Choosing the best mountaineering sunglasses for you

Lensmart 2022-05-23 11:08:57

If your passion lies in hiking and the outdoors, you can soak in the sights better with a trusty pair of mountaineering sunglasses. This eyewear allows you to protect your eyes against the harsh conditions of high-altitude places. It's arguably the best shield for your eyes when braving unpredictable weather and tiny particles floating in the air while you're out on the adventure.

This guide goes over the basics of mountaineering specs and how you can select the best pair that suits you.

Mountaineering sunglasses

What are mountaineering sunglasses?

Mountain climbing sunglasses are a sporty type of eyewear made specifically for outdoor use. They are typically darker than the regular driving glasses to block out excessive light and glare due to high elevation. Some designs have wraparound or side shields for extra protection around the eyes.

Whether you are an amateur mountaineer or a seasoned one, it's always a good idea to always bring a pair of these sunglasses with you. These specs are customizable for people who need to wear prescription eyeglasses. They also come in different designs, colors, sizes, and lens features, ensuring that you can choose what fits you best.

Hiking on snowy mountainous areas is extra difficult, but there's a special type of mountaineering eyewear called glacier glasses, which blocks out the sun rays fully. Light hitting the snowfields can cause snow blindness, and in extreme cases, permanent blindness.

Do climbers need mountaineering glasses?

You cannot step outside your door without bringing a pair of mountain climbing sunglasses if you're going on a steep hike. It's an obvious choice for outdoor enthusiasts, especially those who want to explore high-up places. These glasses are a non-negotiable accessory that you should always have with you.

High-mountain sports expose you to several risks to your health and safety. Solar radiation is one such hazard that you should be wary of. UVB rays intensify the higher you are above sea level. Additionally, the presence of snow can cause an increased reflection of light, which exposes you to about 80-90% of solar radiation compared to the typical 20% on non-snowy grounds.

When you fail to protect your eyes while hiking, you are more likely to sustain eye damage and disorders. These conditions include:

1. Photokeratitis. Snow blindness is characterized by pain similar to a sunburn. The symptoms can last for a few hours to several days.

2. Erythropsia. A condition commonly called a redout that causes objects you're looking at to appear red and could lead to retinal damage.

3. White-out syndrome. Arctic explorers often suffer from this disorder caused by exposure to a snow-clad environment over extended periods.

4. Corneal frostbite. Severely cold weather can cause frostbite not only to extremities but also to the cornea of the eyes. Some symptoms include redness, pain, and light sensitivity.

How to choose the right mountaineering sunglasses?

1. Visible Light Transmission or VLT

The glasses' capability to block out light is an essential component of mountaineering sunglasses. VLT or visible light transmission is the measurement for this feature. Experts recommend category 3 with 18-8% lenses for mixed conditions, and category 4 with <8% VLT for a sunny day out on glaciers.

2. Material

Polycarbonate lenses are ideal for this type of eyewear since it is durable. For frames, you can also consider polycarbonate material since it is more lightweight. You can also opt for metal frames that bend instead of break when sat on or smashed. However, they can sit heavily on your face.

3. Coverage

The sun's rays can reflect from below and on the sides of your sunglasses if you're hiking on snow. Therefore, you should wear glasses that provide great coverage against light and UV rays. Some popular features of mountaineering sunglasses include side shields and nose bridge shields, which can be made removable for a more versatile design.

4. Grip

All the effort you're exerting during the hike can make your face sweaty and oily, which causes your glasses to slip down or even fall off. Your sunglasses should have a textured temple grip and rubber nose to keep them secure throughout your hike.

5. Frame quality

When choosing mountain climbing glasses, it's important to ensure the frame is high-quality and promises durability that withstands demanding conditions. Generally, glasses with thicker frames tend to be more durable.

Choosing the right brand of mountaineering sunglasses is just as important as the elements above. You can check out Lensmart's extensive range of eyewear that delivers protection, comfort, and fashion today!

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