While high-quality sunglasses are an essential travel item for any trip to any place, any time of the year, spring—and the promise of the bright skies and long days of summer—shares an particular affinity for stylish eyewear. Now’s the perfect time to upgrade, with everything from a high-end legacy brand to a fun upstart that’ll give you full polarization for under $60.
1. Vuarnet Pilot Swing, $390; 2. Spy Optics Tackle, $170; 3. Sunski Alta, $55; 4. Remo Tulliani Envy, $285; 5. Julbo Vermont Classic, $150; 6. Zeal Optics Incline, $149; 7. Raen Norie, $225.
Five Tips to Finding the Right Sunglasses
Our recent round-up of seven great sunglasses only scratches the surface of options—both within those brands’ library of products and within the larger landscape of sunglass choices. It’s enough to throw your hands up in despair and just grab a pair of gas station shades. Don’t do that. Good sunglasses offer a world of benefits, especially if you cater them to your needs. We chatted with the talented Remo Tulliani—the man behind … Remo Tulliani, maker of beautiful, Italian-made, hand-crafted sunglasses and other accessories—to get a few tips on how to find the perfect pair of shades.
And we know—you claim that you always break/lose your sunglasses, so why pay more? Trust us—if you have a pair that elicits your adoration (as the right pair should) you’ll discover that you’ll take good care of them.
“Your sunglass must be comfortable so that it is never a bother to wear. Therefore, multiple comfort aspects should be taken into consideration, as we do when we design Remo Tulliani styles, including the weight of the glass lens to ensure it is not too heavy on the face; using spring hinges for the perfect, comfortable fit; and a custom hydrophilic nose piece to help keep the glasses in place during any activity.”
If you envision long wear, spring hinges that let the arms flex with, rather than constrict against your temples, are game-changers. And if you’re big on adventure (read: you plan on sweating and moving a lot) consider a pair with rubber imbedded in the nose bridge and arm ends to prevent slippage.
“A sunglass must have a quality lens for your eyes safety. Better lenses mean you will be able to wear your sunglass as long as you wish. Your eyes will be never feel fatigued, while remaining relaxed and rested.”
Shape and Color
“If you see a shape or a color you like, try it… Don’t ever reject it until you have tried it on. Sunglasses are a fun way to express yourself in a fun shape or color, all while correctly fitting your face and protecting your eyes.”
“Always think about the where and how you will you will use your glasses. This will help in your perfect selection. Different features are needed for different end uses. Will you be on the water, riding a motorcycle, driving, fashion only?”
Going big in the mountains? Wrap-around temples or wider arms help block peripheral sun glare. On the water a lot? Polarization cuts down the glare and lets you dodge the reflective surface of the water. Beach-bound? Consider glass lenses, which don’t get scratched by the sand. Multi-sport enthusiast who loves the wrap-around Racer X look? Go for shades with swap-out lenses to handle variable light conditions so you always have eye protection and nominal frame structures so that they don’t steam up or let sweat pool below the lenses.
“Remember, your face is the fashion! Never buy a pair of glasses that hides your face. Sunglasses are an accessory for both eye protection and enhancing your personal style and look.”
Hide your eyes? Sure—especially after a long flight. But your shades should always be a natural extension of your appetite for life, even if that means bright reflective lenses one day, and then dark shades the next.
Main: photo by Joe Hunt, CC-BY
Nathan Borchelt is a gear-obsessed travel writer and adventurer whose collection of shoes, backpacks, jackets, bags, and other “essential” detritus has long-outgrown his one-bedroom apartment (and his wife’s patience).