Reviews You Can Rely On

Best Cycling Sunglasses

The Sledge's three lens options provide sharp optics.
Photo: Zach Wick
Monday March 1, 2021
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Looking for the best pair of cycling sunglasses? We researched over forty models before purchasing 14 of the best to test and compare side-by-side. Our selection has an emphasis on cycling performance both on and off-road where wind protection and coverage are key. The vast majority of our testing took place on the bike, but we also tested these glasses in a variety of sports including trail running and backcountry skiing. The right pair of shades can make or break your ride, so we developed five key metrics on which we scored each model: lens quality, fit and comfort, eye protection, frame quality, and performance in the field. Performance across these categories determined which models earned our recommendation.

Related: Best Sport Sunglasses of 2021

Top 14 Product Ratings

Displaying 1 - 5 of 14
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Awards Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award 
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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84
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Pros super comfortable, quality frame, great optics, two lenses includedExcellent optics, good wind protection, 2 lenses included, easy lens changes, quality storage caseExcellent optics, storage case, advancer nose pad, good eye protectionmassive coverage and protection, two lenses included, good opticsInexpensive, three lenses included, good optics, good dust and debris protection
Cons dust protectionExpensive, you have to take off arms to put them in their caseExpensive, only comes with one lenslarge fit, stability issues on smaller facesDifficult lens swaps, can fog easily when stopping
Bottom Line Super comfortable with great coverage, two lenses, and a stellar all-around performanceThese glasses check all of our boxes and were one of the best all-around models we testedThese glasses have a unique style, excellent optics, good coverage, and a great fog management systemGoggle-like performance, great optics, and retro style in a comfortable, breathable packageAn impressive value with high-coverage, high-performance, and three lenses included at a reasonable price
Rating Categories Smith Wildcat Smith Attack Max Oakley Flight Jacket 100% Glendale Tifosi Sledge
Lens Quality (20%)
9.0
10.0
10.0
9.0
9.0
Fit And Comfort (20%)
10.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
Coverage (20%)
8.0
8.0
8.0
10.0
9.0
Frame Quality (15%)
9.0
8.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
Field Performance (25%)
9.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
Specs Smith Wildcat Smith Attack Max Oakley Flight Jacket 100% Glendale Tifosi Sledge
Fit Medium-Large Medium-Large Medium-Large Large Large-Extra Large
Number of Lenses Included 2 2 1 2 3
Lens Tested Chromapop Red Mirror Chromapop Red Mirror Prizm Road Yellow Smoke, Clear, AC Red
Ideal Lens Light Conditions Chromapop Red Mirror: bright Light Clear: low light Chromapop Red Mirror: Bright light Chromapop Contrast Rose: Low to Medium light Medium to bright light Soft Yellow: Medium to low light Smoke: Low light Clear: Low light
Smoke: Bright light
AC Red: Medium to bright light
Visible Light Transmission (VLT) Chromapop Red Mirror: 15% Clear: 89% Chromapop Red Mirror: 15% Chromapop Contrast Rose: 48% 20% Yellow: 68% Smoke:12% not specified
VLT Protection Index cat 3 cat 3 cat 2 Yellow: Cat 1 Smoke: Cat 3 unknown
Ideal Activity Mountain biking, running, road cycling road cycling, mountain biking, running road cycling, mountain biking, running Running, mountain biking road/mountain biking, running, backcountry skiing, golf, fishing, hiking
Polarized No No No No No
Lens Material plastic - Carbonic plastic - Carbonic plastic - "Plutonite" polycarbonate plastic - polycarbonate plastic- polycarbonate
Lens Type cylindrical spherical spherical cylindrical cylindrical
Neutral/Contrast Increased contrast Increased contrast Increased contrast Increased contrast Increased contrast
UV Protection 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
HEV/Blue Light Protection 100% 100% 100% 100% Unknown
Impact Resistance Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Protective Coatings Hydroleophobic coating Hydroleophobic coating Iridium coating Hydrolio coating None
Weight (grams) 32 32 33 41 39
Case Included Rigid zippered case and soft cleaning/storage bag Rigid zippered case and soft cleaning/storage bag Rigid zippered case and soft cleaning/storage bag Rigid zippered case and soft cleaning/storage bag Rigid zippered case and soft cleaning/storage bag


