Best Glacier Sunglasses of 2020

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Welcome to ThinkVail – we hope you find this article about the best glacier glasses helpful. An excellent list of the world’s best glacier glasses to block really bright light and glare on snow or water to keep your eyes protected.

Planning to do some high altitude mountaineering this winter? Take the time to invest in a good pair of glacier glasses to ensure that your eyes are protected from the sun’s intense, UV light, as well as the glare that bounces off the ice on the ground all around you, and any peripheral light that can reach your eyes from the side. Here are 10 choice glacier glasses for all your winter outdoor adventures.


What Are Glacier Glasses

Glacier glasses offer full protection for your eyes from the harsh, high altitude sun, UV rays, strong winds and biting cold all of which can harm your eyes and cause long-term damage such as:

  • Snow blindness – caused by prolonged exposure to UVB.
  • Erytropsia – exhaustion of the retina from prolonged exposure to intense light.
  • White out syndrome – when your eyelids freeze in extreme cold.
  • Corneal Freezing – which can threaten vision if not treated.

Traditional sunglasses allow between 60-30% Visible Light Transmission (VLT). A good pair of glacier glasses, only allows 5-7% VLT. You want a maximum of 10% VLT and for high altitude expeditions, look for 5% VLT.

Glacier glasses’ unique frames provide additional protection by offering 100% coverage and prohibiting light from entering your eyes from the bottom or sides of the frame. Your eyes are much more protected with glacier glasses than with standard sunglasses.


Prevention

The sun at high altitude is bright, really bright and all that light and glare is very harmful to your eyes. The higher the altitude the less atmosphere and less Ozone there is to act as a buffer between the light and your eyes. At high elevations the sun’s intensity is still dangerous even in foggy or cloudy conditions.

Additionally, when hiking high altitude glaciers and snowfields, the snow reflects solar radiation from the sky and from the ground, meaning the effective intensity of UV solar radiation that your eyes receive is more than double that of sea level when mountaineering at 3,000 m (9,800’).

In addition to sun, both wind and freezing cold at altitude can be very dangerous for your eyes if not protected.

Always wear sunscreen at high elevations.


Frame Choice

  • Here are the most important features when choosing the right glacier glasses’ frames
  • Choose a curved frame that wraps nicely around with side shields, or eye cups to provide maximum protection.
  • Adjustable, flexible temples are a good option to be sure that they hold well
  • A strap reduces the chance of losing your glasses and holds glasses securely to your head.
  • Comfortable fit that doesn’t slip
  • Rubber grip nose pads

Lens Categories

Category 4 – Maximum filter category, letting through only 3 to 8% of visible light and recommended for hard-core winter mountaineering.

Category 3 – Provides a high level of sun glare reduction and good level of UV protection.


Lens Materials

  • Mineral Lens- Highly scratch resistant
  • Photochromic Lenses, or Variable Tint Lenses. Automatically adjusts to the amount of light
  • Mirror Lens
  • Dark Lens
  • Polarized Lens – Reduce glare especially off snow and water

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See Also: Best Dark Polarized Sunglasses for Women


Best Glacier Glasses


JULBO Vermont Classic

Julbo is the original pioneer of glacier glasses and they have been honing their craft for 125 years. They are experts in protecting eyes from the intense sun and glare of mountain environments

  • Traditional mountaineering frame with round lens, a leather nose piece and leather side shields.
  • Category 3 lens provides a high level of sun glare reduction and good level of UV protection.
  • Base 6.minimal curve, means the sunglasses sit flatter on your face.
  • 360-degree adjustable temples allows for a custom fit.
  • Leather side shields offers protection from peripheral light
  • Unisex design is perfect for men and women
  • Lite-weight but with excellent shock resistance
  • Flash treatment offers a mirror-like lens that improves visible light filtering.
  • 100 % A, B,C UV Protection.
  • Lens depth-51. Distance-23. Temple length-172
  • Traditional rubber covered wire temple arms makes these glasses very comfortable
  • Maximum protection from sunlight in extreme conditions
  • SPECTRON 3CF Lens: blocks 89% of visible light.

