After enduring months of staying at home, the thought of heading out to go on new adventures sounds promising. Certainly, we could all use a day or two at the trails, at the drop zone, or to wherever it is that keeps our adrenaline rushing. And now we’re slowly rediscovering the wonders that the great outdoors has to offer, it’s time to get our gears at the ready and plan our next adventure.
But before you do, make sure you’re not forgetting one of the most important pieces of gear to keep your eyes protected and your vision sharp: your eyewear. Keep in mind, though, that bringing your eyewear along is more than just stowing your favorite pair of sunglasses or goggles in your pack.
Knowing the ideal type of eyewear based on your outdoor activities is also essential.
Choosing Your Sunglasses
When purchasing a pair of sunglasses for your next adventure, remember that not only do you need to consider the UV protection, but you also need to keep in mind these factors:
- Price: You could buy the most expensive and the most luxurious sunglasses, but they won’t be effective if they don’t come with sun protection out of the box.
- Size: When choosing the best sunglasses for your outdoor activities, you should factor in the size of the lenses. They should be big enough to cover your eyes to prevent the sun’s rays or other elements from seeping through. Consider wearing oversized or wrap-around sunglasses if you want to extend the protection on the sides of your eyes.
- Impact Protection: No lenses are truly indestructible but some materials provide more protection from impact than others. Polycarbonate lenses, for example, are ideal since they are much more durable than lenses that are made of glass. They are the better choice when playing sports or doing any physically-demanding activities. Always check if the polycarbonate lenses on your sunglasses come with scratch-resistant coating.
- Lens color: When it comes to lens colors, dark doesn’t necessarily mean more sun protection as opposed to lighter-colored lenses. It’s actually the label that counts. However, when you are looking for protection against high-energy visible light (HEV) or what we call blue-light spectrums, this is where you need to be more mindful of the lens colors.
When it comes to choosing the right colored lenses, always consider your lifestyle, your daily, and recreational activities, and how you plan to use your sunglasses. For starters, you can use the guide below to help you make the right selection on your next purchase:
- Grey: Grey is one of the most ideal fishing sunglasses since they reduce glare especially when on the water. It’s also the most ideal color to shield against bright light. If you’re planning to go out on overcast or even sunny days, grey-colored lenses provide anti-fatigue benefits that make them ideal for general use.
- Yellow, gold, and orange: Yellow, gold, and orange-colored lenses are ideal for when you want to go out in moderate to low-light conditions. As they provide excellent depth perception, these colors work great for both indoor and outdoor sports. When you wear sunglasses with these lens colors, you will also see objects much more clearly, making your surroundings brighter and sharper. These are also ideal for blocking blue light. However, yellow, gold, and orange-colored lenses can also distort color.
- Green: Green-colored lenses work by filtering out blue light. It’s also the most ideal choice when you want to reduce glare and eye strain in brighter sunlight. Because of this, these lenses are the go-to for most tennis and golf players.
- Red and rose: Choose sunglasses with red or rose-colored lenses if you’re after enhanced detail and depth of field. Not only do these lenses improve your driving visibility, but they are also great to wear when you’re skiing or doing other sports activities.
- Blue: For snowy weather, blue lenses help you to discern contours around objects more clearly while protecting your eyes from the reflective qualities of snow. Wearing blue-tinted lenses is ideal in foggy and misty conditions.
- Amber and brown: Amber or brown-tinted lenses provide increased depth perception. Since these lenses include red hues, they also block out blue light much like blue-colored lenses while reducing glare. Amber or brown lenses are ideal for sports where you need to make out small objects at a distance, such as golf or baseball.
Sunglasses with polarized lenses are ideal for filtering glare from harsh lighting. However, polarized sunglasses don’t mean instant protection from the sun’s harmful rays. What they do is offer exceptional visual clarity and increased contrast. Before getting a pair of polarized sunglasses, make sure they are labeled with 100% UVA and UVB protection.
Here at Kroop’s, we make sure that all our polarized sunglasses are equipped with sun protection while being lightweight, comfortable, and durable when worn. And since they are made with polycarbonate lenses, they are made to be more impact-resistant than glass lenses - making them the ultimate performance sunglasses especially when you’re playing high-adrenaline sports.
