Best Sunglasses for Sailing

Durability, features, lens shape, and color are a few factors you must consider when hunting for the best sailing sunglasses. To help you shop, we’ve rounded up some of the best sailing sunglasses on the market. We’ll also go over everything you should consider when buying a pair of sunglasses.

Best Sunglasses for Sailing Featured Photo

Heading out to the water soon?

Besides your favorite SPF and life jacket, you may want to wear a nice pair of good-quality sunglasses. Going afloat and being exposed to a lot of ultraviolet (UV) rays, even on cloudy days, can not only affect your skin but can also impair your eyes.

Obviously, your average pair of sunglasses may not be suitable for sailing. You need specialized and well-designed sunglasses for sailing. These pairs can effectively shield your eyes from harmful UV rays.

Sailing sunglasses will offset the intensity of light and glare of the sun, allowing you to see more clearly in bright sunlight. While they are personal accessories that you should choose based on your style and preferences, they must also be functional.

One defining feature of good sailing sunglasses is their polarized lenses. These lenses filter harmful UV rays, allowing you to enjoy a day on the water without worrying about sudden headaches caused by glares. Another main thing you must consider is durability and whether it can withstand impacts.

With these in mind, we’ll show you some of the best sunglasses if you’re seeking sail-specific eye protection gear. If you are passionate about sailing, investing in a good pair of sunglasses is a wise decision.

Why Wear Sunglasses When Sailing?

You’re going to be out in the water for hours. While feeling the breeze and the sun on your skin is a great way to seize the day, the ultraviolet (UV) rays can seriously affect your vision.

When you’re boating, especially on sunny days, the reflections and glares of sunlight from water, and polished fiberglass hulls can hurt your retinas. These are light-sensitive layers of nerve tissue behind your eyes. Exposing your eyes unprotected to direct sunlight can result in cataracts or age-related macular degeneration.

The unfiltered glare can also induce visual discomfort and eye fatigue. Not only can it impair your vision, but it can cause headaches, too.

The best sailing sunglasses will shield your eyes from solar radiation while also enhancing your vision. You can choose from different colored lenses to offset light intensity.

A Glance at Our Top Picks

Best OverallCosta Del Mar Men's Brine SunglassesCosta Del Mar Men’s Brine Sunglasses• Polarized
• Resin frame, plastic lenses
• UV protection coating
• Lightweight and impact-resistant lenses
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Best for KidsAODUOKE Kids SunglassesAODUOKE Kids Sunglasses• Polarized- Food-grade silicone frame
• UVA and UVB protection
• Flexible and resists impact
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Best for Shock ResistantUnder Armour Igniter SunglassesUnder Armour Igniter Sunglasses• Polarized- Plastic frame, plastic lenses
• UV protection coating
• Comfy and durable
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Best RimlessMaui Jim Ho'okipa SunglassesMaui Jim Ho’okipa Sunglasses• Polarized- Nylon frame, composite lenses
• UV protection coating
• PolarizedPlus2 lens technology
• Stylish and comfy
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Honorable MentionRIVBOS Sports SunglassesRIVBOS Sports Sunglasses• Polarized- Plastic frame and lenses
• Mirror coating
• Lightweight, stylish, and durable
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The Best Sunglasses for Sailing

It’s always more enjoyable basking in the sun and soaking up the beach with a pair of good quality sunglasses. Here are some of the best sunglasses for sailing, as rated by sailors and water sports enthusiasts.

Costa Del Mar Men’s Brine Sunglasses – Best Overall

Costa Del Mar Men's Brine Sunglasses

The Costa Del Mar Men’s Brine Sunglasses are among our favorites, and for good reasons. It’s an aviator-style pair of sailing sunglasses designed to fit a range of face shapes and sizes. Due to its gray-blue mirrored polarized lenses, this pair is not only fashionable but also functional.

These sailing sunglasses work well in protecting your eyes from the damaging effects of UV rays and glare. And it does so while maintaining necessary visibility. It’s light, comfy, and scratch-resistant.

Designed with durability in mind, this pair can withstand a lot of abuse without breaking—thanks to its co-injected nylon frames. It also helps that they are made with an eco-friendly bio-resin process. The frames come in a wide range of colors and sizes, and you can even customize them to fit your own style.

