. This pair is made from hand-polished cellulose acetate that gently molds to your individual head shape over time (we found that after about six months of wear, they no longer pinched and felt fully adapted to our fit), and features durable details such as akulon-coated screws built to last (and stay put for) a lifetime. The prescription lenses in this pair are made from polycarbonate, the most impact-resistant and scratch-resistant material for sunglasses. We loved this pair during our tests, but noticed they weren’t as lightweight or grippy as proper sports or activewear glasses. But overall, they’re a beautiful pair that’s built to last.

The Details: Medium, wide, and extra wide widths

These Are the Best Polarized Sunglasses for Men, According to Our Tests (15)

Our Ratings

  • Fit

    5/5

  • Performance

    5/5

  • Quality

    4.5/5

  • Appearance

    4.5/5

  • Value

    5/5

Why We Love It

  • These are well-made, polarized lenses at incredible value.

What to Consider

  • The design isn’t particularly unique.

Some of us believe in spending as little as possible on sunglasses because they’re the type of thing that gets easily lost, crushed, or broken anyway. If you’re in that camp, take a look at these; for a pair that rings in at less than $50, these Huckberry Weekenders deliver serious value. You'll want to keep an extra pair in your tennis bag for an impromptu game on a sunny day. Although the lenses are still in perfect condition, after about six months of regular use, the paint along the frames has started to chip. We appreciated the frame's fit and comfortable feel as well as the high-quality polarized lenses, but did feel that the design was a little basic, or perhaps that they don’t stand out. But overall, for polarized glasses at this price, they’re a compelling proposition.

The Details: One size

  • These Are the Best Polarized Sunglasses for Men, According to Our Tests (16)

  • These Are the Best Polarized Sunglasses for Men, According to Our Tests (17)

  • These Are the Best Polarized Sunglasses for Men, According to Our Tests (18)

Best for Boating

Bajío Calda Sunglasses

These Are the Best Polarized Sunglasses for Men, According to Our Tests (19)

Our Ratings

  • Fit

    5/5

  • Performance

    5/5

  • Quality

    4/5

  • Appearance

    5/5

  • Value

    5/5

Why We Love It

  • These super lightweight frames offer precision-grade vision.

What to Consider

  • They are pricey.

Sunglasses for boating and water sports are a very specific subset of activewear with their own universe of needs. These activities require sunglasses that are extremely lightweight, are comfy enough to be worn for long stretches of time, have particularly clear and crisp lenses for enhanced vision, and are extra grippy so they don’t fly off into the wind. This pair delivers on all fronts. We love them for their comfortable fit and finer details, including soft-and-grippy rubber tips, rubber nose pads, pin hinges for flexibility, and added lens technology that blocks 100 percent of UV light, 90 percent of harsh yellow light, and 95 percent of destructive blue light.

The Details: One size

These Are the Best Polarized Sunglasses for Men, According to Our Tests (20)

Our Ratings

  • Fit

    4.3/5

  • Performance

    5/5

  • Quality

    5/5

  • Appearance

    4.5/5

  • Value

    4.5/5

Why We Love It

  • These glasses offer classic American style, and are made in the USA.

What to Consider

  • They are offered in small, regular, and large sizes, so measure carefully before ordering.

Few sunglasses brands come close to Randolph when it comes to beautifully made, carefully engineered, domestically produced products. This is certainly an investment pair that will last a lifetime. We were impressed by the quality of the lenses, the light weight and durability of the frames, the overall design aesthetic, and how easy it was to adjust the size of the frames by flexing the arms and molding each pair to your specific face size. After wearing this pair for six months, we found they block just enough light to keep your eyes comfortable, but let in enough so the world does not appear muted, dull, or overly dark. The lenses provide crisp and color-true images. If you’re going to invest in a single pair of aviators that will stand the test of time — both physically and aesthetically — this is the pair to get.

The Details: Small, regular, and large sizes

  • These Are the Best Polarized Sunglasses for Men, According to Our Tests (21)

  • These Are the Best Polarized Sunglasses for Men, According to Our Tests (22)

  • These Are the Best Polarized Sunglasses for Men, According to Our Tests (23)

  • These Are the Best Polarized Sunglasses for Men, According to Our Tests (24)

These Are the Best Polarized Sunglasses for Men, According to Our Tests (25)

Our Ratings

  • Fit

    4.5/5

  • Performance

    5/5

  • Quality

    4.5/5

  • Appearance

    4.5/5

  • Value

    4/5

Why We Love It

  • This pair is classic, durable, and folds up for easy packing.

What to Consider

  • We noticed they started to feel heavy after several hours of wear.

Packable? Sunglasses? That’s right — this iconic Italian sunglasses brand is known for their timeless frames, and the fact that they can be folded down into a packable shape. This style has been popular since the 1960s, when it was introduced as a folding version of Persol’s famous 649 model. If you’re a serious traveler adhering to a carry-on-only lifestyle, the ability to make your sunglasses even more compact is invaluable. After six months of regular use, we also loved that they can be tossed in a bag without any case and still remain scratch-free. While we did notice that this pair started to feel heavy on our nose and ears after a while, overall we loved the luxurious look and feel of these frames, and the idea that they are built to last for many adventures to come.