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Oakley Clifden

The Oakley Clifden is the ultimate  glacier glasses designed for maximum protection against the elements. Oakley is famous for making sunglasses and they have just stepped up their game with these.

  • Category 4 lens offers maximum light blocking
  • 100% UV protection of all UVA, UVB, UVC and harmful blue light up to 400 mm.
  • Side shields and a bridge blocker
  • Lightweight Plutonite lens are impact resistant
  • Prizm snow black lenses are designed to see contrast on the mountain in bright, sunny conditions. Ideal for skiing or snowboarding.
  • VLT: Light transmission: 6%
  • Integrated woven leash keeps glasses secure
  • Adjustable nose pads for comfort and to keep the glasses from slipping
  • High definition optics provide superior optical clarity and razor-sharp vision.
  • Cleaning & storage bag Included
  • Lens width: 56 Millimeters
  • Made in the USA
  • Available in polarized lenses

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Bertoni Cortina Polarized

Bertoni is a well-known Italian brand of sport sunglasses that has been making innovative, high-quality products for more than thirty years. They boast a wide range of styles to suit all kind of sports including mountaineering and other demanding winter activities.

  • Category 3 lens provides a high level of sun glare reduction and good level of UV protection
  • Leather side shields with anti-misting aerators
  • Polarized anti-reflection lens reduces reflections of horizontal surfaces like snow, ice, water
  • 100% UV protection
  • Elastic cord
  • Available in 2 different polarized lens versions: polarized smoke with blue mirror coating ( VLT 12.1%, blocks 88% ) or Polarized Brown ( VLT 14,1%, blocks 86% )
  • Curved, wrapping, flexible arms hold glasses securely and keeps them from slipping
  • Includes: case and soft microfiber pouch

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Revo Polarized Traverse

Revo boasts the best lens on the planet. Designed by a NASA astrophysicist who first thought to use the coatings that protect satellites to shield our eyes from the sun. The idea was brilliant, and still is today, more than 30 years later. Revos are always on the cutting edge of the newest technology.

  • 100% UV Protection coating filters harmful UV, HEV, and Blue Light
  • 6-base lens technology creates a flatter profile
  • Revo high-contrast polarized Serilium+ lenses
  • Blue mirror coating does not alter natural colors.
  • Leather side accents protects against periphery light
  • Frames are made of a lightweight, impact-resistant, glare-reducing nylon
  • Elastomeric nose pad and temple tips
  • Lens width: 57 millimeters
  • Lens height: 48 millimeters
  • Available in Black and White frames
  • Two year warranty

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Vuarnet Glacier Glasses

Vaurnet has created a highly technical and elegantly refined, uniquely designed glacier glasses that is sought after by professionals and enthusiasts alike.

  • Category 3 lens provides a high level of of sun glare reduction and a good amount of UV protection.
  • VLT: Visible Light absorption: 90%
  • 100% UV Protection
  • Protectcs against 82% Infra-red light rays
  • Protects against 99% harmful blue light
  • Mineral glass lens offers the clearest vision
  • Removable side shields made of natural leather and magnetic fixtures that attach to the temples ensure 360 degree protection.
  • Increases contrast in low visibility, foggy and cloudy conditions
  • Pilot style frame is made in acetate and steel
  • Anti – reflective backside is used to to keep glare off of the backside of the lens so you don’t see reflections
  • Silver bi-shaded mirrored polarized lenses
  • Size : 136 arms -19 bridge – 60 lens
  • The Glacier is the same shades worn by the most famous secret agent in history- James Bond, in the film “Spectre.”
  • Natural leather cord with a detachable steel fastening system is included
  • Made in Italy
  • Available in two sizes
  • Made for men
  • Great for medium sized faces, with a round or square shape

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JULBO Sherpa Glacier Sunglasses

These high quality, affordable JULBO Sherpa glacier glasses will exceed your expectations. It’s no surprise since JULBO is one of the best known brands for glacier and mountaineer glasses and goggles. Put them to the test, these glasses can take whatever the elements dish out, beautifully.

