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Looking for men's sunglasses? We selected 10 pairs to test side-by-side, spanning a full range of technologies and prices. We put them through their paces on snowshoe adventures and beach days, midday beer garden hangouts, and westward drives at sunset. We checked their fit across face shapes and sizes, scrutinized their construction, and asked a full panel of our friends to judge their comfort and style. From international vacations to neighborhood dog walks, these shades saw it all. Whether you're after the coolest glasses around, the pair that can do it all, or the budget-friendly option you'll still love to wear, we're here to help you find the perfect pair.
Fit: Medium | Protection: Polarized, 100% UV, 12% VLT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
Sporty look isn't for everyone
The Kaenon Burnet Mid sunglasses can truly do it all, and they're some of our favorites to wear. We've tested both grey and brown lenses, and both are outstanding. They offer top-notch clarity, superb color rendition, and heightened contrast without distorting reality. They also have almost zero back reflections, which is an impressive feat. The mid-size we tested offers a secure fit on most average-sized heads, gripping comfortably with a protective, face-hugging wrap. If you've got a larger head, the Burnet also comes in an XL version.
The worst thing we can say about these glasses is that their rectangular lenses look a bit sporty. That said, they're still not the most sporty-looking shades we tested, and our panel of testers all liked their look. They're on the more expensive end of the spectrum, but in this case, the extra dough buys you a really great pair of shades.
Fit: Medium | Protection: Polarized, 100% UV, 12% VLT
REASONS TO BUY
Solid performance in all metrics
Comfortable to wear
REASONS TO AVOID
Just okay coverage
May slip when sweaty
We love the cool detailing on the Camp Eyewear Trail, which upgrades them from just another pair of wayfarers to glasses we were excited to put on and wear outside. They have solid all-around performance, with comfortable, crisp lenses and only a hint of blue to enhance contrast. They're very smooth and glossy, with an excellent shape that was comfortable and pleasing to wear for all our testers of varying head sizes. They'd be easy to love even without the wooden bows, but with them, they're just plain fun, and the wood helps keep them from sliding during casual use.
However, the lack of any rubber sections can be problematic when you're hot and sweaty — they just don't stay put quite as well as some others we tested. The Trail also have the standard coverage flaws of just about every pair of modern wayfarers, with medium-sized lenses and a fairly flat frame that allows sunlight in the sides, bottom, and — depending on where you wear them on your face — over the top. Despite these relatively minor drawbacks, there's still so much to love about these unique, budget-friendly glasses, and we recommend them.
Fit: Large | Protection: Polarized, 100% UV, 12% VLT
REASONS TO BUY
Lightweight and comfortable
REASONS TO AVOID
Smaller than expected
Rubber pads could be cleaner cut
The Native Eyewear Wells are an affordable pair of sunnies capable of making an easy style transition between trail running in the morning and meeting someone for drinks in the afternoon. They're lightweight and slightly sporty without looking totally out of place paired with a polo shirt and khaki shorts. Their plastic frames are comfortable and secure thanks to their strategic rubbery pads at the nose and behind the ears. Larger lenses and a good base curve offer coverage without drowning narrower faces. To add to the list of reasons we love these sunnies, they're also one of the most affordable sets of shades in this lineup.
For being advertised as a "large" fit, the Wells are smaller than we expected. Across our team of variably sized and shaped faces, they're best fitted on averaged-sized heads and are a bit tight on wider faces. The inserted rubbery pads in the bows and nose do the job, but they're not the cleanest fit. However, after having had and worn these glasses regularly for several years now, these irregularities haven't gotten any worse. All in all, if you want one pair of sunglasses that look just as natural in the woods as in the city, these more budget-friendly frames are a great fit.
Fit: Medium | Protection: Polarized, 100% UV, 10% VLT
REASONS TO BUY
Great for bright light and high glare
Secure, comfortable fit
REASONS TO AVOID
Very sporty vibe
If you're the kind of person who spends a ton of time out on the water, the Costa del Mar Rinconcito is a fantastic pair of sunglasses to consider. These seriously impressive lenses are darker than average, with total polarization and 100% blue light blockage. They are one of very few shades we tested that have nearly no reflection on the backs of the lenses. Small rubber pads embedded in the nose pads and backs of the bows keep them securely attached to your face as you water ski — or even downhill ski. They have just the right amount of curvature to add extra coverage to these medium-large lenses where you need it most.
On the other hand, if you prefer to own just one pair of sunglasses that you can wear everywhere, the Rinconcito might give you pause. These high-performance shades are some of the sportiest-looking models we tested. If that's your vibe, then there's no problem. But if you want some sunglasses you could style at a black tie event or blend in visiting a fashionable city, these may not be it. The less-versatile look and above-average price tag are the only two downsides to an otherwise impressive pair of glasses.