The Details: One size

  • These Are the Best Polarized Sunglasses for Men, According to Our Tests (26)

  • These Are the Best Polarized Sunglasses for Men, According to Our Tests (27)

  • These Are the Best Polarized Sunglasses for Men, According to Our Tests (28)

  • These Are the Best Polarized Sunglasses for Men, According to Our Tests (29)

Other Polarized Sunglasses We Liked

Two other pairs of sunglasses we tested didn’t quite earn a spot on this list but scored high marks nonetheless.

Maui Jim Cruzem: We loved the classic look and feel of these quintessential rectangle frames, and how lightweight and durable they felt. However, we felt the price point was a little too high compared to other options we tested.

Costa del Mar Fantail Pro: You’ll be hard pressed to find a sturdier pair of sunglasses on the market. We felt they had great durability and could withstand any activity, but found them a little less comfortable than other styles when worn for longer periods of time.

Our Testing Process

During our testing process, we closely examined 17 products from a range of prominent brands. We evaluated each one based on its quality, fit, appearance, performance and value, assigning a numerical score to each one on a scale of one to five.

We examined each pair manually, looking closely at the lenses, arms, hinges and bridge and nose pads before putting them on. If the sunglasses were marketed as having polarized lenses, we performed a quick test to confirm polarization by holding the glasses about 6 to 8 inches in front of our face and looking through them towards a bright screen or window; upon rotating the lenses ninety degrees, we confirmed that they were polarized by assessing whether the screen or window got darker than when holding the glasses vertically (each pair on this list passed this test).

Finally, we wore the sunglasses during everyday life for activities outside of the home such as going on walks, running errands, driving, hiking, playing group sports, running, and more, wearing the sunglasses throughout a six-month testing period and will continue to test them for a total of six months.

Tips for Buying Polarized Sunglasses

Choose a versatile style

Shop smarter, not harder. It’s easy to get carried away and think you need dozens of pairs of sunglasses for all sorts of occasions and activities, but the reality is that, especially when you’re traveling, less is more. A single pair or two (with a case) will serve you well for most everything. We’ve seen a rise in recent years of activewear sunglasses that don’t look like activewear sunglasses — so they have the light weight, added grip, and anti-fog lenses of something you’d wear running or biking, but have a classic look you could also wear while driving or going to brunch without looking like you’re training for the Tour de France.

Look for options with UV protection

Polarized lenses are more common than not these days, since they offer so many benefits. The reduction of harmful UV rays entering the eyes is especially important, as too much UV exposure has been shown to lead to cataract formation, certain eye cancers, as well as worsening eyesight over time, resulting in vision becoming hazy, blurry and less saturated with color. Make the smart choice and opt for something with a little extra UV protection.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What does it mean if your sunglasses are polarized?

    Polarized lenses are regular lenses that have been treated with a special coating that reduces glare. As sunlight enters our atmosphere, it scatters — reflecting off a variety of surfaces — and polarizing coatings work to cut down reflected light in order to reduce glare, not unlike how blinds over a window keep some, but not all light out.

    It’s worth noting that unless you’re examining them extremely closely and performing some exploratory tests, polarized lenses are nearly impossible to differentiate from non-polarized lenses to the naked eye. “There is no change to the look with polarized lenses, it’s about the comfort and glare resistance,” Press said. “At one time, there were major limitations on colors and treatments, but not anymore.”

  • What color polarized lens is best?

    The answers might surprise you. According to Dr. Jennifer Tsai, a board-certified optometrist practicing in New York City, different colors of polarized lenses have different effects. The bulk of people using polarized lenses do so for water sports using brown or amber lenses, explained Dr. Tsai, but other colors have other uses, as well. “For computer use, rose tinted lenses are great to reduce migraines. For indoor or snow sports, yellow lenses help with contrast in low-light conditions. For driving, gray is great for all bright and hazy conditions.”

  • Are polarized sunglasses worth it?

    “Polarized lenses block reflected light, such as surfaces with snow, water, or metal,” Dr. Tsai said. “This can offer a higher level of eye protection and significantly reduce glare and light sensitivity. This helps with many outdoor activities that require precision vision, such as water sports and driving. Polarized sunglasses significantly help to improve your vision and I would say it’s well worth it.”

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

Todd Plummer is a Boston-based attorney and writer who covers travel and menswear. For this article, he worked with Travel + Leisure’s editors to determine the best polarized sunglasses based on a series of in-house tests completed in our New York City lab and in the real world. He also spoke with Dr. Jennifer Tsai, a board-certified optometrist practicing in New York City, and Jeff Press, the former longtime creative director of Morgenthal Frederics, for their expert insights.

The 9 Best Sunglasses for Men of 2024, Tested and Reviewed

Love a great deal? Sign up for our T+L Recommends newsletter and we’ll send you our favorite travel products each week.

These Are the Best Polarized Sunglasses for Men, According to Our Tests (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Manual Maggio

Last Updated:

Views: 6053

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (69 voted)

Reviews: 92% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Manual Maggio

Birthday: 1998-01-20

Address: 359 Kelvin Stream, Lake Eldonview, MT 33517-1242

Phone: +577037762465

Job: Product Hospitality Supervisor

Hobby: Gardening, Web surfing, Video gaming, Amateur radio, Flag Football, Reading, Table tennis

Introduction: My name is Manual Maggio, I am a thankful, tender, adventurous, delightful, fantastic, proud, graceful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.