We spent months wearing sunglasses on all kinds of adventures, both near to home and on far-flung adventures. Along the way, we noted how well we liked each pair across all five of our testing metrics. From there, we compared them all side by side, testing their details and ability to withstand all manner of outings. Curious how we did it? You've come to the right article.
To test lens quality, we compared each pair across identical lighting conditions. We assessed them in the midday sun and the harsh horizontal light of golden hour. We considered their protectiveness, including polarization, visible light transmission, and any manufacturer's claims that they block other wavelengths of light (like HEV or infrared). We considered their rendition of colors and how well they maintain, enhance, or detract from contrast. We checked their clarity and noted how much of our own faces we could see staring back at us. We considered how comfortable each pair kept our eyes too. And we noted which ones are easy to clean and which seem to collect dust or fingerprints at a higher rate.
We asked our whole team of testers to give us feedback about the comfort of every frame. We weighed them all and checked their balance points, testing whether they would slide off the nose due to their design. We wore them for hours to see if they became too tight or created pressure points. We noted where they touched our faces and how they felt when that happened. And we evaluated other features that can influence comfort like rubber nose pads, flexible frames, and winged bow tips.
Style and Versatility
While style is a personal choice rather than an objective measurement, we gathered as many opinions as possible. We asked our full panel of testers to tell us which pairs they liked, noting trends along the way. We considered popular components and recorded any trends that emerged following general lines — like pairs that are enjoyed by those with certain sized faces. And as a bonus, we also considered models that can easily cross into activewear glasses without looking out of place.
We wore these glasses a LOT, evaluating and testing their frame quality. We checked every piece with a critical eye, examining hinges, connection points with rubber pieces, and scrutinizing materials and build. After several years of testing dozens of pairs, we used our vast experience with different quality frames to evaluate and score each pair. We noted which scratched easily and which became wiggly or loose in their hinges. We also combed through hundreds of reviews online to find common complaints about every pair and see if we found similar issues.
We first checked the base curve of every pair of shades in our possession. We noted which ones have a better, more face-hugging wrap and which are flatter, with larger gaps around the edges. We asked our entire team to tell us where the sun still crept in around the frames. We also tried wearing each pair when sweaty to see which could maintain their coverage in tougher conditions.
Though it doesn't factor into our scoring of the sunglasses themselves, we also noted what every pair comes with. From cases and cleaning cloths to keychain screwdrivers and glasses leashes, each accessory was assessed by our team.