19 Pairs of Sunglasses for Your Next Adventure
One of the most important travel accessories you should pack — regardless of your destination — is a good pair of shades.
Sunglasses aren't just important to pack for that warm Caribbean escape, they're also vital when you're hitting the slopes. UV rays can be up to eight times more powerful in snowy conditions because of the reflective properties of snow, according to the College of Optometrics. People with light-colored eyes, like blue or green, are even more at risk of sunlight-related eye damage. So, wearing a good pair of sunglasses is just as important as applying sun lotion (which you should also be doing).
But what exactly does a “good” pair mean? First of all, you'll need sunglasses that block harmful UV-A and UV-B rays. It’s important to know that not all polarized shades have UV protection: Polarized lenses will shield your eyes from the sun’s glare, which is great, but that has nothing to do with UV protection.
Opt for sunglasses that are comfortable and appropriate for where you're going, too: Make sure the frame is not too tight but instead comfortably snug. You don’t want to be running after your sunglasses in case of sudden high winds.
Of course, design is important, too. Thankfully, there are many quality options on the market that you won’t have to search long to find a pair that looks cool and protects your eyes. Investing in a classic style, like the aviator or the wayfarer, is always a good idea. Opting for a statement pair with mirrored lenses and a bold colored frame, on the other hand, is a great way to add some fun to your travel outfits.
Keep scrolling to see 19 cool shades to bring on your next trip.
Maui Jim Women's 'Seven Pools' Sunglasses
Maui Jim’s lenses are not only polarized and scratch-resistant but they also enhance color and contrast. The frames are lightweight and comfortable so you can wear them for long periods of time without getting that annoying sharp pain behind your ears. This oversized style looks great on most face shapes and provides maximum coverage.
To buy: nordstrom.com, $229
Oakley Men's ‘Offshoot’ Sunglasses
Feeling creative? Opt for a customizable pair of shades hand-built to your preferences. You can choose between six different lens colors and ten frame shades including satin and matte finishes. While Oakley offers a number of customizable styles, we like the Offshoot because of its classic design that you can take both to the slopes and the beach.
To buy: oakley.com, $153
Illesteva ‘Marianne’ Sunglasses
Celebrities are going crazy over this slim cat-eye style — from Gigi and Bella Hadid to Kendall Jenner, this silhouette is everywhere. This pair also offers 100 percent UV protection.
To buy: net-a-porter.com, $190
Ray-Ban Aviator Sunglasses
Created in 1936 at US Army Air Corps’ request, the Aviators blocked the sun’s dangerous blue and white light to reduce headaches among pilots. Who would have thought back then that after more than 80 years, this all-American style will be a best seller around the world? If classic design is your thing, then having a pair of Aviators is a must.
To buy: macys.com, $153
Max Mara Women's 'Fifties' Cat-eye Sunglasses
Illesteva ‘Leonard’ Sunglasses
Illesteva is the company that took the market (and Hollywood) by storm just eight years ago. They make all of their sunglasses in Italy and France from quality materials, which ensures their durability. The founders of the brand often say that it was born from the “need for classic eyewear with a downtown New York aesthetic.” And if there’s a style that epitomizes this philosophy, it’s their best-selling Leonard.
To buy: neimanmarcus.com, $177
Quiksilver Men's 'Ridgemont' Sunglasses
Looking for a statement-making pair of shades? We can guarantee these funky sunglasses will turn a lot of heads after you. The distortion-free shatter-resistant lenses offer 100% UV protection and are category 3 (4 being the highest) which means they offer a high level of sun glare reduction.
To buy: amazon.com, $45
Marc Jacobs Oversized Sunglasses
Retro-inspired, oversized shades not only look chic but they also cover a much larger area around your eyes, better protecting them from UV rays.
To buy: nordstrom.com, $130
SunCloud Polarized Optics 'Turbine' Sunglasses
The wraparound frame of these sunnies is perfect for oval or round-shaped faces. And the polarized, scratch-resistant lenses make them a great fit for driving, especially if you’re headed for a long cross-country trip and need a sturdy pair of sunglasses.
To buy: zappos.com, $50
Spy Optic Men's ‘Flynn’ Sunglasses
How cool is this matte pair of shades? While we haven’t checked Spy Optic’s claim that the frames are “virtually indestructible,” we have to admit they look pretty sturdy and we would love to wear them for a day on the slopes. You can also customize this style with the company’s “Happy Lenses” that have color and contrast-enhancing features.
To buy: zappos.com, $150
Electric Knoxville 'XL' Sunglasses
We love the unisex look of these classic black shades. The slightly oversized frames offer more coverage while the melanin-infused polycarbonate lenses enhance visual clarity and contrast.
To buy: nordstrom.com, $100
Shwood Women's 'Bailey' Sunglasses
The oversized lenses of this American-made pair of sunglasses would look perfect on round-shaped faces. We love this particular frame color because it’s fun and reminds us of the ocean. The polarized Carl Zeiss lenses will protect your eyes so you can enjoy a long day by the pool.
To buy: nordstrom.com, $199
Sonix Women's 'Ibiza' Sunglasses
We’re absolutely obsessed with the design of these Sonix shades — a classic cat-eye silhouette with modern mirrored lenses. They are the perfect statement-making accessory to add to your outfit.
To buy: nordstrom.com, $98
Oakley Women's 'Prizm Ruby' Sunglasses
Cool looks aside, these sunglasses are a product of decades-long color science research. The lenses provide enhanced contrast and visibility as well as 100 percent UV protection.
To buy: oakley.com, $173
Quay Australia Women's 'Cherry Bomb' Sunglasses
Quay Australia’s designs are inspired by music and are for the “the nonconforming and freethinking.” In other words, if you are the traveler who’s always on the lookout for the next cool music festival around the globe, then you’re going to love this company’s designs (and affordable prices). This oversized metal pair of shades in rose pink will add a touch of retro to your ensemble.
To buy: nordstrom.com, $55
Tree Tribe Sunglasses
Tree Tribe is an eco-friendly brand that plants ten trees for every sale they make. Their signature bamboo sunnies have a UV400 protection and a scratch-resistant coating. While the Wayfarer design gives them a classic look, the frames made from real bamboo ensures that every pair is unique.
To buy: amazon.com, $56
Sunday Somewhere ‘Goldie’ Aviators
The ‘70s have been having quite a moment among the fashion crowd. These sunglasses feature metal frames and yellow-tinted lenses that offer 100 percent UV protection.
To buy: net-a-porter.com, $340
SeaSpecs 'Black Jet' Sunglasses
Kiteboarding, surfing, jetskiing, windsurfing, or whatever your preferred water sport is — these sunglasses will make sure your eyes stay protected while you’re riding the waves. The frames are ventilated for clarity and the non-removable strap is easily adjustable with one hand.
To buy: amazon.com, $26
Bolle 'Highwood' Sunglasses
These shades were designed with winter sports in mind. The anti-fog treatment ensures you will never have to deal with foggy lenses and the photochromic coating helps eyes adapt to the light conditions and protects them from UV rays.
To buy: amazon.com, $42