Freedom is shooting down an open road without a destination to feel the power of the engine and the wind breathing life into your soul, as you shift gears and zoom toward the horizon. Whether you drive a gleaming Porsche 911 or a restored muscle car, quality chemistry with your vehicle is what makes road trips worthwhile. To help you further enjoy the liberating feeling of being on the open road inside your mean machine, driving sunglasses are a must-have piece of gear.
Besides bumping up your coolness level a few notches, driving sunglasses are beneficial for optimal clarity when you’re zipping to your next destination. A quality made pair of shades will shield your eyes from the blazing sun and keep you from squinting throughout your journey. However, finding a pair of shades that blend style and performance perfectly for spending some quality time behind the wheel can be a chore. To save you some time scouring the web, we’ve done the heavy lifting for you. Our list of the best driving sunglasses on the market contains a variety of sun-blockers that will keep you looking fresh while upgrading your vision as you push the pedal to the metal.
Shades For The Road
Features To Look For
All sunglasses aren’t made equal, so there are shades out there that work better when you’re driving when compared to others. Before you jump into the list of stellar shades, we’ll go over some key points that will help you understand what makes an ideal pair of driving sunglasses. Above all else, the slick sunglasses you choose should feel comfortable on your face. If they don’t, move on to the next option. According to the Automobile Association, driving sunglasses should have anywhere between 18 to 43% light transmission to be considered safe, so shoot for somewhere within that range. Lastly, you want to go for sunglasses with polarized lenses, as they reduce glare, making a significant difference in clarity on the road when compared to standard shades. We kept these factors in mind while compiling this list, so dive right in.
Warby Parker Madox
Inspired by bold ‘70s style, Warby Parker’s Madox shades go well with any attire you choose for the day. Their oversized fit and nearly-flat brow-line ensure they fit comfortably on your face and give you plenty of coverage from light while you drive into the sunset. And they have polarized lenses for excellent clarity, reducing distractions on the road.
American Optical Original Pilot Sunglasses
These shades have been favored by U.S. military pilots ever since they made their debut over five decades ago, and they’ve been featured in prominent films, such as Taxi Driver. Produced in 52 mm, 55 mm, or 57 mm, you can choose the right size for your face shape. Get them with the optional polarized lenses and protect your eyes while you drive to your destination.
Raen’s Pierce model has a masculine square frame that provides you with a bold look while it protects your eyes from the harmful rays of the sun. They feature CR-39 lenses by Carl Zeiss Vision, five-barrel hinges with an embedded wire core in each temple for comfort, and handmade Zyl acetate frames with a polished finish. Don’t be afraid to put the top down with these sun-blockers on.
Ray-Ban RB3025 Aviator Sunglasses
This list wouldn’t be complete without Ray-Ban Aviators, as they are one of the go-to driving sunglasses for any gear-head. Originally built for U.S. aviators in 1937, these shades are made for anyone driving a mean machine on the land, sea, or in the air. The iconic shades feature G-15 polarized lenses for immense clarity and a silhouette that provides plenty of coverage, allowing you to focus on getting to your destination.
These Persol shades blend a straight top with curved bottoms nicely and feature polarized green lenses, so you can navigate behind the wheel easily. The sturdy acetate frames and Meflecto technology ensure that you can wear these sun-blockers for hours on long drives without feeling any agonizing pressure on your temples. Pair them with a leather jacket, and invest in a classic Dodge Charger to complement the rebellious look.
With rounded square lenses for extra coverage, these driving sunglasses ooze with style. They protect your eyes from harmful UVA/UVB rays and provide you with excellent clarity thanks to their polarized G-15 lenses. If you’re going for that Hollywood movie look while you’re behind the wheel, these shades will complete your attire nicely.
Oakley Holbrook Mix 9
Boasting PRIZM black polarized lenses, Oakley’s Holbrook Mix 9 will maximize contrast and enhance visibility. The shades also utilize Oakley HDPolarized technology to filter out glare for a precise view of what’s in front of you. These sunglasses are ideal for driving around in bright light during the summer days where there are little to no clouds cluttering the blue sky.
Persol 714SM Steve McQueen
Featured in the classic Thomas Crown Affair, these Persol sunglasses worn by the “King of Cool” Steve McQueen are legendary. With a durable acetate frame and Meflecto technology to relieve stress on your temples, these shades will fit perfectly on your face while you handle the wheel. And they have polarized blue gradient lenses to dilute glare while you scan the road ahead.
Randolph Cobalt Aviator
Inspired by a military silhouette, Randolph’s Cobalt Aviators are sturdy sun shields that will preserve the functionality of your eyes while keeping you stylish. They feature SkyTec polarized lenses to filter out glare for optimal vision and bayonet temples that help you slip them on with ease. And you can choose between an opulent 23K gold finish or a no-nonsense matte chrome finish.
Garrett Leight Convoy Sun
Garrett Leight’s Convoy Sun shades have an oversized design to keep your eyes protected while you get to know the roads of America better. These metal sunglasses have an angular shape inspired by early ‘80s style, which are paired with semi-flat CR30 lenses and a crystal brow bar. Slip them on and answer the call of the open road.
Selima Optique Money 2 Aviator
Worn by Ryan Gosling in the incredible and hyper-stylized film Drive, these shades are dripping cool. Handmade in France, they have an aviator silhouette and 54 mm lenses for plenty of coverage when you’re chasing a destination or have no particular direction at all. Whether you’re a stunt, getaway, or standard driver, these shades should do the trick.
Vuarnet Swing 1612
These Elegant Vuarnet sunglasses are ultralight, yet highly durable, thanks to their titanium construction. They’re perfectly balanced, so they’ll sit comfortably on your face, and feature blue polarized lenses for extreme clarity. These driving sunglasses will suit you well on the road whether you’re taking a short trip or shooting across the country on an adventure.
Revo The Moonwalker Zero G
Revo’s lightweight limited edition Moonwalker Zero G driving sunglasses are inspired by NASA heritage. Built to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the legendary lunar landing, these sunglasses are a reissue of the original worn by astronaut Pete Conrad who was the third man on the moon. They feature high-contrast polarized Serilium+ lenses that are glare reducing and impact-resistant.
Dita Flight .004 Polarized
Taking inspiration from the National Championship Air Races, Dita’s Flight .004 shades are built for those who have a need for speed, whether it’s in the air or on the road. They’re constructed from thin but tough titanium, which is also featured on the brow bar, nose pads, and temple tips. And they feature lenses with an anti-reflective coating that blocks 100% UVA and UVB rays.
Salt Optics Aether Explorer
With the touring motorcyclist in mind, Sal Optics created the Aether Explorer driving sunglasses, which was developed with the help of Aether Apparel. Made in Japan, they feature a rugged titanium construction and 56 mm Polarized PU black lenses for ample coverage. If you’re zooming down the road in a two-wheeler, these driving sunglasses are worth your consideration.
How To Clean Your Sunglasses
A quality pair of driving sunglasses usually comes with a hefty price tag. Check out our comprehensive guide on how to clean your sunglasses and keep them looking brand new.