When to Wear Polarized Sunglasses
Here are the activities where it’s ideal to wear polarized sunglasses:
- Water-related activities: If you like spending long periods in a boat, polarized sunglasses are the perfect solution as they help to block off the glare from the water. Plus, they are also the best fishing sunglasses since they also help you to see through the surface below, which can be particularly useful when you’re sight fishing. Other water-related activities where you can use polarized sunglasses are kayaking, whitewater rafting, jet skiing, wakeboarding, paddleboarding, and surfing.
- Hiking and Leisurely Walk: When you’re hiking on a bright sunny day, you want to shield your eyes from the sun without sacrificing your depth, contrast, and color perception. Use polarized sunglasses for when you’re hiking, taking a leisurely walk at the park, or when you are running some quick errands outdoors.
- Driving: Harmful UV rays can still do their damage even when you’re inside a vehicle. When you’re driving, you still need sun protection for your eyes since most of the ultraviolet rays penetrate your car’s windshield. Polarized sunglasses can help you deal with glare from reflective surfaces especially when it’s intensely bright outside. However, never wear polarized sunglasses - or any sunglasses at all, for that matter - when driving at night as they restrict your visibility in low-light conditions.
If you find yourself regularly interchanging your time outdoors and indoors, you’ll find that it can be annoying to change from one pair to another. This is where sunglasses with photochromic lenses come in handy. These sunglasses work by transitioning from light to dark in as fast as 30 seconds.
When to Wear Photochromic Sunglasses
Here are the activities where it’s ideal to wear photochromic sunglasses:
- Spending time indoors and outdoors interchangeably: When you are dealing with photophobia, wearing photochromic sunglasses is beneficial. It’s because that the moment you step outdoors where the lighting conditions are significantly different from the inside, your eyes would be able to adjust without any discomfort.
There are times when sunglasses won’t just cut it - especially if you’re doing intensive activities where your sunglasses might fall off from your face. This is where a pair of reliable, high-quality goggles comes into play.
When to Wear Goggles
Here are the activities where it’s ideal to wear goggles:
- Skydiving: While you can wear sunglasses when skydiving, the wind can get on your face ultimately affecting your vision. Skydiving goggles will not only give you the 360-degree eye protection you need before jumping off the plane and while on a freefall, but they will help you see everything around you more clearly without squinting.
- Cycling: Riding on steep and challenging trails can be intense. And since you are relying on visual acuity to traverse through terrains and obstacles, you need eyewear that helps you protect from dirt, dust, debris, wind, and the sun while being secure on your face. Sunglasses can do a great job especially if you use the wrap-around ones. When you’re going cycling, it is always better to go with cycling goggles instead as they keep your eyes more protected and they also stay on better.
- Winter sports: If you’re a fan of winter sports such as snowboarding or skiing, consider getting goggles that are specially designed for winter sports. These are much more comfortable than your standard goggles, so you can wear them all day without the headache after spending most of your time in the snow.
- Other activities: Wear goggles for other outdoor activities where dirt and wind could hit your face such as doing motorsports and horse racing.
Choosing Your Goggles
The market is ripe with endless options when it comes to goggles. Nowadays, you have the luxury to choose the color and design of your choice. Although we want our goggles to be aesthetically pleasing and even stylish when you wear them, you also have to consider these factors:
- Comfort: Your goggles should be comfortable enough so you can wear them for long hours or even all day without the discomfort. Our goggles, for instance, are made of lightweight materials while being durable enough to withstand impact.
- Fit: The strap on your goggles should be able to fit well over or under helmets. In instances like this, look for goggles that come with an adjustable strap.
- Interchangeable lenses: Different types of outdoor activities need different lens tint colors - especially if you take lighting conditions into account. Goggles with lenses that you can easily swap depending on the condition are perfect instead of having to buy another pair.
- Flexibility: We all have different face shapes and sizes. It can be frustrating to finally have found the perfect pair only to realize that it doesn’t fit. Flexible goggles conform to any face shape and size very well without the hassle of it falling over.
Protecting your eyes might seem easy in context. If you think about it, you just have to check if the sunglasses or goggles you’re buying or bringing along have 100% UV protection, right? Yes and no. Sure, sun protection is important - crucial, even - but you also have to keep in mind that your eyewear should also be ideal for the kind of activity that you’re doing outdoors.
If you’re looking to spend time in the water or in areas where glare could be an issue, wear polarized sunglasses. If you’re regularly spending time indoors and outdoors, photochromic sunglasses would be the best option as you don’t have to worry about bringing along a second pair with you.
For activities that will require you to move a lot, wear goggles. Not only they are comfortable, but they are also much more secure and unlikely to fall off.