Info on gear, conditioning, and preparation for hiking/climbing. Gear Classifieds
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Postby PaliKona » Mon Jul 29, 2013 3:15 pm

I just lost my Spy Logans, and am looking to replace with a good pair of sunglasses. My biggest concern is protecting my eyes at altitude. Other than reducing glare, do polarized glasses protect your eyes more than other glasses that aren't polarized but have UVA and UVB protection? Are they worth the extra expense?
Any other advice you'd give on purchasing glasses?

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Re: Sunglasses

Postby wushock316 » Mon Jul 29, 2013 3:47 pm

Polarized filters block horizontal glare. Glare that is reflected off surfaces such as ice, water, snow,metal, asphalt, etc. So hiking with snow, absolutely want polar. Polarized is also awesome for driving, blocks all the glare you get off of car hoods/back windows.

I would recomend anything with a polycarb lense or trivex. Anything oakley with a OO blk or red iridium polarized(split jacket with interchangeable lenses). Any maui jim sports. Smith optics makes some good ones. Kaenon has awesome lenses(like high end spy) all are polarized.

The spy's use c-39 plastic, which technically if you took a falling rock or climbing equipment to the eye you could have that plus broken plastic in you eye.

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Re: Sunglasses

Postby yedi » Mon Jul 29, 2013 4:08 pm

PaliKona wrote:Any other advice you'd give on purchasing glasses?

I have a couple of friends that swear by Julbo's polarized photochromic Camel lenses. They use their glasses for everything from general knocking around on the weekend to glacier travel. I have a pair of Smith Chambers that I really like for everything except extended time on snow and glacier travel (just not dark enough). For that, I have a pair of Julbo Explorers with their standard Spectron 4 lenses. If I had it to do over again, I'd get something with the Camel lenses to avoid having to deal with multiple pairs of glasses.

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Re: Sunglasses

Postby PaliKona » Mon Jul 29, 2013 8:46 pm

I'm not sure i can really afford most polarized lenses...other than glare reduction, are you losing out on eye protection if one goes cheaper? FWIW, I'm not worried about glasses for snow travel.

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Re: Sunglasses

Postby winmag4582001 » Mon Jul 29, 2013 8:59 pm

I use the Native VIM sunglasses for snow and bright days. They are polarized, but I'm not sure that polarizing adds protection or just clarity. I also have a pair of Smith non-polarized sport glasses that are dark and light weight.
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Re: Sunglasses

Postby Liquid Shadow » Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:47 pm

Yeah I don't think polarization is absolutely necessary. For the past season my main 14er shades are a pair of Ryders Eyebolt cycling glasses. Got them off of SAC for $6! (retails for $40). Never had any problems with my eyes, even on snow (climbed a couloir earlier this season in them).

But now I have a pair of Native Eyewear Frisco coming in the mail, also off of SAC. Polarized and super light weight. Very much looking forward to using them as my main backcountry sunglasses. :mrgreen:

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Re: Sunglasses

Postby Kojones » Tue Jul 30, 2013 5:43 am

I'm the guy you see out there wearing Julbo Sherpa Glacier Glasses, even in the summer. With how bright it is up there even without snow, these do the trick to really reduce the overall brightness of the sun on the rocks. While the blinders aren't always necessary for a climb, they are nice to have when the Colorado sun comes out to play up there.

For regular hikes, I'll usually just go with my Tifosi Tyrant sun glasses.

Both are polarized which helps with the glare. You also need UV protection to protect your eyes. I'm not sure if there is a polarized pair that doesn't have UV protection, but I'm sure there some with UV and not polarized.

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Re: Sunglasses

Postby Jay521 » Tue Jul 30, 2013 7:29 am

Kojones wrote:I'm the guy you see out there wearing Julbo Sherpa Glacier Glasses, even in the summer. With how bright it is up there even without snow, these do the trick to really reduce the overall brightness of the sun on the rocks. While the blinders aren't always necessary for a climb, they are nice to have when the Colorado sun comes out to play up there.

I also wear Julbo Glacier Glasses (pictured in my avatar). I've had the same pair for probably 25 years. They aren't polarized which is fine with me. They also are tinted brown which to me seems better for seeing undulations in the snow - especially in poorer light.
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Re: Sunglasses

Postby 3rdGenNative » Tue Jul 30, 2013 10:23 am

+1 for Native Eyewear. They're affordable, light weight, 100% UVA/UVB, available with polarized lenses. Many come with additional lenses.
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Re: Sunglasses

Postby mtree » Tue Jul 30, 2013 10:31 am

Polarized lenses give zero extra protection from UV. I'm not going to get into the science of polarized light, but its a fact.

I've posted info on UV protection and sunglasses in the past. Basically, a good pair of sunglasses with decent protection from the sides/bottom will suffice. Color or tint has nothing to do with UV protection either. In fact, a darker tint can be worse because it dilates your pupils allowing MORE UV penetration. No. You don't have to spend $200 to get great protection. A $10 pair can be just fine. I've climbed in full snow all day with a pair purchased at a Cinco de Mayo kiosk. I think I paid $10 or $12. They were comfy. The downside...I dropped them in a parking lot and they broke. You get what you pay for!

Although expensive name-brand sunglasses are great, it's all over-hyped marketing. And boy o boy they've done a great job of it. If you were going to spend a week on snowpack I'd consider the full side protection of glacier glasses. Otherwise, get whatever's within your budget. Just don't go without! That's my lowdown. Enjoy!
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Re: Sunglasses

Postby dsunwall » Tue Jul 30, 2013 12:57 pm

one thing to consider when going polarized.
Polarized lenses reduce the ability to distinguish between the snow & the ice
This is why polarized glasses are generally not recommended for snow climbs.

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Re: Sunglasses

Postby Jeff Valliere » Tue Jul 30, 2013 1:17 pm

I have always been a fan of Oakley and Rudy Project and typically lean toward a darker lens with a mirror coating.

I just read this recent review on Bliz sunglasses:

They look like a good balance of performance and affordability.


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