• Offers comfy fit
• Durable, stylish, and eco-friendly
• Comes in a wide range of lens colors
• Frames are a bit narrow to certain face shapes

AODUOKE Kids Sunglasses – Best for Kids

AODUOKE Kids Sunglasses

Kids enjoy being out on the water just as much as we adults do. A dependable pair of sunglasses like the AODUOKE Kids Sunglasses can make their time in the water more enjoyable and safe.

These sunglasses, which come in a variety of colors, are designed to shield children’s eyes from the harmful effects of the sun. Its polarized lenses can filter out glare from reflecting surfaces, blocking harmful UVA/UVB rays. The sailing sunglasses eliminate reflected light while restoring the rich color of the surroundings.

Besides being great at protecting your little ones’ eyes, these sunglasses are also durable, flexible, and comfy. The silicone frames are designed to be flexible. And we’ve all seen how clumsy kids can be. That’s why we appreciate how the sunglasses stay on your child’s face no matter how messy they get.

This pair is also reasonably priced, so you might want to grab a bunch and mix and match with the different fun colors.

• Offers comfy fit that won’t slide out of kids’ faces
• Flexible and durable design
• Affordable and comes in various fun colors
• May only fit kids from ages 5 to 13 years old

Under Armour Igniter Sunglasses – Best for Shock Resistant

Under Armour Igniter Sunglasses

Nothing beats a pair of sunglasses that offers style, functionality, and durability. The Under Armour Igniter Sunglasses may be one of the most shock-resistant sailing eyewear you could get. Their lenses are polarized and work well at protecting your eyes from UV rays.

These sunglasses’ lenses are engineered to provide superior optical clarity as well as impact resistance. The frames of the sunglasses are designed for optimum strength and longevity. They also have a co-molded rubber nose pad and temple arms for a more snug and comfy fit.

What we love about Under Armour is that it’s super lightweight, yet it is durable. You can tell that these sunglasses are built with athletes and sports enthusiasts in mind.

• Super lightweight, stylish, and durable; offers great resistance to shock
• Provides maximum protection against UV
• Designed for a snug and comfy fit
• Color of the frame might fade away over time

Maui Jim Ho’okipa Sunglasses – Best Rimless

Maui Jim Ho'okipa Sunglasses

One of our favorites is the Maui Jim Ho’okipa Sunglasses due to its rimless frame design. It boasts a very feminine design yet it can look great on men, too. Just pick from its various colored lenses to match your style.

While it boasts a modern, streamlined design, these sunglasses are more than meets the eye. It features a patented PolarizedPlus2 lens technology that goes beyond protecting your eyes from glare and harmful UV rays. This feature also enhances colors to bring in the beauty around you.

The Maui Jim sunglasses’ rose lenses create a relaxing rose tone and are ideal for full sun to hazy light settings. The super lightweight construction provides a comfortable fit while staying snug.

• Stylish rimless frame design
• Lightweight, comfy, and offers a snug fit
• Patented lens technology enhances colors while blocking UV rays
• Doesn’t come in many sizes

RIVBOS Sports Sunglasses – Honorable Mention

RIVBOS Sports Sunglasses

If you’re looking for a pair of high-quality sunglasses without breaking the bank, then the RIVBOS Sports Sunglasses could be your best choice. These sunglasses not only have a sporty design, but they also come in a variety of lens colors and frames to match your personal style.

RIVBOS’ polarized, mirrored coating sunglasses are Swiss-made. They are designed to give any wearer a great level of comfort while sailing through the waves. These anti-glare sunglasses stay on at all times, too. They feature a wraparound design that fits snugly and comfortably around the face.

Considering its price and the functionality it offers, these sailing sunglasses are one of the most reviewed and highest-rated pairs on the market.

• Blocks harmful UV rays
• Comfy and snug design
• Comes in various color lenses and frames
• Affordable
• Not very durable

Key Considerations in Finding the Best Sunglasses for Sailing

The best sailing sunglasses should be polarized, durable, and offer a comfy fit. Below are a few factors you must consider when buying an exceptional pair of shades.


One of the most important factors to consider is the type of material the sunglasses are made from. You need something that can resist even the hardest sailing conditions. The sunglasses should be made of non-corrosive material and are shatterproof to protect your eyes in case of a sudden impact.