Fit: Medium | Protection: Not Polarized, 100% UV, 15% VLT
REASONS TO BUY
Classic, versatile style
Look great on everyone
Robust and sturdy
REASONS TO AVOID
Slant leaves the top open
The Ray-Ban Original Wayfarer Classic has truly never gone out of style, looking as great today as when they debuted in 1952. We found them attractive on every face and with every style, giving off that cool-as-a-cucumber laidback vibe that so many of us love. They work just as well with board shorts as they do with a polo shirt — even a lot of women love these glasses. Though no sunglasses are truly unbreakable, these are hefty and robust, lending a serious level of credibility to their durability — backed up by an almost unheard of seven barrel hinges on each side.
This beefiness does come with a cost — the Original Wayfarer are heavy. Don't get us wrong, they're very comfortable to wear, with glossy smooth frames that feel great — as long as you don't mind their heftier weight. Made in the OG of wayfarer style, they have a very exaggerated forward slant to the lenses, which looks cool but leaves a pronounced gap over the tops of the lenses, lessening their coverage. But if you've got your heart set on this look, we don't think you'll be disappointed with the performance of these classic shades.
Why You Should Trust Us
We sifted through hundreds of pairs of the best men's and unisex sunglasses to choose the most promising models spotlighted here. After purchasing them, we put them through a robust testing regimen, which started with wearing them incessantly. We went on snowshoe hikes and neighborhood walks, ran errands, and relaxed at outdoor cafes. We put them to the test driving, hiking, walking, and more, comparing their fit across face sizes and putting their lenses side by side to tease apart the differences.
Our sunglasses testing was divided across five key metrics:
Lens Quality (30% of overall score weighting)
Comfort (25% weighting)
Style and Versatility (20% weighting)
Frame Quality (15% weighting)
Coverage (10% weighting)
This review is spearheaded by our consultant, Bradley Nichols, and Senior Review Editor, Maggie Nichols. Bradley has been an outdoor adventurer for years, living and recreating in Reno, Nevada, one of the sunniest places in the United States. From hitting the slopes in the winter to backpacking in the summer, Brad always keeps his eyes protected and comfortable wherever he roams. Maggie has been leading backcountry trips for over 15 years, in some blindingly bright environments, from kayaking the Caribbean and snorkeling the Galapagos to rafting the American West and backpacking the Sierra Nevadas. As a glasses-wearer since the young age of four, Maggie is a self-professed "glasses junkie," demanding a lot from her eyewear. She and Brad enlisted the help and critical eyes of a slew of friends, family, and coworkers to test and rate these shades.
Analysis and Test Results
We demand a lot from our sunglasses and think you should too. To test every pair, we assessed their competence and performance across five metrics. While the combination of these weighted ratings gives each pair their overall score, in what follows, we break down the metrics and discuss which pairs perform best and why.
When it comes to sunglasses, like many types of gear, a higher price typically means better performance. However, this relationship is far from perfect, and we found several lower-priced pairs that buck this trend, offering exceptional value. The Camp Eyewear Trail is one such pair with terrific value. Great lenses in frames that feel great, these sunglasses come with a price tag lower than their impressive performance would lead us to suspect. The Native Eyewear Wells aren't far behind; with excellent protection, an impressive fit, and a sportier performance, these glasses offer a lot for your hard-earned buck. For those able to spend a bit more, we also really love the comfortable and fairly-priced Tens Classic.
The most important aspect of any pair of glasses is the quality of their lenses; otherwise, why bother wearing them? We tested lens quality by comparing every contender side by side and ranking how well they performed in challenging lighting conditions, how they rendered colors, and how comfortable they kept our eyes after hours of direct sun exposure.
Hands down, the best lenses we tested were in the Kaenon Burnet. The Ultra Grey 12 lenses are everything we never dared to dream a grey lens could be. Not only are they crystal clear, but they're also versatile, performing equally as well in both bright and low light. They have almost no reflections off the backs of the lenses and manage to increase contrast by boosting colors in ways we normally associate with brown lenses. The Costa del Mar Rinconcito has nearly as impressive of a performance. Their Blue Mirror lenses are excellent in clarity and provide true-to-life colors, with just a hint of increased blue-ish contrast. They have nearly no reflections from the backs of the lenses and do extremely well in bright lighting conditions, though not quite as well in lower light situations.
The Vuarnet Legend 03 are also some of our favorites here too, scoring near the top. Despite not being polarized, they have a dual gradient (darker on top and bottom for sun and glare, respectively), are a darker tint, and have an excellent mirror coating. The Maui Jim Lighthouse lenses are also impressive. These ridiculously lightweight glasses are some of Maui Jim's latest line of non-glass lenses, but with all the best contrast and clarity they have made themselves known for. The Tens Classic and Smith Lowdown 2 both feature excellent amber lenses with a very pleasant combination of color enhancement and clarity that make them very easy to wear in the sun.
Ensuring your sunglasses are comfortable enough to wear all day is not a task we take lightly. We considered as many aspects of comfort as possible, measuring every pair and testing their balance on different-sized faces. We wore each pair for hours to see if they became tight, heavy, or uncomfortable. We noted where they touched our faces and if that changed as different people wore them.
