questionsdo you wear polarized sunglasses?


I wear Oakley Flak Jackets. I never ever thought I'd pay that kind of money for sunglasses but I've had them 6 years so they've paid for themselves. I didn't start with the polarized lens but later on I went ahead and added them because I was out in the sun a lot. I don't have eye cancer and I think (it could all be in my head [get it?]) that my eyes aren't as tired after a long day outside.

So, IMHO, yes. Polarized lens are worth the additional cost.


Depends on what you are doing. We are out on the water a lot, and nothing beats polarized for spotting bait fish, or avoiding manatee. We have had good luck with mid-priced brands (sorry, can't remember specifics) but lately have been very pleased with maui Jims.

I seem to remember buying some decent ones at Sams club, in the $30 range.


When driving - absolutely. The polarized lenses cut down on glare coming from shiny surfaces, like other cars. My favorite driving sunglasses are a pair of 30+ years old Serengeti Drivers with Corning lenses. I am very careful with them, since new glasses with the name are not the same quality so it might be a chore to find a replacement pair.

Otherwise, simple sunglasses for UV protection, since glare from a passing vehicle is not likely to lead to a fatal lawnmower accident while doing yard work. As for brand, they are mostly all made by Luxottica with just different frame styles for the different brands. For regular lenses, I go for cheap that fits and feels okay when worn for an hour or two.


I used to before I had to start wearing prescription glasses to drive. I have a lot more headaches now due to having to trade high quality shades for a prescription.


Always for driving. It's not that expensive if you don't care what brand. All I care about is effective UV protection and effective polarization. You can test how well the polarizing works by looking at an LCD screen like a digital wristwatch. You should be able to turn the watch in such a way that the screen is almost perfectly blacked out. The closer you get to perfect black, the better the polarizing filter.

Rain is really the most important time to have it - the glare that direct sunlight can make on a wet road can be terrible in certain conditions.


I live in Seattle. What is this "sun" that you speak of?


Yes, it makes a huge difference in certain scenarios like when driving or on the water. And in the scenarios where it is not specifically useful, its not exactly a hindrance either. So you can't go wrong. And in my experience the price jump is not very significant.

I got some relatively cheap Native ones off woot a while back after someone broke into my car and stole my RayBans. They have held up beautifully and don't even feel cheap. Polarized FTW.

@udavidj: I used to live in Vancouver, totally feel your pain. Rest assured, while the weather sucks there, every other aspect of the west coast is better than anywhere else in the world.


@nmchapma: If you're referring to UV rays causing cancer, then having polarized lens will do nothing. All it does is block horizontal rays of light. Fun fact: if vertical rays of light were also blocked, you wouldn't see anything.

Also, most cars (at least my 1998 ford) have UV filters already in their windows.... which explains why my photochromic prescription glasses never got dark while I was driving in my car... even with the windows down.

I regularly switch between polarized (my prescription) and non-polarized (Oakley, also Flak Jackets). Driving wise, it's hard to make out a difference. You have to really pay attention for it.

Being out on the water, though, definitely makes a difference.


@justagigilo85: Any sunglasses that have polarizing filters also tend to have good UV filtering. The real reason to have UV filtering is to prevent cataracts and not so much eye cancer.

There are more angles of light than just horizontal or vertical. The polarizing filter blocks all but one angle within a certain margin of error. If it's made to let through vertical rays of light, it will block horizontal light, 30 degree light, 20 degree light and every variation in between.


I have polizeration on both my WileyX perscription sunglasses (had them for 4 years now and love them) and i also just got a pair of new perscription oakly gassers for all the time wear with polerized transitions. (transations don't work in the car and don't get as dark as the sun glasses.) the polizeration is VERY noticable between the transitions I had b4 w/out it and these new ones.


Does anyone else see rainbows reflecting off windows while driving? I also have to rotate my head to see the clock on the dashboard, otherwise they rule. However, perhaps I have the shittiest pair known to man.

I've worn sunglasses religiously since I was about 13, I'm 35 now and can't even go into the sun without being completely blinded by it.


@omnichad: In an age of internet anonymity, thanks for clarifying without being a prick.

BTW, are you on one of the gawker sites? Your username sounds familiar.


@omnichad: As am I. I knew I recognized that username.


I'll ONLY buy polarized lenses, Prescription or otherwise.
Currently i have 2 pairs of Drivewear lenses ,1 prescription, 1 not (I wear contacts most of the time).
They are a polarized fork of transitions, that never become fully clear, but are optimized for varying light conditions you might face while behind the wheel. (respond to both Visible, and UV light)

(the lenses themselves cost in the neighborhood of $80)


I wear Smith sunglasses, pretty much exclusively. The optics are better than most and they fit me really well. A couple pair are polarized for kayak touring (very close to the water) and other glare-affected activities.
I remember years ago, Polaroid (who were the first to use the polarized lenses, I believe) had a little hang tag with a swatch of polarized lens in it. If you wore the shades and looked @ the swatch while rotating it, you could actually see the effect of the polarizing. It was amazingly effective and sold me on polarized lenses forever.


I wear prescription polarized Oakley's as well. Well worth the money. I am always out in the sun, and my eyes have always had a problem adjusting.


I used to have a pair, but I could never really tell the difference.


@zippy the pinhead: I saw one of those Polaroid things (or a similar one by Polaroid) on display at a store recently - it looked really old. Was a good way to show my wife what polarizing meant.


I use both, but I prefer polarized. In my car (mini cooper) the speedometer/radio has a curved piece of plastic on it and with polarized glasses I cant see how fast I am going or what I am listening to... Any time I am out or driving something else, I use polarized


I was introduced to polarized lenses for fishing, and they definitely make a difference. Also super helpful for cutting down glare on the road, as mentioned. I don't tend to buy especially nice ones: my threshold is about $20-30 from Bass Pro/Cabela's. Can usually find a decent pair to fit my giant head, look decent, and have amber lenses.

Amber lenses make the world look more happy.


I've owned Maui Jim Wailea polarized sunglasses for almost a decade now and just purchased a backup pair just in case...since they stopped producing them quite some time ago. They greatly reduce glare and manage to keep the sun out of your eyes without altering color too much or just "making everything darker." They are great for driving.