7 Best Mountaineering Sunglasses of 2021

7 Best Mountaineering Sunglasses of 2021

Table of Contents

    When you’re hitting the slopes or clawing your way to the top of a difficult mountain, you might not be immediately thinking of sunglasses when you’re packing your bags and getting ready to ascend, but that’s a rookie mistake. The snow up there is deceptively blinding, and you’re going to be miserable if you don’t have the right equipment strapped to your face. Mountaineering sunglasses can be just as sleek and fashionable as sunglasses down at sea level. If you’re looking for something in particular or you’re just spinning your wheels, we’ve got some of the best sunglasses on the market right here for you.

    In a hurry? Here’s the test winner after 10 hours of research:

    Overview
    Julbo MonteBianco Mountain Sunglasses, Spectron 4 Lens, Matt Black/Lime
    Title
    Julbo Montebianco Mountain Sunglasses
    Price
    $99.95
    Rating
    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
    Details
    Overview
    Julbo MonteBianco Mountain Sunglasses, Spectron 4 Lens, Matt Black/Lime
    Title
    Julbo Montebianco Mountain Sunglasses
    Price
    $99.95
    Rating
    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
    Details

    7 Best Mountaineering Sunglasses - Overview

    Here are the top 5 picks (keep scrolling for picks 6-7).

    Overview
    Julbo MonteBianco Mountain Sunglasses, Spectron 4 Lens, Matt Black/Lime
    Julbo Shield Spectron 4 Sunglasses Neon Orange, One Size - Men's
    Julbo Colorado Glacier Sunglasses for Hiking, Mountaineering and Riding
    Bertoni Glacier Polarized Sunglasses for Mountain Hiking Trekking Ski mod ALPS Italy (Black - Photochromic Polarized)
    Julbo Tahoe Mountain Sunglasses, Tortoise Frame - Polarized Brown Lens
    Title
    Julbo Montebianco Mountain Sunglasses
    Julbo Shield w/REACTIV or Spectron Lens
    Julbo Colorado Glacier Sunglasses
    Bertoni Glacier Polarized Sunglasses
    Julbo Tahoe Mountain Sunglasses w/Polarized Lens
    Price
    $99.95
    Price not available
    $49.95
    $68.00
    Price not available
    Rating
    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
    ⭐⭐⭐⭐
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    Overview
    Julbo MonteBianco Mountain Sunglasses, Spectron 4 Lens, Matt Black/Lime
    Title
    Julbo Montebianco Mountain Sunglasses
    Price
    $99.95
    Rating
    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
    Details
    Overview
    Julbo Shield Spectron 4 Sunglasses Neon Orange, One Size - Men's
    Title
    Julbo Shield w/REACTIV or Spectron Lens
    Price
    Price not available
    Rating
    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
    Details
    Overview
    Julbo Colorado Glacier Sunglasses for Hiking, Mountaineering and Riding
    Title
    Julbo Colorado Glacier Sunglasses
    Price
    $49.95
    Rating
    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
    Details
    Overview
    Bertoni Glacier Polarized Sunglasses for Mountain Hiking Trekking Ski mod ALPS Italy (Black - Photochromic Polarized)
    Title
    Bertoni Glacier Polarized Sunglasses
    Price
    $68.00
    Rating
    ⭐⭐⭐⭐
    Details
    Overview
    Julbo Tahoe Mountain Sunglasses, Tortoise Frame - Polarized Brown Lens
    Title
    Julbo Tahoe Mountain Sunglasses w/Polarized Lens
    Price
    Price not available
    Rating
    ⭐⭐⭐⭐
    Details

    1. Julbo Montebianco Mountain Sunglasses

    Julbo MonteBianco Mountain Sunglasses, Spectron 4 Lens, Matt Black/Lime
    • Spectron 4 is a mountaineering lens, blocking 95% visible light. Lite-weight and shock resistance. Excellent eye protection at an in-expensive price

    When you’re looking for a solid pair of mountaineering sunglasses that are going to be reliable without becoming wildly expensive, then you’re going to want this pair from Julbo. They’re everything you’d want from a pair of sunglasses when you’re up in the cold surrounded by blinding snow, while you take step after careful step. These sunglasses are seated in a plastic frame that will conform to your head easily.

    The plastic will hold up against the cold while you’re making your way up to the top of your chosen mountain. The lenses aren’t polarized, but the anti-reflective lenses paired with their ability to block out 95% of the light aimed at your eyes, you’re not going to miss the polarization very much.

