Mountain biking is a sport that requires long hours on the trails and hills, with tons of debris flying around and dirt getting in the way of your vision. In order to counter these unpleasant features of mountain biking, you need specialized sunglasses that can make your rides better and keep your vision clear.
When you set out in the market to look for these sunglasses, you will encounter a plethora of options and features that you can pick from. You will have polarized lenses and anti-fog models, and hundreds of cool features depending on how much you are willing to spend.
Contrary to popular belief, the use of sunglasses is not limited to protection against the sun’s harmful UV rays. The use of sunglasses includes protection from trail debris like rocks and sticks as well as dust. Moreover, they can add to the aesthetic image of you on the mountain bike.
With all the essential considerations in mind, we have come up with a list of the top mountain bike sunglasses that can make your ride even better.
Best All-Rounder Mountain Bike Sunglasses
Smith Attack Max
Number of Lens: 2
Lens: Chromapop Red Mirror
Visible Light Transmission (VLT): Chromapop Red Mirror: 15% VLT, Contrast Rose: 48% VLT
Lens Material: Plastic (carbonic)
Protective Coatings: Hydroleophobic coating
- Good wind protection
- Excellent optics
- 2 lenses
- Easy to change lenses
- Extremely comfortable
- Aesthetic storage case
- Hard to put on
Smith Attack Max is an overall favorite among the mountain bike sunglasses. Due to its impressively versatile performance, it is one of the best you can find in the market. The pair of sunglasses is phenomenal when it comes to lenses. They have two Chromapop lenses, one rose and one mirrored. Due to this dual-lens system, the sunglasses work in all light conditions.
Since the design is frameless, the open frame model increases the breathability and keeps the lens from fogging. It comes with a magnetic arm attachment system which allows you to easily swap the lenses whenever you want. As far as the optics are concerned, the spherical Chromapop lenses win the competition even there.
The fit is perfect and wraps around the face to give it full coverage. The fitting is supported by hydrophilic megol rubber contact points at the nose and temples. Smith Attack Max provides excellent wind protection due to its full coverage.
The only concern with Smith Attack Max is its hefty price tag, but if you have an adequate budget, you could not find a better pair of sunglasses.
Best Anti-Fog Mountain Bike Sunglasses
Oakley Flight Jacket
Number of Lens: 1
Lens: Prizm road
Visible Light Transmission (VLT): 20%
Lens Material: Plastic (Plutonite polycarbonate)
Protective Coatings: Iridium coating
- Excellent optical clarity
- Good eye protection
- It comes with a storage case
- Advancer nose pad
- Only one lens is included
Oakley Flight Jacket is an easy win for all your mountain biking needs,, whether it is casual cycling or trail racing. The design includes a spherical Prism Road lens that provides excellent optical clarity owing to its distortion-free features. With a 20% VLT and complete protection from UV radiations, what more can one ask for?
The sunglasses offer superior fit goes around your head to provide full coverage. This also adds to the protection it provides to the eyes from dust and debris on the road. The good quality frame of the glasses adds to the comfort as well as the adjustability due to its adjustable length arms to make biking easier for those who wear cycling helmets.
One of the unique features includes an advancer nose pad that allows you to move the glasses away from the face when things heat up to increase airflow and manage the sweat and fog.
The only plausible drawback of the Oakley Flight Jacket is its single lens.
Best Budget Mountain Bike Sunglasses
Fit: Large-Extra Large
Number of Lens: 3
Lens: Smoke, Clear, AC red
Visible Light Transmission (VLT): N/A
Lens Material: Plastic (Polycarbonate)
Protective Coatings: None
- Low priced
- Includes three versatile lenses
- Remarkable optics
- Good eye protection from debris and dust
- Hard to swap lens
- It does not protect well from the fog
When it comes to the price to protection ratio in mountain bike sunglasses, Tifosi Sledge leaves everyone behind in the competition. The best thing about this model is the versatile range of quality lenses it includes. These lenses are what makes this pair of sunglasses viable in any light condition. From the brightest to the darkest spectrum, Tifosi Sledge excelled in all kinds of conditions.
All of these lenses provided excellent optics with sharp, distortion-free clarity and complete protection from UV radiations. The frame of the sunglasses proved to be sturdy with a good fit and full coverage that protects you from dust and debris. In terms of comfort, the soft rubber contact points ensure comfortable long-term wear.
The only downside of Tifosi Sledge is its inability to keep the glasses from fogging and the relative difficulty in swapping the lens.
Best Wind Protection Mountain Bike Sunglasses
Number of Lens: 2
Visible Light Transmission (VLT): Yellow – 68%, Smoke – 12%
Lens Material: Plastic (Polycarbonate)
Protective Coatings: Hydrolio coating
- Provides massive face coverage and protection
- Includes 2 lenses
- Good optics
- Comfortable and snug
- Good fit
- The fit is often too large for some people
- On smaller faces, it has shown instability
If you are looking for sunglasses that walks like goggles, talks like goggles, but aren’t goggles? 100% Glendale is the right pick for you! These mountain bike sunglasses are the closest to goggles in terms of look and performance.