Best Overall Cycling Sunglasses


Smith Wildcat


90
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Lens Quality 9
  • Fit and Comfort 10
  • Coverage 8
  • Frame Quality 9
  • Field Performance 9
Fit: Medium-Large | Lens: 2 Included, Chromapop Red Mirror: 15% VLT, Clear: 93% VLT
Super comfortable
Sharp, high-contrast optics
Quality frame
Two lenses included
Great coverage
Dust protection

The Smith Wildcat is an all-around fantastic pair of cycling sunglasses. This large-lensed model performed well across all of our test metrics without any weaknesses or compromises. We tested the Chromapop Red Mirror lens that transmits 15% of visible light and protects from 100% of harmful UV rays. Smith's Chromapop technology increases contrast and definition in bright light without any distortion at the edges of your vision. The large, impact-resistant lens provides plenty of protection for the eyes. The Wildcat's fit and comfort were the best of any model in our test with a soft, flexible TR90 frame construction that easily flexes to fit various face sizes without pressure or discomfort, and hydrophilic rubber contact points at the nose and ears are grippy and comfortable. The nose piece adjusts vertically and has two width settings to fit a variety of nose shapes. Additionally, the Wildcat comes standard with a spare clear lens for low light conditions and a rigid, zippered storage case.

We had to dig to find any faults with the Wildcat. This pair of sunglasses doesn't have a real weak point, but the one potential issue we encountered with these glasses was with their dust protection. Due to the off-the-face fit and good breathability, we found that they didn't keep the dust out of our eyes quite as well as some other models in the test. This was only really a problem when mountain biking closely behind another rider in dry, dusty conditions. Even then, it was barely noticeable, but it means that we wouldn't recommend these as a direct replacement for mountain biking goggles.

Read review: Smith Wildcat

Best Bang for Your Buck


Tifosi Sledge


84
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Lens Quality 9
  • Fit and Comfort 8
  • Coverage 9
  • Frame Quality 8
  • Field Performance 8
Fit: Large-Extra Large | Lens: 3 Included, Smoke, AC Red, Clear
Sharp optics
Inexpensive
Versatile lens selection
Good wind and dust protection
Difficult lens swaps
Can fog when stopping

They aren't the least expensive model that we tested, but the Tifosi Sledge offers the best ratio of price to performance in the test. This model comes standard with a selection of three high-quality lenses to choose from, making these glasses viable in any light condition. From dark, forested mountain biking to bright coastal road riding, we couldn't find a light condition in which these glasses didn't excel. Each lens provides sharp, distortion-free optics and 100% protection from UV rays. Unlike some of the other budget-friendly models in the test, we couldn't detect much, if any, drop-off in optical quality from the most expensive glasses we tested. The sturdy grilamid frame fits close to the face, providing excellent protection from wind and debris, and the soft rubber contact points had us wearing these all day without any discomfort.

While the close-wrapping fit provides peace of mind at high-speeds, we also noticed that these glasses can fog up easily when you come to a stop. We never had fogging issues while moving, but we quickly learned to remove these glasses and stow them on our helmet during any mid-ride rest stop to avoid steaming up. The small vents at the top of the lens work great as long as there is some airflow, but at a sweaty, mid-ride standstill they're no match for the fog. Additionally, the lens swapping process is a little bit finicky. It's almost impossible to do without getting grubby fingerprints all over the lens, but luckily Tifosi provides a microfiber storage bag for cleaning. These minor drawbacks weren't enough to dissuade us from giving this model a high recommendation for riders looking for some versatile shades at a reasonable price.

