Packing the wrong pair of sunglasses for a trip is an egregious error. While it’s an issue that’s can be quickly remedied once you reach your destination, there’s nothing worse than having to settle for a pair of sub-par sunnies. Heading out on a hike — or even just a walk — is miserable when you’re constantly touching your sunglasses to keep them from sliding down your nose. That repetitive motion is enough to make us go without.
When we travel, it’s highly likely that we’re going to hit the trails, slide down the mountain or run around the backcountry roads — and we need a pair of sunglasses that can keep up. Performance is a necessity, so we look for technical design elements like nose clips, rubberized gecko pads and lightweight frames. Here are a few of our favorites that never leave our carry-ons.
Roka Phantom Ti
“I love these glasses because they are actually designed for outdoor sports but also stylish enough to wear everyday. They come with the perfect leather eyeglass case that fits in any size bag.” — Aliza Diliberti, Senior Account Executive
“Sunskis have long been my go-to pair of travel and sport sunglasses. The lightweight frames not only look great on every face size and shape, but they stay put during runs, walks and hikes. The tortoise arms compliment a variety of skin tones and the polarized blue lenses keep glare down, not to mention each pair is made from recycled plastic. They’re a pair of sunglasses I can wear on the mountain and to the beach all in the same day.” — Meg Lappe, Staff Writer
“Five years ago, I popped into a surf shop during a family vacation, knowing I wanted a new pair of sunglasses. Being picky, I had already been to a few shops — no luck — but it all changed when I tried these sunglasses on. They were sporty and fit my face well, and I liked them so much I bought two, one in matte black and one in tortoiseshell. Both were polarized, too, so they ran me about $120 each, which was expensive for a young gun like myself at the time. A year or so later, my brother stole one of the pairs and accidentally broke them. Arnette had stopped making the Biscuit model, but he found the exact same pair on Overstock.com and bought them for me (thanks, Mike). To this day I still have and wear both of them. They’re great for almost anything. Fishing. Driving. Hiking. Playing cornhole on the beach. Anything.” — Tucker Bowe, Staff Writer
Diff Charitable Eyewear Bella
“Yep, I pack my wife’s old sunnies when I travel on vaca. She stopped wearing them because she thought they were too big for her face. I love these. They’re lightweight and well constructed. If I lose or break them, the price point is in the right place that they’re reasonably replaceable. Most importantly they look great! The mirrored pink lenses pop in the way I wish my glacier goggles’ blue mirrored lenses would, making them great on the beach or on the mountain. The matte black frames are the right contrast to the lenses and metal temples give them a sturdiness comparable to much more expensive pairs. The shades really punch above their weight. Lastly, there’s the added charitable bonus of providing someone in need with a pair of reading glasses for each pair of Diffs sold — can’t beat that with a stick.” — Jason Dakota Davis, East Coast Sales Director
Oakley Radar EV Path
“I think peak-era Lance Armstrong is to blame for my love of the Oakley Radars. I’ve wanted some since I was maybe 12 years old and damn it, this summer I finally got a pair. To me they’re the quintessential endurance-jock shades, and in spite of my better (more stylish) inclinations I dig that vibe. The Radars block sun, wind and debris very well, and they stick to my face better than just about any other sunglasses I’ve tried. They also play pretty nicely with my head shape and the varying hats/helmets/headbands I wear. Just to clarify: the Radars aren’t too versatile in the looks department, and I’m very aware of that. Ever see someone wearing these with formalwear? Borderline offensive. But wherever I go, if my trip involves running, biking, hiking or skiing, these bad boys are definitely coming along with me.” — Andy Frakes, Editorial Assistant
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