The Best Sunglasses for Birding

The Best Sunglasses for Birding

Have you been out birding and found yourself fighting with the sun’s rays? You’re not alone! Getting out there and enjoying bird watching can be a frustrating experience if the sun keeps getting in your eyes. Thankfully, you don’t have to simply tolerate this problem but buy a great pair of sunglasses. The best sunglasses for birding not only protect your eyes but don’t cause frustrating light glares.

In this article, we’ll break down several of the best sunglasses for birding and answer some important questions about sunglasses to ensure that you get the pair that you want. It is important to pay attention to these factors because you might make a mistake that seriously impacts your bird watching experience, such as buying glasses that scare off birds and minimize your birding success.

Best sunglasses for birding

The Benefits of the Best Sunglasses for Birding

Why should you buy a pair of sunglasses for your birding expeditions? They provide many benefits that can make your adventures much more enjoyable. Understanding a few of these advantages can make your birding more fun and give you the excitement that you both want and dese

Prevents Eyeglass Glare

When you’re out in the field trying to see birds, eyeglass glare can cause serious problems by alerting birds and driving them away. The best sunglasses for birding use an anti-glare cover that minimizes this problem and ensures that you aren’t scaring away birds long before you ever see them.

Minimizes Eye Damage

Being outside watching birds all day is fun but can be surprisingly hard on your eyes. All that UV exposure may cause some damage to your eyes and, if you’re out in the winter, even trigger snow blindness. Sunglasses decrease this risk and make your trips much more enjoyable.

Improves Your Viewing Range

Some sunglasses may even have slight magnifying capabilities, especially if you get prescription sunglasses. While the ones on our list have no magnification options, they do help to improve your viewing range by cutting down on light and minimizing eye strain when you’re out in the field.

Provides Unique Amenities

Some of the sunglasses we’ll discuss on this list have unique amenities that make them useful for birding. For example, some have Bluetooth connectivity that let you listen to music or even make calls to friends without alerting birds or other wildlife in the woods near you.

The 4 Best Sunglasses for Birding

We’re going to take a look at four different pairs of birding sunglasses and break them down by features and what we like the most about them. We’ll rate them as the best overall option, the highest-quality budget pick, the finest mid-tier purchase, and the most fantastic high-end choice. Read through each of these listings carefully to find the birding sunglasses that suit your needs and budget.

Best Overall Option: Oakley Sunglasses Black Frame Black Iridium Polarized Lenses

The best sunglasses for birding is this fairly priced pair of Oakley glasses with an appealing black from and polarized lenses. Polarized lenses are a good option for birding because they protect your eyes better and minimize glare. They’re also dark enough to minimize glare without eliminating your field of range. It’s that particular factor that helps this pair of sunglasses top or oust.

At about seven inches by three by three, they’re comfortable enough to fit on most faces without difficulty. They also weigh just 2.4 ounces, meaning they’re light on the face but also sturdy. You won’t have to worry about these glasses sliding off your nose while you’re out in the field! The price is also fair for this model, as Oakley is known for its higher-priced sunglasses design.

About the only thing we can say against these glasses is that they lack side-eye protection, which some people may prefer for their birding glasses. This protection would cover the sides of your eyes to minimize glare further. We don’t think that this ruins these glasses, however, and still places them at the top of our list due to their comfortable design and very fair price.

Why We Like It

  • The polarized lenses that minimize glare and eye strain
  • The simple and economical design that fits most faces
  • The classic style that brings an elegant level of cool to your birding
  • The fair price for such a high-quality pair of sunglasses

Budget-Friendly Pick: Brand: Flawless Eyewear Oversized Mirrored Sunglasses

If you’re looking for a more retro pair of sunglasses that won’t break the bank for your birding expeditions, this pair might be right for you. They have a vintage 80s and 90s style that includes a visor look that makes these glasses sleek and appealing. Their overall focus on style and fashion makes them a great option for someone putting style over function.

