The Best Sunglasses for Travel

The Best Sunglasses for Travel

Equal parts super-glam and super practical, sunglasses are an on-the-road essential and a jet-lagged traveler’s best friend. The perfect pair will be durable, adorable, and block harmful UV rays. Polarized lenses are ideal for winter or water sports because they reduce glare, while certain tints fare better in other conditions (gray/black is a great choice for everyday use). The bottom line: Frames should fit your face and your style so they pair easily with all the outfits you’re planning to pack.

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Ultra-Glam Oversized Sunglasses: Warby Parker

Optometrist agree that oversized glasses offer more UV protection as they cover more real estate on your face. And style experts agree that they make you look like a friggin’ movie star. These Aubrey shades are clearly channeling a “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” vibe, with a jumbo rectangular lens and a solid black frame. And they deliver on that protectiveness, too, blocking 100% of UVA and UVB rays. Throw a pair on, and practice saying, “No autographs, please!”

$95 at Amazon

Discreet Foldable Sunglasses: Ray-Ban

Have foldable sunglasses, will travel. Ray-Ban’s iconic Wayfarer silhouette gets a packing-friendly update with just a few sleek hinges (at the temples and the bridge), allowing this pair to fold-up to half the size of your standard sunnies. These glasses are available in a range of colors, like classic black and tortoiseshell, as well as with a variety of lens tints, including a glare-reducing polarized option.

$153 at Sunglass Hut

Quality Budget Sunglasses: Merry’s

When you wanna rock a Wayfarer frame for way less money, Merry’s is a great bet. These unisex sunglasses offer a selection of lens finishes that range from standard black to mirror blue. And more than 2,500 Amazon reviewers were impressed with the price and quality, giving these affordable shades 4.3/5 stars. Soft silicone at the nose and temples means they don’t slip off, and the frame looks good on just about every face shape.

$12 at Amazon

Low-Key Luxury Sunglasses: Gucci

While Gucci isn’t always known for its subtly—this is the brand that makes iridescent logoed jogging pants, after all—these sunglasses are tastefully understated. Their trendy circular frames are sized to offer great coverage without overwhelming your face, and details like striped temples with the iconic G logo earn it serious style points. Tucked behind the frames are no-slip nose pads so the glasses stay in place, and these shades are available in a variety of colors like black, gray, and classic tortoiseshell. 

$375 at Nordstrom

Glare-Free Polarized Sunglasses: Maui Jim

Squinting all the time isn’t a cute look, but these shades most definitely are. Their “PolarizedPlus2 Lenses” are scratch-resistant, offer blue-light and UV protection, and a polarized finish to reduce glare—making them ideal for water or winter vacations. Yes, the price tag is a bit high, but their 200-plus reviews on Amazon serving up a 4.8/5 approval rating prove they’re a worthy investment.

$194 at Amazon

Flirty Cat-Eye Sunglasses: J.Crew

With a frame that’s 50 percent mid-century malt shop and 50 percent millennial influencer, these cat-eye sunnies are 100 percent adorable. J.Crew’s specs give full coverage with broad ear pieces that block out any sun trying to peek around the side. Pick tried-and-true black or tortoiseshell, or go for a permanent party-girl look with silver glitter.

$59 at J.Crew

Dependable Sporty Sunglasses: Costa Del Mar

Those spindly John Lennon shades might look nice by the pool—but can they stand up to a 10-mile trail run? Costa Del Mar’s can, and they have straightforward, sporty style on lockdown. These sunglasses offer a durable, lightweight, wrap-around frame that fully protects the eyes. Glare-reducing polarized lenses are ideal for outdoor sports in sunny weather, too. (Paddleboarding, anyone?) And “Hydrolite” pads at the nose and temples help to prevent slippage, even when you’re sweating buckets.

$120 at Amazon

Instagram-Worthy Sunglasses: Warby Parker

For the traveler that’s nailed the perfect selfie angle, these shades provide serious fashion cred. Circular lenses get a little winged flair, for a retro touch, but the metallic bridge and earpieces keep things completely up-to-date. Pick between an inky black with gray lenses or a muted burgundy red. Either will provide flair to your Instagram vacation pics, #nofilter.

$145 at Warby Parker

Super Durable Sunglasses: Distil Union

This one’s for all the butterfingers out there. If your sunglasses have met with an accident one too many times, consider these. Their rubbery, lightweight frames can bend without cracking, while the scratch- and impact-resistant polarized lenses standup to everyday abuse. Slip these guys into your pocket, over your collar, or on the edge of your bag, and they stay put thanks to ingenious magnets in their temples. And with 95% five-star reviews on Amazon, wearers almost universally agree that they live up to the hype.

$64 at Amazon
Under Armour Men's Getaway Sunglasses

Classic Aviator Sunglasses: Under Armor

For a dose of “Top Gun” cool, aviators can’t be beat. This pair from Under Armor earn top marks for their cool looks and secretly sporty design. Adjustable, no-slip nose pads and rubber temple tips mean these suckers will stay put. And don’t let the name fool you—these sunglasses are unisex and available in a range of frame colors and tints. For a feminine twist, we love the rose gold frames with pink-mirror lenses.

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