    These sunglasses are designed to wrap around your full field of view so you’re going to be blocking light out from pretty much every angle, which is exactly what you’re looking for. There’s nothing worse than having to squint through your sunglasses because the corners of your eyes are being exposed to the seemingly limitless onslaught from the sun. 

    Often folks will tell you to opt for a pair of polarized lenses, and it’s true that there are benefits to a pair of polarized lenses. But if you can get essentially the same from a more comfortable, more affordable pair of sunglasses, then frankly this seems like a pretty good trade-off.

    By opting for a workaround for polarizing the lenses of these glasses, Julbo is able to produce a product that’s not terribly expensive while being able to stand up to some of the giants in the hyper-competitive sunglasses market. 

    These make for an excellent pair of sunglasses for someone that’s dipping their toes into the world of mountaineering sunglasses or someone that knows exactly what they’re looking for but having trouble fitting the sunglasses into their budget.

    These are sunglasses that can stand up against the competition confidently without feeling like the lesser of two options. The robust versatility of these sunglasses paired with their price makes them our winner this time around.

    Read more buyer reviews at Amazon.com.

    PROS

    • Great for mountaineers of all skill levels 
    • The wide lenses are perfect for protecting your full range of view
    • Great cost for the amazing amount of functionality

    CONS

    • The lenses aren’t polarized, so folks looking for lenses that cancel out every glare they come across, are better off looking elsewhere

    2. Julbo Shield Mountain Sunglasses w/REACTIV or Spectron Lens

    These mountaineering sunglasses are a clever subversion of what you’d expect from sunglasses like this. They’re designed to fit into a normal person’s wardrobe. They’re the most normal-looking mountaineering sunglasses we’ve seen in a while.

    If you’re not a fan of the sunglasses that look like they’re trying too hard to signal “mountain climber” to the world, these are a pretty great pair of glasses. They’re simple and subtle, and they’re going to keep your eyes protected without making you feel ridiculous. The best thing about these sunglasses is the subtle shield they tuck into the corner of the frames.

    This shield blocks light from your periphery without having to exaggerate the lenses way out to the side of your face. This small change in the design of what you’d expect from mountaineering sunglasses suddenly opens up a whole new world of functional but fashionable sunglasses that you can take into environments way more extreme than your car on a sunny afternoon drive.

    The decision to make these sunglasses resemble something you’d toss on in your everyday life doesn’t mean the glasses were forced to cut too many corners in pursuit of a sense of normalcy. The lenses are anti-reflective and finished with a mirror coating.

    These two aspects of the lenses alone are enough to block out a lot of the light you’re going to be encountering out on the slopes. If Julbo stopped there, that would be more than enough to put these sunglasses head and shoulders above something you’d find at a mall kiosk. In fact, these sunglasses block out so much light that Julbo advocates against using them to drive because you’d be severely limiting your vision.

    The lenses that produce this effect aren’t polarized, but they’re still very impressive. The mirror coating and anti-reflective treatment do a lot of the heavy lifting here, but there are some more secrets hidden away in these lenses. They’re made with Spectron 4 polycarbonate.

    If you’re unfamiliar, that’s just a high-quality plastic that makes things incredibly sturdy. It’s the perfect material for sunglasses like these, you’re not going to want to risk using glass when the wrong drop can pretty much instantly disintegrate them, the polycarbonate gives the manufacturer much more control over the durability and the amount of light the lenses will allow into your eyes. 

    Read more buyer reviews at Amazon.com.

    PROS

    • Fashionable and unique
    • The lenses are perfectly engineered for mountaineering from the coating to the materials

    CONS

    • Even though they look like glasses you’d use in your regular life, they’re so good at blocking out the light that you’d be rendered functionally blind if you’re wearing them outside of mountaineering

    3. Julbo Colorado Glacier Sunglasses for Hiking, Mountaineering, and Riding

    Julbo Colorado Glacier Sunglasses for Hiking, Mountaineering and Riding
    • Design: Light and strong glacier glasses sized and shaped for larger faces

    These are some no-nonsense sunglasses. If you’re wanting to buckle down and you’re trying to find some serious mountaineering sunglasses at a great price that are easy to slip on exactly when you need them, then these glasses might just out at you.

    They resemble swimming goggles more than anything, but that detail in the design is a clever way to cut down on your exposure to sunlight. Creating a space of solitude for your eyes means that these sunglasses are going to cut down on overall weight and they become more ergonomic, and they fix a lot of the problems you run into when your mountaineering glasses cut this particular corner.