Best for Coverage and Wind Protection


100% Glendale


88
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Lens Quality 9
  • Fit and Comfort 8
  • Coverage 10
  • Frame Quality 9
  • Field Performance 8
Fit: Large | Lens: 2 Included, Yellow: 68% VLT, Smoke: 12% VLT
Goggle-like coverage and protection
Two lenses included
Sharp optics
Comfortable
Large fit may be too big for some
Stability

In this new era of massive cycling glasses, the Glendale provides the closest imitation of goggle performance of all the models we tested. We appreciated their eye protection so much that they had to be our favorite for coverage and wind protection. The massive lens measures at 165mm wide and 65mm tall, and offers sharp, high-contrast optics. Constructed from impact-resistant polycarbonate, the lens will also keep your eyes safe from potential impacts out in the field. The Grilamid thermoplastic frame wraps close to the face to protect from dust and wind interference at high speeds and has air scoops below the lens to prevent fogging at low speeds or humid conditions. Hydrophilic rubber contact points at the nose and temples allow you to wear these glasses all day without pain or discomfort.

Our only real qualms with the Glendale relate to the fit. This massive model has a large fit and doesn't offer a ton of adjustability to suit smaller face sizes. Our smaller-headed testers had some problems with the frames sliding down the front of their face when the going got rough out on the trail. The adjustable arm tips helped with the problem, but we worry that these glasses might not fit well on smaller faces. That said, for high-speed road and gravel riding, our small-headed testers still loved these glasses.

Read review: 100% Glendale

Best for Fog Management


Oakley Flight Jacket


88
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Lens Quality 10
  • Fit and Comfort 8
  • Coverage 8
  • Frame Quality 9
  • Field Performance 9
Fit: Medium-Large | Lens: Prizm Road, 20% VLT, 100% UV Protection
Excellent optical clarity
Advancer nose pad
Good eye protection
Storage case
Expensive
Only come with one lens

Oakley has been a dominant player in both the casual and cycling sunglasses market for several decades. The Flight Jacket is an excellent performance sunglass model, and it quickly became a tester favorite. Our test model came with the spherical Prism Road lens, which provided outstanding distortion-free optics, a 15% VLT and 100% protection from UV. They have a medium-large fit, a wrap-around style, and excellent eye protection from wind and debris. The high-quality frame has a comfortable fit with adjustable length arms for compatibility with cycling helmets, and a unique adjustable Advancer nose piece. The Advancer allows the user to shift the glasses away from the face to increase airflow to manage fog and sweat when things heat up.

Our testers loved riding and running in the Flight Jacket, and our gripes with these glasses are few. As is typical for Oakley glasses, they are quite expensive, though we feel you get what you pay for. They also only come with only one lens, while many other competitors in this price range include two lenses with purchase. That said, they are our favorite for fog management, as well as an excellent performance model.

Read review: Oakley Flight Jacket

Best Frameless Model


Smith Attack Max


89
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Lens Quality 10
  • Fit and Comfort 9
  • Coverage 8
  • Frame Quality 8
  • Field Performance 9
Fit: Medium-Large | Lens: 2 Included, Chromapop Red Mirror: 15% VLT, Contrast Rose: 48% VLT
Excellent optics
Two lenses included
Wind protection
Comfortable
Easy to swap lenses
Expensive

Throughout the review process, Smith's Attack Max was an all-around tester favorite. This model came in a close second in our overall ratings and is an impressively versatile performer. Each pair comes standard with two of Smith's Chromapop lenses, one Rose and one mirrored. This means that the Attack Max performs in nearly any light condition. The frameless design's magnetic arm attachment system also makes swapping lenses easier than any other model we tested. The spherical Chromapop lenses provide some of the best optics in our test and wrap closely to the face for coverage and wind protection despite their moderate size. Hydrophilic megol rubber contact points at the nose and temples keep the glasses firmly in place even when things get rough, and the open frame design breathes well enough to protect from lens fogging. The Attack Max's versatility means that it's a viable model for nearly any outdoor activity you might want to try out.

Just as with other top scorers in our test, we had to work hard to find any faults with these glasses. Our primary concern with the Attack Max is the price tag. Though pricey, Smith's inclusion of two high-contrast Chromapop lenses largely mitigates our concerns, since you're essentially getting two pairs of glasses and a wide range of viable operating conditions for the price. We also weren't huge fans of having to remove the arm pieces every time we wanted to store these back in their case, but the magnetic arm attachment system makes it relatively easy to do.

