Play outside, complete your après look, or throw some serious shade—choose your own adventure with these versatile sunnies that do it all. Featuring polarized lenses and performance-forward technology in sleek designs, these sunglasses win our approval for any and all slopeside adventures.
Best Sunglasses for 2020
Named after the burly and untamed Grizzly bear, the Griz sunglasses embody that creature’s active spirit. Featuring Native’s largest frame size yet—and the first to incorporate side venting at the temples to help prevent lens fogging—the Griz is designed for men looking for all-day comfort and performance when answering the call of the wild. Thanks to bio-based high performance materials, the Griz is lightweight yet durable enough to withstand all kinds of adventures.
Throw shade in these sunnies, and people are likely to take you seriously. But just because they’re stylish doesn’t mean they skimp on UV protection. Lifestyle meets performance thanks to high quality polarized lenses that provide 100 percent UV protection and rounded frames which extend to protect your peripheral vision from side-penetrating rays. What’s more: these polarized sunnies feature anti-reflective coating on the backside of the lens to combat distracting reflections.
- Eyebobs Helmsman Sunglasses: $99
- Coverage: Medium
The Compass balances functionality and style like no other. A round-meets-edgy style and unique semi-rimless frame design mean these shades would stand out even at Coachella. The injection-molded grilamid frame, performance polar lenses (the most durable form of injected polarized lenses), and contoured temples with beveled edges provide all-around eye protection, making the Compass much more than just a stylish pair of sunglasses.
- Dragon Compass Sunglasses: $209
- Coverage: Medium
Bliz may be a new name to most this side of the Atlantic, but the Swedish brand is well known across the pond for its protective sports gear. Fusion, the newest addition to Bliz’s eyewear line, features unbreakable polycarbonate lenses offering 100 percent UV protection in a frame that just looks fast. Plus: Bliz’s unique Jawbone technology allows the wearer to ditch the bottom half of the frame in favor of more ventilation and a maximized field of view.
Dragon Baile H20
In five to 10 years, what's cool in surfing will be cool in skiing, so skip the wait and grab the Baile H2O sunglasses now. Designed in collaboration with three-time World Champion surfer (and guy who punched a shark in competition) Mick Fanning, the Baile H2Os are made with injection molded Grilamid frames, meaning these stylish sunglasses float in case you frequent rivers or oceans with the same sunglasses you like to ski with. The polycarbonate lenses offer 100 percent UV protection, and only had a little bit of glare when the sun was setting behind us as we traveled east after an epic day in Colorado's Gore Range. Best for medium faces, the Baile H20 is a fashionable choice for guys and gals looking for a pair of do-it-all lifestyle sunglasses.
- Dragon Baile H20 Sunglasses: $220
- Coverage: Medium
More Eyewear: 2020's Best Goggles
These sunglasses originally appeared in print in SKI's 2020 Gear Guide. Get up to speed on 2020's best ski gear across the board on SKImag.com's Ski Gear Review channel.
Best Sunglasses of 2019
The Costa Rinconcito are awesome go-to sunglasses year-round, but especially in the spring and summer when ski days are followed up by time near lakes and rivers. Featuring 580 polarized glass lenses, the optical clarity is second-to-none, making them great for skiing, fishing, and more. The classic frame is suitable for small to medium-sized faces, but don't worry if you've got a big head—the Rinconcito's big brother, the Rincon, works great for medium to large faces. Both versions use Costa's sustainably-developed Bio-Resin to cut down on the use of petrochemicals, a practice we hope all sunglass companies start to use in the near future.
Kaenon Anacapa Summit
California-based Kaenon has been making sunglasses for almost two decades, and their Summit Series hits the mark for crystal-clear optics in snowy high-alpine environments thanks to the SR-91 Ultra Black Mirror polarized lens. The cool semi-translucent black glacier frames look especially neat, and the frame's full wrap-around coverage makes these sunglasses not just stylish, but smart.