    When you’re up there in the snow, it’s a totally different world. It’s just you, the sun, and a planet-sized mirror bouncing light directly at the most vulnerable part of your body. The goggle-like design keeps your eyes safe and makes it easier to just navigate the world in front of you without worrying about whether your glasses are suddenly going to shift and blind you at the worst possible time. 

    The functionality of these glasses doesn’t come only from the design of the frame. The lenses themselves are also a massive part of the appeal these glasses hold over mountaineers. They’re made from high-quality polycarbonate and finished with a mirror coating, this one-two punch blocks out pretty much all of the light trying to accost your poor eyes when you’re traipsing through the fresh powder.

    Read more buyer reviews at Amazon.com.

    PROS

    • The covers around your eyes and on your temples are incredibly comfortable
    • The goggle style of these glasses blocks out light from every angle
    • The high-quality lenses work together with the design on the frames to create some highly reliable mountaineering glasses

    CONS

    • You’re going to have to contend with the discomfort of having your periphery totally shut down 

    4. Bertoni Glacier Polarized Sunglasses

    Bertoni Glacier Polarized Sunglasses for Mountain Hiking Trekking Ski mod ALPS Italy (Black - Photochromic Polarized)
    64 Reviews
    Bertoni Glacier Polarized Sunglasses for Mountain Hiking Trekking Ski mod ALPS Italy (Black - Photochromic Polarized)
    • FRAME: the Bertoni Glacier Polarized Anti-Glare Men and Women Sunglasses for Mountain Hiking Trekking Ski gives maximum protection in extreme conditions against wind, bad weather and hard sunlight...

    These aviator-style sunglasses are just as cool as they are useful and customizable. They’re pretty simple when it comes to mountaineering glasses, but that doesn’t mean that they’re not just as reliable and versatile as others on this list.

    The glasses themselves take advantage of a familiar shape to maximize the amount of space the lenses themselves cover. They’re wide enough to block out most of the light coming towards your face without having to resort to elongating the sides or resorting to any weird shapes.

    These sunglasses are like something you’d have in your car. If you have an affinity for this style of glasses, you’re going to feel right at home in these sunglasses, and sometimes that’s the best feature you can ask for. Glasses that you actually want to be seen in are going to be more likely to find their way onto your face when you’re staring down the snow at high noon.

    These large round lenses are polarized to deftly destroy any of the glares you’re bound to come across on your travels. You’re not going to be squinting through these glasses or averting your eyes from bright patches. They’re great for exploration and discovery as well as pain old traversal in a single direction.

    The removable side shields and nose bridge protection make these glasses a little bit more versatile than other sunglasses out there. They’re made from durable and comfortable leather, so you can rely on them for an incredibly long time.

    They’re great for blocking out light from the sides as well as asking as shields from the wind and snow when the weather starts to go south on you. They’re also perfect for tossing on when you’re just feeling tired of wearing the sunglasses.

    Having something like these sit across your nose and ears for an extended period of time when you’re not used to glasses can get old pretty quickly. Thanks to these removable parts, you’re going to be able to rock the glasses much longer.

    Read more buyer reviews at Amazon.com.

    PROS

    • Polarized lenses almost completely remove any glares from the world around you
    • Removable nose-bridge and peripheral light shields make these glasses much more customizable and comfortable than a lot of other sunglasses available to mountaineers 

    CONS

    • The removable bits aren’t as sturdy as they would be if the glasses had been designed with them attached to the frames

    5. Julbo Tahoe Mountain Sunglasses w/Polarized Lens

    Julbo Tahoe Mountain Sunglasses, Tortoise Frame - Polarized Brown Lens
    • DESIGN: Stylish, classic aviator designed mountaineering style glasses with removable side shields

    These are sunglasses for fans of sunglasses. They’re simple and stylish while staying comfortable and functional. These glasses come equipped with soft and sturdy side shields and nose bridge supports that you can apply or remove to your heart’s content. They’re a pair of glasses you can be proud of when you’re looking over your collection or when you pull them out before plunging yourself into the snow.

    They’re more than just a pretty pair, they’re incredibly functional. These sunglasses are made from polycarbonate from the frames to the lenses. The sturdy and supple plastic is perfect for resting against your head, while also making for lenses that are all but impervious to sunlight.

    Polycarbonate is one of the most useful and versatile plastics out there, and when your mountaineering sunglasses prominently feature it, you know you're in for a treat. These lenses are also perfectly polarized, providing UV protection and erasing harsh glares from the environment around you. 