Read review: Smith Attack Max

Best on a Tight Budget


X-Tiger Polarized


78
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Lens Quality 6
  • Fit and Comfort 8
  • Coverage 9
  • Frame Quality 8
  • Field Performance 8
Fit: Medium-Large | Lens: Clear, Mirrored, Polarized
Very Inexpensive
Three lenses included
Good coverage
Offered in multiple frame and lens colors
Minor lens distortion
Do not enhance contrast or color

If you're looking for a close approximation of the high-end models at an outstanding price, look no further than the X-Tiger. These boldly styled shades performed competitively across most of our rating metrics, yet cost a mere fraction of the high-end competition. Our expectations of these sunglasses were relatively low, yet we were pleasantly surprised by nearly every aspect of their performance. We found them quite comfortable with a wide range of fit and a secure grip that never felt too tight. The massive lenses provide good coverage and adequate protection from the sun and wind for most high-velocity activities. The TR90 frames appear rugged and durable, and nearly on par with the more expensive competition. In the field, we enjoyed the fact that they stayed in place very well, and we never experienced any issues with fogging. They also come standard with three lenses for varying light conditions, a rigid zippered case, a storage bag, two sets of earpieces, and a lens cleaning cloth.

While we were quite impressed with the X-Tiger glasses' overall performance, the lens quality left a little to be desired. The cylindrical lenses aren't perfect, and we noticed some distortion around the periphery. We also found that the mirrored lens had a very neutral, muting quality, and it didn't increase contrast or enhance color the way higher-end models do. Otherwise, we feel these very inexpensive sunglasses perform far above their asking price.

Read review: X-Tiger Polarized

Compare Products

select up to 5 products to compare
Score Product Price Our Take
90
$210
Editors' Choice Award
We loved the versatile fit and performance of these excellent full coverage sunglasses
89
$259
Top Pick Award
A versatile performance sunglass that excels in all areas
88
$237
Top Pick Award
These uniquely styled glasses offer good coverage, impressive optics, and good fog management
88
$185
Top Pick Award
Top level protection and coverage while maintaining breathability and comfort
84
$70
Best Buy Award
These glasses punch above their weight in almost every one of our metrics
84
$195
If you seek loads of coverage and a big flashy style, this is a great option
82
$173
Fantastic coverage with one of the best lenses in our test but isn't a great fit on wider heads
82
$220
Well-rounded with sharp optics and a quality lens
81
$90
A great pair of glasses for your next road ride best suited for bright light conditions
80
$260
A quality wrap around sunglass for high speed sports with great optics
79
$89
If you can pull off the style, these are a mid-price, high-performance alternative to traditional brands
78
$27
Best Buy Award
Don't let the price fool you, you get a lot without spending a lot with these super affordable sunglasses
78
$24
Competitive performance at a fraction of the cost of the competition
74
$130
Featherlight with good optics although it has less coverage than the competition

Testing the 100% Glendale on an autumn gravel ride in the Sierra.
Testing the 100% Glendale on an autumn gravel ride in the Sierra.
Photo: Jenna Ammerman

Why You Should Trust Us


Our sunglass testers have decades of experience in the outdoors and have been religiously using many of the brands we tested for much of that time. Jeremy Benson is an obsessive year-round adventure sports athlete. The author of two guidebooks published by Mountaineers Books, Mountain Bike Tahoe and Backcountry Ski and Snowboard Routes California, he stays busy all year in the mountains from his home base in South Lake Tahoe, CA. Whether backcountry skiing in the winter months or training for and racing gravel and mountain bikes the rest of the year, he has developed an appreciation for quality eyewear that protects his eyes from the sun, dust, debris, and especially the wind. A former sponsored ski athlete, Benson has years of experience in product design and testing and has been working with OutdoorGearLab for over three years.

