The 11 Best Cycling Sunglasses of 2021

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The Rundown

Best Overall: Smith Attack Sunglasses at Amazon

"They come with two lenses so you can adjust the tint for various lighting conditions."

Best Budget: Tifosi Aethon at Amazon

"It's made of a hydropolyamide nylon that strongly resists UV and chemical damage."

Best Prescription: Oakley Flak 2.0 at Amazon

"These sunglasses are fully customizable, and come in different sphere ratings and cylinders."

Best for Mountain Biking: Smith Optics Attack MTB at Amazon

"Smith tweaked their Attack cycling sunglasses to match the needs of mountain bikers."

Most Durable: POC Crave Clarity at Amazon

"Made of flexible Grilamid, and has a snap-in-hinge construction to avoid breakage."

Best Anti-Fog: Ryders Eyewear Seventh at Amazon

"The nose pads are treated hydrophilically to avoid slippage when it starts to rain."

Most Versatile: Ryders Eyewear Roam-Fyre at Amazon

"Wear these without rims, or attach a frame to the bottom of the lenses for extra protection."

Best Polarized: Julbo Renegade at Backcountry

"The lenses come with some of the highest-quality polarization to deliver an optimal reading of the terrain ahead."

Best for Kids: Sunski Mini Headland at Amazon

"Designed to fit kids ages five to 11, these sunglasses are smaller versions of the adult model."

Best Rimless: Roka SL-1X at Amazon

"Gives full protection from the wind and sun thanks to its huge HC Fusion Mirror Lens."

Best Overall: Smith Attack Sunglasses

Smith Optics Attack

Courtesy of Amazon

When Smith Optics introduced their new ChromaPop technology a few years back, it revolutionized eyewear for the active-minded. This new technology features two specific wavelengths of light to let the wearer see in greater definition, with more natural color and clarity. The Attack biking sunglasses come with two lenses so you can adjust the tint for various lighting conditions, and easily detach using interchangeable technology that's fast and intuitive. All you need to do is pull off the arms and click in the desired lens. These lenses have also been crafted with a lower brow to increase ventilation and avoid fogging up, along with a two-position nose piece that provides the perfect fit and all-day comfort.

The glasses' arms block out some of the peripheral light to avoid sun flares, and the temples have been designed to provide a secure fit. Plus, you can buy additional lenses (like a clear replacement lens) to outfit yourself for any condition.

Best Budget: Tifosi Aethon

Designed to provide full coverage protection from the sun and wind, along with a cutting-edge aerodynamic sport design, the Aethon from Tifosi punches well above its modest price tag. It’s made of Grilamid TR-90, a hydropolyamide nylon that strongly resists UV and chemical damage, making them some of the most durable cycling sunglasses available. You can also adjust the ear and nose piece to create a custom fit, and remove the brow bar when you don’t want any obstructions at the top of your vision. Both the ear and nose pieces are covered with hydrophilic rubber to provide a no-slip fit, even when things get sweaty, and venting at the lower edge of the lens helps to fend off fog.

You can choose from three different lens colors—matte black, black clarion red, and crystal smoke—or chose your own lens and frame colors with Tifosi’s custom lab option.

Best Prescription: Oakley Flak 2.0

For those with less-than-perfect vision, the question isn’t whether to invest in a pair of prescription cycling sunglasses, it’s which one should you invest in. And the Flak 2.0 from optical powerhouse Oakley wins. These sunglasses are fully customizable, so you can get the perfect pair. They come in six different polarized lens tints and seven different frames, and can accommodate sphere ratings from 2.0 to -3.0 and cylinders from 3.0 to -3.0. Polarization, according the the American Association of Ophthalmology, reduces both glare and eyestrain, so these glasses are good for those concerned about eye fatigue. And while you can’t get progressive lenses in this model, the prescription can handle any axes.

But even if you have perfect vision, you’ll still love the Flak 2.0. The standard-frame sunglasses boast enhanced lens coverage with an optimized peripheral view thanks to Oakley’s Prizm lens, which controls light transmission to deliver precise color that maximizes contrast and enhances visibility.

Best for Mountain Biking: Smith Optics Attack MTB

Smith tweaked the almost-perfect architecture of their Attack cycling sunglasses to match the needs of mountain bikers with their Attack MTB. You still get everything you find in the original, including ChromaPop technology that filters out two wavelengths that would otherwise impair your vision. It features crystal-perfect clarity and true colors, and an interchange system that lets you swap between lenses to accommodate bright or low light. But you also get a ventilation channel that runs the length of the brow to help fight fog far better than the original.

Both of the included lenses have been hydroleophobically coated, and auto-lock hinges provide a secure fit and fights against the breeze mountain bikers typically find on the open road. The lightweight TR90 frame is suitable for medium-sized heads and gives you full protection, including coverage on the periphery.

Most Durable: POC Crave Clarity

Nothing is more tragic than investing in a pair of high-end cycling sunglasses only to have them fall victim to the hazards of the road on your first outing. POC’s Crave Clarity fights off that unfortunate circumstance thanks to a variety of features and materials designed to increase durability. The frame is made of flexible, lightweight Grilamid, with hydrophilic rubber that stays grippy when wet and snap-in-hinge construction to avoid breakage. And the lenses—sourced from Carl Zeiss Vision—are equally durable, with an open frame design that adds ventilation. The lenses are also ripel treated, so they can easily fend off fog, dirt, and grime. You can choose from seven lens tints to best match your typical riding conditions.