- Kaenon Anacapa Summit Sunglasses: $179-$209
- Fit: Large
Learn more: 2020's Best Backcountry Accessories
Native El Jefe
During an extended skiing and sailing trip with SeilNorge, the El Jefe sunnies were clutch in the very bright conditions on snow, the ocean, and the fact that the sun never actually set during the whole trip. The N3 lenses block up to four times more infrared light and selectively filter out UV to boost contrast and definition, and the frames are built from eco-friendly materials. Native's Reflex mirrored lenses are really beneficial for everyone: the person wearing the sunglasses gets enhanced visual light transmission with reduced glare, and everyone else can check their look thanks to the very reflective nature of the mirror. They fit and look great on large to extra-large faces, which can be hard to find from some brands.
If you want a similar look to the Vuarnet Glaciers but don't want to take out a loan to buy sunglasses, the SunSki Treeline is a solid choice. They offer removable plastic side panels, classy round polarized lenses, and even offer rubber built into the nose that keeps them locked onto a sunscreen-covered face. During testing with SeilNorge and also around town in Boulder, Colorado, the Treelines proved to be especially durable despite a few accidental drops on a variety of hard surfaces. The sidewings are capable of reducing glare while on snow, but be sure to take them off if you're headed on a town bike ride for your own safety—peripheral vision can be handy in close quarters with others on bikes. Taking off the panels is a snap, anyways.
Featuring REACTIV photochromic lenses that adjust to changing light conditions throughout the day, the Julbo Aerospeed sunglasses are the ultimate quiver killer for alpine starts, epic multisport days, and just looking fast at all times. During testing that started with skiing off Rocky Mountain National Park's Trail Ridge Road and ended with a 10-mile mountain bike ride just a stone's throw from Lyons, Colorado, the Aerospeed never slipped thanks to fully adjustable nose pads and an elastomer shock absorber built into the super-lightweight frames. With a gigantic lens that provides a huge field of vision but looks like a windshield for your face, these might not be anyone's first choice for "lifestyle" sunglasses, but they are a top pick for the racer in all of us.
Smith Optics Roam
If you use shades as a shield from recognition as much as the sun, these are not the pair for you. If, however, you’re trying to stand out on the après scene, we say, go roam. Featuring Smith’s signature ChromaPop lens that filters color crossovers for greater definition, a classic frame upgraded with fun design detail, flexible metal temples, and rubber at the bridge, these shades are your one-stop shop for style and sun protection.
Oakley Wind Jacket 2.0 Snow
Should you wear goggles or shades? On those borderline days, grab the Oakley Wind Jacket 2.0 Snow Sunglasses and hit the snow. The large, spherical frame gives you the coverage of goggles, and Oakley’s Prizm snow lenses are fine-tuned for optimal light transmission on the slopes. It takes confidence and skill to make the gaper look cool—we can’t wait to see who pulls these off this season.
Native Eyewear Sixty-Six
Who says you can’t be pretty and smart? The Native Sixty-Six sunglasses prove naysayers wrong by delivering a stylish frame with sleek lines and some of the most advanced polarized lenses on the market. Native’s N3TM polarized lens technology blocks up to 4x more infrared light than regular polarized lenses and provides crisp visual definition at the same time. The medium-fit frame also provides more, not just better, protection.
Spend the morning on the glacier and the afternoon on the bar deck with the Vuarnet Ice, just remove the side shields and bridge insert—unless you’re trying to make a statement. These pilot-shaped glacier glasses have the tech specs to keep your eyeballs shielded from the elements and trendy aesthetics to boot. Vuarnet’s signature mineral glass lenses come at a price, but trust us, the quality optics and definition are worth it.
When skiers aren’t on snow, they’re on water. For the skier-surfer-river-rat hybrids, Dragon created the floatable Roadblock—one pair of sunnies for all adventures. Designed with rubber padding in the nose bridge and temples, the lightweight frame is made to stay above sweat and water. And with 100 percent UV protection and Performance Polar lenses, these shades protect your eyeballs from the light reflected by water—in its liquid or solid state.
Uvex lgl 35 Colorvision
Color-enhancing lenses are all the rage in goggles, so why not apply the technology to sunglasses as well? Uvex is paving the way with its Colorvision lenses that come in three categories: Urban, Outdoor, and Daily. Each is optimized to help you see brighter colors and more brilliant contrast in your chosen environment. The combo of Outdoor lens and a sporty frame in the Igl 35 makes for a great pair of all-rounders.
- Uvex Igl 35 Colorvision: $150
- Coverage: Medium