Zach Wick has been obsessively riding and racing road and mountain bikes for the last 18 years and has accumulated extensive knowledge of performance eyewear in that time. Zach spent his teenage years road racing as an elite amateur, racking up a state championship in the process. He has since broadened his horizons to include mountain biking, cyclocross, and gravel riding. He has years of experience in product design working in a mountain bike brand's test lab and has developed an astute eye to differentiate between quality products and pretenders. When it comes to performance eyewear, he is incredibly picky and won't ride with anything that compromises his vision out on the trail.

These two put every model in our test through the wringer to ensure we provide the best information possible. Over the course of several months, we tested these glasses while racking up countless hours of road, gravel, and mountain bike ride time along with some additional time spent trail running, hiking, and backcountry skiing. They used their years of experience and expertise to tease out subtle differences in what turned out to be an incredibly high-quality group of sunglasses. They also applied their knowledge of product testing in a lab to run non-destructive tests and decipher which models were toughest.

Related: How We Tested Cycling Sunglasses

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Analysis and Test Results


We rated each pair of cycling sunglasses in our test based on five key metrics: lens quality, fit and comfort, coverage, frame quality, and field performance. Each model received a score from 1-100 in each metric for easy comparison, and the metrics are weighted according to their importance. For cycling sunglasses, we heavily weighted the lens quality, coverage, and field performance metrics. Additionally, we compared our overall performance score for each model against its price to determine which models offer the best value. Read through each section below to learn the rating criteria for each metric and how each model fared.

Related: How To Choose the Right Sunglasses


Value


We don't rate the products we test based on their price, but we appreciate a good value. Most of the sunglasses we tested are high-end models geared towards optimal performance and protection for your eyes. These aren't your ordinary gas station sunglasses, and the sun protection, optical quality, comfort, and durability they provide typically comes at a premium. The glasses we tested fall into a wide range of prices. While the more expensive end of the spectrum usually comes with higher-grade materials, we found that, as with many things, price doesn't necessarily reflect value.

With price tags at a fraction of the high-end competition, the X-Tiger and the MooFee glasses performed admirably in many of our rating metrics. They sacrifice a bit in terms of lens quality, but we feel they bring serious value to the table. Likewise, the Tifosi Sledge are among the least expensive models in the test, with performance that rivals the more expensive competition.

The best lenses in the test increase contrast without distortion
The best lenses in the test increase contrast without distortion
Photo: Zach Wick

Lens Quality


Lens quality is the first thing you notice when donning a pair of sunglasses and is one of the most important things to consider when seeking out new specs. Every model in our test was designed with high-speed outdoor activities in mind, often specifically mountain biking or road cycling. In these settings, its important that a lens provides sharp, clear optics without distortion and protection from the sun. We used each model in a variety of light conditions to test its versatility and protection. It's important to consider a lens' UV protection and visible light transmission, optical quality, and durability when searching for a good pair of performance sunglasses.


The cycling sunglasses that we tested protect from harsh sunlight to varying degrees. All of the models protect from 100% of harmful UV rays but differ in their visible light transmission (VLT). VLT ranged from 12 to 68 percent among the models we tested. Lower light transmission is generally easier on the eyes, but low-VLT lenses are darker and typically only perform well in bright light. We found that models around the 20% VLT mark, including the Oakley Sutro (20%), POC Aspire (22%), and Oakley Flight Jacket (20%), performed in the broadest range of light conditions while still providing adequate protection. Smith's Wildcat and Attack Max, along with 100%'s Glendale and Speedcraft and Tifosi's Sledge each come standard with at least two lenses, allowing the user a wider range of viable light conditions without having to purchase aftermarket lenses.

The Sutro&#039;s 20% VLT Prizm lens works well in medium to bright light.
The Sutro's 20% VLT Prizm lens works well in medium to bright light.
Photo: Zach Wick

Only two models in our test included a polarized lens, the Pit Viper Originals and the Moofee glasses. Polarized lenses provide extra protection for the eyes by blocking horizontal light waves, but also let in less light than their non-polarized counterparts. We found that the Originals' lens performed well in bright light conditions, but, at 14% VLT, we wouldn't recommend them for medium or low light. However, Pit Viper offers the Originals in a variety of lens tints for different light levels. We were reasonably impressed with the MooFee glasses as well. Not only did they come with three lenses, including one polarized, but they had minimal distortion. Considering their retail price, we were pleasantly surprised.