    Read more buyer reviews at Amazon.com.

    PROS

    • The polarized lenses leave you with a clear view of the world around you
    • The glasses themselves make for a handsome addition to any collection

    CONS

    • They’re not going to be as robust as sunglasses with the shields built directly into the frames

    6. Julbo Montebianco Mountain Sunglasses

    Julbo MonteBianco Mountain Sunglasses, Spectron 4 Lens, Matt Black/Lime
    • Spectron 4 is a mountaineering lens, blocking 95% visible light. Lite-weight and shock resistance. Excellent eye protection at an in-expensive price

    These sunglasses are simple but effective. They solve a lot of common problems you run into during your mountaineering in the easiest ways possible. Hate having the sun in the corners of your eyes? They made the frames wider around the sides of the lenses, to block out the light.

    The lenses are mirrored and treated to resist reflections. They keep your eyes from being blinded simply by blocking out 95% of the visible light around you, rather than opting for more expensive lenses. They just take sunglasses and hyper-specialized them to defeat the light trying to seep into your eyes.

    The frames of these glasses are where most of the magic happens. They’re comfortable and flexible enough to keep the sides of your head from aching after a long day. The material won’t get caught in your hair, and the arms are designed to gently hold the sides of your head without clamping down so much that your temples will be begging for a reprieve after a couple of hours.

    Read more buyer reviews at Amazon.com.

    PROS

    • Simple glasses that are comfortable and easy to wear
    • Blocks out light where you don’t want it and lets in the perfect amount for mountaineering

    CONS

    • Could be considered too simple for hard-core mountaineers

    7. OutdoorMaster OTG Ski Goggles

    These ski goggles are, obviously, best suited for skiing, but that doesn’t preclude them from being a great option for backpackers and mountain climbers. The real beauty of ski goggles is how much they take the uncertainty out of the equation.

    These goggles are designed to stay on your face while you’re hurtling down a mountain and maneuvering around trees and watching out for a whole host of obstacles. This translates well into use for mountain climbing and backpacking as well

    They’re cushioned and keep your face protected against the elements. These goggles will just sit right on your face and keep your eyes safe from the sun as long as you like. You’re not going to be adjusting them or praying they don’t slip off while you’re making your way through a difficult part of your trail or anything like that at all.

    Read more buyer reviews at Amazon.com.

    PROS

    • Great for extremely active mountaineers
    • Keeps your eyes safe and warm for hours without adjustment

    CONS

    • Much more bulky than a simple pair of shades

    Our Winner

    Overview
    Julbo MonteBianco Mountain Sunglasses, Spectron 4 Lens, Matt Black/Lime
    Title
    Julbo Montebianco Mountain Sunglasses
    Price
    $99.95
    Rating
    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
    Details
    Overview
    Julbo MonteBianco Mountain Sunglasses, Spectron 4 Lens, Matt Black/Lime
    Title
    Julbo Montebianco Mountain Sunglasses
    Price
    $99.95
    Rating
    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
    Details

    Everybody seems to have different needs when it comes to the perfect pair of sunglasses when they’re facing down their alpine obstacles, but this pair of sunglasses is somehow able to tick all of the right boxes. They’re a solid pair of glasses that can withstand a decent amount of punishment, they’re fashionable and affordable without cutting corners.

    The wide construction of the frames allows these glasses to block out some of the more vulnerable areas of your field of view. When you’re out in the mountains, the last thing you want to discover is that your sunglasses are actually going to leave you feeling miserable even though they’re situated right across your face. The lack of polarized lenses might be a dealbreaker for some of the more particular shoppers, but we really believe that these lenses stand up to the competition. 

    These sunglasses are a great choice whether you’ve been climbing and snowboarding for decades or you’re setting out for the first time and you don’t know where to get started on the hunt for better sunglasses. They’re versatile and durable without breaking the bank. They’re well-constructed and thoughtfully designed specifically to give mountaineers more options when they’re on the lookout for good sunglasses.

    Bonus tip: If you’re asking yourself “do I even need these?” Here’s the perfect answer to that age-old question:

    In
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    Riley Draper is a writer and entrepreneur from Chattanooga, Tennessee. As a world traveler, he has been to more than fifty countries and hiked some of the most elusive trails in the world. He is the co-founder of WeCounsel Solutions and has published work in both national and global outlets, including the Times Free Press, Patch, and Healthcare Global. When he's not writing, he's probably on a hiking trip or climbing in the mountains.

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