Need mountaineering sunglasses that can meet the grueling expectations of climbing mountains, all while providing pristine vision and protection from the elements? You came to the right place. In this guide, we will go through frame and lens technology to help you choose a pair of glacier sunglasses as hardcore as your climb. You'll also find some of our top performance frames that will keep your eyes protected from extreme sun glare and UV rays. If you want to see them all, check out our complete lineup of the Best Mountaineering Sunglasses.

What to Look for in Mountaineering Sunglasses

1. Frame Technology
1.1 Grip
1.2 Coverage
1.3 Fit
2. Lens Technology
2.1 Transition Lenses
2.2 Polarized Lenses
2.3 Lenses Darkness
3. Top Mountaineering Sunglasses

Frame Technology

One of the top concerns for climbers is the glasses staying in place. Frame technology is all about supporting you and your adventure by functioning so seamlessly you forget your glacier sunglasses are even there. In this section, we will cover how grip, coverage, and fit work together to provide you with a killer pair of mountaineering sunglasses.


Grip is a must-have for any serious mountaineer. The last thing you want to think about while climbing up the majestic mountains is your sunnies slipping down or, even worse, falling off. Leave your worries at the base of the mountain with rubber nose and temple grip to prevent slippage from sweat and skin oil. As you're making your way to the top, this textured grip is the difference between a no-adjustment necessary climb. Another feature to consider is a temple strap. The strap connects to the back of your glasses, which helps them stay in place throughout your adventure.


The best mountaineering sunglasses have a high amount of coverage, both in frame height and side wrap. A frame with tall lenses allows for optimal protection and maximum coverage so that harmful UV rays are kept at bay. Also, the removable shields feature on mountaineering sunglasses block reflective light from entering your peripheral vision. Less reflective light equals greater adventure longevity and happier eyes.


Last but certainly not least, fit. Finding a pair of glacier sunglasses that provide both a high level of comfort and functionality is key. Rubberized nose bridges and temples are an important element that add to the comfort by alleviating pressure from your nose bridge and temples, which decrease the likelihood of pressure-induced headaches. Also, cable temples are another way to ensure your glasses stay put while you look down and move around to find the best way forward. The flexible cable temples wrap around the ear to give a more secure fit.

Lens Technology

With support from good frame technology, the protection from the lens can truly shine. In this section, we will be covering different lens features to consider, such as Transitions lenses, polarization, and the darkness of the lens. Ultimately, it all comes down to one goal: keeping as much glare and light away from your eyes as possible. Harsh light conditions and the reflective surface of snow and glaciers are combated with the different lens technology below. We have put together a prebuilt lens guide of mountaineering lens combinations that we know work well together. Choose from a variety of features such as mirror finishes, Transitions lenses, polarization, anti-reflective coatings, and anti-fog coatings.

Transitions Lens

These lenses decrease and increase visual light transmission intensity automatically, making it easier to deal with the changing light conditions throughout your summit journey. Transitions lenses typically come in gray for maximum reduction, however, they also come in brown to help deliver a greater contrast. The SportRx Dirt Bag Lens provides a brown-based Transitions lens, which changes from a vermilion to a dark brown, creating a lens that works well under extreme sun glare.

Polarized Lens

Simply put, polarized lenses cut out glare. Choosing a polarized lens will help decrease eye strain where bright conditions and reflected glare are strong. Polarized lenses are recommended for high-glare environments, especially in high-altitude conditions where UV rays are most powerful. Check out our What are Polarized Lenses? blog post to find out more about lens polarization.

Lens Darkness

High elevation UV rays are much more intense and keep increasing as you summit. It is best to choose a darker lens. Our Sport Opticians suggest using at least a category 3 lenses or category 4, the darkest lenses available, so that more rays are prevented from entering your eyes. Darker lenses filter out more of the bright glare intensity from these extreme light conditions.

Top Mountaineering Sunglasses

Below you will find some of the best mountaineering sunglasses available at SportRx! If you would like a more complete list, check out our list of the best mountaineering sunglasses.

Julbo Explorer 2.0

julbo explorer 2.0 glacier sunglasses in blue and orange

Julbo Explorer 2.0 in Dark Blue/Blue with Reactiv Cameleon Lenses

The Julbo Explorer 2.0 is geared toward the hardcore mountaineer. All-terrain and all-protection, these Julbo glacier sunglasses give endless possibility to those daring enough to go there. Combined with Cameleon photochromic REACTIV lenses, the Explorer 2.0 gives you pristine vision and the perfect amount of tint at all times. Non-slip temples and rubberized nose pads help the sunglasses stay in place, while an adjustable neck cord provides extra security. Extra ventilation will keep your lenses fog-free, while side shields deliver maximum coverage and style.

Shop Julbo Explorer 2.0

Oakley Clifden

oakley clifden mountaineering sunglasses in black with prizm snow black lenses

Oakley Clifden in Matte Black with PRIZM Snow Black Lenses

One of the newest to the market, the Oakley Clifden has taken the mountaineering world by storm. These sunglasses are packed with thoughtful details to keep you covered for any adventure. Side shields, a bridge blocker, and a woven steel leash cord provide maximum protection and are all completely removable. For those high-altitude climbs, consider the Oakley Clifden with PRIZM Snow Black lenses. This is the darkest tint of the Oakley PRIZM Snow line and work best on the sunniest of days.

Shop Oakley Clifden

Julbo Cham

julbo cham sunglasses in black with spectron 3cf lenses for mountain climbing

Julbo Cham in Matte Black/Black with Spectron 3CF Lenses

The Julbo Cham is a nod to their original style with today's modern technology. These mountaineering sunglasses have it all with leather side shields, adjustable temples with grip, and Spectron polycarbonate lenses that are impact-resistant. A lightweight metal frame will keep you comfortable while staying perfectly in place. If you want a frame that looks as great as it performs, look no further than the Julbo Cham.

Shop Julbo Cham

Get Prescription Mountaineering Sunglasses at SportRx

Need prescription glacier glasses? Done. When you shop with us, you’ll find video guides and tooltips throughout the build process as you customize the perfect pair. An answer to all your questions is at your fingertips, and if you want to chat with an expert, contact us. We’ll put you in touch with one of our friendly in-house opticians who can help you build your prescription mountaineering sunglasses.

Ditch risky online shopping with the See Better Guarantee. Try your prescription mountaineering 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 mountaineering sunglasses at SportRx today!

Shop All Glacier Glasses