All of the models we tested have lenses with quality optics. Deciphering differences in optical quality at this level of performance can be difficult as differences are often very minor, but a few models stood out from the pack. Of all the models we tested, the Oakley Flight Jacket and Smith Attack Max impressed us the most. Their spherical lenses combine with Oakley's Prizm and Smith's Chromapop technologies to provide super-clear, distortion-free optics with increased contrast and definition. The cylindrical lenses of the Smith Wildcat and Oakley Sutro feature the same technologies and provide the same high-contrast optics but without the benefit of the spherical shape.

Most cycling sunglass lenses are designed with durability in mind, and almost all of the models in the test included impact-resistant lenses. For the most part, we found that every model's lens stood up to our test. Very few of them showed any sign of wear and tear by the time we finished testing them. A few models, including 100%'s Glendale and Speedcraft, feature anti-scratch coatings on their lenses that work wonders. We were surprised when, after repeated t-shirt cleanings, neither of these models had any apparent scratches or imperfections.

The Smith Wildcat is one of the most comfortable sunglasses we&#039;ve...
The Smith Wildcat is one of the most comfortable sunglasses we've worn.
Photo: Jenna Ammerman

Fit and Comfort


While lens quality is an essential piece of the cycling sunglasses puzzle, the fit and comfort of a model carry just as much weight. A high-quality lens is useless if the glasses give you a headache after five minutes. It's vital that your glasses fit your face well and not create discomfort when you can be wearing them for up to ten hours at a time (depending on just how hardcore you are). We rated models in this metric based on their fit versatility as well as the comfort of their frame materials. To generate our rating for each model, we had each of our testers try them out and provide notes on how they fit naturally, whether they could be adjusted to fit correctly, their feel on the face, and if they created discomfort over time. To make sure we got the full picture of each model, we also recruited the help of friends and family with diverse head sizes.


It became clear midway through our testing that one model stood out from the rest. The Smith Wildcat was a unanimous favorite among everyone who tried them on. The Wildcat's TR90 frame construction is soft and flexible and can expand to fit most head sizes without a hint of pressure on the temples. The adjustable nosepiece can conform to most nose shapes, and its hydrophilic rubber contact points are comfortable, grippy, and allow the frames to disappear from your thoughts when they're on your face. A close second in this metric was Smith's Attack Max with its frameless design and similar hydrophilic rubber contact points. However, we noticed that its arms are a little bit stiffer and don't conform quite as well to the sides of the head.

With their wide range of adjustability, the Pit Viper Originals impressed us in this metric. The arm angle, arm length, and nosepiece adjustments on their frame combine to make their fit super versatile. Everyone who tried on our set of test Originals could adjust the fit to suit their facial structure, no matter their head size. This made them easily the most versatile fit of any model in our test. If it weren't for their hard plastic frame construction, they could have been one of the most comfortable models in the test as well. In contrast to the Originals, the Oakley Sutro offers no adjustment, and we found that it had a more limited range of fit. Larger-headed users often found that the Sutro would put pressure on the sides of the head and create discomfort over time.

Glasses that fit well and are comfortable fade into the background...
Glasses that fit well and are comfortable fade into the background so you can focus on the task at hand.
Photo: Jenna Ammerman

Most of the models we tested offered a limited range of adjustment and a decent range of fit. The POC Aspire, 100% Glendale, and Tifosi Sledge are all comfortable but lack the adjustability to match the top performers in this metric. They all have fixed nose pieces and bendable arm tips for a close contour to varied head shapes. We found that this adjustment was helpful, but not enough to adequately adjust the fit between small and large heads. These models tended to fit large heads, but small-headed testers struggled to get them dialed in. We found that models with a nose-piece adjustment like the Scott Sport Shield could adapt to a wider array of head sizes.

