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Zeal carries a lot of street cred in the outdoor community because, well, they just get it: we want one really solid pair of shades for all occasions. And Zeal’s new Windsor shades hit the mark again. It goes without saying that these shades are stylish, but worth pointing out is that they’re also exceedingly adventure-smart: the bio-plastic lenses are polarized as well as RX-ready, and the bio-plastic frame is crafted from the castor bean—making the frames eco-friendly and super lightweight. If it’s time to bust out the shades, chances are it’s getting hot out there, and you need a pair of sunglasses that are going to stay put while you hike, bike, paddle or ski tour. The Windsor’s got you covered with ProFlex Rubber on the nose and temple tips to keep those shades firmly planted on your sweaty face. A pricier pair of shades, sure, but worth it for those who want one pair of sunglasses for all adventures. [$149, zealoptics.com]
These shades are just fun all around. With the Hi-Fi, Spy branches out from their original boxy frame style with a softer, rounder shape and adds some spunk with trendy frame colors and lens options. Though these sunnies look whimsical, their 4-base polycarbonate ARC® lenses provide the same quality protection as the bulkier shades out there. The only area where the Hi-Fi falls a little short is in the peripherals, where the frame just isn’t wide enough to protect the eyeballs from sidelong rays. That said, we do very much like the affordable price-point. [$65, SpyOptic.com]
Looking for sun protection without sacrificing style points? The Bollé Boxton combines a trendy neo-classic look with smart lens treatments to make these shades great for anything from casual backcountry adventures to wining and dining on the patio. The polarized polycarbonate lenses are designed to be impact-resistant and provide amazing optical clarity at the same time—while hiking through Colorado’s Indian Peaks it wasn’t difficult to distinguish ski tracks covering the surrounding chutes and bowls. The oleophobic and hydrophobic treatments protect the lenses from the elements, and the frame’s thermogrip technology means the sunnies stay put even during active days. While these shades offer plenty of protection for casual adventures, you’ll want a beefier pair of sunglasses that provide more peripheral coverage for longer days on the glacier. [$99, bolle.com]
Max out on style and UV protection with the Booker sunglasses. The Booker features a stylish nylon grilamid frame that, thanks to good flexural bending strength, makes for a comfy fit and a more resilient pair of shades. You’ll also find resiliency in the 6-base, impact-resistant polycarbonate lenses with 100% UV protection. We especially like that the large frame not only provides full frontal coverage but also blocks most light to the peripheral fields. If you have an extra $50 to spare, we say go ahead and throw down on the polarized Booker featuring VonZipper’s signature WildLife lenses. [$100, VonZipper.com]