One area that this model beats the best is in its lens width of 77 millimeters. That’s 17 millimeters more than our top pick, meaning you get a slightly broader range of protection. This also makes this glasses good for someone who has a wider head or who wants more protection. However, there are a few things that you need to understand about these glasses.

First, they don’t have a polarized lens, meaning that you may have a higher UV exposure when outside. The lenses are also mirrored, which adds some extra protection but which may increase your glare risk. If you do buy this budget model, try to keep your back to the sun when you’re birding. Otherwise, you might catch a ray of sunlight and produce a glare off your lenses.

Why We Like It

  • The fun and attractive retro style
  • The broader overall lenses
  • The cheap price
  • The unisex design (meaning it can be worn by just about anybody)

Mid-Tier Choice: Ray-Ban RB3025 Classic Mirrored Aviator Sunglasses

Do you want an upgrade on the budget model and aren’t quite sold on our best option? You may find these Ray-Ban glasses work great for your birding. Higher in price than both our top and budget choices, it includes a focused and streamlined design with 58 millimeter lenses that are smaller than those options. However, there are other things about these glasses that are worth celebrating.

For example, the metal frame is incredibly strong and among the best options we could find on the market. Its overall design has that 80s feel that has become so popular again in fashion. Just as importantly, it pairs the sturdy frame with polarized crystal lenses with a UV protection coating. That coating blocks 100% of all UV rays to ensure your eyes are protected when you’re birding.

With multiple frame and lens color options, these glasses could be our top pick but for a few concerns. First, most of its features are also available in the Oakley model we picked, and at a lower price. The overall quality and construction of both are on the same level, meaning the Oakley gets the nod as the better overall choice based on quality and affordability.

Why We Like It

  • The attractive 80s style that has gained in popularity again
  • The strong UV protection coating on the lenses
  • The compact and attractive overall design
  • The polarized lenses that minimize glare risk

High-End Variety: Bose Frames Tempo

If you have some money to spend and want glasses with more tech-based upgrades, you may love these sunglasses. They come with Bluetooth connectivity, meaning you can connect to your phone or another electronic device. This option means it is easy to stay connected to friends while you’re birding. It also lets you listen quietly to music via headphones to make your adventure more enjoyable.

Just as importantly, you can use them to call for help if you get into a dangerous situation while birding, such as if you fall down a hill and sprain your ankle. Rather than crawling out yourself or struggling with your phone, you can use the Bluetooth connection to call emergency services. You get around eight hours of play time per battery.

Beyond these amenities, these glasses also have comfortable silicone nose pads, a flexible temple grip, and a water-resistant design with polarized lenses. About the only thing that we don’t like about them is their overall look. Frankly put, they’re quite bulky and not stylish. However, if you want birding sunglasses with easy Bluetooth connectivity, they’re an impressive pair to buy.

Why We Like It

  • The simple Bluetooth connectivity
  • The strong and long-lasting battery
  • The overall comfortable design
  • The durable and long-lasting frame

FAQ About the Best Sunglasses for Birding

What is the Best Color Sunglass Lens for Birding?

The best color lenses for birding are typically black because they absorb light more easily and minimize glare risks. They also blend into the background more easily without catching attention. Bright lenses are usually not a good choice because birds will see them quickly.

Do I Need Polarized Sunglasses for Bird Watching?

Polarized lenses aren’t absolutely necessary for bird watching. However, they are usually preferred because they block more sunlight, minimize glare risk, and provide clear viewing. Most of the models on this list are polarized: only lower-cost models typically lack this protection.

Will Birds Notice Sunlight Glare off Sunglasses?

While most of the sunglasses on this list have an anti-glare coating, some models on the market do not. As a result, it is usually best to walk with your back to the sun or position yourself in a shaded area while birding. The glare off your sunglasses lenses may alert birds and scare them away.

Check out our article on Colors Not To Wear When Birding !