The Kaenon Burnet Mid are a very comfortable pair of glasses to wear, with a snug, secure fit that feels good (and also comes in a larger size for wider faces). The Costa Rinconcito are impressively comfortable too, with flexible frames to accommodate varying head shapes and perfectly placed rubbery padding to keep them in place without squeezing. The Maui Jim Lighthouse stand out here for being absurdly flexible, to the point that they feel strange compared to other glasses. They're ridiculously lightweight and have very pliable bows and even nose pads that conform easily to the face. We can honestly say we've never worn another pair that felt like the Lighthouse. Most of our testers loved the feeling, though some didn't enjoy the odd sensations as much.
The Smith Lowdown 2 fit in that casual way that we find effortless to wear all day. The Tens Classic and Camp Eyewear Trail are both modern wayfarer styles with just enough extra details that we appreciate. The matte frames and near-perfect shape of the Tens Classic make them well-suited to most shapes and sizes of faces. The Camp Trail have a glossy finish and wooden bows that both look good and feel surprisingly comfortable to wear for long periods.
Style and Versatility
Though style is subjective, some sunglasses look good on many people and in various situations, while others seem to fit only a few or have limited applications. We asked as many folks as we could wrangle up to tell us how they liked the look of every pair. We also considered how well they work in different scenarios, from lounging in the hammock to hiking in the local hills.
If style is your number one priority, it's hard to go wrong with the timeless look of the Ray-Ban Original Wayfarer. These classics have been practically unchanged since they were first introduced in the 1950s. They seem to look good on everyone — no matter the gender, age, or style — and have an appearance that goes with many outfits and situations.
The Camp Trail earns high marks for style, too, with their mostly-wooden bows and excellent take on a modern wayfarer style. Not far behind are the Tens Classic, with a universally appealing matte finish and near-perfect proportions for faces of all sizes and shapes. If you're looking to match the level of your sunglasses style to that of your new tailored vest or pressed polos on your European vacation, the Vuarnet Legend 03 are the perfect pair, always on point with premier wardrobe choices. For mixing outdoor and activity performance with style, the Smith Lowdown, Native Eyewear Wells, and Oakley Holbrook Polarized are all solid options.
Since no one wants something that's just going to break or fall apart after a few months, we scrutinized every frame. We looked into construction materials and inspected hinges. We checked the fit of lenses and the overall flexibility of each model. We also scoured the internet for recurring complaints from other users to see if we could replicate their issues.
Two glasses stand out here for their beefy and durable frames: the Kaenon Burnet Mid and Ray-Ban Original Wayfarer. Both are thick and feel strong and sturdy in hand, with wide hinges and very solid builds. Though slightly less burly, the more flexible Costa Rinconcito also stands out. The Rinconcito have durable-feeling, if slightly thinner frames, rubbery, well-attached pads, and flexible spring hinges that accommodate overextension. The Vuarnet Legend 03 also features solid construction that doesn't loosen with regular wear and has just the right level of flex to be adaptable.
The Camp Eyewear Trail frames are thick and solid, with treated wood making up a portion of the bows around a stabilizing metal skeleton. They also boast some of our favorite over-extendable hinges, both in their exaggerated beefy build and with their ideal pressure that's both comfortable and secure. The Tens Classic and Smith Lowdown 2 are also built well, with sturdy frames that have a small amount of give. The Classic have regular hinges that feel solid, while the Lowdown 2's autolocking hinges that putting them on even easier.
Leaving large gaps around the edges of lenses can completely defeat the purpose of wearing sunglasses in the first place. We tested coverage across various face sizes and shapes to see which ones keep you covered and which ones don't quite cut it. We also tested how well they stay put once you start sweating on a hot summer day.
Models with the most coverage combine large lenses, face-hugging curves, and a close-fitting frame. We found the best, most consistent coverage from the Kaenon Burnet Mid, Costa Rinconcito, and Vuarnet Legend 03. All three of these sunglasses have large, rectangular lenses in frames that wear comfortably close to the face, nearly sealing edge gaps without any of them being full wraparound models. The Native Eyewear Wells and Oakley Holbrook Polarized aren't far behind, with their larger-than-average lenses and decently face-hugging base curves. These two are simply a bit smaller than the previous three, therefore providing a bit less coverage.
Modern wayfarer-style sunglasses like the Tens Classic and Camp Eyewear Trail provide pretty good coverage, with wider frames and medium lenses, though they leave obvious gaps around their edges because of their flatter shapes. The Smith Lowdown 2 are about on par with wayfarers for coverage, falling somewhere between the lens shape of sportier glasses but with a slightly flatter fit like wayfarers.
We know there are a ton of sunglasses out there to choose from, so we've spent months — in some cases, years — wearing, testing, and comparing the ones in our lineup to help you find an ideal pair for your lifestyle and your budget. Now go out and soak up some vitamin D!
We evaluated over 40 models and purchased 15, which our...
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GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.