There are so many lens types for motorcycle sunglasses, it’s easy to get bogged down in the details. Luckily for you, we’re here to make your lens decision as painless as possible. Read on to learn more about the best lenses for motorcycle sunglasses. You can also check out our motorcycle sunglasses and goggles buyer’s guide for the types of frames to look for.
First off, ditch the glass and plastic lenses. These are great for your everyday lifestyle sunglasses, but don’t wear them out on the bike. Glass and plastic are far easier to break, so one piece of debris could spell the end for your favorite sunglasses. Instead, go for polycarbonate or Trivex. Those are both shatterproof and will protect your eyes better in a fall.
If you want an extra check on the safety list, look for safety ratings such as ANSI or ballistics. Frames are tested for impact resistance so that flying objects hitting the lenses at high speed won’t break them or dislodge them from the frame.
SportRx offers several types of lens corrections to consider based on your prescription and needs:
Single vision lenses provide only one type of correction, either distance or reading.
Digital single vision lenses also only provide one type of correction, but give maximum clarity.
Progressive digital lenses provide reading, intermediate, and distance correction all in one lens with the same clarity as digital single vision glasses.
To pick out the best tint for your needs, think about the conditions when you ride.
For example, if you ride at night or in heavily shadowed areas, get a clear tint. This way, you won’t need to take off your glasses when going indoors. However, during the daytime, you’re going to be squinting.
A yellow tint is another good option for night riding or rainy days, since those boost contrast in low-light conditions when other lens tints would be too dark.
If it’s sunny or you’re sensitive to light, a grey base tint helps to darken your surroundings while still being true to color. On the other hand, grey lens bases have less contrast, so it could be harder to spot obstacles in your path. They could also be too dark in certain types of weather.
If you’re expecting cloudy weather, go with a rose tint. Lighter tints boost contrast and help you see better in these low-light conditions. But if it’s sunny out, a rose lens might not be dark enough.
Brown or copper lenses are a nice middle ground—they give you good contrast but still work relatively well in sunny weather.
Transitions change tints based on the amount of sunlight they’re under, so if you expect long rides or want to wear your sunglasses indoors and out, consider Transitions! They’re also a great option if you expect a lot of changing weather and don’t want the inconvenience of multiple sets of sunglasses. To learn even more about the nuances of the lens types, check out our blog on Transitions here.
There are four main types of Transitions: Signature, XTRActive, Vantage, and Drivewear.
Transitions Signature lenses are great for everyday glasses-wearers because they’re completely clear indoors and at night, and even turn a medium tint outdoors.
Transitions XTRActive lenses are our favorite for motorcycling, because they’re nearly clear indoors and become completely dark outdoors. Unlike the Signature lens (which may not be dark enough for long periods on the road), the XTRActive becomes a true sunglass.
Transitions Vantage lenses are nearly clear indoors and turn a medium tint outdoors, and also become semi-polarized when they do.
Last but not least, Transitions Drivewear are another great motorcycling option because they can turn from a lighter, olive-green tint to a dark brown tint. They’re also fully polarized, though since they don’t become clear, they’re not recommended for indoor wear.
Mirror lenses are a great aesthetic choice and have the added benefit of improving vision on sunny days. The mirror coating reflects light away from the lens to let you see better in brighter conditions. This option also lets you get a lens tint suited to your needs and a mirror to make your sunglasses match the rest of your gear. You can’t get mirrors with all lenses, though.
An anti-fog coating is used to minimize fogging, which is handy in cold weather. However, since you can’t get both an anti-fog and an AR coating on your sunglasses, we suggest focusing on proper fit and good ventilation rather than relying on this coating.
Anti-Reflective (AR) coatings are commonly found in eyeglasses to make them look nearly invisible. In the case of motorcycling, AR reduces glare from headlights and roads.
Anti-scratch coatings are pretty straightforward—they protect the lens from scratching. Polycarbonate and Trivex lenses, though they are the best option for motorcycling, do scratch more easily than something like glass, so this coating is a good thing to get.
Hydrophobic and oleophobic coatings repel water and oil respectively, and are usually included from the manufacturer. To help keep your sunglasses as clear as possible as much as possible, look for lenses with these coatings.
Polarized lenses block glare, which is great if you ride on busy roads or by the water. However, the downside is that polarization also affects depth perception to a degree, and can make it harder to read digital displays. Based on the type of riding you do, you might not need them.
Motorcycle Sunglasses at SportRx
Did we make the mysterious world of lenses for motorcycle sunglasses a little less mysterious? We hope so! If not, you can always Contact Us. We’ll put you in touch with one of our friendly in-house opticians who can answer your questions and help you build your motorcycling sunglasses.
Ditch risky online shopping with the See Better Guarantee. Try your sunglasses for 45 days. If you’re not satisfied, send them back. Get a full refund, exchange, or credit towards a better pair. And return shipping? Covered. Get your pair of prescription motorcycling sunglasses at SportRx today!