  • Cat.3 lens provides a high level of of sun glare reduction and a good amount of UV protection.
  • VLT: visible light transmission rate: 12%
  • Polycarbonate lenses with flash finish and anti-fog coating
  • Breathable and removable leather side shields protect eyes from peripheral light and lateral rays
  • Lightweight with a classic look
  • Pre-curved flexible temples hold securely behind ears
  • 360° adjustable temples for a custom fit on your head, under a helmet or over a hat.S
  • Size- 54. Lens depth- 45
  • Lightweight, traditional glacier glasses.

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Northern Lights

Northern Lights Optics create signature mountaineering style glacier glasses and traditional glasses for back-country adventures. They are continually challenging the status quo by adding a modern twist to classic mountaineering frames while expertly fusing the vintage with the contemporary for a bold new look

  • Category 3 lens offers a high level of sun glare reduction and good level of UV protection.
  • Features a modern, deep, squared Aviator-style acetate frame.
  • High-quality Aurora CR39 lenses can be fitted with prescription lenses by an optometrist
  • Lens width: 50 millimeters
  • Gift box, hard case, micro fiber soft pouch and lens cloth included
  • Size: Lens / Bridge / Temple: 53-18-125
  • Unisex style is perfect for men or women
  • Available in Grey and Brown

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Serengeti Leandro Glacier

These frames automatically adjust to the brightness of the surrounding light. This innovative feature is just one of the many details that make these glasses stand apart from the rest. Created by Serengeti® , an industry leader in lens technology that adapts to any light condition in any setting. Try them, you’re going to love them!

  • Polarized lenses
  • Photochromic lenses automatically adjust to any light condition by darkening in bright sunlight and lightening in overcast conditions.
  • Mineral lenses for clarity and durability
  • Spectral Control® technology manages light wavelengths to give better saturation of what you need to see
  • Anti-reflective coating added to the backside of the lens, reduces reflective glare.
  • Removable magnetic genuine leather shields from entering the eyes from the sides
  • Base 6.minimal curve, means the sunglasses sit flatter on your face.
  • Temple Length 140 mm
  • Lens Size 53 x 47 x 56
  • DBL 19 mm
  • Medium fit
  • Trendy and sport-chic design

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Electric California Road Glacier

Designed in California and made in Italy, these thoughtfully designed, meticulously crafted glasses keeps you protected from the elements whether you’re skiing the slopes, fishing on a bright day or motorcycling on the open road.

  • Performance-enhancing lens coatings
  • Interchangeable/removable mesh eye shields .
  • Two separate adjustable temple options ensure fit
  • 6-base lens technology creates a flatter profile
  • Mold injected grilamid frame.
  • Innovative double action hinge system.
  • Adjustable arm temples.
  • Melanin infused polycarbonate lenses.
  • 100% UV protection and up to 98% blue light protection.
  • Includes microfiber cleaning bag.
  • Measurement: 50h – 146w – 135l (Large Sized Frame)
  • Weight: 38 grams
  • Lens width: 4 centimeters
  • Available in Polarized lenses
  • Lifetime warranty

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Ossat Polarized Glacier Glasses

These Ossats, are the least expensive pair of glacier glasses on this list. Although not a well known name-brand, these do offer a lot of bang for your buck. They do have a lot of great features and will be great for many situations but for hard-core exposure to the elements you may will better with one of the above brands.

  • Lens with 7-layer polarization coating
  • Titanium alloy frame
  • Windproof and sand-proof,
  • Leather shields
  • 100% UV400 protective coating to prevent 100% harmful UVA and UVB rays.
  • Eliminates reflected and scattered light.
  • Ultraviolet protective lens layer to absorb ultraviolet light.
  • Lightweight design
  • Scratch resistant and durable.
  • Purchase includes: a glasses case, a cleaning soft fabric sunglasses pouch and a Polarized Test card

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See Also: Best Ice Climbing Gear


Comments

We hope you found this article about the best glacier glasses helpful. Where do you wear your glacier glasses? Do you use them for winter mountaineering, skiing, for boating, for desert hikes, to protect your eyes or just to look cool? What is your favorite brand and why? Was your favorite glacier glasses on this list? If not let us known about them so we can share your suggestion with the community. Thanks for reading!



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