The Glendale provides unbeatable coverage for high speeds.
The Glendale provides unbeatable coverage for high speeds.
Photo: Zach Wick

Coverage


The latest trend in cycling sunglasses has been ever-increasing lens sizes. Due to the fact that brands have been focusing on improving coverage and protection for high-speed activities, many of the test models more closely resemble goggles than their counterparts from the 1990s and early 2000s. When you're flying down a fast descent on a road or mountain bike, your sunglasses must protect your eyes from the wind as well as potential impacts from bugs, rocks, branches, or anything else that could be flying through the air. We had a run-in with a broken glass bottle on a road ride that sent tiny shards of glass flying through the peloton during testing. In situations like this, your glasses should give your eyes security so you can stay focused.

To thoroughly rate each model's coverage, we considered the size of their lenses, how closely they wrap to the face, their materials and construction, and their performance at high speeds. We ran each model through a series of downhills on our road, gravel, and mountain bikes in various conditions and tracked their ability to block wind interference.


Most of the models in our test have a very similar lens construction. Each of their lenses is plastic as opposed to glass, and most are made of polycarbonate. All of them provide impact protection that meets ANSI Z80.3 standards for impact resistance, so we weren't concerned about a lens breaking from a rock strike out on the road. We didn't run into any situations during testing where a lens failed to protect our eyes or face from an impact.

The 100% Glendale was the highest-coverage model we tested. Its 165mm wide by 60mm tall lens is the biggest in the test, and the frame's close-to-the-face fit provided the best wind protection. The Glendale most closely mimicked goggle-quality coverage of all the goggle-esque sunglasses we tested. The 100% Speedcraft, Smith Wildcat, and Scott Sport Shield had the next biggest lenses in the test and provided excellent coverage. The Wildcat fit a little bit further off of the face than the two 100% models and experienced a little bit more wind interference, but it was nothing serious. The X-Tiger and MooFee glasses also have lots of coverage with a 140mm wide by 60mm tall lenses that provided solid sun and wind protection.

The Sutro has large coverage lenses that protect your eyes from the...
The Sutro has large coverage lenses that protect your eyes from the wind and debris with a massive unobstructed field of view.
Photo: Jenna Ammerman

Due to their spherical lenses and close fit, a few medium lensed models also provided excellent coverage. The Smith Attack Max and Oakley Flight Jacket's lenses aren't exactly small, but at 135x53 and 140x53mm respectively, they weren't among the largest in our test. Despite their size, they offered some of the best coverage in our test. Neither model had any wind interference at high speed, and we had no concerns about the smaller lenses not protecting our eyes.

The lowest scoring model in our coverage metric was the Julbo Aero. With the smallest lens in our test at 130x43mm and an open, airy frame design, we experienced a fair amount of wind interference on high-speed descents. Compared with the traditional performance sunglasses of the last twenty years, the Aero is actually above average coverage-wise. Still, they don't quite match the top performers in today's large-lensed age.

We found Wildcat&#039;s the soft, flexible T90 frames super comfortable...
We found Wildcat's the soft, flexible T90 frames super comfortable and tough.
Photo: Zach Wick

Frame Quality


Along with your lenses, it's essential that the frames of your glasses stand up to the test of time. When you're paying a premium for high-end glasses, you hope that the frames will stand up when dropped on the ground or thrown in backpacks and luggage. You also hope that they won't meet their demise the first time you take a quick dirt nap or asphalt slide on a bike ride.

To assess each model's frame quality, we scrutinized them to see just how much they could take. This involved a lot of flexing, twisting, and squeezing to test each frame's construction limits and make sure that none of them were too brittle. We also researched the material properties of each model's construction based on the material specs provided by the manufacturer and took into account each frame's adjustability and ease of lens swapping.


Our favorite models in this metric all included some combination of TR90, Grilamid, and TPU thermoplastic construction. These materials each provide high flexibility and bending strength, good toughness, and low moisture absorption. The Smith Wildcat, 100% Speedcraft, 100% Glendale were our favorite frames. Each of these featured some combination of these high-quality construction materials. Their frames' softness and flexibility gave us confidence that these models would survive just about anything we could throw at them and made for quick, easy lens changes.

