If you've been a victim of harsh glare reflecting off of water, snow, or glass, you're probably on the hunt for a solution. Glare is any outdoor enthusiast's biggest pain; distorting true color, making details fuzzy, and fatiguing your eyes. Stop squinting and start seeing with a pair of polarized sunglasses. If you're anything like us, you love to be out in the sun! Whether you're reeling one in, hitting the slopes, or relaxing on the beach, enjoy it to the fullest with the help of a polarized lens.

For more information on polarization, a sports guide, and some of our top picks for polarized sunglasses, visit What are Polarized Sunglasses?

Polarized Sunglasses


Table of Contents

1. How Polarized Sunglasses Work
2. Types of Polarized Lenses
2.1. Tints
2.2. Transitions
3. Polarization Benefits
4. Polarization Limits
4. Best Polarized Sunglasses of 2019

How Polarization Works

Polarized sunglasses have specialized lenses to combat sunlight bouncing off of horizontal surfaces. When vertical light hits a horizontal surface, it creates an especially harsh glare that ranges from being simply irritating to dangerously blinding. Polarized lenses have a filter that allows vertical light to pass through, while blocking the intense reflective glare.

Types of Polarized Lenses

There are two main types of polarized lenses; one is higher quality, and the other is lower. The distinction lies in the thickness of the polarizing film. Even cheap sunglasses can be polarized, but they will most likely have 0.75 mm lenses that scratch easier and aren't impact resistant. If you're utilizing your sunglasses in a less casual and more sporty way, you may want to spring for the 1.1 mm lenses. Although both options reduce glare, the thicker lens is stronger and more scratch resistant.


Tinted lenses are a valuable feature to have for your sunglasses, but they enhance color rather than reduce glare. You can get the best of both worlds by choosing a polarized tinted lens. For example, an in-shore fisherman definitely needs polarized lenses because he's in direct sunlight, but he would also benefit from a rose or copper tint to help track fish amidst the shadows in the water.


Transitions lenses become lighter and darker according to light changes in your environment. Although they do darken when exposed to bright light, they don't block glare like a polarized lens. But, don't worry! Some Transitions lenses can be polarized, too. Find out more about Transitions here.

Polarization Benefits

Polarized lenses are extremely useful, if not necessary, for many sports and outdoor activities. Theydarken images while blocking glare, which boosts contrast and makes details more defined. They're the key to spotting fish beneath the surface of the water, or a patch of ice on the mountain or the road. You're especially vulnerable to harsh glare when driving, because of the amount of glass and metal surfaces light bounces off of.

  • Reduces eye fatigue
  • Improves eye comfort & visibility
  • Boosts contrast
  • Reduces glare & reflections

Polarization Limits

Cell phones, auto dashboards, and other digital screens commonly have LCDs, or liquid crystal displays. Polarized lenses make it difficult to clearly see devices with LCDs. For instance, a pilot wouldn't want to be wearing polarized sunglasses while flying a plane, and you'll probably need to take them off when viewing an ATM screen. Additionally, they shouldn't be used after the sun goes down because of the amount of light they block. These lenses are designed for bright light; it can be unsafe to utilize polarization at nighttime.

Best Polarized Sunglasses of 2019

For a more complete list of our favorite polarized sunglasses, check out our top picks for men and top picks for women, or browse our shortlist below.

Ray-Ban RB3025 Aviator

Ray-Ban RB3025 Aviator polarized sunglasses

Ray-Ban RB3025 Aviator in Black with Crystal Green Polarized Lenses

Shop Ray-Ban Aviator

The Ray-Ban Aviator is a classic style that flatters anyone's face, and of course you can get this iconic look polarized and in prescription. With a thin metal frame, a double bridge, and large, teardrop-shaped lenses, the Aviator will never not make a big statement.

Costa Slack Tide

Costa Slack Tide polarized sunglasses

Costa Slack Tide in Matte Sand with 580G Green Mirrored Lenses

Shop Costa Slack Tide

Costa is one of our favorite brands for polarized lenses, and the Slack Tide is no exception. Available with authentic 580 lenses in either glass or polycarbonate, the Slack Tide is a classic square style to help you see your best whether you're on the boat or in your car.

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Need prescription polarized sunglasses? 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 polarized sunglasses.

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

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