Glass lenses are common and often a wonderful choice. However, sunglasses made of polycarbonate lenses would be perfect. The material is incredibly light and has a lot of utility. It’s durable enough to ensure your safety in the case of a collision. This material is also very easy to clean.


If you want a pair that can handle any type of abuse when sailing, of course, you’ll want something durable. 

You may want to look for shock-resistant sunglasses that can last you for many years. These sunglasses can come at a hefty price, though. But we’ve learned throughout years of trying out different sunglasses brands that sometimes, you really do get what you pay for.

While most of the sailing sunglasses on our list have excellent shock resistance, the Under Armour Igniter Sunglasses may be among the best in this department. But whichever pair you pick, make sure it delivers a comfy and snug fit.


Sailing sunglasses and other sports spectacles are meant to protect your eyes while also blocking the harmful effects of UV light. Here are some features you may want to look for in sunglasses:

UV Protection

UV radiation can be extremely damaging to our eyes and skin. Look for sunglasses with UV-protection coating to help block these harmful rays.

Sailing sunglasses typically feature a bigger lens to protect not only your eyes but also the skin around them. Their wraparound designs also keep more harsh light out of your peripheral vision.

But keep in mind that darker lenses do not necessarily mean that they provide more UV protection. Another factor you may find puzzling is the base color of the lenses. This is the tone that they contribute when you look through your glasses. Base colors aren’t always the same as the color of the lenses seen from the outside.

The best sunglasses for sailing should have UV protection. Those with UV 400 protection block an even broader spectrum and may filter out up to 99 percent of UVA and UVB rays, providing you with the best eye protection.

Polarized Lenses

Glare may be intense and overpowering to the eyes when sunlight bounces off any surface. Polarized lenses are important in sailing sunglasses. This feature filters out more glare than non-polarized sunglasses. Even on overcast days, there can still be glare reflecting off the water.

Polarized lenses are also essential for protecting your eyes from UVB and UVA rays. Exposing your eyes unprotected can lower visual acuity. It can also cause degenerative eye diseases.

Going for polarized lenses reduces your chances of developing photokeratitis, pterygium, cataracts, and snow blindness. As well as other forms of eye cancer.

Some brands offer a better polarization technology, though. A pair like the Maui Jim Ho’okipa Sunglasses, for example, has PolarizedPlus2 lens technology that goes beyond cutting out the glare. This technology can also enhance the colors around you.

Hydrophobic and Oleophobic Coating

Hydrophobic coating can be an essential feature you must look for in sunglasses. It’s designed to drain water and eliminate salt residue. Which makes it a very effective way of preserving your lenses. This feature helps the salt slide off the lenses, allowing you to continue sailing with clear visibility.

You may also want to look for high-quality sunglasses with an oleophobic coating. It’s a layer of protection on the interior of the lens that resists oils, sunblock, and fingerprints.

Lens Shape

The shape of the lens is another important consideration.

Less angular lenses are usually significantly better at keeping the shape and clarity of your surroundings. However, these sunglasses often have less glare resistance. You’ll need sailing sunglasses that provide maximum visibility. So, going for lenses with less angularity might not be the best choice.

You may want to avoid flat lenses. Sailing sunglasses with flatter lenses usually can’t withstand dangerous UV rays reflecting in the water. When it comes to keeping sunlight out of your eyes, you may go for curved lenses. However, curved lenses don’t offer the best razor-sharp vision.

There are obvious trade-offs in choosing the shape of lenses. You must go for one that suits your needs.

Lens Color

Choosing the right color of lenses is paramount.  While many colors are helpful, the safest color is gray. It is an all-purpose choice since it provides a high degree of visual clarity on sunny days.

Style and Design

Any sunglasses that offer both style and functionality are good sunglasses. This is why we recommend the Maui Jim Ho’okipa Sunglasses. The sunglasses boast a dainty, rimless design that looks great on both genders.

When it comes to choosing the style and design of your sunglasses, make sure that it offers functionality as well.

Floating Frames

We’ve all experienced that gut-sinking feeling when our sunglasses fall off and disappear into the water. And the best sunglasses for sailing don’t come in a cheap pair. You don’t want your $200+ sunglasses to drown.