While we didn't like the stiffer, harder nature of Oakley's "O Matter" frame material as much as the Wildcat or 100%'s offerings, we gave the Flight Jacket a top score in this metric for its well-thought-out design, including the Advancer nose piece that allows you to adjust the airflow behind the lenses and its multiple arm length options.

The Aspire has a quality frame construction but lacks adjustability...
The Aspire has a quality frame construction but lacks adjustability and flexibility.
Photo: Zach Wick

A few models had frames made of high-quality materials but didn't score as highly in this metric. The POC Aspire, POC Half Blade, and Tifosi Sledge each feature Grilamid thermoplastic frame constructions, but their frames are harder and less flexible than the Wildcat and 100%'s offerings. This worries us that the frames might snap in a crash or when TSA throws your bag on your next flight, and it also means swapping lenses can be a little bit tougher than with some of the more flexible models. These frames also provide minimal adjustment to dial in the fit.

While it offers a ton of adjustability, the Pit Viper Originals had one of the most concerning frames in the test. Its frame has a cheaper, more brittle feel than any of the other models we tested and the adjustability creates a variety of potential failure points. We were extra tough on these glasses to ensure that they were up to snuff. They made it through unscathed, so we're still excited about the value they provide. However, if given a choice, we would opt for the frame material of the Wildcat or Glendale over the Originals any day of the week.

We tested the glasses in this review on road, gravel, and mountain...
We tested the glasses in this review on road, gravel, and mountain bike rides.
Photo: Zach Wick

Field Performance


No matter how impressive a model's measurable traits are, it's still useless if it can't perform in the field. The field performance metric is the most heavily weighted in our test because it's an accurate and direct assessment of whether a model is worth the price or not. When using these glasses in the field, we focused on key traits necessary for cycling like lens fog prevention, lens water-shedding, stability on the face, and sweat channeling. If a $200 pair of sunglasses fog up or falls off your face every time you take it out for a mountain bike ride or trail run, it's useless.

To assess each model's field performance, we simply used them. A lot. We took each model on countless hours of bike riding, trail running, hiking, and even some backcountry skiing to get a well-formed picture. By the end of our test, we had a very clear idea of which models were the highest performers.


The Smith Wildcat, Smith Attack Max, and Oakley Flight Jacket were our favorite models in the field. These models provided enough airflow to prevent lens fogging at low speeds while maintaining coverage and protection at high speeds. However, the Flight Jacket's adjustable nose piece allowed for the best of both worlds. Due to its frameless design, the Attack Max had an occasional issue with sweat getting on the lenses, but it wasn't a massive issue with the hydrophobic lens coating. The high-quality fit and frame material of each of these models meant that they also stayed in place remarkably well, no matter how rough things got. Deathgripping down rugged, chunky mountain bike trails on a hardtail was no issue for these three models. None of our testers reported any problems with them staying put on the face. We were also pleasantly surprised by the X-Tiger glasses in the field. These shades stayed in place very well, and we never experienced any issues with fogging.

While our field performance test was mainly spent on the bike, it...
While our field performance test was mainly spent on the bike, it also involved a bit of trail running, hiking, and backcountry skiing.
Photo: Zach Wick

The remainder of the models we tested all performed solidly in the field. On the whole, we didn't have much to complain about with any of these sunglasses. We had a little bit of trouble with the 100% Glendale's larger fit on some smaller-headed testers. They found that when the going got rough, the nose piece would slip down, and they would need to reach up and adjust. A small adjustment of the bendable arm tips helped with the problem, but we still have concerns about the Glendale's fit on smaller faces resulting in less stability than other models.

Resting some of our test models after a tough day out on the trails.
Resting some of our test models after a tough day out on the trails.
Photo: Zach Wick

Conclusion


There's a lot to consider when searching for a new pair of cycling sunglasses. Today there are so many options that, even if you have a good idea of what you're looking for, the search can be daunting. We did the work (actually, it was a lot of fun) to provide you with the best information possible. We hope that this review helps you make an informed decision and leads you to the perfect pair of glasses for your sporting endeavors.

Zach Wick, Jeremy Benson