Best Anti-Fog: Ryders Eyewear Seventh

With a lens material that was originally engineered for fighter jet canopies, Ryders Eyewear’s Seventh boast the brand’s proprietary 3-in-1 NXT Varia antiFog technology to prevent fogging in even the steamiest of conditions. It partners with fast photochromic features that change the color of the lens when things get bright or go shady. You can choose from three lens options—clear goes to yellow, yellow lens shift to brown, and rose shifts to copper.

The Grilamid TR90 frames are durable and light, and the nose pads and temple tips are treated hydrophilically to avoid slippage when the perspiration starts flowing. The impact-resistant lenses come with a scratch-resistant coating and UV400 protection.

Most Versatile: Ryders Eyewear Roam-Fyre

Most gear-obsessed cyclists will tell you that you need different sunglasses for different styles of riding. But the Roam-Fyre from Ryders Eyewear subverts that advice by providing a pair of sunglasses suitable for both road and mountain biking. When you're putting in serious miles on the pavement, you can wear the Roam-Fyre as a rimless cycling shield. Then, when you head to the singletrack, attach the Invert frame to the bottom of the lenses and you get stronger mountain bike-ready protection. Either option lets you adjust the nose pads and temple tips to get a custom, no-slip fit that matches a variety of face shapes. The lenses also feature military-grade fog resistance, advanced impact protection, and colourBOOST, which provides 20 percent faster color recognition.

Choose from three different lens color options, including light gray for bright days, and either rose/purple or yellow/brown for overcast conditions or for when you're biking on shade-covered singletrack.

Best Polarized: Julbo Renegade

Julbo Renegade Zebra Sunglasses

 Courtesy of Backcountry

At first glance, the Renegade looks like an updated version of your typical lifestyle-inspired pair of sunglasses. But Julbo has included a lot of cycle-friendly technology into the Renegade’s unassuming design. The lenses come with some of the highest-quality polarization, which eliminates the glare off the surface of water or snow, so you can get a clear view of the terrain ahead. The lenses are also Reactiv Photochomic, so your view gets darker—or lighter—to match the light conditions, a feature lesser models typically accommodate by lens swapping which can be clunky. The optics also boast Julbo’s Spectron polycarbonate construction, making them light and shock resistant.

Wrap-around curved temples provide a secure fit, even when making sudden movements, with additional sun protection from the curved front and wider temples. And, unlike some of the other overtly aerodynamic shades on this round-up, the lifestyle aesthetic makes these easy to wear at home, while traveling, or hanging on a sun deck.

Best for Kids: Sunski Mini Headland

Sunski didn’t design the Mini Headland specifically for cycling, but they do pride themselves on offering some of the lowest-cost polarized sunglasses on the market, making it easy to score a high-quality pair of shades for your little ones without breaking the bank. Designed to fit kids ages five to 11, the Mini Headland sunglasses are smaller versions of their most popular adult model, providing 100 percent UV protection and a lightweight, durable frame construction that will endure the inevitable hazards that young riders encounter. The gray-blue lenses protect your line of vision but also allows enough airflow to avoid fogging. The sunglasses' clarity is also great for high-octane activities.

Best Rimless: Roka SL-1X

The oversized SL-1X from Roka gives full protection from the wind and sun thanks to its huge HC Fusion Mirror Lens, which provides a wide field of view and strong ventilation to avoid fog. Adjustable titanium core wires grant an athletic fit, and the arms and nose pad keep the shades in place in sweaty, wet conditions by using Roka's GEKO technology. Better still, each lens is easy to remove via a simple lock tab, and Roka provides additional accessory options. The base lens is suitable for partly cloudy to bright, sunny conditions, and perform admirably on both the road and the trail. The lenses themselves have been reinforced with layers of durable coatings, including front- and back-side hydroleophobic treatment to keep moisture from sticking, anti-scratch protection, and anti-reflective coating and anti-fog treatment on the back side.

Best for Complete Coverage: Oakley Sutro

Oakley Sutro

Courtesy of Sunglass Hut 

With an oversized design that somehow manages to be both futuristic and retro, the Sutro from Oakely provides some of the best all-over protection thanks to its massive lens architecture. All three lens tint options (black, ruby, or jade) come with Oakley’s Prizm technology, which provides control of light transmissions to amplify contrast, boost visibility, and provide true color display. But while these are bigger than other, more streamlined shades, they're very light and durable thanks to the brand’s O Matter frame material. These shades also have treated nose pads that grip with perspiration to keep them comfortably in place.

Why Trust TripSavvy?

Nathan Borchelt has been an avid cyclist his entire life. He commutes daily by bike and has mountain biked extensively all over the world, from singletrack in Scotland, Oregon, Idaho, Maryland, and West Virginia—to name a few. He’s also braved some of the most challenging lift-access downhill tracks in the country, cycled over Colorado 14ers, and even outfitted his young nieces with the perfect pair of sunglasses for their weekend rides through Rock Creek Park. His lifelong love of cycling is equally matched by his love of all things gear.

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