100% Glendale provides full-face coverage and wind protection to the eyes. The lens measuring 165mm wide and 65 mm tall provides high-quality, sharp optics. The material of the lens which is plastic polycarbonate,, in protects the eyes and keeps you safe from potential impact when you are biking.
The sunglasses frame is made up of Grilamid thermoplastic which wraps around the head to provide full coverage from dust, debris, and wind disturbances. It comes with air scoops that keep the glasses from fogging up in humid conditions.
The only problem with 100% Glendale is its lack of adjustability for smaller faces.
Best Performance Mountain Bike Sunglasses
Number of Lens: 1
Lens: Cold Brown/Silver Mirror
Visible Light Transmission (VLT): 22%
Lens Material: Nylon
Protective Coatings: Ripel coating
- Excellent optics
- The tint of the lens is versatile
- Durable lens
- Great all-rounder performance
- Includes only one lens
POC Aspire is an all-rounder in terms of performance and comes second to no one. This model offers a phenomenal lens with high quality and great durability. The tint of the lens is well-rounded and versatile and offers great optical clarity.
The material of the lens is not far along in terms of quality as it incorporates the durable Grilamid plastic and hydrophilic rubber with a massive lens that wraps around the face to provide excellent coverage. POC Aspire offers a comfortable set of sunglasses that has a great quality frame and maximum coverage.
The prominent issues we had with POC Aspire were related to its heavyweight that tends to strain the face and a single lens.
Key Considerations For Buying Mountain Bike Sunglasses
One of the first things that you need to consider when buying mountain bike sunglasses is the quality of the lens of the sunglasses. Since mountain bike sunglasses are designed to utilize during high-speed outdoor activities such as road cycling or mountain biking, it is important for the specifications to have high-quality optical clarity. A sharp and clear optics that prevents distortion and provides UV protection from the sun and debris/dust protection from the trails.
The specifications that judge lens quality include optical quality, UV protection, Visible Light Transmission (VLT), and durability. Among our selected models, the ones ranging in 20% VLT spectrum get the best of both worlds in terms of adequate protection and variable light conditions.
Fit and Comfort
Since mountain biking is a strenuous activity that requires long hours on the road or trail, it is crucial that you are comfortable in your chosen set of sunglasses. A high-quality lens is of no use if you cannot feel comfortable while wearing it and have a headache every few minutes. The fit of the glasses should be good enough to cover your face and stable enough to not budge in high-speed biking. Before buying mountain bike sunglasses, you should check their frame material, adjustability, and their feel on your face.
The new trend in mountain bike sunglasses has been narrowed down to increasing sizes to improve coverage. Due to this, the new sunglasses in the market have started to resemble goggles such as the 100% Glendale. The reason full-coverage sunglasses are so popular among bikers is that it offers superior protection from the sun and debris, as well as the potential impact from rocks, branches, bugs, and anything else in the air.
To check the coverage of the sunglasses, you need to examine the size of the lenses, how snugly they wrap around your face, the construction and material of the lenses, and how well they performance when used at high speeds.
The durability of the frame of sunglasses is an important feature. Every garment and accessory you own and use while biking should be able to handle the toll of this sport. It is crucial that the frames of your sunglasses stand the test of time and impact. In order to assess the durability of the frame, test the construction of the frame by putting it through significant stress.
You can also test the adjustability and the ease with which you can swap the lens to figure out how good of a quality it possesses.
Your sunglasses of choice should have specific contact points like the nose and the point behind your ears. In this regard, you can opt for an advancer nose pad like the one Oakley Flight Jacket has, with a lot of adjustability for smaller faces. These contact points are important to consider as it helps the glasses stay in place on your face. The contact holders should have enough tension to hold the glasses in place without giving you a headache.
Polarization of lenses includes a specially designed coating on the lenses that reduces glare. Some sunglasses can offer this additional feature for greater prices.
The glasses we include in this article are distributed at a wide range of prices. The sunglasses that lie on the expensive side of the spectrum are made up of high-quality materials and provides ultimate protection to the eyes. Among these high-priced but great quality sunglasses, we have Smith Attack Max and Oakley Flight Jacket. On the lower-priced spectrum, we compromise a little on lens quality but otherwise excellent performance such as that of Tifosi Sledge.
Picking a pair of mountain bike sunglasses is a task that requires keeping a lot of considerations in mind, especially since these sunglasses are not exactly cheap. There will be a wide range of prices offering varying degrees of comfort, fit, lens quality, frame adjustability, and other additional features. What you need to figure out is the use of the sunglasses you are getting and what your priority in terms of specifications is.
Whether it’s an all-rounder like Smith Attack Max or one for specific jobs like Oakley Flight Jacket and 100% Glendale, you can find sunglasses for every job. There is no shame in trying on different brands and models before you can find the one that works for you.
In the end, remember that among the plethora of sunglasses, there is always one that fits your needs and pockets. All you have to do is dig a little deep, do a little research, and follow our article for your ideal sunglass shopping.