Floating frames are made of ultra-lightweight materials with molecules spaced far enough apart to provide adequate buoyancy.

They are ideal for sailing since you don’t have to risk losing them in the middle of a paddle. Floating frames allow you to quickly and easily recover your sunglasses from the water’s surface.

Is It Lightweight?

Choosing a lightweight or something with a little bit of heft to it is a personal preference. However, a good sailing sunglass should be lightweight. Some sailors prefer heavier options, though. But if you’re going to sail for hours, you may want to opt for something more lightweight.

Fit and Size

Choosing sunglasses that fit your face is tricky. You need to make sure it feels comfy and suits your face. A good rule of thumb to follow choosing the correct size is to go for sunglasses designed for your gender. We’ve recommended a list of sunglasses that can fit men, women, and even kids.

Best Sunglasses for Sailing FAQs

What color lenses are best for sailing?

Color perception differs from one person to another. Gray is a universal color. It is a neutral color that works well as an all-purpose lens tint. Gray tinted sunglasses block the sun’s brightest light without affecting your color perception. This provides you with a darker version of what you would see with your bare eyes.

Copper is great for water with varying levels of light and dark or gray water. Yellow is good for low or gloomy environments. And blue tint, those with mirrored lenses with a gray base tint, are ideal for blue-dominant scenes like the Caribbean.

Red tint increases contrast under varying lighting conditions. And this will cause color imbalances.

What color polarized lens is best for boating?

Since red lenses increase the contrast between objects against a blue or green backdrop, they can be quite handy for boaters. With yellow lenses, they are useful in a cloudy or foggy setting. However, they cause significant color distortion.

Brown or amber lenses are ideal for high-contrast conditions and a wide range of situations.

What are the best sunglasses to wear on the water?

Polarized sunglasses and goggles are perfect for activities like sailing, fishing, and swimming. These specialized sunglasses feature an anti-reflective coating that reduces the amount of sunlight reflecting off the water.

It can help lower unnecessary glare and discomfort. And it does so while still allowing you to see more clearly through the water’s surface.

Why would a sailor wear polarizing sunglasses?

Sailors should wear polarized sunglasses as there’s significantly more glare on the sea than on land. This is due to the extra glare bouncing off the water. And even on rainy days, you may still need to wear polarized sunglasses.

Are polarized sunglasses better for boating?

Polarized lenses are a must-have feature in sunglasses. Wearing such sunglasses can enhance visibility and minimize glare. It will also lower the intensity of light. UV rays may be much more damaging on the water, hence why polarized sunglasses are preferable if you want to go sailing.

What color lens is best for bright days?

Green lenses are ideal for both sunny and low-light conditions. These lenses reduce glare while enhancing shadows.


Our favorite pair of sunglasses is the Costa Del Mar Men’s Brine Sunglasses because it’s stylish and fits a range of face shapes and sizes. These sunglasses also offer a comfy fit. The durable, stylish, and eco-friendly design is also something we appreciate. Plus, it comes in a wide range of lens colors.

If you’re looking for a quality pair to protect your little ones, the AODUOKE Kids Sunglasses could be a wonderful choice. The sunglasses feature a comfy fit that won’t slide out of kids’ faces. It has a flexible and durable design that comes in various fun colors. Plus, it’s inexpensive.

When it comes to shock resistance, the Under Armour Igniter Sunglasses is winning the race in this department. This stylish pair is extremely lightweight and durable and provides superior UV protection. It’s also designed for a snug and comfy fit.

For the most stylish and ultra-modern look, the Maui Jim Ho’okipa Sunglasses could be the best choice. We love its chic, dainty rimless design that comes in a range of colors. too. This pair of Maui Jim sailing sunglasses are super lightweight, comfy, and offers a snug fit.

Lastly, the RIVBOS Sports Sunglasses is one of the most inexpensive pairs but also one of the best. The sunglasses offer excellent protection against harmful UV rays. This pair offers a comfy and snug design and comes in various color lenses and frames.

I hope you’ve found the best sunglasses for sailing from our favorite brands. Make sure to check out the latest prices and discounts for these pairs, and we can’t wait to see you rock those shades.

Have fun sailing and good luck!

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